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074 Thalassa

ThalassaThalassa is a 48’ yawl, which was designed by Sibbick, who started to build her at his yard in Cowes. He went out of business in 1903 and she was completed by Fay of Southampton, which became Camper & Nicholson, in 1906. 

Unfortunately I don’t know for whom she was built, but do have a record of owners since 1908, She was raced frequently and was in the 1927 Fastnet (coming 3rd out of 5). In 1934 and 1935 she was owned by Guy Napier-Martin, whose sailing master was John Illingworth. He made extensive alterations and refers to her in his classic ‘Offshore’.

In 1936 my father-in-law, Alan Baker bought her and her 1939 Fastnet Race is extensively reported in Sandy Sandison’s (Thalassa’s cook) book ‘To Sea in Carpet Slippers’ and also in Classic Boat in September 2006. 

ThalassaAfter the war Alan raced her extensively, and won many cups. They decided to race Thalassa as hard as they could on every possible occasion and in doing so to extract the maximum amount of fun and enjoyment. This included eating well, drinking deep and refusing to take anything or anyone, especially the Owner, seriously. They even hove to to enjoy a particularly good dinner! 

When Alan died in 1966, his third daughter, Vivian, and I took her on. We were living in Ireland at that time. She was raced in the Irish Sea and regularly in Dublin Bay. When we left Ireland in 1971 we brought her back to England, via Spain and Spanish Morocco! 

ThalassaSince 1972 she has been moored in Portsmouth Harbour and is sailed most weekends from mid May to the end of September. She also spends 3 weeks, usually, in Ireland or in Brittany – last year it was 10 days in Weymouth. 

In 2006 the ‘Crews Union’ insisted on organising a party for Thalassa’s 100th birthday. It was a wonderful day for Vivian and me, because we had nothing to do with it. We were merely asked “When, Where, Who – and then Shut Up”! 156 people who had sailed with us over the years attended an excellent lunch organised at the Royal Corinthian by Louise Morton (joint owner of Rubicon). The crew presented us with a ‘log’, which is on Thalassa’s web site, and also a scale model. That was a total surprise. 

There are about 40 pages of history, photographs and anecdotes on the web site



Yacht Description


Richard & Vivian Sewell





Year Designed:


Year Built:



Sibbick, Completed by Fay


xxx m

48 ft


xxx m

xx ft


xxx m

10.2 ft


xxx m

7.3 ft


xxx m

35 ft

LOD/LWL Ratio:



22 tonnes

Thames Measurement:


Hull Material:

Pitch Pine

Hull Construction:


Hull Frames:




Sail Material:


Deck & Superstructure:


Superstructure Profile:









Aux Cutter Rig Yawl

Engine Make:


Engine HP:


Engine Mounted:




Propeller Blades:


Mast Material:

Columbian Pine

Mast Configuration:

xxx spreaders

Keel Configuration:


Keel Material: