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Sparkman & Stephens 52 ft Yawl 1946 - Sold



Sparkman & Stephens 52 ft Yawl 1946

Designer Sparkman & Stephens
Builder Henry Grebe, US / Gweek Boatyard, UK
Date 1946
Length overall 53 ft 3 in / 16.23 m
Length deck 52 ft 10 in / 16.1 m
Length waterline 37 ft 1 in / 11.3 m
Beam 12 ft 6 in / 3.8 m
Draft 7 ft 7 in / 2.3 m
Displacement 0 Tonnes
Construction Double planked cedar, mahogany, teak below WL, oak frames
Engine Perkins Sabre M65
Location France
Price Sold

These details are provisional and may be amended




From the same bloodline as DORADE and STORMY WEATHER but with more volume below COMET has in recent years raced successfully with her sisters on the Mediterranean Classic Circuit. Designed originally as a cruiser racer COMET in her previous life completed a 3 year circumnavigation and her current owners also enjoy cruising the boat - she is easily sailed by just 2.

COMET impressed the late Olin Stephens on his attending her re launch after restoration in 2004. A decade and more on the boat has been delicately fine tuned in her fit-out and inventory - all in immaculate good taste and her condition is hard to fault. What an exciting prospect !



COMET’s design was influenced by her two predecessors: DORADE and STORMY WEATHER – with their Bermudan yawl rigs these designs were originally considered to be under-canvassed, but their victories in the important ocean races effectively signalled the end of the gaff era in ocean racing.

COMET was ordered on similar lines by Chicago businessman and lawyer John P. Wilson, as a replacement for his Stephens designed 6 Metre of the same name. Work on the build was delayed by the war and was not to begin until 1946 at the Henry C. Grebe Yard in Chicago. Fine workmanship and quality materials have contributed significantly to COMET’s longevity. She was launched that year.

Sold by Wilson’s Estate on his death in 1960, she remained on the Great Lakes until 1977 when purchased by William A. Stout. Twenty years later in 1997, she was sold to Howard Park who then took her on a 3 year circumnavigation.

Her next owner, searching for a boat from this era with a total restoration in mind, first saw her in the USA in 2001 and determined to acquire her. She was subsequently transported to the Gweek Quay Boatyard in Cornwall, where under the direction of David Walkey with technical support from yacht designer Ed Burnett and aided by a team of extremely capable shipwrights, this vessel was restored into a quality and class which is shared by only a few other yachts. The rebuild took 15 months and renamed COMETA, she was launched in June 2004 by Olin Stephens himself. Sold again in 2012 she has reverted to her original name of COMET under the current ownership.


Owners comments

COMET’s yawl configuration enables easy handling by two for comfortable cruising. She competes at times with the larger classes >15m, such as ROWDY, ENTERPRISE and MANITOU - yet has much lower costs of berthing, varnishing, lifting etc, compared with those larger classic vessels. Racing with 8 crew, COMET won the Porquerolles Classique 2016, in winds ranging from 8 to 25 knots, showing off her adaptability in changing conditions with a comparatively small number of sailors. Her mast-head rig gives her a large advantage on downwind legs compared to her sisters’ fractional rigs.

Races won without professional crew
- Elba Classic 2015
- Gaeta Classics 2015
- Porquerolles Classique 2016
- Concours d’elegance for the classic regattas of Naples 2015 – and close second in the race behind MANITOU

At the end of a day of some exciting wet-deck windy sailing or pouring rain, COMET is one of the rare classics to be completely dry below. No need to accept sleeping on a soaked mattress on Comet! This yacht is light and well ventilated – indeed fresh compared with many old smelly boats, and the master cabin, even closed, is well vented by the skylight hatch.

It has been remarked often by seasoned classic sailors, how COMET is a healthy, sound and happy yacht.



- Medium heavy displacement hull form, raked stem, cutaway forefoot and counter stern
- Double planked cedar and mahogany above waterline
- Double planked cedar and teak below waterline
- All planking bronze fastened to bent oak frames
- Wood floors to the oak frames
- Some stainless steel straps
- Swept teak deck, mahogany bulwarks and cap rail


Deck layout, equipment and ground tackle

From aft
- Low bulwarks with varnished taff rail
- Deck fittings mainly chromed bronze
- Chromed bronze fairleads each side
- Medium width side decks
- Chromed stanchion sockets on deck up each side
- Chromed bronze fittings for backstay and mizzen tackle
- Aft deck hatch to lazarette with chromed mooring cleats each side
- Varnished teak cockpit coamings integral with coach roof sides forward
- Single spreader mizzen mast with seating each side
- 2 x Anderson 16 halyard winches
- Raw teak sheaves and blocks each side
- Teak and chromed helm wheel on centreline in compass binnacle mounting
- Cockpit lockers under the teak plank seats each side
- Leather imitation cockpit cushions 2014
- B&G Nav repeaters in seating aft bulkheads fwd of helm
- Demountable cockpit table
- 2 x Andersen 46 ST 2 speed main sheet winches on teak pedestals outboard
- 2 x Barient 30 primary foresail winches on teak pedestals outboard
- 2 x Barient 28 staysail winches on teak pedestals outboard
- S&S style wide bridge deck forward bearing main traveller track
- Kobalt engine controls below
- Low well proportioned coach roof with varnished hand rails running fwd each side
- Raised booby style sloping companionway hatch above aft
- 2 x Anderson 46 winches for running backstays on coach roof each side
- Genoa cars on tracks on deck each side
- Mahogany butterfly hatch on coach roof lights and ventilates main cabin
- 2 x Dorade boxes with chromed vents each side of teak chest for gas bottles
- 2 x Anderson 46 winches on coach roof
- Main mast with leather boot and pockets and raw teak blocks at base
- 2 x Anderson 46 halyard winches
- Raised hatch at forward end of trunk cabin
- Varnished mahogany booby fore hatch with chromed vent fwd
- Quick 24 V chromed windlass with 2 anchor drums and warping drum above
- Detachable bow roller
- Delta anchor, 50 m chain, 70 m warp
- Chromed cleats and Panama fairleads each side
- Large aluminium sole inflatable tender 2009
- Small inflatable tender
- Teak and mahogany gangway
- 8 x Fenders


Accommodation and domestic equipment

- Entering via sliding hatch in coach roof and 5 companionway steps down
- White painted deck head; head room exceeding 6 ft 3 in
- 5 x Opening ports
- 6 x Deck head lights
- 2 x Large quarter berths each side aft of the companionway beside engine housing
- Nav station to port with full size chart table and nav instruments

Saloon and galley area forward
- Butterfly skylight over
- L shaped settee berth to port
- Lockers and shelving outboard
- Large gimballed drop leaf table seats 8

Galley along starboard side
- Stainless steel sink with hot and cold mixer tap
- Force 10 Propane 3 burner hob and oven 2012
- Top loading fridge under teak counter top
- Cupboard stowage under and outboard
- Doorway forward in bulkhead

Head compartment fwd offset to port
- Wilcox Crittenden manual WC
- Stainless steel wash basin and mixer tap also shower
- Opening port

Master cabin fwd
- Double berth to port
- Single berth stbd
- Stowage under both
- Shelving outboard each side
- Hatch in deck head
- 4 x Opening ports
- 4 x deck head lights

- Sail and chain lockers
- Access to foredeck by sliding hatch


Rig spars and sails

- Bermudan yawl rig using the original rigging plan
- Stainless steel chain plates
- Sitka spruce spars by Collars of Oxford 2004
- New Sitka spruce spreaders on main mast by Collars 2015
- All stainless steel mast fittings based on original design
- Stainless steel standing rigging, partially renewed 2015
- Chromed bronze turnbuckles
- New Sitka spruce spinnaker pole by Collars 2016 stbd side / foredeck
- Aluminium spinnaker pole (in storage)
- All running rigging appropriate to sail inventory

Sails and canvas
- Full set of sails: main, mizzen, mizzen staysail
- Genoas 1, 2 and 3
- Asymmetric Zaoli 2014
- Asymmetric 2 and Spinnaker 2 Zaoli 2015
- Yankee, staysail, and storm jib 2004
- Spinnaker Hood 2005
- Asymmetric spinnaker; Sanders 2009
- Sail, deck and hatch covers
- Sunbrella sun cover 2016


Mechanical electrical and tankage

- Perkins M65 diesel 2004 serviced annually
- All stern gear new 2004 including Max Prop 3 bladed feathering propeller
- Engine controls in cockpit
- 12 V electrical system; RCD breaker protected
- 240 V 50 Hz 16 A shore power
- 2 x Engine driven alternators
- Victron 12 V 40 A battery charger
- 12 V engine start battery (port quarter berth)
- 4 x 12 V domestic batteries total 440 Ah new 2016
- 2 x12V in series anchor winch batteries 2013
- Electrical switch panel at nav station
- Navigation lights
- 240V AC Immersion heater
- Jabsco Par Max 4 12 V pressure pump for hot and cold fresh water system 2016
- Engine calorifier for domestic hot water
- Fuel in one tank 88 gallon / 400 litres
- Fresh water in two stainless steel tanks total 121 gallons / 550 litres
- Coal filter installed for cold water in galley 2013
- Grey water tank and Whale 12 V discharge pump 2016
- Black water tank 11 gallon / 50 litres 2013
- 4 x Electric fans over berths


Navigation communications and electronics

All new instruments in 2015
- B&G H5000 Hydra Pack CPU + GFD + accessory
- B&G H5000 graphic display
- B&G H5000 analogue expansion
- B&G Zeus Evo 2 GPS 12 inch plotter
- B&G Go Free Wifi module
- B&G ZG100 GPS antenna and compass
- NRC42N fluxgate compass
- B&G H5000 pilot computer and display
- B&G RF25N rudder feedback
- Garmin AIS transponder
- B&G Sonic hub sound system with 2 speakers in each of saloon and cockpit
- B&G V90 VHF and H50 handset
- Handheld VHF
- Wilfred O White steering compass in binnacle
- Clock and barometer



- Edson manual bilge pump saloon
- Manual bilge pump in cockpit 2015
- 12 V Auto electric bilge pump
- 8 x Life jackets revised 2016
- 6 man Life raft Arimar new 2013, revision done in 2016
- 6 x Oilskins 2004
- Safety lines
- 2 x 1 Kg and 1 x 2 Kg dry powder fire extinguishers
- 1 x Dry powder fixed auto engine fire extinguisher
- ACR Globalfix 406 MHz EPIRB



- Olin Stephens signed sail plan & log book
- Saloon china with logo



This boat was given a virtual total restoration in 2004



- Olin Stephens signed log book
- Saloon china with logo and matching replacement without logo


Restoration / refit

- This boat was given an almost total restoration in 2004
- Rudder dropped and realigned in 2013
- New galley 2013
- New B&G electronics in 2015
- Underwater hull taken down to bare wood in 2015
- Topsides repainted 2015
- New main spreaders and main stays in 2015
- New stuffing box in 2017


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