Brabant class


The Brabant class was designed by Alan Buchanan in the late 1950’s, and comprised of steel hulls from the Netherlands being shipped to Burnham-on-Crouch to be finished by Stebbings.

Measurements vary slightly from one example to another and those shown below are for Mako of Burnham, taken from the Lloyd’s Register of Yachts.

LOA 30.9′ LWL 24.0′ Beam 9.1′ Draft 4.7′ Sail area 400 sq.feet. TM 10 tons

At the time of the Brabant’s launch Buchanan had already been building steel hulled yachts for owners in Holland and elsewhere on the Continent for a decade or so. Then, in 1959, there was an easing of import restrictions which began to make it economic to import the bare steel hulls to the UK for finishing.

Some of the first few hulls were made by Tak Bros. of Raamsdonksveer, with 3mm topside plating, 4mm bottom and keel plating, and 4mm floors. At least one later hull was built by J.J. Beijnes of Beverwijk (for Tegerin). Although steel had been in use for a long time, its use for smaller yachts, like the Brabant, still caused debate in the yachting journals of the day.

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16 Responses to Brabant class

  1. gerry lomax says:

    Fleur des Isle was in malta in 1976 owned by Lt Col Burnes Jones.She was sold and came back to UKinthe same year.She was then renamed Witch of Wirral.Idelivered her to Glasson Dock Lancaster in November of that year.She was grit blasted,painted and had a Yanmar fitted to replace the Watermota.She remained there for a number of years neglected not sailed at all.The next time Isaw her was in Port Dinorwic,N Wales.She appeared to have been redecked,bot was recognised by the orange tinted perspex dome and the wheel steering ion the bulkhead,with another wheel inside.

  2. John says:

    Hello!
    What wondeful news to read re MIRFAK (previously Fleur des Isles)!
    My family owned her in Jersey. We brought her over to Jersey from Stebbings after her launch. Sailed her for many years -round the Channel islands and coast of France. Several Cowes-Dinard. Re ‘well-balanced’ Always said she knew her way home to Jersey esp. after a good trip to France. Was sold in 1971 approx. to a Frenchman -Patrick Danninos-his father was the author of the books ‘Major Thompson’.Last heard of heading for the Med. Reported sighting in Malta. Always wondered where and how she was. The hull was built in Brabant and finished by Stebbings. She was LLoyds A1.
    Beken of Cowes have photos of her in Cowes -Dinard Race.
    Fitted for legs as she was in a drying berth in Jersey.

  3. Conrad says:

    By the way stebbings, you put together a very tough and forgiving boat, as a novice and solo sailer, Mirfak gave me the confidence and security to put up with all sorts of conditions on my way home. So well balanced no wind vane or electronic self steering devices were needed.
    When I need a boat next I’ll call ya

  4. Simon says:

    Pete,

    There is a small brass plaque about the V berth beneath the forward portlight. It says: “O.N. 302150 R.T. 6 65/100”. Does this show up anywhere?

    Simon

    • pete_shep says:

      Hi Simon,

      Great, you have found the official number! 302150 was built by Stebbings in 1960. The hull would almost certainly have come from the Netherlands, but I’m not sure which yard (although I might be able to find out). In my 1968 Lloyds Register of Yachts your boat was named ‘Fleur des Iles’, and was owned by A.G. Langlois, of Rockvale, Mont Cambrai, St. Lawrence, Jersey. She is recorded as having the sail number 1710. She is also recorded as having a Royal Ocean Racing Club rating, which suggests she was being raced.

      That’s all I know for now, but I will look around to see what I else I can find out.

      Regards,
      Pete

      • Simon says:

        Fantastic! I wonder when she moved to Wales and became Mirfak… Any more information you can find from the Stebbings material would be great. You’ve given me a bit to work from now!

        Regards,
        Simon

      • Conrad says:

        Hi Simon,
        I’m the fella that sailed Mirfak from north wales to Sydney. If you want more information try holyhead yacht club, the previous owner had some racing history there, although I never met him they new the boat well. They were also very friendly and helpful to me before I left. I also have your yanmar manual if you want it.
        I’m glad she’s in good hands
        Conrad

      • John says:

        Simon
        Have written to the website re your Mirfak previously Fleur des Isles.
        How wonderful to have news of our old boat.
        Best Wishes

      • Richard Wood says:

        Hi Simon
        What’s happening with Mirfak, did you put her into dry storage, repair or sold? Curious!

  5. Simon says:

    Hi,

    I am the owner of the Brabant “Mirfak” of Sydney which was sailed from Wales out to Australia in 2006/2007. She’s currently in refit, but will be sailing again soon. Any further drawings or information you have would be most interesting.

    Regards,
    Simon

    • pete_shep says:

      Hi Simon,

      Thanks for your post!

      Do you know the builder of your Brabant? Stebbings built a number of Brabants, but I think some were also finished in the Netherlands, possibly by a yard called Kramer en Ebbeling.

      As it happens, there is a Stebbings built yacht somewhere in Sydney, called Mokoia. She was designed by Arthur C. Robb.

      Regards,
      Pete

      • Martijn says:

        Hello Pete,

        I am the owner of the Roossevaer. She is a Brabant 975. She is built in the Netherlands by Kramer en Ebbeling. I don’t know if she is also finished there. What i do know is that she is one of the few Brabants with a steel coach. As Mirfak from Simon she is currently in refit (for the last 4 years) and we hope to finish her next summer. As Simon mentioned al information is most welkom. For me especialy the information of Kramer en Ebbeling is interesting.

        Regards,

        Martijn

      • pete_shep says:

        Hi Martijn,

        I don’t know anything about Kramer en Ebbeling at the moment, but I will see what I can find.

        Another Brabant, Scarmari, was built in the UK in 1964 by the Scarr shipyard of Howdendyke, on the River Ouse near Goole. Scarr’s were mainly known for building steel barges and lighters, but they also built a few yachts. The yard closed in 1968 when the owner, Donald Scarr, retired. Scarmari was probably one of the last boats they built.

        Regards,
        Pete

      • pete_shep says:

        Hi Martijn,

        All I can find on the Internet about Kramer en Ebbeling is that the company were based on the Vecht river near to Utrecht. You may be able to find more information from Henk Ebbeling, whose father used to be the owner of the business, I think. His e-mail is henk (at) ebbeling (dot) nl

        I am looking through Lloyd’s Register of Yachts for other Brabants built in the Netherlands, but I have found none yet.

        Regards,
        Pete

      • Simon says:

        Unfortunately i don’t know the builder as yet. Are there any Stebbings markings i could look for? She was British registered previously with number SSR 124390. I have tracked down the previous owner and hope to find out a bit more.

        Regards,
        Simon

      • pete_shep says:

        Hi Simon,

        Stebbings usually marked their boats with a small, oval shaped metal makers plaque, about 7cm wide. sometimes they appear screwed into the woodwork somewhere in the cockpit, or they may appear in the cabin near the chart table. They do sometimes get lost during refits.

        The other thing to look for is the original registration number. The SSR you have doesn’t match any of the numbers of Stebbings Brabants when first built, but your boat may have re-registered for some reason.

        At the link below there is a photo from the cabin of Tegerin (a Stebbings Brabant) which shows where Stebbings carved the original registration number.
        http://www.theyachtmarket.com/boatImages.aspx?boatID=67369&iNum=2&backtoboat=%2fboats_for_sale%2f67369%2f%3fsearchid%3d3006579%26page%3d1%26preview%3d%26logview%3dno

        Regards,
        Pete

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