An old friend of mine, John Strutt, is a very clever craftsman, who is able to build things from fibreglass, wood and metal. He has built several yachts; including a modified fibreglass Vertue similar to the original wooden yacht designed by Laurent Giles and a 28’ Venus cutter designed by Paul Johnson, but the boat he built shown in the photos above is a Nick Skeates Wylo. John is an amateur radio ham and perhaps that’s why he named his yacht, ‘Sparky’.
I have sailed on her and I know how stable she is. Because of her stability and spacious decks she is very easy to manage. Her helm is light and she holds her course under sail. She also handles well in restricted waters. She has an unusual hinged pulpit that acts as a lever to which the forestay is attached for raising and lowering the mast which articulates on a bolt that passes through a tabernacle. There is no need to remove the sail and spars before lowering the mast, because there is room under it for the rig. The boom is attached to the tabernacle by a gooseneck fitting and the yard hinges on a crutch.
The designer of ‘Sparky’, Nick Skeates, has sailed his own Wylo ll around the world, and by doing so he has proven that she is suitable for serous offshore sailing.
When I recently went to Walton-on- the- Naze I noticed ‘Sparky’ on the hard not far from the Yacht Club. I introduced myself to the owner, and he was delighted to show me what he has done with a view to bringing her back to her original glory. He has finished everything aft of the companionway, and he has stripped away linings and fittings from both cabins so that he can treat the interior surfaces. He has set himself the target of finishing the boat for launching by June of next year.
Building a Wylo – Practical Boat Owner Magazine
The Laurent Giles Archive
Wylo Yard – Building a Wylo