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32 ft Berthon 8 Ton Gauntlet 1937/2011



32 ft Berthon 8 Ton Gauntlet 1937/2011

Designer Rodney W. Paul & H.G. May
Builder Berthon Boat Company
Date 1937
Length overall 32 ft 0 in / 9.75 m
Length deck 32 ft 0 in / 9.75 m
Length waterline 26 ft 6 in / 8.08 m
Beam 8 ft 5 in / 2.56 m
Draft 5 ft 6 in / 1.68 m
Displacement 8 Tonnes
Construction Pitch pine on oak
Engine Volvo Penta D1-30 29 hp Diesel
Location United Kingdom
Price GBP 75,000

These details are provisional and may be amended



Typically of all the characterful, thoroughly English in style, canoe-sterned Gauntlet Class yachts built by Berthon of Lymington from the mid-1930s, MITTEN has had many suitors; it’s hard not to fall in love with their undoubted aesthetic and practical charms - and abilities. MITTEN’s early list of owners reads like a who’s who of British industry; then, over the past half century and more blessed with custodians prepared to invest in her future without compromising authenticity; doing the right thing by her structure and, equally importantly, using her. In present ownership, after a major refit by her original builder, for the past decade MITTEN has been wafted and seasoned by the salty Western Mediterranean air: cruising the Tyrrhenian Sea and appearing at the occasional classic regatta - like an English country cottage time machine teleported to Tuscany. Sounds wonderful – don’t you think?



- New 13.2m Columbian pine mast
- New lower and upper spreaders
- All supplied by Collars

Re-fit by Berthon overseen by marine surveyor Julian Pizey
- New engine
- All new electrics - all old incl cables stripped out
- 2 x New stainless steel fuel tanks
- New stemhead fitting
- New laminated upper stem, king plank, stern timber head
- Chart table area re-designed including a fridge instalation
- New berth cushions designed to make a double berth when insert fitted
- New sink and hand shower in forecabin; shower also reaches deck
- New pressurised hot and cold water system forward
- New stainless steel fresh water tank
- Complete new sail wardrobe from Sanders of Lymington

Keelbolts and floors replaced in bronze



The Gauntlet Class was born in 1934 when Berthon Boat Company's Harry G. May was asked by a potential client to design a boat that would be suitable for offshore racing and cruising. However, after considerable effort had been put into designing the yacht, the client had second thoughts and went to Philip of Dartmouth. May was somewhat put out, threw the gauntlet down, and challenged the other yard's design to a race. May’s boat won and the Gauntlet Class was born. Initially based on a 12-ton yacht, the success of the class soon meant that there were versions ranging from 26-Tons to 8-Tons. MITTEN was the very first of the 8-Ton Class, hence the name which has remained unchanged from her launch. Like many Berthon builds, her construction was sponsored by the yard's Harry G. May and afterwards sold to her first owner the Hon. Clive Pearson.



Launched August 1937

It's most probably accidental, but there is a consistent theme running through some of MITTEN’s early ownerships after she was sold in her first season by The Berthon Boat Company’s Harry G. May. Three owners prior to 1960 were from families whose money was made, or originally made, in the industrial midlands and north of England, and who gravitated south for business and/ or leisure reasons.

MITTEN’s first true owner, the Hon. Clive Pearson, was born into the family building and civil engineering business, S. Pearson & Son, that his father Weetman Pearson 1st Viscount Cowdray guided through the late 19th Century and early 20th to become one of the world’s largest conglomerates. In 1920 they suddenly changed emphasis mainly to publishing, and as Pearson Corporation remain one of the largest in that field with many of their imprints commonplace names.

Viscount Cowdray died in 1927 leaving a fortune of £400m (equal to c.£25 billion now). His son, the Hon Clive, became chairman and would have been a prime prospect to nurture for Harry May. So it was to be: Pearson kept MITTEN through the second world war - during which he became Chairman of British Overseas Airways (BOAC), another Pearson funded operation which in 1974 merged with British European Airways (BEA) to become British Airways - and when war was over he ordered the 14-ton Gauntlet CLOUD IN THE SUN.

The first post-war owner, Kenneth Appleby, also benefitted from the powerhouse of the north: a successful Blackburn flour milling family that having sold out to the organisation that would eventually become Rank Hovis McDougall, in 1928 upped sticks to Hampshire and developed Botley Flour Mills which the family still owns though no longer producing flour. One Appleby descendant runs a successful superyacht management business out of the beautiful old mill buildings.

Next, in 1948 came Lloyd’s of London insurance underwriter and ‘member’ Jack Bryans, a still remembered leading light of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club who would eventually become Commodore. Involved in a post-war push for offshore racing out of RLymYC, he stated in a 1970 profile his preference for long distance races. MITTEN spread her wings in his ownership, with 1951 their most successful season, taking 1st in the Lymington to Guernsey Race, and 2nd in Class 3 of the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s prestigious Cowes-Dinard Race.

1952 into the mid 1950’s MITTEN was moored in Poole Harbour under the ownership of Peter L. Wood, a member of Parkstone YC, then, some time between 1955 and 1957, she moved slightly east to picturesque but shallow Keyhaven, the summer home and yachting station of northern industrialist and Royal Air Force Group Captain J.P. Cecil-Wright who cruised MITTEN in the English West Country, the Channel Islands and France.

From 1960, MITTEN’s changes of ownership are hard to keep up with. Her late 1960s into early 1970s custodian was exiled Scotsman J. Corbett Stark, first of Hornchurch and Billericay, Essex, then Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. Stark won the Clyde Cruising Club’s Ogg Cup for his beautifully concisely written account of the 1971 delivery cruise from what had been her Essex home mooring at Cardnell’s Yard, Maylandsea, to Beecham Marina on the River Severn.

Stark was a canoe stern aficionado, his previous yacht one of the pretty 27ft Bangor S-Class sloops built in Northern Ireland. MITTEN’s log entry for 2nd July 1971 records: “Alongside the Dart Marina this morning for fuel and water, the boatman admired our teak brightwork and canoe stern, both of which I’m rather partial to myself.” He also had a wry comment on marinas, which were gradually appearing at that time: “These marinas are super to visit, but they make everything very easy and are therefore rather bad for character building.”

A further J.C. Stark MITTEN cruise log was published in the 1974 edition of the Clyde Cruising Club journal, recording a summer cruise from the Severn to Poole, after which she was sold to Cornwall and well known there under two ownerships followed by a brief period on Hampshire's River Hamble.

By 1985 and approaching her half century, MITTEN fell into the kind of ownership every yacht of a certain age needs. Martin Clucas of West Mersea, Essex may be considered one of the main reasons she’s still with us. Over thirteen years of fastidious caretaking he replaced all her iron floors and keelbolts in bronze, and refastened the hood ends with bronze screws. This was the early years of classic regattas; the always immaculately turned out MITTEN was a regular attendee at events as far west as Fowey through the 1990s, winning concours and racing prizes. Clucas also cruised her as far south as Gibraltar, often sailed single-handed.

Martin Clucas’s good works were then put to a stiff test after he sold MITTEN in 1998: six years of near abandonment at Dover followed. But she came through it, rescued in 2004 by Nicholas Gray and remarkably requiring mostly only very deep cosmetic refit. In 2007 she moved west once again to Plymouth under the ownership of Chris Humphries who cruised extensively on both shores of the western English channel and resurrected MITTEN's habit of picking up racing and concours prizes, especially at Plymouth Classics.

MITTEN was purchased by her present owners in 2010 and returned to her original builders for a major refit 2010-2011, including structural work and adjustments to the interior to improve comfort for long periods on board, in particular her new life at the Italian island of Elba, where Portoferraio has been her home port for a decade; the wonderful Tyrrhenian Sea her playground; and she's been professionally maintained by the ESAOM yard there. In recent years Mitten has been a participant in the Argentario Panerai Classic Regatta at Porto Santo Stefano, and in races around Corsica and Elba.

©2024 Iain McAllister/ Sandeman Yacht Company Ltd.



- Pitch pine 1 in carvel planking
- Oak longitudinal structure
- Upper part of stem laminated (2011)
- Oak frames doubled in futtocks midships
- Intermediate steamed rock elm timbers
- Lead keel
- Bronze keelbolts
- Cast bronze floors; bronze bolts
- Burmese teak deck structures
- Epoxy cloth coated tongued & grooved pine deck
- Mimics a vintage canvas sheathed deck
- Completely watertight but maintains original character



- Epoxy cloth coated pine deck - looks like vintage canvas deck
- Varnished teak margin and covering boards
- Mahogany central king plank
- Varnished teak rubbing strake and toerail
- Stanchions with single lifelines

- Stern light
- Faired bronze sternpost capping
- Bronze ensign staff socket
- 2 x Bronze mooring fairleads
- Bronze and teak mooring cleats port and starboard
- Rudder head in varnished mahogany fairing
- Stainless steel tiller socket
- Laminated ash tiller with attractive decorative beading
- Bronze mushroom vent
- Vanished teak hatch to large lazarette

- Varnished teak coamings
- Cockpit well - paintred sides
- Raw teak cockpit sole grating
- Bronze Barient 22 self-tailing sheet winches port and starboard
- Associated traditional cleats at coaming sides port and starboard
- Varnished teak seats port and starboard
- Varnished teak bridge deck
- Engine throttle control

- Bronze Highfield runner levers port and starboard
- Associated stainless steel running backstay sheaves
- Rail mounted bronze headsail sheet tracks and cars port and starboard

- Varnished teak uprights; nicely radiused fwd corners
- 6 x Bronze opening portholes and matching bronze drip catchers
- Epoxy cloth coated pine roof - looks like vintage canvas
- Varnished teak sliding companionway hatch slightly offset to port
- Varnished teak washboards
- Varnished margin boards
- Varnished grab rails port and starboard
- Liferaft stowage chocks
- Bronze mushroom ventilator stbd fwd over WC space

- Traditional mahogany running light boards in lower rigging

- Varnished teak forehatch; bulls-eye light; ventilation props
- Bronze mushroom ventilator - upstand type
- 2 x Wood cleats at king plank
- Anchor stowage for 2 x CQR anchors.
- 60 m of 10 mm calibrated chain and 3-braid nylon rode
- Electric Lewmar 1000 W vertical drum chain windlass
- Stainless steel stemhead fitting/ bow roller (2011)
- Bronze mooring fairleads port and starboard
- Bronze and teak mooring cleats port and starboard



Down 5 x steps to Galley/ Navigation area
- Engine access aft of steps
- Varnished teak cabin sole
- Varnished teak coachroof sides
- 6 x Bronze opening portholes and matching bronze drip catchers
- Carlin mounted grabrails port and starboard
- White painted grooved t&g coachroof deckhead
- Attractively cambered deck beams

- Taylor’s paraffin gimballed 2 x burner hob and oven
- Set into a varnished mahogany galley work surface
- Stainless steel inset sink aft end
- Cold water tap via Whale Gusher foot pump in sole
- 6 x Teak-framed lockers under side decks matching sheer profile
- Additional storage below sink and under port cockpit seat
- Access to stainless steel paraffin storage tank
- Electric lights

- Doubles as galley work surface
- Varnished mahogany chart table
- Fwd lifting part access to green baize lined chart, nav equipt stowage
- Aft lifting part access to Waeco Coolfreeze CF-35 portable ‘fridge box’
- LED white/ red lamp over chart table
- Mahogany cabinet with engraved switch panel for all boat electrics
- Further mahogany angled panel for nav and comms
- Camper and Nicholsons matching clock and barometer set
- Stowage for steering and hand-bearing compasses
- White painted t&g locker below: 2 x large oak storage drawers
- Removable t&g panel to access side of fridge box
- Old quarter berth area aft of chart table
- Houses the inverter, the PC and general stowage
- Varnished mahogany slatted hull sides; bookshelf

Substantial t&g white painted semi bulkheads port and starboard
- Moulded mahogany trim

- Settee berths port and starboard; stowage under
- Trotter box to starboard under chart table
- Convert to a large double with table removed
- Profiled teak framed locker doors outboard port and starboard; brass catches
- Lockers match sheer line; excellent access to good stowage
- Also spaces for book stowage, bottles etc.
- Brass gimballed oil lamps fwd
- Brass inclinometer at forward bulkhead
- Mahogany drop leaf removable table locates into the teak sole
- 3 x Deckhead lights
- 2 x Reading lights

Fwd white painted t&g bulkhead
- Teak framed door access to the forecabin and WC.

Toilet to starboard
- Baby Blake’s head; porcelain bowl and bronze pumps
- Seacocks easily accessible; pipe loops above the waterline
- Deckhead lights
Wash basin unit to port
- Pressure water system (fwd only - not in galley)
- Hot and cold hand shower head; enough length for deck use
- White painted tongue and groove locker below
- Deckhead light
- Roomy double V-berth with thick cushions
- Can also be 2 x single berths
- Varnished mahogany slatted hull sides
- White painted deck head
- Chain locker fwd; compartments for chain and warp
- Ample storage for sails etc under berths
- Forehatch over for ventilation, light and access
- 40 Gallon stainless steel freshwater tank under berths

Double berth in saloon
Double berth in fo’csle



- Collars Columbian pine deck- stepped mast (2017)
- Appropriated steel support structure below
- 2 x Pairs of ash 'propeller' style spreaders (Collars 2017)
- Stainless steel standing rigging (2012)
- Inner and outer forestays down from hounds at jumper struts
- Inner forestay is removable at foredeck
- 2 x Lewmar self-tailing halyard winches
- Original wooden boom and gooseneck fittings
- Spinnaker pole stowed on mast
- 2 x spinnaker halyards

By Sanders Sails cream Dacron narrow panels (2011)
- Mainsail; slab reefing
- No 1 Rollers genoa
- Staysail with reefing points
Other sails
- Code zero/ lightweight asymmetric (Made Elba 2016)
- Cruising chute 1988
- Lightweight asymmetric (2013)
- Older spinnaker
- Tri-sail; storm jib

- Mainsail boom cover
- Complete cover for deck and topsides
- Sprayhood
- Bimini
- Tiller cover



- Volvo Penta D1-30 29 hp (2011; 394.1 hrs)
- Traditional drive train
- 15 in x 12 in pitch 3 x fixed blade bronze propeller in aperture

- 12V System (all new 2011)
- 1 x Domestic battery
- 1 x Engine start battery
- 220 V Shorepower charger
- Merlin Smartguage batteries monitor

- 2 x Stainless steel 80L diesel tanks (2011)
- 1 x Stainless steel water tank in forepeak (2011)
- 2 x Small water tanks in bilges (2011)



- Traditional steering compass
- Traditional hand bearing compass
- Tacktic instruments
- Wind, speed, depth and hand held
- Marine PC and Monitor integrated with instruments
- AIS also integrated with PC software
- Raymarine auto-pilot
- Ship's Camper and Nicholsons clock and barometer

- Furuno Navtex



- 1 x Manual bilge pump
- 2 x Electric bilge pumps
- 6-Person Plastimo liferaft
- SeaMe active radar reflector
- Fire extinguishers
- Jordan’s series drogue; custom fittings for aft quarter of the hull



- Riva-type boarding ladder (hull fittings supplied, but not fitted)



Main and Argentario: James Robinson Taylor


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