In addition to ‘Endeavour’ and ‘Nancy Grey’, another yacht caught my attention. She was ‘Patrice’, an Oakleaf class yacht built by Sutton and Smith of Great Wakering, possibly between 1970 and 1972. I didn’t find her as aesthetically attractive as the others, but she gave the appearance of being a practical vessel, suitable for East Coast cruising.
These 28’ wooden clinker boats, with four berths and a separate head, also have a decent size cockpit large enough for a crew of four. ‘Patrice’ has been fitted with a bowsprit for her furling jib which will help in light airs.
The wooden interior of a traditional yacht such as ‘Patrice’ can be a home-from-home, providing warmth and comfort, a place of refuge on a cold winter’s night. She would have a double leaf table that hinges out from her centreboard case, and long lounge seats either side that convert into bunks. In the forepeak she would have two separate bunks.
There were other yachts of interest, but I’ll just mention one, this shapely gaff cutter with a taffrail stern. Despite her short waterline I think she would be a slippery little thing, very exciting to sail with her crowd of canvas – good fun too working those running backstays.
Statistics for an Oakleaf 28
Maximum Draft: 4'0"
Displacement: 4 tons
1972 Oakleaf 28 for Sale £12,950