Orkney Image Library

<< back
The Orcadian with Jimmy Wylie at the helm
The Orkney Image Library

Help us get organised! If we haven't correctly identified which area this picture is best listed under, please select it below and click Done!

view a random pic
The Orcadian with Jimmy Wylie at the helm

The Orcadian with Jimmy Wylie at the helm. I believe that Jimmy was skipper more often than not, When Jock Barbour moved away he bought the boat outright and carried on sailing She is still in the family today after some 60 + years. A few years ago she was fully restored by brother John.
Large Version View Large Version
Picture added on 25 January 2011 at 11:49
These were bonny boats. I wonder why they had such high booms and high cut jibs though?
I see there's no kicking strap for the boom either. This would explain why they were having to fight to keep her flat in the other photo. It must have resulted in giving it terrible weather helm if they couldn't flatten the mainsail. I notice the design of the mast too which must have been quite revolutionary at the time. Three sets of spreaders which must have made for a very stiff mast and plenty of power. What would the scrunched up sail at the foot of the mast be? Didn't think these boats had spinnakers until they became Merlin Rockets. Must have been guy cosy with three on board too. Any idea who the other chaps are?
Added by Lee Thomson on 28 January 2011
You certainly know your boats Lee! The scrunched up sail is a spinnaker though. The mast isn't the original one as the original broke one windy race when Peter Desmond sailed with dad. I remember dad getting the new mast. Peter Desmond did the original rigging when the Orcadian was built. I wish my memory was a bit better now - or I had paid more attention as a bairn. No idea who the crew are infact I hadn't notice that there were three in the boat until the picture went on O.C. library. I now have a mission to see if I can find out who they are??? Yes, must have been cosy as there was never much space when dad took us out fishing in Mill Bay - late 1950's early 1960's. She may have sailed like a dream but she rowed like a saucer!
Added by Mabel J Besant on 12 February 2011
Only just come across this, Allan. The boat was, indeed, a Merlin Rocket (hence the spinnaker), built by Davy Wilson from plans Jock Barbour bought from Yachting World. The date is early 1950s, with Peter Desmond and Leslie Hibbert (hunkering down) crewing. It was a highly-organised manoeuvre, sailing with dad in a confined space - jump when he said jump. I sailed with dad sometimes on relatively calm days. I think this would be the original mast. The mast broke at the Longhope Regatta, 4 Aug 1966, when dad and Ray Kirkpatrick had a collision with Dr Johnstone! It was too windy for me to sail as crew that day. The new mast was even heavier than the first; it may have been a third mast, or the second one mended, after that collision! Happy days fishing in Mill Bay with dad. He also made us a creel which I was allowed to row the boat (saucer) out to the Point to set - partan or lobster suppers!
Added by Kathleen Houghton (nee Wylie) on 18 June 2018
<< back


Melsetter area on the Island of HoyInvoice for work on Waas boatHoy Primary SchoolHoy from the Point of NessMV Hoy Head at Longhope PierMV Watchful approaching Lyness PierThe Police Station and house, LonghopeOpposite the Police Station, LonghopePolice mini van and BN IslanderNorth Walls School?