History of Lloyd’s Yacht Club and Lutine

The club has a vast history which has been founded through the years alongside the members on the London insurance Community.  Lloyd’s yacht club was officially formed in 1938, but in 1936, Sandy Haworth, who had joined RORC having participated in the 1935 Fastnet race,  set out on an informal race from Gosport to Cherbourg – it was during their evening meal in a Café in Cherbourg that the formation of a Lloyd’s Yacht Club began…

Club members used their own yachts, but in the post war years, these were few and far between so the club was fortunate to have a Swordfish dinghy presented in 1949.  She was the first boat under the Club to be called Lutine. The reasoning behind the name pertains to the Bell in the central Rostrum of the Lloyd’s Underwriting room.  This bell was recovered from the wreck of Lutine when, in 1799 after she sank off the coast of Terschelling, Holland carrying gold and silver bullion:  Lloyd’s ‘Names’ paid the loss:  the bell was recovered in the 1890’s and has been in all subsequent buildings since.  Each LLYC yacht has carried this name.

During the 1950 the growing enthusiasm of the increasing number of club members made it clear that one dinghy and no club house was totally inadequate for the club’s needs.

In 1951 A.J. Whittall, heading the club committee as commodore, commissioned the late Laurent Giles to design a 60 foot Ocean Racing Yacht, the cost of which was financed mainly by the generosity of the Lloyd’s community and to a lesser degree, by private subscription. This was dealt with by passing a slip around the Room.

The second Lutine, a yawl, was launched at Camper and Nicolson’s, Gosport, in the spring of 1952. She was the first yacht designed and constructed in England within the Rules of the Cruising Club of America, in order to compete in the Newport to Bermuda race, and she was one of the first large post-war yachts to be built.  At the launch, Princess Alexandra was invited to smash the champagne on Lutine’s bow.

Shortly afterwards she was shipped, free of charge by Cunard, to New York to race against a strong American fleet, where she acquitted herself honourably, and then sailed home across the Atlantic. For the next seventeen years Lutine fulfilled her purpose to an extraordinary degree by completing all the diverse requirements the club committee had laid upon her. In this time she sailed over fifty thousand miles, more than twice round the world. As a design trailblazer, she won almost every Ocean race on more than one occasion, which also included the Fastnet in 1953 and 1955.

Lutine the 3rd was launched in 1970 and had her sea trials that April.  The beautiful Nicholson 55, like her predecessor, had been designed for the club and took centre stage at the 1971 Earls Court Boat Show in January that year.  Again, assisted with the generosity of the members of the room, the club was able to continue to offer members an up-do date (at the time) example of British yacht design.  It was the ‘Nic 55’ who sailed and finished the famous 1979 Fastnet race when one of the finest anecdotes is, that on the return from the rock, a Submarine pulled up alongside to ensure all as ok!  Interestingly, an article from this time states proudly how one of her prime functions is to ‘give young men the opportunity to learn to sail’…..a real point in time!

Fortunately this changed in the 2000’s, along with the next Lutine – the 4th Lutine, was a beautiful Swan 53 – known as the Bentley of the yachting world – which the club owned from 2000 – 2014.  During this time she had an amazing re-fit by the Goodacre yard during the 2009 / 2010 winter.  With new teak decks, painted mast and new North 3DL sails.  Again, like her for-sisters, she also competed in all Fastnet races she was also raced hard at the 2010 Swan European Regatta and gained a gun from the Squadron.

Our 5th Lutine is the sleek and stylish X-55 which is still berthed at Haslar marina.  The ‘X’ offers all modern conveniences whilst providing a swift passage wherever she sails!