Friday, 16 April 2010

There was a time when sailing yachts were hand made. But Mass-production, GRP and rising costs changed the boat building industry irreversibly. So, as the Boatshed Kent Yacht brokers it is always a lovely surprise to be asked to market a yacht that dates from these earlier times and it was a real treat to find an example that still retained its original charm. The boat in question is a Morgan Giles 43’ and this is a boat for sale with Boatshed Kent

Morgan Giles 43' So what is the background to the name? Morgan Giles Yachts are still a very popular and well-known design and the name itself has found its niche in the boating world.

Francis Morgan-Giles was born in 1883 in Devon and spent most of his younger years close to the sea and harbour. Working locally in the Teignmouth area of Devon, he acquired some good practical knowledge of boat building and design. A change of scenery with a move to London followed and Morgan Giles established a design and boatbuilding business with various partners.

The advent of the First World War meant that recreational boating was not possible. Morgan Giles saw service with the Royal Navy and commanded coastal patrol craft until leaving the service in 1920. At this moment, he purchased a well-known Teignmouth yard and set up the business that would be known as Morgan Giles Ltd. As the business developed, initial work concentrated on dinghies, rowing boats and small motor launches.

New designs started to appear including the National 14 which became the International 14’ and the ‘Jolly Boat’ class. The size of boats being built started to increase further with a good mix of both racing and cruising designs . The yard produced two notable six metre yachts known as Margaret and Whimbrel (circa 1921) and a later boat known as ‘lady Cable’ took part in the Dunkirk evacuations. Further boats included ‘8 meter’ designs especially ‘Hispania VI’ which was built for the King of Spain. The advent of the Second World War saw the Morgan Giles yard being used for the construction of Naval vessels including Pinnaces, Motor Launches and Motor Torpedo Boats.

Peacetime resulted in yet further changes with leisure boat building becoming popular again and yet still more military craft including patrol craft and minesweepers. More noteworthy was the construction of six sail training yachts of 43’ (feet) known as Pegasus, Wyvern, Gryphis, Martlet, Leopard and Galahad. Even today, a contract to build yachts for the Royal Navy is a real reward and an acknowledgement of reputation and achievement. The Navy’s standards were high and these yachts were of practical and solid construction and set a style and layout that remains popular today. Smaller designs continued and many of these remain afloat today. The Morgan Giles 30’ was the standard mark Morgan Giles 30

The passing of the man in 1964 (at the age of 81) saw the yard come under the management of his son who continued until its closure in 1969 which was more a reflection of the changing economic times than anything else. However, Morgan Giles designs continued to be constructed and some in the new GRP plastic that we know today.

The Morgan Giles 43’ that is currently for sale with Boatshedkent.com has been lovingly restored by its current owner. Bespoke standards of workmanship from a shipwright results in a general finish that would be as good as the day it left the yard back in the 1950’s. This particular Morgan Giles 43’ has been ashore whilst it has been refitted. Some finishing work amounting to circa £10,000 (approx’) is necessary to get this boat afloat and moving but the boat is practically complete and ready for yet another chapter. However, despite this necessary work, you will see from the pictures on the Boatshedkent.com website, the boat is ‘oozing’ class. For the new owner, this vessel will attract a lot of attention and admirers. If this is your kind of boat then please call or email Suzzanne McDonald of Boatshedkent.com yacht brokers. We have a full range of boats for sale and all these (and more) can be seen by logging-on to the website:
Boatshed Kent