Extract from “The Marlborough Express” dated 31st March, 1937



On Thursday afternoon, a group of friends assembled at Mr. W. Neame’s residence and carried his new boat, Skimmer, resplendent in red and blue paint, to the shore. Before her launch, the boat was christened in the time-honoured way, by Mrs. R. Chapman-Taylor. A considerable number of people assembled to see the new boat, which was freely praised, all agreeing that Mr. Neame had made a wonderful job. Skimmer is in many respects, unlike any boat previously sailed in Havelock.
The departure from the ordinary, are the result of Mr. Neame’s own experience. Some of his ideas being confirmed, by a picture of the celebrated Dr. Manfred Curry’s racer Aero. However, Skimmer owes no more in design to Aero than may be seen from a photo, her dimensions being essentially different. The new boat is 15ft by 6 ft 6 inches. The deck curves around evenly to the curved sides, so that there is no gunwale in the ordinary sense. The greatest beam is aft of the middle of the boat, the bow being very long. From the cockpit, the deck curves downward to the bow stem and this curve gives skimmer the appearance of remarkable speed.


On Good Friday, in a light and failing breeze, a race was held for the Pennant, all boats going off the same mark. Skimmer led, but after rounding Cullen’s Point flag, the boats ran into a calm, and were all grouped together. Gradually, first Hermes, then Rana, and then Skimmer sailed ahead and left the others. From this point, Skimmer gained all the way to finish half a mile ahead. Hermes was second and Rana third. Miss Havelock fouled the winning post.


On Sunday, there was not enough wind to sail the three-round race for the Kingi Cup. Hermes (R. Chapman-Taylor and F. Wells) established a good lead in the light airs, but Skimmer (W. Neame and F. Neame) soon made it up and was round the Chinaman’s flag a length ahead. Meanwhile several boats had withdrawn and the wind had fallen to a flat calm. At the time when they, too, decided to abandon the race, Skimmer and Hermes were being swept out together by the tide.
The interesting feature of these two races in light airs, has been the way in which the boats with the long battened sails have moved ahead in the faintest of airs, and the remarkable speed of the new boat, Skimmer, in very light winds. With her polished bottom, and the fact that she is perfectly dry, it was to be expected that she would perform well in light airs, and the only question that remains is whether she will be able to do as well in heavy breezes.

The owner reports that she is remarkably stiff, and he has no doubt that she will carry her sail (2 ft higher and wider then the “Idle-Along” sail) as well as the best.


Contributor: Lucy Neame
Editor: Martin Neame

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We are very grateful to Alan Neame (family historian and founding member of the Kent Genealogical Society) who for thirty years researched into our family history. He was ably assisted by the significant collaboration of Joyce Gibson nee Neame. It is really thanks to Alan that any of us are aware of the others' existence. Alan travelled the world meeting people and recording their data for the benefit of all of us.