'Egret' is a Highlander 18 designed by Selway Fisher Design and featured on their website. The Highlanders are a primarily dayboat range, though the smallest is pehaps closer to dinghy and the largest ia weekender.
She was built by two sailing enthusiasts who are high quality woodworkers, specialising mostly in church fitting, so she was built well and beautifully. She's wood-epoxy, mostly in ply and painted with `Perfection 709', but with the brightwork mostly in solid timber. To get an idea of the standard, have a look at the `barleytwist' mast support inside the cuddy and the thwart, carved and inlaid.
The 'standard' Highlander design uses a spritsail rig, but it also has lugger and gunter variations of which 'Egret' uses the latter variation. Egret's internal layout has also been extensively adapted from the original design by the use of a different locker top construction and pumped ballast tanks rather than the standard self-filling and emptying design.
The cuddy really is just that and no more on the Highlander 18, so this really is an open boat. Only the 19'6" version that has a true (small) cabin. On 'Egret', the builders decided to reduce the cuddy a little more, and then 'overcompensate', by adding a very generous spray hood that together with the cuddy encloses quite a long space, nearly half the length of the cockpit. Plenty long enough for camping and the 'zip in back' gives a good volume and passable privacy.
She also has a cockpit tent with full sitting headroom over the whole cockpit area. Startlingly spacious and quite cosy, it's a good solid canvas tent, proofed and fairly easy to set. Both spray hood and tent are arch-topped, rather than over-boom, to ensure good headroom. The sides on the tent may each be rolled up, as may be the after panel, giving plenty of ventilation options.
She has loads of locker space along both side seats and across the centre of the cuddy. One, to starboard, contains a Porta-Potti. The extreme fore-peak and extreme stern comprise sealed boyancy tanks, so she has buoyancy aplenty. Ballast is 400lb of water stored in a centreline tank. The design calls for fill and empty holes, but the builders preferred to pump the water in and out, so she has twin diaphragm-type pumps that can be either fill/empty the tanks, or both can bale.
The father and son who built her did a superb job. The scantlings were all increased a little and all the epoxy fillets are pretty much perfect. Even the reinforcing pads (for everything) are filleted and sanded smooth. Wow! It was their idea to make the cuddy a little smaller and fit a large generous spray-hood. Good move!