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This unique vessel was built immediately pre-war as a yacht on the lines of a Scottish fishing boat. The story is that her owner, a retired Naval Commander appears to have anticipated war and the need for boats.
In 1947 the vessel was sold to the Bibby family for ?3500 and remained with them usually based in Dartmouth until sold in 1963 to a Mr Buxton who berthed her in Glasson Dock, Lancashire where according to the next owner she suffered some neglect. The Irving’s farm-house burnt down in 1994 and with it documents relating to the history of the vessel but in a letter Mrs Irving relates some of that history. Inspected in November 2013 and found in tidy and ostensibly sea-worthy condition and very little changed from the original which is a great bonus.
Although evidently a fishing boat design from a fishing boat yard the construction indicates her yacht origins.
Not only is this a fascinating piece of history, she is a very usable vessel of a rare and practical size and ostensibly ready to go to sea. Built by Weatherheads of Cockenzie on the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh in 1938 to a design very typical of the fishing boats this yard was building.
The design features the usual Scottish fishing boat rather pointed canoe stern, a long straight keel and straight, raked stem.
A contemporary article notes the planking to be larch and pitch-pine and the fastenings as yellow metal and plugged which is very yachty. Pair of fixed port holes each side in the saloon, port hole to galley and head and each-ride to the aft cabin. This ballast was reported to have been removed, cleaned and painted by the previous owner and certainly appeared very clean.
Coach-roof deck beams over the saloon cabin are varnished and show a very sweet moulding not usually found in fishing boats. It is suspected that the deck under the deck paint is the same timber as the cabin joinery which appears to be pitch-pine or a similar yellow pine with a fine grain and colour. A low bulwark all round the deck is carried on oak stanchion posts which appear to be one of the pairs of frame futtocks extended through the cover-boards in the Scottish manner. Again in the Scottish manner the cover-boards are created by individual blocks of wood between the stanchion posts resting on wooden cleats spiked to the sides of the frames with the outermost deck plank set hard up against the inner face of the stanchion posts thus making stanchion post replacement in case of damage much simpler and cheaper. A forward coach-roof over the saloon cabin and an after coach-roof over the aft cabin both have pitch-pine coamings and T&G pine decking sheathed more recently in grp and painted. A traditional varnished teak entrance hatch on the fore deck gives independent access for the paid hand in the fore peak cabin.
A taller after mast stepped in a galvanised tabernacle on the after coach-roof fitted with bronze sail track and carries a boom with topping lift sheeted to the after peak. This rig bears a distinct resemblance to the rig shown in original photos published in the magazine article except that the mizzen mast was originally keel stepped and the partners are still seen in the aft coach-roof deckhead. The masts are oiled, tapered at the head with the top 4’ + trucks painted white and may well be the originals. Matching doorway on the port side gives access to the wing engine without climbing over the main engine. The vessel was originally fitted with a Kelvin Ricardo 30hp petrol paraffin main engine and a 30hp Kelvin Ricardo wing engine.
Russell Newbery DM4 4-cyl diesel engine solidly mounted on the centre-line on substantial engine beds with centre-line shaft and conventional stuffing box bearing to a 3-blade prop. Self Changing Gears of Coventry ahead and astern gear-box with 2-lever controls at the helm. The vessel is divided into 5 compartments – an aft cabin, the wheel-house with engine room below, the saloon cabin, the heads and galley area and a fore cabin. Admiralty “Life-boat” design steering compass under a polished copper hood with original lamp in box on the side.


Lukes started in a yard at Limehouse, London in 1829 and eventually settled in what is now Hamble Yacht Services on the River Hamble in the 1880’s. His Luke 5 tonner design was a successful small cruiser and several were built in the years following WW2. The deck was replaced in 2005 in scrubbed, quarter sawn pine, yacht laid on a ply sub deck with varnished teak king plank, the narrow seams payed with butyl rubber. 4” toe rail all round with varnished mahogany capping, varnished on the inner face and cut with water ways above a carved cove line which emphasises the powerful sheer. Typical of her period, the narrow coach-roof leaves generous side decks allowing easy, safe passage forward. The coach-roof steps up to a dog-house aft with signature curved roof and twin bronze-framed windows each side. The coach-roof and dog-house decks are laid in pine boards, the coach-roof sheathed and painted with heavy varnished king plank and twin Dorade vents, the dog-house roof attractively finished in varnish with black seams. Self draining cock-pit is all varnished with seat-lockers each side and across the aft end.
Twin varnished mahogany panelled doors to the cabin entrance with bronze vents and lift-off bronze hinges above a step at seat level, and sliding hatch to the cabin entrance. Fractional Bermudian sloop rig on varnished spruce mast stepped through the coach-roof onto the keel with single spreaders, jumper struts and diamonds above.
Varnished spruce slab-reef boom with bronze end fittings on a galvanised steel goose neck mast fitting carrying fixed belay pins. The boom sheets to a galvanised steel sheet horse across the transom over the tiller which works in a cut-out in the transom upstand. Stainless steel standing rigging all replaced progressively in the last 10 years with swaged terminals and stainless steel rigging screws to internal stainless steel chain plates.
Centre line installation to conventional centre-line shaft drive and 2-blade prop gives 8knts max. The cabin is totally original in all varnished mahogany joinery and absolutely delightful, everything one would expect of a small cruising yacht of the period. Varnished mahogany ply bulkhead with centre-line mahogany panelled door to the saloon cabin.
Upholstered drop-down seat backs with varnished mahogany slats to the exposed hull sides above. Typical of the period, canvas root berths stretch out over the settees and over the sideboards for sleeping.
Quarter berth to stbd runs up to the stbd half bulkhead making for easy access,  the feet of the berth running well aft under the cock-pit seat. The real joy of this little yacht is her total originality, unsullied by some distant owner’s bright ideas and trends. She had a thorough yard refit in Cornwall in 1998 shortly before purchase by present owner in 1999.
Cruised and raced along the coast from Yarmouth Classics to Falmouth Classics, France, Scillies and Channel Islands.
Bulwarks in 1 ?” Oregon pine and Iroko set on 4” square steel stanchions bolted and coach screwed into covering boards.
Generator Silent Fischer Panda 12kva DUO 1-phase and 3-phase (only 500hrs since new in 2004). 2nd Jabsco 1 ?”  bronze sea water impellor pump powered by main engine 24v clutched and connected  to strum box with separate valves to each watertight compartment for emergency bilge pumping and also connected to deck wash outlet. 24v DC with 8×265 Ah 6v deep cycle tubular batteries, 4 x Domestic and 4 x Engine starting (batteries new in 2012).
Mastervolt 50A 3-step 24v battery charger and 2.5kw Sine-Wave Inverter combo, controlled digitally from wheelhouse.


Muir VRC 4000 2-ton vertical 3-phase Anchor Winch and capstan with 24v control power lead to foredeck. She was then sold to a private individual and converted to a motor yacht and renamed Blue Linnet. Between 1995 and 1999 Linnet underwent a major rebuild by professional shipwrights in Galmpton, Devon.
Linnet has been in the same ownership for the past 19 years, only the third owners since 1938. Sailing boats for sale Sail yachts brokerage - Second hand sailboats - Buying private sailboat - Purchasing renewed sail boats - Selling used yacht. She is reputed to have carried secret agents from Scotland across to German –occupied Norway, there is a “secret” compartment where a man could have lain hidden and a fragment of a map of Norway is amongst the papers. For a brief period she had live-aboard owners before coming into present ownership in 2007. The lay-out with an owner’s 2-berth cabin aft, a 2-berth cabin forward for the crew and forward galley and heads and a very pleasant saloon cabin has remained unchanged with all the original joinery.
The use of pitch-pine and noble metal fastenings and the simple but original joinery are all very special features of this vessel. The ballast seen was in the form of a number of iron pigs of approx 100cwt each + a large number of smaller iron items approx cricket ball size but obviously cast for a particular use, possibly associated with a furnace.
This little wheel-house, 8’ long, 6’ wide and recessed 2’below deck level sits well in the boat with 6’ head-room under the beams yet still affording excellent visibility. The fwd mast appears to have been originally stepped on deck as at present and designed to be lowered aft as were the rigs of the early Scottish East Coast sailing fishing boats. Interesting pipe-work and valves appears to permit the cooling water to be drawn from either of 2 sea-cocks or the bilge.
Perkins 3-cyl diesel (as used in MF tractors) with Borg Warner hydraulic gear-box mounted to port with conventional shaft drive. Home made in previous ownership grp tanks under each of the fwd cabin berths containing estimated 15 galls each with 12v pressure pump to the galley sink and heads basin.
Artistically curved engine-cab trailing edge with heavy capping turns down to meet the cock-pit coamings.
Soon after she was built she was requisitioned by the government to perform duties during the Second World War after which she continued fishing until 1960.
Linnet remained in the same ownership until 1995 until she was purchased by the present owner. She has been a fully functional sea-going home and has been meticulously maintained including many improvements over the years. An extremely capable sea-going live-aboard or charter motor yacht that has travelled extensively throughout UK waters.
Separate heads compartment, full galley (sink, gas hob, oven & fridge) Comprehensive sail wardrobe with sail cover and matching sprayhood.
New running gear comprising 3” stainless shaft with bronze inboard and outboard bearings by C&O Engineering, Newton Abbot. Many photographs of the work undertaken and all receipts are available to prospective purchasers.



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