Document No 482: The cutter Alarm wins the Royal Yacht Squadron's Kings Cup in 1831

Click for larger

REF : 0

EDITION : 1851

DATE : 1851



...Between 1800 and 1811 Joseph Weld was actively seeking and engaging in competitive sailing with anyone who would accept the challenge such as his neighbour Charles Sturt. There were also a growing number of gentlemen of a similar disposition who were indulging in their sailing pursuits from Lymington. The press of the day contained reports of various races, often referring to the yachts involved as "gentlemen's cutters".

In later years he is remembered as one of the first to build and handle fast-sailing yachts. One of his best known boats was "The Arrow" which he built in 1821. She was 84 tons, originally 61 ft. 9 in. long, with a beam of 18 ft. 5in.

On 10th May 1830 he launced his most famous yacht, Alarm, from Inman's yard. She cost 20,000 (1.10m today 2003) but exceeded all other cutters in terms of tonnage and was the final development of racing cutters at that time.

Alarm won the King's Cup in 1830 beating Mr Maxse's Miranda, in 1831 beating Lord Belfast's Louisa and in 1832 beating the Duke of Norfolk's Arundel. Lord Belfast gained some revenge in 1831 by beating Alarm with this Louisa for 1000 guineas in another match race. In 1833 she met Lord Belfast's new yacht Waterwitch and, in spite of beating her by over 34 minutes, was disqualified, as the Memorials of the Royal Yacht Squadron records, "as a result of Mr Weld's unfortunate habit of breaking the rule of crossing an opponent on the larboard tack".

Alarm (shown here in her original form) was enlarged in 1852. She was one of the most famous of the early Squadron yachts. Probably as a result of America's influence, Joseph Weld had her lengthened by 20 ft at the bow, which was remodelled, and rigged as a schooner in 1852. This increased her tonnage to 248 tons.

Joseph Weld was both designer and builder and continued to be actively involved with Thomas Inman in the construction of all his vessels, even with the cutter yacht Lulworth built in 1857 when he was in his eightieth year.

He died at the age of eighty-two years on October 20th, 1863. Local legend has it that he died at sea onboard his second but smaller cutter named Lulworth


Autorisation en cours
Divers 500 300