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098 Overlord

Overlord“Overlord” is a 100 Square Metre Seefahrtkreuzer (German Square Metre) Class yacht built by Abeking & Rasmussen at Lemwerder, Germany in 1936. Under her original name of “Pelikan” she was based in Kiel and used as a sail training vessel by the Luftwaffe in the Baltic and North Sea. “Pelikan”  sailed throughout the war years, winning at least one regatta in the Baltic in 1943.

In 1945 she was taken by the British services as a one of the “Windfall” yachts, renamed “Overlord”, and continued her career providing adventurous sail training - but this time with The Royal Engineers and then Royal Army Service Corps (notably under the command of Capt. J A Venables in the mid-1950s). The Army campaigned “Overlord” with notable success in most of the RORC series until, in 1961, she was dismasted and put up for sale by The Treasury. Tony Venables bought her unseen, having made a bid based on the scrap value of her lead keel and set about re-commissioning her, with the intention of sailing her for a couple of seasons before selling her on. However, his friends were so taken with sailing “Overlord” that, instead, in 1963 Tony had the idea of setting up a members’ club to own, maintain and sail her. The Offshore Cruising Club is now approaching its 50th anniversary, has around 220 members, and is affiliated to the RYA; and although retired from skippering, Tony remains its Admiral.

Her size and “traditional” design make “Overlord” a fantastic, and very safe, bluewater cruising yacht capable of covering large distances. She has a very busy and varied sailing programme, spending 130 to 150 days at sea every year which typically include week-ends in The Solent and Channel; long distance deliveries; exploring new coastlines in the sunshine; and racing in the JOG series, RTIR, Royal Escape Race (a winner in 2010 !) and classic regattas.

Every few years a two year “back to back” programme is organised to give greater scope for exploration, with “Overlord” being laid up for the winter in places such as Croatia and Turkey, or just sailing the winter through in the Canaries ! The OCC has cruised “Overlord” extensively throughout European waters, including the Baltic (as far as Estonia), Scotland, Eire, France, Spain, Portugal, the Mediterranean (including North Africa), the Adriatic, the Aegean, Madeira and the Azores. And pretty much everywhere in-between !

“Overlord” has never been restored, but rather actively sailed and maintained for her entire 74 year life, with any major work being carried out in her annual winter refit. Originally 6 berths, she unfortunately lost her original mahogany and leather interior when she was converted to take 10. “Overlord” had an engine fitted in the mid-1950s; was replanked below the waterline in 1979; had her deck replaced in 1982; and has since had parts of her topsides re-planked (largely so that the chainplates could be replaced). From 1961 “Overlord” sported a “cut down” aluminium masthead rig designed by Illingworth & Primrose, which was replaced by another aluminium rig to the original ¾, 100 Sq m design for the 2000 sailing season.

Membership of the Offshore Cruising Club is open to anyone who would like to take an interest in a historic yacht, novice and experienced yachtsman alike. More information can be found on the Club’s web site at .


Yacht Description


Offshore Cruising Club


Henry Rasmussen


100sq m Seefartkreuzer

Year Designed:


Year Built:



Abeking & Rasmussen, Lemwerder Germany


17.4 m

57 ft


17.4 m

57 ft


3.4 m

11.2 ft


2.3 m

7.6 ft


12.39 m

40.8 ft

LOD/LWL Ratio:



18.3 Tonnes

Thames Measurement:


Hull Material:


Hull Construction:


Hull Frames:

Steamed Oak & Iron


Keel Hung

Sail Material:


Deck & Superstructure:

Composite Ply Teak Laid

Superstructure Profile:

Low Coach Roof


Classic Cruising




Aft Sloping


Bermudan Sloop

Engine Make:


Engine HP:


Engine Mounted:

Under Companionway



Propeller Blades:


Mast Material:


Mast Configuration:

2 Spreaders

Keel Configuration:


Keel Material: