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033 Monsoon

MonsoonMonsoon is an International 6 metre boat designed by Mr Maxwell Blake, built in Singapore and brought to this country for the season’s racing. The following is an excerpt from a letter which had been received by Mr Blake and gives a brief account of her history:-

Sir, - As you have so kindly offered to publish the plans of Monsoon, perhaps it would be of extra interest to your many readers to learn how and when the idea originated of bringing a 6 metre boat from Singapore to compete in home racing.

To be perfectly honest the idea appeared in 1920 when I was last home on leave, but it laid dormant until one of our sailing meetings out East, when mooted on the strength of after meeting bibulation, it caused an immense amount of leg-pulling and chaff generally.

Still the idea stuck, and the 1920 Book of YRA Class Rules was written for.

On receipt of same and after wading through the apparently intricate formulas, whilst reclining in a long chair and pacing the verandah, the idea was almost given up. However, to give it a fair trial and to satisfy an insatiable curiosity pertaining to anything that sails the water, back numbers of the Yachting Monthly were routed for 6 metre boats, paper was stretched, and a start made.

Months of steamy evenings were spent off and on digging away at the rules until at last a presentable design seemed to have more or less fulfilled the requirements, and a tracing was sent home to yourself, asking for an opinion.

MonsoonThe answer gave a tremendous fillip to the effort and much wood was expended on model making, the results now adorning the walls of the Club House. By this time the members generally were interested and opinions and suggestions poured in on all sides. The big item was transport home, and here I am delighted to state that the P & O company through Mr Walker of Singapore, more than played the game thus enabling me to go ahead, assured of getting the boat home safely if the human element could do so.

As time was drawing near for home leave the last plans were completed and thoroughly checked and the boat was laid down and timber prepared to Lloyds’ Rules for building. The best Chinese carpenters of the United Engineers, Ltd were put on the job, and right well did Ah San, the head carpenter, splendidly backed by Ah Fook, Ah Yeok, and Ah Fatt, do their work. Only teakwood could be used and here Lloyds’ Rules had to be interpreted and scantlings strictly adhered to. The building proceeded apace, constant supervision being necessary as this kind of work was strange to us all. I have to thank Mr Lubbock, also of United Engineers, for his unceasing help and cheery optimism during the building construction.

As the vessel went up, she became the Mecca of those interested in yachting, and many a pleasant hour was spent after the heat and toil of the day talking over her points and trying to detect unfair places. The mast was the source of our great trouble, the local timbers being more or less heavy, and anything but straight for the Marconi rig.

MonsoonAt last we procured a likely looking stick for 12 dollars and although heavy as compared to home masts, it is still in the boat. The day of launching drew near and with it the anxiety as to how she would trim when put to the acid test of going afloat. Whilst on the stocks the cradle that was to bring her to England was constructed and bolted round her and with rollers inserted below, she commenced the first phase of her long journey to the Solent. The Lascars doing the landing were most excited and Ah San and his crowd of grinning carpenters fired off crackers to frighten away any devils.

The launching was a very quiet one, Mr F G Lundon, the Vice Commodore of the RSYC, the writer Mr Lubbock only being present and a sigh of relief went up, and a kindly hand-shake when the Monsoon was seen to float exactly to designed conditions. After that only ten days remained to step mast and gear and try her under sail before the S.S. Kashgar was due in port.

Every opportunity was taken to give members interested for a spin in the boat and her handiness and Weatherly qualities were commented on, but often with a shake of the head and wonder expressed as to how she would compare with the fairy boats of Fife, Nicholson and Mylne.

His Excellency the Governor of the Straits Settlements, Sir Laurence Guillemard, has taken the greatest interest in the venture and I hope will sail in the Monsoon at Cowes. Captain Williams of the Kashgar and her officers were splendid in helping during the shipping of the boat and looking after her on the long trip home and we feel deeply indebted to them all.

On reaching London Messrs Tillings and Pickford took delivery and she was run down to Southampton by road, causing great interest en route, being delivered without a scratch. Spotting the name Sinagpore on her stern one interested onlooker asked where it was, being told it was a small place the other side of the Millbrook. (And this after the Naval base). Although the venture has entailed an amount of work, it has been an education to us all in Singapore and I trust that now new ground has been opened up that members of the Royal Sinagpore Yacht Club will race in England when on leave and taste the joys of competing in a class which I consider the most perfect afloat. If two or three combine in a boat the expenses are quite reasonable and far more than counterbalanced by health gained and friends made amidst ideal surroundings.
N M Blake



Yacht Description


David & Rosemary Elliot


Maxwell Blake



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United Engineers Singapore


xxx m

34 ft


xxx m

xx ft


xxx m

7 ft


xxx m

5 ft


xxx m

21 ft

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Masthead Bermudan Sloop

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xxx spreaders

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