Ship profile for the sailing ship: "Kenya Jacaranda"

Technical data of the sailing ship:

Name:Kenya Jacaranda
Ex-names:Torbay Lass
Registered port:Brixham
Type of rigging:KETSCH
Type of ship:Brixham Trawler, Gaffelketsch
Year built:1922-1923
Yard:R. Jackman & Sons, Brixham, GBR
Overall length:24.30 m
Breadth:5.51 m
Draught:2.62 m
Sail area:336 m2
Power:65 PS
Engine:Ford Transit Diesel

Portrait of the sailing ship:

Last update: 16 Feb 2014

  • "Kenya Jacaranda" is one of the few Brixham Sail Fishing Trawlers still left afloat out of an original fleet of some 400 vessels.
  • built at the shipyard of R. Jackman & Sons, Brixham, GBR and originally named the "Torbay Lass" BM163, commissioned in 1923 carried a ketch rig and had no engines.
  • worked the Western ocean fishing grounds.
  • became famous in 1935, when she towed the 3-masted schooner "Welcome" with a 200 tons coal freight under sail to salvage her from being wrecked on the cliffs of Wolf Rock.
  • soon after this laid up on the beach looking forward an insecure future as many of her sisters, which were broken up, sold or just stripped od anything worthwhile and run ashore to rot away.
  • 1936 purchased by Lady Claude Hamilton, a Kenyan landowner, installation of engines and adding of a wheelhouse, conversion to a yacht with cabins and a bathroom.
  • renamed the "Kenya Jacaranda" she should be used to cruise the Indian Ocean off Kenya, made a voyage in the Mediterranean in 1936, spent a while in Scottish waters then.
  • intercepted by the Royal Navy in 1939, laid up in Hull for the duration of the World War II, given back to the owner and brought South to the Hamble, but the owner has never used her after the war, put up for sale but there were no takers.
  • 1950 transferred to a Sea Cadet unit from London, GBR, they should operate and sail her to improve the chance to sell the ship, used for shorter trips in the first two years, since 1961 the sailing range was extended to Dover, later to Ostend, Calais and Boulogne
  • since 1980 owned and operated by the Mayflower Sail Training Society, she underwent a major refit.
  • offers sail training for youth with the opportunity to experience going to sea as part of the working crew, also available for private charter, participates in sailing ship events along the English coast.
  • support by the volunteer-led group of maritime enthusiasts Kenya Jacaranda Heritage Sailing, after the Mayflower Sail Training Society had not been able to raise the funds to continue the restoration.
  • origin of the names: 'Tor Bay' is the bay between Torquay and Brixham, 'Lass' is an old-English word for a young girl, particularly a lively one. Jacaranda is a decorative tree with a characteristic flower of the same name.


Website (English, 01 Nov 2005):
Kenya Jacaranda: crew website with all kind of information

Literature for further reading:

We recommend the following references for your further research of the ship. The references marked with have been included in the generation of the ship profile on this page.

Paul Brown
"Historic Sail. Britain's Surviving Working Craft"
The History Press 2013 ISBN: 978-0-7524-8581-2
(in Association with National Historic Ships UK)
Page: 11 Source with picture Source with history Source with technical data