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McGruer Bermudan Ketch - SOLD

  • Designer: Ewing McGruer
  • Builder: McGruers of Clynder, Scotland
  • Year: 1929
  • Location Eire
  • Length on deck: 38
  • Beam: 9'6
  • Draft: 5'8
  • Tonnage(TM): 11


REF: 7698

Full Specification

Wooden ships comments on this McGruer Bermudan Ketch

Designed by Ewing McGruer

Built by McGruers of Clynder on the Clyde, Scotland in 1929.


Length on deck                       38’

Lwl                                          28’

Beam                                       9’6”

Draft                                       5’8”


Thames Tonnage                     11TM

McGruer Bermudan Ketch

McGruers was one of the great Scottish boatyards run by a succession of generations of the same family. They built their own in-house designs as well as others and gained an enviable reputation for their quality of workmanship.


This yacht was built for a Dr Carslaw, a founding member of the Clyde cruising Club and launched as Rowan 11 in 1929. Dr Carslaw had 2 boats built by McGruers.

Following Rowan 11, in 1934 Dr Carslaw  bought Rowan 111  designed by another of the great Scottish designer Alfred Mylne and built by Mylne’s yard on the Clyde in 1930 and  then went back to McGruer for Rowan 1V in 1938

Rowan 1V was an exquisite 30’ cutter based on the local Loch Fynne fishing boat, all varnished mahogany with a Kelvin engine. Dr Carslaw wrote about his sailing exploits around the West Coast of Scotland in his 4 yachts in a lovely little book – Leaves from Rowan’s Log.

Rowan lV shares a recognisable feature with Rowan ll, the dog-house, which is not typical of McGruer’s work and must have been a special request from Dr Carslaw on both yachts. One can understand that the dog-house on both boats must have been a great advantage sailing in the Scottish climate.

The yacht has been in present ownership since 1972, when Lothian Barclay acquired and cruised her up and down the West Coast of Scotland with his family. She was laid up in Dumbarton through the 1980’s and into the ‘90’s before  having an extensive refit in 1998 – 2000. When his daughter married an Irishman, they sailed her down to Waterford where she is now berthed spending the summers cruising around the islands of West Cork with their young family. She won her class in the Glandore Classic Yacht Regatta in 2009 and is a regular attendee of the Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival each May.

She had a further refit in 2005/6 when the canvas sheathing on the fore deck was replaced amongst other works.  2007 survey available.


At 11 TM this is a very sweet yacht with a fine bow and a lovely elliptical counter stern. She is a good-sized yacht well suited to family sailing with the possibility of 6 berths + a pipe-cot and the great advantage of shelter in the dog-house.





Planked 1.25” pitch-pine on heavy sawn oak frames, 3” x 3” with 2 steam-bent timbers between – a very robust construction.

The planking is fastened to the sawn frames with bronze screws and with copper nails to the steam bent timbers, clenched over in the Scottish manner rather than roved as built in the south.



The deck is laid in pine and covered in canvas.  This was a very acceptable way of laying a deck avoiding the cost and weight of a solid laid deck, not to mention the possibility of deck leaks. The canvas was wetted, stretched over the deck, pinned all round with copper nails then any old oil paints which happened to be handy were worked into the wet surface. As it dried it shrunk to leave a very durable and totally water-tight surface which can then be painted to a colour of choice though it can be vulnerable to knocks. Don’t let the crew drop the anchor on the deck!

The canvas was replaced in the 2006 refit in Ireland.

The main deck is carried right out to the gunnel giving much more volume in the cabin with the dog-house stepped into it. Port-holes fitted each side along the raised sheer strake.

The side decks step down in way of the after end of the dog-house and out to the lovely elliptical counter stern.

The dog-house roof is laid in pine but the original canvas has been replaced with a modern sail-cloth sheathing.


Varnished teak dog-house and coamings The cock-pit is self-draining, deep and safe with the coaming very sweetly radiussed round the after end and a door from the cock-pit into the dog-house port side.

Wheel steering.

The mizzen mast is keel stepped in the cock-pit against the aft face of the dog-house.

Galvanised twin chain roller stem-head fitting.



Long 4 ton iron keel secured with iron bolts. 4 bolts were replaced in 1997 with stainless steel.

Galvanised strap floors.



Masthead Bermudan ketch.   Keel stepped timber, built masts varnished.  Main slab reefing boom, mizzen roller reefing boom.

Stainless steel standing rigging (2001).  Rigging screws SS.  Split standing backstays.


Internal galvanised chainplates.

Tufnol cockpit winches.



Mainsail, battened.  256 sq ft.

Mizzen, heavy genoa, light genoa, jib.   All made in 1966.



Volvo Penta MB2B 25hp.  1973.  New bearings, piston rings, valves reground and injectors refurbished 2015.   Twin lever controls.   Centreline 2 blade propeller.

Cruising speed 5kts, Max 6 kts.  Fuel consumption 3.3 litres/hour at 1600 revs.

12v electrics.  2 x 12v batteries.



Fuel.  Copper tank port side of the cockpit under the side deck.  90 litres.

Water.  SS tank under the cockpit sole.  110 litres.




Berths:  6 + pipecot.   Headroom 6’ in the main saloon and forecabin.  6’1 in galley.

Berth lengths 6’2.


From forward – Single berth plus a pipecot in the focsle.

Saloon with 4 berths

Jabsco sea toilet in a separate compartment. (Starboard side)


Galley: Plastimo gas 2 burner, grill and oven.  Galley sink pumps overboard.(Portside)

Single berth (starboard)in the wheelhouse. Chart table portside





Sestrel compass

Nasa Clipper Duet log/sounder

VHF radio

Hand held GPS



Seago 4 man liferaft.  Service due March ‘16

3 fire extinguishers

Coastal flares


Ground tackle

45lb CQR anchor

96m 3/8 chain


10kg Bruce anchor

50m 5/16 chain



10’ Avon inflatable.  2000.

Warps and fenders




These particulars have been prepared in good faith from information provided by the Vendors and are intended as a guide, Wooden Ships cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. The Purchaser should instruct his agent or surveyor to validate all details as necessary and satisfy himself with the condition of the vessel and its equipment.







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