Astrape Sailing

ASTRAPE

©1948 Beken of Cowes

Ongoing Projects / ASTRAPE

S/Y ASTRAPE A 57FT OCEAN RACER FROM 1939

LOA

56.8 ft

LWL

38.5 ft

Beam

11.9 ft

Draught

7.9 ft

Sail area

1140 sqft

Displacement

18.7 ton

Lead keel

8 ton

Off. Lloyd’s register number

166856

RORC sail number

284

Designer

F. B. Richards

Builders

Berthon Boat Co. Ltd

Ownership

Absolute

The Rescue

In 2019 Absolute came into the rescue of ASTRAPE. After many years in the water and unattended, she was set in the hard for more than 20 years, in need of serious care and condemned to an uncertain fate… Therefore, we decided to buy her with the mission of getting her under a safe roof while searching for a new carrying owner and ultimately have her restored to her once pristine condition.

ASTRAPE is a rare and amazing late 1930’s ocean racer that has never been changed (above or below deck) nor ever had her name changed through the subsequent ownerships. Absolute is committed to preserve ASTRAPE as an extraordinary example of a great yacht designer and to pay a tribute to the builders and owners who have cruised and raced her throughout her life.

In 1952, ASTRAPE was sold, through G. L. Watson & Co, to a Portuguese named Máxime Vaultier, a very active sailor, to join the growing fleet of offshore racers.

The coming of ASTRAPE was like a seed and soon many other ocean racers like FOXHOUND, CARIBA, MIX OF MALHAM, BINKER, WHISPER, BACHANTE, SEA SAGA, SEA LION were bought by Portuguese owners.

But, who better than Uffa Fox, the iconic yacht designer, or John Leather, the late maritime historian and author to tell more about ASTRAPE and her designer:

UFFA FOX’s extracts from an article published in Yachting Monthly magazine, in June 1939.

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ASTRAPE was designed as an ocean racer that would at the same time make a comfortable cruiser; or, looked at from the other angle, a cruiser meant to win ocean races. (…) without doubt Astrape is fast and also comfortable. (…) Astrape’s lines are those that make for speed and easiness on the helm, as well as a boat that will be comfortable throughout all ranges of speed at sea. The accommodation is fairly straightforward, and has been designed to suit a family of five. (…) The general run of her scantlings are between Lloyd’s cruising requirements and the 10-Meter size, which produces a sturdy vessel. (…) the seven strakes from the garboard seam being of Burma teak, while the rest is of Honduras mahogany. (…) Astrape should be a very comfortable and cruiser, in harbor or at sea, and in all-weather from lightest of airs to a gale of wind.

© 1939 Yachting Monthly

©1948 Beken of Cowes

Astrape Sailing

© 1952 Helena Corrêa de Barros

JOHN LEATHER’s extracts from an article published in Classic Boat magazine, in May 1997.

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Astrape was the last of Brooks Richards’ yacht designs to be built, and is regarded by many as his most beautiful. Drawn while he was a first year history student at Cambridge University, she was built by Berthons at Lymington in the spring of 1939, and completed four months before the outbreak of war. Her name and some features in her design were suggested by Rear Admiral Turner, who took an interest in the yacht’s metacentric analysis. (…)

She was undoubtedly the most beautiful of all Brooks Richards designs and in all aspects she confirmed the astonishing talent of her 21-year-old designer. (…) Sadly, she was to be the last yacht designed by Brooks Richard to be built.

 

About Sir Francis Brooks Richards

In his teens and early 20s, Francis Brooks Richards drew some of the most original yachts to emerge before the war. Then he gave it all up to became a secret agent and crave out a brilliant diplomatic career. (…) F. Brooks Richards was arguably one of the greatest yacht designers Britain never had. Between the ages of 16 and 21, much of the time while still at school, he conceived and – remarkably for one so young – had built five cruising and racing yachts, all bermudan cutters, all now regarded as classics of hull form, rig and performance. They were seaworthy, innovative craft, representing original thinking in the relatively new field of cruiser-racer design, and some of the finest to emerge during this period from the board of any designer, regardless of age. (…)

These offshore yachts designs of young Brooks Richards attracted much attention during the mid- and late 1930’s, for their merits as well as his youth. This was at the time when leading designers such as William Fife III and Camper & Nicholson were only just beginning to realize the interest in, and the potential of, offshore yacht racing, which was then going through a period of rapid expansion.

© 1939 Yachting Monthly

Astrape Sailing

©1948 Beken of Cowes

ASTRAPE’s list of owners

1939

Designed and Built for Francis Bartlett Richards

1939 - 1952

Francis Bartlett Richards

1952 - 1964

Máxime Vaultier

1964 - 1982

João José de Aragão Teixeira

1982 - 2019

Emílio Guilherme de Aragão Teixeira

2019 - present

Absolute

Some highlights in her racing career

1949

1st place - Round the Island Race

1949

2nd place - Channel Race

1952

2nd place - Berlengas Race (Salazar Trophy)

1953

2nd place - Lisbon to Tanger race

1955

1st place - Berlengas Race (Salazar Trophy)

1959

1st place - Belém to Sines Race (D. Carlos I Trophy)

1959

1st place - Sesimbra to Cascais Race (D. Carlos I Trophy)

1959

1st place - Pilotos da Barra Trophy

1965

1st place - Lisboa to Portimão Race

1965

1st place - Bodas de Ouro do S.A.D. Race

1966

2nd place - Lisboa to Setubal Race (Wintermantel Trophy)

Words of Encouragement

She is a really nice yacht, when will you start the work on her? Wish you again success with this nice project.

Ed Kastelein, Owner & builder of ELENORA, INGOMAR and ATLANTIC

She’s a very lovely boat, really is! I will dive into my library as I have Yachting Monthly complete from 1909 to 1970 or so. For sure I have 1939 so I will search and make a high res scan. What a cool boat she is…

John Lammerts van Bueren, Touchwood BV

Astrape means lightning and she was a servant to Zeus. Greek mythology. In Roman times the name was Fulgora and is still a girl’s name today. What a project: I go nuts!!!!!

Fred Meyer, Owner of 8mR CATINA VI and 10mR RITA IV

Uma demonstração de grande elegância. Parabéns e felicidades para esse novo projecto. Quero vê-lo a navegar junto ao Sea Lion.

Manuel Champalimaud, Owner of SEA LION

Ah amazing - what a lovely yacht! Thank you for sending this :-) I will keep a look out for anything on her.

Sue Dines, Daughter of the late John Leather

…We should find someone for her, a really special boat.

Dr. William Collier, Managing Director, G.L. Watson & Co. Ltd

©1948 Beken of Cowes

© 1939 Robin Richards

Documents about ASTRAPE

Two articles were published in "Yachting Monthly", written by Uffa Fox and Brooks and Robin Richards, in 1939 and 1941. Plus, an original RORC rating certificate.

Download "Astrape, a 57 ft. Ocean Racer" PDF Download "Evolution and Experiment in Astrape" PDF Download "ASTRAPE - Original RORC Certificate" PDF