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> History

In 1974, with the large increase in demand, it was decided to purchase a second vessel. As a result of this, and for £12,000.00, we purchased a Rival 34, which we named Mersea Rival, at the London Boat Show. This was priced at £18,000, so I told them that if they had not sold it at the end of the show to give me a phone call. This they did and I managed to buy for the price I had offered, complete with registration all safety equipment and down to the last knife, fork, and spoon. This purchase was made possible by a loan from the Cripps Foundation, another grant from the Education Authority, and two grants from the RYA Seamanship Foundation.

This smaller vessel enabled us to give some of our mates the opportunity of command, and thus enable us to train more Afterguard than would otherwise have been possible – in addition to giving more young people the opportunity to go to sea.

Also in 1974 I gave up my job, and became full time Manager of the Scheme. The constitution changed under the Chairmanship of Cyril Meadows Divisional Commissioner.

At the same time a new Management Committee was formed – with representatives from the Scout County including David Evans (County Commissioner). Also on the committee was Peter Gurnell (Warden of Bradwell Sailing Centre) representing the Education Committee, with Bill Brunt becoming Treasurer. The team of Skippers and Mates increased considerably – to 10 Skippers and 30 Mates.

We entered our first Tall Ships Race in this year – and have entered one or two boats every year since. Ramrod has the distinction of entering more TSRaces than any other vessel – for which a plaque was presented in 1990.

In 1977 Stan Collins took over the running of the dinghy section and he brought with him his team of Instructors from West District. We also sold the Mirror and GB14 dinghies, and purchased 3 new Torch dinghies to replace them.

We also purchased Gem a Cornish Crabber, and a 20-foot day boat called Albert and Florence for sailing in local waters.

Due to the sad death of Stan Collins, in 1979, the dinghy section suffered a severe blow. Keith Harrison stepped into the breach and ran it for a while but, owing to lack of time, had to relinquish this roll.

Chapter 3: Mersea Rival & dinghies