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Thread: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
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    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
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    Default Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    I have a 40' centreboard ketch which according to the limited information I have was built to order by a consortium of Germans in the early 1960s. According to the story the hull was built in Ghana and then fitted out in Germany. She looks a lot like a Laurent Giles 38, so much so that the Laurent Giles archivist tried to find her in his records but drew a blank. She has a transom hung rudder, attached to the back of the full length keel, and from my (extensive) online searches this seems to be pretty unique. I have spent the last year on restoration work including rebuilding the main mast, and when I was actually able to sail her for the first time last month she performed extremely well - fast, with a high ballast ratio and fingertip tiller steering, which suggests she was drawn up by someone who knew what they were doing! Apparently she was originally called Sturmvogel, or Stormvogal - and subsequently was renamed Dr. Dolittle at some point in her history. The interior is typical of high quality German build of the period, with a lot of sapele faced ply and mahogany. Originally she probably had varnished topsides. I have one very poor quality rigging plan (a scan of a photocopy) which is annotated in French, suggesting a French designer, but I have been unable to find any matches to the design. She was probably built to the German racing rules of the time as a 7KR, 7.5KR or even 8KR cruiser, but my searches of the German registry in the late 60s have been inconclusive, without being able to identify which of several Sturmvogels she might have been. If anyone has any information on this yacht, or has seen her before - she was based in Holland until a few years back when the previous owner bought her and brought her to the UK - I would be extremely grateful. I'd be very interested in finding family of the original builders and seeing if I can find out more about her story. She's a very pretty boat, and I still have work to do, but I think it's worth it. Construction is in mahogany (Togo Teak) for the topsides, and below the waterline she seems to be mainly iroko. The keel, stem, and rudder seem to be teak, and she has a substantial lead ballast keel, weighing approx. 5-6 tonnes, with a slot cut through it for the centreboard. The centreboard 'lid' is stainless steel and runs the length of the main saloon, and because of this and the arrangement of the lifting gear she has dual companionways, which is also an oddity in my research so far. So, a mystery that I am keen to unravel! The photos are historic, but she hasn't changed much - and I'm limited by the 5 photo limit here for a post, so I thought historic photos might be good for jogging someone's memory if they knew the boat.

    P1070174 (2).jpg2 copy.jpg3 copy.jpg41 copy.jpg40 copy.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Mukilteo, WA
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    3,756

    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    There is a lot to like there. The dual companionways are unique. Sorry I don't know more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Sound Beach, NY
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    5,088

    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    Welcome to the Forum, she's a beauty!
    I already made some suggestions on FB, (including coming here). I hope you find her history.
    Mine is a 39' cruising ketch.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Norwalk CT
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    Nice ! More pics please

  5. #5
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    Aug 2022
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    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    Thanks - as you can see I followed up your suggestion!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
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    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    Here are some more, and some more recent pics, as requested! How she sails today, an view from more height and a couple of varnishing and hull repairs...
    ADSC05518.jpgIMG_20210511_133535_1.jpgIMG_20210503_095639_1.jpgIMG_20210614_092214_6.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    Aug 2022
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    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    More pics added... interior shots are older, she's not very tidy at the moment!
    IMG_20210614_122337_0.jpgIMG_20201107_120226_3.jpg10.jpg10a.jpg8a copy.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    UK. Cornwall, Suffolk.
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    Sweet looking boat, lovely! Is that a Smiths Astral on the bulkhead?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2022
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    Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    It's a Schatz Royal Mariner clock, which chimes the watch bells. Unfortunately it needs the mainspring cleaning so it doesn't keep good time, but it looks lovely. The boat also came with the matching barometer, which works perfectly, and is very pretty - that's on the other side over the chart table.

  10. #10
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    May 2012
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by menadue View Post
    It's a Schatz
    What a shame.

    You have a superb looking yacht however. The interior looks fantastic.. high end indeed. Are the photos of her on the hard the current state? Re-planking and general repairs?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Dog Ranch, USA
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    For my benefit, what's wrong with a "Schatz"? Cheap knockoff?
    Quote Originally Posted by James McMullen View Post
    Yeadon is right, of course.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    What a shame.

    You have a superb looking yacht however. The interior looks fantastic.. high end indeed. Are the photos of her on the hard the current state? Re-planking and general repairs?
    The photos on the hard are from last summer, when I lifted her out, removed the old paint, repaired a section of rotten planking on the port side and some other smaller areas and then completely recaulked, primed, repainted and antifouled her. I also rebuilt the main mast, replacing the first six feet and also both spreader sections. She had been neglected by the previous owner and the results of that were evident. I've also stripped most of the exterior varnish to bare wood as an ongoing programme over the last 18 months and recoated with Le Tonkinois, which is my preferred traditional varnish - also stripped the masts and used that to put seven or ten coats on... I still have return to do on the bulwarks and removing an added veneer layer from the coach roof upstands, and I'll be changing the backstay from a single that attaches to the mizzen to twins that go further aft to the chain plates. The photos with red Genoa up sailing are from last month when I was finally able to actually sail her without expecting the main mast to collapse or lots of water to come in through the side!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
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    St. Helens, Oregon
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    Other than absolutely lovely, I have no idea just what she is. Nice find! I hope you find her pedigree!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by Yeadon View Post
    For my benefit, what's wrong with a "Schatz"? Cheap knockoff?
    Brass plated steel, not solid bronze.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Trying to identify 40' ketch - any thoughts very welcome!

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Brass plated steel, not solid bronze.
    The cases of my schatz clocks appear to be solid brass, I have a spare clock (also not keeping time) and another spare case that I have worked on, all royal mariners, with scratches and minor dings, and they're all brass, like the standard Smith's Astral. Schatz did make some ships clocks with enameled steel cases, but they look a bit different. Were you talking about the movements inside? The Schatz ones are pretty hefty, and are brass coloured, they could be plated, but I've seen no evidence of corrosion. Here's a link to an old catalogue of the different models, all are either brass or chromed brass: http://www.abbeyclock.com/wellington/schatz.pdf
    Last edited by menadue; 08-25-2022 at 02:11 AM.

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