|Builder||Bute Slip Dock Co|
|Length overall||43 ft 0 in / 13.11 m|
|Length deck||43 ft 0 in / 13.11 m|
|Length waterline||28 ft 0 in / 8.53 m|
|Beam||9 ft 3 in / 2.81 m|
|Draft||6 ft 1 in / 1.85 m|
|Construction||Norwegian pine on acacia and iroko|
|Engine||LMC 14kW Electric motor|
These details are provisional and may be amended
By the time a yacht is close to a century old it will have tales to tell, but few can match GOMETRA's life story, in particular as one of two British yachts that saved Norway's gold reserves during the Second World War as deck cargo to Canada. Add impeccable Alfred Mylne design and build pedigree - one of his finest fast cruiser-racers at this size - to a recent comprehensive and passionate restoration, and you have arguably the perfect classic 40 footer with an easy to handle sloop rig yet powerful enough to offer an nice turn of speed, a large, safe and sociable cockpit, and a fully green, self-charging Lithium Ion electric auxiliary propulsion system.
A new listing with more specifications and photos to follow
GOMETRA's full restoration under current Italian ownership was concluded in 2017 by one of the most experienced master woodworkers, Giovanni Ambrosetti. Restored according to the original plans with the maximum respect for originality and using the same construction techniques, 80% of original hull and deck, the original ballast keel and most of the accommodation were saved. Structural items replaced were frames and the stem and sternposts. The cockpit was rebuilt, but the deckhouse, skylights and most of the deck hardware are original. The restored rig is the one she came with, an adaption by renowned Seattle yacht designer Ben Seaborn of the second version originally drawn in 1937 by Alfred Mylne. GOMETRA was runner up in the Restoration of the Year (over 40ft) category at the Classic Boat magazine 2017 Awards.
"We backwatered slowly around her. She was indeed a honey. Every time I had ever cruised in an Eight-Metre boat I had dreamed about this boat. 'If somebody would only make one just a little tougher, a trifle huskier and heavier and higher, wouldn't we have a fine little coastwise cruiser?' I thought. Here she was. She wasn't an Eight-Metre boat but she was an Eight-Metre's tough sister. Bill measured her later..."
CHARLES RAWLINGS AND WILLIAM J. ROUÉ FIRST ENCOUNTER GOMETRA AT HALIFAX NOVA SCOTIA, 1940 ('YACHTING', FEBRUARY 1941)
Commissioned from Alfred Mylne in 1925 by Battle of Jutland veteran Rear-Admiral James Farie for British coastal waters cruising and racing, GOMETRA bears the name of a small island and popular yacht anchorage off the Isle of Mull on Scotland's wild and beautiful west coast. She's had more adventures than Farie, her designer, or any of her skilled builders at Mylne's own Bute Slip Dock Co. yard at Ardmaleish on the Isle of Bute could ever have imagined.
Nearby Port Bannatyne appears to have been her home mooring during the early years. However, during a 1928 race to Inverary, Rear-Admiral Farie, a widower, met his second wife, Eila Isabel Laurie, and in 1930 GOMETRA's base moved south to Falmouth, Cornwall, and then to Lymington in Hampshire where, unfortunately, she proved too big at that time for her mooring on the river.
In 1934 Farie became one of the first owners in the Jack Laurent Giles-designed 'Lymington L' Class (of L2 SHUNA, after another west coast of Scotland island), and GOMETRA was purchased by Lieutenant William Blaine Luard, a talented sailor, navigator and writer who praised her virtues in his book 'Where The Tides Meet'. But by 1936, via a short period (unrecorded by Lloyd's Register of Yachts) on the Menai Straits in the hands of Leonard Reynolds, GOMETRA had returned to the Firth of Clyde under the ownership of Greenock steel merchant and shipowner James F. Lang whose wider family, especially the Fultons, were commissioning owners of a famous series of three William Fife designed and built yachts named EILEEN (the first is now BELLE AVENTURE) and EILEAN (recently restored by Panerai).
James Lang's 1939 summer cruise to Norway inevitably was cut short. She was laid up at Trondheim (which would become the focus of the Nazi occupation of Norway from April 1940) - but not for long; her greatest adventure was about to begin. Norway's gold reserves had been moved north and west in the belief that they would be safer away from Oslo. The majority of the gold was evacuated on board British Royal Navy cruisers, but some found its way to Canada aboard the requisitioned GOMETRA and another British yacht, SINBAD. The gold filled yachts were loaded as deck cargo on a freighter - the theory being that if the ship came to grief the yachts might float off - and made landfall at Halifax, Nova Scotia. In the February 1941 issue of 'Yachting' magazine, local travel and yachting writer Charles Rawlings described (see above) encountering GOMETRA along with the designer of the renowned fishing and racing schooner BLUENOSE, William J. 'Bill' Roué - the day after she'd been unloaded from the deck of the freighter.
GOMETRA was purchased at Halifax by former Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron Commodore Ernest A. Bell and occasionally sailed and raced - with Roué at the helm - for the remainder of the war years. Then, in 1945, her many years as a West Coast boat began, firstly with a 30-year series of Royal Vancouver Yacht Club member owners starting with Gus Ortengren who had her transported to Vancouver on the Canadian Pacific Railroad in 1945.
1946-1951 Gus Ortengren
1952-1956 Kenneth G. Glass
1953-1967 Elmer Palmer
1968-1969 Alec Manson
1970-1973 Robert W. Butt
1974-1975 Kenneth Thurston
Still legendary in Vancouver yachting circles as the "Gold Boat", the plaques on her saloon bulkhead record her participation in many of the major Pacific Northwest long distance races, including the Swiftsure International Yacht Race in 1953, '54, '55, '56, '57, '58 and '71.
Under her next owner, Scots-born David Millis, between 1976 and 2003 GOMETRA had a roving commission the full length of the western North American seaboard from British Columbia via Hawaii to Mexico, and took part in the 1976 Victoria to Maui International Yacht Race and the 1978 Swiftsure. It was during Millis's ownership that the then fifty something GOMETRA received the interim refit that would extend her life enough to keep her alive until the really big one to come. Unfortunately, much later, and a further race success at Bandaras Bay International Regatta long forgotten, ill health resulted in GOMETRA becoming dilapidated after long time lay-up at La Paz, Baja California. Rescue was to see her continue in Scottish hands, and eventually return to Europe.
After a year of work, despite interruptions by hurricanes Ignacio and Marty, Molly Holt with the help of a friend and her two young children set off cruising on the Sea of Cortez and down to Guatemala, and El Salvador where GOMETRA became idle again at Bahia del Sol. In an effort to find a new future for this yacht of many lives, in 2006 Gometra was shipped back to Europe, arriving in Toulon, from where she sailed to Nice.
A chance visit, love at first sight and a business card left on the deck in Nice by her current owner led to what she is now. GOMETRA seems to cast a spell.
- Norwegian fir planking on bent acacia and steamed iroko frames
- Steel ring frames in way of mast
- 8mm Raw teak laid deck over the original straight laid pine deck
- Varnished mahogany mahogany deck carpentry
- Varnished mahogany capped taffrail and toerail
- Chromed and teak bar mooring cleats port and starboard
- Varnished teak covering boards
- Chromed mooring fairleads port & starboard set in to taffrail
- Ensign staff socket at backstay chainplate
- Padeyes for 3 x mainsheet blocks; 2 x running backstays
- Varnished mahogany rudder head fairing piece
- Chromed bronze rudder head
- Ash tiller
- Varnished mahogany raised cockpit coaming
- 4 x Chromed sheet winches on low varnished mahogany plinths
- Associated cleats
- Sunk, spacious cockpit with benches port and starboard
- Raked companionway house fwd
- 2 x Round chromed ports port and starboard
- Chromed running lights
- Chromed headsail sheet tracks with leathered cars port and starboard
- Saloon and fwd cabin skylights
- Mast position
- Anker & Jensen style forehatch with chromed round light
- Chrome and teak bar mooring fairlead port and starboard
- Chromed mooring fairleads port & starboard set in to toerail
- Stemhead fitting with rollers
Down 5 x companionway steps to saloon
Mostly original mahogany joinery
- Quarter berths port and starboard
- Settee berths port and starboard
- Stowage under
- Stowage and bookshelves outboard
- 4 x Deckhead lights
- 1 x Gimballed oil lamp
- Forward to galley and passage berth either side of mast
- Forward to WC compartment with fold down sink, and shower
- Douglas fir mast and boom
- Chromed halyard winches
- Chromed spinnaker pole socket on track
- Boom with reef winch
- Spinnaker boom
SAILS (North Sails Italia)
- Light genoa
- Heavy genoa
- Storm jib
- Mainsail boom cover
As found, GOMETRA had a 35hp Yanmar diesel engine that proved non-serviceable. The idea was born to give her an innovative and clean electric propulsion system.
By late 2008, hybrid technology was beginning to have some weight in the the automotive industry, but marine solutions especially for small dimensions were still very rudimentary and not especially suitable for installation on a vintage sailing vessel. Then came the idea of relying on a fully electric propulsion in the full knowledge that this choice would be true the the real meaning of "auxiliary" propulsion: to serve in maneuvering and for short trips; certainly not for long cruises as tends to be more and more the case in modern yachting. After all, GOMETRA is a very efficient sailing yacht.
The choice fell on a DC motor for the simplicity of the supply system and reduced power requirements. Other evaluation criteria included the weight and dimensions reduced to fit the internal geometry of GOMETRA's hull. All this led to the choice of the L-200 D135 RAG Lynch Motor.
It was decided not to use a generator for charging in order to keep the system fully carbon-free and because such a solution would partially undermine weight reduction and noise. Instead the 72 Volt Mastervolt lithium ion battery bank can be charged via a Silentwind Wind Generator, solar panels and a trailing propeller while sailing.
At 4.5-5 knots, GOMETRA has a range of 15 nautical miles; up to 30 miles at slower speeds.
- LMC LEM-200 D135 RAG 14kW Electric motor
LITHIUM-ION ENGINE BATTERIES
- 3 x Mastervolt MLI Ultra 24/5000 in series = 72 Volts
- Silentwind Wind Generator
- Solar panels
- Trailing propeller while sailing
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.