The Motor Sailer Margaretta

by John MacFarlane 2018


The Motor Sailer Margaretta hauled out in 2018. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

In 1937 the Margaretta was built by R.A. Newman & Son at Hamworthy, Dorset UK. In 1992 she was renamed as Margaretta II. She is 13.96m x 3.90m x 2.19m with a wooden hull 19.65gt 9.09rt.

She came to the U.S. east coast in 1957 as the Yankee Girl. Badly damaged in a hurricane in Florida she was rebuilt and re–engined in 1969 when she was moved to San Francisco CA.

Melodie and Grant had been looking for a boat for some time and visited San Francisco where the Margaretta was for sale. After a trial sail and a close inspection during a haul out in Sausalito they purchased her 1992. After removing the masts they had her trucked to Bainbridge Island WA to the Eagle Harbour boatyard. After unloading the Blundells did some preliminary work to enable her to be sailed home to Cowichan Bay.


Melodie and Grant Blundell in front of the motor sailer Margaretta (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

While to their expert eyes the vessel looked to be in good condition they quickly discovered that hidden defects would have to be remedied. The vessel was constructed with alternating bent and sawn frames. They were reinforced with iron straps fastened with copper rivets. Electrolysis had taken a toll on the structure and the wood in contact with the metal was damaged. This could not be seen during the survey. To remedy this condition the entire interior of the vessel was removed and one by one the frames were replaced or repaired. They used a traditional approach and poured pitch into the pockets to facilitate drainage from the bilge.

With vintage hardware from Doc Freeman&rsuo;s ship chandler store in Seattle they worked on the boat for three weeks making repairs. The boat, they recall, was actually not in great shape and every year for several years they took on a major refit project.

Even owning and operating a shipyard did not mean a quick turn–around on the project. Work was undertaken alternating with the regular maintenance and haul -outs for customers arriving at the yard. Later they replaced the deck (all copper bronze fastenings), deck beams, replaced seven planks, and completed lots of interior work. After six months she was ‘like new’, back in the water and has been carefully maintained ever since.

She still has her original masts (she is rigged as a ketch) but a new 5–bladed propeller from Osborne Propeller driven by a 6–cylinder Perkins engine and a new transmission moves her when there are light airs. As needed the sails were replaced over the years.


The deck of the Margaretta being rebuilt and replaced at the Cowichan Bay Shipyard. (Photo from the Melodie and Grant Blundell collection.)


The re-decking project quickly expanded to re–beaming when the deck was removed. (Photo from the Melodie and Grant Blundell collection.)


The deck of the Margaretta being rebuilt and replaced at the Cowichan Bay Shipyard. (Photo from the Melodie and Grant Blundell collection.)

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John (2018) The Motor Sailer Margaretta. 2018.

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