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Classic Boat MARCH 2014

£4.50 US$12.50

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

Collecti Collecting

Varnish test Latest results

aRestoring fleet the seven sisters

No boats please! We’re the BBC

PLUS Flying high 40 knots in an Albatross Buried in Burma The hidden half-raters NEW BOAT: POCKET ROCKET

Eagle 36 on test


To sea on the NHS


New style cockpit

new for 2014

Eagle 54







MARCH 2014 Nº309



6 . GREAT DANES Gerhard Rønne designed seven boats called Runa – here is No 6


The racing cutter that’s a collector’s item

28 . A LOVE AFFAIR Luke Powell, pioneer of the modern pilot cutter tells his story COVER STORY


20 . HIDDEN HORRORS After a major restoration, the racing cutter Leila is back


34 . MIGHTY MACHINE Join us for a wild ride in the amazing Albatross speedboat COVER STORY

56 . SUPPORT ON THE SEA How Sea Sanctuary helps those with mental health issues



52 . LUXURY LIVING A mini J? Says who? We set sail in the stylish new Eagle 36



98 . THE BBC AND BOATS Not just the Beeb; sailing is always low on the UK media’s agenda



82 . SHINE ON The full update on our comprehensive varnish test




46 . BORN SURVIVOR The story of the Thames HalfRaters buried (or sunk) in Burma



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Power’s creed of speed Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London, SW3 3TQ EDITORIAL Editor Dan Houston +44 (0)207 349 3755 Acting Deputy Editor Steffan Meyric Hughes +44 (0)207 349 3758 Senior Art Editor Peter Smith +44 (0)207 349 3756 Production Editor Andrew Gillingwater +44 (0)207 349 3757 Contributing Editor Peter Willis Technical Editor Theo Rye Publishing Consultant Martin Nott Proofing Vanessa Bird ADVERTISING Advertisement Manager Edward Mannering +44 (0)207 349 3747 Senior Sales Executive Patricia Hubbard +44 (0)207 349 3748 Advertisement Production Allpointsmedia +44 (0)1202 472781 Published Monthly ISSN: 0950 3315 USA US$12.50 Canada C$11.95 Australia A$11.95 Subscribe now: +44 (0)1795 419840 Subscriptions manager William Delmont +44 (0)207 349 3710 Subscriptions Department 800 Guillat Avenue, Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne, Kent ME9 8GU Managing Director Paul Dobson CHELSEA Deputy Managing Director Steve Ross ARINE M MAGAZINES Commercial Director Vicki Gavin Publisher Simon Temlett Digital Manager Oliver Morley-Norris Events Manager Holly Thacker The Chelsea Magazine Company Ltd Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London, SW3 3TQ +44 (0)207 349 3700 Copyright The Chelsea Magazine Company 2013 all rights reserved

How do you feel about powerboats? I remember getting my power certificate in the Sea Cadets and feeling suddenly a bit more grown up. That’s because the old 18ft (5.5m) Cheverton Viking with its 23hp Lister diesel was used for safety, when our fleet of Admiralty Sea Cutters were at sea or at places like the river Medway during our annual “camp” at HMS Pembroke – a “brick frigate” or naval base at Chatham. And I have to admit, it was a lot of fun. I would still mostly rather go for a sail, but I am not against powerboats in the same way as some sailors. Of course, if the powerboat is a plastic palace of glass and chrome peopled by tipsy lottery winners without a scintilla of savvy for the rules of the road, and she cuts you up as you are on a tricky bend of the river on the last puffs of tide and air, trying to make your mooring under sail… Well, fists are for shaking. But those aren’t the powerboats we feature in CB, where I like to think we have covered some glorious examples of the type. Usually they are not built for speed but Steffan Meyric Hughes’ feature on blatting about on an Albatross, or Alby (pictured above), is a great exception to the rule. YACHTS We found two of them last summer at the CHELSEA “No-one would MARINE Monaco Classics and were instantly invited out dare stick their to have the Albatross experience – full report on p34. How I got any photos is still a complete tongue out” mystery because the little boat bounces over the rippling waves like an empty can shot from a cannon. A lot of the time you’re YACHTS airborne, especially if the driver crosses the wake of the other boat, and the CHELSEA MARINE flat-bottomed hull comes down with a faith-defying thump that tests all your connective tissue. You could only call them a polite boat in the sense that no-one would ever dare stick their tongue out, for fear of biting it clean off on the next wave top. You can’t help tensing up, which of course makes it worse and I think Steffan and I were both a bit shaken when we got back to the dock. We were stirred as well though and became instant fans, joining a long list of often-illustrious people who have fallen for the Alby’s bone-jarring charms. So much so that when Steffan spat a dental crown out at breakfast the next day we found it hilarious; a little trophy injury to celebrate the new experience. YACHTING



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Classic Boat MARCH 2014

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Dinghy Show Guide inside Kick-start your season at the world’s biggest dinghy event


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To sea on the NHS

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27/01/2014 15:40

24/01/2014 13:20




Runa’ss Runa



Former CEO of Louis Vuitton, Yves Carcelle, and a friend are on a mission to find and restore all seven Runa masterpieces. Read more about this Danish design and the quest to bring Runa VI back to glory STORY JACQUES TAGLANG PHOTOGRAPHS NIGEL PERT


Clockwise from top left: evidence of quality craftmanship abounds with the new blocks; fairlead; running backstay and the gaff span finished in leather and ‘baseball glove’ stitching. Left: fully restored and back on the water




he Danish architect, Gerhard Peter Rønne (1879-1955), only designed 10 yachts. One of these, penned for his friend Knud Degn, and six others, for himself, were all baptised Runa. Nothing extraordinary, perhaps, yet a century after the first was launched in 1910, two friends, Yves Carcelle and Gregory Ryan, are collaborating to collect and restore all the surviving boats of the series to their original condition. This is itself an unusual ambition in the yachting world but, furthermore, of the seven Runa designs only one has disappeared, and that was during the 1950s. Runa VI found her element again after an extensive reconstruction at Chantier du Guip in Brest on the 6 May 2013. On seeing the restored cutter in all her splendour, the owner, Yves Carcelle, exclaimed: “I feel like a kid before a new toy: feverishly impatient! Even though I am not a collector at heart, just to know that I own Runa IV and Runa VI fills me with joy. And I promised to share this joy with previous owners, five of

whom have come from the USA, Portugal and the South of France to witness the comeback of Runa VI. “The first time I saw her was half a century ago. She was a present from my mother for my 17th birthday in 1963!” Another former Portuguese owner, Manuel Champalimaud, said: “When I bought her a young Danish girl was living aboard with her two children and chartering in the Balearics. I raced Runa VI and she held her own against modern yachts. I kept her until 1970.” Since then, Manuel has sailed the 1952 67ft (20.4m) yawl Sea Lion, designed by Alberg & Brengle and built by Abeking & Rasmussen (CB289), which his mother owned at the time she gave him Runa VI. Fernando Vozone then took over Runa VI from Manuel and his sons Jorge and José were amazed: “Every weekend we had a family outing from Lisbon or Cascais, sometimes competing in a race.” Maybe it was aboard Runa VI, then, that Jorge first wanted to become a professional skipper. The two brothers looked at each other with a smile, reminiscing over taking girlfriends sailing, away from their parent’s supervision!

Above: sycamore brightwork down below gives the cabin a rich and luxurious warmth



JacqueS TaGlanG collecTion

DRawinGS of Runa Vi by fRançoiS cheValieR

RUNA VI Seen here on her maiden voyage. Designed by Gerhard Rønne in 1927 Dimensions: see p13 ☞

Finally Alain Lenôtre, who had come from the USA especially for the occasion, recalls Runa VI with the Marconi rig sported during his ownership, between 1974 and 1982. “In 1977 I sailed her from Portugal to Bandol, on the Côte d’Azur, via Morocco, Malaga and the Balearics. I did consider taking her to the USA, for a while, in 1982, when I settled in Houston, Texas!” Although Runa VI’s owner from 1982 to 1996, Pierre Bayze, could not be present at the reunion, his successor, Eric Lapasset, came from Bandol to see the boat he had unsuccessfully attempted to restore. Eric owned Runa VI from 1997 until 2011. “She is even more beautiful than I had dreamed. If I had known, I would have done everything to finish the restoration!” he said. Eric was not yet 30 when he acquired Runa VI and though his means were limited he decided to restore her alone. He had already restored a yacht that belonged to his father, but this time he underestimated what was involved. Eight years later he admitted: “I’d had enough. I was worn out and my visits were less and less frequent. Around 2004 to 2005, I stopped work on her altogether. 10


Above: sail plan, lines and cutaway of Runa VI. Right: not a bad place to store rope and sails! Far right: painting of the missing Runa V by Sigurd Kielland-Brandt, a friend of Rønne who cruised her in 1920

Then, at the beginning of 2011, I contacted Yves Carcelle… The irony is that I have never sailed on Runa VI – today is a great first to be able to helm her!” Yves Carcelle is well aware of these stories: “It is obvious that Manuel, Jorge and José, Alain and Eric are all experiencing the same emotions as I am. We’ve all fallen under the spell of Runa VI. What is strange, though, is that when you listen to them you get the impression that they are not talking about the same boat. But it is the same force of attraction that affects us all. She is a small boat seemingly unspectacular, but with a staggering beauty. Everyone who sees her regards her as a work of art. I always recall the words of Gerhard Rønne when asked about the significance of the name Runa. He said: ‘It means rune – a small mystical thing!’ Well, I believe this mysterious side to Rønne’s creations. Just look at this: five ex-owners or their descendants, gathered together to celebrate the rebirth of this cutter.” Apart from this, what motivates Yves to reassemble most of the Runa family? “The seeds of this passion were sewn during a wine-tasting evening in 2009,” he says.


Gerhard Rønne and his designs Gerhard Peter Rønne is remembered as an architect of buildings and he worked during the period inspired by neoclassicism and functionalism between the wars. He was student and collaborator of Albert Jensen (who was architect to the King) before working for the town of Copenhagen and subsequently creating his own practice in 1916. His masterpiece was Shell’s Danish headquarters in 1932, unfortunately destroyed in bombardments of 1945. Gerhard was born in 1879. His father Niels was a cabinetmaker and Gerhard learned woodwork at technical college before attending the Royal Arts Academy to study architecture, qualifying in 1907. Four years later he married Ines Jensen and they had a son, Torben. As a child Gerhard was fascinated by the stories of his grandfather, Henning Hansen Rønne, who had been a deep-sea captain and he freely admitted being already subjugated by the sea. By the age of 17 he was a member of the Copenhagen Amateur Sailing Club and then he joined the Royal Danish Yacht Club. In 1897, he undertook his first cruise on a small yacht, Sirius. Ten years later, to celebrate his graduation, he went on a cruise with friend Knud Degn, who won a silver medal in the 6-M event of the 1924 Paris Olympics, on his yacht Ran. Gerhard acquired Ran at this time. In 1910 the two friends drew up plans for sisterships Runa and Ran II, with a little helpful advice, it is believed, from celebrated Danish naval architect Alfred Benzon (1855-1932). Rønne designed his nine later boats alone. Six of his 10 designs were for himself, and all apart from Runa VII, which was constructed by Knud Jensen in Roskilde, were built in Denmark at the Neptune Yard of NH Nielsen at Skovshoved. Although Gerhard was a regatta man in his youth, he soon acquired the taste for cruising: “Once my studies were finished I always found a

way to devote two or three weeks of holiday to a long-distance cruise.” In 1910 his voyage with Runa of 1,100 nautical miles took him as far as Yarmouth, Isle of Wight, and back. In all, his Runas took him to Norway, Sweden, Holland, France, UK, Finland and even Lithuania. Gerhard Rønne was deeply involved in the Royal Danish Yacht Club, sitting on many race committees and juries and generally participating on the development of Danish yachting. Runa VII, his last design, was built in 1946 and this Marconi cutter was sold in 1949. She later turned up in America after a brief passage in the UK. Rønne died aged 76 in 1955. He once said, referring to his cruising: “I am not a romantic, but I love nature and the sea for their purity. And it is precisely this sentiment that is all important in yachting!”


“Once my studies were finished I always found a way to devote two or three weeks of holiday to a long-distance cruise”



RUNA VI “Gregory Ryan, an American sculptor, was talking of his three-year restoration of Runa VII at Mystic Seaport, in Connecticut, USA. I was moved by his failure to acquire Runa IV, which a friend had located in San Francisco. I don’t quite know what went through my mind, but without seeing either of these yachts I decided to purchase Runa IV and have the master craftsmen of Chantier du Guip restore her.” Later, the decision was made to have Chantier du Guip reconstruct, to original plans, the wreck of Runa VI – just as they did for Runa IV. In 2012, Ryan acquired a second Rønne yacht, Ran II (sister ship of the first Runa and considered as Runa II, although no boat has ever carried this name) and has also started her restoration. “I feel one of the strongest elements of this whole story is the involvement of a whole group of enthusiastic friends – Bruno Troublé, François Chevalier, Yann Mauffret and his team and Jacques Taglang [the author of this story], who is preparing a book on the Runa saga – who came together around Runa IV,” adds Yves. “Discussions and historical research within the heart of this group have dictated procedures followed during restoration, such as the decision to put Runa IV back to a gaff yawl rig, rather than retain the Marconi sloop rig carried when she arrived in France. Similarly, decisions to lay a canvas deck on Runa VI and to give her a gaff rig are the result of the same process. “It’s true, between the two of us, Gregory and I have four of the seven Runas and the idea of collecting all seven has become something of an obsession,” Yves says. “The first Runa belongs to the Yachting Museum of Svendborg, Denmark. Her sister ship, Ran II, belongs to Gregory – there was never a Runa II as Gerhard considered Ran II to fulfil this function. Runa III is in Germany; I own the IV and VI, and Gregory number VII, which is still in the States. This leaves Runa V, whose trace is lost after 1949. Maybe one day she will be rebuilt as she was,” Yves concludes, his enigmatic smile directed towards his two beloved yachts.

Runa VI restoration There is no doubt that Gerhard Rønne would have recognised the ‘new’ Runa VI, imagined in 1927, when she was refloated on 6 May last year. Chantier du Guip’s master craftsman, Gerd Löhman, explains the restoration process: “As with Runa IV, Runa VI underwent a thorough diagnosis and was classed, like her predecessor, as a “boat to be totally restored”. So, rather than change things little by little – a choice that takes a lot of time, can prove quite challenging and is often very expensive – it was decided to undertake a reconstruction that was faithful to the original. In the long term, this was probably a more economical solution but, like any project of this magnitude, you have to know when to put sentimental attachment aside!” Next, the form was taken and traced full size. Only a few things were disassembled so the team could measure certain parts. “From the outset Yves insisted that the restoration of this boat must be impeccable,” explains Yann Mauffret, director of the restoration at Chantier du Guip. “Coming from the luxury world of Louis Vuitton where perfection and authenticity are the bywords, I guess it’s second nature.” The main structure was reproduced as built: keelson, floors, frames, stem and sternposts. Bassam mahogany was used instead of pine for the planking to stiffen the hull, and copper fixings were substituted instead of the original iron ones to help reduce susceptibility to corrosion damage. The hull was also sheathed. The interior was created by Bernard Mauffret: “Yves Carcelle wanted to retain the same spirit of Runa IV, so I created the furnishings in sycamore, selecting pieces with a wavy grain for extra detailing on the panelling. To keep within the same tonality, I used clear oak for elements such as the table and coffer in the companionway. The cabin sole is constructed in untreated teak.”

“From the outset Yves insisted the restoration of this boat must be impeccable”

The full story of the yachts of Gerhard Rønne will soon be available in the book The Runa Saga that Jacques Taglang and Nigel Pert are currently preparing to be published in the spring










DESIGN Gaff cutter BUILDER NH Nielsen Fréres, Skovshoved DIMENSIONS LOA: 31ft 2in (9.5m) Beam: 7ft 8in (2.4m) Draught: 5ft 2in (1.6m) Disp: 10,803lb (4.9t) Sail area: 533sqft (49.5m²) OwNED BY The Danish Yachting Museum since 1992

DESIGN Gaff cutter BUILDER NH Nielsen Fréres, Skovshoved DIMENSIONS LOA: 31ft 2in (9.5m) Beam: 7ft 8in (2.4m) Draught: 5ft 2in (1.6m) Disp: 10,803lb (4.9t) Sail area: 533sqft (49.5m²) OwNED BY Gregory Ryan since 2011

DESIGN Gaff cutter BUILDER NH Nielsen Fréres, Skovshoved DIMENSIONS LOA: 28ft 8in (8.8m) Beam: 6ft 12in (2.1m) Draught: 5ft 1in (1.6m) Disp: 9,039lb (4.1t) Sail area: 483sqft (44.9m²) OwNED BY Unknown – thought to be lying in Germany

DESIGN Gaff yawl BUILDER NH Nielsen Fréres, Skovshoved DIMENSIONS LOS: 49ft 2in (15m), LOA: 35ft 2in (10.7m) Beam: 8ft 1in (2.4m), Draught: 5ft 2in (1.6m), Disp: 10,582lb (4.8t), Sail area: 842sqft (78.2m²) OwNED BY Yves Carcelle since 2009


Clockwise from above: planking in progress – her lithe, form is obvious even at this stage; complex dovetail joint; cockpit hatch sliding rail constructed from solid timber; securing the deck beams. Bottom right: Yves Carcelle (far right) and his team celebrating the completion of an epic project







DESIGN Gaff yawl BUILDER NH Nielsen Fréres, Skovshoved DIMENSIONS LOA: 27ft 8in (8.5m) Beam: 7ft 5in (2.3m) Draught: 4ft 7in (1.4m) Disp: 11,244lb (5.1t) Sail area: 819sqft (76.1m²) OwNED BY No more information since 1950

DESIGN Gaff cutter BUILDER NH Nielsen Fréres, Skovshoved DIMENSIONS LOA: 34ft 1in (10.4m) LWL: 26ft 5in (8.1m) Beam: 7ft 10in (2.4m) Draught: 5ft 2in (1.6m) Disp: 16,535lb (7.5t) Sail area: 848sqft (78.8m²) OwNED BY Yves Carcelle since 2011

DESIGN Bermudan cutter BUILDER Knud Jensen, Roskilde Denmark DIMENSIONS LOA: 29ft 6in (9m) Beam: 7ft 2in (2.2m) Draught: 5ft 6in (1.7m) Disp: 11,023lb (5t) Sail area: 700sqft (65m²) OwNED BY Gregory Ryan since 2005



Tell Tales

Classic Boat’s address: Jubilee House, 2 Jubilee Place, London, SW3 3TQ For phone numbers, please see page 5



Exposed to the elements by waves crashing onto the Irish coast in January, the wreck of the 84-tonne Sunbeam has a new peril – trophy hunters! She was driven ashore on a voyage from Kinvara to Cork in 1903 and was wrecked but with no loss of life. The race is on to preserve the 78ft (23.8m) schooner from looters who have already begun to steal pieces of the wooden skeleton, which has been a feature, albeit mostly covered in sand, on Rossbeigh Beach, Co Kerry, for 111 years.

The American folk music legend Pete Seeger died on 27 January at the age of 94. He will be remembered by most for his songs, which included ‘If I Had a Hammer’ and ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone’, but he was also an environmentalist who was behind the building of the 75ft (22.9m) replica Hudson River sloop Clearwater in the 1960s, which acted as a figurehead for the clean-up of New York’s Hudson River. Our feature on Pete Seeger, published in November 2009 (CB257), is now up on our website.


Pete Seeger has died


longer call-outs to yachtsmen in peril, saying that although the nearest CMRCC might be further from an incident than before the cuts, the Coastguard volunteer rescue teams spread out along the coast will remain local and unaffected; as will the availability of the charity-funded RNLI. However, Dennis O’Connor of the campaign group said: “MPs and the public have been fobbed off with spin on this issue, which should be of the gravest concern to everyone.”


Storm exposes wreck


Above: one of four Coastguard SAR helicopters, now contracted out to the private sector


organisational shake-up that has meant many staff movements internally and away from the service. The MCA does not dispute the figures published by Save Our Coastguard, but added that since they were counted, things have improved, with new staff taken on. The spokeswoman added that a new central coordination hub will be built in Fareham, Hampshire, in September this year, to oversee smooth running of the service. She also refuted CB’s suggestion that closures could mean


Information recently obtained by pressure group Save Our Coastguard has painted a worrying picture of understaffing at every one of the 15 UK Coastguard Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres (CMRCC). Six of these reported understaffing of more than 50 per cent below the safe personnel level, with the Thames station the worst offender at 88.7 per cent below. It is part of a long story of cutbacks to the Coastguard service that started in 2010, when the Government initially considered reducing the number of the UK’s CMRCCs from 18 to just two or three. An outcry ensued and, in 2011, the plan was announced to reduce closures to eight stations: Brixham, Swansea, Portland, Liverpool, Thames, Yarmouth, Clyde and Forth. The last three in this list have already closed; the other five will follow. The present understaffing crisis seems at first glance unrelated to the programme of closures, affecting stations irregardless of whether or not they are due for closure. However, a spokeswoman from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency told CB that the station closures were part of a greater


Chronic understaffing at Coastguard


Above, left to right: Stirling & Son’s expedition dinghy; CMBA stand; a Nautiraid inflatable


A few classics at the boat show

It’s still a show of two halves, but nowadays both sides of the London Boat Show seem to fit comfortably into one hall, reports Peter Willis. At one end the powerboats command an eerie hush, their expanses of shiny white sculpted shapes seeming reminiscent of a giant bathroom fittings showroom. On the other side, however, things are more lively with a cheery mix of chandlery, clothing, books, holidays, Guinness and even some boats! Despite Monday being dubbed the most miserable day of the year according to some survey or other, the atmosphere in ‘our’ half of the show seemed upbeat and busy. Setting the tone is the Adventurous Cruising Zone, which, with its neighbouring Classic Motor Boat Club and Greenwich Yacht Club displays, evokes memories of

the old Classic Boat stands. Nearby was boatbuilder Will Stirling’s varnished 14ft (4.3m) dinghy Grace. Elsewhere in the show was North Quay Marine’s superlative Spitfire (full test in next month’s CB), Swallow Boats’ Bay Cruiser and Raider, Cornish Crabbers’ myriad offerings and some neat French folding boats imported by Nestaway. We all need gizmos nowadays and Icom is celebrating 50 years of developing them. A couple of highlights this year were the AIS Class B transponder MA500TR, and the M506, an AIS receiver with a decent-sized screen, incorporated in a VHF transceiver. Outside on Victoria dock the star was the fire tender Massey Shaw (right), some tugs and the Thames barge Melissa, magnificently restored by the Webb brothers at Pin Mill in Suffolk.



Massey Shaw fire boat on show The 1935 Samuel White-built Massey Shaw is famous as the London fireboat that did sterling service during the Blitz, writes Dan Houston. The MS has just had a £1m+ Heritage Lottery Fund-sponsored restoration at Tommi Nielsen’s Gloucester Dock and is back in full working condition. The above picture shows her water cannon, which was powered by a brace of Glenifer eight-cylinder diesels capable of pumping out up to 3,000 gallons of water a minute (227 litres/second!): “We can take a wall down…” joked one of her volunteer crew. They demonstrated that power every day at 2.30pm, powering up and firing water across the dock. MS, among other exploits, is credited with saving St Paul’s Cathedral. She also rescued hundreds of soldiers at Dunkirk in 1940.


SNST to launch book




Fast cutter with classic lines She was launched in 1900 to a design by the almost unknown JF Clyne, and restored in southern Spain six years ago by Rafael Carrio for himself and fellow owner Andreas Mondragon. Today, she sails like a dream and her role as a daysailer in the Med means that she is completely unfettered by instrumentation, which means sailing her is an unusually authentic experience. The 37ft (11.3m) cutter is no slouch either, as we learned slipping along at more than seven knots on a tight reach in light airs in Valencia a few years ago. The full story of Grayling’s rebirth is online at now.

One of France’s oldest sporting associations, the Société Nautique de Saint Tropez, established 1862, will publish its history in a 200-page book by Jacques Taglang and Antoine Sezerat. Available in May from the SNST office at €35. NP

Awards Classic Boat Award logo 2014.indd 1

15/11/2013 15:34

We will celebrate the best of 2013 in next month’s special awards issue. And you may still be able to vote! Voting closes at midnight, local time, 16 February. Go to awards2014 to have your say. So far we have had more than 3,000 voters.

Last chance toonline vote email






This award went to 16-year-old

She might have missed being named Yachtsman of the Year, but 24 hours after the YJA Awards, Jeanne


cocKling sea


Look back at the Broads The Museum of the Broads has received £10,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to encourage local people to ‘dig up’ family histories connected to the First World War, reports Maurice Gray. The project trains students from Stalham High School to interview and film local people to produce a picture of Broads life for DVD and internet. CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014

The OGA’s Gaffer Globe Award went to 65-year-old Barbara Runnalls for her solo circumnavigation in the OGA’s Round Britain Challenge last summer in her Yarmouth 23 Moon River (above).

oBe Keith musto



oga gaffer gloBe award BarBara runnalls

“Tumbling waves dashing against each other with a short and quick motion” Sailor’s Word Book of 1867

Keith Musto (left), founder of the famous sailing wear company, received an OBE for services to the economy.


Christopher Courtauld 1934-2014 Chris Courtauld, founder of the Ocean Youth Club and owner of the 50ft (15.2m) yawl Duet (1912), died on 11 January, aged 80. As the Rev Augustine Christopher Caradoc Courtauld, he spent much of his working life as the parish priest of St Paul’s, Knightsbridge. As a sailor, he co-founded the Ocean Youth Trust (now ‘Club’) in 1960 with the late Chris Ellis (d 1997). He remained a trustee until 2000.


the Young sailor natasha lamBert

Barton cup Jeanne socrates

Socrates was awarded the Barton Prize, foremost trophy of the Ocean Cruising Club. Other winners included Ewen Southby-Tailyour and Trevor Leek of Jester Challenge.

Clockwise from top left: Rev Bob Shepton; Shepton on board Dodo’s Delight; Barbara Runnalls; Runnalls with Moon River; Keith Musto; Jeanne Socrates


The Reverend Bob Shepton (above) was awarded the Apollo/YJA Yachtsman of the Year trophy for 2013 at an awards ceremony and lunch held last month at London’s Trinity House. The 79-year-old sailed his 33ft (10m) GRP Westerly, Dodo’s Delight, through the North-West Passage in both directions in successive years. The ex-marine and retired school chaplain narrowly beat retired London teacher Jeanne Socrates (below left) who, at 70, became the oldest woman to sail solo around the world without stopping. Three sailors have won the top award three times each: Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, Sir Ben Ainslie and Dame Ellen MacArthur.

Natasha Lambert of Cowes, who overcame cerebral palsy to sail cross-Channel solo in her yacht Miss Isle Too. Other extraordinary awards went to six-time circumnavigator and record-breaking offshore racer Mike Golding; and 13-year-old Ben Jelf, who became the youngest ever powerboat champion aged 11.


Yachtsman of the Year BoB shepton


The winners of 2013

And receive a complimentary club burgee flag for every membership* completed before 1st April 2014!

C a pr iC e of H uon

Di a n a

45ft RobeRt ClaRk admiRals Cup WinneR of 1967

Bill Dixon Spirit-of-traDition Cutter Built By WalSteD

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Loa: 13.82 m

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Loa: 17.45 m

|Beam: 4.09 m |Dr aft: 2.30 m |price: EUR 275,000 | |Loa: 9.50 m |Beam: 2.40 m |Dr aft: 0.50 m |year: 1938 |price: EUR 80,000


VoLon t É

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Very CompetitiVe S&S ClaSSiC r aCer from 1968

Loa: 11.57 m

|Beam: 1.92 m |Draft: 1.35 m |price: EUR 88,000 |

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This year’s Europe Week regatta, 15-22 July, will celebrate the sailing heritage of a country so maritime that going by water is as natural as taking the car, reports Clare McComb. The proposed programme for the regatta is based at three different venues – it opens at Sandefjord with its long traditions of Tall Ships and steamships, then progresses to Son, an historic centre of seafarers and boatbuilding, and ends with a grand finale in the very maritime capital of Oslo. Up to 150 classic boats of all vintages are anticipated and there will be days of racing, exhibitions and receptions, experts and enthusiasts, strangers and old friends.

Two hundred years ago, Norway set down her own constitution for the first time. One hundred years ago, before the first World War hit, the Europe Week of its day came to Oslo to mark that centenary. Hence, this is a double jubilee year for Norway and Europe Week forms a major part of the official celebrations. You can expect a host of Colin Archer classics and at least five of the original competitors from 1914, including Magda VIII (1909), the oldest 12-M still sailing. If that wasn’t enough, the Tall Ships will be in Bergen from 22 July, just two days after the Oslo regatta ends. See more online at



Bicentenary regatta Top and inset: the Johan Anker-designed yacht Sira; a scene from the regatta when it was first held in 1914


Salvaged wreck to go round the world


This photo shows Grace, a 38ft (11.6m) stripplanked yacht built in 1972, at her lowest ebb, after breaking free from her anchor and running ashore and sinking off Kefallinia in the summer of 2012. Her owner of 15 years, globe-trotting yachtsman Malcolm Campbell, had been planning a world circumnavigation in aid of Cancer Research UK when the accident occurred; the condition claimed Malcolm’s younger sister, after whom he renamed the boat. Now the wreck has been salvaged and replanking is almost complete. So, the circumnavigation is back on, but, says Malcolm, the boat needs a complete refit below. He is seeking help (material, financial, or cancer fundraising), to get his boat fixed and the project started. Email

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19 10:06 CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014 15/01/2014

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What lies beneath When a ‘simple restoration’ turned into a four-year nightmare, Leila’s newly formed preservation trust struggled to keep it going. But they persevered and put this 1892 gentleman’s yacht back on the water story PETER WILLIS

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here was a new kid on the block in last summer’s Tall Ships Races – that is, if you can call 121 years old “new”. Meet Leila, built in 1892 as a gentleman’s racing yacht, with more than a touch of “plank-on-edge” heritage – she’s long and narrow with a generous overhang and a length to beam ratio of more than 4:1. She’s now a sail-training vessel, owned by the Leila Sailing Trust, which was set up for the purpose. Her previous owner, Bill Alison, died in 2003 and, in 2008, his widow Pam donated her to Rob Bull who, with a team of trustees and helpers, including skipper David Beavan, set up the charitable trust. That was the easy bit. “It was all done online,” says Dave. “Pretty straightforward – we didn’t even need a solicitor.” The length of time between then and her maiden sail in 2013 gives a clue to how the next part unfolded. “The initial survey suggested we replace five planks and she’d be back in the water,” Dave recalls. A sustainability grant of £2,000 from the National Historic Ships Register, plus a further £2,000 from Pam Alison, was enough to see her down from Great Yarmouth to Harbour Marine Services (HMS) in Southwold. The voyage, her first in 12 years, was made without mishap – despite finding a loose seacock, a paper-thin plank and a bit of fishing net around the propeller on arrival. The next, and most depressing, stage was the discovery of an increasing amount of rot: initially beneath a piece of glassfibre over the apron, then in the planking, stanchions, mast partners and frames.

Cuprinol was sprayed around extensively to arrest it, and the business of hacking-out and replacement began. The rotten rock elm in the apron was replaced with English oak. New frames were made and sistered onto old or broken ones, using aluminium bronze bolts cast in the yard at about half the cost of ready-made bronze versions. Two more planks were removed on the port side below the waterline. A driftwood steambox was used to prepare the Swedish pine, which came to Southwold via Newhaven where it had been washed up on the shore. However, when it was time to order another 50ft (15.2m) of mahogany, it turned out their original Fijian supplier had gone bust. Luckily, another one was eventually tracked down in Cumbria, who was able to supply the wood at the same price.

riddled with rot Fundraising was a constant problem. Donations usually of a few hundred pounds, maybe a thousand, trickled in, but it became a weekly relay race between the money and the work, and they ran out of money every week. For the plank butt joints alone, bronze fin-head bolts had to come from America and cost £500. A Heritage Lottery Fund application was prepared and ready for submission in April 2009. Rather optimistically, the team were racing against time to get Leila back in the water before she dried out and needed a complete recaulking. Alas, more rot was discovered in the stem – dry rot this time, which someone appeared to have fought by stuffing a burning rag down a bolt hole, meaning that

Clockwise from top left: new deckhouse, decksides and cockpit taking shape; all-new transom where severe rot had set in; after four years, Leila leaves the shed; laying the pitch-pine deck

Left: c/O LeILa trust


the stem and apron were charred internally. The local Sotterley Estate had an old oak post that would provide the replacement. But by then, the repairs had already taken four times as long, and cost four times as much as they’d budgeted. Luckily, the Lottery Fund approved the bid, but before they would be able to draw on the grant they’d need to find £5,000 in match funding, and finish the hull. Before that could happen, though, the project had come to a halt – out of time and money. For Rob and Dave this had a silver lining of sorts – a chance to work away and earn a living. Then, in early August, a local trust donated £8,000. Work restarted with the hope of launching in September and getting Leila around to Lowestoft. But no – more extensive rot was then found in the transom, and more planks, on the port bow and quarter, proved to be rotten too. It seems they rot from the middle, which is why it’s so hard to detect. Once the transom was taken apart, more rot was found in the horn timbers and the cockpit. The Alison family and the PD James Trust both helped financially, but yard bills were running at £3,000 a week and this new work added another £20,000 to the budget. The end of 2009 revealed yet more rot around the deck area and there was no hope of a Christmas launch. In early 2010, after spending £90,000, the trust ran out of money again and work stopped. The team dispersed, in many cases to find remunerative work to repair their personal finances, and for a year, the shed, or Leila’s part of it, grew silent and inactive. The deck beams remained partly finished.

Then in February 2011 things started up again. Colin Warboys, trust chairman, drew up a schedule of work with the aim of getting Leila in the water by the autumn, and Rob resumed work on the deck. Rodge Nandy, a graduate of the boatbuilding course at Lowestoft College, joined him. Even so the schedule slipped again; the deck was still uncompleted by Christmas, and the engine, which seized on the test bench, had to be stripped and reassembled. But the momentum of work was quickening, with five volunteers on the job, plus two men from HMS. By January the ply sub-deck was finally fitted. Rob, with help from a new volunteer, Oliver Goodrich, took the lines of Leila.

Above: restored and back sailing again – a sight David Beavan never thought he would see

Transom rebuilT The spring of 2012 saw the pitch pine deck laid, the transom rebuilt and bulwarks fitted. The hull was painted, keel bolts replaced and the deck hatches fitted with toughened glass. And then, almost miraculously, after four years of painstaking hard work, Leila was ready to be moved out of the HMS shed and, on 7 June, she was launched. Needless to say, there was work to continue afloat – ballast, electrics, things like the capping rail and stanchions. The steering box needed to be rebuilt. The heads needed to go in. And then, oh yes… bunks. And a cooker. And sails… It’s been a long list, a long time, and a long bill – £150,000, and not yet finished climbing. But by Easter CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014



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Clockwise from top left: kids enjoying the sailing trip; magical sunset under sail; full charter on board; there’s a distinct traditional feel to the cockpit opening, coaming and skylight

c/0 LeILa TrUsT


There’s no varnish on Leila either. Her brightwork is 2013, the surveyor’s final inspection gave Leila the more matt, kept neat with Deks Olje No1. The overall all-clear and she was ready to move to Lowestoft, take impression is tidy, but a bit far from a gentleman’s racing up her berth on the Heritage Quay and begin the work yacht. Dave calls it “working boat status”, and it’s quite she’d been restored for. appropriate to her new role of taking young people to “Get a budget, and then treble it,” was how Dave sea at affordable prices – £80 a day for young people, Beavan, trustee, restorer, and from the beginning of the which is extremely competitive in sail-training terms. season Leila’s full-time skipper, described the process But for local kids, Dave admits, even that is not easy in when I called in to see the ship in late summer last year. Lowestoft. “We had just one on the Tall Ships Race. Dave should know, he’s been a professional skipper for Local people can’t afford it, but we want to persevere 15 years, with service on the Brixham Trawler Provident – the kids get so much out of it. There’s a long tradition and the Lowestoft Trawler Excelsior behind him. He’s of seagoing hereabouts.” put a lot of thought and work into this boat. He built the The Trust is thinking of starting up a club where bunks down below so they were quick and simple to young people can work on maintaining Leila in the install, to get Lelia to the Tall Ships startline on time. winter to offset the cost of sailing her in the summer. But his design ideas can be seen all about the deck. Some adult charter is also built into the schedule – the The aft hatch leads to the tiny cockpit – and from Dave’s rate of £110 a day helps subsidise the own cabin immediately below. “My bunk’s youth sailing – and fundraising is a two seconds away from the cockpit, which continuous activity for the Trust. is how I want it.” If the young helmsmen and watchkeepers hit trouble, he can be BUILT and desIgned right there. SHAKEDOWN SUCCESS F Wilkinson He points out the metal cleats fixed to Last summer’s sailing was something Charlton the deck. Dave disapproves of wooden bar of a shakedown in terms of finances, cleats, as often found on the bulwarks of as well as the boat herself. Overall it LOa restored and repro pilot cutters. “They tend was a success – even though the 40ft (12.2m) to work the stanchions, which lets fresh “original” engine, a 1950s Perkins LWL water in on the frames and rots the diesel taken out of an ice-cream van, 34ft 6in (10.5m) timbers,” is his view. chose to blow a hole in its side just Dave has a “less to go wrong” off Copenhagen, 24 hours before the Beam philosophy towards the boat. Washing-up start of the first Tall Ships Race. 9ft 8in (3m) is in two buckets, which sit in handy height “We sailed alongside the Dutch draUghT holes in the galley, use hand-pumped water schooner Gallant and transferred the 8ft (2.4m) and are emptied over the side. Cooking is crew so they could continue the race. on paraffin – no gas bottles on deck. Then we found a guy who could do







Above, left to right: vintage and modern – trad dials on the engine switch panel sit alongside electronic data displays; skipper David Beavan

the job in three days, if we sailed down the coast to him. We worked all night to install a new 3cyl 40hp Yanmar diesel engine and get the angle of the propeller and the revs just right. And then we gave chase to catch up the fleet at Helsinki.” Dave and his crew, Bob Jones, formerly of Challenge Wales, and Susie Burns from Shotley in Suffolk, “hammered her along, under sail and motor – we got 10.4 knots out of her”. There followed a cruise in company to Riga, and then the second race to Szczecin, Poland, followed by two adult charters to bring Leila home. There were two cheering results – Leila came ninth out of 26 boats in the race, and was pretty well fully booked throughout the voyage. “We did 4,000 miles and weathered a Force 8 gale in the second race,” Dave reports with satisfaction. “She heaves-to really nicely. Mind you, it didn’t stop the kids being sick.” Leila’s second major outing last summer was the ASTO Hammond Innes Memorial Race from Ipswich to Cowes in late August. This was for younger kids,

age 12 to 16, so although the race started well – “we were probably in the lead at one point” – when the wind died off the Owers, Dave thought it prudent to put the engine on and retire. “Still, it was a good race – other boats in sight all the time, and the kids enjoyed it.” Having spent a season sailing Leila, Dave’s verdict is that she’s “quite a complicated boat to get right, quite a lively boat and quite wet. She’s a light-weather boat, though she can stand heavy weather.” With her transition from a decayed gentleman’s racer to a basic, but very sorted sail-trainer, Dave’s doubtless right when he says of Leila: “There are very few other boats like her around.” And she’s still got that stunning counter stern. Leila’s programme for 2014 includes cruising on the East Coast and over to the near continent in the first half of the season, then down to the West Country, taking in the Douarnenez Festival, the Isles of Scilly, Falmouth Week and then back again via the Falmouth-Greenwich Tall Ships Race, 30 August to 7 September.

Leila was built in Charlton, near Greenwich, in 1892 by FW Wilkinson, who also designed her. His client was Leonard Withers of Ealing, a member of Temple Yacht Club. He won the Round Britain Yacht Race in her in 1904, and kept her until 1913. She was then bought by a fellow TYC member, HT Holloway, who later commissioned another Leila, from Priors in Burnham in 1934, and WT Nutter. However, the pair only kept her for a year and there are no wartime records of her. By 1919, another owner, AC Gibbons, had fitted her with a 6-cylinder Studebaker petrol engine. He sold her in 1920-21 to Dr F Dugon, a vice-president of the Cruising Association and a member of the Royal Cruising Club, who kept her until 1928. After three owners and a relocation to the Solent area she was acquired in 1955 by Peter Tricker, a professional yacht skipper, who brought her to the East Coast and lived aboard her in Ipswich Docks for a number of years, as well as sailing her in cross-Channel races. Eventually, Peter’s ill health forced a sale and Leila went to the Carter-Jones family who kept her on the Orwell and sailed her to Holland. After only two years, though, they sold her in 1961 to Michael Pearson. In 1963, Leila was sold to her long-term




The lifetime of Leila

owners the Alison family, who kept her until 2008. Their delivery voyage from Ramsgate to Lowestoft with their newly acquired boat was marred when a piece of fishing net fouled the propeller off Southwold. The Alisons, who kept Leila in Great Yarmouth, gave her a major refit in 1990, but Bill Alison died in 2003. Mrs Alison kept Leila until 2008, when she gifted the boat to her present owners.

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ast Easter, you might remember, was relentlessly and bitterly cold, with an icy east wind blowing for seemingly weeks on end. Not the best of conditions you’d think for the maiden voyage of Luke Powell’s new venture into skippered charter holidays. But in the warm belly of the pilot cutter, with the diesel heater grumbling away in the corner and the huge twin-flame oil lamp hoisted up into the skylight, we felt snug and safe from the weather,



warm and well fed and with a bottle or two of wine passing around enjoying cheerful conversation. We were aboard Agnes, one of the Scillonian Pilot Cutters built by Luke, and we were, I suppose, the guinea pigs in this career change from building boats to sailing them that Luke, with his second wife Joanna, have embarked on. Agnes is Luke’s favourite, and her part in this venture is the latest chapter in a long story. She was the third in a run of eight boats Luke has built so far – all traditional, plank-on-frame,


Few people have done more to resurrect the traditional boat trade in the West Country than Luke Powell. Find out why he has such passion for pilot cutters STORY BY PETER WILLIS

based on these seaworthy workboats of the 19th century. Pilot cutters were built to transport their owners in comfort and safety, so make an ideal basis for modern traditional charter vessels – over half of Luke’s boats have been used for this purpose. Each is individual, but all have a couple of Powell hallmarks. The elegantly profiled planking gives them a distinction not found on most other replica – or indeed original – pilot cutters. It’s a feature Luke discovered on a half model of the Scillonian Pilot Cutter AZ in the

museum on St Mary’s. “The way the strakes were picked out in raised and sunken fielding, edged with beading, was a feature that I felt flattered the shape of the hull and kept true to the original vessels.” It is always enhanced by the carefully chosen, specially mixed colours of the paintwork. These boats are works of art, as well as craft, and are much admired, as Luke is respected for his skills and his vision. He seemed exactly the right candidate for the Editor’s Choice – a sort of lifetime achievement nod – in last year’s Classic Boat Awards. But, “with the way

Above: top trio – Luke alongside three of his beloved pilot cutters: Agnes, Amelie Rose and Ezra



LUKE POWELL the economy has gone, building boats has become epiphany. I would give the house to Sara. All I wanted difficult,” he explains. No orders on the books, so was to keep Agnes and build boats. It was so simple.” “charter seemed the right thing to do”. Agnes is, after And so he did, living aboard her in Penryn harbour, various adventures, now Luke’s own boat, so she needs and getting up to mischief with his friend and sailmaker to earn her keep. She has always been a boat especially Patrick Selman, also newly single, to the despair of the close to his heart – as the story of her build on p32 landlady of the Chain Locker pub. “She told me it shows. She was built for a sail-training operation in was the worst time of her life,” admits Luke with a America, but the venture failed, she suffered a cabin fire, characteristic mixture of confession and bravado. and in August 2005 Luke found himself flying out to America with a small crew of friends to rescue Agnes SEcoNd comINg and sail her home. It proved to be a pretty epic journey, Then Luke met, and eventually married, Joanna. Among and something of a life-changer for Luke. her many qualities (she edited Luke’s book for instance) “We patched her up and set sail, at the height of the she came with a background in traditional boat charter. hurricane season,” he recounts in his book Working Sail. It’s already clear that the two of them work well together “Out past St John’s and across the legendary Grand and they have a natural aptitude for it. “We’re both Banks into the deep where the winds blew and the amiable and get on with people,” says Luke, who is storms thrashed. Agnes buried herself under a mountain nevertheless convinced it wouldn’t work without Jo. of sea, which poured in through every seam. She would His role is managing the ship and the sailing, as well surely take up in time but our bunks were as building confidence among the charter “I could not clients. It’s a natural extension of the trial sails now soaked. We were wet through, our clothes as well as our bedding. We gave he provides for potential boat customers, and afford to up shaving and slept in our oilskins.” the generous amounts of time he gives to new keep Agnes, owners once their boat is launched to make Soon after setting out, the shaft coupling sheared, meaning the engine was out of yet I loved sure they’re happy and comfortable with their action. They continued under sail, always to new acquisition. Jo looks after the hospitality this boat windward. “Agnes rode the Atlantic swell side – providing sustaining and attractive admirably. Where most boats would stall, too much” meals seemingly with practised ease, and she forged through without faltering, radiating the sort of head-girl cheerfulness shouldering the seas apart.” and competence that puts people at their ease. They saw and smelt whales, and were nearly capsized On this, the first cruise over that cold, windy Easter by one, until finally they came within sight of St Agnes weekend, there are just four of us aboard, all male, all on the Isles of Scilly, and were becalmed. enthusiasts for traditional sailing. Despite the strength of the wind, we make sail every day, and head out to sea “to look at the lumps,” as Luke puts it. One look is A NEW START generally enough and we head back to poke into the At that time, Luke was also going through the more sheltered waters of the many rivers and creeks that complications of a divorce, with the divisions of property (mercifully) Falmouth harbour has to offer. The it involved. “I found it difficult to come to terms with the unseasonal weather gives these explorations a timeless situation. I could not afford to keep Agnes yet I loved this quality – practically the only boats on the water are boat too much. Even out in the Atlantic, far from land, ourselves, Eve of St Mawes (the first boat Luke built) alone with her, a witness to how she courageously fought and Eda Frandsen, a 75-year-old Danish gaffer, both also the seas, I still could not see a solution. Then one night in the charter trade. We spy each other edging out of the stars came out for the first time in weeks and I had an

Mary alice Pollard

Above: Agnes and Hesper. Opposite, left to right: Luke with his wife Jo; Agnes battling a fierce swell off the Cornish Coast



distant creeks and sometimes moor up together at night. There’s a community of traditional sailing in these parts, and Luke is a mainstay of it. This charter work is pretty full-on though. “After seven years on Keewaydin, I said never again,” admits Jo. “But here I am!” “We’ve always done Douarnenez and the Pilot Cutter Championships with friends aboard, and this is just an extension of that,” comments Luke. “And if it gets a bit much, I can always remind myself that it beats being in the boatyard banging nails in.”

BUILDING BACKGROUND Luke’s had plenty of experience of banging nails in. He started building boats on his own account 19 years ago, laying down the keel of Eve of St Mawes in Exeter docks in 1994. Before that he had served an apprenticeship in Faversham under Alan Reekie and Donald Grover, rebuilding Thames Barges. And that really was hard.

“What we do is show them a different world from what they’re used to”

Starting as the ‘boy’ and still a teenager, he learnt how to handle great baulks of oak. “I worked like a horse and loved it,” he recalls. He also nearly got his head taken clean off when a part-fitted plank sprang back – instead it threw him bodily 20ft (6m) across the dock. “To this day I have a scar to remind me that wood under tension is to be respected.” He also worked with his father, on the Greek island of Hydra (Leonard Cohen was a neighbour) and it was there he found and rebuilt a 1914 cutter yacht called Charmain, which he eventually sailed to the first Brest Festival in 1992, and then sold. Eve took three years to build, on spec. She was eventually bought by Adam and Debbie Purser, who still charter her – and work her very hard (see CB308). Next came Lizzie May, begun in Exeter and finished in Gweek Quay on the Helford River, where Luke set up Working Sail’s permanent base. Then came Agnes, Hesper, Ezra, Tallulah, Amelie Rose and, in 2012, Freja. CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014


Luke Powell

My love for Agnes Dedication, skill and hard graft – read on to follow the build process

ChArTer ClieNTs Charter clients, including an all-female cruise, skippered by Joanna, and a boatful of vicars, have been captivated by Luke’s enthusiasm. “If you’re passionate about it, people like it. What we do is show them a different world from what they’re used to. Some have been almost in tears at the end of a voyage. We run a happy boat – it’s infectious. We enjoy what we’re doing. I can see us doing it for quite a few years to come!” So will Luke ever go back to boatbuilding? If somebody were to turn up and order one, I expect so. There’s a pile of wood waiting at Gweek Quay. In a more general way, sitting over a drink in Agnes’s saloon, he reflects on the future: “We will build another boat. I think I’ve got one more boat in me – something big and impressive. A Falmouth Pilot Cutter – they were bigger, up to 70ft (21.3m) in length – and an authentic replica, to museum standard. Maybe a sail-training boat, I like the idea of ‘a boat for Cornwall’.” Meanwhile, he adds, “It’s funny how you go through phases in your life that lead you in completely different directions. I like it that we can put all our energy into Agnes for now. Building boats back-to-back is hard work, it’s a young man’s game. Now it’s time to enjoy the boats, that’s the thing.” Tel: +44 (0)1326 376316 32




Mercifully for the charter business and its clients, last Easter’s chilly conditions didn’t persist long. “Suddenly the weather broke and we had just a glorious summer,” Luke told me when we caught up again at the end of the season. “I’ve really enjoyed it, Joanna’s really enjoyed it – it’s been fantastic. “What I’ve liked best is working with people – makes me wonder why I’ve been stuck in a boatyard for so many years!” The trips have included the Scillies, inevitably, and across to Ireland. “That was a good trip – windy, eventful, challenging. An adventure. It was quite an extreme experience; people have got to be keen sailors. I don’t think it’ll be a regular thing.” By contrast, the Paimpol festival in Brittany – and then on down to Ushant and Camaret – was hugely enjoyable. “We’re also planning to do more trips in France and South Brittany later this year – wine, sunshine, what’s not to like!?”

consider. If I built such a boat, her When I first visited the chunky shape, square forefoot and island of St Agnes on square lute stern might make her the Isles of Scilly, difficult to sell. What the heck! I owed it I felt a deep to history and, what’s more, I owed it to connection, like I was home at last. myself; if I didn’t have a go then who Maybe the isles do this to everyone, would. I wanted to build a boat to a but I like to think this was a personal higher level of authenticity than any experience. So after being back previously seen among pilot and forth over many years “The Navy cutter look-a-likes. I now felt it time to give something of myself back were good at Once I had established the boat’s hull shape and deck to the island. documenting layout, I studied the framing At the museum on St Mary’s there was, construction and structure of the hull. fantastically, an original Agnes had a lute stern, a type details” builder’s half model from not built since the 1850s. the heyday of the cutters, the AZ I studied the models held at the Science Museum in London and the Navy (pronounced ‘Ah-zed’), built by the were good at documenting construction Stedefords in 1850. This model seemed details, so I gained an understanding rather neglected and stuck in a corner, of the framing structure of this but to me it was the Holy Grail. Pleading long-forgotten shape. my case, I was allowed to take the lines As with the stern, so also the bow. off this holy relic. The square shape of the forefoot was This now meant that I could old-fashioned and unfamiliar to the accurately determine the true shape of modern eye. Doubters voiced their a Scillonian Pilot Cutter, then recreate an concerns, saying that she would not exact copy of her. I had chosen Agnes as round up and tack with such a grip she was the last cutter to work out of on the water for’ard, and that the narrow the isles and hailed from the island of rudder of her period would provide St Agnes. There were consequences to



Luke Powell

Above: Freshfaced Luke back in his boatbuilding heydays pictured with Tallulah and a half model of the same boat. Far left: Agnes rounding St Anthony’s Head at the entrance to the Falmouth Estuary. Bottom left: planking up Agnes

numbered bits, like pieces of some strange jigsaw puzzle stacked high and drying in the wind. They then had to be thicknessed, shaped and bevelled accurate to the breadth drawings, and assembled on the lofting floor. Once this was done, they were pinned together with ½in (12mm) copper rod. I had learned from the previous boats that it was unnecessary to hold the assembled frames together by clenching the rod each side, blind dumps were sufficient, as once the planks were wrapped around her, the frames were going nowhere. Quickly these frames took shape and were stacked wherever I could find space. Six years after starting on Eve, I was finally building an authentic replica of an actual pilot cutter that had existed in 1841, a museum-standard genuine working boat. Whether people would appreciate her was another matter. With the American owner’s money in the bank I could gather a workforce to speed things up and it was a great feeling to see the vessel progressing in so many places simultaneously. Everywhere I looked, things were happening and even if I stopped, it continued. For me, the change from one pair of hands to many after years of struggle was a wondrous experience. Agnes came together quickly. She was easy to plank – the whole process took just three months. Six months from laying the keel to laying the deck.

Although Agnes had been sold I still thought of her as mine. I would have been quite happy to keep her, apart from the small issue of not having the means to foot the cost of build. The time came for Agnes to sail away across the Atlantic to America. She was piled high with stores. Away, out of Falmouth harbour they went – away out of our lives. Agnes meant a lot to me. We had given so much to her and she had given as much back, yet this was not a time for sentiment. After all we can always build another boat. I shrugged my shoulders and turned my back on the sea. It was time to return to the yard and to the next boat.


insufficient bite on the water to turn such a long-keeled boat. It was difficult sticking to one’s guns. Even a well known naval architect questioned my sanity. To build a shape that was long extinct, and in his mind wisely superseded, was folly. Yet from the lines I could see a sweetness of form, while the old logbooks, some spanning 30 years or more, were proof that these vessels had survived weather that would have kept many modern yachts firmly in harbour. In the end Agnes has proved to be a beautiful sailor and tacks with confidence. In a weak moment I added 4in (10.2cm) to the rudder blade, but after the first year sailing this proved quite unnecessary and was removed. The lofting floor was laid out above the stacks of timber some 3ft (0.9m) from the ground, something like a dance floor. I set to, drawing out in full size the lines of the new boat. First lofting out the waterlines, from amidships to stern, then amidships to bow, half the boat at a time. Then the breadth moulds took shape, cross-referencing all the time, ironing out the flaws in the drawings. Once happy with the fairness of the lines, I cut out the templates, carried them over to the slabs of oak strewn about the yard, and began ferreting through the pile for the best slab for each template. After chalking the outline of the template onto each piece of oak, I set to with the chainsaw. After two weeks there was a large pile of

Luke Powell

Luke Powell was born, the second of three children, in Suffolk in 1959. When he was eight the family moved aboard an fishing boat on the old River Deben, in which they later sailed to Greece where the boat earned a rather fitful living doing charter work. Much of Luke’s childhood and adolescence was spent on the island of Spetses, and by the age of he was skippering sixteen boats throughout the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean. Aged eighteen he hitchhiked training as a shipwrigh home to England, t at Faversham and later working on Thames sailing barges. Four years later he went back to Greece, where he bought Charmian, his first boat. From he moved to France, here first to Avignon and then the Atlantic coast. In 1992 he returned to England, setting up Working to build wooden pilot Sail cutters. Today the business is based Gweek on the Helford at River and Luke lives in the small Cornish town of Penryn with his wife Joanna and their children, Dylan, Bethan, Caitlin, Esme and Tsaac . He continues sail wooden boats. to build and

luke Powell

Forewords by Tom Cunliffe

& Jeremy Irons

Luke PoWeLL

Front cover illustratio n: Ezra off the West Coast of Scotland, photographed by David Glenn © Yachting World/IPC Media. Back cover: Freja in frame and plans, by Anna Cattermole (one of a series of 35 watercolours recording the building of Freja). www.annacattermole .com

Working Sail

Luke Powell was born, the second of three children, in Suffolk in 1959. When he was eight the family moved aboard an old fishing boat on the River Deben, in which they later sailed to Greece where the boat earned a rather fitful living doing charter work. Much of Luke’s childhood and adolescence was spent on the island of Spetses, and by the age of sixteen he was skippering boats throughout the Aegean and eastern “With the Mediterranean. Aged eighteen he hitchhiked home to England, owner’s training as a shipwright moneyat in Faversham and later working on Working Sail the bank Thames sailing barges. Four years later he went back to I could Greece, where he bought From here Adapted from the book gather aCharmian, his first boat. Working Sail by Luke Powell, workforce” Dovecote Press, £30 he moved to France, first to Avignon and then the Atlantic coast. In 1992 he returned to England, setting up Working Sail to build wooden pilot cutters. Today the business is based at 9 780957 311916 >

A life in wo oden boAts


Working Sail

Over the last 20 years Luke Powell has alm pioneered a revival in the building of trad in Great Britain, and a book celebratin gh boatbuilding has long been overdue. Happ flair for storytellin g, both when looking ba unconventional life lived to the full, and wh long struggle to win acceptance for the wo which he establish ed his reputation. Luke’s interest in boats began when clamb rotten hulks then mudbound in the backwa Suffolk boyhood. Aged nine, he set sail with Greek islands. From then on the sea was his an apprenticeship as a shipwright restoring he returned to the Mediterranean and the n journeyman boatbuild er. In due course he ac girlfriend – the first of many long-suff ering p adventures – and Charmian, a 75-year-o ld cu with a baby son on board, he sailed Charmian River in Cornwall, little realising that seven ye become the home of his boatbuilding busines Luke’s arrival in England coincided with the re in traditional boats. Having stumbled on a boo pilot cutters, he vowed to build one from scrat little money he had on buying timber, he built – almost with his bare hands. Success came gr this day remains underpin ned by a passionat craftsmanship and e values that cannot be quan money. Other boats have since been launched – Lizzie May, Agnes, Hesper, Ezra, Tallulah, Amelie whose names are a rollcall of some of the most to have recently been built in Britain. Working Sail will delight all those who love boats or for whom the spirit of adventure is not yet dea

The Dovecote Press

Ltd Stanbridge, Wimborn e Minster Dorset, UK, BH21 4JD


c/o AlbAtross mArine

fAST furIOuS


The Albatross is Britain’s biggest-selling powerboat and a forgotten legend of high speed and post-war glamour. Cue a hair-raising ride at the Monaco Classics… story Steffan Meyric HugHeS PHotoGrAPHy Dan HOuStOn


pparently, there were dolphins racing alongside us as John Fildes and I roared airborne across a steep swell in the mouth of Monaco harbour at 40 knots in a flat-bottomed A-Series Coventry Climax-engined Albatross. I never saw them though – something was in the way; my life, flashing before my eyes. A few feet away, CB editor Dan Houston flashed past in an identical boat driven by Ian Peace, younger son of the boat’s designer. At speed, the ‘Alby’ is transformed from a bath toy into a thing of purpose and aggression – its hydroplane bottom, race-bred engine with direct drive and extreme light weight combining in high speeds, big air and supercar acceleration (about three seconds to 50mph).The mid-engined layout and balanced weight mean that it flies level through the air… and lands level too. Every time we flew, I tensed up for the landing, wondering if the boat would fall to pieces, if I would fall to pieces or if, worse, we’d catch an edge and flip end over end. The roar of the engine, tearing headwind, steeply banked turns, paper-thin



hull and Monaco skyline form a strong evocation of vintage speed. The trick to enjoying it is to release the white-knuckle death grip, relax… and pray. “If that blew your mind, think how you’d feel about it in 1960,” said John as we weaved our way back into the harbour. Neither John nor I are old enough to remember the early 60s, and the few surviving relics of the era claim to have forgotten them, but it’s likely that for many, it was a decade of cod liver oil and church services rarely, if ever, enlivened by impromptu acts of romantic union. The fastest car of the day was the 150mph Jaguar E-Type and the fastest motorcycle was the 1940s Vincent Black Shadow at around 110mph; deep-vee hulls, the Moon landing and The Beatles were still a decade away. The Albatross motorboat must have seemed like a rocket. It wasn’t a deity that saved Dan and me that day in the Bay of Monaco. It was aeronautical engineering. The man who designed the boat, Archibald ‘Archie’ Peace, was an aeronautical stress engineer in the war, accustomed to the nearly unimaginable stresses of turbulence at speed. While serving in the USA, he met

Clockwise from top left: Bardot on her Continental off St Tropez in the 1960s; at speed in the Monaco Classics, John Fildes at the wheel; the ‘bullfrog’ nav light; low-profile deck cleat; car-like dash and steering wheel




c/o albatross marine

Clockwise from top: Albatross runabout (Mk II) drawing; Archie Peace; the groundbreaking Coventry Climax engine on show

the engine

c/o albatross marine

The 1,020cc all-alloy, 4cyl Coventry Climax ‘featherweight’, or FW, was developed in 1951 as a portable fire pump, a lesson learned in the Blitz. With a high power/weight ratio it was soon modified for motorsport to 1,097cc (FWA) then 1,220cc (FWE). The FWE (pictured), made 72-95bhp


at just 180lb/82kg. As a result, it was perfectly suited to Albatross’s mantra of light weight and high power, and also powered the first Lotus road car (the Type 14 or ‘Elite’).


Peter Hives, whose father, ex-Rolls-Royce MD, had the foresight to stockpile Merlin engines throughout the 1930s. The two men set up shop in St Olaves, near Great Yarmouth, with the idea of producing light speedboats in aluminium left over from the war effort using aeronautical construction. Peace was the designer and Hives, progeny of Rolls-Royce, was in charge of production. After a brief consultation with marketing experts (“It’ll never work”) and two years cutting their teeth on the hydroplane racing circuit, they soon found success with their first model.

the jet-set, waterski era The first boat – the ‘Mark One’ or ‘Standard Sport’ as it later became known – was the benchmark for a product line of similar boats that the company produced until its demise in 1966, and it was a formula that soon catapulted Albatross Marine to a serious business, finishing boats at the rate of three a week, mainly (around 85 per cent) for export to Europe, North America and further afield.

This was thanks to Bruce Campbell, the ex-de Havilland test pilot who joined the firm as ‘the third man’ in 1952, and was successful marketing the boat – using his yacht as a base and cruising the Med. At the height of production in the 1950s, British Rail built a branch line to take the finished boats from the factory to the mainline for transportation to market in Britain and around the world. In total, Albatross boats were sold in 27 countries, and did not go unnoticed by the new glitterati of the jet age: Brigitte Bardot had one (as well as her Riva Junior), as did Gianni Agnelli of FIAT and Aristotle Onassis. At one point, seven heads of state owned an Albatross, as well as Prince Rainier of Monaco (he had six!) and Prince Philip, who kept one on the deck of HMS Britannia for water-skiing. Today, as then, the sight of our little icon of British waterspeed draws smile after smile and even applause as we make our way back to harbour. That evening, I admired a good collection of mystery bruises getting ready for a smart dinner at the Monaco YC; and the next morning, I spat a crown out over breakfast. “Those

Above: the Lady Godiva badge was put on all Coventry Climax FW series engines

were the worst conditions I’ve ever experienced in an Alby,” said John the next day. And while the steep, confused swell was hardly ideal for a 12ft (3.7m)ski-boat, it was notably composed at 40 knots and even gave a dry ride. Our MD had muttered about visiting the regatta the next day. I gave John a good description and extraced a promise to take him for a ride. In all, 1,300 were built and an amazing 800 or so remain, thanks in part to their flush-riveted aluminium construction at the hands of men who were only a few years previously building bombers.The 1950s is generally seen in boatbuilding terms as a limbo decade between the millennia-old supremacy of wood and the future of GRP. It was also a decade marked by innovation in the materials of plywood and sheet aluminium, both used extensively during the war in aircraft manufacture. The ethos behind the Albatross boats was, according to an article in the March 1951 issue of Motorboats and Yachting, to provide speed (for racing), economy and seating for two to three avoiding variation of trim with differing loads, reliability, light weight and small size for CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014


Swiss movement, English heart

Made in Switzerland / Sellita SW200-1 self-winding movement / 38 hour power reserve / 42mm marine-grade 316L stainless steel case / Water resistant to 300 metres / 4mm anti-reflective sapphire crystal / Unique engraved serial number / Italian leather deployment strap

Showroom at No.1 Park Street, Maidenhead. To arrange a personal appointment, call +44 (0)1628 763040


Clockwise from top left: a car trails an Alby onto a Silver City Airways flight; British waterskier George Adlington tries a kite (1950s); Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier arrive in Monaco for their wedding in 1956. Their yacht, Deo Juvante II, is accompanied by three Albys; Prince Philip inspects an Alby at the 1954 Olympia Boat Show ALL IMAGES C/O ALBATROSS MARINE

easy transport or tender duty, manoeuvrability, seaworthiness, quietness, comfort, absence of wash, aesthetics and good value. “It meets those requirements very well,” the anonymous writer concluded. Indeed, it was a boat beloved of yachting journalists of the 1950s and 60s, one of whom likened a ride on an Alby to being propelled by a giant catapult. Another expressed relief not to be testing yet another cabin yacht. It was, in fact, a set of values – particularly the turn of speed, lack of wash and trailability – that dovetailed with the rise of waterskiing in that era. From the start, the rear deck was designed to allow a rope to pass over it without fouling on anything, largely flush with very low-profile cleats and a dedicated ski-eye. And its low weight gave it not only zesty performance but great fuel economy (about 16.5mpg at 25mph) – values that appealed to everyone.

ADD LIGHTNESS The aluminium skin (in NS5 spec) is just 2-3mm thick. The pieces were machine-cut from template, assembled upright on jigs, then fastened to aluminium floors and

stringers by flush rivets. The result was a bare hull that weighed just 160lb (73kg), needed little maintenance, could be easily towed, and sat three thin, vintage people. Today, three would be a squeeze. The hull was in four compartments divided by watertight bulkheads: the foremost and aftmost were buoyant enough to float the boat swamped; the inner two comprised cockpit and engine bay. The inspired cooling system uses aluminium’s inherent quality of heat dissipation: two shallow rectangular tanks built into the bottom provide a freshwater, closed-circuit system cooled by the boat’s motion over water. By 1958, a disagreement led to Hives and Campbell leaving the company. Peace, now struggling with MS, continued his design work with the A-Series in 1960, the fastest Alby to date, 5in (12.7cm) longer than the earlier boats and with more tumblehome at the transom to give something of the lissomness of a Chris-Craft or Riva. In 1966, the company was dissolved and Peace died two years later, a death largely ignored by a world on fire with modernity, a world no longer interested in cod liver oil, church services, old men or hydroplane hulls. CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014




Mk II, 1952-55, Nos 11-241 As Mk1, but with the Ford engine given twin carbs for 35bhp/34mph or, for the first time, available (from 1954 on) with the first Coventry Climax engine – the 75bhp FWA 1,098cc unit that gave 40mph. Only 15 Climax boats were built. Mk III, 1956-1961, Nos 242-755 As Mk 1 and II, but with a slightly thicker bottom adding 70lb (32kg) to the Mk II and a more powerful Ford – the 100E, that produced 39bhp and 33mph from a single carb. As far as history relates, the Mk III boat was not offered with the Climax option. Mk 1 Continental, 1957-1961 Nos 1001-1244 (with minor facelift) The stretched version appealed with the promise of four seats (the company’s brochures of the time even suggested it might seat six!) but the reality was a two-seater with a barely-usable rear bench. Nevertheless, 267 were sold in Mk 1 and II variants. LOA 15ft 3in (4.7m) BEAM 4ft 11in (1.5m) DRAUGHT 1ft 3in (40cm) DISPLACEMENT 730-790lb (330-360kg) depending on engine, 62bhp and 37mph (Ford 110E) or 72bhp and 43mph (Coventry Climax FWE in Stage 1 tune). Mk II Continental, 1963-1967, Nos 1245-1267 By now, the Continental was using the Ford 1220E pre-crossflow engine with a new engine mount. The boat also gained spray rails and a seat that folded out to form a flat sun-lounger. The Climax boat sported the same FWE engine, but now making 82bhp in Stage 2 tune.

THE FUTURE IS BRIGHT John Fildes, who runs a business cleaning racing engines, found Archie Peace’s own A-Series boat in 2008 and his rebuild from wreck and subsequent formation of Albatross Marine have made him the present day champion of these boats. He reinstated racing on Oulton Broad in 2012 and has made contact with both Peace sons – Ian and Duncan. The racing has proved a surprise hit among local spectators and the future is even brighter: the Albatross name is soon due to soar again, with a new model in the pipeline to be designed by Duncan Peace, the younger brother, who is a naval architect. The new boat will be around 30ft (9.1m) and compete in the luxury superyacht tender market. But it will remain true to its roots in other ways: aluminium hull, British build, British engine and, above all, the ratio that made the boats magical in the first place: eye-watering power to weight. Thanks to John Fildes for his invaluable research that went into this article. Learn more at 40


A-Series, 1960-1965, Nos A1-A105 Our featured Alby was drawn out a little and given a convex stern and more tumblehome. It was designed for perfect weight distribution with the Climax (it can be craned out with a single line to its ski-eye) and it’s arguably the cream of the crop. Also available with the Ford 100E. LOA 13ft 1in (4m) BEAM 4ft 10in (1.5m) DRAUGHT 1ft 3in (40cm) DISPLACEMENT 720/670lb (327kg-304kg). ONE-OFFS AND SHORT RUNS Slipper launches Continental variants stretched to 17ft 6in (5.4m). 21 built from 1961-65. Corsair Not to be confused with the hydroplane by the same name, the Corsair was a 15ft 6in (4.8m) speedboat. Six were built during the same production span as the slipper launch. Albatross cruisers A 24ft (7.3m) cabin cruiser with twin Perkins diesels or Ford petrols. Three or four were built from 1954-64. Little is known about them. Racing hydroplanes Three were built between 1949 and 1953. Corsair was the first ever Albatross boat in 1949, a 9ft 8in (3m) prop-rider that would do 40mph with a 10hp Ford petrol engine. This was followed by the larger Symphony the same year, then Rooster (17ft/5.2m) in 1953. Gay Jane A one-off 42ft (12.8m) aluminium alloy, big-game fisher built in 1953 that gave a welcome cash boost to the fledgling company.

Below: Ian (at the wheel) and Duncan Peace in an old brochure. The sons’ involvement with Albatross lives on


PRODUCTION MODELS Mk I/Standard Sport, 1951, Nos 1-10 The original boat that set the template. LOA 12ft 8in (3.9m) BEAM 4ft 7in (1.4m) DRAUGHT 1ft 3in (40cm) DISPLACEMENT 560lb (254kg) HULL WEIGHT 160lb (73kg) ENGINE Ford 10 with single carb, 26hp, 32mph.

Guip Shipyard – Brest – Ile aux Moines Quai du Commandant Malbert 29200 Brest, France Tel: +33 (0)2 98 43 27 07 Fax: +33 (0)2 98 44 81 29 E-mail:


Have an experience of a lifetime with David, an RYA Yachtmaster instructor whom has extensive gaff experience as a past skipper of both Provident and Excelsior



Photo © Piérick

42 Medina Road, Cowes, Isle of T. (01983) 294051 Wight PO31 7BY

ratseysails@ratsey. com


Since 1790

SAIL with us in 2014! April to July - East Coast and Continent. Daysails, weekends, five day adventures. Charter, sail training. classic regattas.

© Philip Plisson

Vanity V – 12-metre class - Designed and built by William Fife III in 1936 Complete rebuild by Guip Shipyard (Brest), launched in 2000 Trades: Shipwrights, joiners, electrical engineers, project managers. Skills: Building, restoring, repairing and maintaining wooden historic vessels, classic yachts and workboats. Traditional shipwrighting and modern wooden boat-building techniques. Deck and interior joinery. Wooden mast and spar making. Workshop (1,250 m²) on the quay. Overhead travelling Passionate about the sea, maritime crane. Accommodates vessels up to 100 tons heritage and wood!

July and August - The West Country. Douarnanez festival in Brittany, explore the Scillies, sealife safaris, race in Falmouth Week.

August 30 to September 7 - Tall Ships Race. From Falmouth to Greenwich, London, via the Solent. Only six places this year, so book early.

September to November - Autumn on the East Coast. The money we raise from private chartering supports the sail training activities, so that people can have some fun and do some good at the same time.

Contact: 01502 724904 or



It’s not the winning... . . . but she was first overall in the ‘Spanish league’ in 2013. Argyll will be taking part in 11 classic regattas across the Med this coming season. Charter a legend. Competitive rates for a competitive classic. Phone Mary on +44 (0)7910 947 296 or go to


Exceptional gaff sailing experience for all. Tall ship holidays Scotland, Faroes, tall ships Falmouth all in 2014! We also offer: Corporate, �ilm, training & team building.

Take a look at our schedule at: Or call Nikki on 07800 825 382




The Rockwell of the sea

£35,000. The traditional dories, stacked on board in this painting, are a favourite subject, and in The Fog Warning, which sold for £27,500, a working dory is centre stage. But perhaps the most Rockwelllike was a small gem of a watercolour entitled A Fishing Schooner Lying In A North American Harbour In The Snow (right), which made £2,500. The check-shirted fisherman with his arm around a chum captures the spirit and fellowship of those who work at sea – and the frosty scene glows with warmth. A true gem.


A childhood fascination for boats and the sea set Jack Lorimer Gray on a path that would see him emerge as one of the leading North American maritime artists of the 20th century, with his work hanging in The White House. While contemporary Norman Rockwell painted everyday American life with a noble, idealistic, romantic realism, Gray brought a kindred spirit to his gritty but upbeat depictions that chronicled a disappearing age of working life at sea under sail. Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 1927, Gray grew up hanging around the docks, sketching the hustle and bustle of fishing and dock traffic. As he studied at art school he spent summers at sea with the Lunenburg fishing fleet and the celebrated Lunenburg fishing schooner Bluenose became one of his favourite subjects. When he died in 1981 his ashes were scattered at sea off the entrance to Lunenburg Bay, from the decks of a fishing boat – a fitting end for an artist whose reputation was sealed when John F Kennedy hung one of his works in The White House in 1962. Five fine examples of Gray’s work recently emerged in the London art market at a Christie’s maritime sale. Top seller was a large oil-on-canvas painting of a Grand Banks fishing schooner (top right), which sold for



Above: the top-selling painting of a Grand Banks schooner (top) and the wintry harbour scene capture the spirit of life at sea


This oversized, waterproof Rolex is not just a chunk of glittering alpha male wristwear but was a vital piece of safety kit for military divers in the Second World War. The rare Kampfschwimmer – or Combat Swimmer – no doubt has a story to tell, but all we know is that the original owner’s initials were SBHC. During the 1930s the Italian Royal Navy commissioned Panerai to design a watch for underwater use and Rolex provided the movement and waterproof case. Designed to be read in dark, murky depths, the Rolex Panerai 3646, featuring a luminous dial and measuring a massive 47mm, is classified as a type known as “goliath”. Its Kampfschwimmer engraving on the back identifies it as one supplied for use by Germany’s commando frogmen. When it arrived at Bonhams’ December watch auction, it was estimated to fetch up to £22,000, but as a rare and prized trophy of war, the top bid reached £56,250. A goliath sum. / k .u www.clasas leroom stories for extra

e See mooorm Salerine onl


Underwater Goliath Rolex


Objects of desire To have a leaning One of the easiest ways for a sailor to measure the angle of inclination or heel of the boat, is to read off the number on a clinometer. Used properly this is essential information for both precise sail trim and safety – as in when to reef – and there are few more stylish products on the market than this one from Barigo Viking. It comes with a brass or chrome finish with Arabic or Roman numerals, a two-piece case with a metal back plate, and an oil-damped needle for easy reading. £85.40 plus p&p Tel: +49 40 88 90 100

Sails in plywood Bill Prickett, who has twice exhibited at the Royal Society of Marine Artists in the Mall Galleries, has developed an intriguing sculptural method. By gluing layers of birch plywood together and carving them into shapes of working sails, the lines of the ply help define the sculpture’s flowing contours. Prickett carves mostly with hand tools and each piece can take months to complete. This one, the “Collapsing Spinnaker” is 20in (50cm) high and can be commissioned for £2,500. What he (and we) hope to see is a really big commission for a grand foyer. Just imagine… Tel: +44 (0)1795 892 039

It takes around 145 hours to knit this kind of gansey by hand, using traditional methods and 100 per cent worsted five-ply wool from British sheep, spun and dyed in Yorkshire. The style is a Bridlington, which means the patterns on the chest and upper arms would have defined the wearer as being from that particular port. These include rope, net mask and love hearts; other ports have different patterns, including ladders or shingle, for instance. This model, in navy blue, was made by Kate Banks for Wayside Flower, a shop specialising in these and other items of classic British clothing in Bridlington’s high street. The shop, named after a local trawler, also offers combed cotton scarves in various colourful tartans, which are the ideal way to complement a gansey. Gansey and scarf shown £290 and £25 inc p&p Tel: +44 (0)1262 678884




Pride in a pattern


The Norfolk Smuggler Manor Farm, Glandford, Holt, Norfolk NR25 7JP • +44 (0) 1263 741172

Norfolk Urchin

Norfolk Oyster

Norfolk Gypsy

Dimensions Length Beam Draft Total sail area Weight

Norfolk Smuggler

25’ ( 7.69m) 8’9” (2.69m) 2’9”/4’11” (0.85m/1.51m) 404 sq ft (38.3 sq m) 4.25 tonnes

Norfolk Trader



What’s the connection between a gleaming red Thames Half-Rater called Kingfisher, a retired British Lt Colonel and a sailing club in Burma? Read on to find out STORY STUART HEAVER

far left and left: c/0 yangon sc



Left: half-raters racing on Inya Lake. Above: the bar at Yangon Sailing Club

he bustling Asian port city of Yangon in Myanmar (formerly Burma), closed for decades to the outside world by its military rulers, might seem an unlikely location for an historical boating saga involving a classic British yacht designed by an Olympic champion at the turn of the last century. Here, though, at the Yangon Sailing Club, they still race an immaculately maintained fleet of 15 teak-built Thames Half-Raters designed by the legendary English designer and Olympic yachtsman Linton Hope. And one of those half-raters has a particularly fascinating story. The so-called Meiktila half-rater, which was deliberately sunk in a lake in wartime Burma to conceal it from invading Japanese troops in 1942, relocated and recovered by a club member in 1950, and then purportedly airlifted to Yangon by the U.S. Air Force. Having survived one of the bloodiest theatres of World War II, this 18ft (5.5m) classic vessel went on to witness Burmese independence and endure civil war, military dictatorship, international isolation, a Saffron revolution led by Buddhist monks, economic sanctions and even Cyclone Nargis. She was identified as Kingfisher by the screw holes left in her hull for the original nameplate and, despite the turbulent history of Myanmar, Kingfisher is still racing today and the Captain of Boats, Holger Rolfs, kindly issued an invitation to me to come and sail her. The Yangon Sailing Club (YSC) is located on the banks of Inya Lake in northern Yangon and the taxi from the hotel passes lines of monks adorned in maroon robes. The driver points to some high gates in a tall, whitewashed wall leading to the house of political leader Aung San Suu Kyi, where she spent many years under house arrest, also located on the banks of Inya Lake. The clubhouse is on a small island connected to the mainland by an attractive teak bridge shaded by banyan trees and has been home to the Yangon Sailing Club since it was first rented from the Corporation of Rangoon a few years after the club started in 1924.

It was the British who ruled Yangon (or Rangoon as it was known) then when it was the heart of colonial Burma. Even today, in modern independent Myanmar, the charming clubhouse retains an unmistakable colonial elegance and charm with manicured lawns separating the bar from the water’s edge. That does not mean, however, that Yangon Sailing Club has chosen to offer more in the way of fancy dining and corporate entertainment than sailing. “The purpose of the club is to promote sailing,” says Rolfs, a burly and enthusiastic German merchant navy captain, as we enjoy a cool drink in the shade of the bar. Rolfs is also quick to straighten out another important point of detail. “Firstly you must understand I am not really the owner of Kingfisher. She is owned by the club and I charter her from the club and, of course, she remains in my care,” he says lovingly as though talking of an adopted daughter or an endangered animal. Once Kingfisher appears on the water being prepared for racing by one of the club’s boat boys or “kalashies”, it’s easy to empathise with Rolfs’ affectionate tone. Her brightly painted Ferrari-red hull reflects in the shimmering fresh water and her lines are just stunning. You can smell the varnish from 20 feet away, as Rolfs starts to tell her remarkable story. In 1907 when Linton Hope first designed a Thames Half-Rater called Black Cap, it caused something of a stir in the Edwardian sailing community and her impact was noted in the 1907 edition of Yachting and Boating Monthly. They said: “She is a distinct departure from existing river boats and the type is to be highly commended. It represents the healthy type of river sailing.” Here was a fast and comfortable boat that was relatively cheap to build and ideal for inshore racing. According to research carried out by Rolfs, the first half-raters inspired by Hope’s classic design were sent to colonial India to sailing clubs like Nainital, high in the Himalayas and Malabar Yacht Club near Cochin. It was from the Malabar YC that the first eight boats were sent to Yangon in the early 1920s as the club was CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014



“Those halcyon days were brought to an abrupt halt when the Japanese bombed Yangon in 1941” It was much further away that Kingfisher was discovered and returned to Inya Lake as another extract from the report reveals: “During the year the Rater known as the Meiktila half-rater was flown down from Meiktila Lake and was discovered to be Kingfisher belonging to Mr and Mrs W C White. Kingfisher was repaired and commissioned just at the end of the [1950] season and shows promise of being a fast boat.” What the report doesn’t explain is how Kingfisher ended up in a remote lake about 280 miles (450km) north of Yangon in the first place. It is said that Peter Waine spotted the boat from an aircraft and then he engaged the services of the U.S. Air Force to have it flown back to the club in Yangon for restoration.

being formed, while the later boats were built from teak by local Burmese shipwrights. In the 1930s the original gunter rig as devised by Hope was replaced with a bermudan rig and then modified again by shortening the boom and adding about 3ft (0.9m) to the mast. Sailing flourished at the club and further yachts were built in the site to take the size of the fleet up to 19 boats by 1940. Rolfs is waxing lyrical over the story and such is his enthusiasm for Kingfisher that we manage to miss the start of the race. “Don’t worry if we are late,” he says, gauging the very light winds and my heavy bulk, “we will be last anyway,” as more cooling drinks are poured and the fleet of half-raters skim across the lake. “Here everyone loves these boats and everyone loves to sail them,” he says as we eventually set off lowering the centreboard on the elegant pulley system. As Rolfs trims the mainsheet, Kingfisher glides proudly and effortlessly over the smooth surface of Inya Lake in a very light breeze under the baking mid-morning sun. “I am not keen on plastic boats,” confesses Rolfs as he adjusts the helm, “I even hate the smell of plastic boats,” he adds as an afterthought. Sailing Kingfisher is a very civilised experience. “This is a gentleman’s boat,” says Rolfs, and it’s hard to disagree as we tack with some degree of elegance.

PICKING UP THE PIECES Such characteristics epitomised the pre-war sailing club in old Rangoon, which was an idyllic place to sail with myriad moonlit suppers held in the dry season. However, those halcyon days were brought to an abrupt halt when the Japanese bombed Yangon in December 1941 and started their eviction of the British from Burma in a bloody three-year conflict. As the Japanese closed in on Yangon in the spring of 1942 the club members set about concealing their precious yachts by sinking them in the lake. Three years later, when Lt General Sir William Slim’s army finally crossed the Irrawaddy River and entered Yangon unopposed in May 1945 to reclaim the country, they found a scene of complete devastation. Club folklore has it that life member Lt Colonel JP Waine stood among the ashes and debris on the site of the yacht club with his hands on his hips surveying the scene of destruction and casually asked the barman: “So where are the bloody boats and the silverware then?” The barman nervously pointed at the lake and Waine and his colleagues set about recovering and restoring the fleet. Of the 19 original half-raters the club had on its books in December 1941, 12 were recovered from the bed of the lake by Waine and his colleagues. Others it seemed turned up later. There is a bizarre report in the club’s archives that reads: “Another rater Teal belonging to Mr W H M Todd was discovered in the tank at the back of the Kokine Swimming Club. It has been repaired and will be put in commission this coming dry season.” 48



Linton Hope Loa

18ft (5.5m) LWL

15ft (4.6m) bEam

5ft (1.5m) DisPLacEmEnt

1,074lbs (487kg) saiL arEa

200sqft (18.6m2)

It is quickly becoming apparent that it will be impossible to get to the bottom of the tale of the Burmese half-raters without knowing more about Peter Waine. When Waine returned to England in 1954 he set about tracing the history of the Yangon half-rater fleet and via extensive research located the original Linton Hope prototype vessel called Black Cap. He spent more than 1,000 hours restoring Black Cap in a purpose-built garage, having acquired her from the Upper Thames Sailing Club. He raced her at South Staffordshire Sailing Club (where he was a founding member) and later donated her to the National Maritime Museum. “Black Cap is the great-grandfather of our fleet,” says Rolfs who is desperate to find the original blueprint of the boat and fill in the remaining gaps in the club’s knowledge about how the current fleet might differ from Hope’s original one-design prototype. Thanks to help from the South Staffordshire Sailing Club, we finally meet up with Peter Waine at a nursing home in Weymouth. His daughter, Anne, kindly agrees to assist with an interview and as the London train arrives in windy Weymouth it is about as far removed from the sultry heat of Yangon as you can get. Peter Waine is little short of a sailing legend and his dark eyes still sparkle with delight when the subject of the Yangon half-raters is introduced. A keen sailor since childhood, Waine joined the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) as a private in the Territorial Army, and left home for a six-week training exercise in 1939 only to return six years later as a decorated Lieutenant Colonel with a reputation for bravery and innovation. During this time, he devised ingenious ways of moving Lt General Slim’s giant artillery pieces through the jungles of South East Asia and was one of the few veterans to survive the Battle of Imphal. Sadly, Peter Waine’s memory is not quite as sharp as it once was but when he sees a recent photo of Kingfisher sailing on Inya Lake he recognises her immediately. “She’s a fine looking boat,” he says, then points at the wooded shore in the background. “I remember people being shot up in those woods,” he says. Next we look

right: c/0 yangon sc


Clockwise from top left: Black Cap blueprint; Captain Holger Rolfs helming Kingfisher; Yangon YC roll of honour; Kingfisher’s cockpit; her distinctive red hull; Peter Waine in relaxed mood on board Quadrant in the 1950s


“Black Cap is the great-grandfather of the fleet”

Peter Waine 1918-2013 Sadly, just a few weeks after the interview with Classic Boat, Peter Waine passed away peacefully at his nursing home in Weymouth. Flags were flown at half-mast at the South Staffordshire and Yangon sailing clubs as a mark of respect for a remarkable gentleman who had made an outstanding contribution as a life member of three yacht clubs in two continents. He will be remembered as an energetic founder, competitor, instructor, designer, speaker, writer, researcher and friend. Even throughout the hardship of the war years and his long and eventful life, Peter never lost his enthusiasm for yachts and the people who sailed them, and he will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him. At the age of 21, Peter was posted to Burma commanding 4AA Workshop Company attached to an anti-aircraft regiment, serving as a Captain and later becoming a Lieutenant Colonel. Ironically, Peter’s post was only meant to be short term, lasting a matter of weeks at a TA summer camp, but he wouldn’t return to England for another eight years. Peter served with distinction in both India and



through a mass of press cuttings, letters and photos and find a programme for a regatta held at the Meiktila YC in 1946. This supports Waine’s memory of yachts being flown north to partake in racing. The documents also record that two half-raters were located there, but never recovered. This raises another small mystery because if there were 19 half-raters in 1941 and 15 are now in service, plus the two not recovered, that still leaves two unaccounted for. Are these boats still submerged in a Burmese lake or gathering dust in a garage somewhere in England? While rummaging through these archives there is good news from the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich. They have the original blueprint of Black Cap, which shows that it was designed by Linton Hope and built by Hart Harden & Co. But where the other two half-raters have ended up, no one knows. A final twist comes with news that eight new teak-built Thames half-raters are being constructed by the Myanmar Yachting Federation to compete at the South East Asian Games in December this year. So while two classic Yangon half-raters still remain unaccounted for, the legacy of this English classic endures and the Yangon half-raters will continue for another generation of sailors to enjoy in the warm waters of South-East Asia.

Burma where he was a founder member of the REME, retiring in 1946 as a Lieutenant-Colonel. It was typical of Peter that it took him more than 40 years to claim his medals and only then because he was pestered by his family. After the war, Peter was instrumental in restarting the Rangoon Sailing Club, now known as the Yangon Sailing Club, which had been burnt down by the Japanese during the war. There he put his knowledge and passion for sailing to good use by teaching hundreds of men to sail on Inya Lake as a way of keeping them entertained. “They were marvellous in their response and learned very quickly,” he once said. In 1953, Peter and wife Pam returned to England and they became founder-members of the South Staffordshire Sailing Club. Peter had been a member of the Midland Sailing Club since 1931, but he concentrated on making the new club a success. For Peter, it was an opportunity to pass on his love of sailing, particularly to the younger generation – a selfless pastime that was formally recognised in 2002 when he received the RYA’s Distinguished Services to Yachting Award from Princess Anne. He is survived by his wife Pam, now aged 90, and his daughter Anne. STuART HEAvER

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Left: a sultry sky, millpond surface and lily pads give the game away that this particular mooring is distinctly exotic


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DAYSAILER With her elegant lines, luxurious specification and acres of glorious wood, it’s no wonder the Eagle 36 is billed as a mini J-Class. Step aboard to find out if she lives up to the hype STORY SAM FORTESCUE PHOTOGRAPHS KLAAS WIERSMA

Clockwise from above: the Eagle 36 is undeniably elegant; electric sheet winch on the Eagle 44 with illuminated stainless steel controls; teak deck with Harken blocks; mahogany cockpit coaming 52


t takes more than a chilly sail in a light breeze to coax me across the Channel these days, although that was exactly what I got in the Friesland town of Sneek (pronounced ‘snake’ in Dutch). What drew me to these grey inland waters was the chance to test a very elegant rich man’s toy. At more than £115,000, Leonardo Yachts’ Eagle 36 is among the more expensive dayboats you could buy – perhaps only eclipsed by her bigger sister, the Eagle 44 (c£210,000). But then Leonardo’s director Melle Boersma is clear that the sort of people buying his boats won’t baulk at the high price. As a result, the boats are found in berths from Stockholm to Buenos Aires, and Andre Hoek has a new Eagle 54 on the drawing board. Both the 36 and the 44 are billed as mini J-Classes and they live up to the hype. The 36 has a waterline length of just over 24ft (7.3m), low freeboard and a dizzying expanse of smooth teak that runs from the foredeck to the stern. The original design by Gaastmeer/


Terpstra had entirely flush decks, but more recent versions have included a low, streamlined GRP coachroof, which improves access below. There’s more than just a nod to tradition in her design, but the boat’s underwater shape is modern: broad and flat with a performance bulb keel. Construction is also pretty cutting edge. The hulls are built in Poland in foam-core sandwich, using vacuum injection for a lighter, stiffer lay-up. Then they’re brought to Holland for the interior work, rig and finish. The version I sailed had wheel steering, but the tiller option is arguably more elegant. I took her out on a typical late-summer’s day with sun – in the distance – and a nip in the wind, which was blowing 8-10 knots from the northeast. Under power, she was quiet and responsive, edging out of the yard’s marina into the narrow Houkesleat, which connects the town’s famous Watergate to the Sneekermeer lake. The mainsail was easy to raise by hand and set with the electric halyard winch – a size





35ft 1in(10.7m) LWL

24ft 3in (7.4m) beAm

8ft 6in (2.6m) DrAught

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Above, top to bottom: capacious cockpit; jib sheet winch control on the Eagle 36. Below: sister ships – the Eagle 44 (left) and the Eagle 36

40 Harken self-tailer. Lines including the halyard, outhaul and vang all come back to the winch, centred on the coachroof bulkhead at the foot of the mast. She is designed to be an easy boat to rig and handle. The sheet winches on the side decks outside the gleaming wooden coaming are also electric, with custom-made stainless steel buttons that glow in the gathering twilight. Only the mainsheet relies on sheer elbow grease – though at a 4:1 purchase, it is easy enough to sheet in hard. The boat skipped along, grazing the banks on each tack. In these confined waters, every yard to windward counts, so I huffled through the turns to glide a few extra feet – you just have to watch the way the stern swings out as the rudder is set 6ft (1.8m) in from the transom.

Super elegant She makes noble progress to windward and tracks beautifully. I could helm her with fingertips only and relished the incredible smoothness with which she glided through the wind – her heavy 3.3-tonne displacement

gave her a momentum that the wavelets of the Sneekermeer did nothing to check. She is stable and fairly accelerated into the gusts, with a pleasing heel that comes from her 548sqft (51m2) sail area and narrow beam. The short companionway consists of a single step to port, which lifts to offer storage space. On the starboard side there’s a macerating heads, connected to a 40-litre (8.8 gallon) black water tank. Tucked away under the foredeck there’s a double V-berth, with a flush hatch just for’ard of the mast. It’s all finished to a high standard, but the focus is on cockpit living, not nights aboard. This is reflected in the fact that the cockpit table houses the fridge and a sink, complete with fold-up tap supplied from a 40-litre (8.8 gallon) water tank. When you consider the electrical demands of the winches, the heads and the instruments, it is clear that the Eagle is not designed for weeks of off-grid sailing. Melle insists that he once kept the boat on a mooring for a week of sailing without draining the batteries. But a wise owner will keep her hooked up to the shore power. With her extra 8ft (2.4m), the 44 is a bigger beast, but still very much based on the same dayboat principles of the 36. Leonardo sells nearly five times as many 44s as 36s, but to my eye, the 36 is a prettier boat. I found her proportions better aligned – the helmsman of the 44 looking positively Lilliputian in a vast cockpit with its giant wheel. Running before a light wind, I was also frustrated by the friction brake on the 44’s electric mainsheet – all cleverly tucked away beneath the aft deck. In order to sheet out beyond a beam reach, you have to pull the mainsheet out by hand – the pressure of the wind in the sail alone is not enough. That said, she was delightfully easy to sail. The design of both boats displays an astonishing attention to detail and above all, elegance. They are, frankly, gorgeous to look at and exceedingly pleasing to sail, as long as you keep to protected waters. tel: +31 515 230 003



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100ft Classic MY “SPREZZATURA” 1971. Extensive refit in 2013. A classical, yet freshly-styled gentleman’s motor yacht, with opulent woodwork and furnishings. She has unusually spacious staterooms and attached bathrooms, a very large main saloon, a superb forward main deck dining saloon, an enormous top sun-deck and top-deck dining area and much more. She has recently benefitted from a one-year refit costing considerably more than US$1 million.

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2007. The style of this vessel is sophisticated and classic : an ideal combination. Her 150Hp engine generates a top speed of 16 knots and technically she is in pristine condition. She can easily be transported on a trailer as she has the European standard beam for road transportation, and, she weighs only 2,25 tons when empty.

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Building confidence, relationships and empowering independence are the cornerstones of Sea Sanctuary’s mission. We step on board to find out more STORY NIGEL SHARP



ne in four people in the UK will suffer from poor mental health at some point in their lives. That was the frightening statistic shared by Joe Sabien, the founder of Sea Sanctuary – a Falmouth-based charity that organises voyages for people with mental health issues – when we met for an introductory sail. Joe and Sea Sanctuary featured briefly in the pages of this magazine back in 2011 (CB281) when they owned Leopard of Falmouth, a 1959 43ft (13.1m) sloop designed by Morgan Giles. The piece explained that a fundamental part of Sea Sanctuary’s ethos is to use classic wooden boats because “they don’t resemble clinical environments such as psychiatric hospitals – where many of our clients have spent a lot of time”. The article included an appeal for donations, specifically for a bigger boat – preferably one between 60ft and 80ft (18m-24m). As a direct result, a generous reader who was trying to sell his 1954 43ft (13.1m) ketch Teka agreed to lend her to Sea Sanctuary until he found a buyer. Although she is nothing like as big as had been hoped, her extra beam provided a lot more space, and her ketch rig gave more flexibility. Teka needed a number of modifications to qualify for a Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Code of Practice certificate for commercial use and she also needed a new stem and standing rigging. While that work was going on, Sea Sanctuary was lucky enough to have the use of another boat for the 2012 season: Donna Capel, a 52ft (15.8m) ketch built as a fishing boat in Ostend in 1943. Sea Sanctuary’s core voyages last four days and three nights, although up to now each evening the boat has come back to her base in Falmouth. Joe explained to me that this was to avoid the clients becoming over anxious about staying out at sea, and also to avoid the complications of having to use a different healthcare support network in the case of any incident in another port. The crew consists of a skipper, a facilitator and co-facilitator, both of whom are experienced sailors as well as mental health specialists, and four to five clients. “The real beauty of sail training is that it boosts confidence, self-esteem and communication skills and, for many people who have been experiencing mental health problems, this can be of particular value,” says Joe. During each voyage, clients are encouraged to get

involved as much as they want to, and everybody gets the opportunity to take the helm – a feature Joe describes as “a metaphor for taking control of life” – and also to help with the cooking. Both of these activities, in particular, put clients in a position of trust, which they may not have been used to for some time.

building blocks Among other things, Sea Sanctuary puts people together in a friendly environment. “One of the root causes of mental health issues,” explained Joe, “is a lack of social interaction. There are opportunities during voyages for one-to-one discussions between clients and facilitators, but more intensive therapy is generally left to the health service specialists ashore. The composition of the crew is considered very carefully before each voyage. “They are not just pulled out of a hat,” said Joe. “We very carefully consider each person’s personality and the nature of their illness or disorder, gender balance and so on.” I joined Teka on a typically cool day at Falmouth’s Port Pendennis Marina for a day sail. The skipper, Paul Lawton, introduced me to the mate, Chris Bracewell, and three clients, Karen, Bob and Nick, all of whom had completed a four-day voyage on Donna Capel the previous year. Of all the clients on board, Bob had sailed with Sea Sanctuary the most – twice each on Leopard and Donna Capel – and before we cast off we had a chance to chat. He told me that even the anticipation of each sailing trip helps to reduce the problems caused by his own mental health issues. He always feels comfortable when he is on board and he enjoys meeting new shipmates, and at the end of each voyage he doesn’t want to leave. Since he started to sail with Sea Sanctuary he has felt he has more hope, and his support worker has told him that he seems to have become far more able to cope with life by himself. Bob also proudly told me about the certificate that he has been given at the end of each voyage. “Every client gets one,” Joe explained to me, “and it recognises the courage it takes for them to attend in a [mostly] totally unfamiliar environment with people they don’t know, and also the hard work they put in. We cast off from our berth and headed out of Falmouth Harbour. We hoisted the main, staysail and jib and reached out across Falmouth Bay towards the Manacles in a northwesterly Force three. After a while

Left to right: Teka tackles the Channel; clients are encouraged to muck in as much as possible; one brave soul climbs the mast






43ft (13.1m) beAm

13ft 6in (4.1m) DrAughT

6ft 6in (2m)

we tacked and headed into St Mawes where we picked up a mooring and enjoyed lunch. There I talked to Karen and Nick – both of whom suffer from depression – about their experiences. Having experienced depression since the birth of her daughter 20 years ago, Karen first became aware of Sea Sanctuary last year when she saw a poster in a hostel. For a while afterwards she wondered if she should follow it up, until her daughter said “you must go”. As a result she completed a four-day voyage on Donna Capel in July 2012. “When I first sailed it made a huge difference,” she told me. “I was with people who understand what you’re going through because they are too.” The trip also gave her a new-found confidence that allows her to be more assertive. Nick had been referred to Sea Sanctuary by his doctor. Karen and Nick had never met before, but became firm friends, finding they had much in common: among other things they are both single parents of young adults. Karen told me that it was “nice for me to feel comfortable around a bloke after a lifetime of that not being the case”. Nick said that although his depression hasn’t gone away, sailing with Sea Sanctuary has helped him cope with it better. Nick told me that his Donna Capel experience gave him the confidence to look for a boat for himself, and he has since bought a 15ft (4.6m) cathedralhull motorboat and is “learning so much” from her.

show them something beautiful and then boot them off at the other end, because that would be doing them a disservice”. They are keen for clients to come for repeat sails as there are additional benefits each time. Joe also has a Cygnus 21 motorboat that he uses to “take clients fishing, have a talk and a bite to eat”. He is also planning to start a “drop-in service on a Friday (the four-day trips are Monday to Thursday) whereby clients can come and just sit on the boat and talk to the same staff”. Sea Sanctuary aims to help people with many different mental health issues, including young kids; people recovering from alcohol and drug dependency; even those suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. To that end, Joe has been talking to organisations such as Combat Stress and The Royal British Legion to try to progress this idea further. It was only ever expected that Teka would be a stop-gap solution as she could have been sold at any time. As it happens, Sea Sanctuary has recently acquired a bigger boat that seems to fit the bill in every way, thanks, once again, to the generosity of a Classic Boat reader who had read the 2011 piece. Although budgetary constraints had forced Joe to seriously consider something in GRP, happily the new boat is timber. She’s called Grace (formerly Tangaroa) and was built in 1925 as a fishing boat in Denmark, and converted to a yacht in 1989. She’s 62ft (18.9m) long and boasts 11 berths. Her 2014 programme is expected to include the Falmouth to Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta, starting on 28 August. Sea Sanctuary always makes a point of asking its clients what difference its service has made to their lives and Joe told me about one particularly moving response. One satisifed client said: “Before your intervention, I lived a life devoid of hope but I can now see the point in living again. Four days may not seem a long time but they were the best four days of my life.” With that kind of commendation, Sea Sanctuary will go from strength to strength.

“Every client gets a certificate and it recognises the courage it takes for them to attend”

getting the right crew Below, left to right: group meals encourage social interaction; Sam Lawton (left), the skipper’s wife, with Barry, one of the volunteers working with Sea Sanctuary

When Joe started Sea Sanctuary he spent considerable time finding the right team. Joe describes skipper Paul as “a real anomaly: a Yachtmaster extraordinaire, very capable, very calm under pressure, very good with clients, and very energetic”. The main facilitator is Kirsten Leslie, who is described by Karen as “utterly amazing”. She also works in the NHS as a therapist and has sailed in three legs of the Clipper Round The World yacht race. Joe made a point of explaining to me that they “don’t just take people from their often lousy lives,



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Charlotte watters

Adrian Morgan strange craft slid by. The waters looked muddy and a light breeze would barely have filled the sails. Hestur’s owners may have been sketching or keeping an eye on the echo sounder, watching for floating logs and man-eating crocodiles, perhaps. The air was probably hot and humid, the sun searing from a clear blue sky. As the sky darkened the cries of night creatures would have filled the air and the scent of Africa invaded the senses. The blog that Charlotte Watters, the illustrator of this column, and husband Dan, who built the schooner, are keeping of a voyage that began in Ullapool and will take them who knows where, can wait. In the meantime, I wonder how closely it resembled my fantasy, in which I saw pygmies waving spears as Hestur passed by; heard the banshee cries of monkeys that kept them awake at night, accompanied by a variety of furtive rustlings and outlandish chirpings from the local fauna. Far up the river did a gaggle of friendly dugout canoes intercept them, and were gifts exchanged in return for which Charlotte draws swift sketches? Or maybe the dugouts had 50hp Yamaha outboards, filled with backpackers and everyone was wearing surfer shorts, Gap knock-off Ts and carrying iPhones. Was there a marina berth waiting in the heart of darkness? In short, I wondered, has ocean cruising lost some of its mystery and allure with the advent of GPS, Facebook and Google Earth. Is classic sailing adventure in (leaky) wooden boats still to be found of the kind the Hiscocks and Pyes wrote about? Indeed, who would take a traditional wooden boat around the world these days? Are they now too precious to risk on the high seas? I hope not. Siandra, CB writer Nikki Perryman and Jamie Morrison’s Lion Class sloop, proved otherwise. So too did Larry, the elegant 1907 Nicholson-designed gaff cutter, which dropped anchor in Ullapool last year after an intrepid voyage. Then there’s the Pardey’s Taleisin and Tim Loftus’s cutter Thembi, which made an epic voyage to Jan Mayen a while back. Adventure can be found on a glassfibre sloop, but it’s just not the same. Or maybe nostalgia for the mariner’s library – Smeeton, Tambs, Muhlhauser – is getting the better of me. Bon voyage Hestur. As for the rest of us, the Hebrides, rather than the Gambia River, is about the extent of my adventuring spirit these days. But I can always sail vicariously at the helm of Google Earth and leave the details to the imagination. Mind you, for those keen to follow Hestur, you’ll need to rely on your imagination. Google Earth’s not much use in the mid-Atlantic. Next stop, the Caribbean… PS: Turns out my description is pretty apt. When I emailed Hestur in the Cape Verdes, there were indeed monkeys and crocodiles, and flying insects (and hippos). Ironically, Charlotte told me, they were also navigating by Google Earth (and an 1827 Admiralty chart).

Armchair adventures

Adrian wonders whether you have to sail, to enjoy the sail…


ast evening I sailed up the Gambia River, all 250 winding miles from Banjul at the mouth to the Senegal border, aboard Hestur, a junk-rigged wooden schooner, enveloped in a miasma of brightly coloured butterflies, soothed by the music of birds of paradise and guided by Google Earth. It was hard to make out much detail, but you could see the outlines of fishing pirogues drawn up at jetties along the shore, and where the Trans-Gambia Highway cuts across the river, two ferries waited to board cars. The promise of adventure and the whiff of danger was palpable, even from where I sat, at my desk in the Scottish Highlands. From two miles high the banks appeared thickly jungled. The further inland the more serpentine and silty the river; the more arid the landscape. Zooming in I could see small villages dotting the banks, houses on stilts. Children no doubt would have been running to the water’s edge to wave as this

“Are they now too precious to risk on the high seas?”




Lazarette Whipping twine

VISIT Sailing Equipmen t cla ssicboat

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Pilot sunglasses

The only decent way to stop the ends of your lines from fraying is with whipping twine – a must on any sailing boat. Consolidated Threadmills offers 10 different colours of round or flat twine, including pre-waxed polyester twine (pictured), lacing cord and tarred yacht marlin. Hours can be spent doing repairs and learning new techniques, which is a truly cathartic way to spend one’s time. From £2.92 per 4oz plus p&p

These timeless AO Original Pilot Sunglasses have been worn to the moon! A favourite of American military pilots for more than 50 years and, in these days of low sun, a good pair is just as vital as during midsummer. They have a toughened steel-alloy frame, glass lenses and they wrap around the temples rather than sit over the ears. £47.50 plus p&p Tel: +1 508 764 3214 Tel: +1 508 672 0032

Kit bag Judge a man not by his looks or books but by his luggage, they say. Cormorant Sails has come up with a robust and durable sailcloth drawstring bag that will look good on any classic boat. It sports hand-spliced rope, leather fasteners and brass eyelets. Available in three sizes and two colours. From £42 inc p&p Tel: +44 (0)1473 327356

Silk scarf With a 200-year pedigree, the Peckham Rye silk scarf is the dandiest thing you can wrap around your neck. More comfortable and cooler than wool, it will halt that spring neck breeze while hiding the fact that you’ve forgotten to shave. Available in a range of patterns (this one is called London Spot). £65 inc p&p Tel: +44 (0)207 734 5181

Rubber radio The Lexon rubber radio seems perfect for boating (water resistant with a grippy surface), but the channel tuner doubles as the aerial, so weaker channels can be difficult to maintain, plus it has no Long Wave. However, if you only listen to the main BBC stations, then this is a neat little gadget that looks classy too. Available in a range of colours. £49.40 plus p&p Tel: +44 (0)207 692 4001 62


Bronze bollard There’s nothing quite like a weighty bit of solid-cast bronze and that’s what Davey does best. Stable and strong with a wide angle and large caps to prevent slip-off, this raked bollard is well made and will enhance your deck no end. From £45.25 plus p&p Tel: +44 (0)1621 854280


Books Cruising Hints by Francis B Cooke Francis B Cooke was the people’s champion of small-yacht cruising from before the First World War. In 1904 Cruising Hints was his first book – the first of 19 or so about cruising, sailing and running small yachts, in a publishing and sailing career that spanned seven decades; he died aged 102 in 1974. This book is now called the seventh edition and is a weighty tome of 686 pages, containing passages of writing from some of his other books and brought “up to date” (kind of) by Lodestar’s editor and publisher Richard Wynne. For fans of small wooden boats this is a wonderful cabin companion, containing a huge amount of illuminating information on the business of sailing such craft. Cooke centres his sailing on the East Coast and there are great chapters of his cruises around the Essex coastline and Thames Estuary. He also commented widely on design and there are 77 pages of design drawings here, covering a wide variety of yachts, with a chapter on what he thought of them. The tone is necessarily dated – he has a lot to say, for instance, on the benefits of sailing without a hired hand, which for most of us is fairly irrelevant. For most sailors his hints on gear will prove useful as he describes himself as being one of the early adopters of the Wykeham Martin furling gear, or Lord Dufferin’s ingenious sliding brass tiller self-steering device on Lady Hermione. There are chapters on ventilation and even cooking, although his recipe for a steak – to sear it either side ’til charred and then cook it on a medium pan for 15 minutes – would appal anyone who’d ever had a French meal. There are, of course, anachronisms. His chapter on clothing suggesting wearing a flannel suit at sea still finds favour with this reviewer, but descriptions of how to rejuvenate a sticky oilskin are now all but irrelevant. One noticeable omission is a chapter on navigation. The marlinspike seamanship is excellent and still relevant, but there is nothing here on basic eyeball navigating or simple chartwork. A small criticism, though, for such a comprehensive book. DH RRP £20, 2011, 686pp,

Hunting the Hunters AT WAR WITH THE WHALERS by Laurens de Groot Laurens de Groot, detective in the Dutch police, was so shocked by the scene of a fatal motorcycle accident that he changed the course of his life, taking to the Southern Ocean with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society on their 194ft (59m) ex-fishing vessel Steve Irwin, to engage the Japanese whaling fleet. This David-and-Goliath story has many of the hallmarks of classic seafaring literature, including the fable of a young man who escapes to sea; and, in the Messianic, controversial and singular Paul Watson, captain of the ship and of Sea Shepherd, a man who bears comparison to Captain Ahab. Or rather his opposite. What follows in the lawless Southern Ocean is an account of Antarctica’s unknown war. Acid is thrown. Grenades are returned. Boats are run through and sunk. Paul Watson is shot (thankfully he’s wearing a bulletproof vest) and everywhere there is the constant danger of ice. But, as Watson puts it, if you want to catch real pirates, you need other pirates to do it. Heady, inspirational stuff and, even in translation, the telling of it is vivid. SHMH


Help for hangovers In his Jeeves and Wooster book The Mating Season PG Wodehouse had five different monikers for hangovers, namely The Comet, The Atomic, The Typewriter, The Cement Mixer and The Dreaded Gremlin Boogie. Through years of fieldwork I have tried to attribute each one to its separate name. A time-consuming and pointless task but to add humour to a hangover is one of the many things one can do to counter a vicious attack that sets outposts in most areas of the body. To begin with, alcohol sheds the body of vitamins B1, B6, C and D, calcium, magnesium, potassium and niacin, all of which incidentally can be replaced in pill form even though your bathroom cabinet may resemble that of a cringing hypochondriac. Basically, a hangover is dehydration, too much fluid in the brain, too much lactic acid in the stomach, too much carbon dioxide in the blood and a chemical created by congeners in alcohol that makes you feel like poisoned slime. In my student years I used to keep a motorbike helmet in the freezer (before the days when we used it for food storage). It was ceremoniously donned during hangovers and would freeze the outside synapses causing a pleasant numbing of the brain. Then I would sit very still while sucking a Bloody Mary through a straw that passed just under the visor. This worked fine, except explaining mild hypothermia to my doctor during a particularly parched summer was a little tricky. Kingsley Amis suggests vigorous but (vitally important) guilt-free sex. Others suggest rather more masochistic concoctions with raw eggs and Tabasco, but that sort of self-punishment I reserve for Catholics and perverts. Avoiding it in the first place is possible, if a little boring, by sticking to vodka or the whiter spirits. Although beer has a similarly low count of congeners, you have to drink so much beer to get drunk that you imbibe a lot more impurities. The one sure-fire cure is time. I have a friend who was a diver and, one lunchtime, he put me in the decompression chamber and dropped the pressure for 20 minutes. When I got out I was astonished to notice it was dark outside. Apparently I’d actually been in there for four hours but the effect of being decompressed mixes the brain’s ability to comprehend time. So, if you have a hangover, get the bends! Or for some of the less intrepid, try the Nîmes speciality Brandade de Morue for lunch, rich in olive oil and salt cod, and a cold bottle of Meursault. Oops, we’ve started again…

RRP £12.99, Adlard Coles, 230pp, CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014


Discover more at +44 (0)1452 301117 Kaskelot masts and rigging at night.

The 36th Thames Traditional Boat Rally

19-20 JULY 2014

Fawley Meadows, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Over 200 vintage and classic boats on parade. Gates open 9am. Plenty of FREE parking. Trade stands, boat club & river society displays, exhibitions, boat rides, refreshments, jazz band, children’s entertainment...

A great day out for all the family. 64


Supported by


Classnotes Cheverton Caravel BY VANESSA BIRD



t was the launch of a competition in Yachting World in August 1950 that led to the creation of the Cheverton Caravel. The magazine, which had already seen several of its competitions produce successful designs, requested designers to draw a ‘People’s Boat’ – a small cruising boat that would appeal to a family of four, provide them with a capable and strongly built sea boat and cost less than £1,000 to produce. Fledgling designer David Cheverton’s answer was the 22ft (6.7m) Quiver, a shoal-draught cruiser that won the judge’s approval and took home second prize. It wasn’t just the judges that the 18ft (5.5m) LWL design impressed either. A reader, Dr JJ O’Donaghue, was so struck by the design that he commissioned Cheverton, and his partners Walt Ham and Alf Parkman, to build him one to the design at their yard at West Medina Mills in Cowes, and after gentle tweaking the Cheverton Caravel was launched in 1958. The following year the design was exhibited at the Olympia Boat Show, and such was the public’s response that small-scale production of the class commenced. The mid-sized family cruising yacht market was a tricky one to launch into. The 1950s and 1960s saw a large influx of new designs from noteworthy designers such as the Nicholson-designed South Coast One-Design (SCOD) in 1955, the Buchanan-designed East Anglian Restricted in 1957 and the Stella and Twister designed by CR ‘Kim’ Holman in 1959 and 1963 respectively. It was stiff competition, but Cheverton’s Caravel proved popular, and between 1958 and 1961 15 were built to the design. A decreasing availability of suitable timber for carvel-built yachts, however, led to a rethink in 1961, and the launch of the Caravel MkII. Unlike its carvel-built African

mahogany-on-oak sibling, the MkII was distinctive in being strip-planked, using kiln-dried mahogany, which was edge nailed and glued with resorcinol on laminated frames. This technique was rigorously tested, but such was its suitability that following more design tweaks, building began. The Caravel MkII then made history as the first strip-planked production boat in Britain. The MkII is the design that most people recognise as a Caravel, with a stepped coachroof that flows gently in curves from the mast to the cockpit. It was 1ft 8in (0.5m) longer than the MkI and 8in (20cm) wider, and although the hull lines remained similar above the waterline, below they were different, with the MkII having a more powerful underbody. The rig was also altered, with a fractional ¾ bermudan sloop rig selected over the earlier masthead rig. In total 40 were built to the design between 1961 and 1964, before the MkIII was introduced. Three inches longer again, the MkIII was also a ton heavier, but unlike the MkII it returned to the original masthead rig. Sadly, however, it did not achieve the same popularity as its siblings, as a changing market and the introduction of VAT on leisure craft meant that Cheverton turned his attention towards the larger commercial craft market after only two MkIIIs were built.

Above: forty of the MkII version of the Cheverton Caravel were built between 1961-64



24ft 6in (7.5m) LWL

19ft (5.8m) BEAM

8ft (2.4m) DRAUGHT

3ft 8in (1.2m) SAIL AREA

267sqft (24.8m²) DISPLACEMENT

11,023lb (5 tons)

CONSTRUCTION MkI Caravels were conventionally built of carvel-planked African mahogany on oak frames. The MkII and MkIII, in contrast, were strip-planked of kiln-dried mahogany. Silicon bronze screws were used throughout. Unusually, the boats were planked up after the framing, bulkheads, engine and interior had been installed. Constructing a boat in this way allowed several boatbuilders to work in an otherwise confined space and consequently sped up build time. The use of laminated mahogany-faced marine ply also meant that there was no need for deck beams, which gave much needed headroom down below.

ACCOMMODATION Designed for a family of four, the Caravel had two 6ft (1.8m) settee berths in the saloon and two in the fo’c’s’le. The saloon was light and airy, and there was a small galley to port and chart table to starboard.

THE COST In 1961 a Cheverton Caravel MkII cost £2,650. Today, secondhand boats sell for between £5,000-£15,000 depending on condition and specification. Vanessa’s book, Classic Classes, is a must-buy. For more details, go to CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014


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The Lady Anne leading Tuiga



Photo © Peter Mumford, Beken Of Cowes



Getting afloat 17ft DAYSAILERS

The market for traditional 17ft (5.2m) dayboats is as established as the ‘19ft (5.8m) gaff trailer-sailer’ sector. But there are greater variations within the trad 17ft niche, with some weighing less than 551lb (250kg) and designed for speed and perhaps good performance under oars; and others at well over twice that and better suited to cruising, or even overnighting under boom tents. Some (like the Cornish Crabber 17 and Character Boats’ Coastal Weekender) feature a twin-cockpit layout, in which children can shelter under a sprayhood in a cockpit undisturbed by rain, running rigging or centreboard. Most make an ideal first boat, with more range than a dinghy for practising navigation, pilotage and tidal awareness, but still needing very little maintenance, few if any ‘systems’ (electrical, etc). Best of all, a good shove over the side with boot or hand will get you out of a scrape! Nearly all have a dedicated outboard well to accommodate


Ideal as first (or last) boats


a 2.5hp long-shaft (or electric equivalent). When buying a 17-footer, remember that ease of towing, recovery and rigging are as important as sailing ability; work out how often you want to trail, as your boat choice will depend on this. Also be aware that while some boatbuilders offer what seems like a bargain price for a new boat, it may have a very basic spec; others quote higher prices, but even the trailer and motor will be included. A well-specced, newly built, spirit-of-tradition 17ft dayboat will

Above: chalk and cheese? The Norfolk Oyster (left) is a heavy, traditional, gaff-rigged clinker boat (albeit in GRP), while the Bay Raider 17 (right) is plywood, waterballasted and sprit-rigged as a yawl

generally come out at about £20,000 or a bit more, including VAT, trailer and motor. Boats are also commonly available secondhand for around half the price of a new one, and usually with a good spec.

A quICk gOOgLE SEARCh Norfolk Oyster (£14,500) North quay 17 (£10,000) Swallow Boats Bay Raider 17 (£15,000) All in great condition and with good kit, including trailers and motors.



Century-old working boat yacht Empress, built around 1900 of pitch-pine planking on oak frames by Crossfields of Arnside, has undergone a huge amount of recent restoration, resulting in a turn-key character gaffer ready for classic regattas and cruising. Measuring 35ft (10.7m) LOA, with a beam of 10ft 6in (3.2m) and draught of 4ft 6in (1.4m), her inventory of improvement includes new laminated iroko frames in way of the mast; new iroko floors; new rudder; refastening with bronze screws; and recaulking. Additionally, boom, gaff and bowsprit, all of Douglas fir, are recent additions, along with running rigging and a set of James Lawrence sails. Her 20hp Vetus engine was rebuilt in 2007 with new drive gear in 2011; navigation equipment includes NASA echo sounder and Garmin GPS 451 chartplotter. Below, she provides four-berth accommodation with 12v lighting, gas cooker and grill. Ground tackle includes 25lb CQR, with 66ft (20m) of 3/8in (10mm) chain and 100ft (30m) of warp. DS Lying Maldon, Essex, £19,950, Tel: +44 (0)7817 008865,




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

To advertise call Edward Mannering +44 (0) 20 7349 3747 Copy Deadline for next issue is 25/02/2014

Fairey Christina 25

£100,000-00 + Refit and Refurbishment. 1 X 200 HP Volvo Diesel All Offers will be Considered. Highly Recommended Office: 0044 (0)1481 726335 • Mob: 0044 (0)7781 104419 Email:

8’ Clinker Dinghy Built by Jackie Kay circa 1993, professionally stripped and varnished 2012, rigged for davits. £2250. Also available classic iron davits including mounting blocks and falls. £500.

Gabrielle ii

Restoration project for a beautiful classic 48’ sloop - standing in Boatyard, under cover, Scotland. £24,000. Further details 07443 119740 or

07802 258491

FOR SALE BY OWNER Th e 1 9 3 0 J o h n A l d e n S c h o o n e r {Design No. 458}

70’ loa • 61’ lod • sail area 2,200 sq. ft Full compliment of sails & equipment Newly on the market after 29 years of ownership, this meticulously maintained schooner is currently available for sale by owner. Located in San Diego, California, USA, Dauntless has been featured on several covers and issues of Sailing Magazine, Wooden Boat, Nautical Quarterly and Santana magazines. Re-built in 1975, Dauntless has a competitive record including races from San Diego to Hawaii, biannual Master Mariners Regattas, and numerous races and cruises along the California coast. History, Specifications, Gallery & Contact Information Photos ~ Bob Grieser

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



Contact Edward Mannering at with your text and image or call +44 (0) 20 7349 3747. The deadline for the next issue is 20/02/2014



To advertise Call Patricia Hubbard +44 (0) 207 349 3748 Copy Deadline for next issue is 25/02/2014


Email: Tel: 01621 859373 • Mob: 07736 553487 Specialists in the Brockerage of Classic Vessels, Traditional Yachts and Working Boats SHOW BARGE @ Battersea for viewing

40m, Steel Motor Barges reworked into luxury lifestyle homes, work places /studios & gyms, afloat. Sited, on the left Bank of the River Thames, at Battersea, London. The Oyster Pier development is a private, gated pontoon mooring with Full Residential status for up to 10 vessels. Vega IV (pictured) is to be SOLD with a l30 year lease. She is the Show Barge for Oyster Pier Moorings. She underwent a total architect lead design and bespoke luxury conversion. Complete, she offers over 2000sq ft of living space which includes three double cabins each with en suite facilities plus a large external deck space. She is fully operational, fully furnished, with state of the art security & heating systems. Her media systems are all networked together, TV, sound and lights. She is just ready to step onboard and start living the life.......... From Oyster Pier there is easy access to the local amenities of Battersea Village, its shops, entertainment and transport networks. For the residents of Oyster Pier there is a Concierge service supplied by the neighbouring 5star Eco friendly Hotel, Restaurant and Spa. Alternatively there are two unconverted barges available NOW for an immediate start. Each barge project is to be designed and fitted out, to their new owners’ exacting specifications. Do call for further details of the Barges and their potential.

Priced from £65,000- £1,000,000

27m Thames Sailing Barge, 1923 Wooden, Coded & licensed. 55- 100 guests. Staff accom. New galley. London £175,000

25m Klipperak Barge, 1913 On residential mooring South Dock Marina, London. Fully compliant, A home afloat. £350,000

9.5m TSDY Brooke Marine, 1937 Carvel Pine planked. 2 x BMC engs. 2 cabins. Excellent order. Essex £28,000

12m TSDY Beechams Prototype, 1963 Under restoration. 2 x Ford engs. 3 cabins. Needs internal fit out. Essex OIRO £50,000

45ftSteel Thames Sailing Barge,1993 Half sized replica. Problem engine. Fun sailing/Living aboard. Ashore. Suffolk £60,000

11.43m Hillyard Sloop, 1971 Long keel, Ford Mermaid. Restoration completed. 6ft 6ins h’drm, sleeps 6. E. Scotland £28,000

35ft Crossfield’s Prawner, 1912 Sails & rigging, as new. Gaff Cutter BMC eng (problem). Hull Pitch pine on oak (good). N.Essex £16,500

28ft Friendship Sloop (replica) 1978 American design. Strip plank construction. Volvo Penta new eng, Gaff cutter. Kent £18,500

24ft Saunders Roe Service Launch, 1930’s Completed restoration with road trailer Accom cabin. Beta Marine. Essex £24,500

10ft McNulty Clinker dinghy, 1985 Varnished wood, Lug rig, spars , Combi Trailer plus extras. Devon £3,000 CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014






Lady Helena - a smart 23ft beamy 3 berth weekender with shower, head and optional floating boatshed mooring. Built in 1953 and believed to be the last of the Sanderson Lady Class still cruising the Broads. Her current owners have lavished care and money on her maintenance. £23,500

Classic Saloon Launch - a 30ft hull built by Henwood & Dean to a Wolstenholme design with a chic air conditioned interior. Equipped with a bow thruster and powerful diesel engine so ideal as a tender for a yacht, hotel or simply cruising in style. POA

Fantasy II - a lovely example of a gentleman’s cruising motor yacht built by Toughs of Teddington in 1958 and with a contemporary galley and large entertaining area inside and out. Price reduced to £95,000






Asterisk* - A 45ft Bates Starcraft with an aft cockpit and flying bridge. The interior has wooden floors and a modern galley, two separate double cabins with ensuites, leather saloon, twin diesels £79,950

Cybil - A Riva Bertram, possibly the only one in the UK currently. A great classic seventies GRP cruising boat with the interior fitted out by an award winning designer. Twin Yanmar diesels £55,000

Gee Whiz - a 1953 Chris Craft Rocket imported by the UK importer Arthur Bray for the Earls Court Boat Show. Well documented and ideal for rallies Gee Whiz comes complete with trailer for £18,950

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

EHY16 - a contemporary classic built in Oundle and powered by a choice of diesel or electric propulsion. A stable, spacious design with the emphasis on quality and ease of maintenance from £24,000

For model boats, dockside clothing and boaty curios visit

38m (124ft) Steel Brigantine Sail Training Ship.

28m (92ft) Twin Screw Schooner, built Pitch Pine on Oak 1907, completely rebuilt in 2004.

17.6m (58ft) Classic Teak and Mahogany Italian Yawl by Sangermani, 1948.

25m (82ft) Steel Twin Screw Gentleman’s Schooner part-finished restoration project.

Air conditioned accommodation for up to 36 in 17 cabins plus 12 crew berths in six cabins; Bar and lounge. Well-equipped comfortable. e3,000,000 - Location Valencia, Spain

Luxury accommodation for five in three cabins (+ 4 crew). Twin Gardner diesels. Drop dead gorgeous! e2,200,000 - Location Western Med.

Beautifully restored, great performer on the Med. Classic Yacht racing circuit. Eight berths, New Sails. e300,000 - Location Italy

Hull and decks restored, Twin Gardner diesels. Drop Dead Gorgeous! 2010 Survey please ask for a copy. £195,000 - Offers invited - Location Dorset UK

14m (46ft) Modern Classic Sloop built Astilleros Mediterraneo, Spain 2003.

17.5m, 57ft on deck, Wishbone Ketch, built Oak on Oak in 1928.

10m (33ft) Fairey Marine Swordsman, fast cruiser.

12m (40ft) Cornu Class Ketch, built Iroko and Mahogany, Van der Notte, Nantes, in 1966.

Construction is cold moulded, double diagonal over strip plank Cedar, all epoxy / glass sheathed. 6 berths. Yanmar 40hp diesel. A real stunner! e139,000 - Location Costa del Sol, Spain

She offers accommodation for up to 17 in 5 cabins. Engine is 121kw (162hp) 6-cylinder diesel (1979) Recently chartering. e89,500 - Location Gdynia, Poland

Up to six berths, two heads, excellent galley, Twin Volvo Penta TAMPD41P-A 200bhp diesels installed 2000. Superbly maintained. One Owner from new. 2010 Survey. £49,500 - Location River Colne, Essex

Recent sails and Engine (Vetus 42hp) up to 9 berths. e50,000 - Location Brittany, France See Website for Photos, Specifications & Surveys 19 Colne Road, Brightlingsea, Essex, CO7 0DL • Tel: +44 (0) 1206 305996. Planning to sell: Please call Adrian Espin for details. 70



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

61 ft J M Soper Gaff Schooner 1932 VERA MARY’s lines enhanced by her unobtrusive low profile superstructure are more than a match for the American schooners of her size and vintage. Joseph Soper her designer was known for his racing yachts and rugged cruising boats tending to rather greater beam than was usual at that time. VERA MARY’s interior reflects that extra volume with good spacious accommodation and a saloon worthy of a much larger vintage yacht ! VERA MARY was famously purchased by King George V and given in appreciation to his sailing teacher and friend Sir Philip Hunloke. Need we say more? €440,000 Lying Germany

52 ft Laurent Giles Marconi Cutter 1967 ILARIA, designed by Jack Laurent Giles was built in 1967 by the Beconcini yard in La Spezia. Following the experience of NINA, MIRANDA IV and MIRANDA V, she is a boat absolutely designed for the Mediterranean, not only by virtue of her performance but especially in her style - that of very good - and understated good taste. In 2001 the boat was restored by the same shipyard that built her, also taking the opportunity to update, enhance and add to the facilities, optimising her comfort and safety for the present day. €350,000 Lying Italy

52 ft Sparkman & Stephens Sloop 1944 Designed by K. Aage Nielsen while at S&S – Olin Stephens considered him the best designer they had ever had. Nielsen’s manic attention to detail extended to his demanding the best from his builders and CICLON was no exception - and benefitting further from being the yard owner’s own boat! Launched in Cuba in 1944 she was rarely off the podium – beating such legends as STORMY WEATHER and TICONDEROGA. Of course beautiful and fast – is it time now to reintroduce her to her sisters?

56 ft William McBryde Gaff Ketch 1952 Designed by W.G McBryde, YVES CHRISTIAN is a proper little ship drawn at a time when this was appreciated – sea kindly and comfortable she has plenty of beam, which with her firm sections and snug ketch rig make her very stiff - and she was originally designed for long sea trips and Mediterranean cruising. Her current owners have attended with great attention and dedication to the period and detail of the boat’s structure, meaning that her systems and interior are impressive. This is a vessel with little left to do but perhaps prepare a passage plan for somewhere you have always wanted to go to, very confident she will look after you. £280,000 Lying UK

51 ft Laurent Giles Royal Huisman Ketch 1971 Launched in 1971 this yacht is a remarkable combination of Jack Laurent Giles’s design, a Wölter Huisman build and finish by A.H. Moody & Son; three of the greatest names in yachting at that time – and frankly they didn’t get much better than that. BUCEPHALUS is a strong, comfortable classic yacht equipped to the highest standard and fitted out not so long ago with the intention to sail around the world, but the owner’s plans have now changed. She however is more than capable and absolutely ready to go.

47 ft Laurent Giles Yawl 1951 As with Jack Laurent Giles’ Vertue design ISMANA displays that purposeful charm blending style with function as only he knew how - a style that has the onlooker captivated; more subtle than the very long overhangs that seduce so easily and far more seaworthy as a result - her current owner has fully restored her with the help of Hubert Stagnol and he seems to have known exactly what he wanted to achieve. Her structure is impressive enough but it’s in the simple detailing and original fittings on deck and below that make this boat very special. €235,000 Lying France

47 ft Stow & Sons Gaff Yawl 1895 VALERIE has been beautifully and sympathetically rebuilt, commensurate with her vintage, which at nigh on 120 years makes her a genuine historical artefact. Thus an object of such rarity, beauty and desirability can be experienced and enjoyed as was intended by her maker so many tides ago. The simplicity of her finish and fit-out with the re-introduction of her original yawl rig makes her a handy craft capable of being easily sailed by a small crew. Partial completion of her interior enables a new owner to specify his own accommodation arrangements, for which an outline option exists. £200,000 Lying UK

46 ft Johan Anker Gaff rigged 9 Metre R 1907 PANDORA is probably the only gaff rigged 9mR now in existence. Designed by Johan Anker and built by the famous Anker Jensen yard, she remains impressively original. A supreme helmsman himself Anker knew what was needed to make a boat go fast and his preoccupation with the subtle beauty of lines revealed a purity - rather understated, that nevertheless can take your breath away. With short Nordic seasons and wintering in tented storage, very well looked after she is a most beautiful classic yacht to the eye of any beholder. €208,000 VAT unpaid Lying Norway



Lying UK


Lying Cyprus

45 ft A M Dickie & Sons Motor Sailer 1936 Dickies knew better than most how to build a strong and supremely seaworthy vessel. Designed on the lines of a fishing boat - but as a yacht – her finer lines make her the more beautiful while retaining all the seagoing qualities of a working vessel. TUNNAG’s wonderful varnished teak hull and the warmth of her characterful interior are fully revealed. These inherent qualities have kept her in long and loving ownerships – Her most recent having lavished a superb refit, fully revealed in her wonderful condition today. She is totally ready. £155,000 Lying UK CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014



Anglia Yacht Brokerage New 12’ Dinghy available with either larch or Mahogany planking. Class celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013. Prices from £8,500 Inc VAT

New 18’ Deben Lugger day/ camping dayboat. Prices from £13,500 Inc VAT

New 10’ GRP clinker lug sail dinghy. Prices from £2,950 Inc VAT

Argyll2012 to read - 2011 Secret 20’ built to a very high standard from Scuffle Marine kit. Complete with Suzuki 4-stroke outboard and custom road trailer/trolley. £14,950 1979 Drascombe Lugger Mk2 in original gelcoat with 2005 Yamaha 4HP 4-stroke outboard, 2010 Easylaunch road trailer, 2010 overall cover. £4,950

Brand new Cygnus 15’ rowing/motor boat with three rowing stations. She also makes an ideal family picnic boat with a small outboard of 3-4HP. £3,950

See full listings at Tel. +44 (0)1359 27 17 47 Email.



Craftsmanship Yard News

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


Interest in classic 6-M yachts is rising in Australia, reports John Little. It began with the restoration of the Fife yacht Rendezvous, which earned Sydney Wooden Boats the 2013 CB award for ‘Best Restoration under 40ft (12.1m), Rest of the World’. Partners Simon Sadubin and Tom Coventry are now halfway through the rebuild of another Fife 6-M, Sjo Ro. In a shed next door, the 1937 6-M Yeoman is approaching the end of an eight-year rebuild by owner Rob Bishop. Sjo Ro (Swedish for ‘calm water’ and pronounced ‘sho-roo’) was built by Percy Coverdale in Tasmania in 1934. She had some racing success, but the Northcote Cup, pinnacle of 6-M competition, eluded her. Post-war the rule changed in favour of newer boats like Yeoman, which won the cup seven times from 1948.


Six addiction in Sydney

Both boats were sailed hard all their lives. Despite caring owners, the years have taken their toll. In 2012 Sjo Ro’s latest owner, Jeremy Arnott, decided it was time for the big rebuild. Although most of the framing and deck was crumbling, the sound Huon pine planking was holding the boat together. The rebuild has included refastening, new keelbolts, reframing, new floors, ring frames and deck.

Above: the hull of Yeoman after a complete rebuild

Unlike Sjo Ro’s traditional build, Yeoman’s hull is two skins of cold-moulded mahogany with a layer of canvas between, fastened with copper rivets. When her owner found her, she was beyond salvation. When finished, the only original part will be the lead keel. There are at least three other classic 6-Ms in Sydney. Aficionados hope that these latest restorations will spark a local resurgence of the class.



Broads yacht of their dreams


Glider, the 22ft (6.7m) Norfolk Broads yacht built by Leo Robinson in 1936, had been abandoned in the yard, for sale for eight years with no takers – when David Calder took her on for a restoration in 2013. The work, which included a complete strip back, new interior, a reshape of the bow and new decks (the hull was largely sound), was carried out by South River Marine Boatyard at St Olaves. In the spring, the boat will be re-rigged with a shorter bowsprit (the original is 6ft/1.8m) and then David and his wife will be ready to cruise and race her from a swinging mooring on South Walsham Broad. The Calders took the project on after David’s wife dreamed they had been sailing Glider.

At the time of going to press, Vänliga Hälsningar of Classic Yacht Service in Sweden is halfway through the build of a 23ft (7m) centreboard bermudan sloop to a design by the late Joel White. The boat is for a customer, an enthusiast closely involved with the build. “I am impressed about all the details that White put in this rather small boat. Since she was drawn in 1992, we considered material updates but we realised that he had put much effort into the construction and we wanted to see how she performs,” said Vänliga. To put some pressure on finishing, Vänliga booked the boat in to the Gothenburg Boat Show (1 February!). The boat is being built in cold-moulded cedar strip, “something I know that 90 per cent of potential customers would have issues with,” admits Vänliga, who is considering a trad GRP boat with wood finish for his next build. 74



White was right





The Alchemist: turning GRP into wood! How to recycle GRP boats is a question that's vexed many over the years, but Bill Trafford of the aptly named Alchemy Marine in Eire’s Doneraile, has found an attractive solution – turning them into spirit-of-tradition yachts. In 2011, Bill, who specialises in GRP and carbon-fibre, found a suitable 20ft (6.1m) GRP donor hull (similar to a Corribee), and turned her into an attractive wood-finished yacht. Everything but the hull was changed and the boat now has a much larger cockpit and an ‘inboard-outboard’ engine setup. A month after the boat’s launch, an order followed for a traditional 16ft (4.9m) dayboat conversion. Bill is now working on a classic harbour launch. These boats are good value compared with the price of new spirit-of-tradition daysailers. Bill estimates £20,000 for a boat similar to his 20-footer, to include combi trailer, outboard, fenders and warps, and about £12,000 for the 16-footer, similarly well-specced. For more details, contact Alchemy Marine at or contact +353 876 974 391.


Storm warning


A commission from a German lake sailor has sent father-andson team Nick and Matt Newland of Swallow Boats back to their roots. The Storm 23 will recall their earlier boats like the lithe, easily driven Storm 15, 17 and 19. The 23 is the biggest Storm yet, and this CAD drawing shows the same pleasing simplicity of form. Despite the Viking design origin, the 23 is, like their other craft, a modern beast with carbon fibre rig, water ballast and swing keel. Matt envisages “sublime light airs performance”. The open-backed cuddy cabin offers “camping-style accommodation”. The boat, in epoxy ply, weighs 1,323lb (600kg). She is due to launch in the summer. A new one would cost about £27,000 + VAT.



First one we’ve built in 30 years Two unrelated missives reached us at CB, telling us we simply had to check out what the yard of HJ Mears & Son was up to. “I don’t know why everyone’s so interested,” said the unassuming father, Paul Mears. “I suppose it’s because we’ve not built one in 30 years.” He is referring to a 25ft (7.6m) beach fishing boat being built for a customer. The yard was founded after the war by Paul’s father Harold who, using experience gained building MFVs in the war, turned his hand to building local Devon beach boats like this one. GRP took over in the late 1970s and the yard adapted. These days wood has returned to a degree: the yard restores, builds and maintains Beer Luggers, yachts and dinghies, but the new boat is the first of her type since their heyday. She’s a motorised launch in mahogany clinker planking with an oak stem, timbers and transom, and due for launch in the summer. CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014




In need of TLC

This shows the state of Ellad’s cockpit when Didier acquired her and it clearly indicates some of the numerous potential water entry points in the side panels and the engine hatch


Timber fram ework

The entire framework for Ellad’s all-new cockpit can be clearly seen in this picture with the numerous sole supports joined and screwed to the side battens


Plywood pattern

Placing of the main starboard side panel of the cockpit benches/ lockers. The pattern for cutting the 5/8in (15mm) plywood, which was made from small battens, is seen to starboard


Engine access panels

View from the saloon. The engine access panels can be seen either side of the engine beds. The cockpit was sealed forward when the bulkhead was completed above the engine chamber opening


Cockpit craftsmanship In part five of our series reliving the restoration work carried out on the Fife double-ender Ellad, we look at how Didier’s team remodelled the cockpit space STORY NIGEL PERT PHOTOGRAPHS DIDIER GRIFFITHS 76




Air ventilation

The transversal partition of the cockpit locker showing the large gap left around the beamshelf to allow free circulation of air in the boat. This helps reduce the likelihood of rot setting in.


Filler cap and fiddle

Diesel filler cap hidden inside the rear of the starboard cockpit locker. The lip helps avoid spillage damage and Didier usually puts paper towelling around during filling


Essential store cupboard

The aft starboard locker (known as Didier’s “technical locker”) contains things relating to the engine and transmission, as well as the shore supply socket and the plug for the autopilot


Bilge water exit

The rear port locker is the “water-closet”, with the water filler cap and the manual bilge pump installed. This locker is also used for storage of mooring lines, sheets and other cordage



he cockpit of Ellad presented an important security risk to the yacht. Vertical doors opened towards the cen tral space on three of the four lockers and the lazarette. There was a loosefitting engine hatch in the cockpit sole and the enlarged saloon entrance extended to the same level. Any waves taken in the cockpit would have quickly filled the boat and even with milder conditions, sea water almost constantly dripped on the engine. This situation had to be rectified, yet Ellad’s spirit also had to be maintained. The opening to the campanionway was reduced as explained in Part 3 and the fore and aft locker sides (of 5/8in/15mm ply) were positioned between the first deck beam aft of the cockpit and the reinstated beam and new second beam of the bridge deck. A large gap was left


“In planning the cock pit think of crew security and av oid all possible water entry points”

around the beamshelf in the upper corners of the transversal locker dividers to allow air to circulate and discourage rot. Battens Didier Griffiths were attached to the fore and aft locker sides to carry the oak cockpit sole beams, jointed and screwed in place every 8in (20cm). As the cockpit sole is now continuous, access to the engine is by large openings in the fore and aft members, under the forward locker bottoms. The locker floor panels are held in place with wooden turnbuckles. Each locker has a well-defined function contributing to efficiency and aesthetics of the yacht. The fuel and water filler caps are hidden in the rear lockers – diesel to starboard and water on port – placed aft on a small shelf with a fiddle to cope with small spillages. The aft





Gas supply

The forward port locker houses the gas locker. Any leaked gas is conducted to the exterior via the tube attached to the locker partition. Harnesses, lifejackets and shackles also stored here.


Dials and switch es

All the engine instruments are located on this panel to the rear of the cockpit. Ventilation slots ensure even air circulation. When not required the panel on the sole hides these gauges

starboard locker is the “technical” locker and houses, forward, the diesel filter, the cooling fluid reservoir and the grease syringe for the stern gland, which needs tightening half a turn every six months and filling every 10 years. The engine Morse control is behind the lever on the side panel. Aft, there is the plug for the 240V shore supply, and the plug for the autopilot. A fire extinguisher and the anchor ball are also kept here. A fixed box is installed for various odds and ends of security equipment such as flares, bungs, etc. The aft port locker is dedicated to water, with the water filler and the hand bilge pump, plus sheets, shore lines and other cordage. A port forward locker houses the independent gas locker, drained to the exterior, and the harnesses, lifejackets, spare blocks and shackles. Forward starboard is the sail locker. Engine instruments are 78



Storage space

Storage on any boat is always at a premium, Didier and his team added in as many lockers as possible. This one, located forward to starboard, is a spare and currently used to store the sails.


Cockpit almost finish ed

The cockpit almost finished, showing the teak locker lids and the self-draining holes forward. This view illustrates the clean look achieved by careful thought

mounted in the rear panel, hidden by another panel when not in use. The lazarette space is left empty, maximising ventilation. The liferaft stows under the bridge deck, partly covered by the compass on its moveable thwart. The sides were grooved before painting to simulate match-boarding. The drain tubes, which are crossed over to ensure the cockpit doesn’t fill when heeled over, exit the boat via skin fittings at the level of the stern gland. The severely corroded steel rudder stock and tube were replaced using stainless steel. The new stock was made with a smaller diameter tube, with Teflon bearings top and bottom. The aft edge of the rudder was given a more elegant and efficient profile while dismounted. The wrought iron tiller needed no more attention than a new coat of paint and varnish.

ELLAD CB305 Built in 1957 to a William Fife III design, she’s a stylish teak-onoak-framed 34ft 6in (10.5m) double-ender

e e n ad id ai M pr rit th t B wi rea G in

“Rainbow” 3rd in class at the Fife Regatta 2013


22-28 Tower Street, Brightlingsea, Essex CO7 0AL Tel: 01206 302863 • Fax: 01206 305858 Email: or

Peter Freebody & Co

Boatbuilders, Designers & Restorers of Traditional River Launches A fine selection of classic launches for sale Moorings available Est 300 years Mill Lane, Hurley, Berks, SL6 5ND

+44 (0)1628 824382 CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014



Boatbuilder’s Notes DIY DEBRIEf

Rapid rabbeting made easy sToRy And phoTogRAphs ROBIN GATES The rabbet, or rebate, crops up frequently in classic yacht joinery, just about anywhere that the edge of one piece of wood is let into another – for example, corner joints and panelling. however, cutting a long rabbet with a hand-powered rabbet plane, one shaving at a time, is a time-consuming task. It can also be nerve-racking because it is essential to establish an accurate shoulder and not deviate from it. But if you first use a grooving plane (pictured right) to cut the shoulder of the rabbet, then chip out the waste with a beveldown chisel and use the rabbet plane only to cut down to the line, you can do the job even quicker and with less fuss than using machinery.



Clockwise from left: cut the rabbet with a grooving plane; chip out the waste with a chisel; cut down to the line with the rabbet plane

Router Plywood screwed to router base Sliding the router back and forth trimmed the surface of the scarph

Bowsprit Plywood guides screwed to the bowsprit


Cutting long scarph joints RICHARD TOYNE

Boatbuilding advice from naval architect John perryman



Cutting accurate scarph joints is not easy, especially when the material is shaped and tapered. This was the problem I faced recently when replacing a rotten section in a bowsprit. To ensure the spar would be strong enough, I wanted to join the old and new material with long joints cut at a ratio of 12:1. To complicate matters the bowsprit was 9in (229mm) square at one end, tapering to 6in (152mm) diameter at the other. As I did not have access to a workshop, I decided to cut the joint by hand, aiming to leave the surface slightly proud, then trim using a router and a simple plywood jig. To make the jig I fitted a straight bit into the router and screwed it onto the centre of a piece of plywood about 18in (457mm) long. This had a hole in it that the router bit projected through by 3/8in (9.5mm). I then took two pieces of plywood, to use as guides, and screwed them onto the sides of the bowsprit, aligning them so that their top edges were 3/8in (9.5mm) above the finished height of the face of the joint. The plywood holding the router could then be rested on the guide pieces and by sliding it back and forth the router bit would trim the surface of the joint.


Traditional Tool

roBIn gatEs

story and photographs ROBIN GATES The oft-quoted boatbuilding maxim that: “You can’t have too many clamps” is borne out by a glimpse inside any boatshed where the walls are typically lined with F-clamps, G-clamps, bar clamps, cam clamps, sash clamps and shop-made nippers. However, a clamping device rarely seen nowadays is the joiner’s dog – a one-piece tool that is also the quickest and easiest to use. Dating from at least Roman times, the joiner’s dog is a wide and sturdy staple used to span the join between two boards. The outside faces of the dog’s pointed legs are parallel to each other but their inside faces taper so when the dog is driven home, it pulls the two boards together – hence why it’s also called a ‘pinch’ dog. It is especially useful when joining a number of narrow boards to make a larger surface such as a saloon table or cockpit seat, with a particular advantage being that it can clamp angled work, such as a cambered companionway hatch, whose

separate components would take considerable time and effort to assemble using other clamps. Joiner’s dogs are usually hammered into the boards’ end grain just sufficiently to squeeze the glue, holding the work in place while avoiding the danger of over-tightening and starving the joint, but it is essential that the faying surfaces make a perfect join. When building a panel this way the dog holes left behind in end grain might be covered by a surrounding frame or the work might

Clockwise from above: joiner’s dogs hammered into end grain hold three boards for gluing; width typically ranges from 2in-4in (5.1cm-10.2cm); maintaining sharp points with a file

be cut over-length and trimmed to final size. While for surfaces that remain hidden from view, joiner’s dogs can be used in the long grain across the join of adjacent boards. Juggling a bunch of unwieldy screw- or friction-operated clamps can be a frustrating experience as they must be repeatedly loosened, moved and retightened, until the work itself may be obscured by the forest of clamps around it. In contrast, joiner’s dogs are simple to use and leave joints largely unobstructed.

roBIn gatEs

Clever clamps



sErIEs 3

Wood finishes fourth update

Our chosen stains and varnishes have now been subjected to rain, wind, sun, sleet and snow for 4½ years. Here are all the results story and photographs RICHARD HARE


ummer 2013 was one that we’re not likely to forget in a hurry. Up to midsummer it was overcast, wet and windy – a dismal continuation of what we’d put up with over the previous 18 months. Then it was all change. The sun came out bright and strong and we had two months of scorching heat with scarcely a cloud in the sky or a drop of rain. Good news for us; bad news for our test pieces because they had to endure a UV battering from late June to mid-September. All the nine wood finishes that entered this series in spring 2009 have been accredited a CB Pass, and the objective of each subsequent year is to see how many stars they can add to their credit.

TEsT CRITERIA Above: the exquisite finish on Ferruccio Lamborghini’s Riva Aquarama 82

To recap, for a wood finish to win a CB ‘Pass’ (1 Star) it needs to withstand 18 months’ exposure without affecting the integrity of the finish. This is based on naked eye assessment. Consequently, a 1 Star Pass sits comfortably within the usual 12-month maintenance


cycle but with a useful measure of leeway. Additional stars are credited for each subsequent year that the product performs well. The rig faces south-west onto a Suffolk estuary and the back of each test piece was coated with flexible polyurethane (PU) to ensure its water-tightness. Iroko is used as its oiliness is known to make it tricky, a characteristic it shares with teak. The sharp edges of each test piece should never be used on a boat’s exterior (bevelled edges are best) but we use them in this product test as means of accelerating ageing.

THE sERIEs 3 pRoDuCTs Series 3 includes three conventional varnishes, a dedicated marine exterior woodstain, as well as two that were bought from a builders’ merchant, one of which is a recently launched high solids product. Also included are a two-pack and a flexible polyurethane. ‘Ongoing remedial work’ recommendations are based on exposure in a northern European climate. In situations like the high salinity, high UV eastern Mediterranean, remedial work will need to be significantly more frequent.











Product comparison table PRODUCT




COST/LITRE COST m2 (3) (4)















14.99 (8.68)**



1 Jotun Penguin Ravilakk 2 Seajet UV 3 Nauteco Coma Berenice

Alkyd-based with Chinese wood oil, synthetic amber and ‘other materials’ Phenolic alkyd base with tung oil and ‘traditional ingredients’ Alkyd-based


4 Seajet Polyurethane Gloss

Hard polyurethane + catalyst






Topcoat aliphatic flexible PU Used with Uroxsys primer

5 1

12 15

30 18

13.70 (5)


6 Sikkens Cetol Marine/International Woodskin†






7 Sikkens Cetol Filter 7






1 2 3

13.5 13.5 13.5

16.78 23.00 23.00

4.64 (6) 5.11



5 Awlwood MA (formerly Uroxsys) (not available for retail)



8 Sadolin Ultra with base coat 9 Sadolin Ultra

Base coat Ultra Ultra only

Table notes (1) Primer(s) included where applicable. (2) Claimed m2/lt for a single coat, exc UV-tech. (3) Cost per litre (£), 2013.

(4) Based on the number of coats given in column 1. (5) Based on £12.50 (aliphatic) and £1.20 (primer). (6) Based on £1.24 (base coat) and £3.40 (Ultra).


*** **



** ** ****


*** ** ** ***

PASS Distinction PASS PASS Distinction PASS Distinction

(7) Based on £7.33 (epoxy) and £9.23 (2-pack). (*) Manufacturer suggests 3-4 coats; this would reduce cost per m2 to £8.68. (**) Per kg not litre (minor difference). (†) Formerly Sikkens Cetol Marine; Filter 7 is unchanged

Conventional single pot varnishes None of the products failed our test and all made 2-Stars or better, this being the most common benchmark set from previous tests. One product has gone on to reach 3-Stars, a fact that seems a little unfair on the others as it lost its gloss completely. Still, it maintained its integrity. 1 JOTUN PENGUIN RAVILAKK

*** PASS

App Five coats, the first thinned about 30% with white spirit, the second given a light de-nibbing with 400-grade paper. The five-coat application spanned five days. 54 months Intact on surface and all four edges but it fails due to early signs of breaking along the upper arris. It has lost all gloss except on the side that is most sheltered from the sun. Ongoing remedial work To retain the high level of gloss it maintained up to the 18-month assessment, we recommend that a fresh topcoat be applied no longer than two years after application.



App Five coats, the first thinned about 30% with white spirit, the second given a light de-nibbing with 400-grade paper. The five-coat application spanned five days. 54 months Surface and three edges intact and the small fissure that opened along the top arris about two years previously has only become marginally worse, and remains small. Nonetheless, it retains a decent level of sheen (more than Ravilakk). Given that no further fissures have opened up along the other corners, and that the breakage across the arris has not deteriorated, we have upgraded it to a full 2-Star pass. Ongoing remedial work: We recommend that a fresh topcoat be applied no longer than two years after application.



App Five coats, the first thinned about 30% with white spirit, the second given a light de-nibbing with 400-grade paper. The five-coat application spanned five days. 54 months Totally intact on surface but the significant detachment that occurred along the upper end-grain 12 months previously has worsened. It is now splitting along one of the side arrises. It retains a high gloss but, of all the varnishes in this series, it has a slight dimpled orange-peel surface. That said there is none of the crazing that affected some conventional varnishes in earlier series. Ongoing remedial work: It would benefit from being topcoated at an 18-month/ 2-year interval.




two-pack varnish

flexible polyurethane

4 Seajet polyurethane


app The six-coat system spanned two days. Since no evaporation is involved this application will have a significantly higher build than solvent or water-based finishes. Coats were applied at 20-minute intervals, wet on wet. 54 months Totally intact on surface and all four edges although a small fissure that was reported 12 months ago on the arris that’s most exposed to UV is now considerably longer and broader. ongoing remedial work: It would benefit from being top coated at an 18-month/ 2-year interval.

As a flexible PU, product 5 has reached the same 4-Star CB ‘Pass’ performance level as Coelan, from Series 1. Might it go on to exceed it? Watch this space…

5 awlwood flexible pu


app Primer applied in warm conditions and allowed to cure overnight. Five coats of Marine Aliphatic (top coat) applied at two-hour intervals, de-nibbing third coat. Six-coat application takes one to two days. 54 months Totally intact on surface and all four edges. It retains a very high gloss and a light nutty tint. ongoing remedial work: none needed

exterior wood stain Both Sikkens products are normal 50% solids formulations, whereas the Sadolin varnishes are high solids (75%) exterior woodstains that have the potential to be similar to the 4-Star CB ‘Pass’ Sikkens novatech from Series 1. With exterior woodstains it’s particularly important to degrease oily species like teak and iroko with an abrasive solvent like cellulose spirit or acetone. Also, the first coat should be dragged out as thinly as possible, particularly in cool, windless weather. emphatically, don’t lather on the first coat! That can follow in the two subsequent coats. Our experience is that this is especially relevant to the high solids products. ongoing remedial work for all exterior woodstains featured Rubs and abrasions should be sanded back to bright wood, touched in with a couple of coats at least once a year, ideally before winter sets in. At some stage between two and four years a very light sanding of the whole surface should be followed by a fresh new coat. An alternative is to scrub gently with warm soapy water followed by a wipe over with white spirit using a clean rag. a caution Avoid applying more than the required three coats, and don’t routinely apply an extra coat each year because you’ll be applying it quicker than it’s eroding. If you do, brightwork can end up looking like a Mars Bar and vapour permeability – its key feature – becomes impaired too. So, give yourself a break! Also, avoid using wire wool when stripping old finishes.



6 international woodSkin FORMeRLy SIkkenS CeTOL MARIne

*** PASS

app Three coats, the second de-nibbed lightly in preparation for the third. The three-coat system spanned three days. 54 months Totally intact on surface and all four edges. It retains a reasonable level of sheen and it does not seem to have degraded significantly, although it has opened very slightly along the vertical arrises. Although it’s not comparable to the gloss retained on two of the varnish test pieces it hasn’t reduced to a full matt. It retains fractionally more ‘life’ and sheen than Filter 7, the builder’s merchant product (see right), and since the failure is marginal it is awarded a distinction star. ongoing remedial work: (see left). note: Since coming under the aegis of International Paints, Cetol Marine has been reformulated and re-badged as ‘Woodskin’, and International Paints product. Its performance has yet to be tested but early indications are that it is at least equivalent to its predecessor.

8 Sadolin ultra two-tin



app Three coats: one base, two top. Second coat de-nibbed. It took three days. 54 months Totally intact on all surfaces but there were early signs of wood exposure along one side arris 12 months ago. These are now only slightly worse. Moisture has got behind the finish and caused discolouration. Although this is the official recommended application, the inclusion of the base coat means it has a lower build than our own application sequence on test piece 9, and its slightly inferior performance isn’t entirely illogical. The sheen is reduced almost to matt but its translucence is still good. It had the best level of sheen/low gloss that we’ve yet to come across for an exterior woodstain to date and its use could extend beyond workboats and into the realm of graceful luxury yachts of all types. Its marine market potential is assured and it’s an extremely worthwhile budget alternative to the more expensive products. ongoing remedial work: See left.

7 SikkenS cetol filter 7


app Three coats, the second de-nibbed lightly in preparation for the third coat. The 3-coat system spanned three days. 54 months Totally intact on surface but a hairline fissure has opened along the top and side arrises. It retains a lower level of sheen than Cetol Marine but it isn’t a full matt. It remains a worthwhile and credible budget alternative to the more expensive product. It has an aesthetic level of finish that will be acceptable on traditional workboats where a high gloss finish isn’t particularly appropriate. However, there are now better building trade alternatives when it comes to aesthetics. ongoing remedial work: See left.

9 Sadolin ultra Single tin

*** PASS

app Three coats (Ultra topcoat only), the second de-nibbed lightly. Three-coat system spanned three days. 54 months Totally intact on all surfaces although there are now signs of wood exposure along one side arris. It has outperformed the two-tin version. Sheen is now almost matt, but translucence is good. This one tin Ultra system is an even more cost-effective alternative than the two-tin system, and since the fail is marginal it is awarded a distinction star. It equals its two-tin counterpart in having the best level of sheen/low gloss we’ve come across for an exterior woodstain. Again, its good translucence means that its marine market potential is also assured and extends beyond workboats into the realm of graceful luxury yachts. ongoing remedial work: See far left. application tip: As the low viscosity base coat is not used here we recommend that the first coat is dragged out as thin as possible, particularly in cool weather. Remove all excess so that what you’re left with is what looks like an oiled surface.


The Lady Maud schooner showing off her exquisite brightwork


10½ years update When we commenced Series 1 back in 2003 we never thought we’d be reporting on it a decade later. In 2008 we announced our joint winners from this series, the high solids exterior woodstain Sikkens Novatech and the flexible polyurethane Coelan. They both achieved the highest result to date and notched up 4-Stars, although this has now been matched by Uroxsys (now Awlwood). Coelan had the edge on Novatech as it retained a good level of gloss and translucency, and it still does! For this it was awarded a distinction star. Both mighty warhorses show no sign of giving up the ghost. Battle-scarred, they failed along their sharp edges five years ago but beyond that they carry on undaunted, the defects at the sharp upper corners having not spread much further. But, they’re looking worried. Next year will be an interesting year for these two elder statesmen… In the face of a contender that might knock them both off the top slot, they might even call truce. PAST PASSES: When the results of all three Series are amalgamated we find a growing bank of CB ‘Pass’ products, so here they are all together (Table 2, right).

Table 2: CB ‘Pass’ products and their star rating This isn’t a list of all the candidates; only ‘Pass’ products are listed Product Stars (*) Test ongoing? CONVENTIONAL VARNISHES Prima varnish Epifanes varnish Skippers Starwind UV varnish Hempel (Blakes) Classic varnish + ( ) Le Tonkinois organic varnish ( ) Jotun Ravilakk to date Yes (Series 3) Seajet UV ( ) Yes (Series 3) Nauteco Coma Berenice to date Yes (Series 3)

** ** ** *** * ** * ** ** **

TWO-TIN VARNISH UV-Tech two-tin varnish

Very low


EXTERIOR WOODSTAIN Sikkens Novatech exterior woodstain Sikkens Cetol Marine (International Woodskin) Sikkens Filter 7 Sadolin Ultra (two-pot) Sadolin Ultra (single-pot)

****to date *** ** toto date ** todatedate ***

TWO-PACK (CATALYSED) VARNISH Skippers Poliglass/Acriglass two-pack varnish Seajet Polyurethane Gloss

* *to date **

Very low Yes (Series 3) Yes (Series 3) Yes (Series 3) Yes (Series 3)

Moderately low

( )

Yes (series 3)

FLEXIBLE POLYURETHANE Very high Coelan flexible polyurethane ( ) Awlwood MA++ to date Yes (Series 3) Notes: + Hempel (formerly Blakes) Classic varnish (right) has been upgraded with a distinction star to reflect its particularly high gloss and craze-free quality even after the corners had ruptured. It also nearly made it to 4-Stars ++ Uroxsys has been taken over by AkzoNobel’s Awlgrip division, and its technology is the basis of a new product, Awlwood MA. *The Star rating: The Star rating works as follows. All star-rated products are also CB ‘Pass’ products. Excess of 18 months’ exposure on the test rig Excess of 30 months Excess of 42 months Excess of 54 months ( ) Distinction – narrowly missed the next star (z): Based on price, coverage rate and number of coats required. For more information on these products, see the relevant launch features in CB189, March 2004 (Series 1); CB238, April 2008 (Series 2); and CB263, May 2010 (Series 3)

**** * ***


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Finishing school

Adding a boat-show shine to your woodwork is easy with our essential guide to applying varnish. That concours-condition finish is just days away… story and photographs Ben Jefferies


ike any DIY project, dazzling brightwork is the result of good technique, practice and patience. The good news is that you don’t have to be a professional painter to achieve a professional result. Here are some ideas to take you a step or two closer to that indisputable flawless finish.

Brush and Varnish care I’m trying to stop abusing my brushes and tins of varnish. I doubt if I’ll ever have a 20-year relationship with a brush, but I’m making an effort, which is paying off. With natural hair bristles, rinse well in thinners then store the brush in a pot of diesel or paraffin, making sure the bristles don’t touch the bottom. Both are excellent solvents that cut through the clogging varnish in the middle of the brush, and their oiliness maintains bristle softness. Wash out the diesel with thinners before the next use. Believe it or not, brushes get better with age because the hairs split creating a fuller brush with finer bristles. To keep your varnish in good nick, pour a capful of thinners over the surface before you close it. This will stop

a skin forming. Better still, decant the tin into smaller jars, which means you then don’t have to guess how much to thin the thickened varnish at the bottom of the tin.

perfect technique When the results aren’t perfect the brush often gets the blame, but it’s almost always a problem with incorrectly thinning the varnish. A couple of things to note: first, some varnishes are thicker to keep down the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and will always need thinning. Second, varnish will thicken as you go down the tin. Correct thinning equals flowing and levelling varnish. Think of it like this: imagine brushing on pure thinners. Your brush will slide smoothly and the resulting film will level perfectly giving you a wet-look finish in seconds. To this you want to add enough varnish so that the thinners will still run carrying the varnish with it. Don’t overwork it – pushing it around will only encourage the precious solvent to evaporate too fast. Once you’ve got the varnish flowing correctly you can start filling the grain with it. You have to do this for a

Above: master the application process and you will be rewarded with a finish as good as new




Clockwise from top: fabulous mirror finish; five coats have been applied to this section, each one cut right back to reveal the grain; the dark flecks on this edge represent unfilled grain – one more coat needed

‘glass’ finish. I’m wary of off-the-shelf grain fillers because they often have an opaqueness that looks unnatural. Get four to five coats on – very open-grain timbers, such as oak, may require more coats – then using 320 to 400 grit sandpaper, cut it right back. Use a palm sander on the flat areas, but keep the sander away from the edges where you can easily sand through to the timber; sand by hand here. After sanding you will clearly see if more ‘filling’ is required. Add a coat, cut back again as required. Don’t make the mistake of counting these cut-back coats towards your eight-coat system. Count them as one coat. Now you can build up seven more coats. Gently de-nib between coats.

ExtrEmE Varnishing Last year I was varnishing outside in early March and I don’t think the temperature ever got above 7°C. I got eight coats on (one a day) with the help of a drying additive. The rule here is never to exceed the stated dose or the varnish will become brittle. It can help to warm the varnish slightly so it’s less viscous, but don’t overdo it. If you’re still stuck with tacky varnish a blast of warm air helps. When the house is empty I take my work home and crank up the central heating! Hot conditions present the greatest challenge and so use drying retardants. The master varnishers practise their craft in the Caribbean. The Trinidadians who taught me weren’t using retardants, but by meticulous attention to technique, re-thinning the varnish every few 88


minutes, they got the stuff to flow in temperatures above 35°C. On a hot day the problem in the UK is choosing the time to do it. If you do it early in the morning, when the sun strikes the timber it will warm up the air in the grain. The air expands and introduces tiny bubbles into the fresh varnish. Too late in the day and you’ll have the dew point to worry about, which will bloom the varnish. Late morning is probably the best option. I reckon on a fortnight for a varnishing job. You can’t rush it, but sometimes a ‘hot coat’ can speed things up, but it has to be warm and dry. Get a coat on, wait until touch dry (three to four hours), then recoat. You’ll probably only get away with this once or twice, and early on in the build-up. Done too much the tung oil in the varnish won’t dry underneath new layers and it will wrinkle.

maintEnancE Most amateur varnish jobs are limited to five coats with little or no maintenance. With luck this will stand three seasons. The annual maintenance coat ensures your finish can last indefinitely – that’s really the basic requirement of a varnish finish. I made sure I gave myself enough time. I’d motor over to Lulworth Cove, where the air can be totally still. I’d hope there was a Test match on the radio, and was usually back on the pontoon by five o’clock. UV exposure will take its toll, but frost can be cruel especially around joints, so try to cover the boat up over the winter. Remember, the best protection for your varnish is more varnish.

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Looking ahead NEXT MONTH

RYA Dinghy Show, Alexandra Palace



Things to do in the next few weeks

1-2 MARCH This is the best boat show you’ve never been to. It’s held in the amazing 1863-built Alexandra Palace and with more than 200 stands it regularly attracts around 8,000 visitors over the two days. There’s always plenty of interest for wooden boat enthusiasts, with plenty of them there, new and old. Tel: +44 (0)208 365 2121

The famous Argentinian designer German Frers campaigns Sonny, a boat designed by his father. But the competition is going to be keen

Sydney Harbour Regatta, Australia


8-9 MARCH More than 200 keelboats, 26 classes, 10 courses and plenty of classics in attendance. Tel: +61 2 9969 1244

Classic Yacht regatta, NZ

Antigua Classic Yacht Regatta

14-16 MARCH One of the bigger events in the active calendar of the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand, who are always offering to find crew places for visiting yachtsmen who would like to participate. Tel: +64 9 836 4747

17-22 APRIL The showcase event for classics new and old, large and small, from the American and Caribbean seaboards. Lots of visiting boats from Europe, too. Great parties and gorgeous blue ocean swell. Tel: +1 268 460 1799

TALK From London to London via Europe

Sailing Today

island hopper discovering the caribbean from Grenada to the BVi

improve your forecasting skills

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 Tomorrow’s world – design features coming your way

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 Boat test – the new Winner 9.00

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Champagne cruising in the outer hebrides

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CLIPPER RACE Experiences of a lifetime racing round the world

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Our annual events round-up, Wherries of the Broads, and redesigning the interior of the Fife design Ellad



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12 MARCH Cruising Association, London The story of Sue and Ed Kelly’s 6,200-mile voyage via the Rhine, Danube, Black Sea, Med and back to London. £7 (members £4), Tel: +44 (0)207 537 2828

From the publishers of Classic Boat go further I saIl better I be InspIred



Letters Letter of the month supported by oLd puLteney Whisky

I was interested to read Mervyn Maggs’ comments regarding the Science Museum and its maritime collection, which is now in store. It seems the current trend is for large open spaces filled with not much and adorned with vapid signage. The Maritime Museum also has many priceless treasures that never see the light of day. I have been privileged to see some of the collection that is in store on a couple of occasions. A few years ago I visited Newhaven Maritime Museum – a treasure house of interesting items crammed into display cases and nailed to the walls. Another

C/o nhs

Prove me wrong! Above: Volante is now broken up and in pieces

good museum that I visited last year is Whitby Museum and Art Gallery; something for everyone is contained within, including a nice marine section, and I highly recommend it. Mervyn’s trauma continued with his discovery that the Pioneer Sailing Trust has dismantled the 1870 Harvey-built yacht Volante that was in their shed at Brightlingsea. I spent many months working on Volante and I too was upset when she was broken up. She had a chequered career over the last few years. An owner was found for her and work started, but the owner proved flaky and the trust found that they owned her again. She was ready for planking when she was taken to pieces. It is an unfortunate fact that however well numbered and labelled the component parts may be, it is very unlikely that anyone will bother to

refit and reassemble her. Oak has a tendency to curl up and die as it dries out and grown oak frames are the worst. Soon it may not be possible to reassemble her. Even in her re-erected state it could easily cost another £100K plus to finish her. I would sincerely love to be proved wrong but I very much doubt that my phone is going to start ringing with expectant prospective owners eagerly clamouring to have her finished. This all brings us full circle to Peter Willis’ comments about the state of traditional wooden boatbuilding on the East Coast, and possibly the whole of the UK in your December issue. Maybe he is right? Go on, make my day, prove him (and me) wrong! Brian Kennell, Colchester, Essex

ron VALent

Training for our young boatbuilders

That cold-moulded NY32 reading kathy mansfield’s excellent article about the olin stephens-designed new york 32 in the december 2013 issue (Cb306) there was one tiny sentence i felt needed some elaboration. she mentions that one of the still existing 18 ny32s is a cold-moulded variant. this, i am sorry to say, is too short a description of what is a fantastic story. this yacht was recognised by both olin stephens as well as the ny32 Class as a perfect recreation of the original design and was built single-handedly by dutchman pieter van der Aa over six years and launched in 2010. she proudly sports sail number 21. she is currently for sale as he is now building another, larger s&s boat. this will be a replica of the 56ft (17.1m) Avanti from 1937. more about these two amazing projects can be seen on his website at Ron Valent, Holland 96


your editorial (Cb208) quite rightly highlights the massive injustice in the withdrawal of funds by the skills funding Agency for those who choose to acquire training in boatbuilding skills, and if Cb has the will there is a real campaign to be launched here. however, there are three fundamental misconceptions implied in this piece: 1 the student cohorts at the ibtC and bbA are not all populated by the “downshifter, leaving a city job with a mortgage paid and kids having left, a kind of hugh fearnley-boatbuilder if you will”. there is an element who fit into this bracket, but to suggest this is the norm is to denigrate those who take a year out from their lives, to learn the skills we teach, while living in a caravan, boarding house, boat or even a tent. these people have often saved for years and have made multiple grant applications and are highly motivated. We quite often discount fees for such students who are struggling financially and our portsmouth branch has secured hLf funding for 13 bursaries over two years for young, financially disadvantaged students. 2 i have twice in the last three

years conducted a survey of yards in the solent area that specialise in, or at least have an element of, traditional wooden boat work. universally they say they would rather take an ibtC or bbA student than one from a local college. having visited colleges, and spoken to instructors, i fully appreciate the frustrations of battling with tiny budgets to train students who are often recruited on a ‘bums on seats’ basis, rather than by quality of candidate. 3 the standard of apprenticeships did decline over past years, with successive governments concentrating on a service sector-led economy. the consequence is huge numbers of young unemployable people and, within our industry, there’s now a huge age gap between the current employee and the trainees. but the apprenticeship system is not dead and the work of the Guild of master shipwrights, berthon boatbuilding Co., and the british marine federation, resulting in the shipwright’s Ark Appeal scheme, has gone a long way to achieving this reversal. Nat Wilson, International Boatbuilding Training College, Lowestoft, by email

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

The painting of Budleigh Salterton (CB302/306) picked up in an Australian country store caught my attention. I was born in 1944 and lived in Budleigh for the first 23 years of my life. My home backed right onto the beach where fishermen had kept their boats and I remember the last of these big beach boats, which was much like the ones in the painting. She was 18ft (5.5m) long and very deep bodied, to stop waves washing over her as she was launched or beached. This style of beach boat was suited for working from an exposed beach and variations were found all along the shingle beaches of the South Coast. I doubt they changed much for hundreds of years. They were used for whatever was needed and had to be strong but light so they could be hauled up the beach and withstand a battering. They were clinker-built to reduce leaking when dried out and to keep the strength up and weight down. Their size was dictated by need: small enough to be hauled up the beach but large enough to hold the nets and a large catch! They used a dipping lug on the main with a small standing triangle of a mizzen. The fishermen were still making their own withy pots and sewing their own nets in the 1950s and I was fortunate enough to be taken on by one of them to help with whatever was needed. I would have gone full-time but school got in the way!

The planking was usually witch or Dutch elm with an english elm keel and sternpost. The timbers would be oak or ash and later American elm. The old boat on our beach had a lug rig with a mizzen set right against the transom off to one side to clear the tiller. A stern sprit was run through the transom to sheet the mizzen and a 24in (61cm) steel bumkin was fitted through the stem. There was a short strop attached from the bumkin to the lower stem that was handy to put one’s boot in as the boat was launched. These craft did not go to wind well as they were quite flat bottomed to reduce draught when launching, and they had no centreboards! Once the pots were all hauled and re-baited they may well row upwind again to get the best slant back to their bit of the beach! The smoke in the picture would be from the lime kiln, the walls of which were still standing when I left for Australia in 1973. Just out of this picture there was a granary, so it was quite a busy trading area. The road up from the kiln is still called Granary Lane! It’s interesting to see such a large ship anchored off the town. Trade must have been good! Tom Whitfield, Boatbuilder (rtrd), Australia C/O rOBIN eNGLISH

The boat in the picture

Above: the deep-hulled fishing boat was built to withstand launching and beaching on a lee shore

In the last issue (CB308) I was interested to read William Stanton’s article about Nigel Irens’ motorboat Greta (p56). We have known Nigel as a fellow designer for many years and we have admired each other’s designs on many occasions. However, I was disturbed to read the author’s comments about James Wharram’s designs, which are inaccurate and quite denigrating. To put the record straight, James Wharram was designing catamarans in the 1950s for ocean sailing and had proven their seaworthiness with several Atlantic crossings, well before Arthur Piver designed and built his first trimaran. Many Piver designs were badly built of cheap plywood and their strength failure was due to this, rather than the fact they were built of ply. Thousands of Wharram designs, properly designed for plywood construction (in the last 30 years all

using epoxy resins and glassfibre) have sailed the oceans of the world. Plywood is a superb boatbuilding material; the article shows Greta constructed from ply and epoxy! Stanton then writes: “Only Wharram’s catamarans stayed close to the Melanesian origin of the multihull: a double canoe with low-stress rig. In terms of speed, however, these rigs cannot be powered-up for windward sailing.” Wharram designs have always followed the principle (originated in the ‘Polynesian’, not Melanesian, ocean-going double canoes) of low resistant, slim hulls with low freeboard for minimum windage. This makes them fast and easily driven, so a low stress, low aspect-ratio rig can drive them at good speeds, including to windward. Hanneke Boon, Wharram Designs, Truro, Cornwall


Following the designs of Polynesia

Connecting to the elements I’m very glad to see my little Viking boat nominated in the Awards section of CB307 and the builders at the Tromsö yard are, of course, quite chuffed as well. The boat is now my dinghy and has been on tow from my gaff ketch around Scandinavia for three months. I’ve sailed her almost every day in all conditions and sea states. I cannot help but be impressed by the Vikings’ skills as naval architects and sailors. It’s quite remarkable that even such a tiny replica as mine can handle the open sea, although in conditions as depicted in the image above, you need to pump regularly of course. On the Atlantic crossings with the full-sized dragon boats it can be read from the logs that if two sailors could cope with the bilges, the ship was to be considered a dry ship. Surfing North Sea waves is a jolly pastime; the rudder precision at planing speed is good beyond belief. I’m glad I ordered this boat. It has connected me to the elements in a new way. Johan Alv Christensson, Sweden CLASSIC BOAT MARCH 2014


illustration: guy venables


Media mayhem

firstly with its coverage of the Olympic regatta at Weymouth, and more recently with its lunchtime America’s Cup highlights programme, both of which showed us that it has the capability to broadcast sailing extremely well. Yet, although the national press briefly made a big thing about Ben Ainslie’s contribution to “the biggest comeback in sporting history”, it is clear that these are just isolated occurrences, and the status quo position continues to provide the minimal amount of sailing coverage throughout the media. But there is nothing new about that either, as demonstrated by a letter from JB Buckle asking “Why Yachting is not more popular?” in the November 1906 issue of Yachting Monthly: “But can yachting be called popular?” he wrote. “In the writer’s opinion, no. What interest do the public take in yacht racing? None. The daily press devotes whole columns to cricket matches. The most important yacht race is represented by a solitary paragraph, tucked away in some dark corner, or, as likely as not, ignored altogether… In the minds of some people, the word ‘yacht’ conjures up a vision of social superiority to which they can never aspire… Ask the average man to spend the weekend on a small yacht, and he will simply laugh at you, though he sees nothing ridiculous in hitting a ball about over miles of dreary common… Yachting is regarded as a rather dangerous and uncomfortable pursuit, involving a good deal of unnecessary zigzagging. Another reason why yachting will never become popular is because as a spectacle it is a failure. In order to appreciate the finer points of the racing a certain amount of technical knowledge is essential. Anybody can pay a shilling and grasp the essential points of a cricket match in five minutes.” In November 1921 the same magazine published another letter, from TW MacAlpine. “Why do the newspapers give so little space to yachting matters?” he asked. “If we could provide someone, quite ignorant of British sport, with all the newspapers published in this country during the year, and then ask him to decide, from this evidence alone, the position occupied by yachting in our national sports, his verdict could hardly be anything other than the following: the English people take a casual interest in yachting and it occupies a position in the public esteem very far below horse-racing, football, cricket, golf and tennis.” Indeed.

Nigel Sharp discusses why sailing is often ignored by the press


ur national broadcasting authority’s coverage of the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant was rightly criticised by many people. Perhaps the “highlight” for me was when our screens were briefly filled with the image of a boat with the words “London Nautical College” clearly visible on its coaming, and the commentator interrupted a long period of silence to intone the words: “London Nautical College.” However, the problem is by no means a new one. “You’d think, wouldn’t you, that with this plethora of paper-spoilers in the sailing world,” Gilbert HackforthJones wrote in the Autumn 1955 issue of The Yachtsman, on the subject of the large number of nautical books available, “the BBC would have no difficulty in selecting as commentators people who can combine some knowledge of the sport with a capacity for lucid description? Rarely is that the case. It seems that the boys of Broadcasting House have decided that seafaring in general is something beyond the intelligence of the listener, or viewer, and therefore the best commentator in any aquatic event is one who is wholly ignorant of nautical usages. By reason of this, it is argued, the public will not think they are being talked down to.” Since the Thames Pageant, the BBC has gone some way towards redeeming itself on a couple of occasions;



“It seems the BBC has decided that seafaring is beyond the intelligence of the listener or viewer”


63 ft Samuel White Gentleman’s Motor Yacht 1963

£850,000 Lying UK

CARAMBA’s supreme good looks are not accidental – the sheer line, beautifully balanced proportions and purposeful profile are all in immaculate good taste. We first met her as a family yacht in Corfu, professionally skippered and run by two people. Her current owner by contrast looks after the boat himself and often cruises her alone. Her versatility is therefore impressive. With her wide and protected bulwarks, expansive aft deck, her little ship ambience with commanding bridge, then the charming saloon and intimate cabin layout, she is living testament to her old school designer Fred Parker’s skill. Why don’t they make them like this anymore?


62 ft Nicholas Potter N Class Sloop 1938

€450,000 VAT unpaid Lying USA

SERENADE was built for the famous violinist Jascha Heifetz and commissioned for the 1938 Trans Pacific Yacht Race. Her canoe stern and well proportioned low lying deckhouse contribute to her beauty - moreover she is powerful and fast. Her original owners wanted a competitive race boat while at the same time comfortable when cruising with family. In order to take advantage of the active racing fleets on the West Coast she was built using the Universal Rule as an N-Class racing sloop - other boats of that class included the Herreshoff NY-40s. Substantially rebuilt by William Cannell Boatbuilding including new systems and engine; SERENADE is as memorable as her name would imply – previous owners include the Cousteau family and Zsa Zsa Gabor.


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

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Classic Boat March 2014  
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