September 2012 Issue 204: From the English Channel to the Hudson River

Klang2wtc B

Klang II, a wooden gaff-rigged yawl is a vessel of many distinctions. Not only was it used in 1940 in the evacuation of allied troops from the besieged city of St. Malo — similar to the evacuation in Dunkirk farther to the south — it was also owned by two well-known sailing writers. Both Keith Taylor, former editor of Soundings, and Murray Davis, first editor of Sail magazine and co-founder with his wife of Cruising World magazine, were owners of Klang II at some point.

It was Davis who sailed the vessel across the Atlantic from England in the 1960s and brought Klang II to the U.S. East Coast where it has been ever since. The vessel is now under the stewardship of the Klang Association of New York.

The gaff-rigged yawl was built in 1924 by the W.E. Thomas shipyard in Falmouth, England. The name Klang refers to the Malaysian word for river and was given to the boat by its first owner, a British colonel.

Klang II is associated with a type of quay (pronounced “kee”) vessel. These small working vessels —  Klang is 48 feet on deck with a 12-foot beam — stayed on station at the mouth of the English Channel with ship’s agents on board. They rendezvoused with inbound ships, received the vessel’s cargo manifest and then delivered the manifest to London where the goods went up for sale before the ships arrived in port.

Master mariner and sailor Rip Hayman found the boat after it had sunk in the Connecticut River. Klang II sat on the bottom with only her topmast showing. Hayman was immediately intrigued and formed a community association to buy the distressed yawl.

Hayman, a charming contrarian and quixotic fellow, couldn’t resist the idea of saving this boat. Unless one is very wealthy, of course, the ownership of a wooden boat can present serious financial and time constraints. If the load is spread out, however, it becomes a viable model in order to be able to save old wooden boats. Better to make it a community effort than a solitary one. This is exactly what the Klang II Association has done for the past 12 years. Hayman and seven of his friends began the association for “fun and funding.” All proceeds go to the boat and Klang II just completed a year-long refit at the Gannon and Benjamin boatyard in Martha’s Vineyard. Hayman refers to the ownership of Klang II as “community recreation.” Klang II is based in Nyack, N.Y. For more information visit the website at

Meanwhile let’s do a sun sight based on a passage that Davis did in the 1960s. At the time, Davis was an Australian sailing writer on his way from England to cover the America’s Cup. It is April 12 and the vessel is at a DR of 25° 15’ N by 53° 35’ W. The height of eye is 12 feet and we want to do a noon sight so we have to calculate the time of LAN for our DR. The lower limb shot of the sun is taken and the Hs is 73° 32.6’.

A. What is the time of LAN in GMT at the DR?
B. What is the Ho?
C. What is the latitude?


A. LAN is at 15:35:20 GMT
B. Ho is 73° 44.9'
C. Latitude is N 25° 11'


By Ocean Navigator