The Invergordon Archive

Sail Training Ship
The Invergordon Archive
Sail Training Ship

The Sail Training Ship “Prince Louis”; she used to visit Invergordon in the 1950s.
Picture added on 18 May 2008
Comments:
I had the pleasure of sailing on the Prince Louis in 1959 whilst attending Burghead Outward Bound School. It was nicknamed the 'Speewy Louis' as most us who sailed on it were sea sick. I still have fond memories.
Added by Tom Stevenson on 18 January 2012
I had the pleasure of spending 4 weeks on the Prince Louis after she was sold to the Dulveton Trust and sailed out of Corpach in 1967 and she was still captained by Commander Victor Clark. I would like any info as to the whereabouts of the Prince Louis.
Added by Alastair Maclean on 22 April 2012
I sailed on Prince Louis in March 1959 whilst attending Burghead Outward Bound School.
Added by John Harrower on 28 May 2012
I sailed from Loch Torridon to the Inner Hebrides on the speewey Louis straight after a 50 mile cycle ride though the Highlands and 20 mile walk whilst on an Outward bound course at Burghead from June 4th to July 4th 1964. I was one of the very few who were not sea sick and as result was on night watches! This stood me in good stead when in my late 50s I sailed across the English Channel in the tallship Stavros Niarcos.
Added by Martin Somerville on 31 May 2012
To Alastair Maclean who contributed 22 April 2012:
The Prince Louis has been renamed and refitted as The Bel Espoir 11, still a training ship and was last photographed on April 26th 2012 at Toulon La Seyne France.
Added by Martin Somerville on 31 May 2012
Thanks to all who replied to my email about the Prince Louis. I wonder if anyone who was on her when she sailed from Corpach would like to get in touch? I remember one of the crew was a Mr. Mortimer. We also tore the mainsail as we crossed from Tobermory to Stornoway in a force 10 gale and took shelter in a bay about 15 miles south of Stornoway for 2-3 days and had to send a shore party to Stornoway for supplies. I hope this can jog someone's memory.
Added by Alastair Maclean on 03 June 2012
I attended the month long course at Outward Bound Moray Sea School, Burghead in November 1965 and have very fond memories of Prince Louis. I was a member of Hawkins watch, under Mr Jeavons and we sailed spewey Louis to the Orkneys staying at Stromness and Scapa pier, Kirkwall. The return trip to the Moray Firth has everlasting memories, crossing the Pentland Firth at night and being Outer Jib Man - reefing in gale force conditions!! It would be great to hear from anyone that was on that Course as well. Could you please help also with the current location of Prince Louis/Bel Espoir 11, because having recently revisited the Orkneys after 46 years it would be great to see that fine ship one more time.
Added by David Wheeler on 12 September 2013
More detail of Prince Louis can be found here www.tallship-fan.de/index_e.htm,
Present location is sailing off the coast of Brittany, France.
Added by Ronald Stewart on 15 September 2013
Lovely to see the Prince Louis - it would be magic if we could see her in Burghead one more time; I'm sure many others think the same. Always wonder what happened to her; thank you for sharing all the news about her.
Added by Penuel Watson Burghead on 19 January 2014
I too sailed on the Prince Louis in the summer of 1964. It was designed to create an experience that was supposed to prepare myself and others for our future as police officers. I often wonder of it was just designed to frighten us to death!!!!
My overriding memories were of a French youth whose father had sent him along to toughen him up. All of his clothing was not designed for the cold of the Cairngorm mountains, even in the Summer. I remember as well the snow ball fights whilst on the WALK.
He was so nervous most of the time that when in charge of the ship's bell he took a dunking over the side in the bosun's chair for ringing it like Westminster Chimes!!! Anybody out there remember him??
Added by Charlie Peterson on 02 June 2014
My brother sailed on the Prince Louis, it was the Moray Sea School. They left from Greenock and went up the west coast; this was July 1955. We have been trying to get a few photos of the trip as his was lost long time ago; we would like to surprise him with photos. He lives in Cape Town S/Africa so if anyone can help it would be great. I will give you my husbands email.
Added by George Ballentyne on 11 June 2014
I was also on the Prince Louis when the force 10 caused us to take shelter. I still have my ship diary.
Added by Dave Hughes on 02 July 2014
As a member of Drake watch I sailed on the "Louis" in April 1956, aged 14. Fantastic trip which started with being stormbound in the Dornoch Firth for 24hrs after which we were short of time and sailed to Wick. Fantastic wee voyage which kick started me into the Merchant Navy as a Deck Officer with Christian Salvesen.
Added by Charlie Grant on 04 August 2015
When I was in Invergordon Academy, about 1958, probably on 4th year, some of our class were offered a sail on the Prince Louis. I was one of the lucky ones, and I remember it was the first time I had ever steered with a wheel instead of a tiller.
Added by Donald MacDonald on 16 February 2016
Hi Donald. I think I was on the Prince Louis for the same trip. I believe it was the rector Mr. Milton and Bill Smith who arranged everything.
Added by Eddie Trotter on 23 February 2016
David Hughes, I would like to share info with you on this trip as i have lost my ship's log. I am also on Facebook, hope to hear from you.
Added by Alastair Maclean on 27 February 2016
I went to Moray Sea School April 1958. I've lost my photo of my watch but I still have my log book.
Added by Tommy (Tich) Docherty on 23 October 2016
I was at Burghead in February 1962. We went to Lossiemouth to bring the ship back to Burghead but unfortunately we also got caught in a force10 and had to take shelter in the Dornoch firth. We were a mixed bunch as I was a school boy from Glasgow (nicknamed shorty) there was a wine taster a police officer (Lofty from Fife) and a spurs supporter who worked at whitbreads.
Added by William Reid (Billy) on 02 January 2017
I sailed on the Prince Louis about 1961? Unfortunately, we also got caught in a force 10 and had to take shelter. All but one of the boys from Moray sea school all sick. Still alive Ausy Australia
Added by John Bissell on 18 July 2017
Hi, I sailed on this beautiful ship as a 14 year oldin 1960 as part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. I gained my silver badge, and I have always remembered our motto: To strive to Serve, but not to Yield.
I was wondering if there was a way to find a photo of the boys from when I was there.
Added by William Hervo on 19 July 2017
I sailed on Prince Louis to Norway in 1965 with winners of the Warden badges. Fantastic although traumatic in force 8 gales it was an experience never to be forgotten.
Added by Richard Oliver on 17 October 2017
I remember the Prince Louis as a regular visitor to Invergordon harbour. Looking at her now, she seems a lot smaller than my memories tell me. In terms of being a "training ship" I imagine this must have related to boys from public schools?
Added by Bill Geddes on 18 October 2017
This time sixty years ago we motored down the East coast, the wind being contrary, to Edinburgh calling in at Dundee on the way. There was some anniversary celebration to attend in Edinburgh where the ship was opened to the public with an official visit by the Lord Provost. It was busy and yes!! I think almost everyone was rather seasick both on the voyage down and back! The voyage back was curtailed at Fraseburgh where another crew was motored in and we were motored back to the school. Although we were now getting used to sailing I don't think there were any objections to having to travel on dry land!!
Added by Michael Rowlandson on 21 October 2017
My Grandfather, Commander Roland Boddy was the Master of the Prince Louis..I have the framed photograph he was given on his retirement, dated June 1962. Wondering if anyone remembers sailing with him?
Added by Monica de la Haye on 21 October 2018
I was an apprentice ship-fitter in Chatham Dockyard and was chosen to attend Outward Bound at Burghead in about 1957. After a weeks hike to get to and climb Ben Nevice we sailed the Prince Louis from Burghead to Rosyth Dockyard and moored her beside a brand new RN Frigate. I forget her name but we were able to collapse the sails in the traditional way as we came alongside to the cheers of the RN sailors. It really made us realise just how her size was compared to a warship. I remember she carried 4,500 sq ft of canvas and had a 145hp engine (I think). Happy memories.
Added by Mick Meggs on 19 January 2019
I sailed on the Prince Louis in June 1964.We departed from Loch Ailort,sailed to Barra in the Outer Hebrides,thence up the West coast of Skye ,then into Loch Torridon.My best memories are from anchoring in Castlebay harbour. Two of us took our turn on watch on the Saturday night,well really a couple of hours early Sunday morning.One of our main tasks was to ensure we did not drag our anchors. Imagine our consternation when we discovered that the bearings we had been given for landmarks had changed and we could be drifting.I don't know how many times we checked the bearings to make sure we were correct.The main reason being that the first mate was ,in our youthful opinion , a terrifying fellow ,and we did not fancy waking him in the middle of the night.Fortunately we were drifting,so in our opinion at least we were the heros of the hour.On the Sunday morning, to much groans and moans we were told we would be going to church and were matched up to that beautiful church on the hill. Imagine the change of mood and pleasure when it became obvious that news had obviously got àround of all the good looking young men in town ! Most of the female teenage population seemed to be in church.Cue much preening and animation. Bear in mind Outward Bound was single sex in those days and we hadn't seen any girls since a mountain top in the Mamore mountains,eight days earlier when a similar reaction occurred. Happy days !
Added by David McLaren on 08 March 2019
I was in Hawkins Watch at the Outward Bound Moray Sea school between 30th July to 24th August 1962.
I sailed on the Prince Louis off the West Coast. We visited Staffa Island and Fingal's Cave, Iona, Rhum and Muck. The lead Instructor on the course was A.F. Mongomery. For me this time was brilliant. I still have the handwritten diary we had to keep during our time.
Added by Alex. Henderson on 09 April 2019
I sailed Prince Louis in the summer (probably August) of 1964 as part of my Outward Bound course. We were honoured by a visit (not on the ship) by Kurt Hahn the founder of Outward Bound. Joined the ship in Loch Linnhe and anchored one night in Tobermorey and one night in Kinloch, Rum. Poor weather and I was one of only two not seasick - so spent a lot of time at the wheel.Cannot remember the Captains name but he was RN.
Added by Arch Buntain on 13 May 2019
my earlier voyage comments were 1961 - not 1962 as stated.
Added by Arch Buntain on 13 May 2019
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