A brief history of Priscilla and Admiral Jack Voss

The histories of Priscilla and Admiral Jack Voss have been intertwined over many years.

Priscilla, the Brighton Marina Yacht Club Committee Boat, was first laid down in 1978 at Mitchell’s Yard, West Quay, Newhaven. She was then was bought for Peter de Savary and converted to a tow launch for the specific purpose of towing the America’s Cup challenge yacht GB3 to and from Brighton Marina. This role was soon curtailed by the unfortunate breakage of the main mast on GB3.

Following that she was purchased from the America’s Cup team by Charles Wilson who renamed her after his wife Priscilla. Charles Wilson was then Commodore of the recently formed Brighton Marina Yacht Club (BMYC). Priscilla although privately owned was frequently used as Race Control Motor Vessel for BMYC.

BMYC has a strong yacht racing pedigree. It was started in 1979 after an invitation from Peter Blackburn, MD of Brighton Marina Company, who asked Jack Voss, Commodore of Newhaven Sailing Club, to form this new yacht club within Brighton Marina for members to enjoy racing.

Jack Voss was the first Commodore of BMYC, the first President and has been the first Admiral, continuing in this position until the present day, a record not achieved by many.

Following the death of Charlie Wilson, Jack purchased Priscilla from Charles’ estate and continued to deploy his flag on her on the race start line most Sundays.

Jack Voss was himself a past Waterman on the River Thames following in the footsteps of his 300 year family tradition of Watermen. Later in his business life he became MD of Lowenbrau UK for whom he worked for many successful years until his retirement.

Recently BMYC were honoured by the gift to the club of Priscilla. Following this Rear Commodore Racing Peter Dilloway-Thompson was delighted to obtain a £10,000 budget from the board to totally refurbish Priscilla.

To mark this wonderful moment it was decided to re-name Priscilla in honour of our long serving Admiral. The new name will appropriately be ‘MV Admiral Jack’.

Since August 2011 Priscilla has been lovingly brought back to a standard that would not look out of place in the Royal Yacht Squadron, by the MD and Staff of Sussex Yachts, Brighton, at their two purpose built and insulated maintenance facilities on the east side of Newhaven Harbour. The dedication and effort of Sussex Yachts has resulted in a superior renovation second to none for which BMYC are most grateful. Much of the work has been sponsored by Sussex Yachts resulting in a vessel worth far more to the members than its increased value.