Eveline in Singapore pre-WW2 and up to 1955

We still do not know how or why Eveline arrived in Singapore before World War 2.  Legend has that she was sailed from Shanghai to Hong Kong whence she was transported down on the decks of an aircraft carrier to Singapore and owned by a British Royal Navy admiral. Unfortunately, whilst there were many Royal Navy vessels being rotated round the Far East Station as it was known, it is unlikely Naval regulations would have permitted such a cargo. Naval records also show that there was no aircraft carrier in the Far East around then.

Legend also says she was scuttled 8 miles off Collyer Quay, then the main jetty for passenger offloading in downtown Singapore. Even this has not yet been documented despite research. All that has been ascertained is that her compass, when serviced and cleaned in 1997, contained sand/silt, which is not possible unless one had been on the seabed. Her brass barometer and clock both dating back to 1911, when restored were also ascertained to have abnormal levels of corrosion consistent with having been on the sea bed for some time.


Eveline first features in Singapore’s Straits Times of 30th June 1949 when H.M. Dockyard, Singapore advertise her for “Sale By Tender” complete with an auxiliary petrol engine. She then does not feature until she is registered in 1952 as a yacht in Singapore, then a British flag port in the names of series of 3 short term owners based in Singapore.

The first was William Colin Gray, an accountant between 11th August 1952 and 18th May 1953, then Donald Frank Harvey Sinclair, a Stevedore between 18th May 1953 to 29th July 1954 and then John Philip Thomas Linklater, an Army officer 29th July 1954 to 13th July 1955.

Sometime during this period it was rumoured that she set sail round the world from Singapore with 3 adventurers on board and only reached Horsburgh’s Lighthouse when they realized they had forgotten their charts and after a big argument, the trip was aborted and they returned back to Singapore again!

A family photo album held by the descendants of Donald Sinclair’s family yielded undated photos of Eveline in a drydock in Singapore. These photos clearly show her name on the bow and, most interestingly, that there appear to be no butterfly windows on the forward carriage house roof. In these photos the rig is not clearly visible but there seems to be no yawl mast. Perhaps the butterfly windows were installed subsequently to make her interior less host in the tropical heat. It also looks as if the copper sheathing that was removed in the 1970s restoration was already installed.