Sea Scamp

About the boat

Sea Scamp is a three quarter-rigged Bermudan sloop, built to the 50 square metre class rules. She is 41 ft overall with an 8 ft 6 in beam, constructed of mahogany on oak frames.

Every effort has been made to retain the original character of the boat, including a wooden mast. To comply with safety regulations and recommendations she now has modern navigation and communication equipment, a diesel engine, as well as life jackets, life raft, etc.

There are berths for six people and a galley with gas cooker which has provided many tasty meals on board. For navigation and planning there is a well-lit chart table with charts and up-to-date Almanac and pilot books.

There is a full set of sails including a spinnaker and asymmetric. With a good wind on the beam she can maintain eight to nine knots.


Sea Scamp was built in 1936 by Abeking & Rasmussen, although she was known then as Zeisig, meaning a ‘siskin’ bird, or a slang word for ‘rascal’.  She was one of the 50-square-metre yachts built for the Luftwaffe for their navigation training and recreation on the Baltic.

In 1945 the British forces found about 200 yachts in German harbours and took them as prizes of war.  They became known as the ‘Windfall’ yachts and were sailed back to England as part of Operation Homewardand distributed to service units all over the world.  Zeisig was sailed back to Plymouth by Lt Morin Scott, RNR, renamed Sea Scamp and allocated to the Royal Marines at their Plymouth barracks.

In 1948 and 1949 Sea Scamp is recorded as coming first and second in Dartmouth Royal Naval College rallies.  In 1954 the Survey of Admiralty Yachts described her hull as good, spars and sails fair, and that she had a remaining life of five years or more!

Sea Scamp was reallocated in 1956 to HMS Fisgard on the Tamar in Cornwall, and then in 1966 to HMS Raleigh in Plymouth, both training establishments. In 1974 she was allocated to the Sea Scouts for the next ten years.

Then in 1984 Sea Scamp appeared on the Admiralty Small Craft Disposal List and Tony Venables and John Kapp bought her on an impulse for about £9000. The Sea Scamp Syndicate was subsequently set up to sail and maintain her.

Sea Scamp is registered with the National Historic Ships UK and flies their ensign.

More technical information on Sea Scamp can be found on the Sea Scamp British Classic Yacht club page.