The lyrics of this song, popular at many OGA gatherings, were penned by illustrator, Claudia Myatt. The cover illustration is by Mike Peyton, founder member of the OGA, drawn to celebrate the first East Coast Race, 1963. The image below is also by Claudia, drawn for the OGA50 Round Britain events in 2013. Sing the song to the tune of ‘Wild Rover’!
I’ve been an Old Gaffer for many a year
And I’ve spent all my money on topsails and beer
Sailed all kinds of Gaffers and I’ve loved them all,
But I couldn’t get on with Bermudans at all.
And it’s no, nay, never
No, nay, never no more,
Will I sail a Bermudan,
No never, no more!
They’re tall and they’re pointy with thin pointed keels,
With no grip on the water the bloody thing heels,
They’re skittish and light and they sail on their ear,
And you can’t peg the tiller when you fancy a beer.
Bermudans say Gaffers have far too much rope,
With more than two halliards they just couldn’t cope
Then up goes their kite with its miles of string
It’s got so many ropes you daren’t gybe the damn thing.
They’re OK up wind, but who wants to do that?
And that great big genoa keeps knocking you back
That jib can’t be reefed without wrinkling the luff
So on goes the engine when the weather gets rough.
Bermudan’s a gimmick, it’s not here to stay,
I’d rather a Gaffer to sail any day,
It’s the past and the future all rolled into one,
The glorious gaff cutter will sail on and on.