"Muldonich" G.L.Watson Gaff Yawl Lying Irvine, Scotland
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When I first saw "Muldonich" picking up her mooring under sail in the Gareloch, I admired her very elegant lines and the ease with which her owner threaded his way through the other yachts. Sailing in her on a number of occasions, before I bought her, I saw how her easily driven hull ghosted along rapidly with scarcely a ripple on the water, but yet stood up well to her canvas and still remained easy to handle among whitecaps. The yawl rig has certain advantages here.
I have cruised her in the Firth of Clyde, with my teenage family and friends, whilst working to restore her to original, for, unlike many old classic yachts, she had not suffered the dubious "benefits" of modernisation.
I have given her much T L C over the years, conscious of being the owner of a piece of maritime history. My grandfather was a friend of Tommy Lipton, for whom G L Watson did work, in addition to his designs for "Britannia". But I will be seventy years old this year!
I went out sailing on her last week with an old friend who, like myself, is a vintage car and classic boat enthusiast, the owner of a Morecambe Bay prawner. He opined that, of all the many old boats he had sailed, "Muldonich" was the most responsive.
Muldonich has full standing headroom (5' 9" under the coachroof and has a steady motion in bad weather. She is very responsive to the helm, handling easily in confined spaces under sail.
Any faults? I have a sneaking suspicion that the yacht was designed to allow a couple of "gentlemen" to sail The Minch to the Outer Hebrides with a paid hand to look after the boat whilst they went ashore to "refresh" themselves.
Hence, the two main berths in the saloon are huge, but the paid hand had a pipe cot in the forepeak. The cockpit, built before the days of self-drainers, is deep and small, for safety in stormy waters.
As I usually sail with just one friend, or my two offspring, this has been fine. I reduce sail early in bad weather and the deep cockpit is reassuring and warm. There is a spray hood, but I do not use it.
Here is a super opportunity to travel back in time and experience history - though it may not be economical to hire a third hand.
Muldonich has obviously been lovingly maintained but used regularly as well. There is a lot of boat for the money, here, for someone keen to carry on the tradition.
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