Designed by Robert Clark. Built in 1937 by Morgan Giles.
DESIGNER Robert Clark
LWL 35 ft 0 in / 10,71 m
DRAUGHT 7 ft 6 in / 2,29 m
CONSTRUCTION Teak on oak frames
LOCATION Spain (Galicia)
BUILDER Morgan Giles
LOA 49 ft 0 in / 14,99 m
BEAM 11 ft 1 in / 3,39 m
DISPLACEMENT 14 Tons
ENGINE MERCEDES 656
SAIL AREA 940 sq.ft 87.30 sq.m
From the golden age of gentleman yachting, the beautiful ORTAC shines as one of its most successful ocean racing boats. Appearing in 1937, and without tuning up, she went on to win her maiden race, the Heligoland, in spite of competing with such well known ocean racers as the Latifa, the Trenchemer, the Roland von Bremen, and the Hamburg.
After winning the RORC in 1937, the ORTAC went on to win many of her races and to become one of the most successful racers of the period, with a performance that has been outstanding over a period of years, and in the hands of a variety of owners. Even in 1955 she went on to win the Royal Engineers Yacht Club cup, and in 1970 the Cowes Week Championship.
She was one of the “designed for the job” boats. Beginning in 1930 with the 52 foot yawl Dorade and followed by Stormy Weather, both designed by Olin and Rod Stephens and both winners of the Fastenet Race. The British owners soon followed suit commissioning boats specifically designed for ocean racing and the RORC rule, such as Charles A. Nicholson’s Bloodhound and Foxhound, Laurent Giles’s Maid of Malham for John Illingworth and Robert Clark’s ORTAC
First yacht in the world to extend her guardrails right forward in the form of a pulpit.
Designed, as we said, by Robert Clark she was commissioned by Colonel C. F. King and built by Morgan Giles of Teignmouth in Burma teak. The Ortac can claim to be the first yacht in the world to extend her guardrails right forward in the form of a pulpit. It is perfectly understandable that a fitting, now taken as universal, raised howls of rage when it first appeared.
When it came to installing the pulpit, the yard was not prepared to commit such an act of desecration, declaring the item to be a “silly bit of tin”. Faced with this «nolle prosequi», Clark and the owner took the otherwise completed boat elsewhere and found another yard prepared to go down in the books as the fabricators of History´s First Pulpit.
After a successful career in England, in 1953 she was acquired by the Hamburgischer Verein Seefarhrt, as their club boat. Under their flag she took part in many races including the Transatlantic Race from Newport to Marstand, Sweden. She even sailed to Iceland and to other distant waters.
In 1990 she appeared in Ibiza, Spain where she was auctioned and bought by her present owner.
She now lies in Baiona, in the North West coast of Spain, where since then has been used as a family boat, sailing mainly around the «Galician Rias» and nearby waters.Apart from the delivery trip
Vestida de teca de Birmania Va la Bella Dama con los delfines al mar Un pez espada listado de Reunión Quiso dormir con ella en una ocasión “Vete, caralavada, dijo Ortac Duerme si quieres con las orcas con frac”
Vestida de teca de Birmania vai a Vella Dama cos arroaces ao mar Un merlín listado da Reunión quixo durmir con ela nunha ocasión "Vaites, caralavada, dixo Ortac durme se queres coas candorcas de frac"
from Ibiza to Baiona, she made a complete anti-clockwise circumnavigation, from Baiona to Baiona, sailing along the Portuguese coast, along the Gulf of Cadiz to Gibraltar, and from there to the Balearic Islands, and returning via Barcelona and Santander (naturally by road), and finally along the Cantabric North coast of Spain back again to Baiona.
This round trip was nearly always sailed under following winds: The Noroeste in Galicia and Portugal, the Poniente in the Gulf of Cadiz, the Virazón in the Mediterranean, the Nordeste in the Cantabric and again the Noroeste in Galicia.
During the last few years she has been seriously restored. All the hull planks have been refastened with new copper bolts. Thin cedar strips have been epoxied between planks.
A new deck has been installed, with new deck stringers, some new beams, waterproof plywood epoxied on top, a layer of Sikaflex and new teak screwed on top. The many steel reinforcements, which over the years had been aded by her previous owners, have been eliminated. The only steel remaining inside the hull are four inox reinforcement angles placed between the hull and the deck and melted iron floor knees. Most of thees knees have been removed, sand blasted, epoxy coated and reinstalled.