Designed and built by WM Fife in 1925, this beautiful yacht has been totally rebuilt in the present ownership and has now been put back as close to her original design as possible. New 7/8 fractional bermudan sloop rig as per Fifes plans and 3 berth panelled interior with buttoned Chesterfield settee berths. Yanmar 18hp diesel. A stunning and very manageable yacht with true pedigree and provenance in first class condition
Contact: Richard Gregson 01803 833899/07886 081657
Commissioned from Fife by Mr Arthur G. Ramage and built over the winter of 1924/25, her design judged to be a development of Fife’s Dublin Bay 25 but with longer overhangs and representing the famous Fife image in every respect.
The name William Fife is known and recognised as the architect of some of the most stunning yachts on the water, the yard stick by which others are judged. Of course these spectacular big yachts with their numerous uniform-clad crews do require the fortunes of their wealthy owners to run them and we all recognise their generous investment in our marine heritage.
This yacht is one of the rare smaller designs from the famous yard and offers the opportunity of a stake in this heritage but without the enormous cost and commitment of her big sisters.
Following the recent rebuild, a new owner will have the satisfaction and security of owning a top-pedigree yacht in exceptional condition with none of the usual age-related problems.
In an age when larger yachts had paid hands, this yacht was undoubtedly intended for an owner/skipper, built for local sailing in the sheltered waters of the Clyde so close to the city and surrounded by magnificent scenery but equally capable of cruising the spectacular coast and islands of Scotland’s West Coast. She is a stiff, close-winded boat and well able to sail the waters of this coast with it’s potential for violent gusts in the narrow channels between the islands which so often opening to exposed rough water.
Ramage sold her in 1929 and commissioned a 54’ yacht from Wm Fife. The new owner, Cmdr Philip Herbert RN brought her to Devon.
With a short intermediate ownership she was bought by Edward Ball in 1935 and remained with him for 35 years until his death, then in his ‘90’s.
A later change of ownership in 1990 brought a move to Suffolk and an extensive refit. A new deck was laid, new interior joinery to a more modern plan, repairs to the stem-head and the usual keel bolts and sea-cocks checks before starting again on several years of very active sailing.
She went to the Douarnenez Regatta in 1992 and the Brest Regatta in 2000. In this time she twice won the East Coast Old Gaffers race and participated in the Hermes Mum Classic Regatta at Cowes, the Dutch Classics and then in 2003 she sailed north to the great Fife Regatta on the Clyde.
In her home waters again after half a century she sailed in company with some of the most spectacular yachts ever built and triumphed with a first in Class 11.
Bought by the present RN owners in 2008 she sailed to Dartmouth to begin not so much a refit as a rebirth to produce probably the finest top pedigree yacht of her size, a process which spanned between 2010 and 2014.
Whilst great care has been taken to preserve authenticity, some small modifications have added to the strength and practicality of this lovely yacht.
See below for a full spec of the refitting work.
Planked in Honduras mahogany all copper fastened to substantial grown oak frames at approx 3’ centres with 2 steam bent Canadian Rock elm timbers between. The small amount of new planking required was done with proper Honduras after a long search for a suitable log. Completely refastened in the hood ends and garboards.
The hull now has an exceptionally fair finish in white enamel with gold cove line running out to the signature Fife dragon at bow and stern.
External lead ballast keel secured with new bonze keel bolts.
Bronze strap floors on the grown oak frames carry the keel bolts thus very effectively spreading the ballast keel loads.
A new and exceptionally long oak mast step effectively spreads the mast compression loads over the keel below and the hull is strengthened above in way of the mast by new fabricated bronze hanging knees. All bronze work is new.
New yacht laid solid deck in close grained and carefully chosen Oregon pine, caulked and payed, yacht-laid in classic narrow planks sweeping exquisitely up and round to the counter and joggled to a king plank.
Varnished teak coverboards. Toe rails with capping, varnished inside and out.
Varnished teak fore hatch with twin lights and canvas cover.
Varnished teak coach-roof coamings with the deck nicely cambered to increase head-room below, also and most unusually laid in varnished solid teak carrying a traditional sky-light with 2 opening lights each side fitted with bronze protection bars.
Sliding teak entrance hatch with twin full length lift-off panelled doors.
Deck fittings. The deck is exceptionally clear and uncluttered.
Pair of staysail sheet lead blocks forward of the mast with bull’s eye fairleads on the side decks take the sheets back to cleats on the cock-pit coamings.
Two pairs of sheet lead blocks on the cover-boards aft by the cock-pit take the genoa sheet leads.
Pair of blocks aft of the cock-pit take the double-ended main sheet tails.
Shallow bronze horse on the aft deck takes the main sheet block.
Twin bronze and teak bar cleats either side of the cock-pit and on the deck centre-line forward and aft to take mooring lines.
Very sensibly she also has a spring cleat each side miships, so often omitted.
Bronze fairleads on the capping rail forward and aft.
Flush, bronze deck filler to the fuel tank below port side of the cock-pit.
Self draining cock-pit in varnished teak drains into a sump tank in the bilge with auto-pump o/b. Cockpit sole is made of copper sheet with recessed drains.
Lockers under the side decks each side with doors mounted on massive bronze hinges giving access to good locker space below the seats.
Locker door aft gives access to the lazarette revealing the stout oak rudder trunking.
Teak gratings in the well.
A loose scrubbed teak seat locates across the aft end for the helmsman on passage or lifted clear on race days leaving the cock-pit totally clear for the crew to work the yacht.
Original cranked iron tiller with varnished teak ferrule to the rudder stock-head with original bronze domed cap and inscribed bronze builder’s plate on the after deck.
The rig is entirely new and has been built to the original Fife plans with the assistance of marine architect Ed Burnett on a new fractional 7/8ths mast.
New Collars varnished spruce mast stepped through the deck forward of the coach-roof with tenon into the mast step below.
Single spreaders with jumper struts above.
New stainless steel rigging with swaged terminals and stainless rigging screws to new internal bronze chain plates. Single running backstays split to the spreaders and mast head.
Varnished, slab reefing, rectangular section boom with bronze fittings.
Custom made bronze mast and spar fittings.
Varnished elm blocks with bronze sheaves and beckets.
New suite of sails in 2012 in cream Clipper Canvas, traditionally cut by Ratsey comprising:
Genoa No 1 168sq’
Yanmar 2GM 18hp 4-cyl fresh water cooled diesel installed new in 2012.
The engine is flexibly mounted on new bronze engine beds on the centre-line under a cabin entrance step with a 2-bladed folding prop off-set under the port quarter. All the stern gear is new.
Single lever Morse engine controls discretely hidden in the stbd side cock-pit locker.
Batteries: 2 x 12v batteries in sealed boxes together in the stbd locker under the side deck, accessed
through the locker door in the cock-pit well.
Fuel: New plastic 25l fuel tank under the port side deck accessed through the cock-pit well locker door.
Fuel filter very conveniently sited under the step/box.
Water: No fixed water tanks are fitted. Water is carried in simple jerry cans ensuring it is always fresh.
The cabin has been rebuilt to the original Fife design with 3 berths - port and stbd settee berths in the saloon cabin with the option for a fold-down pipe cot in the fore peak.
Cabin entrance from the cock-pit with twin panelled doors above a single wash-board and a sliding hatch over. The compass is carried in the single wash-board.
Step down onto a wide surface over the engine and further steps down to the cabin sole.
The surface and the panel below remove to give excellent all round access to the engine.
Shelf to stbd with deep moulded fiddle rail. Cupboard behind under the side deck neatly hides the necessary modern installations - the Yanmar engine start control panel, the main services switch board and the 2 battery main switches + link switch and battery state monitor. (The twin batteries are immediately aft of the bulkhead under the cock-pit side deck so giving short cable runs).
Shelf to port with matching deep moulded fiddle rail and matching locker doors under the side deck.
Origo 2-burner spirit stove stowed in the locker and moved out on the surface in front when in use removes the need for gas installations and all it’s implications.
Lockers below both sides.
Port and stbd settee berths with removable seat cushions and back rests in deep buttoned dark red leather make an immediate impact when going below. Upholstery all new by Chesterfield.
Deep well locker behind the settees each side for loose gear stowage.
White painted forward bulkhead below the forward coach-roof coaming with centre doorway to the fore peak.
Exposed hull sides, all varnished.
Scrubbed teak cabin sole boards lift to access the bilge.
Varnished teak coamings and varnished deck-head above.
Immediately forward of the bulkhead adoor each side gives space for a tight heads compartment to stbd and a generous hanging locker to port.
Forward again are V seat lockers and the fore hatch over.
TackTick log and sounder
LED battery navigation lights
35lb CQR with warp and chain
1 manual bilge pump
1 electric bilge pump