Latifa Kyles of Bute
£145.00 – £225.00
Latifa arguably one of the most beautiful yachts ever built, sailing through the Kyles of Bute with Ayrshire Lass and the Clyde puffer Vic 32 in the background.
Designed by William Fife III at the peak of his powers in 1936 – not only has LATIFA been widely regarded by yachting luminaries to the present day as the best of all his designs, but the great man himself considered her to be his finest. Mere mention of her name imparts a legendary tone to any yachting conversation and as one of Fife’s last designs kept one foot in the past while putting the other firmly in the future. Second in the 1937 and ’39 Fastnet Races she had a class win in the first post war race in 1947.
LATIFA’s special capabilities are marked by achieving 12 single handed transatlantic crossings and a two year global circumnavigation with her owner’s family as crew. It is a very special 70 ft yacht from any era that can be sailed by one man alone!
The Kyles of Bute (Scottish Gaelic: Na Caoil Bhòdach) is a narrow sea channel that separates the northern end of the Isle of Bute from the Cowal peninsula in Argyll and Bute, on the Scottish mainland.The narrowest strait is only some 300m across and is spanned by the Calmac ferry from Rhubodach to Colintraive. The Kyles are split into the East and West kyles. The East Kyle (An Caol an Ear) runs from Rothesay Bay North west up to the entrance to Loch Riddon. Here at the northern end of the East Kyle are the Burnt Islands and the island of Eilean Dubh. The West Kyle (An Caol an Iar/An Caol Ceathrach) runs from here southwest, past the village of Tighnabruaich out to the Sound of Bute. The Kyles are designated as a National Scenic Area.
The Clyde Puffer had developed from the Dark ages, starting off with a coracle, through Viking longships to gabbarts. Somebody in 1880 or so had put a steam engine and a boiler in a sailing gabbart, found it difficult to see over the boiler whilst steering from a tiller at the stern and had created a structure on top of the boiler to steer from. Later they put a canvas dodger around the helmsman and finally a proper wheelhouse.
‘VIC 32’ was built by Dunston’s of Thorne, Yorkshire in November 1943. This was a busy time for the Clyde Ship building yards and the Admiralty needed 50, (later 100) victualling boats in a hurry. So they were built in groups of 3 by various different yards in England. For instance ‘VIC 27’ (Auld Reekie) was built at Rowhedge. The Admiralty didn’t need to design a new craft for this purpose as the perfect boat existed in a Clyde Puffer. Presumably these little sea going craft fitted the bill perfectly