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Electra, formerly Tritsch-Tratsch, is a 42 ft. sloop designed by George McGruer and built at the McGruer and Co. yard in Clynder, Scotland in 1971. She was commissioned by Irish tech. company owner and avid yachtsman Dr. Otto Glaser to represent Ireland and race against the likes of Morning Cloud, Ragamuffin, Koomooloo, and Prospect of Whitby in the 1971 Admirals Cup.
The distinctive style and exceptional build quality you’d expect from a McGruer are there along with a fin keel/skeg rudder underbody and beamy, tumble home topsides of an early IOR boat. She has a double-planked mahogany topsides, laminated integrated frame/floors, laminated backbone timbers, plywood bulkheads, and composite teak-over-ply deck and house top. A light weight no expense spared build.
The rig and deck gear arrangement are modern and practical as well. While common place on modern keelboats, the mid-boom sheeting arrangement, cabin mounted traveller, inboard chainplates, 3 speed primaries, and roller furlerheadsails found on Electra (and others from the era) marked a significant step forward in sail handling and upwind performance and mean she can sail with less crew than boats of an older vintage. Glaser noted “she simply leapt to windward and we easily beat much larger racing yachts boat for boat.”
Electra’s interior is race boat spare but comfortable, spacious, and thanks to her large portlights and Lexan hatches, well lit. There are 2 pipe berths in the forepeak, a head forward to starboard, a nice P.E. Luke woodstove on the fwd bulkhead, two singles and one convertible double/setee in the salon, a large well-appointed galley, spacious nav. station and sail storage at the base of the companionway.
Electra was rewired and fitted with a new B&G MFD in 2016-17 and repowered with a new 38 hp Beta engine in 2017-18. She was surveyed in 2021 and found to be in good structural condition but not without needs. The teak overlay on her deck and cabin top are wearing thin and in need of replacement, a few checks in her planking could use splines and her varnish could use a bit of attention.
There seems to be a resurgence of interest in classic IOR raceboats from the late 60s and early 70s and it’s not hard to imagine why. They offer the beauty, pedigree, and individual character of a one-off, plank-on-frame classic boat but benefit from modern construction techniques, hull designs and sailing handling systems. Electra’s fellow Admiral’s cup competitors Morning Cloud, Ragamuffin, and Prospect of Whitby have all been restored and are actively racing along with a whole host of others from the same era. We’d love to see the same for Electra.
Survey and more detailed plans available on request.
Otto Glaser and Tritsch-Tratsch:
Glaser, a WWII refugee from Austria and founder of a successful electronics company Telectron, didn’t pick up sailing until his late 30s when he and a few Howth friends acquired a vintage Dragon. They syndicate upgraded to a McGruer cruising 8m which introduced Glaser to the world of off offshore racing. Electra, then Tritsch-Tratsch, was Glaser’s first of three serious offshore raceboats, built to represent Ireland (alongside 2 other yachts) the 1971 Admiral’s Cup. I
Ireland ultimately lost the Admirals cup series to the U.K. but Tritsch-Tratsch notably beat the champion 41’ Morning Cloud (owned and helmed by then Primeminister Ted Heath, now restored and sailing in the UK renamed, ironically, Opposition) in the 1971 Fastnet race and was the Irish Sea Offshore Racing Association champion in ‘71 and ‘72. Glaser’s subsequent decision to commission his second McGruer designed and built race boat Tritsch Tratsch II, meant Electra’s competitive racing career was relatively short.
The story goes that Glaser, who had a mathematical brain and was fascinated yacht design, rating rules and optimization, was so vocal and heavily involved in the design process that she was named Tritsch-Tratsch after the Viennese phrase for “chit-chat”
LOA: 42’ 0”
Beam: 11’ 6”
Displacement: 12 tons
Double planked mahogany
Bronze fasteners, riveted bilge stringers and sheer clamp
Teak over marine ply deck (teak is thin and needs replacement)
Mahogany house sides and cockpit
38 HP K39104 Beta diesel engine (repowered in 2017 at Rockport Marine) – Less than 100 hrs
Twin Disc TMC 60 gear (2.45:1)
3 blade bronze feathering prop
Bronze stuffing box
B&G V50 VHF
B&G depth speed and wind instruments and displays (analog)
Spars and Rigging
Keel stepped gold anodized aluminum mast
Anodized aluminum boom
2 x anodized aluminum spinnaker poles
Stainless Steel standing rigging
Airhead composting toilet
Gimballed propane range
Handpump head and galley sinks
12v electrical panel
12v house and start battery
30A shore power plug and charger
Lewmar 12V Windlass
Lewmar 55 3 speed primary winches
Enkes 26ASC secondary winches
Lewmar traveller and jib tracks
1 x Aluminum fuel tank under cockpit sole
1 x stainless freshwater tank under cabin sole
No black water tank – composting head