Written by Daniel James Parry
The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound was built in 1936 by the Camper & Nicholson yard in Gosport, South Hampshire, and proudly carries the title of being one of the most successful ocean racing yachts ever built.
Throughout its vast career, Bloodhound has won a multitude of races in the south of England, also crossing the Atlantic to participate in races in Bermuda. In 1962, Bloodhound was purchased by The Royal Family on the back of its string of successes, with Prince Philip achieving much success competing aboard her in the Cowes Week Regatta around the Isle of Wight. Meanwhile, the Royal family could be found aboard Britannia, along with members of other Royal families and a number of dignitaries. It was during these holidays that the Royal family learnt to sail aboard Bloodhound. In 1969, basked in irreplaceable merit, Bloodhound was sold and effectively retired from racing.
Over the course of its Royal ownership, Bloodhound would accompany Britannia in the Western Isles of Scotland when the Royal Family had their sole annual family holiday, manned by a permanent crew of three, with one skipper being a descendant of famous explorer Sir Francis Drake. When it wasn’t being used by the Royal family, Bloodhound and it’screw were often available to yacht clubs stretching across the country, and like the Royals, utilised to teach thousands of other young people how to sail. No stranger to the nautical life, Prince Philip previously owned Coweslip, a vessel designed and crafted by boat designer and sailing enthusiast Uffa Fox CBE, and was also given the International Dragon Class, Bluebottle, as a wedding gift, skippered by Sailing Master Lieutenant Commander Graham Mann. Bluebottle participated in the 1956 Melbourne Games, where it won a bronze medal. Britannia’s paint scheme was inspired by Bluebottle, however, as the Royal children grew, Philip set his sights on a larger yacht (Bloodhound)to accommodate his family for cruises with sleeping arrangements aplenty.
In 2003, Bloodhound was purchased by Tony McGrail, a yacht surveyor and classic yacht restorer. Over the next 3 and a half years, the iconic British vessel was given a major refit both internally and externally to restore her to her original elegant condition.
In 2010, this vintage 1930’s ocean racing yacht was purchased by The Royal Yacht Britannia Trust. Bloodhound can be found on display alongside Britannia in Edinburgh as part of The Royal Sailing Exhibition. Throughout the month of August, Bloodhound sets sail from the small traditional seaside resort of Oban, where she can be hired for a day of sailing around The Western Isles, under the skilled crewmanship of former Royal Yachtsmen from Britannia. Routes available to navigate and enjoy include The Sound of Mull, which passes both Duart and Torosay Castles, Ballachulish, which passes the Isle of Lismore into Loch Linnhe and past Port Appin, Jura which passes through the Sound of Kerrera where passengers can bear witness to Easdale, the Isle of Seil, the Isle of Luing and the Isle of Scarba. Guests are also invited to sit back and relax and enjoy the journey or alternatively assist the Ocean Master qualified skipper and his crew ‘man the ropes’.
Now fully restored, stretching across 63 feet, this classic piece of British history can carry up to 8 guests a day. At a price of just £185 per person, hospitality is provided on board, including pastries and bacon rolls on arrival, followed by a buffet lunch, soup and sandwiches, and tea and cake in the afternoon.
This ‘once in a lifetime’ experience is perfect for aspiring sailors young and old, and can also be utilised for private celebrations, corporate incentives or teambuilding. Presented in absolute elegance, Bloodhound individual day sails are presented in a Britannia branded gift wallet, making it a perfect birthday, anniversary or celebratory gift.
Find out more about The Royal Racing Yacht Bloodhound at: