Is For Sale

Egret Banner Picture

Egret is a Highlander 18 designed by Selway Fisher Design and featured on their website. The highlanders are a range of boats that are primarily dayboats, though the smallest is pehaps closer to dinghy and the largest is perhaps a weekender.

She was built for themselves by two sailing enthusiast who are high quality woodworkers, specialising mostly in church fitting, so as you can imagine, 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, which is carved and inlaid.

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 the `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" give a good volume and passable privacy.

Since buying her, we've also added a proper cockpit tent that gives 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 entilation 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. I noticed that 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 in my opinion.

She also now has a solar panel charged battery for the new LED navigation lights that I'll be fitting sometime soon. The wood mounts are made, they just need fixing and wiring.

She has a demountable "Force 10" single-burner gimballed gas hob, though it's a bit fiddly and a simple meths burner may be as good.

The outboard is a 3.5hp 2-stroke Tohatsu, that drives her to around hull speed at half throttle. Upping the power just makes it noisier.

She sails extremely well, giving the owners of some popular fibeglass dayboats that shall remain nameless cause for envy. She'll get to hull speed in around F3 and I'm pretty sure we've had her surfing on a reach.

We were once caught out under full sail in the Solent by a clear-air sqall that went from F1 to F5 in around 15 seconds. She just weathercocked, so we reefed, looked around and struck the main entirely. In the next hour as we run (perhaps for the best as she doen't point all that well under just headsail and mizzen) to Hill Head, the wind rose to F7. By the time we arived back, we were a bit wet from spray, but feeling fairly comfortable all things considered. In extremis she has a 4kg Rocna anchor that should hold her in just about anything.

She has a good galvanised trailer and is very trailable indeed, weighing in at perhaps 3/4 ton including trailer and excluding the 400lb of seawater.

Here's a letter from one of the guys who built her, from when we contacted him.

Dear Mr. Scott,
Please find enclosed photographs of the "Highlander 18" boat designed by Paul Fisher, built by us regardless of cost; it was a labour of love, but as I explained to you on the telephone our situation has changed. There is a spare wheel for the trailer, wheel clamp, hitch lock and a "zip in back" for the spray hood; a new "Porta-Potti" is fitted in the starboard locker under the spray hood. The boat has twin stays, roller furling jib and slab reefing mainsail: (the rig is "Gunter Yawl": jib, mainsail and mizzen). The sails were made by "Quay Sails" of Poole and are cream in colour. There are one or two small items needed, i.e., a mainsheet, bracket to suit engine (4/5hp four stroke) and the odd length of running rigging. I hope that you find the photographs useful and informative, the boat is everything I say and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Yours Faithfully,
            M. P. Hampton

We too now have decided, with many regrets, that it's time we sold her on. My brother and I and our wives bought her originally as a shared boat. We all felt that as couples we really needed more space for holidays than a camping boat really allows. If we'd had a common desire for the bigger boat, we'd have kept Egret, however they wanted low-maintenance GRP and we wanted a traditional gaffer. There was too little common ground for a joint purchase, so we each went our own ways.

She's been a lovely boat to own and sail, however there are only so many boats that one can really have the time to appreciate. Sadly that means we now feel we have a boat too many.

Gordon on 01256-476547       gordon at gscott dot co dot uk
Malcolm on 01428-604422       malcolmscott at supanet dot com
We're asking £8000 for her, including trailer, engine, etc.

We now have a few pictures of Galatea on the website. Galatea is a 1930 build of a 1910 gaff yawl dsign by Albert Strange.

The first picture below is from Launch day in Feb 2005. We cheated a little during the launch as we were on a concrete ramp and there was some powerboat wash, so the Shampoo (well, Cava actually) was poured over the bows a little after setting sail. Well, OK, some was poured and some was used to toast her.

The final picture shows the new cockpit tent that extends the sprayhood to cover the entire cockpit. Physically there's enough space to sleep four, though they'd best be good friends.

The remaining pictures are from August that year, one by family from an Isle of Wight ferry, the rest by me from a very tippy tender. Obviously both camera and I made it back OK.

This is 1/10 size image. Click for the full 4MB version. My scanned copy is a little over-exposed I'm afraid.

Paul Fisher of Selway-Fisher designs has Egret featured on the company's website