'Martha Kathleen' has spent most of her life on the West Coast of Scotland, based at Loch Melford, in the ownership of the same family. She is a massively strong gaff ketch designed by Arthur Holt and built by Holt and James, Heybridge, in 1977. She was the third hull to that design, a beamy tradition boat with plenty of internal volume and excellent seagoing qualities. Being intended for short-handed cruising of the Western Isles she has a gaff ketch rig, breaking the sail area down into easily managed sails, a powerful Thorneycroft 50 engine and lots of space for children and grandchildren.
Wide open laid iroko decks with a simple coach-roof for’rard of the mizzen and a deep and secure self-draining cockpit aft of it. In 2005 she was moved to Brightlingsea and continued to be a real family boat, caring for four generations. Her original gaff mizzen was not very useful and she now has a Bermudan mizzen.
Since 2005 she has had considerable work cleaning out her bilges and re-ballasting, re-caulking, running rigging replaced and standing rigging enhanced, new working sails and light air jib from James Lawrence and an asymmetric reacher from Jeckells.
Designed by: Arthur Holt
Built by: Holt and James, Heybridge, 1977
Construction: Carvel iroko planking on laminated iroko frames
Length on deck: 37’ (11.25m)
Length over spars: 33’ (10m)
Beam: 12’4” (3.75m)
Rig: Gaff ketch with Bermudian mizzen, galvanised iron standing rigging and running backstays, bottle-screws. Bowsprit can be run in for mooring in marinas.
Sails: No1 jib on Wykeham-Martin roller, No2 and No3 jibs set flying (older sails), Staysail with one set of reef points, Mainsail with two deep reefs, Mizzen with one deep reef, jackyard topsail, mizzen staysail (older sail), light air jib that fills the fore triangle and asymmetric reaching sail with snuffer.
Engine: Thorneycroft 50, maintained by French Marine Motors. Exceptional access for maintenance. Galvanised tank.
Accommodation: Galley with two burner gas stove, rack for two ‘in-use’ five gallon water cans and small basin to port and chart table to starboard. Two settee berths with lockers under and behind and pilot berths behind. Large table solidly bolted down with one side folding down to give access forward to heads to port, with Jabsco pump out heads and rack of two gallon water cans, and hanging locker to starboard and foc’sl. In focs’l there are four berths, one wide enough for two people and a fore hatch. The forepeak for chain, fenders and warps is open to the focs’l.
Cockpit: Deep cockpit with seat lockers including vented gas bottle locker and lockers behind. Gimballed compass mount and Raymarine display. Aft locker for sails and five gallon water cans. Hydraulic wheel steering and Morse controls for engine.
Electrics: Raymarine chart plotter, depth and log, anemometer, hydraulic autopilot, Garmin GPS at chart table, AIS receiver and VHF. Solar panel supplies two 12v batteries (one 2015, other 2016, maintained over winter with regular charging at home).
Ground tackle: Plough anchor on bow roller, Fisherman (useful in thick kelp) and Blake lashed to mountings on foredeck.
Warps, fenders, boat hook etc.