The Art of Yves

Here are four artistic interpretations of Yves in different mediums:

Top Left

My painting of Yves, commissioned by Lotty for a Christmas present and painted in watercolour by Helen Fay, a well known artist and printmaker who specialises in animals, based here in Northumberland. We got to know Helen through our son Hector and his friends, who include Helen’s daughter, and we too have become friends. Helen, who attended Sunderland University studying for a BA in Printmaking and an MA at the Royal College of Art specialising in Natural History Illustration, has been a successful fulltime artist since 1992. This painting is a real departure from her normal work and takes pride of place in the saloon on board Yves.

Top Right

A print by the most famous yachting photographer of them all, Beken of Cowes. This shot taken of Yves in 1955 is printed in sepia and again is hung aboard Yves.

Centre Right

A photograph by Nick Philbedge, a photographer based in Salcombe, Yves’ previous home port. This image shows her crossing the Salcombe Bar and is called Crossing the Bar. A large copy of this print hangs in the home of the previous owner of Yves.


A photograph of a picture owned by a French family who previously owned Yves and who were at one time thinking of purchasing her back into the family. I have no other details about the painting or the owners.

Matt James Films Yves

Up and coming freelance filmmaker and photographer Matt James, who is studying at Plymouth University, attended the launch and filmed Yves Christian leaving the historic Number 1 slipway. Here are some of the fantastic screen grabs from the film and below these are links to Matt’s excellent website, Vimeo and Instagram accounts. Matt will come across for a further shoot in April. Matt clearly has a great talent and we really look forward to working with him again. 

Yves waiting for the launch as a frigate slides by

This Norwegian frigate photographed above was escorted by the normally present Police launch. The next day we encountered another returning naval ship on our way back to Sutton Marina, and despite taking a very early, exaggerated and clearly evasive turn to starboard as she came up on our port side, the Police launch powered straight at us in a hugely aggressive and completely unnecessary manner. Clearly they felt very self-important and that the potential threat from possible terrorists in a vintage sailing yacht, who whilst already taking action to steer clear of their charge, was all too much to bear and they had to indicate a complete show of force. No doubt they were loading their weapons as they rammed us out of the way of clear water, well away from the heavily armed and protected frigate and towards the shallows of the river. Don’t get me wrong, the Police play an important part in our society, and most do a great job, but these guys were just prats from the old school of policing… What a shame. 

Sliding gently down the slipway as the winch lets out the chain

Out safely into the river and about to turn to cross to Mashfords for the stepping of the masts

Will Stirling watches the departure from his yard with Mashfords’ blue sheds in the background


Links to Matt James’ various sites:


A Launch Day Never to Forget

Yesterday, I arrived early at No1 Slipway and we launched Yves and took her to another yard to put her masts in. Then we motored to a mooring on the river to try and make sense of the chaos on board and put poor Yves back together again. 

Here in pictures and a few words are the things I saw, things I will never forget. 

Yves waiting up the slipway at 7am. 

A Frigate leaving the naval dockyard on exercises. It came right past the yard like a floating block of dangerous flats. 

An exciting climb to get on board Yves in the yard. A real experience not tainted by the bane of enjoyment, health and safety. Wonderful… 

As we started to slide down the slipway, another Frigate glides by, outbound on naval exercises, more stealth bomber than ship. 

Work and chaos. AK and George in the photo developing the most expensive outboard bracket known to man. If I ever sell this boat (and I hope I never will) I want to be buried with this outboard bracket…

At Mashfords yard to step the main and mizzen masts. In no particular order:

The main goes in on the crane. 

Rigger Mortis with Will and George. Rigger (I don’t know his name, just his nickname) is a man who knows his business…

The crane lowers the main in. 

The Lynher, an old Plymouth barge that a man dug out of the mud many years ago. Now being passionately restored by new owners. I met Dominic Bridgman at Mashfords, one of the owners, another passionate and committed custodian of this amazing piece of Plymouth’s history. See their website on

Arrival at Mashfords, the main mast lying on the quayside ready. 


A launch of another boat at Mashfords whilst we were there.

Mess and stuff everywhere as work soldiers on.

Apparently this was the last flight of the Lynx helicopter flying overhead.

A huge assault landing craft goes by escorted by marines in big ribs.

Next morning, she looks very glamorous bathed in dawn sunshine

At last, back home in Sutton marina with lots of tidying up to do. A strong breeze on the journey tried all it could do to scratch our new paintwork against lock and pontoon but careful placing of fenders by the Stirling lads averted disaster.

The Eve of Yves’ Launch

I drove 430 miles today in advance of Yves’ launch tomorrow. We will take her across the river to Mashfords to put both main and mizzen masts in. Here are the pictures of Yves tonight, with Bill Starey (Plymouth’s version of Scotty of the Starship Enterprise) burning the midnight oil to get the electrics on the mizzen mast sorted. There are also some pictures of the “ice boat” in the yard and of the Barbican, the area around her “home” at Sutton Marina, as I walked to get some food before a super-early start in the morning.  I had a wonderful fish stew at Quay 33.

You can see from the photographs, Will’s yard is like a working museum, absolutely amazing. Both Will (and his team) and Bill are true artisans in their own fields and I am very lucky to have them working on Yves.

Our Planned Route


Here is an outline of our route plan, starting from our home in Alnwick, to our berth in Plymouth’s Sutton Marina and then hopefully ending up in Assos in Greece.

Here is a picture of Yves (pre refit) on her berth in Plymouth and one of Assos, a beautiful isolated coastal village in Kefalonia.

So, from here in Alnwick to Plymouth, Falmouth, La Coruna, Gibraltar, Majorca, Minorca, Sardinia, Italy, Corfu, Paxos and then finally Assos in Kefalonia. Alnwick to Assos… It all sounds easy if you say it quickly, but I’m sure weather and tide will dictate further stops and detours to make our safe passage. There’s plenty of scope for challenge and disaster but hopefully lots of fun as well.

Remember too, we are raising money for the Evie Campbell Fund, look at our About page on this site or type sailing Yves for Evie justgiving into Google to find the donation site.

Thank you!

Yves’ Refit – Week 8

Resplendent in her new white topsides, she still needs her blue antifouling to complete the hull makeover. The before and after photos below (quality of photographs aside) show the difference now the bulwark is painted rather than varnished. It accentuates the freeboard (height of the hull above the waterline) so I think it will make her look larger.

YC Week 1 (77)YC Week 7 (70)

I think it’s a definite improvement. Below are some more shots from the week including the newly chromed hinges for the new cockpit table.

Spray Day



The weather gave Will and his team just one day to spray Yves’ topsides. High winds yesterday and the same forecast for tomorrow meant the pressure was on. Here she is above, finished, as the sun goes down. Well done to the team at Stirling and Son! We can’t wait to see what she looks like unwrapped with her painted bulwarks.