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William Fife III 8-Metre 1914/2008 - Sold



William Fife III 8-Metre 1914/2008

Designer William Fife III
Builder William Fife & Son Fairlie
Date 1914
Length overall 51 ft 0 in / 15.55 m
Length deck 45 ft 1 in / 13.73 m
Length waterline 29 ft 6 in / 9 m
Beam 7 ft 7 in / 2.3 m
Draft 5 ft 9 in / 1.75 m
Displacement 9 Tonnes
Construction Carvel mahogany planking on laminated frames
Engine Nanni 12 HP Diesel
Location United Kingdom
Price Sold

These details are provisional and may be amended



IERNE could be the ultimate First Rule 8 M. Her rig is close to the 1914 original and an early example of a large Bermudan. Regardless of the International Rule and its complexity there is a purity to this boat both in the treatment of her rebuild and her breathtakingly good looks. Since her completion she has been mainly in storage – and is a truly exciting prospect.


Historical and technical comments

IERNE was designed by Willian Fife III and built at the Fife yard in Farlie in 1914. Her hull design is thought to be the ultimate First Rule 8m yacht and acknowledged to be hydro dynamically as good as a yacht could be at that time. She does not ride waves, but cuts through them and she produces no wake until near her maximum hull speed. The distinctive Fife tumblehome is thought to be one of the secrets of her speed.

IERNE had the most innovative rig design of all First Rule yachts. She was the one and only to carry the Marconi Bermudan rig. As originally drawn she carries 1,248 sq feet of sail on a 58 ft mast, 35 ft boom and a 19 ft spinnaker pole.

Built for an Irish colonel, who gave her the distinctive Irish name, in due course she found her way into the hands of the Norwegian Olympic Team and to be the gold medal winner in the 1920 Antwerp Games.

Laid up in Portugal 85 years on, she caught the eye of Hew Jones of Yorkshire One Design fame, who fully appreciating her merits – if not the shortcomings of her then condition, had her shipped back to England for restoration, meanwhile keen to sail her under her revolutionary Marconi rig, acquiring the original drawings.

Hew commissioned Joe Irving of Draughtsman Racing Yachts in Barton-on-Humber to undertake the restoration. Joe, a graduate of IBTC in Lowestoft and the first boat builder to create a wooden Dragon since 1970, demonstrably had the credentials for the task

Having worked with them on the Yorkshire One Design spars, Hew commissioned Collars to supply a complete new rig, re-drawn by naval architect Theo Rye, from the original plans and data. All the spars were manufactured in best quality Sitka spruce and supplied fully fitted, ready for rigging by Peter Martin of Martins Rigging.

In 2008 IERNE participated in the Fife Classics as well as the BCYC Regatta. She was also the recipient of the Classic Boat Restoration Award for 2008


Original construction

The original construction was of the following elements. See also Restoration section below
- Grown Canadian Rock elm frames interspersed with two bent timber ribs
- English elm keel
- Lead ballast keel
- Cedar forward to stem
- Larch aft to stern post
- Larch and cedar horn timbers
- Carvel Honduras mahogany planking
- Cedar deck planking on larch deck beams
- Wrought iron floors
- Double wrought iron ring abreast the mast
- Original Honduras mahogany rudder retained


Accommodation and domestic equipment

- Basic accommodation with 2 berths in one main cabin
- Cream leather cushions to settee berths


Rig, spars and sails

- Sitka spruce (aviation grade) mast by Collars
- 2 Sets of spreaders
- Sitka spruce boom by Collars
- Sitka spruce spinnaker pole by Collars
- Columbian Pine bowsprit
- Rig designed by Theo Rye
- Rigging by Peter Martin, Southampton
- Stainless steel standing rigging
- Traditional buff coloured synthetic running rigging
- Harken mainsail winch
- 2 x winches forward below deck for tensioning foresail halyards

- Jib
- Staysail
- Asymmetric
- Spinnaker
- Main

- Jib
- Staysail


Deck equipment

- Ash cheeked blocks; halfpenny inserts
- Bronze mainsheet horse
- Teak cockpit sole
- Self draining cockpit
- Mahogany cockpit coamings
- Mahogany sliding hatch
- Mahogany slatted removable doors
- 3 x Drop in washboards
- 1 x Drop in washboard with Nav instruments mounted


Mechanical, electrical and tankage

- Nanni 12 HP Diesel engine - Stainless steel shaft
- Feathering 2 bladed propeller
- Auto electric bilge pump
- Whale Gusher manual bilge pump
- 12 V Battery for engine and bilge pump
- Solar panel to control panel
- c 10 gallon plastic fuel tank


Navigation communications and electronics

- Wireless Tacktick depth, wind, direction and speed



- The centre line found to be in good order is as original
- All frames and ribs were replaced; Wych elm used in place of Canadian rock elm
- Laminated oak frames replaced the grown frames
- New wrought iron floors; epoxy coated
- African mahogany planking below the waterline
- The original Honduras mahogany planking retained and restored above the waterline
- All new ¼ inch copper fastenings rove riveted
- New double wrought iron ring abreast the Mast
- Shroud plates 10 mm stainless steel
- All teak swept 22 mm planking copper screwed, caulked and sikaflexed
- New laminated oak rudder post
- New mahogany bulkheads
- New mahogany batten inner linings


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