The desire to take on the challenge of developing this website stems from a long personal involvement with Vertue yachts. It is a modest connection, more intellectual than adventurous, and started with my father’s acquisition of Hoitak, V 116, the first of the Cheoy Lee built boats to be shipped into London from Hong Kong during the early 1960’s. The cover of the sales brochure had a beautiful Beken photograph of an Elkins built boat called Raumati, beating bravely down the Solent in a fresh breeze, and I pinned a copy up on my bedroom wall!
Hoitak appeared at the January Boat Show, then we joined her in Birdham before Easter to sail her up to Whitby, her new home port. A few years later we sailed her down to Salcombe from where she continued to cruise within the confines of the English Channel and we lovingly re-varnished her gleaming teak topsides every year. Every spring her galvanised standing rigging was recoated with boiled linseed oil, the 8 hp Stuart Turner petrol motor was overhauled and she was taken out to her mooring in The Bag, above Salcombe town, awaiting more gentle cruising. A trip into the middle of rural France via the River Seine and those wonderfully tranquil canals was the only ‘voyage’ of note. She is now based in the Solent I believe, and I would love to get in touch with her current owners.
Many years later we owned Kandy V 39, which we also based in Salcombe. She was quite a different boat to Hoitak in many ways, but sailed equally well and had the same immaculate manners.
When Mike Woodhouse offered to hand over the reins of the website to my son George and me a year ago, neither he nor we expected this amount of time to pass before anything appeared! Many thanks, Mike, for your patience and for the amazing amount of work you have put in to the Vertue Owners Association over more than the last decade.
It is hoped that the worldwide communications and support for the site that we have experienced will continue and we are looking forward to building a worthwhile successor to all the VOA work that has been done in the past.