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McGruer 55 Ft Bermudan Ketch 1970



McGruer 55 Ft Bermudan Ketch 1970

Designer George McGruer
Builder McGruer & Co Ltd Clynder
Date 1970
Length overall 55 ft 0 in / 16.76 m
Length deck 55 ft 0 in / 16.76 m
Length waterline 35 ft 0 in / 10.67 m
Beam 12 ft 0 in / 3.66 m
Draft 8 ft 0 in / 2.44 m
Displacement 20 Tonnes
Construction Teak on laminated afrormosia
Engine Yanmar 4JH4THE (Rebuilt 2020)
Location United Kingdom
Price GBP 480,000

These details are provisional and may be amended




For a yacht to look so stunning - like new - after so much use does not just happen by accident. It takes special owners and an occasionally deep pocket. CUILAUN demands it, deserves it, and pays it back and more. She is quite simply one of the most special yachts ever conceived at this size. Since she first kissed the waters of the Gareloch in 1970, her original Irish owners have cared for her every need, and in return she has carried them and their friends speedily, comfortably, safely and elegantly over deep and blue water so often that they might be excused forgetting how many times they've crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way she has been a regatta and cruising awards winner. After 50 years of first ownership, it's time for a very lucky second custodian to guide CUILAUN into her second half century.


REFITS 2014 - 2023

- Masts un-stepped, undressed
- Standing rigging for both masts replaced
- 2 x Mizzen staysail halyards replaced
- Masts re-stepped
- 2 x Technora genoa sheets replaced

Electrical/ Electronics
- New B&G Halo radar and Vulcan 9 plotter
- New Victron Blue Smart IP22 12 V engine battery charger
- New engine start battery
- New Navionics battery
- Tidy up internal wiring
- Removal of all earth grounding to prevent ECD
- Cleaned and repainted bilge under the mast
- Cleaned up keel bolts
- Fitted and commissioned gas stove with gas safe cert.
- New keel cooler
- Full external varnish
- Fit new 2 x Spinlock cam cleats and main sheet
- Prop guard applied.
- Windlass shot blasted and repainted.
- Serviced all Lewmar winches
- Keel sanded back and fully re-epoxied
- Antifoul system was applied to hull
- Rudder removed, inspected, cleaned and refitted
- 2 x New fenders
- 6 x New fender socks
- New 3 x window custom spray hood
- Full engine service
- Heat exchanger removed and cleaned
- All seacocks serviced
- Fresh water tank super chlorinated and cleaned
- Instant hot water tap fitted to the galley sink
- Life raft and life jackets serviced

- Cockpit sole bearers replaced
- Cockpit sole relayed
- 220 V Inverter installed Victron 3000 24 DC to 240 AC
- B&G Navigation system updated to H5000
- Holding tank installed
- Genoa tracks removed fastenings replaced
- Portlights removed, serviced re-bedded
- All thru-hull fittings removed, serviced re-bedded
- Engine removed - rebuilt
- Cylinders re-bored and lined
- New pistons and rings
- Turbo rebuilt, new exhaust compensator, new mounts
- Steering pedestal repainted
- Steering gearbox removed inspected greased and remounted
- LPG system replaced; Nereus alarm system fitted
- Propeller removed greased
- Hydraulic stern gland removed and overhauled

- Lewmar power pack serviced
- Hull recaulked below the water line
- Keel bolts removed inspected
- 2 x Floors replaced

- Electrical overhaul
- Updated chart table
- Propeller overhauled by Darglow

- Domestic battery bank replaced 6x 230 Ah AGM
- Galley worktops replaced in Corian
- Heads sinks and work tops replaced

- Deck recaulked
- Coach roof re-decked

- Varnish stripped and rebuilt
- Mizzen mast re painted

- All standing rigging replaced



McGruer & Co. Yard No. 626

Through the 1950s and 1960s, British yacht designers found various solutions in appeasing their clients' post-war demands for greater comforts and space by increasing hull volume while trying to keep an eye on looks. Arguably it was James McGruer of Scotland who achieved the greatest aesthetic harmony in this task by gaining volume via the American norm of increased beam; something perhaps infused from his 1930s training at the Herreshoff yard in Bristol, Rhode Island, and in his family yard's building of the Sparkman & Stephens- designed beamy 43 ft centreboard yawl FAIRWYN in 1957, followed immediately by his own interpretation of a beamy, full keel yawl, SULE SKERRY.

There followed down McGruer & Company's Clynder slipways a line of gorgeous and now legendary, beamy and long-ended James McGruer-designed cruiser-racer yawls: WESTWARD OF CLYNDER (1960), MARGUERITA HELENA III/ FRENESI (1961), COIGACH (1963), and culminating before James retired with the 48-footer RINAMARA of 1968 for repeat Irish client Peter Odlum.

When James's son, George, stepped up to the drafting board after RINAMARA'a launch, he inherited a wonderful provenance of well-proven excellence for inspiration; and to build his creations, a highly skilled workforce admirably managed by members of his family.

Straight out the blocks - with further influence perhaps from his father's 67 ft International 13.5-Metre Cruiser Racer yawl STORNOWAY of 1963, and the McGruer-built Sparkman & Stephens 52ft sloop GABRIELLE III (now TINTOO VI) of 1967 - George designed this masterpiece ketch, again for Dublin Bay owners known to the yard through previous ownership of the McGruer 8-Metre Cruiser-Racer NAMHARA. And a further two near sisters followed into the early 1970s: CERESIO (now TALISKER MHOR) and GLORY B IV (now BORDER LEGEND). With these fine ketches, George McGruer added his own je ne sais quoi, unfettered by the radical influences of the IOR Rating Rule, yet thoroughly modern yachts - perhaps the true predecessors of what we now know as 'Spirit of Tradition'.

Since CUILAUN (originally CUILAUN OF KINSALE) first kissed the waters of the Gareloch in 1970, her original Irish owners have cared for her every need, and in return she has carried them and their friends speedily, comfortably, safely and elegantly over deep and blue water so often that they might be excused forgetting how many times they've crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Her first long distance cruise was in 1971 from Dublin Bay to the Mediterranean, spending winter 1971-72 at Palma de Mallorca. CUILAUN has become as well known in her home waters of Ireland and the UK as she is in the Caribbean, and in Maine where she is affectionately known as "The Varnished Two-Sticker". This writer has been lucky enough to encounter her at Cowes, at Kinsale and Glengarriff, at Clynder, Rosneath and Rhu when she returned to her birthplace for a mid-life refit, and at Camden and Brooklin. She won the 1979 Transatlantic race from New York to Cork, was awarded the coveted John Parkinson Trophy of the Cruising Club of America in 1988, was class winner at Antigua Classic Week 2004, and overall winner at the British Classic Yacht Club's Panerai Classics Week 2017.

For a yacht to look so stunning - like new - after so much use doesn't just happen by accident. It takes passionate owners and an occasionally deep pocket. CUILAUN demands it, deserves it, and pays it back and more. She is quite simply one of the most special yachts ever conceived at this size. After 50 years of first ownership, it's time for a very lucky second custodian to guide her into her second half century.

©2024 Iain McAllister/ Sandeman Yacht Company Ltd.



Carvel teak planking silicone bronze fastened to laminated afrormosia frame
- Lead keel
- Teak laid deck on plywood substrate
- Teak superstructure
- Teak cockpit



- Stainless steel stanchions; chromed bronze bases
- Stainless steel pushpit and pulpit
- Varnished teak bulwark and capping
- Varnished teak covering boards & king planks
- Teak laid deck
- Deck/ cockpit winches hydraulic via Lewmar commander power pack

- Varnished teak pushpit seat with carved leading edge
- Chromed fairleads on taffrail port and starboard
- Chromed mushroom vent
- Lewmar mizzen sheet block
- Mizzen boom gallows
- 1 x Lewmar 40 winch: mizzen sheet
- 2 x Lewmar 58 winches aft of cockpit: symmetrical spinnaker guys
- Chromed/ teak mooring cleats port and starboard
- Genoa cheek blocks on teak bases port and starboard

- Teak coamings
- Varnished seat aft (extension of aft deck)
- Lazarette and gas bottle locker under
- Port and starboard trimmer seats; lockers under
- 2 x Lewmar 58 primary winches: genoa or spinnaker sheets
- 'Hamble' ship's wheel
- Ritchie steering compass on pedestal binnacle
- Engine control
At forward bulkhead
- Double door companionway offset starboard; hinged washboard
- B&G Wind, depth, speed analog readouts at fwd bulkhead
- B&G H5000 above
- Furuno GPS/ radar plotter
- Simrad AP 25 autopilot in varnished teak box
- Yanmar engine panel
- Battery isolator
- 1 x Lewmar 48 winch: mainsheet
- Mizzen mast position

Teak uprights; laid teak roof
- Alloy hatch to port aft
- 1 x Lewmar 48 winch: mainsheet to port
- Lewmar mainsheet traveller
- Sliding varnished teak companionway hatch
- Raw teak grabrails port and starboard
- Alloy hatch over passage cabin

- Chromed ventilators positions
- 8-Person canister liferaft on teak chocks
- Alloy hatch
- Varnished teak Dorade boxes port and starboard
- Storm jib tracks port and starboard of Dorade boxes
- Genoa tracks with 2 x cars at port and starboard rail
- Panama spring fairleads

Main Mast Position

- Spinnaker and jockey pole chocks port and starboard
- Raised teak and plexiglass forehatch
- Boathook in teak chocks
- Chromed mushroom vent
- Chromed/ teak mooring cleat
- Chromed Panama fairleads port and starboard
- 2 x Bow rollers

- PNP Duerr 'Torkmaster' hydraulic windlass
- Warping drum and chain gipsy
- 2 x CQR Anchors
- 100 m 10 mm Anchor chain
- 50 m Braided anchor warp



- 3 x Steps down
- Raw teak cabin sole
- Tool box and oilskin locker to starboard
- Safety gear

- Wooden navigator seat
- Chart table; stowage under
- B&G Plotter
- B&G Repeaters
- VHF Radio
- Ship's isolator panel outboard; stowage over
- 1 x White light

- 2 x Stainless steel sinks
- Mixer tap
- Instant hot water tap
- Top loading refrigerator
- Broadwater 4 x Burner hob with oven
- Plate racks
- Lockers under and outboard
- 4 x Spot lights
- Deckhead hatch

- U-shape seating to port; lockers under
- Pilot berth outboard
- Saloon table
- Settee to starboard between sideboards; lockers/ drawers under
- Pilot berth outboard
- Fusion stereo in cabinet
- Drinks locker to starboard
- 2 x Deckhead lights
- 2 x Reading lights
- Deckhead hatch fwd

- Down 2 x to passage cabin
- Berth to port; lockers/ drawers under
- Chart locker
- Banquette and folding table
- Book case
- Chelsea clock and barometer
- Berth to starboard; lockers/ drawers under
- Banquette
- 2 x Opening ports
- 2 x Reading lights
- 1 x Bulkhead light

Bathroom compartment to port
- Vacuum flush WC to port
- Sink with mixer tap
- Shower
- Bulkhead light
- Hatch in deckhead
Hanging locker to starboard

- Berth to starboard; lockers/drawers under
- Hanging locker
- Banquette
- Berth to port
- Hanging locker
- Banquette
- Sink; hot and cold taps
- Mirror
- 2 x Opening ports
- Bulkhead lights
- 2 x Reading lights
- 1 x Deckhead light
- 2 x Electric fans

- Locker to port with Tektank
- Sheet and warp stowage to starboard
- Ice maker
- Large locker/ workshop amidships
- Anchor and chain locker forward
- 1 x Deckhead light
- Forehatch in deckhead

- 2 x Sets Marine Bedding Company Egyptian cotton linen per bunk (2019)




All standing rigging 2023
Main mast
- Keel stepped, 2 x spreader painted aluminum (2010)
- 2 x Anderson 28 2-speed winches
- 1 x Barient 48 2-speed halyard winch
- 1 x Lewmar 50 2-speed halyard winch
- Harken vang
- 5 x Rope clutches
- Spinnaker pole track leading edge
- Harken hydraulic furling headstay
- Inner forestay for storm jib; used in conjunction with check stays
- Tri-colour, anchor light, steaming light
- Spreader deck lights
- Windex inc. VHF aerial
Mizzen mast
- Deck stepped, painted aluminium
- 2 x Mizzen staysail halyards
- 1 x Lewmar 16 halyard winch
- 1 x Anderson 18 2-speed mizzen staysail winch
The following have all been painted to match the rig:
- Furuno Radar
- External Iridium aerial
- B&G GPS aerial
- Furuno GPS aerial
- AIS GPS aerial
- 4G Digital yacht aerial
- Air horn (operated from helm pedestal)
- 2 x Painted spinnaker poles
- 1 x Painted jockey pole
Running Rigging
- 2 x Genoa sheets (Technora) renewed 2023
- 2 x Mizzen staysail halyard renewed 2023

- North Marathon 3DL genoa, mainsail and mizzen (2014)
- North asymmetric spinnaker A1.5
- One Sails symmetric spinnaker S4 (2014)
- North storm jib
- North trysail
- GP Sails cruising tri-radial genoa (2018)
- GP Sails mizzen staysail (2019)
- GP Sails mizzen staysail (2015)

- 2 x Large sun awnings
- Sprayhood (2023)
- Mainsail boom covers
- Cover for liferaft canister
- Mosquito net when ajar cover for forehatch



- Yanmar 4JH4THE (Rebuilt 2020)
- 2200 hrs
Drive Train
- Hydraulic stern tube to lubricate shaft and reduce noise
- Feathering Max prop (overhauled by Darglow 2018)
Steering system
- Whitlock Cobra direct drive.
- Auto pilot: Simrad AP25 double ram linear drive

2 x Shore power rings:
- 1 x 110 V with inverter charger
- 1 x 230 V with Mastervolt charger and Victron Inverter
- Victron Blue Smart IP22 12 V engine battery charger (2023)
- 24 V and 12 V
- 6 x 230 Ah 24 V AGM domestic battery bank (2017)
- 1 x 12 V Engine starting battery (2023)
- 1 x 12 V Systems battery (eg for B&G system - 2023)

- Fuel: 190 US Gal / 720 L
- 3 x Fresh water tanks (Capacity TBA)
- 2 x Filled from deck
- 1 x Filled from watermaker, then by gravity to others
- Tek-Tank black water holding tank forward (16 US Gal / 60 L)
- Little Wonder 24 V watermaker (New membrane 2019)
- Electric fresh or salt water vacuum heads pump (2020)

- U-Line ice maker 110 V
- Eberspächer Airtronic heater



- Ritchie steering compass on pedastal
- B&G Halo 20+ radar
- 2 x B&G Vulcan 9 chart plotters: at chart table and helm
- B&G H5000 complete system incl. Full Function Displays
- Mast head unit, twin speed logs, integrated
- AIS at 2 x B&G Vulcan 9s & H5000 FFDs

- Standard Horizon DSC VHF radio; handset in cockpit



- 2 x Electric bilge pumps with float switches
- 2 x Manual bilge pumps
- 3 x Kru auto inflate lifejackets; AIS transponders; spray hood (serviced 2023)
- 6 x Seago manual inflate lifejackets (serviced 2023)
- 1 x Plastimo throw line
- 1 x MOB Jonbuoy module
- 1 x 8-Person Ocean Safety liferaft (serviced 2023)
- 1 x Offshore flare pack
- 1 x EPIRB McMurdo G5 smart finder
- 1 x Emergency VHF antenna
- 1 x Hydraulic wire cutter
- Day shapes: anchor ball, motor-sailing cone
- Nereus alarm system
- Current gas safety certificate



- Zodiac classic 4 m tender with aluminum floor (2016)
- Mariner 9.9 outboard motor (2016)
- Swim ladder
- Mooring warps
- Fenders with covers



Sailing images: Tim Wright/ Photo Action
'Antigua': Irish Cruising Club
Scotland: Simon Jackson
Drawings: McGruer & Co. Ltd.


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