1 of 39
Design n° 505 A of J.L. Watson Office in 1928, JULIETTE, ex Courtlinne, ex Saracen, ex Moonbeam, ex Moonbeam Junior, ex Pretty Polly was masterly built by Alexander Robertson & Sons of Sandbank in Scotland with yard number 180.
20 meters on deck, 50-foot on water line, this extraordinary sailing yacht is one of the last Gaff Cutters built in Scotland. And one of the nicest classic yachts ready to take part succesfully to the International Classic Yachts Races.
Now used for pleasure boating, often only the owner and his wife, JULIETTE is equipped with the corresponding facilities: for short-handed manoeuvring with the mainsail, genoa and staysail furlers and the Barient self-tailing winches, 3 of which are electric (1 for the mainsail, 2 for the genoa).
To anchor in safety with 2 chains of 100 m of 16 and 14 mm and a powerful windlass Lofrans of 3500 W.
For a pleasant stay on board with 2 toilets and 2 electric marine macerator toilets, a pressurised water system, a water heater and a 6 places dishwasher.
The electrical equipment is powered by a service battery bank of 16 LiFePo4 Lithium cells delivering 300A at 24V and two Optima batteries for engine starting. They are powered by a Dynamica mini40 generator and managed by a Victron Quatro 5000w inverter/combo charger.
SAILS and RIGGING
The wardrobe of 3 sails provides 270 m² of upwind sail area:
- 96m² battened mainsail, in spectra covered with taffeta
- 131 m² dacron genoa, on Profurl ED 52 furler controlled from the helm station
- Double ply dacron staysail of 43 m², on manual furler (a curved track in front of the mast makes it self-tacking).
The 12.7 mm single strand NS22 Norseman rigging was replaced in the USA in 1989.
The mast and rigging have been systematically inspected and overhauled every 10 years.
Auxiliary engine Gardner 6-cylinder, 10-litre displacement engine cooled by a fresh water circuit circulating with an exchanger placed outside on the port side of the hull. A 6LB model developing 125 HP at 1100 rpm replaces since the end of 2020 the old 6LWS model of 96 HP placed in 1959.
The auxiliary engine is fed by a 400 l fuel tank (refurbished in 2020). The generator set tank of 125 litres + the auxiliary tank of 80 litres, have a transfer pump that can feed the auxiliary engine if necessary.
The stainless steel drive shaft, which ends in a variable pitch propeller on the starboard side, was replaced by Hundested in 2009, manufacturer of the system.
The keel is a single solid piece of teak on which is bolted a led ballast of 16 tons.
- The oak ribs, with alternating sections of 95 x 89 mm and 51 x 57 mm, are made of grown single pieces pushed into shape. This technique was used by the big shipyards in Scotland to obtain frames that respect the grain of the wood and give strength and flexibility to the hull.
- The 47 mm teak planks fastened on the oak frames are unpolished inside and visible in the cabins and saloon. The chlorinated rubber coating that has covered the hull since 1970 has kept it in perfect condition .
- The prestigious teak deck is still original more than 90 years after construction with the exception of a few pieces and it is fastened directly to the beams
- The interior fittings are in mahogany, varnished.
Originally gaff rigged , this cutter is now a Marconi cutter with a modernized rig:
- its aluminum mast stepped on the keel, designed and built by Hood in 1976, revised in 1992, 2008 and 2019, dominates the 24m deck.
- the carbon roller boom is 8.55 meters long. It was built in 2008. The bronze furler that was on board was reused and equipped with an electric windlass motor that allows to unfurl and furl the mainsail easily. No downhaul.
EXTRAORDINARY MAINTENANCES AND LATEST RESTORATION
In order to continue sailing safely in the years to come, it was necessary to ensure the structural soundness of the bilge and the frames ends and to replace the damaged metal floors, which are more than 90 years old, so that the hull could regain its original reliability. As this inspection and the necessary replacements required the removal and dismantling of a large amount of equipment to gain access to the bottom of the boat, it was decided to take advantage of this to carry out a more complete restoration, including the recaulking and painting of the hull, the overhaul of the mast, a complete overhaul of the electrical installation and the improvement of various equipments.
The Gardner engine showed such weaknesses after the first few trips out of the yard that it was decided to replace it with a similar, but new model after 60 years of service. This work began in 2019 and was completed at the end of 2021 when the new engine was installed. The importance of the work and the irruption of Covid, which caused months of downtime due to the closure of the site, explain the duration of this work campaign.
The pdf 'restoration’,(on the main page of Juliette top right) written in French, illustrates well the recent extensive restoration.
The interior fittings, mostly restored to their original state in 1992, can accommodate 6 people in 3 double cabins in the original layout.
- At the foot of the mahogany companionway in the centre of the yacht, a small passageway leads to starboard to the owner's cabin and to port to a toilet.
- Forward, the galley is located on the port side; through the toilet room accessible on the starboard side is an engine room where the generator and the charger/inverter are located. The remainder of the former crew quarters has been converted into a double cabin forward of the galley.
- At the very front, behind a watertight door, the double chain storage.
- The engine is placed in the axis of the boat at the front of the mast and is consequently in the galley with the electrical panel positioned above the engine box.
- At the back of the companionway, and occupying the whole width of the boat: the saloon and the double cabin at the back.
- The deck house, which overlooks the cockpit and the helm station, is also accessible from this aft cabin, which allows access to the helm station from inside the boat in heavy weather without having to go through the deck.
The Rt. Hon. Thomas Kennedy Laidlaw, Privy Council for Scotland to King George V, member of the Royal Yacht Squadron of Cowes was a racehorse breeder in Ireland. He choosed to name his new yacht after his friend Major Eustace Loder's exceptional mare who had outperformed all the thoroughbreds of her generation between 1903 and 1905 and who was considered, in 1929 and still is, to be one of the most exceptional mares of the century: Pretty Polly. He had James R. Barnett, of G.L. Watson's Glasgow office, design his yacht Pretty Polly a high performance yacht that would allow him to continue racing: a 50-foot on water line sailing yacht that would be one of the last Gaff Cutters built in Scotland.
Built by Alexander Robertson & Sons Ltd, Pretty Polly (listed as #180 in the yard's book) was launched at Sandbank, on the Clyde, on June 10th 1929 (see photo in the gallery and an article of the Yachtsman).
The yacht manned by a crew of 8 sailors and skippered by Sandy Geoffrey, former petty officer of the R.Y. Britannia, won many races including the Clyde Forthnight 1935, second at The Queen Mary’s Cup 1935, a first on the Coronation Race in 1937. Pretty Polly was given to his son Robert 'Robin', like him member of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Jockey Club. In order not to depend anymore on tugs, Robin installed a Belgius auxiliary 2-cylinder 15 HP gasoline engine in 1937.
In 1947 Sir Colin McNeal acquired Pretty Polly. He dismantled William Fife's large Moonbeam (restored and very well known in actual classic boats races ) which he owned at the time, and renamed her Moonbeam Junior, then Moonbeam.
A member of the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, whose members were shipowners and skippers, he first added a dog house and then a raised helm seat for more comfort during races and cruises. He also reinforced the engine, replacing in 1953 the 2-cylinder auxiliary engine by a 4-cylinder Gardner engine of 60 HP, replaced in 1959 by another 6 cylinders Gardner of 95 HP.
Retired from business and racing, in 1956, he used Moonbeam as a pleasure yacht for several years, until 1970. to sail in the Mediterranean in summer and in the Caribbean in winter.
Harold and Patricia Sulger, with ambitions to sail around the world, purchased Moonbeam in 1970. They renamed their yacht Saracen.
In 1976, they sold Saracen to Jack du Gan, Pan Am pilot. The refit judged necessary by H.M. Tiedemann in his November 1976 report, had Ted Hood design the aluminum mast still in place. From her home port of Palm Beach, Florida, Saracen sailed on charter in the Caribbean for nearly 10 years.
Graham H. Lambeth, a Philadelphia real estate entrepreneur, acquired Saracen in 1987, he renamed it Courtlinne in honor of his daughters Courtney and Alinne. He sailed her to Florida and then up to New Jersey to undertake the necessary restoration. In 1988, Courtlinne was put on hard for a refit at Greenwich on the Cohansey (a river on the north shore of the Delaware). The real estate crisis forced him to give up.
In September 1990, Courtlinne was offered for sale to Giorgio Lo Stimolo, an Italian architect working in Paris, who had been looking for a classic yacht with very specific requirements for three years. Courtlinne meets his criteria: the hull and the teak planking as well as the mast and shrouds are in perfect condition; the interior layout is designed for pleasure sailing and the original furniture still present, although in poor condition, promises once restored, to make this yacht very pleasant to live on. In fact, Paul Coble concludes his December 1990 survey by noting that he has rarely seen a boat of this age in such good condition in a 14 pages report.
Nevertheless, the rig, a too short boom, the out-of-order mainsail (which still bears Moonbeam's n°8) and insufficient fittings do not allow to consider crossing the Atlantic in safety. The boat was therefore repatriated to Europe by cargo ship from Baltimore to Le Havre. Two years of restoration carried out afloat at Choisy le Roi on the Seine, gave this yacht back its former splendor. Her new owner gave her his wife's middle name, JULIETTE.
Her first sailing from Deauville brought her back to Cowes, England, where Sir Beken was delighted to find this yacht he remembered so well and to take her portrait her again. The similarity of his photos with those of 30 and 60 years ago shows that modernization has not disturbed her line on the water.
After a few years at the maritime museum in La Rochelle, then in Port Saint Louis du Rhône near Marseille, JULIETTEhas been in Palermo, Sicily since 2009.
In 2019, to give a new youth to this 90 years old yacht and give back to her hull its original solidity and reliability, a new campaign of works has been entrusted to the Oceanica Naval Cantiere of Licata, in Sicily. On this occasion, a new electrical system has been installed and her engine has been replaced by another similar Gardner.
|Length on Deck||20.08m|
|Length at Waterline||15.5m|
|Fresh Water Tank||(Stainless Steel)|
|Fuel Tank||(Stainless Steel)|
|Holding Tank||(Stainless Steel)|
|Engine Model||125 HP|
|Drive Type||Direct Drive|
|Propeller Type||3 Blade|
|Shore Power Inlet||✓|
|Electric Bilge Pump||✓|
|Manual Bilge Pump||✓|
|Sea Water Pump||✓|
|Outboard Engine Brackets||✓|
|Fully Battened Mainsail||✓|