… Watson, I presume

Rainbow II sail plan (SuperYacht Times)

Rainbow II sail plan.
(SuperYacht Times)

The pot of gold is secured: the Rainbow II replica project is official, and spectacular.

Naval architecture is by Dykstra Naval Achitects, with launching and completion set for 2016. Holland Jachtbouw of Zaandam, Netherlands, has secured the project contract, with the inevitable aluminium hull (described in the blurb as “traditional”) to be constructed by Shipyard Made in Moerdijk. Interiors will be by deVosdeVries Design and wood masts and spars by Ventis Scheepstimmerwerk of Enkhuizen, who last year undertook various shipwrighting necessities and the making of a new mast for the Fife 8-Metre Saskia.

We’ll be following this project with great interest. Hopefully our hero, designer of the original and the subject of Martin Black’s wonderful biography, G.L. Watson, will eventually get a mention, and they will see sense and do away with that ugly cockpit coaming; perhaps in a superyacht it can be retractable…

Here’s the original Rainbow racing at Hunter’s Quay, on the Clyde, in 1899, courtesy of IFI Irish Film Archive.

[Update 9 September 2014: There has obviously been a lot of interest in this project, reflected in an increasing number of internet search engine results, but for some unknown reason the original Rainbow’s launch date is universally stated as 1897: a year too early. According to our author, Martin Black, she was launched from D.&W. Henderson’s Meadowside Shipyard, Partick, Glasgow (on the opposite bank of the River Kelvin from the wonderful Riverside Museum) on 7 May 1898.]

[Update 5 December 2014: Hull building is well under way now at sub-contractors, Sheepswerf Made, Holland, after keel-laying in August. See photo below, and good article by Diane M. Byrne at MegaYacht News.]

Keel laying Rainbow II / Hamburg II at Sheepswerf Made, Holland, August 2014. (Mega Yacht News)

Keel laying of Rainbow II / Hamburg II at Sheepswerf Made, Holland, August 2014. Nobody is admitting her as a true replica, but which name from the famous G.L. Watson-designed, D&W Henderson of Partick, Glasgow-built 1898 schooner will she take?
(Photo: MegaYacht News)


Martin Black’s beautifully illustrated and written biography, G.L. Watson – The Art and Science of Yacht Design, can be purchased online at our website www.peggybawnpress.com, from Amazon UK and Amazon USA, and from the bookstores listed here.


~ Iain McAllister ~


About Peggy Bawn Press

496pg biography of Scottish yacht designer, George Lennox Watson (1851-1904). Significant book on the history of yacht design & the development of modern yachting. Beautifully illustrated. Many photographs previously unpublished.
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2 Responses to … Watson, I presume

  1. Donan Raven says:

    here is a good picture showing a bit more of the final render…
    I donot mind the coamings at all. It is the rig that really sells it for me.
    (I was actuallly expecting a carbonfiber rig before the press release mentioned wood).
    …So…what are the crew requirements for this rig, and how will they innovate to reduce it? It may look like the original, but I am sure the rig maestros at DYKSTRA are thinking of improvements…

    It is easily one of the boldest projects since the Herreshoff schooner replicas.

  2. We must agree to differ on the cockpit coamings, Donan. Know what you mean about the rig: it will be amazing to witness a product of Holland Jachtbouw appearing with mast hoops…

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