If MARABU could tell …

X10 originated from a dark chapter of German history. Gradually, the seafaring cruisers, as yachts measured by Germanischer Lloyd as seaworthy yachts, replaced the national cruisers that were then widespread on German waters. They were also built in various small and large variants and grouped into classes depending on the sail area. The Luftwaffe ordered several 100m² cruisers from Abeking & Rassmussen in Lemwerder near Bremen. To prepare for the war in the 3rd Reich, pilots were to be trained in navigation.

X10 MARABU was one of them – built in 1935 at Abeking & Rasmussen in Lemwerder and constructed by Henry “Jimmy” Rasmussen himself – like their “conspecifics” at the Imperial Army with “airy” names like IBIS, STORCH, PELIKAN and so on. After the beginning of the war it was probably not far away with the pilot training and the aesthetic yachts served rather as swimming recreation homes for officers in the front vacation.

In 1945 the Allies took over many seafaring cruisers in different versions as reparation payments. In England, these ships became known as “windfalls” and were immediately enthusiastically integrated into the existing fleet of sailing yachts. MARABU was struck by the British Royal Navy together with the WAL. At the Coastal Forces Sailing Club (HMS Hornet in Gosport/Portsmoth UK) she achieved regatta fame, was the first “windfall” to cross the Atlantic in 1952. At the three-week regatta (Transatlantic Race) from Bermuda via Newfoundland back to Plymoth UK she was beaten by only 4 hours by the then infamous yacht CARIBEE.

After successful regatta participation, among them as 2nd of her class in the Round the Island Race 1947, eight Fastnet Races between 1951 – 1965 (1st class rank 1955), as well as the first Tallship Race 1956 as a participant of the Royal Navy, she was sold in 1977 – probably already at that time to a private owners’ association.

In the 1950s, a lot of work was done: In 1950/51, the forestay was moved to the front in order to be able to use bigger foresails/genuas and a deckhouse was built. The trip across the Atlantic should be as comfortable as possible. The tiller steering was replaced in 1952/53 by a wheel steering and with an additional mizzen mast the change of gear from sloop to ketch took place.

According to two sources, MARABU was still without an engine in the 1950s, but it is doubtful at present when it was installed. To stop the ship with a displacement of approx. 17 tons in the port, buckets on long ropes were lowered at the sides and used as drift anchors.

After her time with the Royal Navy, she was stationed at the MARABU SAILING CLUB in Brighton UK during the winter months and continued to be actively sailed in regattas.

In 1982 she won the Royal Escape Race in which she raced twenty times until 2004. In the last race she crossed the finish line with a speed of 9.5 knots. She travelled the 67 nautical miles from Brighton to Fécamp in France in 10:36 hours. Until the end she sailed in her club, both as a training ship of the Royal Yacht Association and as part of guided holiday trips, the waters around Great Britain to the Bay of Biscay and to Lisbon. In 2005, the syndicate around MARABU closed, presumably due to the reorganization backlog that would probably have broken the club’s budget.

After 4 years on land she was no longer able to swim when Josef Martin bought her.



Year of construction




Building shipyard

Abeking und Rasmussen, Lemwerder

Length OA.

approx. 17,40 Meter

Länge WL

approx. 11,60 Meter

Largest width

approx. 3,46 Meter

Max. draught

approx. 2,20 Meter


approx. 17 Tonnen


first Sloop, from 1953 Ketsch


Mahagoni on oak


The pictures above show the MARABU in the 50th


RNVR Yacht Club

THE NEWS, Portsmoth