‘Tio Pepe’ Sails Again
‘Tio Pepe’ is a south coast one design, a SCOD for short. She is a sleek 26ft cruiser racer from the pen of the renowned yacht designer Charles Nicholson and a boat which was to be at the forefront of the renaissance in yacht building and racing in the Solent following the Second World War.
Built of Honduras mahogany planks on rock elm timbers by the Clare Lallow yard in Cowes in 1955, she was the sixth of over 100 SCODs to be launched and was first owned by Major Peter Moore, who played a significant role in the class and who sailed her with great success.
IBTC Portsmouth became involved in ‘Tio Pepe‘s’ story in 2016, when after several owners, she sat out of the water in a forgotten corner of a local boatyard for over a decade deteriorating to the point where she was in danger of being cut up.
There she was discovered by an IBTC Portsmouth lecturer, a SCOD owner and enthusiast, who alerted the SCOD association and reflecting the poor condition she was in, they bought ‘Tio Pepe’ for the sum of £1. IBTC Portsmouth students began the job of restoring her to a seaworthy condition and so a boat which is a part of our maritime heritage was saved. http://www.scod.org/page10/page10.html .
In June of this year ‘Tio Pepe’ now afloat at her mooring in Portsmouth Harbour was purchased by a triumvirate consisting of an IBTC Portsmouth lecturer and two current students and immediately entered into the Round the Isle of Wight race, which has a special significance for SCODs, as the first SCOD fleet captain was also the founder of this iconic event.
Such was the balance of ‘Tio Pepe’s’ helm that on the day she could probably have sailed herself around what must be a well-remembered course and left her cantankerous crew on the shore. Despite not having raced since the last millennium, she carried all her sail, heeled over and went like a long keeled 62 year old classic wooden yacht should, with her crew grinning all the way around.
‘Tio Pepe’ finished 65th in a class of over 600 boats – so not too bad. The three other SCODs which entered were all well placed in the top 20 boats, reflecting the racing pedigree of the class. We now plan on continuing to race and cruise ‘Tio Pepe’ inviting fellow IBTC Portsmouth students and graduates to join us. I am sure that in 2055, when she is 100 years old she will still be on the start line and still turning heads wherever she goes.
IBTC Portsmouth student James Kundert.