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Stow & Son 50 ft Gaff Yawl 1900 / 2019



Stow & Son 50 ft Gaff Yawl 1900 / 2019

Designer Harry T Stow
Builder Stow & Son, Shoreham-by-Sea
Date 1900
Length overall 70 ft 0 in / 21.34 m
Length deck 49 ft 6 in / 15.09 m
Length waterline 40 ft 0 in / 12.19 m
Beam 11 ft 3 in / 3.43 m
Draft 5 ft 8 in / 1.73 m
Displacement 15.2 Tonnes
Construction Teak, pine & iroko on oak and elm
Engine Perkins M50 4 cyl 50 hp diesel
Location United Kingdom
Price GBP 175,000

These details are provisional and may be amended



Described in the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club's 1947 Centenary Book as a "shoal draft cruiser with remarkable windward qualities", VOLUTA's sailing abilities and absolute charm, together with the standard of her original build by Stow & Son, have greatly contributed to her survival. It was her charm and plight that first attracted the present owner, and it is fair to say saviour, in 2004. Falling in love came during his first voyage with her, and for almost twenty years he has restored and refitted this Victorian gem and enjoyed her as the family cruiser-racer. VOLUTA’s shallow draft, generous cockpit and deck areas, and light and practical accommodation offer many very elegant possibilities.



My 18 years of ownership have involved more rebuilding than sailing! The initial delivery trip from Rhodes to La Ciotat, France, where I was to start the renovation, was when I properly fell for VOLUTA. Through three full gales in a windy November Mediterranean Sea she performed superbly: sea kindly, fast, biddable, and, like all my favourite boats, she is one who looks after you rather than vice versa! In more moderate winds she kept up good speeds with a very kindly motion. As her first owner, George MacAndrew, said back in 1900, she is a boat of great initial stability, slow to spill the gin and tonics! In La Ciotat, over the course of three years I embarked upon the first large refit (detailed below). In 2007 I moved back to Cornwall, so launched VOLUTA in a part finished state, and she came home up the Rhône, through Paris and into the Channel at Honfleur. The French canals are beautiful and make a wonderful trip - and certainly highlight the advantages of a shallow draft vessel: you would be hard pushed to get another 50ft sailing classic to the Med by this route! I have been constantly amazed by the epic voyage of the discovery of VOLUTA’s history - of which I am sure there is still much more to be learned - as well as the physical survival of this boat which was built with the best materials available at the time, by wonderfully skilled craftsmen, to a unique design which has proved so very successful for so long.



- Removed plywood sub deck
- Replaced with 2 x 9 mm Robbins marine plywood epoxied together
- Glued and screwed to the deck beams
- Re-machined and replaced 17 mm thick teak deck
- Epoxied and screwed to ply sub deck
- Caulked with TDS to full depth of planks
- Screws plugged to give minimum 10 mm of wear
- New aft king plank
- New bronze rudder stock bearing
- New tiller
- New cockpit, ply and teak
- Fitted 4 Gibb 9CR sheet winches
- Repainted Awlgrip topsides
- Revarnished everything with at least 10 coats Le Tonkinois and Epifanes
- Repainted and decorated interior
- Rewired and serviced engine
- New water pump for engine
- Fitted new 2 x 200 Ah batteries and new wiring for DC panel.
- Fitted new 12 V submersible bilge pump.
- Fitted Taylors paraffin 30 cooker
- Fitted restored antique tip up sink in head
- New Jabsco head and pipework
- Fitted diesel heater – Eberspacher ducting, copper exhaust.
- New mainsail.
- New saloon covers.
- New fuel tank
- New flexible water tank
- New mizzen gaff
- Many new elm blocks with bronze bindings
- Nearly all new running rigging

- Replaced oak mast step
- Replaced 1 inch bronze keel bolts
- Refaired and replaced forward deadwood
- Repaired forward knee
- Fitted new mast built by Ashley Butler; standing rigging by Traditional Rigging of Bristol

- Replaced 12 + frames
- Rebuilt counter stern
- Fitted new bulwark stanchions, bulwarks and cap rail
- Installed rudder trunk tube
- Fitted coaming cladding and deck margins
- Built new topmast rig
- Built new boom
- Built new bumpkin
- Renovated existing spars
- Took boat back to wood and repainted
- Traditional paint below waterline and Awlgrip above
- Re-formed scarf at front end of lead keel by cutting and recasting
- Replaced approx. 50% of bilge stringer each side
- Refastened stringer with copper bar riveted and silicone bronze screws
- Refaired and repainted coachroof top with non skid Awlgrip
- Fitted samson posts
- Fitted new stem ironwork incorporating lifting bowsprit system with twin forestays
- New ironwork for masts and booms

- Removed rusted solid steel centreplate
- Removed steel centreboard box which was leaking badly
- Fixed keel issue, at the same time closing the centreboard slot
- Closed in a way that it is a simple procedure to open again
- and restore the centreboard, if so desired
- Replaced stern post
- Replaced stern knee
- Large hook scarf repair to the stem
- Replaced the rudder
- Started rebuilding the counter
- Repaired the horn timbers
- Removed doghouse, lowering it to the original height
- Tied it in with the rest of the coachroof by ...
- ... laminating 18 mm ply on top of the existing tongue and groove pine
- Removed the engine
- Replaced engine under a new part of raised deck at the front of the cockpit
- V-drive box, improving interior space
- Removed, cleaned up and replaced all the original wrought Iron floors
- Replacing 2 x floors where it was necessary, and refastened with bronze bolts
- Replaced 12 or more frames
- Replaced the garboards, stealers and half a dozen more planks in iroko
- Refastened the boat entirely under the water with silicone bronze screws
- Refastened the boat where necessary above the water with silicone bronze screws
- Replaced all centreline bolts with new bronze bolts
- Removed and restored the original Thomas Reid and Sons capstan windlass
- New forehatch matching historical photograph



The story of VOLUTA begins with the desire of her first owner, George MacAndrew - a member of the MacAndrew shipping and shipowning family who took his family holidays at Seaview on the Isle of Wight - to have a boat which could be moored relatively close inshore at that rather open roadstead.

Befitting merchant ancestors who employed fast schooners to speed fresh fruit from Iberia to England, MacAndrew was a serial boat owner and astute yachtsman who had previously commissioned boats and yachts from several Solent builders. Outlined in his commonplace book, 'Notes relating to my Sea Boats and Yachts 1886 to 1902', he describes both his adventures in said craft and his dealings with the boatbuilders themselves in a charming glimpse into a distant age, when yacht cruising was still a fledgling sport.

Although not an 'amateur designer', MacAndrew was deeply involved in the conception of his new yachts and had the wherewithal to experiment in miniature. One such experiment, the 17 ft 'scientifically designed miniature yacht' CYPROEA, built by Lukes of Hamble in 1890, became the genesis for VOLUTA together with lessons learned from his previous 34 ft cruising yacht IANTHINA. MacAndrew’s good experience of having IANTHIA delivered on time and well built by Stow of Shoreham, about 30% more cheaply than Summers & Payne of Southampton had quoted, made it an easy decision to trust VOLUTA’s build to the Shoreham yard. The yacht names were all from types of sea shells.

Of VOLUTA’s design MacAndrew wrote: “I had often thought when sailing the CYPROEA what a fine cruising yacht would result from multiplying each dimension of her by two, this was my guide in deciding dimensions, but the waterline length was increased 4’6” beyond twice the CYPROEA’s, and, above water, the length was further extended by a long counter – on the whole the model and characteristics seemed very similar to the smaller boat with all her excellent qualities.”

Enthusiastic entries in '…my Sea Boats and Yachts' reveal just what a success VOLUTA turned out to be: "Though the VOLUTA was of rather light draft and fitted with a centreplate, she was very far removed from the 'skimming dish' type of boat, usually associated with this contrivance and which is neither suitable or safe for open sea work. On the contrary she was an excellent hard weather yacht, of great initial stability, and a constantly increasing righting power as she heeled to the pressure of the wind, having sufficient draft of water and ballast to make her a powerful sea boat, indeed she never showed to better advantage compared with other yachts we met sailing, than when beating against a strong wind and hammering into a sea."

MacAndrew found that VOLUTA could happily perform without the centreplate, and she no longer has it fitted. He used VOLUTA for three seasons and, after laying her up at Luke’s yard at the end of the 1902 season, advertised her for sale.

In 1904 VOLUTA transferred to the long-time ownership of Hull lawyer Dr Thomas C. Jackson, from a family of successful oil cake merchants, and her port became Bridlington, Yorkshire, home of the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club. Jackson was one of the leading figures in Yorkshire yachting: also a member of the Humber Yawl Club, Scarborough Sailing Club and the Royal Northumberland Yacht Club, a flag officer of RYYC from 1909, and Commodore from 1922 until his death in 1949. Along with his skipper of over 20 years, Capt. John Frederick 'Pez' Sharpe - a veteran of Thomas Lipton’s 1901 SHAMROCK II challenge for the America’s Cup - Jackson raced VOLUTA consistently until the advent of the Second World War, making her probably the best known - and best kept - yacht in the area. In fact, Royal Yorkshire members still race annually for the VOLUTA Cup. Until his death in 1931, by winter Captain Sharpe sailed her south, back home to Burnham-on-Crouch.

Another of VOLUTA’s strong connections with the Royal Yorkshire YC is that in the summer of 1929 she was the first yacht to fly the Club’s defaced Blue Ensign after the Lords of the Admiralty had granted Warrant.

For the duration of the Second World War, VOLUTA was laid up ashore at Hessle where unfortunately her masts, spars and gear were destroyed in a warehouse fire. She was bought and fitted out by Chris Herman and Walter B. Hall of Bridlington, who sailed her at the Club for a few more years (later joined in ownership by local rigger and chandler Harold Nightingale). She had an engine (4-cylinder Ford-Parsons) fitted for the first time and was re-rigged as a Bermudian yawl. Her time in Yorkshire was coming to an end, however, and she was bought in 1956 by RYYC member Douglas Miller MBE, of Brighouse, who took her to North Wales. She was mentioned in an intriguing newspaper article describing her trip from Goole to North Wales, and there are photographs showing her sailing past Conway Castle. She was then bought by Sir Hugh Bell and Ian M Pease in 1959, but in 1964 she dropped out of Lloyds Register of Yachts.

VOLUTA’s story for the next ten or so years is not known, but she is believed to have been subsequently kept alive around Falmouth and Helford in Cornwall by local character Frank Lang, and she appeared in the 1986 BBC TV documentary programme “Under Sail – A Lady of Leisure” in the ownership of Brian Frith and ‘Mr Collingwood’ who were chartering her out of Newton Ferrers, Devon.

At some point VOLUTA sold to an east coast owner who sailed her to Greece, where her present owner found her in 2004. His subsequent series of restorations and refits - eventually with assistance from shipwright Nathan Puttock and yacht finisher Andy Mongan - are detailed above. In between refits, she completed the initial delivery passage from Greece to La Ciotat, and has competed in several Falmouth Classics, winning her class twice.



- Iroko garboard planks (2007)
- Pine lower planking
- Teak topsides planking
- Elm wood keel
- Oak frames
- 17 mm Teak deck on 18 mm marine ply
- Deck payed with TDS caulking
- 5 Ton lead ballast keel
- Wrought iron floors
- All bronze fastening bolts, screws and rivets
- Iroko bulwarks and cap rail (2009)
- Iroko covering boards and king planks.
- Ply and teak cockpit
- Original teak cabin sides clad in ½ in / 12 mm mahogany



- Teak laid deck on plywood substrate
- Varnished iroko covering boards and king planks
- Low varnished iroko-stanchioned bulwark and taffrail
- Varnished iroko capping rail
- Bronze stanchions

- Bumpkin
- Bronze mooring fairleads port and starboard on taffrail
- Bronze and teak 'Clyde' mooring cleats port and starboard
- 1 x Bronze vent cowl
- Mizzen mast position
- 1 x Bronze vent cowl
- Bronze rudder head
- Tiller
- Iron mainsheet horse

- Varnished mahogany cockpit coamings and cappings
- Ash and bronze cleats port and starboard outboard
- Varnished laid teak on ply cockpit seating (locker tops and bridge deck
- Raw teak cockpit sole
- Perkins engine panel at starboard trunk cabin bulkhead
- Engine Morse control
- 4 x Gibb 9CR sheet winches outboard of coamings
- Original teak companionway

- Ash and bronze running backstay tackles port and starboard
- Staysail sheet blocks on rail port and starboard
- Pinrails port and starboard at shrouds

- 2 x Bronze-framed prism lights
- Varnished teak and bronze hand rails port and starboard
- Large butterfly skylight over saloon
- Davey & Co. bronze mushroom vent over galley
- Original bronze mushroom vent forward starboard over saloon

- Wood mast pinrail at deck
- Bronze framed deck prism lights port and starboard

- Raised forehatch hatch with bronze vent cowl
- Original Thomas Reid windlass
- Chain pipe
- Bowsprit bits
- Lifting bowsprit
- Bronze fairleads port and starboard
- Bow rollers
- Twin headstays

- Naval bower anchor
- 30 m ½ in/ 12 mm chain; 30 m warp
- Danforth anchor on 5 m chain and 20 m warp
- Thomas Reid and Sons of Paisley original capstan windlass





- Jabsco manual toilet
- Period folding sink and
- 1 x Light in deckhead

- 'Loving double' berth
- 1 x Light in deckhead

- Taylors 030 Paraffin 2 x burner hob, and oven
- Ceramic sink - iroko drainer
- Bronze mixer taps
- Plate, cutlery and food lockers
- Deckhead lights

- Stowage under lifting lid
- Banquette
- Ship's isolator panel
- VHF Radio
- 1 x Oil lamp

- Drop leaves table on centreline
- Settee berths port and starboard
- Lockers above outboard
- Bookcase at forward bulkhead
- Butterfly skylight hatch in deckhead
- 2 x Bulkhead Oil lamps
- Deckhead lights

- Berths port and starboard
- Lockers under
- 2 x Deckhead prisms
- 2 x Deckhead lights

- V-berths
- Lockers above port and starboard
- Raised forehatch in deckhead
- 1 x Deckhead light



- Main mast in solid Douglas fir by Ashley Butler (2015)
- Single set of spreaders
- Led spreader lights
- Galvanised standing rigging by Traditional Rigging of Bristol (2015)
- Hollow douglas fir mizzen mast
- Douglas fir bowsprit
- Hollow Douglas fir main gaff
- Solid Douglas fir main Boom (2009)
- Hollow mizzen boom
- Spruce mizzen gaff
- Galvanised standing rigging by Traditional Rigging of Bristol (2015)
- Blocks of fir/ elm/ Tufnol - many by Spencers
- Running rigging double braid/ buff 3-strand (mainly 2021)

- Mainsail (2015 but barely used)
- Mizzen
- Jib
- Staysail
- Topsail (old, but serviceable)
- Large jib (2015)
- New staysail (partially finished)

- Mainsail cover (2021)
- Skylight hatch cover (2021)
- Forehatch cover (2021)
- Cockpit covers



- Perkins M50 diesel
- Hours unknown, but recently rewired and well serviced
- Racor fuel filter
- Gearbox V drive ZF 15 2008

- Batteries 2 x 200 Ah 12 V 2021
- Basic 12 V system
- Switch panel
- USB sockets

- Vetus 150 L flexible fresh water tank (2021)
- Diablo 78 L fuel tank (2021)
- Grey water tank 10 L
- Munster Simms grey water pump
- Marco water pump (2021)
- Calorifier Surecal Hotpot 15l

- Diesel 'Eberspächer' - type heater (2021)



- Sestrel steering compass

- Icom M57 VHF Radio



- Rule bilge pump 12 V
- Whale Gusher manual bilge pump
- Aquasignal tri-colour/ anchor light (LED bulbs)



- Fisherman style paraffin light
- 2 x Beaching legs
- Avon inflatable dinghy and 15 hp Johnson outboard (if required)


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