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William Fife III 71 ft Bermudan Cutter 1926/2009 - Sold



William Fife III 71 ft Bermudan Cutter 1926/2009

Designer William Fife III
Builder William Fife & Son, Fairlie
Date 1926
Length overall 81 ft 2 in / 24.75 m
Length deck 71 ft 3 in / 21.72 m
Length waterline 53 ft 6 in / 16.3 m
Beam 14 ft 6 in / 4.42 m
Draft 9 ft 10 in / 3 m
Displacement 37 Tonnes
Construction Carvel teak planking on sawn oak frame
Engine Cummins 4-cylinder 80 hp Diesel
Location France
Price Sold

These details are provisional and may be amended



Mere mention of her name imparts a legendary tone to any yachting conversation: HALLOWE'EN was always guaranteed fame by pedigree - she is among the most beautifully proportioned of all Fife yachts - and subsequently earned it in four quite distinct lives. Starting with a record setting line-honours win only two months from launching in the second edition of what became the Fastnet Race, and more recently in winning overall the Panerai Mediterranean Championship. Moreover, while most Fifes of this size are gaff rigged, HALLOWE’EN’s beautifully conceived Bermudan rig, as original, allows relatively easy sail handing for short-handed racing and cruising with friends instead of a team of professionals.



- All mast fittings removed and re-bedded
- Standing rigging renewed

Supervision by Winterbotham & Partners
- Major structural refit
- Meeting MCA small vessel compliance for commercial use

Work included:
- Removal and refitting majority of joinery and linings (for access)
- Removal of tanks, main engine, generator and stern gear
- Removal and refastening of ballast keel; new keel bolts; new throat bolts
- Tab washers replaced overlapping the floors to spread keel load
- Local graving pieces to wood keel
- Removal of garboards nos. I & 2 planks over the length of the vessel
- Removal of plank nos. 4 & 5 on the aft part of the vessel
- Eventual replacement of these planks and recaulking
- Removal and reinstatement of covering boards in way of chainplates
- Removal and refastening of chain plates
- Local partial and full frame replacements in way of chainplates and floors
- Steel floors overhauled; coated/ replaced as necessary
- Engine bearers removed; grit blasted and coated before being reinstalled
- Stern gear replaced, including new shaft and 'A' bracket
- Fuel and water tanks cleaned; overhauled; coated; re-installed
- Removal, servicing, reinstatement of skin fittings
- Cockpit drains replaced with greater diameter to Code
- Engine overhauled and re-fitted
- New exhaust lines, water cooling lines and fuel system to Code
- Ventilation to engine compartment improved
- Interior upholstery replaced with new to conform to commercial code requirements.
- Main anchor chain replaced and increased in length.
- Electrics and wiring overhauled.
- Bilge water level alarm fitted as required by commercial coding.
- Gas detection alarm fitted as required by commercial coding.
- Deck hatch securing arrangement modified to allow opening from either side
- Spars stripped and re-varnished.
- Rigging all replaced with new.

Naval architecture by Cees van Tongeren/ Van de Stadt Design
- Major refit
- New dedicated bermudan cutter rig designed by Cees van Tongeren
- New deck winches arrangement
- Mast, boom and associated fittings by Gilbert Pasqui, Villefranche

- Major restoration
- Given a re-used Herreshoff yawl rig (later replaced)
- Mizzen designed to be easily removed (later discarded)



- Coded for charter - MCA Small Commercial Sailing Vessel
- SCV2A Compliant




British ocean racing was in its infancy in 1925 - a small fleet of workboat influenced, short-ended yachts - when 48-year-old Royal Yacht Squadron member Lt Col Joseph Francis Noel Baxendale ordered a new boat from the famous Scottish shipyard of William Fife & Son. Not, as many later assumed, specifically to win the 1926 'Ocean Race', as the Fastnet Race was then named, but simply as a fast cruising cutter for family sailing adventures. Unhindered by any rating rule, William Fife Jr ('III') produced a model that to the hard core oceangoing yachtsman of the time must have been the very antithesis of a handy cruising vessel. From her bermudan rig - its low aspect ratio typical of the times - to her relatively low freeboard and long overhangs, she was dubbed a “Cruising 15-Metre”. But the only real reference to an International Rule 15-Metre is the waterline length of 50 ft/ 15 m. Her stout wooden scantlings are those of a boat for sailing the high seas, and her lines allow her to do that in a speedy yet seakindly manner.

Baxendale had to join the queue at Fairlie. He'd ordered late and the yard's production capabilities were fully employed winter 1925-1926 in building no fewer than three international 12-Metres (CERIGO, MODESTY and MOYANA) and two International 6-Metres (REG and SAGA). It was already summer by the time HALLOWE'EN was launched, just in time to enter some 'Clyde Fortnight' regattas, sailing in the 2nd division against the big Fife schooner SUSANNE and the 90 ft Fife cutter VIDA VI, while rubbing shoulders with a 'Big Class' of the cutters BRITANNIA and LULWORTH, the Herreshoff schooner WESTWARD, and the 23-Metres SHAMROCK and WHITE HEATHER.

HALLOWE'EN then slipped south for Cowes Week, and the start of The Ocean Race. In answer to her critics she rounded the Fastnet Rock seven hours ahead of the next competitor, the Royal Engineers Yacht Club's 50 ft/ 15 m Camper & Nicholsons yawl ILEX, and set a course elapsed time record - 93 hours 38 minutes - which stood until 1939 when it was broken by the German Navy’s Herman Gruber-designed NORDWIND. In fairness to HALLOWE’EN, by 1939 the course had been shortened, leaving the Solent via the Needles Channel, rather than the long slog leaving the Isle of Wight to starboard of 1926.

In true British fashion it was all rather understated at the time. Baxendale was a cruising yachtsman of typically British stock: a member also of the Royal Cruising Club; a man of means who on return from being badly shaken by his First World War battlefield experiences had shunned the family business in favour of becoming a Hampshire gentleman farmer. Attracted to yacht cruising as his relaxation, his first craft was typical of the utilitarian type then considered necessary for comfortable cruising, a 39-foot cutter along the albeit sweet lines of the Loch Fyne Skiff fishing boat type.

Perhaps it was the lack of comfort and family space; perhaps an extension of his love for thoroughbred horses; perhaps that he had been recently admitted to membership of the exclusive Royal Yacht Squadron… Whatever the reason, the fact is that this owner of a cruising fishing boat came to the hallowed Fife slipways in October 1925 to order his new 71 feet on deck “Fast Cruiser”. Like trading a Jeep for a Rolls Royce.

There may have been some idea in the back of Baxendale’s mind about competing in the Fastnet Race - her designed waterline length just fitted the maximum limit set by the Ocean Racing Club (it was yet to become Royal) - but it certainly can’t have been in Fife’s remit to design a Race winner because she in no way suited the Club’s rule; in fact, under it she was heavily penalised for her shapely overhangs and relatively low freeboard.

In her second season, with extended cruising to warmer climes planned, HALLOWEEN was converted to gaff rig and she sailed south to the Mediterranean. Her log recorded arriving at Palma de Mallorca as the only yacht there; how things have changed!

In 1931 HALLOWEEN's ownership transferred to Norwegian wine dealer, past Kongelig Norsk Seilforening Vice-Commodore (only the King or Queen can be Commodore of the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club), and Fife fanatic, Alfred W.G. Larsen, becoming the penultimate in his series of yachts by both Fife and Johan Anker - re-named MAGDA XII. After seven seasons of cruising and racing the idyllic waters of Oslo Fjord and beyond, the third phase of HALLOWEEN's life began in 1938.

Under another new name, MAIKAI II, Boston lawyer John B. Mickles brought HALLOWE'EN to the US east coast, and fitted her first auxiliary motor, but it was in her next guise there from 1952 as Pitney Bowes CEO Walter H. Wheeler's COTTON BLOSSOM IV, that she became a fierce competitor on the offshore racing circuit under a yawl rig designed by Rod Stephens. The Wheeler family kept COTTON BLOSSON IV after his death in 1977, and in 1986 donated her to the Museum of Yachting at Fort Adams, Newport, RI, where from 1988 a funding syndicate led by Adrian Pearsall put HALLOWE'EN (again) through a major restoration led by Ron DuPre. This work included a new teak deck, many repaired and replaced frames, and a used but immaculate Herreshoff rig that allowed the mizzen to be removed to bring her back to something like the original bermudan cutter configuration when desired.

In 1992 the promotion of HALLOWEE'N as a charter yacht also available to purchase came under the umbrella of ENDEAVOUR owner Elizabeth Meyer's J-Class Management company, leading to a return to Europe, and life phase four in the Mediterranean. Through the mid-1990s in Georges Ruiz's ownership she cruised the Spanish Costa Brava, with Cadaqués a favourite summer station.

After a period of layup, in 1998 new owner, Dutchman Paul van der Bijl, put HALLOWE'EN through a major refit that included the present rig, designed by Cees van Tongeren of Van de Stadt and beautifully built by Gilbert Pasqui at Villefranch-sur-Mer. HALLOWE'EN's subsequent performance under van der Bijl - with her rig designer at the helm - and from 2007 in the ownership of an Irish syndicate of very experienced racing sailors, has seen this wonderful yacht come alive again - culminating in winning the Panerai Mediterranean Championship in 2017.

©2023 Iain McAllister/ Sandeman Yacht Company Ltd.



- Carvel teak planking on sawn oak frame
- Coated steel plate and strap floors
- Teak laid deck
- Teak deck carpentry



- Meissner chromed bronze custom winch package (1999)

- Lewmar 3000 Windlass
- 90 m of 16 mm Galvanised chain



- ‘Force 10’ gas cooker/stove and oven.
- Fridge, 60 L (2015)
- Extractor fan

- 12V fans in all cabins

- Additional pipe cots for forepeak

- Stereo Pioneer 2016



- Designed close to original but higher aspect ratio
- Designed by Cees van Tongeren/ Van de Stadt Design
- Sitka spruce spars by Pasqui, Villefranche (1999)
- Standing rigging new 2018
- Wooden custom blocks by Dryade 1999

- Running rigging by Amazing Rigging, Palma; renewed regularly

- Mainsail (Quantum 2017)
- Yankee #2 (Quantum 2017)
- Yankee #3 (old)
- A2 (Quantum 2018)
- A5 (Quantum 2019)
- Light genoa (North 2020)
- Staysail (North 2020)
- Cruising main; double reefed (North)
- Trysail
- Boomed self-tacking staysail
- Staysail (Quantum 2017)

- Mainsail cover and awning (2018)
- Winter covers full boat (3 x tents)



- Cummins 4-cylinder 80 hp Diesel main engine

- 1200 W inverter (2016)
- Isolating transformer

- Diesel: 300L in 2 x 150L tanks
- Range 300NM
- Water: 500L in poly plastic welded seam tanks (2021)
- Hot water: 30 L - 220V immersion, and engine calorifier



- Danforth steering compass
- Furuno GPS navigator 2021
- Raymarine chart plotter and autopilot (2007)
- Raymarine radar (2007)
- B and G Hydra 2000

- Icom VHF (2017)
- 3 x Icom handheld VHF



- 1 x EPIRB
- All safety items for current MCA SCV2A commercial coding
- Flare kit
- Extinguishers 3 x 3 kg & 2 x 9 kg
- 2 x Sea Safe 6-person liferafts (2021)
- 1 x Sea Safe 6-person valise life raft 6 man
- Gas alarm
- Bilge high water alarm
- 1 x Scavenger bilge Jabsco pump
- 1 x Manual bilge pump Blakes
- 1 x belt driven clutch pump Jabsco



- Zodiac 3.6 m tender 3.6m
- Yamaha 4-stroke 20 hp outboard (2020)
- Boarding ladder
- Misc. spare parts for winches; windlass; engine; rigging
- Extremely large chilly bin for cold beers and rose



Sailing: 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