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EC Gaffers featured boat: ‘Clytie’

‘Clytie’ celebrated her 100th birthday in 2022, having been built in 1922 for Daisy and Sir Clifford Patterson at the Woodbridge (formerly Eversons) Boatyard. She remains in the ownership of the same family and her home port is still at Eversons.

2022 was a great sailing year for Clytie and her crew. We celebrated her centenary on several occasions with family and with our OGA friends on the Deben at The Woodbridge Boat Yard (previously Eversons) and on the Summer Cruise in Lowestoft, 100 years on from the first log entry when Jo’s Great Grandparents sailed Clytie on their first summer holiday. Boat ownership is an emotional journey – the old adage ‘the best day in your life is the day you buy your boat and the day you sell her…..’ may not always be true?

How long will you own a boat, or in the case of many of the older vessels on the East Coast become the transient custodian? Five years and then you are drawn to a larger or smaller boat, ten years and then maybe you retire from sailing, 20 years and hope she might be sailed on by a family member. Who knows if the family will have the passion and drive to commit blood, sweat, tears and the treasure that goes to keeping our boats sailing. And those of us who have owned a boat for many years start to feel that the boat starts to own us.

100 hundred years is a long human life and a congratulatory letter from the sovereign. For her centenary, we bought Clytie a new suit of sails from Jeckells and we certainly noticed and enjoyed the difference in her sailing performance. The wheel of time turns inexorably on, but as the late Jon Wainwright said, ‘there are only so many tides….’ 

‘Clytie’ waits patiently on her Deben mooring, the tide silently turning her as she waits for her crew to come aboard for new adventures as she has for the past 100 years. We count our custodianship of ‘Clytie’ not in years or decades, but generations and we will be delighted to welcome the sixth generation to sail on ‘Clytie’ in 2023 when Max Masters (born 9 December 2022) joins his Parents, Grandparents, Aunties, Great Uncle and second Cousins for East Coast and Gaffer adventures.

Photos and words: Jo and Paul Masters