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East Coast Gaffers featured boat: ‘Cygnet of London’

Our featured boat for June is ‘Cygnet of London’, a beautiful gaff rigged yawl, built in 1906 by the Burgoyne brothers of Kingston on Thames, famed for their Thames A Raters and Royal Barges. She’s built to a design by her first owner Mr. G. Chalmers. She was converted to Bermudan cutter rig at some time in her history, but converted back to her original rig in 2006. She draws just 4ft 3in with her centreboard up and her draft increases to 7ft when down. Her spars are Douglas fir and Sitka spruce. She’s planked with Burma teak on oak frames, all bronze fastened with an elm hog.

‘Cygnet of London’ took part in the OGA50 Round Britain Challenge, 2013 and Dutch Anniversary Cross Country Tour, 2014. In 2006, her centenary year, she won the Jubilee Trophy, Gaffers Division 1 in the Round the Island Race (Isle of Wight) with skipper Kim Hartley. 

‘Cygnet’ is taking part in the OGA60 Round Britain Cruise, this will be her third circumnavigation and the plan is to take about nine-ish weeks including the Scottish islands and ‘round the top’ rather than the Caledonian Canal. As skipper, Simon, notes though ‘No plan survives first contact . . . ‘ In preparation, there’s been lots of varnishing of spars and blocks as well as a quick scrub and antifoul. She departed Ramsgate, 1 May and is awaiting a crew change in South Wales after joining the party in Neyland, Milford Haven, 20 – 21 May.