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Finesse 24 Gaff Cutter, Mariette, Lying  Essex

[ Mariette ] Photo's ] Sails and Deck Gear ] Cockpit ] Saloon ] Galley ] Forecabin ] Heads ] Engine ] Specifications ] [ Comments ]

Sails and Deck Gear

Owner's Comments

After a long search for a gaff rig boat with sufficient accommodation for cruising, Mariette was purchased in Sept 2000. She underwent complete conversion to gaff under the guidance, and to the design of, Mark Butler of James Lawrence sailmakers, Brightlingsea. New timber masts and spars were supplied by local shipwright Adrian Riva of Maldon. Blocks, mast hoops, saddle, reefing gear, traditional ropes plus running and standing rigging were by T S Rigging of Maldon and Classic Marine of Woodbridge supplied and made all the bespoke deck gear, stemhead and spar fittings. Both Headsails are furling, on gear supplied by Sailspar of Brightlingsea. All sails by James Lawrence Sailmakers of Brightlingsea.

In short everything above decks was new in 2001. Extensive cabin fittings with mahogany panelling in the main cabin were added by Rivas and new navigation gear was fitted at same time time with a new instrument panel.

Gold anodised aluminium windows replaced the ones on the standard Finesse. All cushions were replaced and a new Sole diesel fitted in 2002. We estimate our total cost of the changes and refit around 35,000. (Broker's note - Always a mistake to do this sort of arithmetic!)

The boat has cruised widely under sail and motor over the last 10 years covering all of the East Coast Rivers from the Deben in the north to the Swale in Kent, initially with skipper and two crew then one,  and more recently owner and partner (limited experience but copes well!). We have had several family river trips with up to six on board, including grandchildren! There is plenty of space for kids inside but we kept them off the decks as there are no safety rails.

Mariette, with her small draft, has negotiated many of the inaccessible East Coast creeks including Faversham creek and most of the Medway creeks, Hullbridge on the Crouch, Leigh on Sea, Rowhedge, plus circumnavigations of Osea and Northey Islands on the Blackwater, the Isle of Sheppey and Potton Island on the River Roach. Our cruising includes several Thames Estuary crossings and night passages to, and from, Kent, Burnham and Harwich.

The boat is a familiar sight on the East coast rivers and attracts attention wherever she is. Mariette loves nothing better than a good wind abeam but as with most gaffers she can't point very high and wont beat to windward over a tide. She runs great under main or jib. Anything over a force 4 and she will sail better reefed we are double reefed only in about a 6 but anything more we are in the pub! We did make 6 knots with just a jib once. She motors well 4 to 4.5 knots is about it. Maximum speed under sail has been 7 knots full rig in a force six (Not recommended she need to be reefed) we don't do heavy weather any more than the afore mentioned but she does not like short steep seas in a wind over tide situation, so we try to avoid them - otherwise she handles well in most conditions.

Handling in close quarters takes a little getting used to; there is a slight starboard kick going ahead. She answers the helm going astern but responds well to patient paddling of the tiller ( a skill not seen much but serves this boat well).

Mariette has been a great joy, but we now live to far from the sea to enjoy and maintain a wooden boat in retirement.


[ Mariette ] Photo's ] Sails and Deck Gear ] Cockpit ] Saloon ] Galley ] Forecabin ] Heads ] Engine ] Specifications ] [ Comments ]
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For further details or to arrange to view, please contact Adrian  Espin at: - Eastern Yachts 
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.