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Classic Boat MAY 2016

£4.85 US$13.75

T H E W O R L D’ S M O S T B E A U T I F U L B O A T S

LOST FIFE 8 Metre sails again

Cowes inferno 1902 Sibbick remembered



The year’s best boats Awards How you voted IN ASSOCIATION WITH


Harrison Butler Austin 7 of the seas


95 ft William Fife III 19 m Gaff Cutter 1911

€3.5M Lying United Kingdom.

This is a chance to enter classic yacht racing at the highest level. Since her restoration in 2004 MARIQUITA’s results have kept improving such that she cannot now stop winning. In restoring this unique yacht her owners sought not only to save her but to recapture the ethos that prevailed when she was built in 1911 and raced shortly thereafter. She remains a wonderful combination of Fife’s design talent and aesthetic with the superb qualities of his celebrated yard. MARIQUITA is totally ready for the 2016 season.

33 High Street, Poole BH15 1AB, England. Tel: + 44 (0)1202 330077 email:


A VIBRANT SCENE Your votes have been coming in thick and fast over the past four months in the Classic Boat Awards. This issue we can reveal who has the most! We hope the winners will be delighted, but each of the nominations received many thousands of votes too – votes that came in from around the world. There’s no doubt the level of interest in the work of classic boatbuilders and restorers in 2016 is as high as it’s ever been. One of the Awards winners is our cover boat, Invader, launched by Wooden Boatworks in 2015. When the owner of Invader found no 8-Ms available to restore, he decided to build one that had been lost. The runner-up in that category is a new build of Johan Anker’s last 12-M design, no.434, dating from 1939 and never built until now. Launches like these are on the increase, fascinating additions to an already vibrant classic scene.

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4 . LOST FIFE Wooden Boatworks’ faithful recreation of Invader, a replica of a Canadian match-racing 8-M





24 . CLASSIC BOAT AWARDS The results are in for our 2016 awards, from Restoration of the Year to Yachtsman of the Year COVER STORY

38 . COWES INFERNO An obituary of Witch, the 1902 Sibbick destroyed in the Cowes fire 46 . STARTING THE SEASON Adrian Morgan at the scrubbing posts 48 . VOYAGE TO THE DARK AGES Max Adams follows ancient sea paths on pilot cutter Eda Frandsen 54 . GEIR ROVIK: INTERVIEW Norway’s traditional boatbuilder 56 . LAST SAILORMAN East Coast barge skipper Bob Roberts


48 56 68


64 . HARRISON BUTLER Z4 A design analysis of the much-loved sturdy pocket cruiser 66 . TOM CUNLIFFE Cruising with no engine and a bust rib 68 . FAIREY HUNTSMAN A fine refit by a prominent sailor of the classic British motor yacht REGULARS

£4.30 Issue #1696 April 2016



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S Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London, SW3 3TQ EDITORIAL Editor Rob Peake +44 (0)207 349 3755 Associate Editor Steffan Meyric Hughes +44 (0)207 349 3758 Senior Art Editor Peter Smith +44 (0)207 349 3756 Senior Sub Editor Henry Giles +44 (0)207 349 3708 Technical Editor Theo Rye Publishing Consultant Martin Nott


14 22 33 34 37

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64 73 75 77 94 98

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A modern recreation of a 1930s Fife 8-Metre with a fine racing pedigree WORDS PAT MUNDUS PHOTOGRAPHS BY PETER BRAUNÉ




Above l-r: carving the Fife dragon; a devotions to historical plans and drawings; a mix of bronze and stainless deck hardware


n July of 2015 Wooden Boatworks Inc, of Greenport New York, launched a new plank-onframe William Fife III 8-M. The yacht is named Invader, commissioned by Brian Hunt Lawrence of New York City and Oyster Bay, New York. Invader is 48ft 2in on deck. She carries a 30ft 8in waterline, an 8ft 6in beam, and a 6ft 6in draft, well representing a class with great international appeal in the first part of the last century. 8-Metres were, and still are, a competitive racing class and they formed an Olympic class from 1908 to 1936. This contemporary Invader was constructed as a historical new-build of a 1930s era 8-Metre called Invader II, which match-raced for the Canadian team in the 1932 Canada’s Cup. This competition was the freshwater equivalent of the America’s Cup, a decades long rivalry between the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and the Rochester Yacht Club on Lake Ontario. Although the Canadians fought valiantly for over 50 years, the Rochester Yacht Club stubbornly retained the Canada’s Cup from 1903 to 1954. After again losing the 1930 Canada’s Cup to the American defender, a Fife designed 8-Metre named Quest, RCYC Commodore George Gooderham commissioned the Scottish designer to create Invader II. Determined to win back the Cup from the Americans with a dose of their own Fife medicine, this Canadian 8-Metre yacht was christened Invader II, in honour of the first Invader, Gooderham’s yacht that led the Royal Canadian Yacht Club to their former victory in 1901. By 1930, 8-Metres designed by William Fife III dominated the class. He designed over fifty of them under three evolving racing rules. Invader II was the last 8-Metre Fife designed under the second rule. As an interesting side note to the 1932 competition, Invader II sailed against – and lost to – the American boat Conewago, designed by a young American making a big splash on the racing circuit, Olin Stevens. The American public loved the Eights as well; according to local newspaper clippings of the era, over



twenty thousand spectators assembled to watch the battle for the 1932 Canada’s Cup. Brian Hunt Lawrence, of the New York Yacht Club, has dedicated himself to preserving important classics. One of his favourites is William Fife III’s personal yacht Clio, built in 1921. Clio is 46ft with a waterline length of 30ft and one of his very early bermuda-rigged sloops. Known then as Sheevra, Donn Costanzo, now co-owner of Wooden Boatworks, rebuilt the boat entirely with Jeff Law and Olive Adzhead in 1983 in concert with Cantieri Navale dell’Argentario in Italy. When Lawrence’s love of match-racing united with his love of Fife classics, he began a search for an original 8-Metre for restoration. He naturally turned to Donn Costanzo and Bruce Wahl of Wooden Boatworks. Besides Clio, Donn Costanzo has restored and raced several other Fifes in Europe, so he is well-versed in Fife design and construction. Wooden Boatworks specialises in restorations as well as recreating newly built replicas of older yachts. In this way, the original may remain an artefact while a robust new boat is created for sailing. Their new and restored work can be viewed by visiting the shop’s website at In some cases, depending on the planned use of a yacht, Wooden Boatworks feels that a historical replica makes more sense than a full restoration. This was the case with the search for an 8-Metre for Brian Hunt Lawrence. After trying to locate the right boat on several continents, it turned out that 8-Metres enjoyed such an astounding resurgence in popularity, there remained no more viable original candidates left to restore. So what began as a quest for a historical restoration morphed into a historical reconstruction. This was perhaps an even greater undertaking than the restoration of an existing boat would have been. Invader II made a perfect candidate for a reconstruction because she no longer existed, having run into a tug and tow line at night on the Hudson River and sank in two hundred and twenty five feet of water. She enjoyed an unparalleled provenance, a well-documented history, and





Dacron cross-cut sails by North

a vibrant racing career. Most importantly, Invader II was a Fife with excellent racing characteristics; one worthy of recreating. Building a modern wooden boat to historical standards is challenging enough. Meeting the 8-Metre racing class specifications requires even further demands. Building as close to the original plank-on-frame construction plans in the Fife method, yet creating a boat fully compliant to the rule, meant extreme devotion to historical plans and drawings, construction details and materials, distribution of weight throughout the vessel, and of rig dimensions. Duncan Walker at Fairlie Yachts in Hamble assembled her construction plans and drawings. Using the Invader II plans, naval architect Theo Rye prepared a table of offsets. The Wooden Boatworks team lofted the lines, which were then used to auto-cad full-sized construction drawings for cutting materials on the shop floor. In this case, the shop floor is in a cavernous potato barn in eastern Long Island, an agricultural area known more for growing wine grapes than for building beautiful yachts. Wooden Boatworks has two facilities. One is on the water in Greenport, with several sheds and shops plus two marine railways for classic yacht maintenance and repairs. The other is the expansive barn complex for new builds. The barn also houses Wooden Boatworks’ extensive collection of vintage Merriman Brothers, Wilcox Crittenden and Perko marine hardware – much of it never-used old stock – and over 60,000 board feet of seasoned, sustainably-harvested lumber suitable for yacht building and repair. Still, assembling materials for an accurate historical reconstruction is challenging. In today’s world, construction timber comparable to a 1930s era Fife simply does not exist. Although materials for the new Invader were collected for years, Costanzo 8


and Wahl had to reach out to the best sources in America. New England Naval Timbers in Cornwall Connecticut located an extraordinary 46-foot white oak at the Thomas Cole Museum in Catskill New York. The 30-inch diameter tree was milled for the 25ft by 2ft keel stock. The original Invader II had 88 pairs of grown timber frames. A modern boat builder could save materials for a lifetime and still not have enough grown frames to build a 48-footer, so Wooden Boatworks’ construction team substituted the best modern equivalent – laminated cherry – for the grown timber primary frames. Then, as in the Fife method, they steam-bent two white oak frames between each laminated cherry frame. Another divergence from the original design is the floor plates. William Fife used galvanized floor plates, whereas Wooden Boatworks chose silicon bronze plates and strap floors, which were fabricated by Kristian Iglesias of Kai Design in Greenport. The lead keel itself was moulded by Mars Metals of Burlington, Ontario and trucked to Long Island. Invader is planked with Alaskan yellow cedar and she is copper riveted. Invader’s decks are Alaskan yellow cedar, for a subtle golden blond tone that pairs beautifully with her varnished dovetailed cherry cabin, covering boards, and toe rails. Setting off her decks and cherry rails is a tasteful marriage of traditional bronze and stainless steel deck hardware. Wooden Boatworks’ large vintage hardware collection, plus customized details, made Invader’s authenticity possible. Carrying the combination stainless and bronze theme elsewhere throughout the deck, stainless rails – instead of wood as Fife would have done – were positioned on the fore and after decks with bronze eyes. The tiller is a work of art and can be described as no less than deck jewellery. Fife’s original tillers were


Above left to right: Rudder

usually iron pipes covered in canvas then painted. Wooden Boatworks chose to have the tiller made of highly polished 316 stainless steel, and mounted it uncovered. Simon Grillet, who worked with Costanzo on Kentra and other Fife rebuilds, fashioned Invader’s tiller in the Fife shape, adding an Ebony wood handle grip, finished with a turned polished bronze end cap. The end result completes a harmonious and elegant mixture of bronze and stainless fittings. The rig and sail plan were designed by Theo Rye [Classic Boat’s technical editor], very close to yacht designer George Cuthbertson’s mid-1950s modifications. Rockport Marine in Maine built the Sitka spruce 66ft mast and boom. Maloney Marine Rigging of Southport, Maine fabricated the standing rod rigging. Invader’s sails are Dacron crosscut sails to conform to the Neptune Trophy specifications in the 8-Metre Class. They were built by North Sails. The headsails are hanked on to a Bartels Roller Furling system which keeps the furling mechanism below decks to preserve the classic look. At the owner’s request, related to enjoying the yacht in often light-air conditions of her home port, Oyster Bay New York, the boat flies a masthead asymmetrical spinnaker and also has a Code Zero on a furler. A fractional symmetrical spinnaker, which will meet the Neptune Trophy specifications, will be added for this upcoming summer. Invader didn’t compete against other 8-Metres in her first season. She does perform beautifully, however. Her helm is very sensitive, light to the touch, and balances extremely well. She accelerates quickly out of tacks and is very sea kindly in following seas. In all, Invader exceeds expectations, moving beautifully along in very light air and, of course, points well; all expected of a 1930s racing machine. Invader’s interior is completely varnished. Spartan but elegant, Costanzo describes it as “a combination of a lot of Fife trademark signatures from many of his boats.” These include Fife style fiddles, raised panelled doors, and open straightforward simple styling. Costanzo compiled years of experience on many Fifes to incorporate them into Invader’s interior. Deep green leather seat cushions with a shallow leather button tuck, “for a sporting look,” explains Costanzo, were made by Perry’s Upholstery, a Long Island company specialising in antique and classic yachts. 10


bearing; deep green leather cushions and lots of Fife trademarks; launch party late last year

Wooden Boatworks placed a 16 horsepower Beta diesel in Invader, with a Danish two bladed folding propeller, offset to port. The weight of the engine, fuel tank, exhaust, and associated controls and piping was calculated ahead of time so lead could be subtracted from the ballast keel to compensate. Invader came to rest beautifully on her lines when launched. Building this type of yacht requires intense dedication to yachting history and depth of research. Brian Hunt Lawrence and Wooden Boatworks share the common belief that restoring yachts and building historic newbuilds perpetuate skills and dedication to fine craftsmanship. Whether restoring an original yacht or building a historic replica, they keep history alive and promote an important art form. That said, it seems natural that another 8-Metre would follow. Defender, an exact sister to Invader, was also commissioned by Brian Hunt Lawrence. Defender is on the construction floor at Wooden Boatworks at this writing, due to launch in the spring of 2017. When completed next year, the two sisters will be sailed against each other in Oyster Bay New York in the true match-racing tradition. The only difference between Invader and Defender will be their tillers. Grillet made the handle grip on the tiller for Invader in Ebony; black. The handle on Defender will be Holly; white. Pleased with this notion, Costanzo adds, “That should be the only way to tell them apart.”


48ft 2in (14.6m) LWL

30ft 8in (9.19m) BEAM

8ft 6in (2.58m) DRAUGHT

6ft 6in (1.98m) SAIL AREA

868sq ft (80.6m2)

Yacht Brokerage


82ft “ATAO” 2006. Built by JFA Yachts, France. She is a beautiful modern classic centreboard sloop, with a stunning classic look and modern requirements. Her finely crafted woodwork hides many powerful innovations and reveals astonishing sailing performances. The view from the deckhouse is unparalleled and uninterrupted; this is clearly the central point of this beautiful yacht.

137ft Sparkman & Stephens “QUEEN NEFERTITI” 1986. Refit 2005. Very nice schooner rigged sailing yacht with large deck space, a tremendous deck house and very comfortable accommodations for up to 8 guests and 7 crew. She boasts a tremendous spacious interior. Thanks to her design from Sparkman & Stephens, she sails extremely well from medium to strong winds. She easily reaches 11/12 knots under sail and has little healing angle. She has travelled the world extensively, the Mediterranean, Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic.

Morgan 70 “MATHIGO”

Commuter 50 “ALLEGIANCE”

2007. Kevlar composite built from a Tom Fexas design, she is a true gentleman’s yacht with a special classic touch inspired from the lobster boats in Maine. She is fast, seaworthy, extremely comfortable and luxurious. She is in pristine condition having seen very little use and having undergone a complete refit in 2014/2015.

2004. Inspired by Camper and Nicholson plans from 1925 and updated by builder, she is a very nice classic true gentleman’s yacht in the style of power boats from the beginning of the last century and constructed with quality materials and modern techniques – the spirit of tradition.

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De-ciphering Fife’s calculations from his original notebook BY THEO RYE My involvement with what became the Invader project started when Donn Costanzo of Wooden Boatworks spoke to me at the 2013 Fife Regatta; a week which saw, amongst other highlights, two of Fife’s prettiest bermudan-rigged yachts from the 1930s, Latifa & Saskia, racing together. Donn had a client looking for an untouched, original late 2nd or 3rd International Rule 8-Metre to restore; a well-trodden quest. In the end we concluded there was nothing suitable on (or off) the market; they had all already been restored, heavily modified or lost; it seems that the days of “barn finds” of original classics are fast receding. When attention turned to possible replicas though, there was a stand-out candidate in Invader II. Once Donn had negotiated for copies of the plans, we had a bit of homework to do; which involved corresponding with the ever-helpful John Lammerts van Bueren of the International Eight Metre Association, followed by a trip to the Royal Canadian Yacht Club in Toronto. This was Invader’s home for most of her life, and despite having been sunk in the mid 1960s she was well remembered; not least by David Howard, an exCommodore of the RCYC and Invader’s skipper from 1945 until 1953, and his friend George Cuthbertson (of DRAWINGS BT THEO RYE

C&C Yachts fame), who made changes to her rig. We were also very kindly shown the impressive fleet of 8s at the RCYC; the owners of the 1929 Fife Quest copied her specification for us and the archivist Beverly Darville was very helpful. A fine, fully detailed period model in the clubhouse was the finishing touch. The hull and keel calculations were an exercise in detective work; there was a small note on the lines

Above: Invader’s

for adding a bit more headstay tension or to stabilise

plan that said “Yacht reduced in loft by scale 0.9941”; a

refined rig

the mast in a chop or higher winds.

typical Fife tweak which resulted in some head


scratching, especially de-ciphering which of the

the 8-Metre rule

the clew than a typical 8-M full overlap genoa for

long-hand calculations of Fife from his original

and allows the

visibility, she is proving easy (by 8-M standards).

notebook applied to the pre- or post-tweak hull.

owner to go

North Sails did their usual high-quality work, especially

Eventually it was straightened out; and armed with all


Hugh Beaton of the Toronto loft who has a lot of

that, and knowledge of Saskia and several other Fife

day sailing

experience with the class; and Rockport Marine

8s, we finally felt equipped to build an accurate replica. One area that was always going to be different was the rig. Here the owner’s wish was to respect the


With the furling headsail, cut deliberately higher at

executed a superb mast & rig package, including all the custom stainless hardware. The masthead option for a Code Zero or

8-M rules, but accommodate the possibility of

asymmetric helps her out on the ultra-light days, and

short-handed day sailing, and also handicap racing in a

can be removed if she has to race under the 8-M rules.

mixed fleet on the notoriously light-winded Oyster Bay.

She hasn’t been measured yet but she was pretty well

We also had to parse that she had a reputation for firm

on her lines and we are optimistic that she would do

weather helm in period, which made her the subject of

so. The mast is positioned as originally rather than

several re-rigs (including one drawn in 1933 by the

shifting it aft (as many have done), so “J” is modest

Starling Burgess & Boyd Donaldson partnership), and

compared to some of the tweaked 8s out there, but we

really came into her own after Cuthbertson’s mods in

did push the forestay forwards as far as we could

the 1950s. The result is a rule-optimised Sitka spruce

allowing for the Bartel’s furler under deck. In other

mast with rod-rigging, maximum hoist and foretriangle

words, reverting to a totally authentic rig as Fife drew

height, but set with aft-swept spreaders. That means

it is perfectly possible, but in the meantime we have a

the runners can be ignored much of the time except

nicely balanced rig which meets the design criteria.



PILOT CLASSIC 55 “MODERN” Hoek Design LOA: 16.62m - Beam: 4.23m - Draft: 2.70m Asking price P.O.A

PILOT CLASSIC 55 “TRADITIONAL” For more information please visit or contact: +31 (0)299 315 506

Tell Tales

Classic Boat’s address: Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London, SW3 3TQ Follow the Classic Boat team on Twitter and Facebook


Fairlie finished liquidated on 29 February, due to a “completely

“We’re better known in the south of France than we are in England”

unexpected lack of orders in the short term,” according to Fairlie founder Duncan Walker. “We were left with two choices: build up debt or stop.” It’s not the first time that the yard has been in financial trouble, having faced administration four years ago, after which it changed its name. Fairlie, whatever word follows it, has a


Fairlie Yachts, formerly Fairlie Restorations, was

record in top-flight restorations, particularly relating to the creations of Wm Fife III, that is perhaps unparalleled

Fairlie has been around in one guise or another since the

anywhere in the world. We noted two issues ago in our Yard Visit

beginning of the classic yacht restoration movement and still holds

feature, that Fairlie-restored boats are known for “staying restored” and

the entire original Fife archive. Its demise has been due to a

being rebuilt to a strength that enables them to stand up to their

combination of factors, among them the dwindling stock of famed

unforgiving modern rigs when racing in the Med and elsewhere.

big-class yachts to restore, a protracted job on its latest new-build,

“Unfortunately, we are better known in the south of France than we

the lovely Fairlie 53, a runner-up in our awards this year, and a lack of

are in England,” founder Duncan Walker told CB. Duncan’s business

work in general. One of the greatest names in the classic yacht

partner, the naval architect Paul Spooner, told CB at the time of that

movement might be finished, but all is not lost: Duncan intends to

yard visit, albeit with a smile, that the company was putting itself out of

remain in Port Hamble as a boatbuilder under the Greybeard Yachting

business with the longevity of its restorations meaning that their boats

banner while Paul Spooner will continue his design office, under the

do not need to return to the yard a decade later.

banner of Paul Spooner Design Ltd.

Fame 1910

Dennis Conner’s 40ft schooner It might come as no surprise that Dennis Conner, or Mr America's Cup as he is known, having won the auld mug four times, is something of a classic boat aficionado, having restored the Universal Q-Class yacht Cotton Blossom in the early 2000s, not to mention a string of others, smaller and larger. This one, Fame, he acquired in 2010, and had restored in an incredible four months at the yard of Koehler Kraft in San Diego. The big rush was necessary to get her ready for her centenary bash in 2010 at the San Diego Yacht Club. Yard owner CF Koehler rose to the challenge, adding that he is often nervous of big jobs where owners get in above their heads. Dennis, however, he described as “quite aware of the science of taking an old boat apart and then getting your wallet fleeced”. It was


worth it though, as this picture, and our



article in CB268, shows. She's a 40ft (12.2m) BB Crowninshield schooner built by the Rice Brothers of East Boothbay, Maine, in 1910.


Velsheda takes it Velsheda has beaten Ranger and Topaz to take overall victory in the 21st St Barths Bucket. Racing in gusts of up to 21 knots was at times a nervy business and Ranger and Velsheda in particular had a race to the wire. On the penultimate day of racing, Velsheda’s starboard primary winch failed, but engineers on the yacht and her mothership Bystander worked through the night to ensure she was in tiptop condition to take the deciding race on the last day. Topaz, in her first race and therefore still ironing out niggles and tuning up, came in third. With the unprecedented resurgence of the J-Class, three-boat clashes like this, once exceptional, are becoming more common. Velsheda and her crew must be feeling on top of the world, having also won last year’s Royal Yacht Squadron Bicentenary Regatta held in the Solent.



Victory for The Blue Peter It was a small but competitive fleet in the Classics Class for the 2016 Island Water World Grenada Sailing Week. With 20-knot winds over the five days the conditions were perfect for the three circa 60-footers (18m). Mat Barker's The Blue Peter (1930 64ft/19.5m Alfred Mylne cutter) was the boat to beat. Second place was a fierce fight. Galatea (1899 70ft/21.3m Axel Nygren bermudan yawl) may well have been the quicker boat, but if anyone can upset the bookies it is Micky Jarrold on Lilly Maid (1904, 58ft/17.7m Luke Brothers gaff cutter). At the end of day four they were tied with two second places each. On the last day Galatea took it. Ben Jefferies

EVENTS CORRECTIONS Yogaff will not be running this year


as stated, but the Solent OGA will


hold a regatta at Yarmouth (IoW)

A transverse board fitted to the top

for gaff-rigged boats this 2-5 June

of a rudder in a small boat instead of

called Yarmouth Gaffers Regatta

a tiller, the rudder being moved by

2016. It will be a purely water-based

yoke lines attached to the ends of

event. See for more. We

the yoke and operated by the

also omitted to mention the special

helmsman. Yokes are mainly to be

Dartmouth Classics Weekend, held

found in small boats which are pulled

for the first time on an even year.

by oars; and very occasionally in

This will run from 9-10 July, immediately before the Plymouth – La Rochelle start the following Tuesday (12 July). There will be a passage race from Dartmouth to


A fortnight on Shtandart

CB reader Martin Williams won our recent competition for a

Plymouth on 11 July to connect the

fortnight’s voyage for two on the Tall Ship Shtandart,

two events. For more details visit

thought to be the nearest thing to the Cutty Sark. He plans

to embark in February 2017 in Portugal or the Canaries.

small, open sailing craft where the position of a mizzen or jigger mast makes the operation of a tiller impossible. Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea




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Protect our most famous yachts Why is there so little protection afforded to our most

Above, L-R:

the 30 or so competitors entered into the 2018 Golden

famous yachts, writes Barry Pickthall, most notably

Suhaili, with

Globe Race, which starts from Falmouth two days later,

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston’s Suhaili?

Lively Lady and

will also be paying homage. Suhaili has been the

Three famous yachts: Gipsy Moth IV, the 54ft (16.5m) ketch

Gipsy Moth IV

inspiration for all of them to enter the race.

in which Sir Francis Chichester became the first to complete

together in 2005

Martyn Heighton, secretary of National Historic Ships

a solo circumnavigation in 1966/67 with just one stop; Lively

(NHS), keeper of the register, points out that in

Lady, the 36ft (11m) cutter in which Sir Alec Rose did much

exceptional circumstances boats under 33ft (10m) will

the same in 1967/68; and Suhaili, the 32ft 5in (9.9m)

make the list and hinted that Suhaili will soon make the

double-ended ketch in which Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

grade. As we went to press in fact, the NHS register as a

became the first to sail around the world solo without

whole was starting a period of detailed analysis to make

stopping, winning the Golden Globe Race in 1968/69.

it “more representative and understandable” Heighton

Only two of those three are on Britain's principal list of

told CB. “This will include more detailed statements of

historic vessels, the National Historic Ships Register,

significance”. When you consider that the register

leaving Suhaili with unprotected status. This is because

numbers something in the region of 1,800 vessels, this is

Suhaili, while big enough to breast 60ft (18m) waves in

not a job that is going to happen overnight. It is

the Southern Ocean, remains a vital seven inches

important to note that vessels on the Register are not

(17.8cm) too short to meet the register’s criteria on

specifically eligible for any protection or funding,

length of 33ft (10m) and more than 50 years old. Even

although they are potential recipients of the small cash

Moitessier's yacht Joshua – essentially the runner-up

grants NHS is able to make, and benefit from the

boat in the Golden Globe Race – enjoys ‘national

register's high status. If there's one thing, however, that

treasure’ status in France.

they have in common, it is the struggle to raise funds to

Sir Robin, though hale and hearty at the age of 77, is

safeguard their futures. Boats under 33ft (10m) are

beginning to wonder what will happen to Suhaili after he

eligible for the National Small Boat Register run by the

has gone. He is currently mid-way through a self-funded

National Maritime Museum Cornwall, which has no age

major restoration of Suhaili to have her ready to

stipulation. That list numbers well over 1,000 vessels.

celebrate the 50th anniversary of his incredible voyage.

The real issue, Heighton thinks, is the lack of any legal

This will be marked by a festival of sail on 14 June, 2018,

protection for operational (as opposed to static) vessels

in Falmouth, to which Golden Globe rivals, Bernard

which can be listed in the same manner as buildings.

Moitessier’s 39ft (11.9m) French yacht Joshua, Loïck

There is presently no sign of that situation changing. In the

Fougeron’s 30ft (9m) Captain Browne and John

meanwhile, you might consider listing your vessel on one

Ridgway’s 30ft English Rose IV have all been invited,

or other register. See and

together with Gipsy Moth IV and Lively Lady. In addition, for the National Small Boat Register.



Rustler 33 and Rustler 24

Modern Classics by Rustler

Beautiful yachts, beautifully built

Tel: 01326 310120 | Rustler Yachts | Maritime Buildings | Falmouth | Cornwall | TR10 8AD





If you were going to host a day of stories from the last 50 years of yachting, it would be hard to beat Arundells as a venue, once the home of sailing PM Edward Heath, winner of a Sydney Hobart and an Admiral’s Cup series not to mention the Round the Island Race – four times. Last year, the salvaged bow section of the tragic wreck of his yacht Morning Cloud III was unveiled in the house’s gardens. Sailing luminaries including Sir Ben Ainslie were present to speak and this year, the event continues in a seminar/ lunch format. Speakers will be Michael Boyd (commodore, RORC), Jamie Matheson (co-owner of the Fife 19-M Mariquita, recent winner of the Panerai trophy in the Med) and Christopher Sharples (commodore, RYS). Members of the Morning Cloud racing crews will also be on hand to share their experiences of winning trophies with 'Ted'. A light lunch and tour of Arundells is included in the £30 ticket price, and at that price, we advise booking soon. Tel: +44 (0)7921 800533, E:

Ticket offer





Sailing stories at Ted Heath’s old house

YVONNE GREEN Principal of the Boat Building Academy How many BBA graduates are now

an understanding of new

working shipwrights?

technologies and materials and their

We’ve run a graduates’ network since

use in conjunction with traditional

2008 that has 225 members, most of

skills. Pumping money into vocational

whom are working in the marine or

apprenticeships is great, but there is

related industries. Some are on classic

a danger that good intentions are

yachts, some started their own

compromised by the mechanisms

businesses, many are with big-name

used to define and deliver training.

yards, based all over the world.

We need to teach people how to think and how to apply skills and

Why the furniture courses; are fewer

common sense to a range of work so

people interested in boat building?

that we have a workforce for the 21st

People were so enthusiastic about

century to work in diverse areas of

the woodworking part of the 38 week

the contemporary marine industry.

course that it seemed crazy not to put a course on for people who didn’t

What is the most impressive boat a

want to go the whole boat building

student has built?

hog (or so they thought).

The obvious candidates are Gloéy, an 18ft (5.5m) Paul Gartside cutter built

James Bond yacht on show

Once a student, always a student?

by Dominik Gschwind and the class of

Students are valued in the community

March 2012, and Daydream, a Roger

for their skills and often become part

Dongray 20ft (6.1m) Golant Ketch

of the gig club, sailing club and other

built by Keith McIlwain and the class

things (including the ukulele band).

of September 2013. Both were nominated for Classic Boat Awards.

The Spirit 54 that was featured in the James Bond

film Casino Royale will be exhibited at the London on

Whose designs are most popular?

Water event from 4-7 May, at St Katharine Docks.

We’ve built boats by Iain Oughtred,

There are many other contenders.

The yacht, Soufrière, has been recently refitted and is

Paul Gartside, Andrew Wolstenholme

Is there a profession that a large

for sale through Spirit’s brokerage department. She

and Francois Vivier, as well as Alden,

proportion of students come from?

Herreshoff, John Gardner and Gil

Some people are straight out of

Smith. Everyone has their favourite.

school, others have backgrounds in

will be joined by the new Spirit P40 coupé motorboat at the event. Spirit Yachts CEO and head designer

IT, engineering, marketing, forestry,

Sean McMillan said: “The scene in which Daniel Craig and Eva Green glide into Venice onboard Soufrière granted her a place in British film history."

Are we in danger of losing

the police, the armed forces. Some

traditional skills?

are lifetime sailors, some new to it.

The London on Water event is part of the London

The words ‘traditional’ and ‘heritage’

Yacht, Jet & Prestige Car Show and features a

are used a lot these days, particularly

range of luxury brands from the car and jewellery worlds as well as boats. To claim your discounted ticket quote code SMOF while booking via

What is the point of the CB Awards?

on funding applications. Traditional

Behind every great boat are great

skills safeguard the objects of

skills keeping it afloat. We

our heritage and build a foundation, but they are a starting point. People also need

sponsor the CB Awards because it is vital those


skills are celebrated.


Classic Boat 2016 awards logo.indd 4

23/11/2015 11:39



National Historic Ships UK

Photography Competition WIN002016 ,0


National Historic Ships UK


Upload your photos online for a chance to win Competition Categories A. Historic Vessels on the National Register or National Archive

D. Faces of the Sea

This category is for photos that feature all or part of a registered historic vessel, either on static display or in operational use, clearly identifiable by name or type. See ‘The Registers’ online at for eligible vessels. Category Prize: GoPro HERO4 camera, awarded by Event Broadcast Training Academy.

This category is for maritime portraits and photographs of people ashore or afloat, which capture their passion for, and connection with, the sea. Category Prize: £250 to be spent on wet-weather gear awarded by Park Lane Press Ltd.

E. Your Local Historic Vessel or Seascape

B. Traditional Maritime Skills in Action This category is for photos that plainly demonstrate a traditional maritime skill or technique (eg, hands-on vessel maintenance, rigging, caulking, seamanship or boatbuilding in the workplace/classroom). Category Prize: £250 to be spent on maritime training, equipment, tools or educational material, awarded by the International Boatbuilding Training College Portsmouth.

Open to schoolchildren only, aged 4-18 years. Category Prize: an iPad for your school, awarded by Fat Beehive AND a visit to an historic vessel for you and up to three family members, awarded by NHS-UK. Highly Commended Prize: a nautical print, awarded by Claudia Myatt.

Photography Competition 2012

C. Classic Boat Favourite: The Maritime Enthusiast

This is a special category, judged by Classic Boat, for the best maritime photograph taken by an enthusiast. Entries may include maritime scenes, traditional or replica vessels, close-ups of vessel parts, etc. Category Prize: two-year subscription to Classic Boat plus your photograph published in the magazine.

The Judges

OVERALL WINNER: National Historic Ships UK Photographer 2016 One entrant will be chosen as overall winner from categories A-E and the winning photograph will be included in National Historic Ships UK’s promotional material. Overall Prize: A monetary prize of £1,000 to be awarded on a theme or activity involving a historic vessel on the National Register of Historic Vessels, awarded by Freeman’s Wharf Boatyard, Penryn. Highly Commended Prizes: : illustrated book The Sea, awarded by Adlard Coles Nautical.

Calling photographers of all ages

Rules & Guidelines Go down to the sea Competition & shoot some winning images

How to enter: The competition opens on 1 April 2016 and all entries must be received by the closing deadline of midnight on 31 August 2016. To enter a photograph in any of the competition categories, you will need to complete an online entry form and upload your images to the National Historic Ships UK competition web page, available at: Entrants can submit up to two images per category. Follow us @NatHistShips, Facebook – National Historic Ships UK (include icons for twitter and facebook).

£1,000 overall prize Mary Montagu-Scott Maritime Heritage

Jock Wishart Polar explorer

Upload your photos online for a chance to win

Peter Mumford David Newberry Rob Peake Beken of Cowes Council of Editor, marine Experts, NHS-UK Classic Boat photography

Tracey Clarke-Sullivan Broadcaster

Photo: Category A, Highly Commended 2011, ‘Maybird. Fastnet training’ by Mike Garlick


of CoWES



AdlArd Coles

N A DI M 64‘ VRIPACK CLASSIC MOTORYACHT NADIM is a contemporary classic motor yacht, designed in the style of Salon Yachts from early 19th century. Her beautiful hull shape with strong references to working ships from that period, combined with her spacious general arrangement offers luxurious comfort and an absolute ability to travel long term in style. NADIM is equipped like a professional seagoing vessel and leaves

|LOA: 19.30 m

|Bea m: 5.05 m

nothing to be desired in regard to her technical systems. Conceived as one of two sisterships designed by Vripack, she was constructed from steel by the shipwrights at the well reputed R.J. van den Berg yard in Lemmer and launched in 2001. M/Y NADIM is a gem, now offered in pristine condition.

|Dr aft: 1.38 m

|Price: EUR 750,000

BIRGIT TORE HOLM INTERNATIONAL 8-METRE YACHT This stunning International 8Metre Yacht has been delivered in 2001, her original 1945 design plans have been discovered by a yachting enthusiast searching the Tore Holm Archive in Stockholm in 1999. She is a very fast design, as expected from the Swedish master of naval architecture, and has been raced at most of the major European 8Metre events since her launch.

|LOA: 14.10 m

|Bea m: 2.47 m

She is traditionally planked in larch on oak ribs with web frames made from stainless steel. Her deck construction is teak deckings on a plywood subdeck fastened to pine deck beams. BIRGIT sports an aluminum mast delivered in 2002 and comes with a comprehensive set of racing and delivery sails.

|Dr aft: 2.02 m

Member of t he Robbe & B erk i ng f a m i ly

|Price: EUR 180,000





Southern California classics in SoT twist The Ancient Mariners’ Sailing Society, based in San Diego, is looking to reinvent itself as the number of classic yachts left to restore dwindles. With new membership levelling off, society sparkplug Greg Stewart, a principal at Nelson Marek Yacht Design and owner of the vintage Clinton Crane 6-Metre Sprig, says: “We’ve talked about being more inclusive. We don’t want to go full Spirit of Tradition, but we are considering including the Shields one design (glassfibre-hulled sloop designed by Olin Stephens) and the local glassfibre Kettenburgs.” The 42nd Annual Yesteryear Regatta is the marquee classic yacht event for the society and is scheduled to be held on Saturday, 7 May.


The spring and early summer is filled with lectures including one from a member returning from a recent Cuba trip titled, “From Cuban cigars to Cuban cars”. Chris Freemen, from Mystic (Connecticut) Seaport’s Charles W Morgan Tall Ship project, is also heading West to discuss the history of Alert, a 58ft (17.7m) Alden built by California’s famed WF Stone and Sons. Still there are a few significant restorations ongoing and the primacy of stewardship has kept yards dedicated to the craft, like Koehler Kraft, busy. Dauntless, a stately 1930 Alden schooner, is at Koehler and is being improved before it is offered for sale. The owner wants to make sure she is ready for another 86 years before “passing her along”.


Restoration school merges students for growth


It surprised the marine industry in the United States when the believes there will be natural synergies between the students once bastion of traditional boatbuilding, the International Yacht the composite facility is built over the next two years. It’s all part of Restoration School, launched its Composites Career Training an IYRS goal to move beyond relying solely on donations. programme nearly a decade ago. The vision of the school’s “We have a successful hands-on education model with over 90 per president, Terry Nathan, and his board and staff has borne fruit, cent of graduates getting jobs,” says Nathan. “We are leveraging that however, and now the school is expanding the Newport, Rhode and the associated values to build the school into an economically Island campus and putting composites students and shipwright sustainable, world-class builder and restoration school.” students side by side. The new 20,000 square-foot building will house the two six-month Currently the composites composites programmes campus is in Bristol where currently in Bristol. The synergies carbon boatbuilding and spar between the composites and building is prolific. In 2014, IYRS traditional boatbuilding students bought the series of wharf will likely begin with the CAD buildings adjacent to the brick and 3-D imaging programmes. and iron waterfront facility on The systems document the Newport Harbour and is current shape of a boat and planning to renovate, and move overlay that with a 3-D model the composite school next door. created from original “Students from both construction drawings. With a programmes are working with composites student and yacht resin and fibres: wood is resin restoration student talking in the with fibres,” said Nathan on a lunch room, with full access to recent tour of the school. “We traditional and modern encourage the students to use techniques and tools, the future the facilities after hours to work of IYRS and the marine industry Wood and composite camps are thriving at IYRS on their own projects.” Nathan looks quite exciting indeed. 22


Come visit our sailloft, and discuss sailmaking needs. We pride ourselves on a careful combination of world-class sails, and hometown service.


11 Marconi Lane, Marion, MA 02738

C H U B A S C O 67 ’ ( 20.55M ) :: Sparkman & Stephens Yawl :: 19 39 :: $7 75,000

For the first time in nearly 60 years, Chubasco is available. She is a direct descendent of the legendary Dorade and Stormy Weather, although considerably larger. Built in Los Angeles by Wilmington Boat Works, Chubasco reflects the devoted care of just two owners. On deck and below, the fit and finish are unmatched by any yacht of her kind. Her late owner’s wish was to have his extraordinary yawl acquired by a passionate sailor/caretaker who would race her to victory in the world’s classic regattas. Located in Southern California.

Dennis Mor an :: Ne wpor t Beach :: +1 7 14 2 99 12 86 :: Dennis .Mor an@Nor thr opandJohns





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23/11/2015 11:39

You have cast your votes and the results are in! Showcasing the finest new-builds and restorations launched in the past year, here are the winners of the annual Classic Boat Awards


RESTORATION OF THE YEAR MARGA After a stunning restoration by Enrico Zaccagni and the Tecnomar Boatyard in Rome, Marga was the talk of the Mediterranean regatta scene last summer, sailing with her original gaff rig and showing all the pace that made her an Olympic contender way back at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics. Design Liljegren. Built Hästholm, Sweden, 1910. LOD approximately 54ft (16.5m)

Marga is the result of much research, great skill from her builders and passion and commitment from her owners



Our cover boat this month is a recreation of a Fife 8-M that sank on the Hudson River. Invader II raced for the Canada’s Cup on Lake Ontario in the 1930s. After a painstaking research job and faithful build on Long Island under Donn Costanzo, she sails again, with a rig tweaked for short-handed cruising by CB’s technical editor Theo Rye. See page four for full feature. Designed Wm Fife III, 1931. Built Wooden Boatworks 2015, LOD 48ft (14.6m)



Invader is testament to the vision of her owner, the skills of the many people involved in her build, and of course to the master himself, William Fife




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23/11/2015 11:39


It’s testament to the enduring appeal of the Eventide. I can only assume all the Eventide owners out there voted for her!





Why go to the trouble and expense of building a new boat that is widely available on the used market? The man who commissioned this tweaked version of Maurice Griffiths’ evergreen design just loves Eventides. So, clearly, do many of you, especially after following this project by Star Yachts in Bristol. The remarkable story of the Eventide, of which more than 1,000 have been built, continues. Des Maurice Griffiths 1959. Built 2015 Star Yachts, 25ft (7.6m)

SPIRIT OF TRADITION OVER 40FT SPIRIT 46 The most popular Spirit and the hardest to catch on the racecourse, at least downwind when she’ll plane at 18 knots. With looks inspired by the Metre Yachts, she weighs just 4.5 tonnes, half of which is in the keel. Design and build Spirit Yachts, 2015, LOD 46ft 3in (14.1m)

The Spirit 46 is a masterpiece of contemporary wooden yacht construction NIGEL STUART, MD OF SPIRIT YACHTS


SPIRIT OF TRADITION UNDER 40FT KIONI (ELIZABETHAN 23) Kioni is the much-loved Liz 23 extended by three feet (1.2m) at the stern, given a mahogany cabin top and interior (including beams) and chromed bronze or polished stainless-steel fittings. She’s the work of a one-man operation in Cork that re-designs and remodels end-of-life GRP boats. Design W&D Thomas, 1969, B 2015 Alchemy Marine, 26ft (7.9m)



It’s fantastic to produce something that looks and sails right and to find that others appreciate it too



Discover more at +44 (0)1452 301117 New deck planks on Queen Galadriel.






Style and class of a bygone era, Built today




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Classic Boat 2016 awards logo.indd 4

Winners 23/11/2015 11:39

POWERED VESSEL OVER 40FT LADY HERTHA The no-expense-spared restoration of this 1930s motor yacht, by a first-time boat owner, involved major work on the deck and hull, as well as an interior redecoration to the theme of “Phileas Fogg meets a London gentleman’s club”. “I’m a stickler for originality,” said the owner. “I wanted a museum piece.” Design GL Watson, built Yarrow and Co 1935, LOD 86ft 7in (26.4m)

I am honoured that renovating a 1935 motor yacht to its original heritage is recognised OWNER, LADY HERTHA


POWERED VESSEL UNDER 40FT LUCY LAVERS Between 1940 and 1968 this RNLI lifeboat saved 44 lives, and many more during the Dunkirk evacuations. She was found in 2006 by two enthusiasts and restored with the help of a £100,000 HLF grant for Norfolk charity Rescue Wooden Boats, to her original specification. D&B Groves and Gutteridge, 1940, Restored 2013-15 by David and George Hewitt, LOD 36ft 6in (11.1m)

It’s great to have an award for this beautiful Dunkirk Little Ship, whose role in Dynamo we commemorated in 2015 KATE FAIRE, RESCUE WOODEN BOATS




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Winners 23/11/2015 11:39






Our postbag was bulging after we printed a story by a 20-something from Cornwall who restored a Folkboat on a shoestring, then sailed it to Antigua single-handed, navigating by sextant. He proceeded to win every race he entered in Anitgua Classics. “This young man is an inspiration to a generation,” wrote one correspondent. Many of you agreed.




I can only assume your readers skimmed over all the going aground and getting lost and suchlike when reading about my trip!







Ed Burnett’s death at the end of May 2015 left the world of traditional yachts at a loss. He was the pre-eminent yacht designer working solely in the classic aesthetic and was behind a host of significant new builds and refit projects. He became known for an ability to select well from the past and the contemporary, blending traditional style with modern materials and design when it would be to a boat’s advantage. He was an acknowledged expert on pilot cutters, but his many designs also include sloops, bigger yachts and motorboats, built for customers around the world who more often than not became firm friends. The classic boat community was shocked at his death but Burnett’s wonderful boats will be appreciated long into the future.



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Hardware for traditional ships and classic yachts Webshop: Free catalogue: „The little Brownie“




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Saleroom BONHAMS

Gordon Bennett, what a birthday present!

first trans-Atlantic ocean race, as well as sponsoring and taking part in air, car and balloon races and sending reporter Henry Morton Stanley to Africa to find Dr Livingstone in Africa. This painting (above) of Rebecca by Joseph B Smith (1798-1876) made £19,250 ($27,500) at Bonhams’ most recent New York marine auction.


By all accounts James Gordon Bennett Jr (right) was not a very good boy at all, but nevertheless he still received a pretty wonderful toy for his 16th birthday in 1857 in the shape of a brand-new 77-ton 72-foot yacht, which probably did not come gift-wrapped. The American sportsman, playboy and newspaper owner, whose exploits were so extravagant and scandalous his name has become an expression of utter astonishment, was among other things a super-keen yachtsman (see Saleroom April issue). In fact in his 16th year he soon got a chance to show off his new toy with the big boys when he was elected as the youngest member of the New York Yacht Club. Rebecca, depicted here off New York, was a centreboard sloop designed by William Tooker and built by Westervelt & Co of New York. She was regularly recorded at or near the top of racing results until 1862 when James Gordon Bennett offered her to the US government for use in the Civil War. In return President Lincoln made the young millionaire owner of The New York Herald a lieutenant in the Revenue Service. Rebecca’s eventual fate is unknown, though Gordon Bennett remained an enthusiastic yachtsman and in between scandalising the world found time to win the




HMS ‘Victoryn’ An intriguingly mis-named Admiralty-board model has emerged on to the market after remaining in one family’s ownership since 1830. The 36-in-long model, built around 1783, bears the name ‘The Victoryn’ on its stern, but this is thought to be a simple typographical error as no such name appears in Admiralty lists. Neither is she a model of HMS Victory. Based on her form and two-deck 80-gun layout, researchers at Charles Miller Ltd built in 1793 and served notably in the blockade of Brest from 1803 to 1805. The finely crafted model is expected to fetch around £20,000 at Charles Miller Ltd’s 10 May auction in London.


reckon she is Caeser, which was

Take a closer look at more Saleroom lots at CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2015


Objects of desire Designed and made by

GREAT BRITAIN WATCH Visitors to the London Boat Show in January may have seen Roger Smith’s exclusive watches exhibited. This is the Isle of Man-based watch designer and builder’s most patriotic offering, hand-engraved platinum with a sterling silver dial. Build time 10 months, £180,000

Tel: 01624 897943.

TOOL KIT A hand-made 24-piece tool kit from Swiss manufacturer WohnGeist. The handles of the chisels, screwdrivers, hammers and files are made of Swiss pear, a wood that resists warping and splintering in moist environments. A magnetic case, also made of pear wood, with leather handles, keeps everything in its place. The price tag is fairly eye-watering but being able to put your hand directly on the tool you need, and not having to root around in a black plastic box, is surely worth a lot. Also available in walnut and plum woods.


A History of the Royal Cornwall Yacht Club 1871 - 2012

Andrew Pool




This is the warmest, lightest, most

Useful for waking up the crew when

waterproof woolly jumper we’ve ever

struck with a belaying pin. Watertight

Historian Andrew Pool has done this

tried, knitted from the wool of the

when closed but nonetheless not ideal

fascinating subject proud. Copies can

ancicent spælsau sheep breed that

on a foredecsk (in case you forget that

be obtained from the Royal Cornwall

once provided the yarn for Viking ship

you left it open!). £72

sails. They are home-knitted by women in northern Norway, to order. c£250

Yacht Club, Greenbank, Falmouth, Cornwall TR11 2SP. Secretary’s office tel:

Tel: 01394 380 390. For more Objects of Desire, go to



01326 312126. £30 + £3.80 p&p.

Davey & Company Est



New 3” bronze cowl vent to join the recently launched 4” size. Both come complete with base & cap.

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Yacht refit and restoration in the heart of the Mediterranean


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Adrian Morgan


Echoes of a battle 100 years on, Jutland’s two great characters resonate still



re you a Beatty or a Jellicoe kind of skipper? Do you weigh the consequences and plan your passage with forensic care, although this would not normally include ‘crossing the T’ of a German High Seas battle fleet? Or do you throw caution to the winds, pile on the speed and trust in your innate ability to act at a moment’s notice to extricate yourself from trouble (albeit we are not talking about laying down a smokescreen)? My grandfather was, I suspect, a Jellicoe man. Most of the Naval officers who served in the First World War and who trained in the dying days of Victoria’s reign, would instinctively have sided with Admiral of the Fleet John Rushworth Jellicoe, the only man on either side who could, in Churchill’s opinion, have lost the war in an afternoon. And that day in May 1916, 100 years ago, of course, was Jutland. Up in Scapa Flow on his flagship HMS Iron Duke Jellicoe had prepared for the inevitable clash between the British Grand and the German High Seas fleets with typical thoroughness. Much depended on whether the man commanding the 1st Battlecruiser Squadron on the Firth of Forth, Rear-Admiral David Beatty, could manage to tease out the German fleet into the jaws of Jellicoe’s battleships which would come steaming down from Orkney. Trouble was, when Beatty did make contact, he kind of forgot to let Jellicoe know as much as he ought to have done about what was happening. Trusting in his fast, well armed but lightly armoured battlecruisers, Beatty, let’s face it, probably just wanted have a crack at the Germans before Jellicoe turned up. Alas, within 30 minutes two of his ships had been hit by German shells, and exploded. The rear admiral’s flagship Lion would have followed, had it not been for the foresight of his chief gunnery officer who had insisted that fire doors were reinserted between the magazines and the turrets, removed on all the other ships on Beatty’s orders to quicken their rate of fire. Who won? The British lost more ships, but the Germans scuttled home. For Jellicoe, job done; and for years afterwards the battle was refought in mess rooms and drawing rooms up and down the land: the Beatty/ Jellicoe battle. The dash and verve of the man who wore a non-regulation three not four buttons on his uniform and his hat at a decidedly un-Naval angle, versus the calculated approach of his superior, arguably the man who, despite his subordinate’s cavalier behaviour on the day, did manage to win it, and with it ensure an Allied victory. Both men would have sailed dinghies at Dartmouth. They might, like my grandfather, also have served before the mast to familiarise themselves with the way

“A friend once navigated round Shetland using a linen tea towel”

of a ship on the sea, whether festooned with futtock shrouds and halyards or the fire control apparatus and wireless aerials of a modern warship. I suspect Beatty would have been the kind of skipper to have set out without listening overly much to the forecast. Jellicoe would have surrounded himself with almanacs and pilot books (and a radio if he’d had one, which would have been tuned to the BBC shipping bulletin for days beforehand). He would have checked the expiry date on his flares too. Those early years in small craft would have established both men’s characters in a way that would be crucial when the firepower of Germany’s navy met Britain’s on the North Sea. We have all sailed with Beattys and Jellicoes: the former SAS officer who reckoned the quickest course between Poole and Yarmouth was a straight line; and put my father on the Shingles Bank, hard aground. Rounding Start Point he did it again. I have sailed with two brothers in turn, one of whom glues his eyes to the sounder and plotter, the other glances occasionally at an App on his iPhone. Another acquaintance once navigated round Shetland using a linen tea towel, or so the story goes. Now he was neither a Beatty nor a Jellicoe; just a justifiably confident seaman. You have to be to rely on a chart that is simply printed “Present from Lerwick”. CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016


WITCH 1902-2016

AN OBITUARY Martin Nott spent nine years restoring the 1902 Sibbick cutter Witch, before she was destroyed in the recent Cowes fire. Here he tells her story


o many restorations start with good intentions but never make it to the end, for any number of reasons. This, however, is one restoration that can never be completed. It most certainly does not have a happy ending, but I believe it is a story worth telling. In October 1900 Thomas Wills Sandford of Dublin commissioned Charles Sibbick to design and build a 7 tonne fast cruiser, listed as number 264 in Sibbick’s works ledger. For some reason (possibly he changed his mind and decided he needed a bigger yacht) we don’t believe this boat was built, instead he ordered Witch, number 283, described as an 8 tonne fast cruiser. Sibbick’s Albert Yard in Thetis Road, Cowes would have been a busy place at this time, although famous for designing and building light displacement raters, the market for these out-and-out racing boats had dried out in the UK, he was still building similar boats for the Mediterranean, some still with fin keels and a few 24ft linear raters for home and foreign waters, but most of the yachts in build were cruisers. Most were of fairly light displacement like Madcap and Chittabob III and were also used for racing, Madcap (which still exists) for club racing in the Solent and Chittabob III (last seen in France in the 1970s) on the east coast. Sibbick’s biggest yacht, the 63 tonne yawl Ruth was also in build for Mr B Densham, heir to the Mazawattee Tea company. We know that Sibbick was building yachts to the highest standards, the Lloyds survey of Ruth at the time of launch stated that “the materials were very good throughout and workmanship excellent”. Magazines at the time also commented on the workmanship and quality of the woods used being of the highest standard. Ruth was still being used as a houseboat (named Aglaia) in Littlehampton until she was dismantled in the mid-1970s. Witch is first mentioned in The Yachtsman magazine in January 1902 as being nearly completed, we don’t have an exact launch date but probably April or May 1902, so Witch and Ruth must have been nearing completion and launch around the same time. Sibbick’s company went out of business in January 1903, so perhaps only 20 more boats were built after Witch, including Ripple, still sailing in Dartmouth.

CONSTRUCTION Witch was built by Edward (Ted) Williams as lead shipwright. Most of Sibbick’s fast cruisers including Madcap, Chittabob III, Riva and Betty IV (now Giga), the latter two of which are still sailing, were built with grown frames with steamed ribs fastened by rivets. Witch was built with large 3in x 3in grown oak frames 18 inches apart in the same style as the larger yawls Saunterer, Thalassa and Nedda (still sailing in France). Although bigger, their lines are very similar. The futtocks were joined by oak dowels and the frames doubled for most of her length, pinned with bronze rod. This strong construction undoubtedly contributed to her survival. The frames were riveted through the elm keel, tucked

under the teak keelson and the whole held together by wrought iron floors. The floors were held by four fasteners each side, half inch bronze bolts for the lower two and copper rivets for the upper two, possibly because these were inside lockers and the nuts may cause problems with stored items. The one inch bronze keel bolts went through the centre of each floor, with coach screws in the same position on the apron and aft. Witch was planked in pitch pine of 1¼inches with American Rock Elm garboards. Although the garboards and a few lower planks were shot, most of the rest was in near perfect condition apart from around the iron chain plates. The planks were held by bronze nails (or dumps) of square section hammered through into the oak frames. Larger cast bronze round dumps were used at the plank aft ends and at butt joints. The few butt joints were on double frames, no butt blocks were used, most of the planks on the topsides were full length, that’s more than 36 foot long. The shear plank was teak, again nailed, no screws were used in the planking. The tops of the frames were fastened by copper rivets to a pine beam shelf, 2 inches x 6 inches which was connected to the oak stem and apron by an oak breast hook, and aft to an oak false transom one section ahead of the actual teak transom block. She had oak lodging knees around the mast and wrought iron hanging knees at the mast and companionway. The gap between the top of the beam shelf and the underneath of the deck was filled by a decorative panel from the bulkhead aft to the rear of the cockpit with holes in Sibbick’s unique pattern forming ventilation for the lockers. Ceiling strips nailed to the frames covered all of the planking in the same area. I had some of both the original ventilation and ceiling to copy. The sternpost was oak and extended up to deck level with a pine rudder box. The central counter timber was teak with oak horn timbers again bronze bolted to iron floors. The rudder stock was teak and the blade elm. The deck beams were oak, 3 inches x 3 inches with only a small amount of camber, these were set into the top of the beam shelf with a half dovetail and fastened with a bronze dump. Carlings for skylight, companionway and cockpit were of a similar dimension dovetailed into the beams and screwed. The hatches, skylight etc were screwed direct to the beams and carling from below. At deck level the King planks were teak, widening to 14 inches aft of the mast. The skylight, hatches, companionway and so on were also teak, although the covering boards (and presumably the toe rails and caps) were mahogany. The deck was American yellow pine secret fastened in bronze and probably started life as 11/8 inches thick. The deck boards were basically parallel with the king plank with each plank tapered fore and aft and snaped into the covering boards. The small cockpit was panelled in teak on a pine frame and was probably lead or zinc lined. It had lead pipe self drainers and skin fittings held in place with white lead paste and brass tacks (below the waterline!) these were still in place when I bought Witch. The port drain pipe also had an


arm forming a deck scupper aft of the cockpit coaming. There was a large bronze flush deck mounted bilge pump to starboard. The deck hardwear was minimal; the foresail sheets went through bronze bonnets screwed into plates flush with the deck, the cleats were all wood and the main sheet horse was of the buffered variety. The interior was only simple with V lockers in the forepeak, a small galley just aft of the mast to port and heads to starboard. A bulkhead separated the saloon from the forepeak with a panelled door that also operated as the heads door. The saloon had simple benches with lockers under and removable panels in the top, all in mahogany with beading around the edges. The original gaff cutter sail plan is clear in the 1914 photographs and was originally by Ratsey & Lapthorne.

HISTORY Thomas Wills Sandford commissioned Witch when he was 23 years old and a student in Cambridge. My guess is that not many 23-year-old students commission yachts now, maybe a new BMW or in extreme cases an Aston Martin, not a yacht. But Edwardian Britain was quite a different place and owning a yacht was a fashionable thing to do. Wills Sandford’s family home was Castlerea, County Roscommon, Ireland. He was the son of a landowner with a large estate, his great grandson, also Tom Wills Sandford contacted me at one point and knew nothing of Witch, although he did have a memory of a photograph of his great grandfather on a different yacht. He told me that he was considered the black sheep of the family, spending the family fortune on yachts, horses and other fun-filled vices and that by the First World War there was little left of the estate. Witch was registered in Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire), he was a member of the Royal Alfred and St George Yacht Clubs. Wills Sanford sold Witch after only two years. A number of owners followed before Witch was bought by Basil Lubbock in 1913. Lubbock is an important figure in maritime history, particularly regarding the Cutty Sark and the last days of the clipper ships, having written a number of books on the subject. I just knew that as a writer and historian it was likely that he will have left something, somewhere. I finally found a collection of documents and notebooks in the National 40


Above and facing page top right: Basil Lubbock (with dark trilby) with his wife and friends on Witch in 1913. Facing page: the newly repaired engraved rudder head and compass (and original iron tiller) were not in the workshop and are safe; original iron floors shot blasted, galvanised and ready to bolt through new grown oak futtock; the interior looking aft showing new oak deck beams and carlings

Maritime Museum in Greenwich. One of these related to the period when he owned Witch and a small racing yacht called Dot. It’s not a log in the proper sense but includes weather and tide, who was on board and journeys made from their mooring in Hamble. It also includes many fantastic photos giving me every detail of the rig and deck layout. It’s clear from the photos that the cockpit coaming had been doubled in height, I guess suggesting that Witch was a wet boat, but must have made making-off the sheets very difficult. It’s also nice to know who all the people in the photos are, including his wife (also called Dot) and the paid hand, named as Dornom, I believe his first name was Alf. Lubbock owned the Manor House in Hamble, he was a founding member of the Hamble River Sailing Club as well as a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron, the Royal Southern, Royal Fowey and Royal Motor Yacht Clubs. Lubbock’s first entry on 3 September 1913 read “First sail in the ‘Witch’. Wind NNE, nice breeze, went out at ten o’clock to the East Bramble and back. Very pleased with the behaviour of ‘Witch’, showed good speed. Got back in at 12.30”. The entry for Wednesday 4 August 1914 reads: “Started to lay up the ‘Witch’ owing to war being declared with Germany”. During the First World War he fought with the Third Wessex Brigade, Royal Field Artillery in India and France and was awarded the Military Cross. Lubbock’s next sail was 31 July 1919, almost exactly 5 years since the last, “Lovely day, nice westerly wind. The ‘Witch’ romped along as usual”. He sold Witch on 26 September 1920 for £350. An engine was first added in 1921, made by the Bergius Launch Co. of Glasgow with two cylinders and 7.8bhp, this had the propeller on the port side although later engines had the prop shaft through the centre of the stern post. Other owners followed, I don’t know much about many of them but from 1935-1937 Witch was owned by Professor Julian Taylor. He ran a successful practice in Portland Place, London and was consulting surgeon to University College Hospital and a member of the United Hospitals Sailing club in Burnham. Taylor sold Witch to James Burroughs of Leigh-onSea who made the change to bermudan rig in 1938. The



work was done by Petticrows of Burnham-on-Crouch and included a new taller slender mast, the bowsprit was cut off at the stem and the sail plan reduced to a single headsail with sails by Sadler. I found a 1937 coin in the mast step for good luck. She sailed as a sloop with a small bumpkin at the stern and even did some races such as Burnham Week, she was allocated sail number 122 by RORC. I have a number of photographs from this time kindly sent to my by the Burroughs family. Again more owners followed and in 1964 she was bought by Richard Mordaunt, a film director who later moved to Australia and may still be making films to this day. In 1971 Witch was saved from being cut up by Colin and Carey Marsh. Colin did a huge amount of work including adding a stylish mahogany coachroof and a new Volvo engine. With her bright-green topsides she was a familiar sight moored on the piles in Yarmouth Harbour on the Isle of Wight for the next 35 years. To be honest I don’t think she sailed far, rather serving as a party boat for generations of the Marsh family and their friends.

RESTORATION I bought Witch in August 2006 more or less on a whim. We had a Fairline Targa 33, one of those white plastic fast speedboat type things, but we were using it less and the price of diesel was about to go through the roof, so we sold that and I was looking for a project to keep me busy. Witch was advertised in CB, the name resonated with me so I bought her. I very quickly realised I had no idea how she was made or how to fix her, which eventually led to my becoming a boatbuilder. Witch was moved to Birdham Pool and I set about stripping the interior, keeping anything original and stabilising the topsides. When I got as far as I could in the water she was moved to Emsworth Yacht Harbour, partly because the deep draft restricted where she could be craned out. I continued to strip the inside, removing the iron floors and re-galvanising them, they were replaced with nylon ‘top hat’ washers between

Above l-r: the new teak fore hatch, to the original design; Witch following the change to bermudan rig in 1938; the last photograph, taken the day before the fire, showing the splined starboard topsides. Below: Witch as Martin bought her in 2006 with 1970s mahogany coachroof

the iron and the bronze bolts. Lots of scraping old paint and repainting with new followed. I knew from the survey what needed to be done, and although there were more broken frames than I thought there were no real surprises. I decided early on to go back to as close to the original design as possible. The 1970s coach roof was fine, well made and looked good, but had to go. So that came off and new oak deck beams went in to the original layout. The broken frames on the starboard side were replaced with new laminated oak ones, in fact more damage was done by the old iron plate repairs and bolts than by the damage. At the same time that the 1970s coachroof was added the original deck was covered in glassfibre, this is undoubtedly the reason she survived so well. Witch was untouched outside in Emsworth covered in tarpaulins for almost two years while I was at the Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis but in May 2012 she was moved to Cowes where I was now living and found a new home in Moreton Marine’s workshop. I had a new cradle made so she was safe to work on and pressed on, working on Witch between paid jobs. A lot of this was cleaning, fixing-up and painting. Much of the planking had twisted as it dried, looking more like a

I decided early on to go back to as close to the original design as possible. The 1970s coach roof was fine, well made and looked good, but had to go




clinker dinghy, so planks were persuaded back in position and refastened with bronze screws, damaged planks around the chain plates were replaced and I splined about half the topsides with tapered strips of Douglas fir. I had replaced seven planks or sections of planks with very nice long lengths of Douglas Fir from Stones in Salcolmbe, proper pitch pine no longer being available. Five planks and garboards were still to fix. Sole bearers were replaced, and temporary ply sole boards fitted. The original mahogany locker tops for the forepeak and saloon were repaired, some of the bulkheads, also mahogany were ready to fit in their original position as was the saloon door. I was lucky because I was able to study Thalassa, a 48 foot yawl built by Sibbick in 1903 but completed by Faye in Southampton and Saunterer a nearly identical yawl from 1900. This allowed me to see how the various parts of interior woodwork I had would have fitted in Witch and how cabinets would have fitted around them On deck the king planks were repaired and refitted with a rebate cut under the outer edge for the new ply deck to tuck under. The fore and lazarette hatches were repaired or replaced with new teak and the skylight rebuilt around the existing original top section. The new deck was also being prepared, 3 inch wide strips of 6mm ply with beaded edges simulating the original deck were painted white and ready to fit. Some of the frames ahead of the sternpost and the false keel were also replaced with new grown oak as was the upper stem and breast hook and a new steel fabricated engine bed was made. Although the time spent restoring her over nine years was huge the actual material cost was relatively small because so much of the hull was original (maybe 90 per cent) and she was so well made. There was of course more to do on the deck; a layer of 9mm ply over the 6mm then 13mm of Douglas fir to the original deck pattern plus covering boards, toe rails and companionway hatch and coaming then spars, sails, engine. I had even chosen the fabrics for the interior upholstery, a 1902 Art Nouveau Liberty print pattern, 44


Above: the first layer of deck ready to fit; water check dovetail detail; new plank fitted ahead of the rudder tube. Below: all that was left of her after the fire




36ft (10.97m) LWL

27ft (8.23m) BEAM

8ft 4in (2.43m) DRAUGHT

6ft 9in (2.05m)


970sq ft (90.12m²)


650sq ft (60.3m²)

obviously not what she would have had originally, but period and fun. At 12.30 on Monday 25 January a fire started in the car repair workshop next door and the fire spread to most of the Medina Village destroying Witch as well as the 1927 Milne ketch Fedoa and another 30 or so boats and several businesses. A sad end for Witch after 114 years and maybe six months from the deck and remaining planking being finished, and all about 100 metres from where she was built. So what happens next? Well probably nothing. I still have the brass rudder head (newly repaired by Classic Marine) inscribed “Witch 1902” as well as the original iron tiller and the compass, they were safe in my flat. A few metal parts were salvaged from the ashes including the iron floors and hanging knees plus a few bronze fittings, keel bolts and copper rivets. All that was left of four tons of lead keel were a few small lumps. I took the offset measurements a couple of years ago, so it would be possible to accurately loft her lines and start again and I also have thousands of photographs, dimensions and detailed deck and interior plans. There are many classic boats that are considered to be authentic restorations even though they contain none of the original wood, but the cost of rebuilding Witch by traditional methods would be huge. For now, that’s where the story ends.

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O -







Sally’s start of the season is a gentle affair STORY ADRIAN MORGAN




easons come and go; the merry cycle of fitting out and laying up, and for most boats, a winter spell ashore. Then it struck me: Sally has not been out of the water now since, well, it must be the late ’90s when she spent a winter under cover at Wicor Marine. No, I tell a lie; she was craned out at Bowling Basin after we took her across country from Port Edgar on the Firth of Forth to the Clyde, via the Forth/Clyde Canal in 2001, a story in its own right. On both occasions the mast was unstepped and refurbished. Apart from that, her 78-year-old hull has been afloat summer and winter, and appears to be none the worse for it. And come to think of it, why wouldn’t a soft, watery cradle treat her rather better than the indignity of a travel lift and the hammering of wooden props under bilges by persons possibly unaware of the special needs of old wooden boats. Even strops, no matter how carefully placed or spread, cannot properly support the delicate fabric of a five-ton wooden boat, essentially, in Sally’s case, a collection of pitch pine and oak held together by copper and bronze. Luckily Sally is fairly compact – no elegant counter or outrageous forefoot poking out front and back – so no danger of the drooping sheerline you see on an abandoned Metre boat.


Old wooden boats need to be treated with care on dry land, by those who know about propping and shoring; a knowledge that must be getting thinner on the ground. At Bursledon’s Elephant Boatyard on the Hamble, where Sally was first taken ashore by me in the late 1980s, Davey Elliott, the yard foreman, knew his stuff. He hailed from an era when even the largest, deepest keeled yachts were moved around the yard on hollows and rounds, baulks of timber, greased with sheep tallow; unthinkable today. Juggling boats to be launched, those awaiting work and those laid up for sale, was like that game where numbered plastic squares have to be rearranged, and only one square is left empty. It was Davey who suggested that Sally would be best left afloat, if that were at all possible, water being the best cradle money cannot buy. And that, aside from the yearly drying out on legs on the beach, is what, more by necessity than intention, has been the case ever since we sailed her up from the Clyde 15 years ago. It does depend on a safe haven and a strong mooring. Insurance companies are wary of boats overwintering afloat. But are boats in every case safer ashore, open to the wild winds, dependent on the skill of crane drivers, the props of neighbouring boats, vulnerable to fire and flood, vandals and the drying east wind? Afloat for 364 days (one day on legs every spring) Sally has remained as tight as a drum that weeps but a pint of water every week, although from where is impossible to discover. There appears to be no sign that the gribble worm has taken a liking to her pitch pine. And the damp suits her. Ashore, open to the east winds that blow in spring up here, she would dry out and open up. Her topside seams are tight, the paintwork intact. Sally’s regime in all those years has been the same. From late October to April she lies at her mooring in Loggie Bay, a sheltered cove opposite the village of

Ullapool. The mooring is checked by a diver before the September equinox. The cover Liz at Hamble Sailing Services made all those years ago keeps most of the rain out of her non-self-draining cockpit, and the varnish in good nick. Every fortnight or so in settled weather, I will drive the 20 miles around the loch, walk down the fields, scull out and pump the bilges, usually about a gallon, check the lines for chafe and fire up the engine.

TOP TIPS Pick a spot where the beach shelves gently, but not too steeply Survey the beach at LW for boulders, soft patches etc. Then identify the exact spot using transits Make sure your legs have large pads One leg can be made slightly longer than the other, so the boat takes a gentle list HW springs, the best time to dry out, are different UK coastwise. In Ullapool LW spring is conveniently around midday, leaving plenty of daylight to work Do your sums! Don’t go on at dead HW if the tides are going off. Aim for an hour after HW Don’t wait for the tide. Wear a dry suit, and start scrubbing as soon as she is aground. By the time she is dried out, you will have cleaned her


In April the cover comes off, and the old tins and soggy packets of McVitie’s dark chocolate digestives that have remained uneaten over the winter are chucked out (one time I was marooned on Sally in a storm, and demolished all the last season’s cuppa soups, and too much whisky, after which the wind lost some of its sting and the incentive to row back, despite the weather, became impossible to resist any longer). In the course of the next few weeks, the cover comes off. If the hatches and opening ports have been doing their stuff, then all will be sweet and fresh, unless the wagtails have discovered the gap in the washboards. Commissioning was delayed a few weeks one season when we found a nest of fledglings in the port locker. It seemed a pity to disturb them. Time also to review the stowage arrangements; always an enjoyable business for a Virgo, juggling space and essentials. Anything aside from safety equipment unused for two years goes ashore. Finally, on a warm spring day, usually in late April or early May, Sally is driven gently into the sloping beach at half tide down, her legs are bolted on and she is left to dry out. And as she does so, in dry suit and with brush and scrubbers in hand, the accumulation of slime and weed, and mussel spat, is scraped off her hull, and by the time the water has departed her keel, Sally is almost dry and ready for a coat of antifouling. Time enough to repaint the topsides, touch up any areas where dinghies have taken the shine off the enamel. Don’t get me wrong; Sally is no Solent queen. From 10 yards off she looks immaculate. From ten yards off… Four years ago the mast was again unstepped, this time by the Ullapool harbour crane and lorried to my workshop to be stripped and re varnished. Sally missed that season, but who’s counting; a septugenarian deserves a break from time to time. On her mooring last year, using the main halyard I winched the old engine out, on to a dinghy strapped alongside. The new one arrived in the same dinghy and was winched on to its beds the same way. Pre-season, the propeller comes in for close attention. Cleaned and polished it sings at around 2,000rpm, which I have on good authority is a sign that gearbox ratio and propeller pitch are efficiently matched. Just under 6 knots in flat water is a good result from 9hp driving nearly five tons. Slowly the water returns, creeping up the stones. Sally’s dinghy lifts; water laps her keel and up her newly-painted hull. The engine intake disappears, and soon I can feel her wobbling on her legs. The water is now supporting her and the legs can be unbolted. Time to fire the engine and, as Sally detaches herself so gently from the shore, we reverse out, spin round and head back to her mooring. Sally’s season has begun. CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016



VOYAGE TO THE DARK AGES Retracing seaways known to the Early Medieval missionaries, warriors and argonauts on gaff cutter Eda Frandsen STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS MAX ADAMS

ven in the so-called Dark Ages, that period between the end of the Roman Empire and the Age of the Vikings, it is easy to imagine a Britain cut off from the civilised world. One imagines woollencloaked monks huddling in freezing stone cells; peasants grubbing through the ruins of once-noble towns; an empty sea. As an archaeologist, I know that picture is false. The Dark Ages are obscure: we see them through a glass, darkly; but they were not empty of civilisation, and the seas were very far from being empty. In the days of St Brendan, who is said to have sailed all the way to America in a hide-covered curragh and lived to tell the tale, the Atlantic west of Europe was a busy place. The monasteries and royal halls of Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Cornwall were able, periodically, to enjoy the fruits of Mediterranean vineyards; they exchanged letters and precious books with their counterparts in Rome; occasionally they were visited by travellers from Jerusalem or Alexandria; this was a connected world. In embarking on a series of journeys through Dark Age landscapes, for the most part on foot, in 2013 and 2014, I wanted to experience something of the seaways known to Brendan, St Patrick and the warriors of the Early Medieval period. The most vital of these was the Irish Sea, linking the kingdoms and monasteries of those lands with Gaul, Spain and maritime Byzantium. Who would take me on such an unlikely latter-day pilgrimage? James MacKenzie came to my rescue. Owner and skipper of Eda Frandsen, a 1930s 56ft (17m) Danish gaff 48


cutter based in Falmouth, James and his two-woman crew take guests north for the summer sailing season, when they are based in Mallaig. Here was an almost perfect trip for my research, so I persuaded my partner, Sarah, to join me for the 2014 delivery voyage. James is a consummate sailor: he has not only sailed many boats in all waters; he has built and rigged them, too. He loves to share his passion for the sea and, in indulging my curiosity about Early Medieval pilotage and boats, seaways and harbours, he showed a sensitivity to the heritage of seafaring reflected in the care lavished on Eda. She is all beautifully varnished wood and polished brass with a sweeping taffrail and an unconventional saddle-style helm, a caprice of her first owner. She was originally a fishing vessel, weatherly and swift; she has not much more than eighteen inches of freeboard on the aft deck, so in sailing her one feels as close to the water as its possible to get. I had a wish-list of places I would like to visit: the Scillies; Dalkey island off Dublin; the Isle of Man; and of course Iona, the jewel of Dark Age monastic sites, foundation of St Columba. James looked at my list, smiled, and said: “We’ll see.” Our first day’s passage, on a bright and breezy April day, was a blast: Falmouth to St Mary’s in about 12 hours, on a sea lumpy with Atlantic swells. Eda’s distinctive gaff, surely the most beautiful of all sails, russet-brown against the cream of her foresails and jib, acts like a giant rudder – wonderfully responsive when the wind is on the beam and a little alarming for a newbie on the helm when she is gybing. I had sailed before – on the square-rigger STS Lord Nelson and in

th & 4 , 3rd


2016 e n h Ju

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30ft cruisers; but this was something different: immediate, tactile, absolutely connected to water and weather. That tangibility of the experience runs through your time aboard Eda Frandsen: the tarry roughness of the rigging – block and tackle much in evidence; not a winch in sight – the cosy intimacy of the saloon below and the bunks fore and aft. The Scillies are a special archipelago. Still a single land mass as late as the Roman period, they became inundated during the decades and centuries of the early saints, after whom some of them – like St Samson – are named. The Scillies, lying directly in the path of Gaulish and Mediterranean vessels trading up the Irish Sea, were a gateway, trading post, information hub and melting pot of cultures. Merchants seeking markets for their

Above: Eda Frandsen, a 1930s Danish gaff cutter Below: at anchor, Peel, Isle of Man

trinkets, wine, olive oil or grain and in return hoping for a cargo of tin, marten furs, salt, deer-hounds or slaves, acquired pilots for their onward voyage, gossip and perhaps additional crew. The islanders did well out of them and hermitages and small chapels abounded among small islands that provided perfect solitude for monks seeking to emulate the contemplative lives of the desert fathers, from whom they took their spiritual inspiration. We anchored for the night, took a stroll among the sub-tropical gardens of Hugh Town and caught the afternoon tide the following day. For a two-night passage towards the Isle of Man we were divided into watches. Sarah and I, and fellow passenger Rolf Winzeler, a jovial Swiss Border Guard (improbable, I know), were placed in the care of Melissa Williams, James’s first mate, experienced sailor and survivor of a dismasting in the Pacific: tough, capable and hilarious, if not always intentionally. We stood four-hour watches through the entrance to St George’s Channel (as it happened, it was St George’s Day, 23 April), across Cardigan Bay in light winds, and then, on a starless and wild night, a little west of the Llyn peninsula: the brilliant firework-display lights of the Holyhead to Dublin ferry dazzling ahead in the pitch black. One felt sensationally alive; dolphins played tag with us; the odd bird dropped aboard for a rest. St Patrick’s Isle, at Peel on the west coast of the Isle of Man, was our second landfall. I could not have wished for a mooring more redolent of the Dark Age spirit. Whether St Patrick ever came here is hard to say; but there was a very early church, perched on this gem of an island barely connected to the mainland by a narrow sandy isthmus, now a mole boasting a lifeboat station and a charming art-deco café that sold unctuous, CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016


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Nerissa - Motor yacht


As featured in classic Boat magazine, February 2016... As the former owner of a Taylor Bates gentleman’s launch when I first heard about Nerissa I was very excited.


Taylor Bates built fantastic boats and Nerissa, formerly Margo III, is no exception. Canoe sterns were very much the fashion of the era and Nerissa sports a lovely example.

£115,000 Builder: Taylor Bates of Chertsey Year of Build: 1933 Length: 55ft Beam: 12ft 6inches Propulsion: Twin Ford diesels

Left: author Max Adams onboard Eda Frandsen Above: Rubha nan Gall Lighthouse, Isle of Mull Right: Chloë, Mel, Sarah, James

dripping kipper baps. The island is now enclosed by the ruined walls of a great castle; a Viking-age watchtower and medieval cathedral complete the picture. As the only harbour on Man’s west coast Peel has always been a haven for traders, the seat of great lords and a base for pirates. Man was frequently fought over, its strategically crucial site at the centre of the Irish Sea basin variously coveted by British Kings of North Wales, Vikings, and Irishmen. Its original language was Gaelic, once in danger of extinction but now revived. After a first full night of sleep in three days, refreshed, we set sail again on a late afternoon of unsurpassed perfection: a milky, breezeless sea, brilliant pyrotechnic sunset over the port bow with Ireland ahead and to the west, the Rhinns of Galloway to starboard. For once cruising on Eda’s diesel engines, and with an occasional glance at the bright screen of her AIS to check for any large vessels in our path, we were all on deck, nine of us, with enticing smells wafting seductively aft from the skylight of cook Chlöe Gillat’s galley below decks. A purple night fell; the wind rose and dropped in fits and starts; at one point we were tearing along with a 6 knot tide, the breeze coming stiff from the east; at another we ghosted along on the engines, the converging beams of lighthouses on Rathlin Island and Sanda piercing against the black, black cliffs of Kintyre. Once we hove-to to reef the gaff and bring in one of the foresails. It is a surreal experience, putting on the brakes in the middle of a bouncing sea, all sails and rigging flapping like crazy, barked orders to avoid the swinging boom and controlled heaving on the mainsheet to haul her back on to the wind – exhilarating and

unnerving: the sea a giant and we humbled, mere playthings; James all-seeing and directing. It is one thing to sail as a passenger on a lovely classic vessel; it is quite another to steer her, feeling the tantalising edge of the luff through the wheel, that vital stiffness as the perfect aerofoil surfaces of drum-tight foresail and gaff suck the boat’s bows through the surf. We raced northeast through the Sound of Jura and after a peaceful overnight anchorage at Crinan, close to Dunadd, the legendary fortress of the Dark Age kings of Dál Riata, we crossed the awesome tidal race, a standing wave, that produces one of the world’s great maritime forces, the Corryvreckan whirlpool – ‘cauldron of the freckled seas’ – said to be the lair of a kelpie, Cailleach Bheur, who washed her plaid there. These were the home waters of the monks of Iona, Columba’s brethren. Columba’s Life, written a hundred years after his death in 597, offers us an extraordinary insight into the maritime lives of these lands. More than 60 voyages are described, including the visits of sea captains bearing news of Vesuvius erupting and a stranded Gaulish bishop, who was able to dictate to the abbot an account of his journey to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The tides were against my dream of sailing to Iona, but I had satisfied part of my Dark Age curiosity; if I could not see into the minds of those ancient argonauts, I had sailed their sea and anchored in their harbours. I had felt their presence, not as the dry dust of old bones, but as an all-too brief visitor to their world. Max Adams is the author of In the Land of Giants, Journeys through the Dark Ages, published by Head of Zeus 2015. £25. CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016



CROWD-FUNDED VIKING Norway’s best-known wooden boat restorer and the driving force behind Tønsberg’s scale-replica Viking longship, Saga Oseberg WORDS CLARE MCCOMB



generations, so everyone in a settlement would have known eir Røvik is a man used to working in Johan Anker’s intuitively what part to play. With Saga Oseberg the process was shadow; he set up his first wooden boat repair business reversed. Thinking started in 2001, and construction began nine by renting the site of the great designer’s yard at Vollen, years later. Every specialist skill had to be acquired, and authentic and has always been fiercely proud of that connection. techniques deduced through trial and improvement. It was He himself started, as the best shipwrights often do, by dragging experimental archaeology from the very start. his long-suffering mother down to the waterside as a small child, Local and crowd-funding, and cutting-edge technology, drove fascinated by the sounds and smells of the construction and repair the project, with specialists contributing from all over the world, of wooden boats. Later, aged just 16, he bought a “terrible rotten especially the Roskilde experts from the Viking Ship Museum in 54ft (16.4m) wooden fishing vessel”. But disaster struck. After a Denmark, who share a common vision. Vibeke Bischoff’s minute jolting lorry journey in a slip wagon she was badly damaged, analysis of the original Oseberg ship revealed a shocking truth: its “looked curved like a banana”, and had to be scrapped. frame had been forced together wrongly when originally Røvik, who had sunk every penny he had into her, was now reconstructed, which is probably why a previous full-scale replica, broke and had to take stock, returning first to carpentry school and Dronningen, capsized on its first sea trial in 1988. The bow water then to a proper apprenticeship in north Norway, 45 miles above had shipped over the sheer strake when she reached roughly nine the Arctic Circle. After this, with skills to match his tireless energy knots and a heel angle of 10 degrees. and enthusiasm, he has never looked back. After this some experts suggested that the original had been Nowadays Røvik is doubly famous – for being one of Norway’s designed for ceremony, not riding the ocean. best-known specialists in wooden boat restoration, and as the Of course there were hairy moments, as when a scale model driving force behind Tønsberg’s scale-replica Viking longship, with the corrected structure was televised being tested in a water Saga Oseberg. I met him in his local museum, a very tall man with tank at Marintek in Trondheim. Happily the corrected model flowing locks and an unusual plaited beard, talking to a crowd of achieved a 15 degree heeling angle and stability up to 12 knots chattering five-year-olds. Later we went to see his own yard, which which seemed to bear out Vibeke’s research. Norway’s King and is crammed with vintage craft of every description, waiting for his Queen were present and were invited to the actual launch, then input. He is passionate about wooden boats and the continuity of way into the future. No one yet knew for certain if the new design ancient methods and traditions, which often means looking deep would end in another Dronningen, but everything worked perfectly into the past to find the correct techniques and materials. when the great day came. Pride of place in the Røvik boatyard is a hand-operated Meanwhile Røvik and his colleagues were combing 100-year-old tilting saw, where the blade moves rather than the Scandinavian forests for huge oaks, testing templates against their table. Røvik claims there may be only two or three left in Norway trunks and branches to find the right angle, the natural shape. He (in museums) but his works perfectly. eventually located a perfect tree for the keel in a local wood – this He proudly lifts plastic sheets to reveal great stacks of long fine was the “soul of the ship” so he was glad it had been found so wood, which he calls his “treasure”. Across the way there are close to home. It was critical to get it right. Once construction whole tree trunks, waiting for the right use, the right boat. He started, there was no going back. stresses that with planking it is vital to use one run from stem to As with most community projects, financial worries came and stern, whenever possible, to ensure optimum strength, but that went, as systematic measuring, infra-red surveys and thousands of means having the right wood close to hand. technical investigations of the original continued to dictate Around the yard there are working and sailing craft in every construction methods back in Tønsberg. stage of restoration and Røvik reels out his tape measure, pointing Meanwhile, months of carving produced the richly decorated out the key details of each, reiterating that “you must always avoid stern and stem. A unique structural feature was Greenland whale joints, always”. A friend tells me that Røvik is famous for advising baleens, softened in boiling water, used to lash cash-strapped boat owners, often making a tricky the ribs to the hull, to create a flexible but stable missing part and showing them how to fit it structure, “a ship that moves with the sea”. I themselves. His reputation might suggest he’s asked how long the lashings would last. “We keeping the old boats of southern Norway going. don’t know,” said Røvik. “That’s the point!” We drive to Tønsberg and suddenly there is a We were standing on deck, with every huge longship, blocking the riverside skyline. She millimetre faithfully accurate to the original, is vast and beautiful beyond words and Røvik and strakes formed with an axe so skilfully they has been leading her construction from the had no need of planing. The 5ft “mastfish” beginning. The original is in the Bygdøy awaited her 40ft mast – and 81m² (871sq ft) of Museum in Oslo. He says I must always woollen sails that had been woven by hand and mention the “team”, but it’s clear Røvik has “He says I must dyed. Røvik gazed upriver for a moment and been key to the scheme. Authentic replica Viking always mention talked of taking Saga Oseberg to England. Last tools have been used in her making where summer, 2015, she made it to Denmark, a possible and she was constructed outdoors the ‘team’, but triumph for the Tønsberg community. Vikings under the eyes of the local community – who it’s clear Røvik were team players, on land and sea, unafraid to volunteered to help, with their hands and with harness the best of ancient technologies to break their hearts, in sunshine, rain, ice and snow, old has been key to new horizons in their sturdy longships. and young, in great numbers. the scheme” If this one does reach your shores, try hard Røvik is full of surprises. He suddenly to make a visit. She is a dream brought to re-appeared in full Viking costume, and we reality and standing on board you breathe the clambered aboard. He explained that when you air as the Vikings did, and understand the made a boat in 820AD, the necessary skills Above: Røvik with the King and powerful draw of adventure across the sea. would have been handed down through Queen of Norway CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016


HAUNTED Why does Britain’s last sailing skipper, Bob Roberts, split the coasting community more than 30 years after he died? STORY DICK DURHAM



ne morning in the spring of 1938, a broadshouldered, lantern-jawed young man in a cloth cap stood on the lockside of the Royal Albert Dock watching the sailing barge Reminder getting under way. Sails blossomed one after the other – topsail, foresail, staysail, mainsail, mizzen – all set by just two men. Alfred William Roberts, better known as Bob Roberts, then aged 29, was astounded. He had recently come ashore after trying to make a living out of a topsail schooner, the 108-ton BI, which required more than two hands to sail successfully and yet which loaded no more than a coasting barge. So into barges Bob went, first as mate then skipper. It was in the autumn of 1938, as master of Northdown, that the legend was about to be born. November was an unforgiving month for those trying to make a living under sail and that month Northdown was windbound in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk along with many other sailing barges, all waiting for a slant in the fresh southwesterly, before sailing up to London and another freight. Northdown was a noted flyer in the barge races and Bob was young, strong and fit and his mate, Harry Bottreill, a keen and obedient yachtsman. When the wind westered, Bob called for the tug and towed down through Yarmouth Harbour as the other skippers watched. Bob reckoned that if he could weather Orfordness before the wind backed, Northdown had a fighting chance of making the safe haven of Harwich. He also caught the low water off Yarmouth Haven which meant he had the full power of a fresh flood giving the barge a serious lift along the coast.

Northdown’s departure threw the other skippers into a quandary and as Harry Bottreill told me years later: “If we got to London and they didn’t, immediately the owners would be on to them and say: ‘What’s the matter with you? What are you lying there for? Why don’t you get on with it? If Northdown can do it then you can.’ They felt that if they didn’t go and we got through then they would be in for it.” It wasn’t a great decision, the wind backed before Northdown rounded Orfordness, they lost the fair tide and had a titanic battle to get into Harwich, but they did get through. It wasn’t a great decision, but it was Bob’s decision: you cannot sail a fleet based on collective judgement. Nor can you use the same method to stay in port. Unfortunately, true to Harry’s analysis, many of the skippers left in Yarmouth changed their minds later in the day and by the time they’d towed down two miles through Yarmouth Harbour – by now against the full flow of the flood – a lot of the fair tide Bob had enjoyed was spent. The time they’d wasted proved disastrous and as a southerly gale hit the barges, lifeboats from Yarmouth, Lowestoft, Southwold and Aldeburgh were launched to assist or rescue the crews from seven of them, four of which drove across the North Sea and were beached in the Low Countries. Una, Cetus, Decima, Astrild, Royalty, and Raybel all lost sails, ground tackle or both and Grecian was a total loss. They did not get through. The crew of the uninsured Northdown, meanwhile were given a fiver each from the barge’s owner Charles Burley in gratitude for not having joined the casualties. Bob’s narrow escape caused resentment among some

Facing page: Archie White illustration of the great gale, Bob and Harry at the wheel. Above l-r: Northdown in 1988; Bob Roberts CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016




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skippers, most of whom weren’t there, but who suffered from a touch of East Coast chauvinism. Bob, a native of Poole, Dorset was an outsider. The fact that he was educated, articulate, and middle class, grated, too. Not that anyone said anything to his face as he was tough and had boxed in the old Blackfriars Ring in the City of London. So when he wrote about the gale in his first barging book Coasting Bargemaster, it was snidely re-dubbed ‘Boasting Bargemaster’. The ‘great Yarmouth gale’ was still being discussed in sailorman’s pubs 30 years later. Phil ‘Ginger’ Latham, who was mate with Bob for four years on Cambria in the late 1960s told me: “I reported to Bob on one occasion how an old skipper, who brought the subject up, said: ‘You know it was all his fault don’t you?’ Bob told me: ‘He wasn’t even there so what does he know?’” Which, indeed, was my own experience, when I joined Cambria for her last 14 months in trade. As long as Bob wasn’t aboard I could guarantee some quayside enthusiast would sidle up claiming he knew Bob, had sailed with him and that he was an old blowhard. When Bob returned he could never place the informer. But not all skippers joined in the bad-mouthing. Dick King, master of Cetus, who, with his mate was taken off by lifeboat before the barge was blown ashore in Germany, remained a lifelong friend of Bob’s and after becoming master of a motor-barge, the Peter Robin, often gave his old pal a tow. I should know, as I took the tow-rope. After the notorious Yarmouth gale Bob Roberts came to the attention of FT Everard, owners of Europe’s greatest coasting fleet, both of sailing barges and motor-ships. ‘Mr Will’ Everard gave him the Martinet, the last boomie barge to trade under sail alone, a vessel stigmatised with an ‘evil’ reputation, having crushed a shipwright to death when she shifted on her blocks during construction at Rye, in 1912. Sailors are a superstitious breed and nobody wanted to take the old ketch, especially after a former skipper, George Carter, was killed while Martinet was discharging railway lines at Newhaven, when a wire lifting bond parted and whose patent anchor windlass had crippled several other crew, including another skipper Captain Burridge who had one arm dislocated



BOB ROBERTS Born in 1907 in Dorset and grew up on small boats sailing from Poole. He ran away to sea aboard the barquentine Waterwitch, the last square-rigged vessel to trade under the red ensign: history was already chasing him! He made two transatlantic passages in yachts, the first aboard Thelma, an engineless 27ft, gaff-rigged Looe smack which was wrecked on Cocos Island in the Pacific after transitting the Panama Canal. The second was aboard the last Ramsgate sailing trawler, the ketch-rigged Quartette. He also had spells ashore working as a sports sub-editor on, firstly the Daily Mail and latterly the East Anglian Daily Times. When he started barging, it was firstly as mate aboard the sailing barges, Audrey, Oceanic, and Oxygen and then as master in the Hambrook, Northdown, Martinet – the last boomie barge – and the tinpot Greenhithe. He had a short period trying to earn a living fishing with the Whitstable smack Stormy Petrel before taking the Cambria as master, in 1954, then finally as owner from 1966 until her last freight in 1970. He died in 1982 and is buried at Ryde on the Isle of Wight. All of Bob Roberts’ books are available from Seafarer Books. Tel: 01394 420789.

Below: the “wicked” old Martinet

and ‘almost torn from its socket’ according to Fishing News. Burridge also died, albeit later, from his injuries. Bob scoffed at the stories and vowed as he stepped aboard: “Don’t forget, I’ll kill you before you kill me.” He did, too, when she eventually sank off Aldeburgh, deep loaded with 200 tons of cement for Norwich and he and her crew were taken off by the local lifeboat. Her mate at the time, Jerry Thomason, told me: “We would often spend all night at the pumps and still wet the cargo. She was bloody unseaworthy really.” For the next few months as other bargemen sailed up and down the coast they could see Martinet’s masts sticking out above the sea: a stark testimony to a ‘wicked’ old ship and the skipper who beat her curse. The pages of her surviving freight book are salt-stained and the last entry is blurred and incomplete. Bob’s next barge was the steel Greenhithe and he was sunk in her, too, when a steamship rammed them in the Lower Hope. He had his wife, Tony and daughter Anne aboard as he felt it was safer for them there than at home in Bexley, Kent where they had been sheltering under a steel table every time a German flying bomb attack took place. The mate managed to get Tony, Anne, and the third hand into the barge’s skiff, while Bob endeavoured CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016


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I would like to thank all the people who have helped me over the nine I would like to thank all the people who have helped me over the nine years the 1902 Sibbick There me are too many to Iyears wouldrestoring like to thank all the peoplecutter who Witch. have helped the nine restoring the 1902 Sibbick cutter Witch. There are over too many to name restoring individually but all the boatbuilders, navalThere architects andmany marina years the 1902 Sibbick cutter Witch. are too to name individually but all the boatbuilders, naval architects and marina staff who have given me their expertise, advise and help. Also previous namewho individually but me all their the boatbuilders, navaland architects andprevious marina staff have given expertise, advise help. Also owners Witch and me owners other Sibbick whoAlso helped with staff whoof given their of expertise, advise yachts and help. previous owners ofhave Witch and owners of other Sibbick yachts who helped with many original details of the restoration. The Boat Building Academy in owners of Witch and owners of other Sibbick yachts who helped with many original details of the restoration. The Boat Building Academy in Lyme Regis and National Historic Ships plus many friends and classic many Regis originaland details of the restoration. in Lyme National Historic Ships The plusBoat manyBuilding friends Academy and classic boat owners who donated materials including wood, metalwork, fittings, Lyme Regis and plus wood, many friends and fittings, classic boat owners who National donated Historic materialsShips including metalwork, tools owners and equipment as well as encouragement and support before and boat who donated materials including wood, metalwork, fittings, tools and equipment as well as encouragement and support before and after tools the andfire. equipment as well as encouragement and support before and after the fire. A new project will be coming soon… after fire. will be coming soon… A newthe project A new project will be coming soon…

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to sail the sinking barge ashore, but the gash left by the steamship was severe and Greenhithe capsized taking Bob with her. He swam to the surface was rescued by a naval tug and taken ashore. Her freight book also survives to this day: the pages covered in silt. By now Bob Roberts seemed invincible. His next, and final sailing command was Cambria and as master of her he joined the last of the sailormen, as sailing barge skippers were known by London dockers, to distinguish them from lightermen. He wrote another book, appropriately called Last of the Sailormen, in which he – far from blowing a solitary trumpet – named the other barges still sailing with him: Anglia, Spinaway C, Venture, Marjorie and May of which only the last two survive to this day. But in the end there was only Cambria left and suddenly the world noticed. There were articles in magazines and newspapers, including a seminal feature in the Sunday Times’ supplement. There were engagements on radio and TV: Bob appeared telling yarns on Jackanory, a documentary, Look Stranger, was made about the barge which screened on BBC 2, a BBC soap opera, King of the River, was screened aboard the

Clockwise from top left: Dick (far left) tallies in a freight; Harry Bottreill in 1984, the mate on Northdown; Cambria restored and racing at the Thames Barge Match 2011; Decima was blown to Germany in the great gale

barge and Sunblest bread even asked him to make a commercial, an offer he declined. More than one American sailor flew across the Atlantic to be able to experience trading under sail before it was too late. They included US maritime author Dennis J Davis who produced a book: The Thames Sailing Barge, Her Gear and Rigging which was published in Maine, USA. Ocean-going yachtsmen also felt the need to make a passage in a genuine sailing ship and both David Lewis, who circumnavigated Antarctica in Ice Bird and Bill Nance, who made a solo circumnavigation in Cardinal Vertue, made passages with Bob. By now Cambria was making a lot of water and wetting freights, and we shipped the only engine she’d ever known: a petrol-powered motor-pump, as trying to keep her dry was becoming a battle on the hand pumps. We also constructed cement boxes beneath the hold’s ceiling to try and dam the leaks. Finally in October 1970 we carried the last freight under sail alone from Tilbury Dock to Ipswich and shortly after that, Bob sold the barge to the Maritime Trust, who were collecting craft to act as floating museums. Barges do not make good museums and she CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016


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LAST SAILORMAN was eventually sold to the Cambria Trust, nobly founded by barge enthusiast Tony Ellis, who also struggled manfully to get her rebuilt as she slowly fell to pieces in benighted Milton Creek, Kent, next to a mountainous rubbish tip. But Tony did not give up, he secured a £990,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant, and with his band of volunteers raised a further £410,000 to ensure she was rebuilt. Re-launched in 2011 Cambria was a magnificent sight: a testimony to the excellence of shipwright Tim Goldsack, sailmaker Steve Hall and an army of dedicated volunteers. With her lofty mulie rig, grey topsides and powerful sheer the unique silhouette of Cambria could be seen once more in the Thames Estuary and with her re-birth another aspect of her past was disinterred: the chance to slate her long-dead skipper Bob Roberts. A video appeared made by barging enthusiasts in which a member of the Cambria Trust, William Collard, described Bob Roberts as: “Quite a character..he didn’t like people and was known for being cantankerous and argumentative.” As project manager, Mr Collard had been a driving force behind Cambria’s restoration and this was probably a slip of the tongue, but it was a comment he might not have made had Bob been alive to hear it. Next a self-published book appeared by another Cambria Trustee, Robert Simper, who has written a breathtaking 37 books on the minutiae of coastal craft. He penned the following: “Bob had no time for people who sailed barges for pleasure and equally bitterly hated the new use of sailing barges….as ‘charter barges’” While it’s fair to say Bob thought little of dilettante bargemen, those who as he put it to Ginger, “didn’t have the decisions in them”, for good sailors, he had time aplenty. He advised Richard Duke, who fitted out the Convoy as a yacht and Richard Walsh, who did the same with Kathleen, became a good friend after seeking his knowledge. And he would have respected Cambria’s new skippers, Richard Titchener and Ian Ruffles, both of whom can handle the big coaster in all conditions. Richard told me: “If you say what you think the prophet is seldom popular in his own country, and Bob

Above: Dick Durham aged 18 at the wheel of Cambria

Cambria – mule-rigged spritsail sailing barge BUILT 1906 at Greenhithe, Kent at a cost of £1,895 OWNERS AND BUILDERS FT Everard & Sons LOA between perpendiculars 91.1ft (with a 38ft boltsprit) DRAUGHT 2ft 6ins (light) 7.3ft (loaded) BEAM 21.9 ft SAIL AREA 5,000sq ft GROSS TONNAGE 109 (79 net) CARGO CAPACITY 170 tons, up to 200 tons with stack MAINMAST 49ft, topmast 43ft MIZZEN 45ft (sprit 62 ft)

Below: Dick was left Bob Robert’s sea chest and freight books. Inset: Greenhithe’s mud-stained freight book

certainly did say what he thought entertainingly and for the cameras. This achieved a prominence for views which in themselves were far from outspoken or extreme but were said as if from a bargeman but with all the intellect and vocabulary of a topflight journalistic mind. So there was also something of a class thing about how he was received. A grammar school boy with a keen mind making a name for himself in a working class world perhaps. This world can be pretty unforgiving if it feels belittled or patronised. “Whatever the perception of others, some with a right, and some without, to comment, he bloody did it and cannot be reduced for that. The detractors were not there entering Yarmouth in the dark or foundering off the Whiting Bank so for all they have to say they can go and take a run and jump.” I was one of the pall bearers of Bob’s coffin as he was lowered into the earth at Ryde, Isle of Wight in 1982. At his wake was a retired Army Brigadier, Jack Govier, the Director of the National Maritime Museum, Frank Carr and a clutch of admirals. There were also Sailormen, folk singers, even a local pub landlord. This was not the funeral of a man who ‘didn’t like people’. Not long after Bob died his widow, Sheila, his second wife, noticed a spritty sailing up the Solent close inshore. She was the engineless barge-yacht, Mirosa, sailed down Channel by her owner Peter Dodds who flew his ensign half mast as a mark of respect. I will leave the final word to Ginger Latham who pointed out that there was a black credit line on Cambria’s annual accounts, “a thin one admittedly, but that thin black line meant to us that she was not a museum but still a working barge…the last thin thread going back centuries. “Bob was first and always a sailorman and therefore justifies totally the title of the Last Sailorman.” CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016



ZYKLON Z4 T HARRISON BUTLER No racer, but she was a solid pocket cruiser, and she had that balanced shelf THEO RYE


homas Harrison Butler published a design he called the ‘Zyklon’ in the July 1937 edition of Yachting Monthly. It was, he explained, an improved version of his 1919 ‘Cyclone’ design, which he had recently discovered had (horror of horrors) a ‘crossed shelf’. Harrison Butler had lately become a confirmed believer in the Metacentric Shelf theory and was discovering that previously blameless earlier designs of his, subjected to this analysis, failed a critical test. As he said, the owners of the various Cyclones that had been built (unaware they were sailing such degenerate craft) reported all was well, that they were very well behaved and nicely balanced; but with all the fervour of a convert Harrison Butler was determined that this could not really be the case, and a modified design with what was termed a ‘balanced shelf’ was needed. A second motive, and one which has stood the test of time rather better, was “to design the cheapest form of yacht”. The Z4s were the production version of the Zyklon; they are pretty well identical in all significant respects although the Z4 is usually quoted at 21ft 9in LOA. The “4” in “Z4” is a reference to their Thames tonnage. A true ‘pocket cruiser’ is a tricky circle to square for a designer but Harrison Butler had had a lot of experience by the late 1930s; his first published designs were for a 3.8 tonne 20ft LWL cruiser in 1909, and the large majority of his designs were similar in terms of size. His aim, as his daughter described, was to design “family boats that would be easy on the helm, seakindly and seaworthy, have a reasonable turn of speed and be efficient, comfortable and good-looking”; and to many that is epitomised in the Z4. The numbers tell their own story. Her displacement/ length ratio is 481, which places her well into the ‘very heavy’ category; even allowing for her intended role, this is significant; the weight contributes to her manners at sea, but it also puts the “reasonable turn of speed” into context. Her sail area/displacement ratio is also right



Rare picture: T Harrison Butler

down at only 117; with the best will in the world, this is stately rather than exciting territory. To put the numbers into context, Folkboats (that came along only a couple of years later) have basically the same draught and overall beam, a few inches more on the waterline and exactly the same sail area; but weighing in at around 2 tonnes their ratios are 254 and 168 respectively. You are unlikely to see a Z4 winning the Round the Island Race any time soon, but accept the Z4 for what it is, an old-school heavy cruising boat, and things make a bit more sense. Harrison Butler, ever the pragmatist, very sensibly included a 4hp motor installation in the design, but even so in 1937 he said he had an estimate to build one for £220. By the time O M Watts were marketing the boats in 1938 (built by Alfred Lockhart Marine of Brentford) the price was up to £297; still good value when a 6mR from a reputable builder would be over £700, and it is said that over 50 were built in the first year. This was a sturdy little yacht that could go pretty well anywhere, slowly it is true (with a 19ft waterline these things are all relative) but safely. Headroom in the original version was only about 4ft 6in and some later builds had their topsides raised to help in this regard, but they all have a handsome charm and avoid boxiness. It’s a simple hull design, if refined by Harrison Butler’s extensive experience. The beam, at 7ft 2in, gives her accommodation for two; and although carrying it to the waterline helps with her initial stability, it will do little for her windward ability. With an iron keel of a tonne the ballast ratio is 30 per cent, low for the size and type of craft, but they have a reputation as sound sea-boats and with the modest sail plan stability at large angles of heel is rarely tested. The buttocks and waterlines are nicely controlled given the volume they enclose, and the sections are similarly an object lesson in moderation. The Z4 is then the Austin 7 of the classic fleet; unpretentious, a little slow perhaps but soundly built and capable, and much loved for the freedom it has always offered.

LOA 21ft (6.4m) LWL 19ft (5.79m) BEAM 7ft 2in (2.2m) DRAUGHT 4ft (1.22m) DISPLACEMENT TO DWL 3.3 tonnes SAIL AREA 260 sq ft (24.15m2)


WHAT REALLY MATTERS Given an engine, arriving in the town marina would have been almost boring ILLUSTRATION CLAUDIA MYATT



aving no bank balance is not all bad for a young sailor. It keeps him out of the pubs and it gives him a sense of priorities. My first serious cruiser was acquired in a state of dire poverty. She was a proper Colin Archer gaff cutter. The real business. Whether she was built near Oslo by the great man himself remains unproven, but her lines were so sexy that it’s hard to imagine anyone else having a hand in her design. With the exception of the mast (you may have read about the replacement in December’s CB) and a big frame with an annoying pocket of sapwood that needed a strict talking-to, her structure was in good fettle. The mechanics were another story. Her engine was installed by a previous owner who hadn’t pinched his pennies and we both deserved better from the manufacturers. The Volvo Penta was capable of delivering occasional periods of reliability, but the gearbox was a complete car-crash. The boat’s run was much too fine for a centre propeller, so she’d been fitted with an early hydrostatic drive. Dear old ‘Ovlov’ turned a pump serving a drive-pod bolted outside the planking. The mysteries lurking inside this spawn of the devil used to lock up regularly and, once stalled, nothing could be done without hauling the boat and hiring an expensive hydraulics expert. Far from home, I had funds for neither, so my wife and I sailed engineless for much of the time. We soon found ocean cruising without the hassle of fixing machinery positively liberating. Giving up on the gearbox freed my mind to concentrate on hull, rig and the finer points of boat handling which, I discovered, were the things that really mattered. After a year or so I became quite adept. This, then, was the scene when we two found ourselves in St Croix preparing for a passage home to Blighty. The usual route via Bermuda and the Azores didn’t appeal, partly because we had no cash and Bermuda sounded pricey, but the main reason was that we wanted to take a look at the United States. Charleston, South Carolina, lay only 1,300 miles to the northwest and much of the trip promised to be a reach in the trade winds. Previous experience indicated that, in America, people willing to work can always turn a few dollars by the sweat of their brows, even without green cards to make it official. We fancied taking the Intracoastal Waterway north, but without power this was a non-starter. With a pocket refilled with fresh dollars the boat could be lifted out to see if some passing genius might fix our unholy gearbox. We sailed in April and were in good heart as the brave northeast wind drove us on past Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and the Turks and Caicos. We were enjoying a grand shove from the Antilles current when a heavy squall clobbered us to windward of San Salvador with Cuba far away on the beam. Squalls are everyday events in the northeast trades, so we were used to this. Because reefing the long-boomed cutter took ten minutes and involved heaving to, our usual policy was simply to run her off and soften the apparent wind until things quietened down, but this squall wasn’t for subsiding any time soon. Darkness was falling and the shallow water of the Bahamas lay close to leeward so we went for the low-stress option of reefing right down and losing no ground. The trades had been blowing at force 5-6 so we were already under a small jib with two reefs in the main and the full staysail when we backed the headsails and toddled forward to sort the gear. Sometimes I feel that providence is looking after me, because it

wasn’t until I was securing the last halyard coil with four reefs securely tucked in and a wind now nudging gale force that the boat fell off a steep sea and caught me napping. Fortunately I was on the ‘uphill’ side when I was thrown off my feet. If I’d been to leeward I’d have gone over the wall in the dark and that would have been that. As it was, the wave tossed me against the mast like a rag doll, right where the Norwegian builders had sensibly sited a massive winch drum for heaving in the anchor. Even though we’d never used this, I’d replaced it when shaping up the new spar because it looked as though it ought to be there. Now I wished I hadn’t. The iron barrel, all freshly painted with silverette, crunched into my chest and I felt the ribs cave in. My wife got me below, brewed up the ritual mug of ‘warm sweet tea’, then dug out the First Aid book. The availability of piped medical advice at the turn of a radio button lay in the distant future. Besides, we had no SSB, so the written word was our only hope. It offered two alternatives for suspected broken ribs. Either bind them for support, or don’t bother. Great. We tried strapping up my chest but the pricking felt worse. The manual also advised that there was little to be done beyond keeping comfortable and resting, so we binned the bandages, stayed hove-to for the night, took things easy and handed the cure to Mother Nature. With sunrise, the disturbance had blown away to wake up Castro, leaving clear blue skies, flying fish and Force 5 over the quarter once again. I was immediately fretting for more sail, but my wife banned me from the deck except to appear twice daily to shoot the sun and tell her which way to point the bowsprit. She was delighted the boat was deep-reefed because we had fair wind, favouring current and were making five knots as it was. There were only 600 miles to go, so we would be there in less than a week, and under such short canvas the boat could stand a great deal of wind if it came our way. The weather stayed fair and we crept into the outer harbour at Charleston one morning. The flying fish had veered off back to the tropics and frost sparkled on the decks at dawn, but I was mending slowly and arriving would have been almost boring if we’d had an engine to slide us into the town marina. I still wasn’t much use to anyone, but, with so little canvas set, the tiller was super-light so I could steer with my hips. We luffed up off an empty hammerhead, my wife let go the jib traveller, got the sail in, then dumped the rest of the canvas in a heap. As the last of our way came off, she slung out the anchor and we were riding sweetly twenty yards off the berth. She hove a line to a couple of likely loafers on the dock-end and they hauled us in as she surged away the anchor cable. The port doctor agreed with the First Aid book; a few weeks later I was fit for light duties and we both found jobs. A chief artificer who had served his working life maintaining the 16-inch gun turrets on USS Missouri waved a wand over our drive unit – a ‘cracked wobble plate’, he said it was. So now we knew! He never charged us a dime. Instead we shared a six-pack of Bud with him then squared away up the Intracoastal Waterway in the spring sunshine, bound for new adventures. I see only two conclusions to this series of events: a sailor with no engine on a boat cut to the basics will learn things his pal with horse-power and a cheque book never discovers, and everyone loves a young couple with an empty wallet and a strong will to survive, especially if they are in America.



Class AND

PACE Admiral’s Cup sailor Peter Morton has restored his Fairey Hunstman into a Sport version WORDS MIKE TAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHS LESTER MCCARTHY

Left to right: aft fairlead; cabin vent; immaculate dash





airey enthusiast and experienced sailor Peter Morton has just completed the transformation of an aft cabin Fairey 31 into a 31 Sport version, producing an elegantly handsome fast weekend cruiser for two. Peter explains, “I was born in Jersey in the Channel Isles and I’ve been sailing all my life, I cannot recall a time when there wasn’t a boat around. My father was a keen sailor and did a lot of racing when I was little. He was a coach builder by profession and when I was growing up he and I built every boat I ever sailed including an Optimist and a couple of Fireballs.” During his sailing career Peter has competed in nine Admiral’s Cups for Great Britain and won a number of world championships. “My interest in motor boats came about in the late 1970s, when my father and I bought a Fairey Huntress once owned by the Royal Navy,” he tells us. “I was living back in Jersey at the time and there were always around 15 Faireys moored in the marina at St Helier.” Living in Cowes, a few years ago Peter decided to buy himself a motorboat for use on the Solent and came across a Fairey Huntsman 28. Sadly, she was in a

pretty sorry state and Peter spent a couple of years restoring her. “Tally Ho was an aft cabin Fairey Huntsman 31 and I bought her because of the condition of her Sabre engines. To give me the opportunity to assess how the engines performed, after having her brought down to Cowes, I took Tally Ho to sea for a weekend’s testing. The conditions out in the bay were quite rough, yet I fell in love with the way she handled and performed. The 31 is nowhere near as wet as the 28, which can be quite uncomfortable in a chop. In the event my wife, Louise and I decided to restore Tally Ho and sell the 28.” From the introduction of the Fairey Huntress 23 in 1959, almost immediately its race pedigree was assured. Fairey Marine manufactured the deep vee hulls using a hot mould process in which layers of glued Agba laminates were placed on a male mould and vacuum sealed before being put in an autoclave in which steam and added pressure ensured a rigid, watertight structure. Sleekly styled cabins shaped from plywood were added and, powered largely by straight six turbocharged diesel engines, these delightfully elegant craft could easily top 20 knots. The larger 28ft Huntsman was launched in 1961. CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016



TALLY HO LOA 31ft 3in (9.5m) BEAM 9ft 8in (3m) DRAUGHT 2ft 10in (0.9m) PROPULSION Twin Sabre diesels DISPLACEMENT 5.1 tonnes BUILT 1969

The interior was redesigned and revamped; the boat is good for 28 knots



Also the work of Fairey’s marine architect Alan Burnard, the basic Huntress lines were lengthened with an increased freeboard. The result was greater space and more mature sea-keeping qualities while power was now twin diesels giving up to 35 knots depending on engine choice. The Huntsman 28, like the Huntress, quickly gained a cupboard-full of race trophies. In answer to a call from clients for greater accommodation during the 1960s Fairey introduced 33ft, 38ft, 42ft and even 53ft cruisers while Alan Burnard’s race boat Sea Fox gave him valuable experience in advanced hull shape characteristics. This resulted in the Huntsman 31, the last of the hot moulded timber cruisers and launched in 1967. This incorporated a beautifully faired bow which created space for wider side decks. All but six of the 31s built were fitted with aft cabins, the remainder being open cockpit ‘Sport’ models. Significantly, in 1969 a race version called Fordsport and driven by air speed record pilot Peter Twiss was entered in the Round Britain Powerboat Race finishing 4th overall, competing alongside three Huntsman 28s. Tally Ho was the 13th Huntsman 31 built by Fairey Marine until production proper ceased in 1974. Foremost in the decision over keeping Tally Ho was the notion to transform her from an aft cabin design to a 31ft ‘Sport’ version. “I love the open cockpit on the Huntsman and on the occasions when Louise and I stay over on board we don’t need the extra accommodation.” Peter did some research and found Floating Charge, a 31 Sport and the 12th of its type to be built by Fairey Marine, lying in Poole, using it to investigate in some detail how it had been constructed. “After looking at it


“Overall, it was a much easier job than I imagined. There was nothing that was beyond basic carpentry” Peter Morton, main picture, at the helm of his Fairey

Clockwise from top left: new windscreen; twin Sabres; aft deck is dry at speed; teak panels were painted

closely, I realised that it was really just an open cockpit with a cabin roof and bunks on either side above the fuel tanks. The tops of the old bunk berths would become the base for the extended cockpit.” Fortuitously, the project Peter planned for Tally Ho coincided with a short lapse in work schedule in his yard. “I am in partnership with Sir Charles Dunston in a business called Shemara Refit LLP,” he explains. “It was established in 2009 specifically to rebuild the classic motor yacht Shemara. We rented Building 4 at the old Vosper Thornycroft yard in Porchester. “When the job was completed we kept the team together and today we have a 60m dry dock facility at Ocean Quay in Southampton and a large woodworking facility in Eastleigh, which is where we undertake the restoration of classic wooden yachts.” With the boat up on the hard he could thoroughly inspect the hull and topsides. “From what I can gather she’d had a major refit about 7-8 years ago, which involved checking and repairing all the soft areas where Huntsman are prone to suffer. All we found was a tiny spot of rotting ply on the coach roof, but nothing more.” On the aft cabin version the cockpit sides were made slightly higher to align with the roof of the rear cabin. From the bulkhead forward there is no difference between the two boats. “Removing the aft cabin roof turned out to be a two hour task with a jigsaw,” recalls Peter ruefully. “We then fitted plywood to the inside of the cockpit and faired it in with battens. The biggest job was making the new windscreen. I didn’t like the original aluminium screen on the Huntsman so we laminated one out of

timber, which is about nine inches lower than the metal Fairey version.” Next on the list was to replace the engine hatch timbers and refurbish the interior. The starboard heads was given a shower, while a new cooker, fridge, and basin were installed in the port cabin work surface. “Overall, it was a much easier job than I imagined. I had a couple of marine joiners working on it for around six weeks, which included repainting the hull.” Tally Ho was built in 1970 and below was trimmed throughout in teak. “The wonderful thing about teak is that with a sand and varnish it restores beautifully,” enthuses Peter. “However, I didn’t want all the surfaces to be varnished so I painted the flat panels and retained the remainder of the teak features to make the interior of the cabin much lighter.” Work on Tally Ho was completed about three months ago though, sadly, Peter and Louise have had precious little time to enjoy her. “On the occasions we have been out we’ve had a lot of compliments. It’s perfect for cruising round the Solent and weekending across to the Channel Isles. The faired bow shape gives the 31 a much cleaner entry. It’s dry at speed. We can cruise comfortably at 22-23 knots and 2,100 revs, peaking at 28-29 knots. “But that’s not what this boat is about. On one occasion I took Tally Ho together with a Fairey Huntsman 28 into Poole harbour to moor up for the evening. Over the VHF the yacht club said: ‘Sorry we’re closed’. Then, they saw that we were a couple of Fairey powerboats and changed their minds, coming back on the VHF to say: ‘Well, we’re not closed to you’.” What other motorboat gives you that? CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016




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Launched in 1952, wooden-hulled Ospreys remain competitive



he Osprey is in many ways the antithesis of the Flying Dutchman,” wrote Ian Proctor in the 1955 Yachting World Annual. “She was designed on the principle that a two-man centreboard boat should be powered by sails that can be handled by two men of normal strength without many devices to assist them; it seemed that this sail area was about 150sq ft, roughly that of the International 14 class, and 35sq ft less than that of the Flying Dutchman.” Ian Proctor designed the prototype Osprey dinghy – Osprey – in 1952 in response to the International Yacht Racing Union’s (IYRU) request for designs to take part in official trials for a new international two-man centreboard class. Eighteen boats between 15ft and 23ft from seven different countries took part, including the Jack Holt-designed Hornet and the Uus van Essen and Conrad Gulcher-designed Flying Dutchman. It was the latter design that proved the most successful, but significantly Proctor’s Osprey met with approval from the IYRU, fulfilling its brief for a “normal, healthy type of boat, not too expensive, with good general qualities and a good turn of speed being of major importance”. Alongside the Hornet, Osprey gave an impressive performance, proving fast both on a broad reach and in light airs, when she would out-rival the 19ft 10in Flying Dutchman. Subsequent trials in 1953 at La Baule in France saw the introduction of a trapeze – one of the first designs to do so – and a bigger spinnaker, and very close racing took place against the John Westell-designed Coronet (a design that subsequently

evolved into the International 505) and Flying Dutchman. But it was in the Coronation Race around the Isle of Wight in 1953 that Osprey’s potential as a new class and Proctor’s talent as one of Britain’s finest designers was finally proved. Despite stiff competition – including Uffa Fox sailing his 18ft prototype Jolly Boat, Jollity – Osprey, crewed by Proctor, Cliff Norbury and John Oakley, stormed to victory in the 64-mile race organised by Cowes Corinthian YC, finishing first out of 192 boats. From this prototype evolved the Osprey class, introduced in 1955. The Osprey MkII was an enhancement on the original design, which was wider aft to improve stability and planing, and with a deeper-draught centreboard to improve windward performance. In 1973, the MkIII was introduced, which although retaining the same hull shape saw the removal of the aft buoyancy tank to aid production of the class in GRP. Tweaks were later made in 2002, but it was in 2005 that the most significant changes to the design were made, when designer Phil Morrison was approached by Hartley Boats to produce the MkIV, a modernised version of the Osprey designed to meet current expectations of highperformance boats, as well as suitable for new building techniques. Using Hartley Boats’ brief “to produce the best modern Osprey possible while maintaining the inherent nature and spirit of the class, to be competitive with the best boats in the class but not render the old boats obsolete”, Morrison reworked the design, optimising the hull shape, but within original class rules. The design has been a great success, and helped one of Proctor’s finest keep its position as one of the best two-man dinghies ever built, with 1,350 launched since 1955.





LOA 17ft 6in (5.4m) LWL 16ft 7in (5.1m) BEAM 5ft 9in (1.8m) DRAUGHT PU: 7in (18cm) PD: 4ft 6in (1.4m) SAIL AREA 150sq ft (13.9m2) DISPLACEMENT 295lb (133.3kg)

Next month Norfolk Pleasure Wherry

Vanessa’s book,

Classic Classes, is a must-buy. Please bear in mind that this book provides only a snapshot of the myriad classes in existence.

The first annual Osprey championships were held in 1958 and saw a fleet of 22 boats racing in Saundersfoot Bay in Pembrokeshire. Over three races, the competition saw tough, close battles between Tony Phillips in Stardust and Ian Proctor in Nebulus, the former of which managed to secure two out of three firsts to take the cup.

CONSTRUCTION Like many of Proctor’s designs, when initially launched, the Osprey was offered as plans for home construction by amateurs; measurement tolerances within the class rules allowed for discrepancies in building. Construction was originally clinker, but interestingly Proctor wrote in 1955: “Clinker building was chosen because in this country it is cheap, but this was a mistake, because it is unfamiliar and expensive on the Continent.” In 1953 he did produce plans for a “lighter, flatter cold-moulded Osprey”, but the design was never built. When Hartley Boats took over production of GRP Ospreys in 2004, production of the design by professional yards had all but stopped, but following consultation by Phil Morrison to update the design, new moulds were produced by Ian Teasdale and Kevin Driver in 2005. A brand-new MkV was also launched at this year’s RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace, which is being built in epoxy.

THE COST A new, ready-to-sail GRP Osprey from Hartley Boats costs around £11,995. Secondhand, boats cost from £500, depending on condition, age and build quality. CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016



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Spirit of Tradition on show

Superyachts used to be the big draw at boot Düsseldorf, in January, but this year it was the event’s classics section and smattering of Spirit of Tradition yachts that attracted the crowds. The biggest boat may have been a 30m (98ft 4in) motorboat, but the most photographed boat was a 28ft (8.5m) wooden yacht (see below).

SWEDE 68 Classic Swedish Yachts, whose designs are based on the Swedish Skerry Cruisers, is offering a concept flagship 68. Drawn by Scandinavian yacht designer Håkan Södergren to be built using a vacuum-injected sandwich construction, she’ll come with carbon spars and mahogany superstructure and finishing. LOA is 67ft 6in (20.6m) and beam 12ft 5in (3.8m). She displaces 17.6 tonnes (38,808lb). Electric winches reduce the need for a big crew. The sail plan upwind is 2,216sq ft (206m2). Price €2.2 million (c£1.74m) exc VAT Tel: +49 172 3103176



ACCF, Brittany-based builders of the Cormoran and

Built by LA Yacht & Bootsbau on the Müritz lakes, two hours north of Berlin,

Loctudy ranges, was showing off a new black-and-gold

and drawn by Martin Menzner, head of Berckemeyer Yacht Design, this

liveried Cat Boat, designed for a younger market. The

supremely curvy 28-footer (8.5m) took Düsseldorf by storm.

basic 14ft 9in (4.5m) GRP Comoran hull comes with a

The cold-moulded cedar hull, using vacuum bagging for maximum infusion

cat rig, simpler layout, carbon spars and external

efficiency, is complemented by khaya veneers, glued on using epoxy resins. She

ballast keel in cast iron with a swivelling centreplate, all

boasts an aluminium or carbon rig and electric engine and displaces 1.5 tons.

weighing in at a trailerable 320kg, against the

The day boat carries an upwind sail plan of 37m2, with self-tacking jib.

Comoran’s 450kg. The boat has a 16m2 sail area and comes with red cedar cockpit floor.

She will also take a 40m2 code zero and a 75m2 gennaker on a retractable bowsprit. Down below she is sparse, but offers plenty of room for racing sails or overnighting facilities for four.

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Price (without engine and sails) €89,500 inc tax (c£70,000) Tel: +49 172 6905877



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Getting afloat

Getting afloat



We mentioned before in Yard News (CB333) that 1914 R-Class yacht Svea that once belonged to Alfred Nobel (yes, that Nobel) is up for grabs. Her owner Jan Rautawaara got back in touch with us to supply these photos. She’s got a sound mahogany hull, with a new keelson and some new stainless-steel frames. Given that Jan is willing to give her away to the right owner, this seems like an extraordinary opportunity to get hold of a Universal Class yacht with some really interesting historical provenance. Universal boats are enjoying the beginnings of a resurgence in interest, as attested to by two boats we recently covered – Jour de Fête and Olympia. Perhaps even more attractively, they seem to be the boats to have if you want to beat everything in sight in the Mediterranean.

Lying Germany. Asking £0. Tel: +358 40 5345455.


Dauntless 23 We featured the story of how Peter Harrold found and rescued the 1972-built Mk 4 Dauntless 23 I’m Cosy Too and changed her name (wouldn’t you?) to Surprise. A Dauntless is a light, clinker-built centreboard cabin yacht, built in great numbers (more than 400) between 1946 and 1979 in 20ft, 22ft and 23ft (6.1-7m) guises. They are great estuary/coastal boats with bags of room, charm and the ability to dry out without falling over. Peter has since sold Surprise to become



a serial restorator, but her present owner Dave Hales has

Trawler yacht

given her a “very thorough refit” that includes a new (less than 50 hours’ use) Yanmar 15 diesel.

Built in larch on oak for the Admiralty in 1943, by Carnie in Leith, Edinburgh,

Lying England. Asking £7,000. Tel: +44(0)7850 457448

Starbuck was a Brixham fishing boat (no.127) when the owner bought her 30 years ago. A Thames shipwright, he converted her to a heavy duty, ketchrigged motorsailer, replacing 600ft of planking including both garboards, fitting a new keel and refastening the entire hull, among much other work. She has since completed offshore voyages and has proved her worth as


a liveaboard vessel thanks to her remarkable interior, fitted by the owner, with wood panelling throughout and full mod cons including electric shower and WC, generator, oven, washing machine and more. Hand-built stairs lead to an Iroko wheelhouse, which boasts 10mm thick windscreen glass. With a full set of sails and a well-maintained Thornycroft 400 engine, Starbuck is ready to go once again. Part-exchange possible.

Lying River Thames. Asking £134,950. Tel: +44 (0)748 474 1359

See boats for sale at CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016



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1965 Halmatic Ocean 25, based on Fairey Christina offshore racing hull, Perkins 4.236 turbo-diesel 180hp, extensive professional refit 2014/15, superb condition, well equipped, new electronics, 2014 survey. All GRP, classic powerboat, looks lovely, easy maintenance and ready to launch. Lying Emsworth. £29,950. Contact 07711 519257 or

To advertise call +44 (0) 20 7349 3747 Copy Deadline for next issue is 16/04/2016


‘Susan J’, Falmouth Working Boat built 1991 by Gaffers & Luggers and interior fitted out by Traditional Yacht Services. GRP hull. Perkins Perama 30hp 3 cylinder engine. Excellent condition, major refit in 2003, fast safe boat. High spec, must see, lying Poole, Dorset. £52,500 for more info contact Dan:


Pretty river cruiser, built 1950 Sunbury. Reconditioned by Stanley and Thomas 2005, excellent order. 4/5 berths, spacious cockpit, dinette/galley, forecabin, heads. Recently cruised Severn, Avon, Sharpness Canal, Broads, Thames. Asking £25000 Contact 01432 860063, or email


Cruising in Style! Scheherazade is a true classic and has great potential as a business for weddings, birthday or holiday parties, or simply a private cruise in style. Built 1960 / 15.00 x 3.80 Sensibel offers are welcome. Bächli Internationl Boat Sales AG. Tel: +41 41 620 37 00


River Cruiser Fantome – sail number 17. 2- berth; built 1908 by Ernest Woods. Hull length 26’ with counter stern and 5’ bowsprit. Mainsail, genoa, No 2 and storm jibs. Full-length lifting cabin roof with overall cover (including cockpit). Roof-down cover. 1 owner for 30 years – full maintenance history available. Moored at Ranworth – moorings transferable to new owner. Inboard diesel engine with hydraulic drive. Boat Safety Certificate to June 2019. £19,500 ono Tel: 07970-464548 Email


Built at the Camper and Nicholson yard in 1946, Gadwall is a 30’ long keel sloop constructed to a traditional timber system of carvel laid mahogany planking on oak frames. She has oak keel and deadwood sections with a through bolted cast iron ballast keel. The timber mast and boom are in good varnished condition and there is a new main and genoa plus new/unused try and stay sails. A Bukh diesel engine provides auxilliary power. All sensible offers considered Contact John Hughes on 07732505076 or email


Very pretty classic gentleman’s sailing boat, 14’6” gaff rigged with tan sails built by Character Boats in 2005. Hardwood and stainless steel fittings with rope fender. Complete with Yamaha 2.5hp outboard, combination road/launch trailer and cover, £4950. Mark Wilson 07968 983777



Vessel sleeps four in two cabins, s/s standing rigging and spruce 36ft. mast [both replaced 2012]. Columbian pine bowsprit, full suit of sails. Faversham coal stove, Gas cooker and toilet. Two anchors, electronics, beaching legs and two new covers. £39,950 O.N.O.



S&S DEB 33 1974

Centre board, Tylers hull, number 22, Part 1 registered. Many recent renewals. Vessel lying ashore South West Wales. £12,000. For full details kindly contact owner

35 ft West Solent OD a thoroughbred amongst classic racing yachts, one of the 30 built in the UK through the 1920s. She has been restored in recent years, but retains much of her original hull and features. Sweet and light on the tiller, and a delight to sail. Has been set up below and on deck for 2 handed cruising, as well as racing £44,000. More Details on Contact Ian 07751303681

BOATS FOR SALE Norfolk Gypsy -”Gypsy Mistress”


In excellent condition, a delight to sail and still winning races. Lying Clyde. Assistance will be given for transport to other UK areas. Contact George Brown 0141 9564775 £6,000 ONO

NORFOLK GYPSY -”GYPSY Boat 48 - green hull -Yanmar 1GM10 dieselMISTRESS” Boat 48 - greenwith hull -Yanmar 1GM10 diesel. High initial gear High initial specification extensive additional cruising specification with extensive additional cruising gear. Full boat Full boat cover, cockpit cover, cockpit tent, sail covers cover, cockpit cover, cockpit tent, sail covers. Instruments, Instruments, autopilot, GPS, VHF-DSC andradios. multi-band radios autopilot, GPS, VHF-DSC and multi-band Twin batteries, Twin batteries, charger andelectrics. shore electrics charger and shore Custom galvanised heavy duty break-back heavy trailer. All carefully maintained & wintered in boat Custom galvanised duty break-back trailer Excellent All carefully maintained &shed. wintered insurvey. boat shed £24,000. Excellent survey Tel: 07733 108922 07733108922 £24,000


Nevins built 1939.An elegant example of american yachting in very original conditions. Needs work and new engine, hence the price 30 K £. Lying Turkey. SSR registered. Contact:

1902 CHARLES SIBBICK CLASSIC GAFF CUTTER DAY BOAT A rare opportunity to purchase a truly beautiful 1902 22ft Wooden Classic Day Sailing Long Keel Yacht. Gaff, cutter rigged. Built by Sibbick of Cowes. Honduras Mahogany planking on Oak frames with a Rock Elm and Lead long keel. Professionally renovated since 2009. In 2013 the sails, standing, running rigging, ash blocks and cockpit cover were replaced. £9,950 (VAT paid) Contact:

TAMARISK 24 GAFF CUTTER 1978 Classic pocket cruiser, GRP plus looks, kept ready to go. Proven record extended shorthanded cruising last 10 years Irish West Coast, where lying.


The GRP hull is from Bridgend Boat Company (Plymouth) and she was fitted out by Gemini-Teak (Enkhuizen). Unique teak cockpit and decks, a deckhouse from mahogany and beautiful wooden interiors. Main and mizzen; carbon/expoxy fibre masts and spars. Bronze winches and cleats. Sleeps 2 in the forward cabin and 2 in the main saloon. Motor: 1GM10 Yanmar diesel and a 25 litre fuel tank. Contact: +31641934855.



Reputed to be 100years old when my mother-in-law bought it in 1947, this is a genuine antique which sails well. With modern road trailer. £4500 More details & photos from

Looking to sell your boat? Reach over 50,000 readers each month

There are two styles of Boats for Sales ad to choose from and with our special offer, if you buy two months, your third month will be free. Pick the style which suits your requirements and email: with your text and image or call +44 (0) 20 7349 3747. The deadline for the next issue is 16/04/2016



No. 8. Excellent 2 berth coastal cruiser, built 1999. Length 18’ 9” Beam 7’ Draft 2’ 9” long keel, designed by Roger Dongray. Yanmar GM 10 regularly serviced. Very attractive boat lovingly maintained, Lying Fowey. £12,000 ono. Email: 0000 11111111

STYLE A. 5cm x 2 columns. Either 160 words or 80 words plus colour photograph. £275 inc VAT and Internet


Built 1991, mahogany & epoxy hull similar to GRP, 1930’s spars & fittings, beautifully maintained. Visit for photos and specification. £25,750 Contact 00000 111111

STYLE B. 5cm x 1 colums. Either 55 words or 30 words plus colour photograph. £155 inc VAT and Internet CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016




To advertise call +44 (0) 20 7349 3747 Copy Deadline for next issue is 16/04/2016

2 Southford Road, Dartmouth, South Devon TQ6 9QS Tel/Fax: (01803) 833899 – –

38’ William Fife sloop built by WM Fife in 1925. Honduras Mahogany hull with new yacht laid Oregon pine deck. Complete rebuild in present ownership to the original plans. New bermudan sloop rig, complete new 3 berth interior. Yanmar 18hp diesel. A stunning and immaculate yacht with true pedigree and provenance. Devon £295,000

44’ Dickies of Tarbert Motor Sailer built in 1936. All teak varnished hull with solid teak deck. Major thorough refit in present professional ownership, this is a breath taking yacht in every way. Gardner 3cyl diesel plus all new systems. Fore and aft sleeping cabins with central saloon. A very unusual and stunning yacht ready for the season. Devon £84,000

58’ Fleur De Lys motor yacht, one of only two built and in stunning condition. Major refit in present ownership including new deck and superstructure, new interior, all new systems and engines rebuilt. 3 sleeping cabins plus a deck saloon and lower saloon, really lovely yacht and genuinely ready to go. Hampshire £135,000

Holman Sterling built by Uphams in 1968. Iroko and Mahogany planking on CRE frames. Lombardini 18hp diesel. Lots of professional work in recent years, a very tidy example with a smart interior. 2013 survey and fully documented history.

32’ Twin engine motor launch built by Louis Gale, Paignton, in 1936. Major rebuild finished in 2007 with all new machinery systems and some hull work. Twin Nanni 64hp diesels give 14kts max. Interior with 2 berths, heads and galley. Large spacious cockpit with comfortable seating. Extremely attractive yacht with an unusual design in very nice condition. Holland £39,500

32’ Buchanan sloop built by William Wyatt of Essex in 1964, major refit in present ownership. 4 berths in a spacious interior with good headroom. Yanmar 2GM diesel a full inventory and in very smart condition.

Kent £15,500

Tumlare sloop built in 1934. Complete rebuild by IBTC finished in 2011 where virtually every bit of timber in the boat was replaced with a more recent complete cosmetic refit. Dolphin inboard petrol engine. Surely the finest Tumlare in UK she is basically a new boat and ready to go on a custom road trailer. Herefordshire £18,000

Alfred Mylne bernudan yawl built in Poole in1920. Recent major refit including the addition of the elegant counter stern plus a new rig, engine and systems and interior refit. 5 berths including a large double forward, Volvo diesel 2011, Raymarine nav systems. In need of some cosmetic tidying but a sound and Devon £27,000 interesting yacht. Suffolk £75,000

Another fascinating selection of traditional and classic yachts only from Wooden Ships. Call for true descriptions, genuine honest values and a service from people who know their boats.




33 High Street, Poole BH15 1AB, England. Tel: + 44 (0)1202 330077

52 ft Frank Paine Q Class Sloop 1930 The Q boats; exemplars of the Universal Rule, amply revealed the pedigrees of their designers among the best of the period and were typically very well built – proving moreover to be fast, firm – and very beautiful. JOUR DE FÊTE has been meticulously restored by John Anderson and others in the USA and in her current ownership has won many of Europe’s classic events. Perhaps most importantly she has rewarded her crews with the exhilarating sailing for which the Q boats are rightly famed. €700,000 Lying France

59 ft William Fife III Gaff Cutter 1897/2001 SAYONARA was almost unbeatable in the early years of Australian yachting and was to become the founding yacht of the Sayonara Cup, having won the first three challenges. A million dollar restoration in 2000 brought her back to life again; leaving her not only in impressive condition but demonstrably able to prove herself fast in both light airs and heavy weather - a very exciting opportunity to compete in the prestigious vintage gaff class in an early William Fife III design, that if sailed well is surely destined to win silverware again. €590,000 VAT unpaid Lying Australia

62 ft Abeking & Rasmussen Ketch 1962 VERITAS I is an incredibly attractive yacht built by Abeking and Rasmussen to a quality that was very hard to match in 1962. Since then this boat has proved herself in boisterous trade wind conditions and while much maintenance work has been done on her over the last couple of years, she is substantially the original yacht – her layout and equipment preserved with the addition only of new electronics and modern conveniences. She is now priced realistically for a new owner to make her perfect.

€170,000 VAT unpaid

Lying Grenada

76 ft Philip Rhodes Yawl 1962

54 ft Alfred Mylne Cutter built by William Fife and Son 1935

GAEL is an extremely well bred yacht; Phillip Rhodes considering her one of his most beautiful creations - and a build by Abeking & Rasmussen among the most famous yacht builders of that era. The budget moreover enabled her construction to a unique level of craftsmanship. The accommodation and layout offered by GAEL make her a superb family boat with enough space for charter to be an option. She is in short a very special yacht. €690,000 Lying France

This beautiful Alfred Mylne designed Fife yard built cutter is pedigree indeed. At 54 ft with a Marconi rig to the original plans, she also has enough accommodation to cruise in comfort. IRINA VII seems to hit a sweet spot among vintage yachts; striking - indeed memorable whether seen under sail or alongside showing her characteristic Mylne forward sloping doghouse set in wide uncluttered decks. Both cruising and racing she is a yacht for the connoisseur most certainly. €625,000 Lying France

70 ft Laurent Giles Motor Yacht 1948 Designed by Jack Laurent Giles for a knowledgeable yachtsman in 1947; this stunning 70 ft motor yacht with her nimble semi displacement hull form can be used easily by just 2 people. WOODPECKER underwent a full restoration ten years ago and remains in impressive condition. Considerable attention has been paid to ensure her original character was retained with modifications made in some areas to enhance her practicality as a family cruising yacht. WOODPECKER is remarkably economical and capable of cruising well over 1,000 miles on one refuel. £450,000 Lying Malta

36 ft GL Watson Gaff Cutter 1894 PEGGY BAWN’s two year restoration, widely regarded as exceptionally authentic, is recognised in the almost unrivalled “Coefficient of Authenticity” in her CIM rating. Cruised and raced in the seven years following, she is noted for her perfect balance and good manners. Moreover easily rigged and sailed by two, this perfect Victorian cruiser racer offers a competent owner the opportunity to step back in time, into the shoes of her illustrious designer, who created her at the very peak of his career. The sale includes a custom made Harbeck trailer providing great versatility for regattas and storage. €300,000 Lying UK

40 ft Fred Shepherd Bermudan Cutter 1919 Fred Shepherd’s board always imbued the best of the English pre war designs; beautiful of course, capable at sea and so natural in their element when sailing. It is hard to criticise the treatment given to ALINE IV by her current owner who rescued her in 2002 and has rendered her a fast yet easy to sail vintage yacht to his and his family’s full enjoyment - just as much as that of her first owner almost a century ago!

34 ft William Fife Sloop 1957 Although ELLAD was not built until 1957, William Fife III drew her lines during 1937 and 38 – reputedly his last design. The well documented and award winning restoration by Hubert Stagnol with the involvement of Fife expert William Collier ensuring the pre war look that her current owner wanted and ELLAD now exudes, is very evident. Easy to sail and in impressive condition ELLAD even at 34 foot is unmistakably a Fife.




Lying Holland

Lying France CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016



For more information about any of these boats call 01491 578870 mobile 07813 917730 email

Fedalma II - A big, roomy Dunkirk Little Ship, sleeps 8, flying bridge, mast, offers around 50k

Mada - A Dunkirk Little Ship with some modernisation but without losing the inherent character and in prime condition

Silver Sonnet - From the eponymous Silver yard, designed by John Bain and suitable for serious cruising

Derson - A Hornby motor cruiser with good Lady Audacious - 38ft, built in Tewkesbury, lovely interior, flying bridge, clinker tender, accommodation and outside space, well lying Thames loved and it shows

Hero - A splendid Victorian canopied electric launch with trailer in fantastic condition, seats 10

Spirit X - Previously steam and now diesel with seating for ten and large table, teak canopied launch great for entertaining

Bella - A 1928 Southampton Harbour launch Nada - A charming 8 seater traditional with Nanni diesel and bow thruster, attractive gentleman’s launch with beaver stern, interior and large aft cockpit - offers invited mahogany varnished cabin inside and out

Lady Penelope - a rare Silver Arrow Chris Craft Omrah is an exceptional 28ft 6inch slipper from the early days of glassfibre, featured stern launch of mahogany on oak with recently in a TV ad for swimwear - offers invited seating for 7.



Nerissa - An exceptional 55ft Taylor Bates, recent refurbishment, featured in Classic Boat magazine and now seriously for sale.

Craftsmanship Yard News


Edited by Steffan Meyric Hughes: +44 (0)207 349 3758 Email:


If a pilot cutter doesn’t cut it...


A Scandinavian owner is on the verge of starting to build an unusual ‘new classic’ based roughly on the Lowestoft sailing trawlers of England. The design, which the owner has worked on intermittently for years with naval architect David Gray of Mylne Yacht Design, is complete and the boat’s first stage towards completion is due to start any day now, when the steel ‘kit’ is cut out by laser in Holland. The welding will be done in Poland, then the boat will come to England for fitting out, by autumn with luck. The owner told CB: “It is a quick and economical way to build a boat as well as a strong one." The completed vessel will be 65ft 6in (20m) on deck, traditional in shape with a long keel, gaff cutter rig and solid wooden masts. The owner thinks he can bring off the coup for around £300,000 by doing much of the fit-out himself. David Gray told CB that the fishing boat origins, not to mention a hull material thinner than wood, mean high volume. The challenge in this instance has been to weigh the boat down to its lines – about 70-80 tonnes. This in turn creates a tough, thick hull. The boat has a removable bulwark section for tender launching and recovery, an expanse of triple-laminate toughened glass set into the transom for a panoramic owner’s cabin, hydraulic-assisted tiller steering and diesel/electric hybrid power.


All-new clinker IDRA Class dinghy The new clinker IDRA 14 dinghy mentioned in these pages two years ago is nearly ready to sail. MAURICE GRAY

The Irish Dinghy Racing Association, set up immediately after the war, chose this 14ft (4.3m) George O’Brien Kennedy design to roll out as a national class. Despite great popularity in its heyday, No166, as it is known, is the first new one in more than 35 years. Thanks go to a team of volunteers at Dublin’s Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club. The project started in February 2013, with the aim of launching her this year, the class’s 70th anniversary. Riveting (all 1,866 C/O CLONTARF YBC

of them) is now complete, the solebearers are down, the foredeck is on and the team is just waiting to “put the deck on and close up the boat” for her big day on 25 June.


Saturday boy buys yard A man whose first experience of work was a schoolboy's Saturday job, has bought the yard that first employed him, reports Maurice Gray. George Elliot, now 32, has bought Ludham Bridge Boatyard after the previous owner, in ill health, had to sell. “I didn’t want to have to look for a new job and I love this place and know its potential, so I bought it”, he explained, confidently. “I’ve got plans to expand and promote this boatyard and have the full support from loyal customers.” George’s partner, Laura Bassam, 28, now runs the office. Steve Dark, a retired boatbuilder, has stepped in to volunteer his depth of experience on classics, including wherries. One early job is restoring a Dauntless 22. CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016


IT’S MORE FUN IF YOU TAKE A KAYAK... Especially one that its INSIDE your Yacht, Motorhome or Car

CHELAN TWO left can also be set up as a spacious, fast single (above)

INFLATABLE KAYAKS are some of the most portabe watercraft in existence, hence their immense popularity. But it’s a competitive and confusing market, with huge variations in price, quality and performance on the water. How does one choose?

For a long time we were unsure ourselves, and chose not to add inlatable kayaks to our specialist range of portable boats because most of them aren’t much good to paddle. But when we saw and tested the new Aquaglide Chelans, they stood out from the crowd.

Two key features make a massive difference: - High pressure drop-stitch loors for unmatched stiffness and paddling performance.They can be inlated up to 12psi, rather than the 2psi (or less) of cheaper kayaks. That makes them much, much more rigid, so they don’t get a “saggy bottom” (never a good thing!). Chelan kayaks stay their intended shape, all day long. - Single-skin ultra-tough Duratex (mesh-reinforced PVC) side tubes/hull. Most mid-range kayaks have separate air bladders inside nylon outer skins. Single skin kayaks are harder to manufacture but much easier to dry after use - so won’t go mouldy in storage - also lighter, and can be blown up to higher pressures.

You will probably have noticed that Chelan kayaks have much iner ends and are longer than rivals; this makes them both easier to paddle and faster. The excellent skeg system also helps you keep going in a straight line. And - your back & backside will be pleased to hear! - they have really comfortable, supportive and ergonomic seats. In our opinion they are the Best Inlatable Kayaks on the market.

Aquaglide Chelan One


SAVE UP TO £129!

- Aquaglide Chelan ONE. Single person, 10’6” long, 36-lb, RRP £839 £755 Chelan One Package (inc pump, paddle, and UK delivery) £939 £835 - Aquaglide Chelan TWO. Two person, 13’5” long, 40-lb, RRP £899 £809 Chelan Two Package (inc pump, 2 paddles, and UK delivery) £1039 £920 - A-G Chelan TANDEM. Three person, 15’ long, 42-lb, RRP £979 £880 Chelan Tandem Package (inc pump, 2 paddles, and UK delivery) £1119 £990

Kayak prices include bag, seat(s), skeg, foot rest(s) and a repair kit. Paddles in package deals are good quality 4-pce types that it in bag. Delivery is UK mainland, extra charges may apply in some areas. The delated kayaks it - easily! - into the very neat storage bag/backpacks supplied

From The Portable Boat Specialists: High-pressure drop-stitch loor Super-tough, single-skin, quick-drying side tubes Really comfortable seat(s) Tel: 0800 999 2535






Insurance underwriter turned carpenter Toby Slater transformed his life by taking on the mammoth project of his family’s 53ft (16.2m) Brixham Trawler Our Boy from 1933. She was bought by his father after falling in love with the boat 30 years ago. Toby lives aboard with his girlfriend Sarah to allow all funds to go on the project. “It was great over the summer, but without heating or water tanks the winter was more difficult,” said Toby. Our Boy was one of four built and designed by JW & A Upham at the Brixham Upham Yard intended as private yachts. The war’s progression into steam-powered vessels meant that sailing trawlers were no longer required, but with the Upham yard knowing only how to build one vessel, it instead built for the pleasure market. When the Slater family took ownership, Our Boy sailed, but needed a new interior, so was moved to her new home of Maylandsea in Essex for a fit out. As the interior was stripped back, more problems became visible and it escalated into a total rebuild. While Toby refuses to calculate the cost to date, he did once estimate spending around £20,000 in fastenings alone. Near the end of the build, a fire set progress back 12 months, with Toby explaining, “The smoke did more damage than the fire itself. The smoke was ingrained into all the wood, which required sanding back or replacing. There’s one section of beautifully crafted wood in the galley that I couldn’t fully repair, but I’ve accepted it as a part of Our Boy's history.” Once finished Toby and Sarah will live aboard Our Boy and offer charters to keep the lifestyle going, although Toby doubts she will sail before 2017. “She looks great, but the remaining jobs are expensive, so we are doing everything ourselves and buying parts when we can afford them.”

LENGTH 53ft (16.2m)


Our Boy for our boy

BEAM 13ft 2in (4m) DRAUGHT 7ft 8in (2.3m) BUILT 1933 BUILDER/ DESIGNER JW & A UPHAM


Provident returns After a year of looking rather forlorn, with her mast and other deckware removed and seemingly abandoned on a swinging buoy, the 1924 Brixham sailing trawler owned by Trinity Sailing Foundation has returned to active duty. Many thought the boat had died floating, but in fact, she was waiting for a new engine, which has now been fitted, as well as associated engineering and other works. The new engine, a Perkins 215C, replaces an elderly Gardner of unknown vintage. Provident will be sailing at regattas this summer.





Spirit of South Carolina idle no more

Left to right:


straddles the jib

Dominic Zachorne boom of Spirit of South Carolina during installation of the head rig; detail of boatyard worker Martell seizing footropes


After a long hiatus, Spirit of South Carolina, the 140ft (42.7m) Tall Ship state ambassador for South Carolina, is back at Charleston, booking trips for 2016 and resuming her sail-training role. This latest chapter in the life of the striking replica has included several years mothballed under bank ownership, a sale at auction for $440,000 (£310,000) in June 2014 and a refit in 2015. Spirit was built in 2007, after the lines of a two-masted Charleston schooner of the late 1800s, the Frances Elizabeth, but soon after was beset with financial woes. Work, which was carried out at Newport Shipyard, RI, included bottom painting, revarnishing, some re-planking, and inspection and replacement of through-hulls and valves. The standing rigging was serviced and the running rigging was entirely replaced with nearly 8,000ft (2.5km) of new rope. Replacement of the traditional standing head rig required 260ft (79m) of wire rope and 30lb of tarred marline for the worming, parcelling and servicing of shrouds at the bowsprit and other spars on the bow. This included the jib boom, jib boom shrouds, martingale backstays and headstays. Father-and-son riggers George and Dominic Zachorne carried out the marlinspike seamanship chores required for the new head rig.




NY40 Marilee The New York 40 Marilee, is coming to the end of a twowinters-long restoration at French & Webb. She was bought by new owners in June 2014, who started the programme of work to strengthen her and give her new life. Chris Museler has been to learn more. Feature to follow.

One-stop shop for Andrews launches There is some really good news for owners of Andrews launches, with the start of a new service this month: Neil Garside, owner of the Andrews archive, ex-Andrews boatbuilder and ex-chairman of judges at the Henley Traditional Boat Rally, has started to cast new parts from original patterns. The range of castings, in bronze or brass and to the investment (or ‘lost wax’) casting process, comprise seemingly all the metal parts you could need for an Andrews launch, including instruments, steering wheels, nuts, brackets, searchlights, cleats, engine vents and a lot more. Neil is also offering boat histories in presentation folders for existing owners. All based on Neil’s archive. See:

More like this at 86



DIESEL POWER Harbour Marine Services has become the top shop for antique twin-screw motor yachts – but it’s not all they do STORY AND PHOTOS STEFFAN MEYRIC HUGHES

YARD VISIT outhwold seems calculated to HARBOUR MARINE instil wanderlust – or rather, SERVICES ‘settlelust’ – in anyone who goes there, particularly in the weak, the tired, the poor, the huddled masses – Londoners. The harbour runs along the north side of the River Blyth towards the sea, with wooden riverside jetties tethering a variety of characterful old vessels. Ashore, a fishmonger sells fish straight off the boats (Grumpy Old Git T-shirt, no card machine). At the centre of it all are the Harbour Marine Services (HMS) buildings, comprising the boatyard, chandlery and a café with fishing nets draping the entrance. As we noted in our last yard visit five years ago (CB273), they look as old as the ancient tarred-wood fishermen’s sheds that surround them but were in fact built in 1991 for the then 24-year-old John Buckley, who had set up shop there years earlier, after graduating from IBTC. The sheds themselves in deep, matt black, are a triumph of design and sucked in the bright March sun on our visit, making a cool oasis for the eye. Since that visit, HMS has been extraordinarily busy and has concreted its position as, these days, probably the yard to take on the restoration of a mid-sized, mid 20th-century motor yacht or a “TSDY” as John calls them, referring to their Lloyd’s appelation (twin-screw diesel yacht). At the moment there are four of them in varying stages of readiness. Pick of the bunch is Magyar, a 45ft (13.7m) doubleended, stepped-sheer beauty built by Saunders-Roe (Isle of Wight) in 1939. She’s undergoing a restoration whose attention to detail is almost unparalleled. The owner, a classic car enthusiast who also owns a highly original 1929 Bentley, is logging and photographing every single item that goes into the boat in order to produce a 3-D drawing showing what is original and what is not. John encourages owners to become involved in the process, not least so they can understand how much work is involved, something that helps with a sensible interpretation of the bill. In most respects, this restoration is a case of “save what you can and replace like with like where you can’t” but there are always areas where the lessons of history can’t be ignored, one of them being the insubstantial backing pads to which the propshaft brackets were screwed. “They thought they were building flying boats,” says John, referring to




Wooden boat owners want their boats to look like plastic. Plastic boat owners want their hulls to look like wood

Saunders and Roe’s impossibly romantic bread and butter work of that era. This has been remedied with a proper floor. Internally, a few tweaks have been made, as they almost always are. The reduction in size of marine diesels, the increase in the need for tankage and the increased expectations of luxury these days, even the increase in size of human beings, mean there are very few boats (sailing or power) that still have original interiors. Her teak-on-rock-elm hull has survived intact and Magyar has the potential to set the bar for a boat of this sort when she is re-launched. The two boats of similar size to her right show the development of TSDYs over the next three decades. Liseta is a 1957 Itchenor Shipyard-built boat, more angular in style but with a strong period appeal and Malvon, the next along, is a 1963 boat, with all the curvy appeal of the age. In all three cases, the boats are carvel planked and fully timbered – no sawn frames. And in all cases, the damage has been caused by freshwater ingress through the decks. The basic MO here is to restore the boats to strong structural condition (often stronger than original) to enable proper seagoing capability – owners of vessels like this cruise all around Europe – but with modern systems like holding tanks that are required by law, and others that are required for comfort. Malvon, for instance, will be a liveaboard capable of making passage. The fourth TSDY is Revel, a Rampart of similar size and vintage receiving a near-rebuild. In the next shed there are two very special sailing yachts. The first is a Herreshoff 12.5 dayboat planked in cheap slab-sawn larch, meaning every plank has cupped. This would normally be terminal, but John will ‘re-skin’ her to save her frames and interior. He mentions this tricky replanking job in the same tone most of us would use to describe repainting a bedroom. Then there is the 100-A1 Lady Hamford (“I saved the best till the end”). A 39ft (11.9m) Buchanan sloop of 1962, she is a result of the swansong of British wooden yacht building and design (Alan Buchanan). We’ll be doing a feature soon, so no need for too much detail here, but it’s worth noting that the owner’s last boat was a GRP yacht. Outside and afloat are three John Bain-designed ‘Silver’ TSDYs and an MFV, all previous or ongoing HMS jobs. It’s an extraordinary list, particularly when you consider that it’s almost all done in-house, which is probably the secret of the yard’s success.


LADY HAMFORD After many years of embellishments and alterations, Lady

LISETA At 46ft (14m) with generous beam and a long, raised cabin trunk, Liseta

Hamford, one of several sisterships to Alan Buchanan’s famous Vashti, is

is a big boat. The deck beams and supporting structures have been replaced, a

undergoing a thorough strip-out and refit for a new owner. It’s a “replace like

new ply subdeck has been fitted and the original deck will go back on. She will

with like” job, down to the Formica in the galley. Highly commendable

also have her steadying rig reinstated. John, a sailor, is a big believer in these

MAGYAR 1939 stunner here seen undergoing remedial deck work. The tender

MALVON As well as the usual decking work, Malvon also needs her mahogany

is period perfect, and once served a Fife yacht. She is staying largely original

coachhouse redoing. The last job was botched, resulting in a patchwork quilt

(down to the last detail even) but with some strengthening. Note the new

appearance. She was built by Beechams of Tewkesbury in 1963 and the hull,

davits, which have yet to be cut down to size. A yacht with the appeal of a ship

although mahogany, has fared OK. She’s the baby of the bunch at 40ft (12.2m)


MFV FORESIGHT Last year HMS re-launched the 45ft (13.7m) MFV Foresight after an almost total rebuild. The larch-on-oak 1939 Herd and McKenzie-built boat protected coastal convoys

The Harbour Marine Services sheds as seen from the south side of the River Blyth. Inset: Lola and Sam are two of the yard’s three dogs of identical appearance.

in the war. She’s now a yacht, with a tender called Hindsight! CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016



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Boatbuilder’s Notes Riven timber TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPH ROBIN GATES 1

In a less machine-driven age the small boatbuilder converted locally grown logs into timber using a froe and

Driving the froe

maul. The froe works by riving, that is splitting a log

into an ash log

along the natural planes of weakness where medullary 2

ray radiates through it like spokes in a wheel. The L-shaped froe, with blunt knife edge, is started by resting

The log split into


it across the diameter at a spot where it can get stuck


into rays on both sides of the pith and is then struck hard 3

with the maul – a heavy rough-hewn mallet. A short log will soon split in two but a longer one will

The froe splits

require the froe to be repeatedly twisted by its handle to

the log into

open and ease the split forward. This yields halves which

eighths and then

are further split into quarters, eighths and sixteenths


according to the diameter of the log and size of timber needed. The timber is then stacked between sticks of


the same species to air dry.


Riven timber has straight grain along its full length


Ash air drying between sticks

which makes it stronger than sawn timber; where grain runs 5

out to the sides in sawn timber it is prone to break. Riven timber also seasons with less shrinkage and distortion. For


applications subject to tension and compression, such as

riven ash planed

the bent timbers of a planked wooden hull, riven timber is

flat and square

the best. These small pieces of riven ash are ideal material for spreaders and jumper struts under compression from their shrouds and stays, for which ash has the particular



Robertson screws

Ring of fire These days many screws are made on the moon. This is no giant leap of the imagination but simply one small step of assumption. When a new screw head

About 100 years ago the Canadian Peter Robertson invented

disintegrates under tightening one assumes it is made of cheese, therefore a

the square-drive screw, with a tapered socket in place of a

lunar import. The screw is stuck halfway, like the Grand Old Duke of York, neither

slot. Robertson’s contemporary slogan of ‘Drives like lightning’

up nor down. Having immediately taken steps to control the rising fury within,

was no hollow boast – it’s still a superb screw. Whereas

find a sharp drill bit wider than the screw shank and narrower than the screw

slotted screws are prone to burring under torque (see

head. Drill out the screw head without excessive pressure as you don’t want to go

right), the square-tipped Robertson driver finds its deep

through the head into the timber. When drilled out, the head will be a little ring

socket instantly and holds firm to the last grunt. The screws

of hot metal around the drill bit end; remove it with a pair of pliers so as not to

pictured above were salvaged from 70-year-old cabinetry

burn yourself. Wind out any other good screws holding the timber down and

and are fit for re-use. Robertson screws are popular with American boatbuilders but near-impossible to find in




advantage of high shock resistance.

remove the piece of timber from the job. Remove the offending screw shank with a pair of pliers. Or if someone has

Britain. A silicon-bronze type is available from the

been watching the whole mishap and you need to regain a morsel of credibility,

US-based Jamestown Distributors. Robin Gates

tighten your drill chuck on to the screw end and reverse it out. Will Stirling



TraditionalNotes Tool Boatbuilder’s


Clockwise from

zero and clamped at any angle by a

used, for marking a perpendicular (for

above: Brown &

pair of thumb nuts, turns with the

which a scratch awl is stowed beneath

Sharpe protractor

precision of a Swiss watch. A built-in

The combination set of square head,

the spirit level) or acting as an accurate

head measuring

spirit level is handy for establishing a

centre head, protractor and rule is an

depth or height gauge. Its 45 deg

an angle; the

horizontal. The combination set has

essential of the engineer’s tool chest,

angle is excellent for marking out

square head

been much imitated and the cheapest

adaptable to a great many uses. With

mitre joints. The centre head is used

used as a depth

die-cast alloy versions are best avoided.

its accurately ground reference faces

to find the centre line of round work

gauge; the centre

Even those bearing famous names

it is also a favourite of the yacht joiner

or, where two lines intersect, its

head finds the

can be suspect if manufacturing has

and is unusual in crossing the

centre point. Using dividers, a circle

centre line

been farmed out.

metalwork-woodwork divide.

can then be scribed as a guide for


This example from the 1930s was made by Brown & Sharpe in America, a company that made clocks before

The square head is the most often

Since machinists typically take

planing round timber to final diameter

good care of their measuring tools,

– when shaping a spar, for example.

a well-preserved vintage combination

For measuring angles, the protractor

turning to small machinists’ tools and

head is in a class of its own. The turret,

workshop machinery such as lathes

graduated to 90 deg either side of

set is usually a safe buy.

NEXT MONTH: The side axe

and milling machines. Its first machine, made around 1850, was a dividing engine for setting out the graduations on a steel rule such as the one shown here. The rule or blade is the backbone of the set and was available in metric and ‘English’ (as Brown & Sharpe termed Imperial) sizes from 6-24 inches (15-60cm). The key feature is its clamping groove. When the rule is inserted into the head a springmounted bolt engages with the groove and is locked in position by a knurled nut. CLASSIC BOAT MAY 2016



From the ashes


The 8 tonne Guantlet Bardu

It is some unpleasant irony that just as you publish the exciting news

Gauntlet thrown down Further to the interesting article in last year’s September edition, I wish to mention that all the Gauntlet designs should be credited to Rodney Paul, the Berthon Boat Company in-house naval architect from 1932 to 1939. The 12

of a new XOD in build at Nick Whittle’s yard on the Isle of Wight (March

tonne Gauntlet was the result of a potential client enquiry.

issue), there comes the horrible news that five historic XODs have been

The request was for a comfortable cruising boat having a

lost in the Cowes fire. The fire was, as others have said, the biggest single

good performance. As detailed in my article published way

loss of classic craft in living memory. However, perhaps there is some

back in 1992 an order was subsequently placed using an

crumb of comfort to be taken from the general reaction of observers,

alternative design with another boatyard.

which was one of apparently genuine dismay. Yes, people were commiserating with owners who had put years and varying sums of

The disgruntled MD of Berthon, HG May, having been impressed by his naval architect’s interpretation of

money into these boats, but they also appeared to appreciate the boats

requirements, decided to build the boat for himself. After its

for the historic artefacts that they were. Sometimes it takes a disaster to

launch a challenge to a race was issued to his erstwhile

shine a light on things. It’s heartening, amid the sadness at the loss of the

client. The event took place in the English Channel in

XODs and the other classics that were incinerated, that old wooden boats are truly considered an important part of our heritage. Pascal Hughes, via email See our feature on Witch, one of the boats lost, on page 38

boisterous conditions, May’s boat trouncing his opponent’s. May had successfully thrown down “the Gauntlet” and in doing so led to the successful introduction of a new class varying in size from 8 to 26 tonnes. Jim Hazel, Southampton

Rozinante criticism I believe David Cranwell’s letter “Sensationalist and pointless” in the April issue struck a discordant note. We all reserve the right to criticise views expressed in the press, but we BRENDAN ROCHE

shouldn’t damn differing views out of hand. I find Theo Rye’s views perfectly acceptable. He is after all one of our most intelligent and thoughtful designers and his questioning of certain views expressed by the yachting press should be read as such; he is not making sweeping statements, just expressing considered views on specific items based on his considerable knowledge of yacht design, in particular of the Herreshoffs. Anybody who knows Theo will think your accusation of him being sensationalist is frankly laughable. Do you believe that famous designers don’t make mistakes? That is

Your article of Huff of Arklow says that Chris Allan, a previous

simplistic; both the Herreshoffs tried out many versions of their designs and

owner of Huff, restored her near to his home in

only by trial (and error), did they come up with such beautiful boats. I have

Southampton. Speaking as someone who saw Huff arrive at

had some experience in Herreshoff builds and while I marvel at their designs, I was astonished at some options shown in the plans. If you build a

a yard in her burnt-out state, I know that the yard was actually more than 200 miles north, in Northwich, Cheshire.

Herreshoff from original plans (all meticulously held at the Hart Nautical

This was near to Chris’ home in Crewe. The yard in question

Foundation), you will occasionally find build variations or options that just

was the Weaver Shipyard. It was in one of its sheds that Huff

didn’t work. I believe that Captain Nat Herreshoff was truly a lateral thinker.

was rebuilt, primarily by Chris, but his wife also came down

Francis was the more considered designer. Both had the ability to create

to give him some much-needed encouragement and

beautiful yachts. They both tried variations – and it is perfectly valid for such

support. Seeing the article brought back happy memories of

matters to be questioned.

the time I worked for Marine Secol, at the Weaver Shipyard.

Rees Martin, London


Huff at Weaver


Brendan Roche, Liverpool



LETTERS Send your letters (and also any replies, please) to: Classic Boat, Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London SW3 3TQ email:

Our Oscars: diversity of Classics


NORTHUMBERLAND YC ONE DESIGN A little known fleet that could have become a northern rival to the Solent’s X One Design THEO RYE, ADDITIONAL RESEARCH BY IAIN MCALLISTER


fter a thorough grounding from the master, GL Watson, Alfred Mylne set up independently in 1896. The design list shows he rapidly acquired commissions for numerous small sailing boats such as his many contributions to the Clyde 19/24ft Restricted Class, and he would therefore have been a good choice for the members of the Northumberland Yacht Club who commissioned a new one design from him in 1901. They were to race from their headquarters at Blyth, from where the (now Royal) Northumberland YC still operates. The resulting design, which features in the newly published book on Mylne by Ian Nicolson, is a wee delight. With typical economy, Mylne got a lot of information into the drawings (his lines plan is also the general arrangement) and his lovely draughtsmanship is evident. The addition of a little colour and the careful calligraphy has lifted the drawings so they communicate beautifully. Four were delivered by rail to Blyth in July 1901 by R McAlister & Son of Dumbarton, who enjoyed a reputation for high quality work and built many of Mylne’s designs. As Nicolson noted, it is a design that would be economical to build (as many one designs were) but it is none the worse for that, and McAlisters would undoubtedly have made sound boats. Sheldrake, Golden Eye, Scoter and Gadwall (all types of duck) evidently enjoyed some close sport between themselves and also in the mixed handicap fleet, for which (curiously) the club retained the old Length & Sail Area Rule of measurement (under which they were in the 1-rater class). The boats seem to have been up to McAlister’s (and Mylne’s) usual standards; Sheldrake was still racing at the club as late as 1937; but Scoter had been sold down south, gaining a cabin roof at some point, and was based in Lymington from 1926. The fate of the other two is a mystery. At least one of the boats may have been re-rigged, probably after World War I, because the Mylne archive contains a bermudan rig sail

Alfred Mylne was commissioned by Northumberland YC in 1901

plan as well as the original gaff sloop plan. There is nothing but moderation in the lines; but note the interesting addition of extra flare in the forward sections, and the corrected outline in the plan view. Underwater blends easy sections to a flat-sided keel; but the very simplicity belies a very nicely resolved shape, with easy buttocks, and there is every reason to expect these were fine little boats with a very respectable turn of speed and good manners. Certainly Mylne had every advantage with his training under Watson, whose analytical methods he adopted, and whose reputation had in turn been founded with success in the smaller racing classes. A quick check of the hydrostatics indicates that Mylne was almost certainly controlling the same parameters that Watson used, and they were seemingly well ahead of their contemporaries. This was a thoroughly modern design. The original gaff sloop sail plan is interesting as it sports a modest club-footed jib, which looks as if it could be self-tacking. Whether the original owners had any notion of single-handing, or merely wished to keep crewing requirements to a minimum, is unknown, but the set-up would allow junior crews to learn the ropes. The waterplane and general form looks tolerant of crew weight, which is generally a very positive attribute in a one design. The mainsail, at 203 square foot, is sensibly sized to be the main driver without excess effort. If Blyth had ever become a fashionable centre of yachting, in the manner of Cowes, this design could have rivalled Westmacott’s X Class of 1904, to which, barring the short bowsprit, it bears more than a passing resemblance. As it is, these boats must have provided grand sailing, before subsiding into obscurity. A replica would be a relatively simple and economic build today; as North America revels in the rediscovery of numerous, similar, dayboats that are now being rebuilt, perhaps it is time for a similar revival on the other side of the Atlantic? If so, this is a fine candidate, and Mylne & Co would be happy to help.

As global headlines concern themselves with the diversity, or

Getting up a head of steam

not, of the Oscars, I

I was wondering if those involved in the Cutty Sark might

couldn’t help

have been a little red faced this week. The magnificent and

wondering, as I posted

triumphant return to service of The Flying Scotsman can

North East heritage

my vote this afternoon,

only be described as a great success. The engineers

whether the Classic

involved are to be congratulated. I note the conspicuous

As the owners of two Northumberland ODs, my

Boat Awards might

absence of a debate over whether the locomotive is a

brother and I were interested in the article in

come under similar

replica or a restoration. The public are simply very

January’s issue by Theo Rye on the class. The

fire. Does a taped-up

gladdened to see her/him/it back on the main line pulling

recent history of the Royal Northumberland YC tells

old gaffer berthed in

first class passengers: £4m well spent.

a slightly different story, with the class being

Oban stand the same



NORTHUMBERLAND OD LOD 20ft (6.1m) LWL 17ft (5.2m) BEAM 6ft (1.8m) DRAUGHT 3ft 2in (0.9m) SAIL AREA 250sq ft (23.2m2) DISPLACEMENT (APPROX) 1.3 tons

commissioned in the early 1920s, based on plans of

Compare this with the circa £34m spent on the Cutty

chance of winning as a

Sark restoration by architects and builders which, as far as I

the Lee-on-the-Solent OD, a clinker-built


can see, has left her unfit for sea. The appointment of

centreboard 16-footer. Ten were built but only two

restoration that’s just

architects was a good choice when you consider her (or

emerged from an East

should that now be its) new use. How many shipwrights

Coast US yard?

could have built such an excellent coffee shop? I wonder

are still in action, No 8 (Fluff) and No 9 (Wren). Both are carvel built. We understand that another ‘original’ is being repaired in the North East. Fluff

A brief glance at

how many visitors get a sense of the terrific power and

was bought in 1929 from a Mr Nisbet, who kept her

your nomination

majesty of a tea clipper and how many are resigned to a

in Tynemouth Haven and taken to Beadnell, where

categories suggests

(no doubt wonderful) cup of coffee below her keel, one of

our mother sailed her until her death in 1989, then

there is no reason to

the few uninspiring views of the ship.

moved by me to Hayling Island. Wren was bought

worry, as you have

Robert Lawrence, Aberdeenshire

by my brother Fred Hoult from the Newbeggin

created categories

family in 1969, since when she has been

that span the classic

at Holy Island.

world, but the Oscars

Tim Hoult, Richmond, London

did that too. I hope nobody C/O MICHAEL KRUGER

thinks I’m making light of the real diversity issue. That really is worth worrying about, but the celebrities seem to have things Oscar (no relation)

Memories on the ice


The article in the October issue and the letter in the

well in hand.

Stepped planks

December issue reminded me of my own happy memories

I may be able to shed some light on Graham Lamond’s letter about the stepped plank fishing Dawson, who has her for salmon fishing during the season. He has a large boat with a wheel house for his lobster and crabpot fishing. Susan D


vessel (March issue). She belongs to a Mr Edward



of ice-yachting, when stationed in Germany with the RAF in 1950-2. We had our yacht club on the Lake Steinhudemeer, near RAF Wunstof and Hanover and by January the lake had frozen to a depth of over a foot, so out came our two ice yachts, something I’d not seen before. When I enquired how we would cope with just two, the answer was: “You’ll

was built in the 1970s by CA Goodall of Sandsend,

soon find out.” My first trip was exciting, with speeds of up

near Whitby, who built a lot of double-enders for Ed replies: We publish

to 50mph, but after just five minutes your body was numb

knows of no particular reason for the stepped

the winners on page

with cold, so there was never a queue waiting to sail!

planks, so Mr Lamond’s thoughts that like this

24. We strive to

the whole of the Yorkshire coast. Mr Dawson

In 1951 we had four ice yachts, but we started too early

they might be easier to bend at the ends, might

represent the entire

that winter, before we had enough thickness of ice. You

be right. However, he is looking up some of the

classic boat world,

realised all was not well when you looked astern and saw

original paperwork when he bought her for any

with the Awards and

an ice wave following you. Several times skates put through

with the contents

the ice which left the helmsman, including me, the walk

of the magazine

home acrosss ice to the clubhouse often about a mile away

every month.

David Hastings, Norwich

further information. Tony Peereboom, Beadnell, Northumberland




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l Footwear: never slip again with ST’s deck shoe test

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Multi-class champion gives his winning insights

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Rob Greenhalgh talks about the new inshore race class



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Maurice Griffiths His favourite yacht

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26/10/2015 18:28

The Folkboat “Design genius” J-Class at the Squadron


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Stunning traditional boats, showcased through beautiful photography and expert editorial coverage

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Stunning features

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High latitudes hold no fear in the Boréal 55


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Tal two lugger our for18ft round Ireland’

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13-19 April Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

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Above: Whitehawk passing the Gauntlet Guiding Light. From left: Samsara skims the mark; Richard Oswald, JANET HEIN

owner of Coral; the mighty Chronos

Seeking perfection Jan Hein ponders which boat to join at Antigua Classics


would be better. The team took up battle stations and those aft, hich boat to jump aboard for a race during Antigua’s armed with a barrage of navigation devices, started formulating classic regatta? The growing entry list held vessels as their win. There was wind and wild seas. Whitehawk’s varied as snowflakes. I wanted to go fast, sure, but I navigators called every shift, played the current and at the also wanted to stay dry and sail with a captivating crew. Were there windward mark the chute came out of the bag like a genie from parameters, I wondered, that would help narrow the playing field a bottle. Back at the dock, we piled into the cockpit for a of my quest for the perfect ride? group shot before heading off. As I looked back, Team I began my shortlist with the newest boat in the regatta, the Whitehawk was strategizing for day three. 2012 Klaus Roder ketch, Chronos. She’d possibly be the most I saved race three, which involved four legs of reaching, for comfortable and at 179ft LOD she was the biggest. I opted not my slowest ride. In the windy conditions, surely even the former to ask for a place aboard the smallest entrant, a 25ft Folkboat, fishing boat Samsara would be back in time for the party? I not wishing to take up precious deck space. Size matters. found myself in a traditionalist’s dream of linseed oil, galvanized Age matters, too, so I added to my shortlist the 80ft Coral of rigging and 86 ash blocks that lightened the load of her handCowes, a magnificent gaff schooner and at 113-years-old, the hauled canvas sails. We lumbered toward the start undisputed matriarch of the fleet. line, family and friends hauling a myriad of lines to Now, speed. The fastest boat over the line might “The deck make the gaffer go. Instead of navigation devices, be the J-Class Rainbow but I chose the Bruce King became a giant here it was bottles of water that were in custom ketch Whitehawk, overall winner in 2014. proliferation, a focus on rehydration that had at And the slowest? Would she offer benefits the bunk as one least something to do with last night’s party. After others couldn’t? I was pointed in the direction of person after we rounded the southern mark, Samsara’s deck Samsara, a converted Danish fishing boat. another went became a giant bunk as one person after another List in hand, I managed to talk my way on to the horizontal for went horizontal for a snooze, including the captain newest, oldest, fastest and slowest boats for four and his wife. It didn’t affect our speed. As we days of research. Which would give the perfect ride? a snooze” entered the harbour 25 minutes after everyone else, Race one saw me climbing aboard the giant we were met with thunderous cheers. Chronos, joining its crew and two-dozen guests Coral of Cowes, my final ride, carries three jibs, topsail gaffs feasting on a five-star breakfast, everyone togged out in stripes fore and main and her bowsprit is 16ft. She makes for a great and the sails shooting up courtesy of winches that required few photo. Wind and seas had softened, a perfect stage for the old hands. As Chronos bit into the ocean seas, I waited for her to gal to strut her stuff. Charter guests wore shirts adorned with the yaw or buck, but she held so steady that not one of the teak number 3, matching Coral’s main, while from the helm owner chairs on the aft deck moved an inch. Before we reached the first Richard Oswald imparted tidbits of Coral’s fascinating history. mark, the deck had morphed into a lounge, with guests now That night, as the band cranked up at the awards ceremony, I enjoying fruit drinks. I could get used to this. contemplated the question I had set out to answer. They were all, Boarding last year’s winner, the speedy Whitehawk, for my in their own way, perfect. What to do? The answer was obvious. second race, I knew there’d be no fruit drinks. After a general One boat per regatta is just not enough for this life. introduction to the crew of 22, I was handed a crew shirt and instructed how to not get in the way. A strategy session was Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta 13-19 April. called in the cockpit – they’d had a good day one, but day two




ongratulations to Spirit Yachts on winning the Classic Boat “Spirit of Tradition” Award (over 40 ft / 12.2 m)

“Spirit 46”


orking with Spirit Yachts to source the highest quality Teak and Mahogany for their new builds

stones marine timber Sourcing Timber from Mills around the World

Tel: +44(0)1548844122


William Fife, 1914 / 2004 28.6m / 94ft, 6 guests, US$4m

MOONBEAM IV William Fife & Sons, 1914 / 2001 32.1m / 105ft, 7 guests, €4.5m

HALLOWE’EN William Fife & Sons, 1926 / 2009 24.2m / 79ft, 5 guests, €1.45m

Mike Horsley: +33 493 34 68 98, LONDON MONTE CARLO NEW YORK



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