Wanderer II Hiscock marine art jack woods

Wanderer II


Painting – Acrylic on Board
91.5 x 61 cm

The painting depicts the 24 foot gaff cutter, Wanderer II, skippered solo by Eric Hiscock in 1937 during a cruise along the south-west coast of Ireland and described in detail in his book titled Wandering Under Sail. The yacht is sailing west around the Old Head of Kinsale, towards Courtmacsherry Bay. The wind is blowing from the north and Wanderer 11 has her topsail set whilst she is in the lee of the headland.

In his book Wandering Under Sail, Eric describes this part of the trip by saying, “The next morning the wind was still North. but was fresh with some very strong squalls, as Wanderer, under lower sail and small jib, ran out of the Haven in brilliant sunshine bound to the westward. We passed very close in round the Old Head of Kinsale, and for a few moments were quite becalmed under its lee, but the west-going tide soon took us clear, and hardening in the sheets I fetched into Courtmacsherry Bay and beat into the estuary at its head, not to stop, but just to have a look at it.”

I decided to paint the yacht with her topsails up to show the yacht with her full suit of working sails, noting that in another section of his book Eric refers to the fact that he would always carry the maximum  to ensure a speedy passage, and in this case he may have raised the topsail as the wind dropped whilst he was in the lee of the Cape.

The lighthouse shows the black & white bands. Contact with the Irish Inspector of Lights and Marine confirmed that these were the colours in 1937 with the original red & white stripes changed to the new colours in1930.

Specifications and details on Wanderer II:
Gaff Cutter, designed by Laurent Giles & Partners
Built by Napier at Poole, Dorset, in 1936.
Length overall – 24 ft
Length waterline 20.75 ft
Draft 5 ft
Sail Area 495 sq ft
Beam 7ft 2in
No engine
Sails – Canvas tanned a rich red-brown. Loose fitted mainsail

Footnote :1.  I received some further details from one of the subsequent owners of Wanderer II who owned the yacht in Hawaii from 1971 until the early 1980s during which time he had the challenge of losing the keel when during a storm Wanderer II dragged her moorings and became embedded in soft mud which tore the 3,000 pound keel from her bottom. An article in the July 1976 edition of Pacific Skipper describes the challenge of recovering and refitting the keel.

Footnote 2. In 2012 I received some additional interesting information from Patricia Morgan who purchased the boat in Hawaii in 1968. She says:-
I was 19 years old when I bought the Wanderer II after finding it moored, neglected and lonely, out at Kehoe Bay near the airport in Honolulu in 1969.  I had just returned from my first deep-water passage as crew delivering a 45-foot TransPac boat back to San Francisco.  During that passage, I had so fallen in love with deep-water sailing that I decided I must buy my own boat and I was dead set on sailing around the world by myself, and I bought the Wanderer II, moved it up to the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor, and lived on board.  I was a good sailor, but as a 19-year-old girl, with absolutely no skills in boat maintenance or carpentry (and limited money), I realized I bit off more than I could chew.   I lived on the Wanderer II for almost a year taking it out day sailing almost every day before work (I was working typesetting the Honolulu Star Bulletin newspaper at the time, swing and lobster shifts).One day, out of the blue, a man approached me and said he wanted to buy the boat.  My memory is he was from South America (Spanish accent, macho Latino strut) and that he knew nothing about boats, just from the way he hit the little bulkhead below and said, “Strong walls,” and stamped on the cabin floor boards and said, “Strong boat.”  But I gladly sold it to him for what I’d bought it for the year previous.  I don’t believe this could have been the same person who you mentioned owned it from ’71 to ’80.

Footnote 3. I was contacted by Marco Rizzo in May 2015 to advise that he had bought the boat, with another South American friend, from Patricia Morgan in about 1969 and enjoyed it in the year that he owned it.

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