The Bangor S-Class Archive


Salna is owned by Robert Hinton and is presently kept on the River Blyth in Southwold.

Richard Walker, who owned Salna until 2013, writes: ‘I bought Salna from Andrew Hollis in the late summer of 2006. Inside the large package of historical documents that came with her was  the Certificate of British Registry, which shows that Salna had five owners before Andrew Hollis, all but one of whom I have traced. She was commissioned
in 1960 by Ivan Selig, a prominent Belfast solicitor. Ivan, now retired, tells me “I persuaded the Shipyard Company to make a few changes to the S-Class design when they built Salna. The previous boat had been a cutter rig, but I decided that a sloop rig would be better. The masts were also keel-stepped but I wanted a little more room in the cabin, so I talked them into building a deck-stepped mast. The other thing I wanted was stainless steel rigging, but stainless was hard to find in those days. In the end I could not obtain the right guage - so that is why Salna has such heavy duty stays and shrouds.”’


Ivan Selig sold Salna in the spring of 1968 to Vice-Admiral Sir Ian McGeoch, at that time serving as the Royal Navy’s Flag Officer Scotland and Northern Ireland. Sir Ian was well known for his distinguished war record as a submarine commander - he was awarded a DSC in 1943 - as well as for his later exploits as a prisoner of war when after at least three attempts he escaped from a German military hospital in Italy and walked 400 miles to Switzerland.

Sir Ian died in 2007, but a subsequent owner of Salna, Michael Rambaut, recalls meeting the Vice-Admiral at a maritime conference. Michael Rambaut writes: ‘I knew he had owned Salna and I pushed over a collection of photographs. He was amazed as he had no idea I owned her.

‘He told me that on his way to Scotland he had decided to sail to the Clyde as he wished to use Salna there. Unfortunately the wind dropped and he ran out of petrol so he signalled with a lamp to a submarine that he wanted a tow - which of course was ignored until he pointed out who he was! He got his tow.


By the time Michael and Helen Rambaut bought Salna in 1985, the boat was a little run down, with work needed on the wiring as well as the paintwork and the varnish. Michael adds: ‘We loved the layout especially the folding table and the 1/2 pint pots in the glass cupboard with Northern Ireland markings.

‘But the Stuart Turner petrol engine was intermittent to say the least, usually failing just as you were trying to pick up a mooring. In fact the subsequent owners fitted a diesel - a good idea as the petrol fumes used to waft up into the quarter berth, and the dynamo only produced a few amps - not enough to keep the battery up after a night passage.

‘We had a new suit of Lucas sails made and after a lot of work she looked good. And after changing the engine to coil ignition from magneto she motored well - in fact we motored all the way back from the Channel Islands one year in no wind.

‘And Bangor S yachts were built immensely strong, I remember being told a number of times how they had survived gale force conditions without any damage ...’

 

Salna

Salna on the Deben, 2009 - photo by Dylan Winter

          Salna on the Blyth at Southwold, 2013