Classic Boat Magazine introduces the 2020 Awards this week, and we find several OGA boats listed once again amongst the nominations. “Today’s classic sailing and motorboat scene owes its existence to the passion and dedication of many people – boat owners, regatta organisers, crew, naval architects, volunteer yacht club officers and of course the skilled boatbuilders who have built or restored the vessels on our list.”
Take a look at some of the boats from the OGA online Boat Register listed here and visit the Classic Boat website to cast your votes.
Restoration of the Year (under 40ft): 'Ziska'
Designed and built by Crossfield Brothers, Arnside, 1903,
38ft 6in (11.7m) LOD, rig gaff cutter
'Ziska' first called to young English boatbuilder Ashley Butler, who restored her, aged 19, and sailed her to the Americas in the late 1990s. She was found again recently by new owner Stanford Siver, who, with a cast of local Port Townsend (WA) shipwrights found himself in a race to restore her for the madcap 2019 Race to Alaska, which she did in style.
Restoration of the Year (over 40ft): 'Duet'
Designed by Linton Hope, 1912,
built by White Bros (Southampton), 50ft (15.1m) LOD, rig gaff yawl
Built as an example of a so-called '22-tonner', 'Duet' is more elegant than most sail-training vessels, which is what she has been for much of her life, and continues to be, under the Cirdan Sailing Trust. Duet's teak build has ensured she’s remained largely original to this day, even after a keel and engine overhaul and general refit at Fox’s in Suffolk.
A yacht that reaches 122 without a rebuild is a true rarity. 'Witch', originally 'Belem', was built by Dickies of Tarbert as an open boat to ferry passengers and goods between the Isle of Gigha and the Scottish mainland. She was later converted to a 38ft 8in (11.8m) cutter-rigged yacht. Her current owner often sails her singlehanded.
The 38ft (11.6m) 'Ziska' was built along the lines of the Morecambe Bay prawners of her era by the Crossfield Brothers. In 1997, 19-year-old boatbuilder Ashley Butler restored and sailed her across the Atlantic. Her new owner Stanford Siver found her and restored her for the wild 2019 Race to Alaska, which she completed safely.
Traditional New Build: OGA dinghy
Designed by Andrew Wolstenholme, built by Tony Kiddle,
13ft 6in (4.1m) LOA, rig gaff sloop
Does the world need another plywood dinghy, we asked? Well, the OGA’s modern take on a Heron is pretty appealing – more so than a Heron, dare one say. She’s a fun, simple, family boat to build at home from a stitch-and-glue plywood kit. With 230 OGA members interested in trailer-sailing, she could prove to be a popular recipe.