ARIETTA - More Information


This is a preview of the account published in the March 2016 OGA Newsletter, Photos as in the Newsletter publication will be added.

Importing a Golant Gaffer - DAVE Cliff

I have had a soft spot for the Roger Dongray designed 19 ft Golant Gaffer for a number of years now. It was a combination of being an avid fan of Classic Boat magazines' numerous adverts for old gaffers, and having sailed a Cornish Shrimper (also Roger Dongray) on a couple of nostalgic trips back to Cornwall where I grew up. I found the Shrimper too plastic and unresponsive and was told that the Golant Gaffer, which has a hull shape similar to Falmouth working boats, was the boat for me. Importantly it had lots of retro character and is a modern strip plank built wooden yacht.

In September last year, my occasional searches online came across an obviously well cared for, 1998 built, Golant Gaffer (G3) moored a stones throw from where my brother lives in Cornwall. The price seemed very reasonable although it was increasing as the dollar dived against the pound. My brother went around to inspect her (ArRIETTA) and even managed to get a test sail, which he raved about over the phone and sent more photos.

After years of being banned from even mentioning "Golant Gaffer'' to my wife she very kindly decided it was now or never to let me live my dream and so an offer was made and accepted and the work began to get it shipped to Perth. 
I had thought that by buying a 19 ft boat it would fit in a 20 ft container but I had forgotten the mast, which was 24 ft. So a 40 ft container was ordered from the shipping agent. You would have thought that I could have shared the extra container space and cost with a reputable person, but that is now very complicated for security reasons and strongly discouraged by the shipping agent. 

The local St Just in Roseland boatyard, Pasco’s, cleaned the boat up, inside and out leaving nothing for our quarantine guys to complain about. Then Robin Edwards at RMS Transport, who was also only a few miles from St Just in Roseland, fabricated a cradle, picked up the boat and organized a final wash-down as it was delicately slid into the container with only an inch to spare on either side. 

I used an Australian shipping agent, Famous Pacific Shipping, to organize the container and its transport to Portsmouth where it was loaded on a massive container ship, MOL Quartz. I could follow the ship online but I had a nervous couple of days when, after going to Singapore the MOL Quartz headed off to China. My container was trans-shipped in Singapore to the much smaller OOCL Norfolk and continued its month long journey to Perth. It arrived in mid November but took about 10 days to get through customs and be transported to a licensed quarantine yard where it was unloaded and inspected. Very minor extra cleaning was called for and it was released by quarantine to be transported on a truck to Nedlands Yacht Club where we lifted it off with a Telehandler.

The question that I am always asked is how much does it cost to ship a boat this way. The answer is that I have been trying not to add it up! However, when I did there has been no change from $20,000 when you include the GST and Import Duty, insurance, cleaning and loading on top of the $12,000 for the actual shipping. But hell, I would not be able to buy or rebuild a Golant Gaffer in Australia with full sea going kit for the total price, so I'm still happy.

Since ARIETTA arrived she has had a paint job as, although I liked the black, it attracted rather too much heat in our sunny country. After many delays and difficulties getting insurance, until SGIO came to the party, we finally launched ARIETTA on 25th January and put her on a mooring at Nedlands Yacht Club. 

Sailing her has been magical, she seems fast but we will have to see how she goes against the other gaffers. She’'s light on the tiller, with a responsive feel, despite the long keel and is very controllable under power from the Yanmar 1GM 10 inboard diesel. It has been worth the wait and the hassle and I now have a lovely gaff rigged, seaworthy, character yacht to sail with the other old gaffers.

Dave Cliff   March 2016 OGA Newsletter,