Shrimpy: a 18 foot Robert Tucker designed boat
that sailed around the world

One of Robert Tucker designs (Caprice Mkl, Sail Number C159) holds the record of the smallest boat to be sailed around the world. All of this is published in Shrimpy :A Record Around the World Voyage in an 18 Foot Yacht by Shane Acton. Shrimpy was published in 1981 by Patrick Stephens Ltd., Bar Hill, Cambridge, UK. The book is out-of-print and hard to get. When available the copies are pricy! A second bok Shrimpy Sails Again was also published and is also out-of-print. The following information is from the inside cover ..

 "When ex-marine comando Shan Acton set off from Cambridge in his 18-foot yacht, Super Shrimpy, bought second-hand for 400 pounds, he little thought hat he would sail around the world. Yet, eight years and many hair-raising adventures later, that is exactly what he has done. During that time he has been shipwrecked, menaced by sharks, endured tempests, was thrown in jail in morocco, and even found buried treasure! But not all his amazing experiences were so melodramatic; in Panama he met a beautiful Swiss girl, Iris Derungs, who became his companion and shared the joys and problems of much of this hazardous 30,000 mile voyage.

The journey was one which even the most experienced sailors would have flatly refused to undertake. According to the law of averages, he should be dead by now. He maintains, vehemently, that this is rubbish. He knew nothing about sailing except what he had picked up from a book his sister gave him for his birthday. As he reac hed the sea on England's east coast he had to pause to work out how to put the sails up; he navigated with a plastic sextant-crude but it worked.

More than a few2 people have regared Shane as a little crazy. But they have thought none the less of him for that. Whenever he, Iris and Shrimpy have been throughout the world people flocked to see him. He put the ad venture back into live for the readers of the Cambridge Evening News, and merited a personal visit by Prince Philip when he was in Australia.


Technical details:

Name of yacht: Super Shrimp. Registered: London 358661. Design: Sloop, Caprice, Lk 1. Sail no: C159. Designer: Robert Tucker. Builder: C.E. Clark (at Cowes 1962). Reg tonnage: 2.10. length: 18 feet 4 inches. Breadth: 6 feet 2 inches. Draught: 1 foot 8 inches. Construction: Plywood. Ballast: 250 lb in each keel. Sails: 1 main, 1 jib, 1 Genoa, 1 running sail. Provisions: 120 man-days. Emergency equipment: Flares (red, orange, white) plastic 2-man dinghy and paddles.

The voyage in figures:

Length of voyage: 30,000 miles approx. Duration: 8 years. Cost of navigational gear, etc 50 pounds; Amount of previous sailing knowledge: Nil. Funds available for voyage: 30 puunds. Legs: The Atlantic (Canaries-Barbados) 40 days; the Pacific (Galapagos-Marquesas_ 45 days; the Indian Ocean (Malaysia-Ski Lanka) 10 days; the Indian Ocean (India-French Somaliland) 28 days. Pleasure gained: Incalculable.

Navigational equipment:

Compass: 1 Davies plastic, 1 exarmy prismatic (hand bearing). Radio: Vega Sebna receiver 8-band (Russian), Watch: Rolex Submariner, Sextant: Ebbco plastic. charts: Various (continually swapped with yachts heading in the opposite direction), Books and tables: Nautical Almanic (new one every 2nd year) Borton's tables. Little Ship Celestrial Navigation, Rantzen. Highly recommended. Reed's Almanac (1972 and 1980 only) Extras: 2 pencils, 1 parallel ruler. And that's all!


Note: This book is long out of print and hard to find. After a long search I found a copy for sale by McLaren Books, Scotland's leading specialist in yachting, naval and maritime books. Web: My copy of this interesting books in now part of the library of PENRYN a BALLERINA II bilge keel sailboat ... built in Cornwall, England ... but now sails the waters of Lake Superior, USA. Tom Lee, Librarian.

LINKS of interest relating to the BALLERINA II:

Ballerina Home Page compiled by Thomas Lee, Librarian

PENRYN, Ballerina Sail Number 217, owned by Margaret Carr Lee, Ontonagon, Michigan.
BALLERINA Sail Number 220, owned by Dave Corkum, New Brunswick, Canada.
DANCING GIRL a Ballerina II being restored by Jon Palmer, Liskeard, Cornwall, England.
ALINGA, a Caprice design by Robert Tucker. Owned by Alan Deely, Sidney, Australia.
TWIN-KEELER: A Quarterly (newsletter) for Owners and Admirers of Twin Keel Sailing Craft.
SEA DART home page.
SHRIMPY a 18 foot Robert Tucker designed bilge keel boat that sailed around the world.
TUCKER DESIGNS, 15 Wrenfied, Boxmoor, Hamel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England
BALLERINA a Yachts and Yachting Test. Reprinted from Yachts and Yachting October 25, 1968.
PENRYN Boatbuilding & Engineering Co. Ponsharden, Penryn, Cornwall. England
ROBERT TUCKER British yacht designer