Yachts like Tally Ho are rare. Designed and built in the best English tradition of the powerful, sea-kindly gaff cutter, she has proved herself over a long and colourful career to be a quite exceptional yacht within that tradition, and as such, offers an opportunity of tremendous potential and reward to anyone with the resources to undertake her restoration.
Tally Ho is Albert Strange's design number 96 "Betty", designed in 1909 for Charles Hellyer, comparatively unusually for Albert, who is best know for his canoe-sterned gaff yawls, Betty was a transom sterned gaff cutter.
The cutter, with its single mainsail and multiple head-sails offers more space in the same length as the canoe yawls and Charles Hellyer needed her to fit well into his home harbour.
Whilst the cutter offers a little less flexibility in its rig than the yawl, it remains extremely flexible, allowing multiple reefs in the mainsail, two or more foresails, each of which may be of varying size. The bowsprit forward helps carry the foresails to best balance the main, and in combination with the long keel, these combinations allow a good cutter to be set up such that she will sail herself at an essentially constant angle to the wind, often for many miles.
A cutter can set a huge amount of sail for those lighter winds, the amount only really exceeded by that set by a schooner, however with full sail, a large schooner really needs more crew.
A testament to the cutter rig's abilities is it's rig of choice for British west-country pilot boats, which stayed at sea in all weather transferring pilots to and from the large ships entering and leaving the ports.
Albert of course was as well known for the beauty of his designs as he was for their sailing abilities.
The effort and expense of her restoration, an exciting and fascinating project in itself, would be rewarded with the creation of a first class cruising yacht of known qualities and pedigree. Very well-suited to many uses as family yacht, deep-sea cruising, chartering, or sail training, the project might suit a syndicate as well as an individual.
For the competitively-minded, a very important appointment awaits; the Centenary of the Fastnet Race in 2025 in which a class of veterans, including the splendid Jolie Brise, Ilex, and other old rivals, would attract huge interest. The search is on to track down the whereabouts of La Goleta and other 1927 competitors.
...Tally Ho, working toward the Lizard under reefed main and spitfire jib. High though the seas rose, she seemed as steady as a church, and we watched her in silent admiration. Here indeed was a competitor...
here indeed is a yacht worth saving.