'Knight Hawk' has Flown from Howth
Author: W M Nixon Posted on: 11/6/07 Print Version


Bob & Mindy Drew's 53ft Maclear cutter Knight Hawk
makes her European landfall at the Fastnet Rock on July 22nd 2004.

Former Cruising Club of America Commodore Bob Drew has reached Norway with his remarkable Frank Maclear-designed 53ft cutter-rigged Knight Hawk, after a lengthy sojourn in Ireland.

This handsome ship became a familiar sight in Howth Marina - most recently, from the Autumn of 2006 until May this year, she was berthed along the main walkway. Howth's John Massey of the vintage sloop New Moon crewed for Bob on the 650 mile passage via Scotland through the Caledonian Canal to Norway, where Knight Hawk is now resting ashore with mast unrigged in a luxurious shed north of Bergen at Ulsteinvik. The Snug Bar Cruising Club reckons this was probably the home port of the Vikings who conquered the north of Ireland.

Next stage on Bob & Mindy Drew's longterm cruise project is the 2008 CCA meet in the Lofoten Islands. Knight Hawk is a remarkable ship - her hefty hull was built in GRP in 1977. But when Bob & Mindy bought her (he'd previously owned a classic wooden-built Concordia yawl) she was still unlaunched and incomplete. She has become an actively-used and immaculately-maintained living floating museum of marine equipment.

It will be interesting to see what the Norwegian marine technicians make of Knight Hawk's exceptionally diverse equipment from different eras. There are some items of 36 volts (three times better than 12 volt, we're told), and all the bits and pieces on the mighty engine (it faces aft) are of American type. Knight Hawk is more of a vocation than a boat, and Bob (he turns 74 in November) is never happier than when he is putting things right.