Cachalot's construction is carvel laid elm planking below the waterline and pitch pine above. The planks are laid over oak frames and centreline structure. She is of traditional form with a slightly raked stem, long keel, round bilge and elliptical counter stern. Following a major restoration, starting in 2007, much of the hull has been repaired or replaced, including the deck. She was relaunched in summer 2017.
For details about the launch, restoration and history of Cachalot, who was a Dunkirk Little Ship, visit her website.
The OGA Newsletter Editor, 1977, muses on the yacht ‘Cachalot’ as a preface to publishing a letter about her from new owner, Ian Kiloh.
In the earlier 1960s a good looking 30' cutter’s hull sat up at the top of Dixon Kerly's yard at Maldon, quietly drying out and deteriorating. Occasionally there was evidence that some work had been done on her, and in 1965 her then owner, David Garber was persuaded to join the OGA, and we looked forward to seeing her sailing. But it was not to be. In 1969 she was bought by David Robertson Hiner of Maldon, and things happened. David got her into sailing trim, and in 1970 he entered her for our East Coast Race, but she did not start. On the 16th September that year, David sold her to Thomas Alexander Corbett, who owned her until the 9th February 1975, when she was sold to Andrew Ross Wheatley. On November 25th 1975, Ian Ferderick Kiloh bought her from Wheatley.
Yes, my ‘Cachalot’, is indeed the same as owned by David and yes, we’ve had a major task involving new carlins, doubling up the main beam (which was broken), new covering boards, several new half beams, new bulwarks, hatches, cabin trunking, interior, the list goes on, and on . . .
However, the end is at least in sight and although we do not expect her to be really A1 until next year we anticipate having our first sail in her in May this year, all going to plan. She is a really lovely little yacht and has been well worth all the effort. My wife and I purchased her in November 1975 in Wivenhoe after her having been sunk - and run over by a coaster!
One interesting thing we have found is the original advertisement as placed in the Yachtsman of October 1897 by her builder offering her up for sale. Interestingly she was ‘almost ‘completed’ then, yet registered in 1904 as being built in 1900. She appears in Lloyd's Register in 1902.
Her first sails were by English, and purchased in 1902. We think that probably the Boer War accounts for the anomolies. The builder/designer did in fact own a timber yard - I think his claim of ‘built of best materials’ is the reason she is still around today as her last ten years or so seem to have treated her very unkindly. I would be most grateful for any information as to her earlier history; and I would be delighted if any OGA members have information on the efficiency of either Cascover sheathing or Admiralty ‘Impetite’.
First published in the Old Gaffers Association Newsletter 1977/3