|Configuration||UK, Yanmar 2GM20|
|Berthed||RTYC Pontoon, Hamble|
|Sail Number||K 4000|
|Builder||Aquafibre, Brundall, Norfolk, UK|
|Previous Owners||Terry Sprake (1987 – 2004 Ex Hon. Chairman Spakman & Stephens Assoc)
John Hart (? – 1987 used as sail training vessel)
Stephen James (1977 – ?)
Royal Air Force (1974 – 1977)
Morning Tide of Lymington (Stephen James)
Red Arrow (RAF)
The Yacht’s Story
On a tube to the London Boat Show in 2003 I found myself sitting beside someone wearing a Royal Cruising Club tie. We started talking about boats and he mentioned that he had just seen an advertisement for a most interesting looking boat for sale on the notice board at the Royal Thames Yacht Club.
This is how I came to buy Mornings End, an S&S 34, from Terry Sprake, the co-founder and past Chairman of the Sparkman and Stephens Association.
Research revealed Aquafibre of Ipswich built her in 1974 when the Royal Air Force bought her and launched her as Red Arrow, I think, the first RAF boat to bear this name. In 1977 Stephen James purchased her, sailing her. successfully as Morning Tide of Lymington, until she passed to John Hart of Barry, Glamorgan, who used her as a sail training vessel until 1987 when Terry bought her. Terry changed her name to Morning s End and sailed her over 30,000 miles during 14 years of ownership, mostly single-handed and including two single-handed Atlantic crossings.
I entered the Round the Island race in 2004 and was very pleased to get a 2nd in the Classic Yacht Division and later sailed her to South West Ireland, where I live.
I returned to England for the winter and put her ashore at the Universal Boat Yard for a refit. In deciding what work to undertake, I focused on aspects that would work for (or against) the boat for every second of a passage or race.
So we concentrated initially on getting the underwater surface as smooth and as fair as possible and also enabling the shape of the mainsail to be controlled more easily. Datayacht of Lymington also replaced the original instruments with a set of B&G equipment. I found Bruce Johnson, of Sparkman and Stephens New York office, was most helpful in supplying copies of the original drawings.
Back in the water in the spring of 2005 we again took part in the Round the Island race where we got 9th in class and 60th overall in the IRC fleet of about 500 boats. Later we got 1st in class and 2nd overall in the race for the Queen Victoria Cup organised by the Royal Thames Yacht Club.
Morning s End is now back in Ireland and I plan to return to the Hamble to work on her this winter.
I am keen to get in touch with other S&S 34 owners to exchange information and ideas.
Terry Sprake, aboard Morning’s End.
Hi Andrew, lovely to hear that Mornings End is still sailing and being looked after. I sailed with Terry regularly throughout the 90’s racing over to Normandy, Cork, Castletown Beer, La Rochelle and many other places including the regular Solent races. She’s a lovely boat and great in heavy weather. Terry was quite friendly with Olin Stevens latterly and was quite a character. Certainly fair to say I learnt much of my sailing through him on the boat, much of it rather unconventional. I have some lovely memories of short handed overnight crossings and the boat always behaved predictably and reassuringly in heavy blows & seas. Hopefully the sticky throttle cable is now sorted!
I wish you highly enjoyable sailing on this lovely boat
Dear Andrew – FYI: I sailed Red Arrow in the 1975 Fastnet Race and various Solent points events under the then ownership of a family friend and long distance RN yachtsman Geoff Crawford, a director of a northern steel business Richard Johnson & Nephew (now Firth Rixon). In the ’75 winter she was laid up at Geoff’s home in Codlington, Cheshire. She was then red of course! I saw her in Cowes some years ago. Regards, Julian Rigby