Sunday, 3 July 2011

Mud Berth

When we spotted this ketch on a mud berth at the head of Oxley Lake our first expectation was that it would be an old, possibly neglected cruiser passing out its final days or possibly a live aboard complete with old bicycles and plant pots on deck.

As we got closer we could see that nothing could be further from the truth, the topsides are freshly painted, the clinker planking well defined, the cabin finished bright to a standard which would be the envy of many.

The hull shape is very pretty and sleek, I thought perhaps a conversion of an earlier working boat many of which were carried out in the post war years and very few of which now remain, but revisiting the pictures especially the profile view she has an integrity about the rig and hull which suggests that maybe she was designed and built as a yacht.

The low aspect ketch rig, spreading the sail area along the length of the boat should make her a handy and easy boat to sail, that long hull, low coach roof and sweeping sheer line which continues along the bowsprit make her very easy on the eye.


  1. Hiya, The quarter badges and bow badge are the main clues to its origins. I think it is an Admiralty Gig or Whaler. Designed for rowing by six or eight, they also had a standing lug or gunter rig. A heavy galvanised steel centerplate draws about 5' when down, so she should go well. The accomamdation is probably tight, but you have to suffer for your art.

  2. Thanks Nick, I saw the badges but didn't realise the significance - I thought it might have been some sort of pinnace, if it was a whaler then someone has cut the stern off and added a transom but the lines seem too fair so I think that's unlikely,

    PS Congratulations on Round the Island

  3. I've often wondered about this boat, but thanks to you and Nick the mystery is solved.

    We used to admire and take photos of it on our walks from Lymington to the 'Gun' at Keyhaven when we lived in Soton. I've never seen it sailing but once saw someone docking on it from its matching dinghy. Tried speaking to him but it was a very blustery day and we couldn't hear each other, so there was lots of polite grinning and nodding.

    A beautiful and slightly unusual boat.


COMMENTS - If you would like a reply to your comment please leave your email address