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  • 'White Spray' Pond Yacht

    A splendid pond yacht, 'White Spray', by Alexander for Bassett-Lowke, circa 1930. Has aluminium covered mast and boom, painted hull and a lead keel. The model utilises a balanced main sail method of steering. The sails are copies of the originals and the model sits on a newly made stand using old timber.

    A main sheet steering mechanism uses balance gear, in which the boom is connected with the tiller in such a manner that, when it swings out with a pressure of wind, the rudder is automatically pulled round sufficiently to keep the yacht in its course. This will usually involve some sort of return spring (typically an elastic band) so that the mechanism is responsive to the wind.

    Alexander of Preston started making Pond Yachts after the First World War. The company was started by John Alexander who had worked at the beginning of the new century in the famous Fairlie boatyard of William Fife building some the finest yachts of all time.
    During the next 40 years he, with his sons, made what are considered some of the most iconic and collectable yacht models of the 20th century. An Alexander pond yacht was not sold as a toy, instead it was an expensive competition model, made in the manner of a full sized racing yacht. Alexander sold the pond yachts direct to customers via mail order and through the shops of another famous model company Bassett-Lowke.
    Straight after WWI, Alexander had started a successful carpentry business. He brought-up his sons to be as skilled as he was, working with both wood and metal, and so began a model yacht making business that became internationally renowned. The lengthy attic of a rambling old house that John bought on Victoria Parade in Preston was used to establish the model yacht business. Most of the ten members of the Alexander family were involved in making the models. Sons Alan, Eric, William, Ernest and eldest son James. William and James had full time jobs elsewhere, but helped out with the yachts in the evenings. One of John's daughters, Mary, along with Alan's wife Barbara looked after the sail-making side of the business.
    Alexanders are now accepted to have some of the best hull shapes of any commercially produced pond yachts.

    Dimensions: 61 cm/24 inches (length) x 106 cm/41¾ inches (height) x 14.5 cm/5¾ inches (width). Height on stand is 108 cm/42½ inches.
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