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Alan Gurney/Derecktor 48 Ft Yawl 1965 - Sold



Alan Gurney/Derecktor 48 Ft Yawl 1965

Designer Alan Gurney
Builder Robert E. Derecktor, Marmaroneck, NY
Date 1965
Length overall 48 ft 0 in / 14.63 m
Length deck 48 ft 0 in / 14.63 m
Length waterline 32 ft 6 in / 9.91 m
Beam 12 ft 6 in / 3.81 m
Draft 7 ft 6 in / 2.29 m
Displacement 12 Tonnes
Construction Aluminium
Engine Westerbeke W-58 4-Cyl Diesel 58 hp
Location USA
Price Sold

These details are provisional and may be amended



Any aluminium yacht built by Robert E. Derecktor, and professionally maintained for most of its life by his yard, then by similarly renowned aluminium builders, Palmer Johnson, has had the best of all worlds. And with AURORA there's the added element of her designer, Alan Gurney, whose short, but stellar career creating sensible, moderate and light displacement fast cruiser racers - first with Bill Tripp Jr., then to his own account - reached its greatest fame with the legendary WINDWARD PASSAGE. Originally commissioned as capable of winning offshore races while also offering cruising comfort and space for a 4-kids family, AURORA still ticks all those boxes and represents a unique opportunity to own a really good looking, fast, capable, classic yawl to cruise and live aboard with the safety, security and low maintenance that her proven design and aluminium construction provide.



AURORA has been consistently maintained and upgraded to offer safe, comfortable coastal/offshore sailing. Her aluminium hull has been properly maintained throughout its life which has ensured her integrity. The plating has been professionally audio-gauged in 2007, 2009, and 2020, and with no wastage detected is in excellent condition. Built at a time of a conservative approach to aluminium yacht construction, she is very strong, with traditional vertical frames on 10 in/ 25 cm centers. Her construction methods have proven their strength and she is as solid now as she ever has been.



Robert E. Derecktor Build No. 43

AURORA was launched in the summer of 1965 as KITTIWAKE for Connecticut yachtsman Humphrey B. Simson to compete in the 1966 SORC where she performed well in her class. She is a CCA-rule influenced yawl built to the highest standards for ocean cruising and racing.

She was designed by the legendary New York City naval architect Alan Gurney who also penned the iconic WINDWARD PASSAGE around the same time. In the late 60s there was much attention given to new racing designs for the Bermuda and Trans-Atlantic races. KITTIWAKE was part of this trend and she and her close Gurney-designed sister GUINEVERE, built for George Moffett by Irving Jakobson of Oyster Bay, NY, proved to be fast competitors on the circuit for the years to come.

KITTIWAKE was built under the watchful eye of Bob Derecktor at Derecktor Shipyards of Mamaroneck, New York. Derecktor has always enjoyed an impeccable reputation and is well known for building competitive sailing yachts, including the 12-Metre America’s Cup defenders COURAGEOUS, INTREPID and STARS AND STRIPES.

Through the 1960s and 70s she took part in countless offshore races, including at least two Transatlantics that we know of: the 1969 Newport to Cork, Ireland, Race, celebrating there the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, and one of no fewer than 27 Cruising Club of America yachts joining others from Royal Cruising Club and the host club fleet for the first of many Irish Cruising Club Cruises in Company - in all 91 yachts merrily cruised west Cork that summer. And she crossed again in the 1972 Bermuda to Bayona (Spain) Race in such iconic company as Tom Clark's BUCCANNEER, Alan Bond's APOLLO, Jim Kilroy's KIALOA, and Ron Amy's NORYEMA.

When KITTIWAKE/ AURORA's racing days came to an end she was purchased and moved to Lake Michigan where she spent the next 40 years plying the Great Lakes under the stewardship of a man who adored her and kept her in the care of the Palmer Johnson Shipyard of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, to manage her maintenance, upgrades and repairs to keep her in Bristol fashion.

With only three previous owners, AURORA’s current long-term custodian is a principal at Gannon and Benjamin Marine Railway in Vineyard Haven, MA, where she has continued to receive the care and upgrades she has been accustomed to.

Today, AURORA plies the coast from New England to the West Indies, as a classic, fast and comfortable family cruising yawl - and participant in classic yachting events. She has logged thousands of happy family sea-miles with her family of four.

Aurora represents a unique opportunity to own a capable, classic Yawl to cruise or live aboard with the safety, security and low maintenance that her proven design and aluminum construction provide.

©2022 Iain McAllister/ Sandeman Yacht Company Ltd.



Yacht designer, and later author, Alan Gurney's name will be forever associated with Bob Johnson's remarkable 1968 light displacement 73 ft/ 22 m multiple line-honours record older WINDWARD PASSAGE. Conceived when Gurney was 30, she's a yacht that still looks modern and fast over 50 years on.

Such had been Gurney's 1960s rise to prominence based in New York through his 20s, it's often forgotten that he was British: born in Birmingham and grounded thoroughly in naval architecture and yacht design during apprenticeships on England's south east coast, first with J. Francis Jones, and later with Kim Holman at Holman & Pye, who had also apprenticed to Jones.

But Gurney had a wanderlust. By 1960 he'd been hired by New York City-based Bill Tripp Jr and became skilled in designing for aluminium construction. Two years later he was working to his own account, still in NYC, a rival to Dick Carter in the promotion of sensible lighter displacement.

Gurney was sponsored early on by orders from the owners of two Tripp-designed Hinckley Bermuda 40s looking for something similar but different. The aluminium CCA-Rule 48ft yawl close sisters GUINEVERE, and KITTIWAKE - later renamed AURORA - were the very successful result, with KITTIWAKE coming 4th in the 1966 SORC, and GUINEVERE winning in 1967.

Many commissions would follow to Alan Gurney, including in 1973 GREAT BRITAIN II, elapsed time winner of the first two Whitbread Round The World Races, a competitor in all the rest, and possibly the yacht that has sailed more ocean miles than any other. But that wanderlust and a deep fascination with high latitudes would eventually take over, with further careers as an Arctic and Antarctic cruise guide and as an author of books about the history of navigating there; perhaps of most interest to the ordinary mortal sailor, a superb history of the compass.

[With acknowledgement to the past writings of Ted Jones who worked with Alan Gurney in one life and wrote about him in another]

©2022 Iain McAllister/ Sandeman Yacht Company Ltd.



- Welded aluminium
- 4.5 Tonnes lead ballast keel
- Hull Plating: 5 mm
- Framing: 0.375 in/ 9.525 mm x 1.75 in/ 44.45 mm on 10 in/ 25 cm centers
- Cockpit: 0.250 in/ 6.35 mm plate
- Professionally audio-gauged in 2007, 2009, and 2020
- No variance in readings, aluminum plate is in “as built” condition
- Topsides painted with Alexseal 2-part paint (2020)
- Aluminium deck with varnished teak trim (painted 2017)
- Aluminium deck beams
- Aluminium trunk cabin structure with cold moulded roof
- Aluminium rudder



The deck layout and equipment is as drawn with stout standing rigging and sensible robust running rigging systems. She is set up to fly a full spinnaker with pole or the Forespar telescoping cruising genoa pole. All headsail sheeting and furling lines are lead to the cockpit. AURORA is setup for short-handed sailing and has sailed extensively by a husband and wife.

- Painted aluminium deck
- Appropriately positioned deck prisms
- Varnished mahogany superstructure items and trim
- Varnished mahogany-capped aluminium toerail
- Stainless steel pushpit and pulpit
- Stainless steel stanchions and guardrails

- Welded aluminium mooring fairleads port and starboard
- Mooring cleats port and starboard
- Mizzen wood blocks sheet tackle to bridle at pushpit
- Large headsail/ spinnaker sheet sheaves at rail port and starboard

- Mizzen mast position
- Aluminium with mahogany coamings
- Raw laid teak seating and sole
- Alloy mainsheet track creating separate helm cockpit
- Mainsheet winch and cleat
- Lockers under port and starboard seats
- Shore power socket
- Edson/ Palmer Johnson steering pedestal and binnacle
- Stainless steel granny bar over
- 3 x Spoke leathered ship's wheel
- Primary winches: Barient 35
- Secondary winches: Barient 30
- Associated Chromed bronze cleats
- Aft bulkhead of trunk cabin
- Opening port to port; Axiom plotter/ radar display to starboard

- Aluminium structure
- Varnished mahogany uprights; cold moulded roof
- Roof fibreglassed and painted
- Mahogany sliding companionway hatch
- Aluminium hatch garage
- 1 x Set of solid mahogany drop/wash boards
- 1 x Set of screened drop/wash boards
- Sprayhood frame
- Varnished mahogany grabrails port and starboard
- Mahogany Dorade boxes port and starboard with large, tall cowls
- Small winches port and starboard
- Charlie Noble flue for cabin heater

- Genoa sheet deck track port and starboard
- Mahogany Dorade boxes port and starboard with large, tall cowls
- Gas bottle stowage box immediately fwd of deckhouse
- 2 x Aluminium, mahogany and plexiglass hatches over saloon
- Framed hatch screen

- Mahogany Dorade boxes port and starboard with large, tall cowls

- Large aluminium, mahogany and plexiglass forehatch over forepeak
- Framed hatch screen
- Spinnaker pole stowage to port
- Ideal 12 V vertical windlass with chain gipsy/ wildcat and warping drum
- Chain lock
- 2 x Stainless steel mooring cleats port and starboard
- Stowable inner forestay chainplate
- Dual stainless steel anchor channels and rollers over bow
- Stemhead fitting
- Aluminium Panama fairleads port and starboard
- 250 ft ⅜ in/ 9mm high test galvanized chain (2017)
- 1 x 45lb CQR anchor
- 1 x 40lb Danforth anchor
- 1 x 30lb Danforth anchor
- 1 x 35lb Bruce style anchor
- 150 ft 1¼ in / 32 mm 3-strand nylon anchor rode



Her traditional painted and varnished interior layout starts with the galley, navigation station, quarter berth and wide single berth aft. The mid-main saloon area includes the drop leaf table with transom berth settee’s and pilot berths above. There is ample locker storage throughout the boat. Continuing forward to starboard are 2-full height hanging lockers, and to port is the marine head with toilet and sink. Forward of this is the fo'c'sle with standing head room for stowage of sails, cruising gear, etc. Most forward is the chain locker with plenty of room ground tackle equipment.

- V-grooved, white painted headlining throughout
- Teak and holly cabin sole
- Conframo bunk fans
- LED reading and overhead lights

- Access to generator under cockpit
- Raised sole area under deckhouse
- Engine access under
- Grab rail
- Stowage are to starboard
- Oilskin locker
- Overhead grab rail

- Large stainless steel sink with mixer tap
- 3-burner Force 10 propane range/ oven (2022)
- Stowage racks and lockers
- Adler Barber AC driven refrigeration system

- Navigation station
- Navigator's/ Captain's cabin
- Chart table aft
- GPS display
- VHF Radio
- Car stereo
- Ship's electrical panel
- Single berth
- Stowage under

- Fiddled sideboards port and starboard; drawers under
- Dickinson diesel heater over port sideboard
- Locker over starboard sideboard
- Pull out settees port and starboard
- Pilot berths outboard
- Lockers under
- Shelves outboard
- Bookshelf at port bulkhead
- Overhead grab rails/ curtain rails port and starboard
- Sideboard starboard fwd
- Mast position

- 2 x Full height hanging lockers to stbd
- WC Compartment to port
- Marine toilet and ceramic sink unit with mixer tap
- Bulkhead mounted cabinet with mirror
- Natural light via Dorade box



Aluminium spars (painted 2016)
- Main mast and boom
- Mizzen mast and boom
- Forespar retractable cruising spinnaker/ genoa pole
- Rigid spinnaker pole
- All standing rigging replaced in 2017
- Stowable inner forestay
- Running back stays (stowable)
- Fixed, adjustable backstay
- Lifelines replaced in 2016
- All running rigging in very good condition
- Many running rigging spares
- Misc running rigging hardware (snatch blocks, vangs, etc)
- Roller fuller: Furlflex 300S

- Main: good condition
- Slab reefing (3-reefs); all done at the gooseneck
- Mizzen: good condition
- 135% Genoa: good
- 155% Genoa: good
- Yankee: excellent
- Staysail: excellent
- Full spinnaker: excellent
- Storm trysail: excellent
- Several mizzen staysails and spinnakers: Good
- Miscellaneous older sails

- Sail covers
- Dodger with attachable sailing cockpit awning
- Main mooring/anchor awning



- Westerbeke W-58 4-cylinder Diesel 58 hp (1975)
- 3950 Hours
- Hurth 2:1 reduction gear
- Stainles steel 1¼ in / 32mm propeller shaft; flexible coupling
- 18 in Featherstream 3-blade feathering propeller
- Nex-Gen 5.5KW Kubota diesel based AC Generator (2017)
- Edson/ Palmer Johnson cable steering system

DC Electrical:
- All Circuit breaker protected
- 2 x 4D AGM batteries (2022)
- 1 x Group 27 AGM battery (gen set start – 2022)
- Updated wiring
- All LED lighting
- 125 A Engine-driven alternator with Balmer smart regulator
- 60 A Xantrex World Charge battery charger
AC Electrical:
- All circuit breaker protected
- 30 A shore power system
- 5.5 kW diesel generator
- AC electric driven refrigeration system
- AC powered Xantrex 60 amp battery charger

- Fuel (aluminum): 54 Gal/ 204 L
- Water (built-in aluminium): 130 Gal/ 492 L (in 3-tanks)
- Waste (polypropylene): 25 Gal/ 95 L (2017)
- 2 x 10# aluminum propane tanks (2017)
- All updated PEKS plumbing
- 4 Gal/ 15 L Isotherm water heater; engine warmed and AC electric (2016)
- Pressure hot/cold water
- Cockpit shower
- Seawater anchor/deck wash system



- 6 in/ 15 cm Ritchie steering compass
- Raymarine Main System
- Axiom Hybrid touch 12” chart plotter with 4K radome, depth sounder, and AIS (2017)
- Furuno GPS Navigator GP-31 (2007)
- Simrad AC20 Auto Pilot. Clutched, chain driven

- Icom M422 VHF with Command Mic (2007)
- Iridium Go Sat system

- Sony AM/FM



- Primary bilge pump: 12 V DC Whale diaphragm type
- Secondary bilge pump: Rule 2000 with high water alarm
- Manual bilge pump: Whale Gusher (in cockpit)
- LED Nav-lights, tricolor/anchor light
- 4 x B-1 Fire extinguishers



- Monitor servo pendulum wind-vane steering system (removable)
- Boarding ladder
- 4 x Fenders
- Misc dock lines
- Set of Alan Gurney drawings


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