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re: Alan Buchanan designed Prior 37’ Gai Tess/Florence Rose/Libertine
I have recently bought one of the six Alan Buchanan designed Prior 37s, so named because they were built by RJ Prior and Sons of Burnham on Crouch in 1964 and 1965 (to a 1963 design). The bottom three strakes are afromosia, the others iroko on elm frames, with a teak deck laid over a plywood sub deck. Her spars are aluminium and the mast is now deck stepped, though I imagine it was originally keel stepped. Built for Major Ian Shaw and originally christened Gai Tess she later became Florence Rose. I have renamed her Libertine. Her previous owner has been unwell so she has not been well maintained for two or three years but a thorough survey by John Julian in Penarth reports that she is fundamentally a sound boat. She is currently being repaired by Mark Rolt at Bristol Classic Boats. My plan is to move her to Gibraltar and then up to the Ligurian coast, from where I hope to sail her round the Med and the Black Sea. If anyone knows anything of her history I’d be interested, as I would in any plans held in your archive.
Graham Watson, 23 September 2018
Dear Graham, I’m afraid I don’t have any plans myself. However, when Alan Buchanan died a few years ago his original plans were donated to the research library at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall http://nmmc.co.uk/explore/bartlett-library-2/ , so you may have some luck there. Kind regards, Pete
Re Warana Built 1964.
Sad to update you with the following details.
She was lying on the hard standing in Larnaca Marina for a long time until aprox 2013 in the 2 years prior that 2010 to that many parts were stripped by the Local Marina Vulchers, in late 2012? I tried to purchase it from a Person claiming to own it, a friend ? having parted with the agreed amount, I set about a refit, awaiting relevant documents from said Friend, as She lay in a poor state and required closing from the weather. Over that winter a lot of work was carried out and She was starting to take shape. In the early part of 2013 ? I arrived at the Marina in the early morning, were I owned another Boat, to here a commotion from the Area were Warana Lay, on investigation, I found a number of Local Cypriots, were in the process of Destroying the Beautiful Vessel with chain Saws !!! I went to the Marina office only to be told that it had been repossed by The Marina and sold for Scrap to defer Depts !! It appears that on the day I had agreed To buy Her from My Friend and having believed that all Depts were cleared By my friend, and all was good ? The Cheque he had settled the Depts with was dishonoured !! The Marina Never once told me either about the Cheque or the Auction were the Vessel was sold attended by only One person ?? So The Beautiful Vessel Warana met Her demise in Cyprus. A very sad day for this lovely Vessel. A lesson Learnt ! Don’t Trust Anyone when you buy a Boat ! Especially in Cyprus.
Clapper 1966: now owned by Mr and Mrs Bruce and registered as Braveheart about 30 years ago, is for sale.
Designed by Alan Buchanan. Steel hull. 30 foot long, sloop, sail number 475C, with Kubota diesel engine.
She is in storage out of the water at Sandpoint marina, Dumbarton, Scotland. (15 miles from Glasgow, with a half-hourly train service to Glasgow and Edinburgh.)
Any prospective buyer can contact the owners, Mr and Mrs Bruce, via myself, Neil Walden, at email@example.com. Thank you. 5 November 2017.
I’m writing to update you on ‘Tofino’ – sail number 242. I bought her recently from an advert on Ebay. The seller told me that she had been sailed at Dartmouth. He was not the person who bought her from Ebay previously.
‘Tofino’ is in good order, although she is still taking up after having been out of the water – probably for some time. She is based on Wimbleball Lake in West Somerset and I hope also to sail her on the Helford later this summer.
I am trying to track down my fathers old boat-
20 ft Yachting world peoples boat ‘Millimac’.
He had it in one of the boatyards at Heybridge many years ago to finish off a final refit but it was then sold I think from the yard.
I would very much appreciate any information that anyone has as to it’s whereabouts.
look forward to hearing any news.
Regards James Moon
Anyone know how to get in contact with Graeme Dillon, or what happened to him after his circumnavigation? thanks, Blackie
you may be interested to know that Powder Monkey is in the course of a full restoration at the Aldeburgh Boatyard and is due to be relaunched in 2017.
I would very much like to be in touch with owners of other surviving Yeoman Juniors.
Stebbings Lifeboat convertion. My father bought the exact same boat in mid 1950′ s. Zena renamed Roxana . He sold her in early 60’s . He kept at then Banks Boat Yard Stanstead Abbots on the Lea. I have a photo . A really pretty and beautify built boat. A great part of my childhood. He won many competitions on the Thames.
I have just listed the original No.4 Diamond and would be interested if any of the readers would like more info on her.
In 1972 i sailed an Alan Buchanan Yacht Marcasite from Poole Town Quay to Gibraltar no stop. It was a very eventful trip.
Marcasite appears in your list of boats as being a Brabant class and certainly the images of other yachts and the steel Hull all tie up.
An article is being written for Yachting world about the trip and i wondered if you knew of any images or where the boat might be or where i might research.
It was sailed to Mallorca from Gibraltar and sold later that year.
Hoping you can help
In 1962 while working in Aden I bought the fourth Crystal Class sloop built by Stebbings from (then) Capt. Peter de la Billière. He and Capt. Julian Howard had sailed “Cape Albacore” to Aden from Falmouth via Gibraltar, the Med. and the Red Sea. She had no motor.
I subsequently returned “Cape Albacore” to the UK in 1964 where she was sold while at Moody’s on the Hamble. I have no record of who bought her but would be most interested if anyone knows if she is still afloat.
My family has been the owner of Scow 239 since (I think) 1959. We were so pleased to find your website and learn about Stebbings and some of the other scows he built in the 1950s.
Our scow “Golden Otter” was bought by my father (Captain Guy Western, Royal Navy) for him to teach his 4 children to sail in Chichester Harbour sailing from West Wittering Sailing Club. It has since been used by all his grand-children and it looks likely that this summer the first of his great grand-children will experience sailing for the first time in this old lady.
We bought our scow 3rd hand – she had been bought originally (I think) by the Chalk family who lived near us and was then sold to another local family (the Ambrose family) who lived next door to us and never quite took to her, keeping her for just one season. This was our good fortune and I think we acquired her in 1959 give or take a year.
She has been sailed at West Wittering every year since then and has taken part in local handicap racing, cadet regattas, and trips all around Chichester Harbour.
If you are interested I could send you some photos to add to those of other Stebbings scows.
Thanks again for creating the “archive”.
I am researching the K Class yachts (NZ) for a book I am writing. Mokoia was built from the design which won the competition for a new racer/cruiser yacht suitable for the Waitemata Harbour (Auckand, NZ). I would love to hear from anyone who could give me information about her, or about Stebbings / Arthur Robb. I last heard of Mokoia for sale in NSW, Australia, but I have had no luck tracking her current whereabouts. There were only 11 K Class yachts ever built. One has sunk, 9 are still active on the water in NZ (most are in Auckland), and Mokoia is our ‘missing link’.
I would really appreciate any information as so little is known in NZ about Mokoia.
Hey great site Pete,
I run the this is Burnham web site and facebook page and will be sharing your website and pictures as my tribe like anything old and from Burnham.
Have acquired a 1936 Rolls-Royce which was under the ownership of Lloyd Shakespeare 1944/1947. Any got any photos of him with the car and also what what his first name “J”.
This is a long shot! I am writing an article about yacht designer Oliver Lee for a major yachting magazine. I knew Oliver well. But sadly he died a few years ago so cannot answer my question.
Which is: I believe he worked as an apprentice/junior in Alan Buchanan’s design office before branching out on his own in the mid 60s and designing/building his Ajax, Squib, early Hunter models etc. Can anyone confirm (or deny) this? Many of Buchanan’s beautiful designs were built on the East Coast and maybe Stebbings (or another builder or yacht owner) could cast some light on this. If Oliver did work with Buchanan, I would particularly like to know on which designs. Sadly Alan can not help me because I am told he is now in a home and not at all well.
i own a 1964 built 43” Albatross yacht. On the search on the internet i got a nice article from 1961 about Coel Mara if your interested I can send it to you.
If there is anyone with information about the 43 feet Albatross yacht originally called “Shanga” built 1964 in the Netherlands and at Poole at Stebbings i would love to hear from you.
The nice people at the seamaster owners association have dated Goosebays hull at 1964.
I too have a Crystal 23 (triple keel). Sail number 31. She has changed hands a number of times, but is currently not far from home. I keep GooseBay at Brandy Hole (the top end of the Crouch)
She is my first boat and a lot of fun to sail.
I have just managed to get a photo of the seamaster plaque, tucked behind the fuel tank, and I have sent it to seamasters owners association to see if they can date the hull from their records.
Just thought people might be interested to know that a Stebbings Scow called Clemency (sail number 238) is going out to continue her life in South Africa after being sailed in Chichester Harbour from Itchenor and then on the Fal Estuary in Cornwall. The new owner would be very interested to hear from anyone who may have known her when she was being sailed from Burnham-on-Crouch.
What a great website. Thankyou for taking the trouble to publish the information you have. I own a Crystal 23 called ‘Crystal Wake’. It was registered in 1961. I have recently completed a comprehensive refurbishment and she will easily last another 50 years if given the chance. Would you like some photos for your archives?
Thanks once again.
Hi- I have a haylcon 23 yacht tripple keel i am looking to replace the outer steel keels as they have badly rotted away.
Would you have any information of the size of the keels & would they have had foot plates to prevent sinking in the sand, I have tried looking for drawings or plans as i could lazer cut & fabricate my self.
Hope you can help Thanks Adrian.
I’m afraid I don’t have any plans of specs of this sort. Sorry.
Do you still need this info? I too have a triple keel Crystal 23.
I am a past owner of “Jonelle,” a Brabant class steel-hulled sloop built in 1960/61. I owned this beautiful yacht from approx 1975 until approx 1982 – can’t remember exact dates! I kept her at Lymington Yacht Haven and sold her to a gentleman who intended to keep her at Eling.
She was a wonderful boat, in tip-top condition. In particular she was perfectly balanced, and on several occasions proved herself able to cope with extremely adverse conditions. I’m aware that people have sailed these yachts across the Atlantic, and even to Australia. Unfortunately my dreams of sailing around the world never came to fruition, but I took her to France and around the Channel Islands many times. It was a dreadful wrench parting with her; I consider that she saved our lives more than once! Not only that, but she was pretty fast, especially in in a 4-5 or even 6-7 Westerly! I’d love to know if she’s still afloat. I’ve been unable to find any records on the internet.
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This site is an archive for information about the boats and yachts built by W Stebbings & Sons, of Burnham-on-Crouch