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Sparkman & Stephens 41 ft IOR Bermudan Sloop 1971/2008



Sparkman & Stephens 41 ft IOR Bermudan Sloop 1971/2008

Designer Sparkman & Stephens
Builder Clare Lallow, Cowes
Date 1971
Length overall 40 ft 8 in / 12.4 m
Length deck 40 ft 8 in / 12.4 m
Length waterline 31 ft 8 in / 9.65 m
Beam 12 ft 6 in / 3.81 m
Draft 6 ft 9 in / 2.06 m
Displacement 11 Tonnes
Construction Mahogany on laminated American oak
Engine Volvo Penta D2-55 4-cylinder 55 hp diesel
Location United Kingdom
Price GBP 375,000

These details are provisional and may be amended




This beautiful piece of mid-century, Sparkman & Stephen-designed sailing hardware in all its glossy mahogany glory, OPPOSITION, formerly Ted Heath’s second MORNING CLOUD, is as fine and as famous an example as they come from an era when racing yachts - even those built to the then quite new IOR Rule - could still look beautiful to anyone’s eye. Sixteen years on from a major rebuild undertaken at her original builders, Clare Lallow, OPPOSITION still looks just out of restoration and comes available just when interest in boats of her era is on the rise. A new class for such yachts has been inaugurated by C.I.M. at the Mediterranean classic regattas. OPPOSITION is very carefully laid up indoors and is in antifoul and go condition.



- Underbody sheathing removed
- Underbody planking found perfect
- All underbody dowels removed and fastenings found perfect
- Photographically recording deck layout before removal of deck
- Removal of old deck
- Careful removal of original laminated spruce deck beams for restoration
- Replacing original topsides planking with 2 x African mahogany 50% lapped
- Down to 4 planks below waterline midships, 2 below overall
- Topsides planks epoxy glued and bronze fastened
- Restoration/ re-bonding with epoxy of original laminated oak frames
- New laminated Sitka spruce beamshelf (no traditional beam shelf originally)
- Reinstatement of deck beams, varnished
- Laying of 2 x 45° Diagonal layers plywood subdeck
- New 12 mm Teak laid overlay deck
- New cockpit to original drawings
- New solid/ laminated teak coamings
- New hatches
- Fibreglass re-sheathing of bottom planking
- Mast and boom stripped, painted, all fittings refastened
- New engine
- All new electrics, electronics and plumbing systems
- Total re-finishing of varnished and painted surfaces




"There is no doubt that, by choosing sailing as his sport, Ted Heath helped to put ocean racing on the map. His superb planning and single-mindedness have been an example to all yachtsmen, but at first his influence was not so much on the sport itself as on the general public's awareness of ocean racing. It was given a new stature when a man as well known as the Leader of the Opposition, and later Prime Minister, became involved successfully. People were interested and suddenly the news media sat up and took note."

Paul Antrobus, in 'Ocean Racing Around the World', 1975

It’s 1969 and you’ve just won one of the World’s top ocean races, the 630 mile Sydney to Hobart: at first attempt; in your first year of racing anything larger than a dinghy; in a 34 ft S&S 34 GRP production boat. What to do next?

For then Leader of the Opposition in the UK Parliament, Edward “Ted” Heath, it had to be the 1971 Admiral’s Cup at Cowes, including the Fastnet Race. Heath had already gathered a superb pro-am crew for his first MORNING CLOUD; all they needed was a bigger boat (to fit the Admiral’s Cup minimum size limit) – and, of course, to qualify for the British team.

The choice of designer was easy. Ted Heath had already established an excellent rapport with the leading designer of the time, Olin Stephens of Sparkman & Stephens, who just happened to be on the 1969 London Boat Show stand when Ted Heath discovered the S&S 34.

As they raced the first MORNING CLOUD through the 1970 season, much thought went into the new boat’s design and layout, and keenly studying other boats of 40 feet and up. Ted Heath’s professional, Owen Parker wrote:

“… although Mr Heath was paying for the new boat, we all looked on her as ours. She was in fact more ‘our’ boat than any I have sailed in, because we all put so much thought into her… In the end we… designed the deck layout ourselves to the outline plan which Olin and Rod Stephens drew for us… We had a lot of fun planning it all, and Mr Heath went along with virtually everything we suggested. This was done at breakfast meetings at 10 Downing Street or Chequers… There was harmony among us all from the word go; we were excited and, from the first, felt that we were helping to organise a winner.”

Two revolutionary results of this think tank were the flush with 'blister' deck replacing a trunk cabin, and the linked primary winches developed by Owen Parker and Barient to allow rapid sheeting of the up to 170% genoas of those days.

Working out on whose recommendation Clare Lallow secured the build contract depends on whom you read – as with many MORNING CLOUD stories. It was either Olin Stephens or Uffa Fox or Owen Parker… It was a very sensible choice and, from previous good experience, one her designers would have been very comfortable with. By the time her keel was laid, Heath was Prime Minister.

She was launched into the River Medina by Ted Heath’s stepmother, Mary, on Saturday April 10th, and, of course, was a winner out the box. The prize list included securing overall victory and the Gold Roman Bowl in the 1971 Round the Island Race and being selected in trials against 27 other boats for the victorious Admiral’s Cup team with Ted Heath as Team Captain. All three boats were designed by Sparkman & Stephens, the others being CERVANTES IV and PROSPECT OF WHITBY. This remains the only time a serving Prime Minister has represented Great Britain and won a major international sporting event.

In the autumn of this first season, the same three boats were shipped to Sydney, Australia, for the Southern Cross Cup series including the Sydney - Hobart Race. The British team came second to New Zealand, with MORNING CLOUD (II) taking 4th in the Sydney - Hobart from 79 boats.

By 1972 ‘Team Heath’s’ thoughts were already on her successor, but MORNING CLOUD (II) again won the Round the Island Race, and gained two 1sts, a 2nd and a 4th at Cowes week with David May at the helm. In the autumn she sold to Tony Morgan, Keith Musto’s Silver Medal winning Flying Dutchman crew at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, and by 1972 a high-flying businessman and a BBC Governor. In 1973 Morgan and Musto campaigned the now cutely re-named OPPOSITION at Cowes Week and in the Fastnet Race, then sold her later that year to Troon, Ayrshire textile manufacturer Kennie Mckinnon. She has remained Scottish owned ever since, and was based for many years on the Firth of Clyde.

In the Mckinnon family’s hands OPPOSITION became a legendary participant in the increasingly vibrant Clyde, West Coast of Scotland and Irish Sea offshore racing scene through the 1970s. Then in the spring of 1979 her cruising years began in the ownership Professor Geoff Cowley and family: on the Clyde and West Coast of Scotland 1979-1981; Clyde - Mediterranean - Clyde 1982-1984; Clyde and West Coast of Scotland 1985-1995.

In autumn 1995 ownership transferred to Alan Wilson from West Kilbride who was joined in 1997 by OPPOSITION’s current owner, Jamie Matheson, who became sole owner in 1998.

OPPOSITION, is a very special yacht indeed. But racing yachts of any era were generally built to the minimum of scantlings. Even a beautifully engineered and built boat like this gets tired after 35 years of use that included being raced really hard for her first eight or so seasons and then cruised extensively, including from Scotland to the Mediterranean and back in the 1980s.

In 2007 Jamie Matheson decided to give back and brought OPPOSITION to Lallows for the huge life saving and extending restoration detailed above. The following excerpt from the yard's Project Mandate says it all:

To restore the yacht OPPOSITION back to its former glory, with a finished article that the customer is on cloud nine about, the yard and employees are proud to have produced and been a part of..."

She re-launched in 2008 and was been the belle of the ball at subsequent Cowes classic regattas until 2019 – the season she won the Panerai Classic at Cowes.

OPPOSITION has susequently been very carefully laid up at Lallows and is in antifoul and go condition.

©2024 Iain McAllister/ Sandeman Yacht Company Ltd.



- 2 x Layers 2 in x 1/2 in 50% overlapped African mahogany topsides planking (2008)
- Down to 4 planks below waterline midships, 2 below overall
- Bronze fastened
- Single 5 in x 1 in original bottom planking, bronze fastened
- Underbody fibreglass re-sheathed (2008)
- Laminated American oak frames (1971; re-glued with epoxy 2008)
- Laminated oak longitudinal structure
- Stainless steel 'spider' one piece floor structure with bronze extension straps
- Takes forces from the mast, keel and rigging
- Stainless steel ring frames in way of mast connected to 'spider'
- Laminated spruce beam shelves (2008)
- (no traditional beamshelves in original build)
- Mostly original laminated spruce deck beams
- 2 x 45° Diagonal layers plywood subdeck
- 12 mm Teak laid overlay deck
- Solid and laminated teak cockpit/ companionway coaming (2008)



- Teak laid deck on 2 x diagonal plywood substrate
- Period alloy toerail
- Stainless steel tapered stanchions and lifelines


- Stainless steel/ chromed mooring cleats and block/ lifeline padeyes port and starboard
- Associated chromed mooring cleats port and starboard
- Flush teak-laid deck hatches
- Stainless steel pushpit
- Lopolight stern nav light

- Chromed headsail/ downwind sail sheaves port and starboard
- 3 x Headsail tracks and cars port and starboard
- 4 x Wichard fender eyes on toerails port and starboard

- Large deep cockpit with 4 x drains
- Teak and laminated teak coaming radiussed forward over companionway garage
- Stainless steel coaming capping
- Stainless steel mushroom vent to lazarette
- 2 x Hifi speakers
- Engine throttle control
- Lewmar 46 chromed self-tailing backstay winches port and starboard aft
- Stainless steel plinths
- Associated chromed cleats at inner coaming port and starboard
- Emergency tiller position in laid teak sole
- Benches port and starboard
- Starboard bench has locker under
- Stowage under
- Radiussed helm seat
- Polished alloy pedestal for wheel steering and binnacle
- Danforth/White Constellation steering compass
- Stainless steel ship's wheel; cranked spokes; leathered
- Mainsheet track and car full cockpit width
- Short bridge deck
- Lewmar 77 3-speed self-tailing primary winches forward port and starboard
- Linked by original Owen Parker crosslinked winch system
- Associated chromed cleats at inner coaming port and starboard
- Lewmar 43 Line handling winches forward port and starboard
- Sliding smoked perspex companionway hatch
- 2 x Varnished washboards
- Analog displays to port and starboard of companionway
- Digital displays over companionway hatch garage

- Teak laid companionway hatch garage
- Varnished Dorade boxes port and starboard
- Stainless steel cowls
- Mast lines led aft port and starboard to cockpit clutches
- Self-tailing winch midships
- Cleats to port and starboard

- Lead blocks

- Alloy and perspex forehatch
- Teak chocks fore and aft port and starboard
- Carbon fibre spinnaker pole for regatta use
- 2 x gold anodised alloy spinnaker poles
- Fore and aft centreline track and cars
- Chromed mooring cleats port and starboard
- Alloy mooring fairleads port and starboard with sprung guards
- Stainless steel stemhead fitting incorporating bow rollers port and starboard
- Stainless steel pulpit
- Port and starboard nav lights

- 20 kg Stainless steel CQR Anchor
- c.50 m galvanised chain
- Aluminium Fortress kedging anchor on flat strap reel
- Low profile Simpson-Lawrence vertical drum anchor winch



- Teak and holly marine plywood sole
- White painted bulkheads
- Varnished spruce and mahogany highlights
- Varnished exposed hull construction outboard
- 2 x Full length of main accommodation deckhead grab rails

- Berth cushion
- Period Sestrel hand bearing compass
- Tank tender

- Angled, forward facing chart table
- Stowage under; chest of drawers outboard
- Lockers and bookshelves outboard
- Ship's isolator panel
- Curved bench
- Modern and legacy nav displays
- Communications equipment
- Dorade vent inlet at deckhead
- Deckhead light
- Semi bulkhead with grab pillar

- Bainbridge Neptune 4500 gimballed cooker: oven, hob & grill
- Curved, deep fiddled worktop
- Isotherm front opening fridge under
- Inset sink with chopping board cover
- Mixer taps; electric pump discharge
- Lockers under and outboard
- Dorade vent inlet at deckhead
- 2 x Deckhead lights
- Owen Parker primary winches linkage in bridge deck head
- Semi bulkhead with grab pillar

- Settee berths port and starboard
- Seat and back upholstery
- Lee cloths
- Pilot berths outboard; stowage under
- Fold down extending table stowed at port forward bulkhead
- Ship's clock and barometer (FCC Precision)
- Hi fi speakers
- 4 x Deckhead lights
- 2 x Bulkhead/ reading lights
- Grab handle at doorway forward

Sail bin to starboard
- Grab handle
WC Compartment to port
- Jabsco manual marine toilet
- Toilet roll holder
- Inset sink in unit that curves outboard to shelf
- Stowage under
- Locker at bulkhead
- Grab handle
- Toilet roll holder
- Legacy washbag/ towel hooks (one for Ted Heath)
- Deckhead light
- Step to forehatch

- V-berths with insert to double
- Berth cushions and insert
- Stowage under
- V-locker forward
- Pipe cot type stowage shelves port and starboard
- Forward to chain locker and access to windlass motor
- 3 x Deckhead lights
- 2 x Bulkhead/ reading lights



- Original anodised alloy mast, gold painted (1971/2008)
- Gold painted anodised alloy boom (1972/2008)
- Rodkicker with internal spring
- 2 x Gold painted anodised alloy spinnaker poles (1971/2008)
- 1 x Carbon spinnaker pole (2010, Neville Hutton, Lymington)
- Dieform stainless steel standing rigging (2008)
- Harken headsail roller reefing


North Sails
- 3DL/ Taffeta racing mainsail
- Dacron cruising mainsail
- 3Di No. 1 racing genoa
- Dacron furling cruising/ delivery genoa
- 3DL No. 2 genoa
- Radial Poly No. 3 genoa
- S2 Superkote 60 Spinnaker
- S3 Superkote 90 Spinnaker
- C5A Maxlite 150 spinnaker
- AP Superkote black spinnaker

Older/ Legacy sails
- North 3DL No. 1 genoa
- North Radial Poly No. 1 genoa
- North Radial Poly No. 2 genoa
- 170% Dacron No. 1 genoa
- Dacron No. 5 jib
- 'Blooper'
- North S2 Superkote 60 spinnaker

- Mainsail boom cover
- Sprayhood
- Wheel cover
- Binnacle cover
- Winch covers for primary winches
- Padded envelopes for twin washboards
- Padded covers for removable A&T instrument binnacle with pockets for fastenings
- Padded covers for dorades/dorade covers for racing
- Cover for liferaft
- Boom tent
- Padded foredeck protector for racing
- Padded guardrail and toerail covers for racing
- Padded envelope for storyboard



- Volvo Penta D2-55 4-cylinder 55 hp diesel (2008)
- Traditional drive train
- 3 x Bladed feathering propeller

- 12 V DC domestic system with Victron charger/inverter to AC outlets only
- 1 x 12 V starter battery (2019)
- 2 x 12 V domestic batteries (2019)
- All interior lighting soft LEDs.
- Tricolour, steaming and navigation lights LEDs.
- Decklight LED
- Upper and downer spreader lights LED cool white
- 240 V AC incomer to fore and aft sockets, domestic hot water tanks and battery charger

- 75 L Nylon fuel tank installed (2015)
- Port and starboard 57 L water tanks below settee berths
- Through manifold to pressure pump and accumulator
- Pressure water system
- 50 L Black water tank forward; pumped evacuation system from selector valve at WC

- Eberspächer Hydronic blown air diesel water heater
- Fan driven air heat exchangers



- Danforth/White Constellation steering compass
- B&G H3000 Navigation display at chart table
- Garmin Touch screen GPS plotters at helm and chart table (2020)
- B&G Autopilot at helm
- Simrad AIS transceiver
- Navtex 6 weather receiver
- B&G analogue on cockpit forward bulkhead
- Windspeed, magnified wind direction, wind direction, compass, speed, depth
- Demountable binnacle over companion-way with twin A&T multifunction digital displays
- Garmin radar new 2018
- Hawk wind indicator at topmast

- Vintage B&G instrumentation at chart table (not operational)

- Icom IC-M601 DSC VHF Radio
- Repeater at helm
- VHF dumpy aerial at topmast
- AIS dumpy aerial at topmast

- Kenwood KMM-202 Digital radio; external input port
- 4 x Speakers



- 8-Person liferaft (2018)
- 10 x SeaSafe Pro-Zip lifejackets (2014)
- 2 x Spinlock Deck Vests (2008)
- 1 x Jonbuoy self inflating personnel recovery system
- 1 x Horseshoe life ring with danbuoy and strobe light
- 1 x Horseshoe life ring with strobe light
- 1 x Hand launched throwing line
- Fire blanket at galley
- Fire extinguishers
- 2 x Automatic bilge pumps by engine bearers
- 1 x Manual bilge pump in aft cockpit
- 1 x Manual bilge pump by galley



- 6 x Dark blue multistrand mooring warps of various length
- 6 x Fenders with socks and detachable extensions on carabinas
- (for attaching to Wichard toerail eyes, four per side)
- Fender mat canvas
- Fender mat padded
- 2 x Boathooks, one wooden, one aluminium extendable
- Towing bridle
- 2 x Burgee staffs
- Ensign staff standard
- Ensign staff storm
- 2 x Burgee halyards to top of mast
- 2 x Burgee halyards to spreaders
- Various deck brushes and buckets with lanyards



- Southern Cross Cup 1971: boatgen.com.au


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