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59′ Bermudan Ketch

  • Designer: Kurt A.H. Oehlmann
  • Builder: Louw & Halverson, Cape Town
  • Year: 1961
  • Location Devon
  • Length on deck: 59'
  • Beam: 16'5"
  • Draft: 6'6"
  • Tonnage(TM): 35 Tons displ


REF: 981

Full Specification

Built by Louw & Halverson, Cape Town, S Africa in 1961 to a design by Kurt A.H. Oehlmann of Lubeck, Germany.

Oehlmann is a well-known name in European yachting circles, responsible for some fine yachts and several super-yachts.

The yacht has had only two owners from new. The first owner, Col. Stanley Jeffrey stipulated a design capable of withstanding the rigours of Cape waters and to be capable of 9knts under sail and power.  In many thousands of miles on world cruising she has proved herself to be capable of both.

She left Cape Town in April 1964 for the Med via St Helena, Ascension Island, Cape Verdes, Canaries and Gibraltar.  She took 35 days at sea to sail 5850 miles averaging 7 knts, 167 miles per day.

Plaques in the saloon record several of her exploits:

Simonstown to Port Elizabeth Race 1962

Capetown to Lamberts Bay, Saldahna Race 1963

Whangarei New Zealand to Noumea Race 1967

Capetown to Rio Race 1971

Capetown to Rio Race 1972

Capetown to Rio Race 1973

Capetown to Malta cruise 1986

Malta to Bristol 1987

Bristol to Almeria 1988

Majorca to Dartmouth 1990

Brest Festival 1992

Bristol Sea Festival 1996

St Nazaire Classic Yacht Festival 1997


In 1968 she sailed out of Cape Town  to rescue Cmdr Bill King who had been capsized and partially dismasted during the round the world race in Galway Blazer some 1100 miles SW of the Cape. She found the casualty and towed her 200 miles back to Cape Town.


Her power and weight make her comfortable in heavier sea conditions and she is exceptionally fast off the wind.

Downwind in F 4 – 5 she will comfortably make 8 – 9knts

Upwind, she performs best at between 35’ – 45’ off the wind.

Properly trimmed and with a strong crew the owners have averaged 12knts to 13knts. Slab reefing main and mizzen and a powerful roller furling gear on the headsail make the rig manageable even short-handed.

Under power she cruises comfortably at 1200rpm, 8knts at 1.5gph.

The VP prop makes her very manageable under power.

This yacht has all the most desireable qualities in a true ocean cruiser and above all is comfortable and kind to her crew.




The hull design features a traditional long keel with generous freeboard, an over-hanging transom stern with davits to carry the dinghy and a flared buoyant bow to throw the water clear.


The hull is planked in Nigerian mahogany with a total thickness of 38mm (1 ½”), double planked with staggered seams, all scarphed joints with no butts,  the two layers screwed together with thousands of bronze screws and screw fastened to the frames.

The frames are laminated in American oak using a resorcinol glue and screws, varying between 2.25” to 3” sided, 3” moulded at 12” centres.

The plank seams are not caulked but each seam was laid up using the traditional tight seamed method of planking, one accurately fitted to the next with a single string of caulking cotton laid in a groove bruised with a wheel tool into the edge of the plank.

Diagonal bronze straps from keel to beam shelf on the inside face add to the strength of this hull.

Oak keel, 3’ moulded depth.

Massive cross sawn oak floors on every frame, through bolted with bronze bolts.


Ballast. 11 tonnes long external lead ballast keel with 12 off 25mm stainless steel keel bolts, each approx 18” long.


Paint systems. The hull is spray painted in Awlgrip. The deck and superstructure are coated in Coelan.


The deck is laid in 25mm teak glued and screwed to a 19mm ply sub deck on oak deck beams.

The teak planking is yacht laid to a king plank and cover-boards, the seams payed with butyl rubber compound. Recently, the deck was coated with Coelan to give a semi-bright and totally water-tight finish.

A 9” toe rail with varnished hardwood capping runs round the deck with a heavy rubbing strake at deck level.

A teak grating plank bowsprit emphasises the elegance of her sheer.


Long stowage boxes each side on the fore deck, warps in the port box, warps and gas bottle in the stbd box.

Heavy duty hydraulic windlass and a massive stainless steel Sampson post.

2 pairs of horn cleats on the fore deck, pair of cleats on the aft deck with roller-type fairleads through the toe-rail in the quarters.

Double horn cleats midships each side.

Flush hatch on the aft deck to access the lazarette and steering flat.

Stowage box against the taff rail contains dinghy accessories.

Stainless steel pulpit and push-pit with stanchions and twin guard wires all round. Gate in the wires each side. Fold-down stainless steel boarding ladder on the port quarter.

Souwester MOB device on the rail each side aft.


The superstructure comprises a waist high house between the masts over the saloon and a low coach-roof round the mizzen mast over the after accommodation. Between the two is the narrow athwartships cock-pit area with midships wheel all on main deck level with no well to hold water when the decks are awash. Entrance to the cabin is to port of the wheel.

The helm position is covered with an open-backed dog-house which could have been a later addition, canvas tilt encloses the after end.

The coamings are in a rich dark hardwood, possibly the same mahogany as the hull, also double planked and finished bright.

The coach-roof decks are laid in teak with black rubber seams and finished in Coelan to match the main deck.

A modern aluminium flush deck hatch on the fore deck gives access and ventilation to the forward accommodation with a similar hatch on the main coach-roof over the saloon cabin, smaller deck hatches in front of the coach-roof and two more large hatches on the after coach-roof.



Teleflex system on low pressure hydraulics at the wheel with twin rams on the rudder stock head in the steering flat.

Raymarine S3G hydraulic auto-pilot fitted new in 2008 interfaced with the chart plotter.


Bermudian ketch rig.

New Z-Spars masts, booms and standing rigging fitted in 2010.

60’ elliptical section main mast stepped on the deck with a massive steel compression post below. Twin spreaders.  Internal halyards on clutches.

40’ mizzen mast stepped on the aft coach-roof. Single swept spreaders, jumpers and diamonds above.

Standing rigging.

Main mast rigging in 12mm stainless steel with swaged terminals to stainless steel open-bodied rigging screws to massive internal bronze chain plates.

Twin lowers to the lower spreaders, intermediates to the upper spreaders and cap shrouds all the way round, truck to deck. Spreader lights.

Split standing back stays to the main mast, cap to deck.

Running backstays on tackles from the upper spreaders.

Mainsheet track across the after coach-roof behind the helm position. Lewmar blocks, jammer on the lower block.

Outer masthead fore stay on Furlex furling gear to the bowsprit.

Inner fore stay parallel with the outer from upper spreaders to stemhead with over-centre release lever allowing it to be removed and triced back to the mast.

Spinnaker/bearing out pole stows up the fwd face of the mast.

Genoa sheets through cars on rail track lead back to the sheet winches on the after coach-roof.

Mizzen mast  with single lowers to the spreaders, cap shrouds and diamonds over the jumper struts. 10mm stainless steel rigging to stainless steel chain plates on the after coach-roof sides.

Split standing back stays to the davits with runners on tackles.

Mizzen sheets to a track on the aft deck. Lewmar blocks, jammer on the lower block.

Slab reefing booms with lazy-jacks.



Sheet  winches located on the after coach-roof.

2 x Lewmar 52 ST self tailing genoa sheets.

1 x top action Gibb on the Furlex roller furling gear.
Main sheet winch.


Main mast:      3 x Lewmar 40ST

Mizzen mast:   2 x Lewmar 8 top action.



Mainsail, slab reef

Mizzen, slab reef

Genoa on Furlex roller furling gear.


Mizzen staysail





Caterpillar D320B 4-cylinder naturally aspirated diesel engine develops 120BHP at1200rpm.

Fresh water cooled with heat exchanger. Salt water intake sight trap.

Halyard wet exhaust with electronic temp warning.


2:1 reduction manual gear-box and variable pitch shaft by Slack and Parr of Oldham, Lancs (now part of the  Bamford Group) using a Caterpillar dry clutch.

1 meter diam, 3-blade bronze VP prop operated by wheel from the helm to give infinitely variable power, most useful when anchoring or coming to a mooring.

Morse lever throttle control.

This installation gives a comfortable cruising speed of 8knts at 1200rpm at 1.5gph with a max speed of 10knts and 1500rpm.

Hydraulic pump fr the windlass belt driven off the front end of the engine.

Jabsco manual clutch bilge pump belt driven off the front end of the engine.


Onan 6KVA Marine Genset diesel generator in a sound-proofed box in the engine bay provides 220v AC at 50Hz. Also 12v and 24v supply for battery charging.

Fresh water cooled with heat exchanger, salt water intake sight trap. 1500rpm.

Shore power connection.



The batteries are located in a box under the chart desk seat comprising 6 off, 12v x 110amp/hr batteries in 3 banks of two on 24 volt circuits.

Siemans 24v dynamo on the main engine.

Waeco Mobitronic fan-cooled 240v battery charger powered by the genset.

4 off 12v x 110amp/hr batteries on 12v circuits with Bosch 12v alternator belt driven off the front end of the engine and 20 amp/hr Cetrek battery charger on the genset.




2 x 250 galls tanks in the engine bay.

Marineco desalination plant makes 90 lph using 2 x 240v sea water pumps.

Cleghorn Waring pressurised H&C system feeding two shower rooms, WCs, galley and deck shower.

Calorifier tank heated by the engine cooling water or by 500watt 240v immersion heater on either genset or shore power.




Total of 9 berths in 4 sleeping cabins.


From fwd:

Fore peak cabin open up to the stem with V-berths, lockers under. Hanging locker by the door. Chain chute forward.

Centre-line steps on the after bulkhead to the deck hatch above. Stbd bulkhead door aft to the galley.

Port centre-line door alongside the steps into the port side heads compartment.

Through the heads compartment with door aft into the forward port cabin with high and low berths. Freezer box built in to the joinery as a corner table in the cabin.


Through the galley to lobby at the bottom of the companionway from the saloon.

Door to port from the lobby into the forward port cabin, door forward into the heads.

Forward heads with sea toilet, hand basin and shower.

Stainless steel shower tray with teak gratings. 12v pump overboard on the shower waste.


Formica galley work surface down the stbd side with sink and Taylors 2 burner grill and oven gimballed stainless steel gas cooker. Lockers above and below the work surface.

Hotpoint 750watt microwave oven

Penguin Engineering fridge built in to the after galley bulkhead.



Saloon cabin 5 metre x 4 metre. Windows each side and forward give good visibility.

Table down the stbd side with deep buttoned seating.

Entrance from deck in the after port corner, sliding hatch, door and 3 steps.

Chart desk in the forward port corner, nav instruments above, battery box below.

Panels in the saloon cabin sole lift to give good all round access to the engine compartment below.

Stbd off-set steps down to the after accommodation.

Passage through to the aft cabin.

Heads compartment to stbd with sea toilet, hand basin and shower. IMP stainless steel 240v washing machine.

Next aft to the heads compartment is a full height bosun’s store locker.

To port, the aft stbd cabin with double berth, dressing table and hanging locker.

The aft cabin is fitted with a large double berth to port and a single berth to stbd. Dressing table between across the after bulkhead.



Fore cabin:                  73”

Galley and fwd heads:72”

Saloon:                        74”

Aft cabin:                    73”

Aft stbd cabin:                        74”

Aft heads and passage:74”




Ground tackle.

Simpson Lawrence hydraulic windlass.

1 x 45lb CQR anchor self stows over the stemhead

1 x 55lb CQR anchor self stows over the stemhead.

Ample chain.



Eberspacher 3kw diesel powered warm air cabin heater, rebuilt 2010.

Penguin Engineering fridge built in to the galley bulkhead.

Penguin Engineering freezer compartment built in to the fwd cabin desk.

IMP special purpose 240v stainless steel washing machine.

3-pin 240v sockets in all cabins.



Avon 3.11m rigid inflatable with centre console wheel steering, hung in davits over the stern.

15hp Mercury engine

Mooring warps and fenders.



Rigel steering compass

Seiwa Chart 500 plotter

Furuno LC90

Nasa Target Navtex Proplus

Garmin GPS 120

Raymarine ST60 + Graphics

Raymarine C90W radar


Icom IC-M700UK SSB radio. Call sign GBJG

Furuno D-fax

Clock and barometer.

Raymarine log/speed/sounder

Raymarine ST6002 Auto-pilot


Safety gear                

Life raft, serviced 19.9.11

EPIRB serviced 20.6.11

2 x MOB recovery equipment.

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