As John says, larger than life. One of the characters in club racing in the 1950s/60s not just in the Barnato Hassan but in a C type Jaguar inter alia. At some time he owned the yacht formerly the property of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
In 2004, when the VSCC celebrated an anniversary based in Harrogate, we were able to visit Keith's home and motorhouse on one of the events - and meet the sociable and interesting man himself.
Keith Schellenberg, did indeed buy the steamship Scharhörn, originally Schaarhörn, in 1976 and it's an interesting story. The vessel was originally built as a survey ship, though with various added semi-luxury features to make it suitable for other duties as well. I've often seen the boat described as "Hitler's state yacht" as well as the Kaiser Wilhelm connection that Allan mentions, though both tales appear to be a myth, there's no evidence that either men ever even saw the vessel, let alone set foot on her decks. I found the information below in a German publication. The North Sea voyage sounds like an interesting trip, though it's not told whether KS was on board.
... in those days, a Scottish millionaire appeared on the scene, bought the old steamer in 1976, and patched her up for her most adventurous voyage ever. Going to England, the SCHAARHÖRN got into bad weather, waves were five meters high, sea water flooded the engine-room, coal ran low. After 75 hours, the English coast was finally reached the UK. SCHAARHÖRN sailed into the small Scottish port of Buckie, where the voyage ended. Well-kept at the beginning, the SCHAARHÖRN then gradually rotted away in a remote corner of the port. Vandals destroyed the furniture, thieves took away everything they could carry. In 1979, SCHAARHÖRN in her pitiful state was purchased by two enthusiasts, who repaired her so she could be taken to Maryport in Cumbria, where she was laid up again for some years.
As far as I know, Scharhörn was eventually properly restored, and returned to its original home in Hamburg. It was still sailing happily along the Elbe until quite recently, though it may now be enjoying a well earned retirement ashore in the care of a German voluntary organisation, on a short visit to Hamburg around 2010, I could not find any sign of the vessel. As originally built, and in Keith Schellenberg's time, Scharhörn was powered by a pair of coal-fired triple expansion steam engines, which makes the voyage to Buckie even more of an achievement, it must have all been quite exciting, I'm glad I wasn't on board.
Edited by kayemod, 02 November 2019 - 10:53.