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 `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" 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 design by Albert Strange.

The first photos below is from Launch day, way back in 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.

A Montage from the builders

Launch day -- 6th Feb 2005

And Our First Sail In Egret

A Trip to Wooton Creek 27 Aug 2005

Some photos taken from the ferry, some in the creek

A Photo-shoot around Hill Head (our home base)

These were taken from a distinctly light and `tippy' GRP tender in an onshore breeze that meant a lot of sculling to keep off of the shore. Some of the jaunty photo angles owe more to the dinghy's performance than to my photographic skills. The tow back into the harbour at the end was very welcome as the sculling hand was getting a little sore.

A couple from later.

On the way to Wooton, I think. I don't know why they're not sailing as there seems a modest breeze. Perhaps there was a tide-gate issue

Egret snugged away in the tiny harbour at Hill Head on The Solent.

Some recent photographs (January 2018).

We'd had a green tarpauline over her, which had begun to disintegrate, so we replaced it and cleaned out the green debris. These are the "after the vacuuming" photos.

With the mast and spars down, there are quite a few ropes and wires around, but most are out of the way onece the rig is up. As a gunter yawl, she has quite a few strings to pull, which is great for kids as they really feel part of the crew.

We have two sets of spar sissors, this set for when the mast and spars are don and a simple set for everyday use.

The mizzen mast is a simple tapered square poll that could be unstayed, but does have stays if one wants hem. The mizzen is a simple triangular sail with a "wishbone" to set the sail shape.

We can't put up the mast where she is in the garden because that telephone ewire is in the way. I must put the wheel back on and move her out a bit.

The bilge pumps, one each side, have diverter valves and double as ballast tank fill/empty pumps.
There are also drain points at all low places so that one doesn't always have to pump.

The mizzen and bumkin in place.

(The bumkin is a bit longer than it appears here, because of its horizontal angle)

Slightly earlier photographs, ditto. (September 2017).

New all-over cover by Wilkinson Sails, made from Top Gun fabric. (June 2018).

Delivered today (14th) and superb. I had Wunkinsons make a cover for Galatea of this fabric, because Galatea is 120 miles from home and renewing tarpaulins several times each winter was silly. Galarea's cover is several years old and still brilliant. I've had a few extra reinforcement patches added and odd bits of seam resewn, but that's all it's nended.

I've had no hesitatiuon in having similar covers for our tender Akis and for Egret.

The reinforcement patches are, of course, to take the wear that will inevitably happen where bits rub. Patches can be replaced when they tire, rather than having to repair the main cover.

Whilst on new stuff, I've also just replaced all of the rollers on the trailer as they were starting to perish, the complete nosewheel assembly, and had recently replaced tyres and brakes parts. I plan to replace (preferably) or failing that repair that cracked mudguard.

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