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"Graylag", Blackwater Sloop

Sails and Deck Gear

Owner's Comments

Graylag is a true classic boat, her sail plan and interior are as they were originally designed in 1938. We initially purchased Graylag to get away at weekends while living and working in the centre of London. She gave us a complete change to revitalise us from Friday evening to late Sunday. Our summer holidays would take us from Gillingham in the Medway around the island and up the Essex Rivers, the cruising area for which she was designed. During which time we would also sail friend's boats in the French Morbian, Biscay and the Western Mediterranean. She played her part in the traditional boat regattas at Shotley point and played around in those of North Kent.

She is a good sailing boat with a traditional large mainsail that benefits from an early reef. She can be sailed like a dingy, if required, and on the Swale with a brisk south westerly and minimum fetch, can achieve her hull speed of around seven knots. However most of her time has been employed in comfortably exploring creeks and inlets with a copy of Maurice Griffiths to hand.

On a beam reach in the Medway

Our sixteen year ownership of Graylag has seen her undergo several refits and a continuous process of maintenance keeping her in commission. The hull has been stripped down several times, repainted and anti-fouled. The main internal oak floors were taken up and replaced ten years ago and are now in as new condition. 

Several oak ribs in the tuck and along her hull were also doubled or replaced at the same time by the local shipwright. More recently the original Stuart Turner engine was retired and replaced with one of the last refurbished Stuarts by Stan Flowers of Faversham, a 1960's model incorporating a reverse gear. During installation by the boatyard engineers the engine floor/support was replaced and several otherwise inaccessible ribs were doubled or replaced. The stern tube and shaft were also overhauled at this time. As very little wind is required to sail the boat, despite her three tons, the engine has very few hours of use, and really only for marina work.

During the spring of 2003 a large part of Graylag's interior was sympathetically replaced, the galley moved from port to starboard, and the minimal wiring replaced. The original internal layout of two comfortable bunks in the central area can be extended with an `oak ladder' effectively joining the two bunks into a single extensive sleeping area.. All of the mahogany exterior was sanded down to bear wood to remove all traces of varnish and then coated in six layers of Colean, a more flexible and expensive finish than varnish but requiring little further maintenance other than an occasional wash down keeping her bright-work looking better for longer. The sails were checked and two went in for repairs at Wilkinson's of Swale marina.


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For further details or to arrange to view, please contact Adrian  Espin at: - Astonbury Marine Services 
19 Colne Road, Brightlingsea, Essex, CO7 0DL  Tel: 01206 305 996  or +44 1206 305 996
or email to:
In this case we are acting as Brokers only. The Vendor is not selling in the course of a business. Whilst every care has been taken in their preparation, the correctness of these particulars is not guaranteed. The particulars are intended only as a guide and they do not constitute a term of any contract. A prospective buyer is strongly advised to check the particulars and, where appropriate, to have the vessel fully surveyed and inspected, sea trialled and opened up.  All Content is copyright - all rights reserved.