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East Coast featured boat: ‘la Mouette’

Our featured boat for June, ‘la Mouette’, was launched two years ago in 2022 to coincide with the East Coast OGA’s Jubilee Rally and this year she was welcomed once again to the OGA Rally on the Deben over the May Bank Holiday Weekend, 24 – 27 May 2024.

Built at Eversons (Woodbridge) Boatyard, this new traditional clinker dinghy is built of copper-fastened larch on English oak with a mahogany transom, shear planks and thwarts with Douglas fir spars and bronze fittings. At just 11′ in length ‘La Mouette’ is designed to be a faithful replica of the dinghies built in great numbers by Everson & Sons from 1889 to 1960’s. Her owner Vicki Jessel who was brought up with a family owning a Falmouth Quay Punt was thrilled to be able to commission her own dinghy, supporting local trades. Built on the Deben, ‘La Mouette’ has traditional sails from Suffolk Sails, Woodbridge with rigging and varnishing undertaken by the experienced shipwrights at the Woodbridge Boatyard. Vicki even provided the oak from her family farm for the stern keel. 

With her gunter rig ‘La Mouette’ can be rigged quickly with just a single halyard and she is easy to row. This year a brass topped plate was fitted to her stern to carry an e-propulsion electric engine which means she can go further afield and still get back to her pontoon in time for the tide. Vicki spends as much time as she can exploring the Deben, taking her two Jack Russells for picnics on the beach and enjoying the nimble, stable and seakindly nature of ‘La Mouette’. She is looking forward to gaining more experience of river sailing and will be back supporting the OGA events as soon as she can.

‘La Mouette’ was displayed at the 2022 Boat Show and was shortlisted in the Classic Boat Awards 2023 New Sailing Vessel of the Year. Currently there is a second ‘Everson 11’ being constructed at the busy Woodbridge Boatyard and it is hoped that this might be the second of more clinker dinghies with their irresistible romance and timeless charm.

Nominated for Classic Boat Magazine Awards, 2023 Photo: Sue Lewis

Launch of ‘La Mouette’ at Woodbridge Boatyard

Words: Vicky Jessel