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32 ft Berthon 8 Ton Gauntlet 1939



32 ft Berthon 8 Ton Gauntlet 1939

Designer H G May
Builder Berthon Boat Co Ltd
Date 1939
Length overall 32 ft 6 in / 9.9 m
Length deck 32 ft 6 in / 9.9 m
Length waterline 26 ft 3 in / 8 m
Beam 8 ft 6 in / 2.6 m
Draft 5 ft 7 in / 1.7 m
Displacement 8 Tonnes
Construction Carvel teak planking on elm timbers
Engine Nanni 2 cyl Diesel N 2.14 c 14 HP
Location United Kingdom
Price GBP 140,000

These details are provisional and may be amended



H G May’s design concept was for a sea kindly craft with modest overhangs and draft, quite heavy displacement and easily handled sail plan. Four people could sail in comfort and strongly built with auxiliary power enough for foul tides these small yachts have proved both tough and versatile. Given these essential qualities her current owner has masterminded an extensive refit with a view to making this vessel, not just a pretty vintage yacht but one in which a family could enjoy their time aboard in comparative luxury – rare on even a modern boat of this size ! He has succeeded in our view – and moreover NAUSIKAA beat the entire fleet of the British Classic Yacht Club on corrected time in their 2014 Round the Isle of Wight race in often boisterous conditions so the Gauntlet lives on.


Picture acknowledgement

The lead picture of NAUSIKAA here is by kind permission of Nic Compton


Deck layout, equipment and ground tackle

From aft
- Bronze back stay fitting
- Stainless steel pushpit
- Stainless steel stanchions set in bronze bases and guard rail
- Bronze Panama fairleads and teak and bronze mooring cleats port and stbd
- Teak lazarette hatch with bronze mushroom vent
- All teak deck joinery, bulwark and cover boards
- Tiller steering
- Cockpit with teak coamings and grated sole
- Engine controls stbd by helm
- 2 x Lewmar 40 ST Genoa winches mounted on teak blocks outboard of coamings
- Bronze Laurent Giles type Highfield levers for running backstay
- Engine instruments on cabin port side facing cockpit
- Teak trunk cabin
- Three chrome bronze opening portholes in the coach house coamings
- Traditional teak sliding companionway hatch with drop-in boards
- Varnished teak cabin top grab rails each side
- 2 x Deck prism lights in coach roof
- 2 x Bronze foresail sheet cleats; one each side
- 2 x Prism lights in side deck
- Bronze deck step for main mast
- Bronze halyard winches on mast
- Bronze mushroom vent over head compartment below
- Teak framed fore hatch – slightly raised
- Prism light in foredeck
- Manual period anchor windlass
- CQR type anchor on bronze deck mounts and chain
- Teak mooring cleats and bronze Panama eyes
- Bronze stem head fitting with bow roller
- 5 x fenders, misc warps / mooring lines


Rig spars and sails

- Deck stepped single spreader main mast believed Douglas fir
- Varnished spruce spinnaker pole
- Stainless steel standing rigging new 2014
- Mixed synthetic running rigging new 2014
- All ash cheek blocks for main sheet, Genoa and halyards at mast foot
- Head sail furler new 2014

Sails all new 2013 – 14 traditionally hand worked by Sanders Sails of Lymington
- Mainsail narrow panelled “off white” premium Dacron with one reef, sail number and bag
- Roller reefing Genoa narrow panelled “off white” premium Dacron mitre cut and bag
- Spinnaker mitre cut traditional design, sail number and bag
- Main sail cover
- Cockpit spray dodgers


Accommodation and domestic equipment

There is accommodation for 4 in 2 cabins with separate head compartment accessible from both. The interior T& G bulkheads and good height deck head is white painted with contrasting mahogany joinery to give a light yet warm ambience; the lighting enhanced by that from the 3 brass framed ports each side in the trunk cabin elevations and 8 deck head lights. The principal features from aft are:
- Sliding hatch and demountable companionway steps down
- Panels abaft steps reveal the engine compartment
- Galley to port
- Large stainless steel sink, H&C mixer tap with stowage under
- Levante 2 stainless steel 2 burner gas hob and oven new 2014
- Storage lockers above and outboard under side deck
- Open hanging locker opposite galley to stbd
- Nav station; full size chart table with lifting top for charts and good sized lockers below
- Semi bulkheads forward
- 2 x Settee berths; 1 each side and with trotter boxes aft
- Stowage under the settees; joinery lockers above and outboard under the side decks
- High gloss table (stows in fore cabin) with bronze pedestal (stows in head compartment)
- Bi fold doors forward to head compartment athwartships
- Jabsco manual WC to port and basin with H&C mixer tap in vanity unit starboard
- Shower tray under lifting sole and pull out shower unit
- Separate doorway access to forward owner’s cabin lined with mahogany open slats
- Large double berth, fresh water tank under
- Hatchway above to foredeck
- 2 x deck head lights
- Bulkhead with joinery door inset to fore peak chain locker



- Teak hull planking
- Copper clench fastened to steamed rock elm timbers
- Varnished teak toe rail and capping
- Teak superstructure, coamings, fore hatch and cockpit joinery
- Oak floors with bronze keel bolts and lead ballast keel of approx 3.5 tons
- Oak deck and coach beams with galvanised iron hanging knees; stainless steel by mast
- Yellow pine deck glass fibre sheathed and painted with non slip coating
- Marine ply interior bulkheads clad with mahogany T&G
- Mahogany interior joinery and doors
- Oak cabin sole


Historical notes

May’s throwing down of the gauntlet; a challenge to a client, who had jilted his design for another boat, was the origin of the class name. It was May’s Gauntlet yacht however that was to prove the superior boat in the subsequent contest. One of the earliest ‘series’ production boats from the Berthon slip in the late 1930s, NAUSIKAA was successful along with her larger 12 and 18 ton sisters in the Round the Island Race (Isle of Wight) and has been cruised extensively from Scotland to West Brittany.

Notable as she is; NAUSIKAA has featured in numerous yachting press articles and that one of her former owners was in possession for more than 40 years is testament indeed to her character. Substantially refitted in 2013 – 14 on virtually her first outing to the Panerai BCYC Regatta, she proved her worth in winning the RTI Race of 29 starting yachts.

For the July 2014 Panerai BCYC RTI Race Full Results please click

RTI pdf


Mechanical electrical and tankage

- Nanni 2 cyl diesel engine N2.14
- Engine power 13.8 HP / 10.30 KW
- 3 fixed bladed propeller
- Morse type engine control in cockpit
- 24 0 V Shore power
- 2 x 12 V batteries in cockpit lockers
- Alternator
- Battery charger
- Isolator / switch panel at Nav station
- Stainless steel fuel tank cockpit locker
- Stainless steel calorifier cockpit port side
- Stainless steel fresh water tank
- 2 x Calor gas bottles in lazarette locker


Navigation communications and electronics

- Raymarine chart plotter
- Icom M323 VHF
- Sestrel clock and barometer



- Plastimo Crusader 4 pers life raft in plastic container
- Manual bilge pump
- Auto electric bilge pump
- Fire blanket
- Danbuoy


Refit 2014

We try to use the term “Restoration” with great care, however we are almost certain many would regard this most recent and extensive refit in which all structural work was overseen by an independent surveyor as exactly that. Details of the works can be made available.


These particulars have been prepared from information provided by the vendors and are intended as a general guide. The purchaser should confirm details of concern to them by survey or engineers inspection. The purchaser should also ensure that the purchase contract properly reflects their concerns and specifies details on which they wish to rely.


Sandeman Yacht Company

Brokerage Of Classic & Vintage Yachts