1956 to the Present
Eveline in Malaysia, 1955 onwards
Joseph Robert Haddock, Manager of the Tanjong Karang Rice Mill at Rawang then acquired her and owned her from 13th July 1955 to 23rd May 1956 and it was then that she arrived in her present home of Malaysia. Her arrival was not without adventure as she encountered 2 Sumatras in 5 days on her trip up to Kuala Selangor and had to be rescued by a police patrol craft who towed her into Port Swettenham (now Port Klang) for repairs to her broken engine . The rescue was featured for 2 days in the Straits Times, once on the front page.
Eveline was then sold to James Mark Harrison, a mining engineer at Rawang Tin Fields, who owned her from 23rd May 1956 to 1st October 1962 starting a period of ownership within the expatriate mining community. She was owned by the Clarke family who worked at Berjuntai Tin, part of Anglo Oriental, one of whose wife, Dawn, was an artist and who used to be seen painting on deck. In 1964, H.C.Clarke extensively refitted Eveline which is when she acquired her 2 non self tailing Lewmar winches that are still being used to trim the Yankee sail. Other details of her restoration are not known, but photos of her then taken by the Davison family show a yacht being used for family outings and fun with little protection from the shade and from what is known now, little capacity for speed!
In 1968 she was sold to a consortium comprising Alexander (“Scottie”) McIntosh (50%), Barry Wolstenholme, head of GEC Malaysia (25%) and Robert Davison, architect at Raglan Squires Partners which firm designed Bank Negara, Dayabumi etc and personally the original Port Swettenham Yacht Club.
At that time there were just 3 main yachts based at Port Klang. Legend has it that these boats would go out for a cruise in the day returning to anchor off the old Seaview Hotel and restaurant (located just near the current Port Klang railway terminus) where they would dine on its famous seafood before adjourning to the nearby Railway tavern (really a hut) for the final “cold ones”.
The legend goes that Eveline, being the most commodious of the yachts, then served as the unofficial floating clubhouse when the Port Swettenham Yacht Club was first founded, at that time without a club house, just after independence. History as they say repeats itself again and again!
By 1970 Barry had bought over all the other shares in ‘Eveline’. In 1971 he had her extensively rebuilt at Singapore Slipway and Engineering where the copper metal sheathing was replaced with Cascover fabric, the main mast shortened and replaced to make trimming easier, a mizzen mast introduced and the raised rear coach roof above the engine removed in favour of flush decks and more seating. A new Perkins 4.108 engine was fitted along with a 90 gallon stainless steel diesel tank. The bowsprit was reduced from 18ft to 12ft and the boom shortened from its earlier 37ft length where it extended over the stern supported by crutches. Rig was changed to a cutter rig with no more gaff and total sail area dropped from around 1200sqft to 1000sqft. The new sails were also now synthetic not canvas.
Eveline’s reputation as a party boat continued with records indicating that her 60th birthday was attended by some 60 guests including the British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Sir John and Lady Johnstone who clearly, by their thank you letter on file, had a wonderful albeit excessively liquid day.
Upon Barry’s departure from Malaysia in 1976, she was sold to a “kongsi” (consortium) who went through many different members, reflecting the changing short term nature of expatriate postings to Malaysia. These included A.H. (Tony) Bennett, John Hill, R.L. Holder, M.M. Chantler, R.D.W. (Bob) King. The first Malaysian owner, Goh Thiam Kee, an avid early Royal Selangor Yacht Club member, was the first Malaysian owner who only sold out in 1982.
During this period the only highlight seems to have been her 3rd prize and RM300 cash won in the sailpast to commemorate the 100thAnniversary of Port Klang where the colourfully dressed rigging, polished brass and period costumes were clearly winners.
In 1982 she was acquired by Peter Beaumont of Leo Burnett and A.R. (Tony) Daintry of Caldbeck MacGregor who used to actively cruise her and were renown for their hospitality on board. The owners were not averse to publicizing Eveline. In the 1980s, she was featured in Dunhill cigarette advertisements with glamorous models posing on her deck and in the April 1987 issue of Singapore Tatler, a society magazine, ran a story on her.
New Owners in 1990s : Full Restoration
In 1994, Peter Beaumont passed away unexpectedly, Tony was by then living in Singapore and Eveline was steadily deteriorating on her mooring at Royal Selangor Yacht Club. She was advertised extensively (and very optimistically in terms of price!) for sale some time until a copy on advertisement run in Asian Marine Trader caught the eye of Richard Curtis. In 1996 Richard Curtis purchased Tony and Peter’s interests in her in partnership with His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, Sultan of Selangor, himself a keen round the world yachtsman, historian and Royal Patron of Royal Selangor Yacht Club.
Between 1996 and 1998 she underwent a total rebuild at the Sumber Samudra Shipyard in Teluk Intan, Perak (with technical and other assistance from Nat Steel in Singapore, International Paints and Classic Marine of UK) where her rotting timbers (by rainwater), rusting rigging, wiring, windlass etc were replaced, her engine overhauled, new Dacron canvas look alike sails acquired and her hull sheathed in epoxy.
Since then she has been regularly used and kept fully maintained with a permanent crew member always on board. Minor upgrades were constantly being made. Then in 2005 tragedy struck. She was racing in Thailand’s King’s Cup when she was hit amidships by a larger yacht called Lady M, nearly sinking. This costly US$50,000 repair, ably carried out at Phuket Boat Lagoon, prompted her conversion back to gaff and the replacement of the mainmast with a wood look alike carbon main mast (in fact it was the cut down mast from the top regional racing yacht Hi Fidelity owned by Neil Pryde) and the removal of the mizzen to restore her to a more accurate period look which has now been done in such a way that still makes it relatively easy to handle her shorthanded yet ensures reasonably lively performance and the comfort of bimini shaded seating.
In addition to participating regularly in regattas, she has cruised up through Thailand to the Burmese border, round Singapore and up Malaysia’s East Coast to the islands of Tioman, Rawa, Tenggol and Perhentian.
She has been regularly featured in yachting magazines, as the backdrop for Dunhill cigarettes in the 1970s, as a reward night off in a Survivors TV segment as an iconic yacht in CNN’s AsianStyle programme and even on the front cover of the 2006, Annual Report of Tradewinds Corporation, a leading Malaysia listed company.
She has acquired a devoted following of loyal guest crew (led by Trevor Richards) as well as great affection from fellow yachtsmen who cannot fail to be captivated by her lines, her cream sails, her dark blue hull with gold waistline and gleaming brass and her having been a real part of the region’s history.
In 2003, “The 500 Series” of books published “The World’s Best Sailboats in 500 Great Photos” edited by the celebrated yachting photographer and writer, Nic Compton. Not only was Eveline featured inside but a photo of her was the front cover shot for the book itself!
If one removed the rear bimini and the fixed seats, the pure lines of this historic yacht would show through and one could easily imagine oneself back racing in front of the Shanghai Bund!