Request for information

The following email was received from a David Andrews a few weeks ago. Have printed it off and posted on the Club noticeboard but thought it best to post here also.

“I am emailing as many of what I believe will be the relevant Scottish yacht and boat clubs on the “The Macallan” Yacht Clubs of Scotland Website to ask them if they could help me in a quest for information. However, I do appreciate that some of you clubs may be of but recent vintage and may therefore not have the historical background to be able to help.

I am attempting to discover the whereabouts or fate of a large motor-boat that is known to have been brought to Inverness from Orkney and sold at some time during the 1930’s and I was wondering if any of your members or their wider circles of boating acquaintances had heard of, or may have knowledge of it, however slight that may be.

The boat’s name was “Bunts.” This may have been changed since so I will try to give a description of her last known appearance and the reason why I am trying to trace her. “Bunts” was once owned by Mr Ernest Cox of the salvage firm of Cox and Danks Ltd that was engaged in salvaging the scuttled German warships in Scapa Flow. However, the firm sold its rights to salvage to another firm during the early 1930’s and Mr Cox sold the boat to an Orkney hotelier, who later had the boat taken to Inverness and sold where her recorded history ends.

The boat is understood to have been of German origin and probably came from one of the larger warships. She was either 12 or 13 metres in length and had a beam of approximately 2.6metres. She was of diagonal-carvel build with a “spoon” bow and a stern that I will describe of “double transom,” “vee” or if one’s ornithological knowledge is good enough “raven-tailed.” She was single screwed: the rudder was hung on the stern and was operated by means of “yoke lines” from the wheel amidships. Her decks were of wood. The forward superstructure was of light metal: the sides had several side lights in them and sloped up to a domed cross-section with a number of “scoop” type air ventilators on the top of it. There was a small hatch fitted on the starboard side at the forward end. The wheel-house was situated amidships with windows that were roughly square. The after superstructure appears to have been lower than the wheel-house and had 3 round side lights, scuttles or port holes in the sides of it. At the time of sale, the boat’s name was painted in the form of a roundel on the starboard and possibly, the port bow. There was a hawse pipe fitted on the starboard side though the anchor appears to have been stowed on the foredeck. The hull was painted white, the superstructure was painted a dark colour: the wheel-house was probably varnished wood. It is possible that the boat’s colour scheme may have changed since, as may her appearance. I regret that due to reasons of copyright, which I do not own, I am unable to provide a photograph.

In trying to trace the present whereabouts of the boat I attempted to discover whether or not she had transitted the Caledonian Canal but to no avail.

My reason for trying to trace the location or fate of the boat is that I have been carrying out some voluntary work for the Scapa Flow Museum in Orkney on a boat of similar build that is located there and I am trying to validate the local claim that the boat the museum owns was the barge of the German admiral who gave the order to scuttle his ships. It would also be of interest to find what became of Mr Cox’s boat; which is the probably the more “famous” one as she is mentioned by name in literature.

Would you therefore be so kind as to circulate my request amongst your members in the hope that one of them will know something, however minor, of the boat? If they do could they then pass the information on to me together with any contact information the individual member is willing to divulge so that I may contact them for further details?”

If anyone can be of help drop me an email and i will forward it to Mr. Andrews.

Adam Graham
Hon. Secretary