1936 - 1946 Denys Rayner

After his 42 ft barge yacht Pearl (designed by EB Tredwen) burnt out on her mooring, Denys Rayner decided to "have a go" at designing a yacht.

He engaged the Enterprise Small Craft Company of Rock Ferry Birkenhead to build her.

Maurice Griffiths wrote about her design in the February 1937 Yachting Monthly.


Robinetta was launched on the 10th May 1937 and on the 11th Rayner made a first abortive trip up the Mersey single handed. He was a little late leaving and ran out of water and turned back.

May 14th - 18th Passage to the Clyde, Rayner with W H Simcoe and Dick Taudevin.

May 29th - start of Summer cruise by Mr & Mrs Rayner

June 13th - the Rayners leave her at the end of their cruise.

June 20th - two of Rayners ex-crew of Pearl take Robinetta on their honeymoon cruise. They were Lieutenant (E) John Scott Carlisle and Robinetta F Carlisle (nee Cooper), "the lady whose name she bears".

October - Robinetta registered 164315.

November - Rayner wrote about her in the Yachting Monthly.

December - Rayner documented her summer cruise in the journal of the Royal Cruising Club.


In June Rayner and his friends Dick 'Toady' Taudevin and 'Simmy' Simcoe sailed her from Rhu, out through the Crinan Canal as far as Isle Ornsay on Skye before bringing her back to the Mersey. Again, the cruise was written up for the RCC.

She certainly went out for weekend sails after that June, since in July the Higson Greenwood brothers aboard Avis saw her at anchor in the lee of Mostyn Mole, then sailing the next day.


In 1939 Rayner had her laid up for the war in Beaumaris. There was some kind of a fire and her rudder was damaged or destroyed?

1946 - 1949 Henry and Audrey Parker

On 10th April 1946 Rayner sold Robinetta to Henry Gordon Parker and Audrey Faith Parker. Audrey is mentioned in Rayner's book Escort.

In May 1946 Audrey and her husband sailed her round to Portland Harbour. The passage is documented in the November 1947 Yachting Monthly.

1949 - 1985 Nigel Heriot

On the 25th August 1949, the Parkers sold her to Nigel Heriot of Staplers, Great Totham, Essex. We spoke with someone at the 2011 East Coast dinner who remembers looking after her at Burnham in the 1970s. She was kept in a shed every winter.

Mike Peyton the yachting cartoonist remembered seeing her "rolling up and down the river" during this period.

According to Colin Paine his father, Bert Paine from Burnham on Crouch, had the use of her for a number of years, when Nigel & Joanna, his wife, were not aboard. Robinetta was moored just off the Royal Corinthian Club on the Crouch. Colin sailed her over to the Hook of Holland a couple of times. The last time, Nigel said all was victualled up, but all he actually had on board were 3 boxes of tomatoes. It was a rough enough voyage without having to live off tomatoes for two days and the only time Colin had really felt sick at sea!! 

So far as Colin can remember she had always been painted blue.

1985 - 1986 Frank Driscoll

On 11th November 1985 she was sold to Frank Driscoll of Woodbridge, Suffolk

1986 - 2007 Mike Garnham

On 12th November 1986 Driscoll sold her to Mike Garnham 'Banjo' of Ipswich, Suffolk. Mike and his pal Neil Mordey make extensive use of her until other, bigger and faster boats take their attention.
Neil on the guitar and Mike on the banjo at Wrabness

In October 1988 there was extensive damage to the foredeck when the hurricane blew her down onto a large buoy in the Orwell.

On 27th April 1989 Mike got around to registering the change of ownership.

On 25th August 1997 Simon Baddeley sailed in her and later wrote a biography for Rayner on Wikipedia. The photos of Robinetta also found their way into The Westerly Story.

2007 -? Julian & Alison Cable

On 18th October 2007 we bought her from Mike.


Simon Baddeley said...

So good to have Robinetta's history recorded with superlative hyperlinks. You honour Rayner's memory recording the continuing life of a small ship destined for adventure. As Rayner once wrote “In any reasonable weather it is the diminutive size of the yacht which makes long passages under sail such thrilling affairs, and one of the reasons why I, for one, find the smallest possible craft the most rewarding”

Ivan Godley said...

Hi. I have been trying to follow your blog but there doesnt seem to be any way to subscribe to you on your blog page.. can you help? Thanks... Ivan from county Kerry.

Julian Cable said...

Hi Ivsn, I've added subscription optiona at the bottom of the page. Hope that works for you.