Length : 30 feet 0 inches (9.14 metres)
Beam : 6 feet 3
inches (1.90 metres)
Weight : 1.08 tons (1100 kg) dry and empty.
Crew: 6 (or 7) rowing, plus coxswain to steer.
Zuluka is a fast
and graceful wooden boat. She is a rowing gig with auxiliary sail, in
good condition, built in the 1930s,
recently restored and good for another 20 or 50 years. NOTE: She weighs more
than a ton.
The gig is on a fully roadworthy braked trailer, which is
included in the sale.
I’m offering her
for sale on the Isle of Skye as that’s where she is this week, but if unsold
I’ll then be taking her and trailer down to Dover.
She is believed to
be an Admiralty design, built to high standards by a Royal Navy shipyard,
probably for use as an RN captain or port admiral’s sports car.
construction is similar to “double diagonal” RNLI lifeboats. The outer layer is
carvel, probably teak. The diagonal interior layer is probably Honduras
mahogany. The two layers are separated by a layer of oiled calico. Total hull
thickness is 16mm. Trim is Canadian rock elm, fittings are mainly bronze.
In a recent
restoration, part of the transom, the adjoining quarter knee and a small
adjoining area of side planking were replaced with mahogany. Soft parts of
three or four oak ribs were removed. Some galvanic softening of the wood around
the lifting eyes was noted (I wouldn’t lift her by those lifting eyes but she
has plenty of reserve strength). The hull was treated throughout with low
toxicity wood preservative (monoethylene glycol plus borax) recommended by US
Navy for historic boats. Six months later, the dry interior was painted with
Dulux Weathershield Trade (a 3-component system said to provide “8 year
weathering durability”). The hull was already epoxy sheathed outside, and the
few areas that had detached from the teak outer layer were redone. All wood
exposed during this process was sound, except as mentioned above.
She has just
spent 4 weeks on a salt-water mooring on Skye, “taking up” after 5 years of being bone
dry. She carried on making some water amidships, in the region of 15 litres
a day. I haven’t found any visible leak, and I think it’s probably from micro
leaks in the area of the centreboard case.
Auxiliary sail rig is NOT available, although galvanised steel drop keel / centreplate (28.5kg) is present,
housed in a standard centreboard case. Original rig was two
unstayed wooden masts for two dipping lugsails with a surface area of about 237 sq
ft (22 m2). Dipping lugsails are very labour-intensive, and several of these
gigs were re-rigged with a pair of 14-foot dinghy rigs, which is more convenient..
Rudder : Two are included. First is Admiralty
pattern rudder. Second is a new aerofoil
kick-up rudder with oak stock, laminated mahogany blade and epoxy coating. The two types are shown in the diagrams.
Sale includes a
full set of oars in nearly-new condition. Also, set of bronze Admiralty-pattern rowlocks, Admiralty rudder,
original gratings, floorboards. Passenger seating in sternsheets was removed
during restoration and not refitted – would be better to make new ones using
the old ones as the pattern. The only missing items are the oarsman’s
stretchers (i.e. Admiralty pattern footrests). They’re just planks of wood,
easy enough to make from any hardwood.
Trailer is worth over £1000 on its own. I recently fitted
two new Al-Ko 1300kg braked axles (roughly £700 the pair), plus 5
new wheels, 4 nearly new tyres, a Knott overrun tow hitch and stand-on wheel
arches. The trailer is old and has some perforating rust, but I added two new
longitudinal members (which could easily be the tracks for a piggyback
launching trolley if you want to fabricate one) and four or five transverse
members in galvanised steel. It was repainted a year ago with grey tractor
paint, and should be good for another 10 years of safe road use. Combined
weight of boat and trailer is in the region of 2 tonnes, maybe 2.25 tonnes, so
the towing vehicle needs to be fairly heavy, something like a Ford Transit, or
a Land Rover is ideal.
So that I could use the gig for a year of wildlife
observation in the Hebrides, I fitted her out temporarily with an anchor well,
three half bulkheads beneath thwarts, raised deck with several inches of
closed-cell foam (zotefoam/evazote/ethafoam) for insulation and flotation,
closed-cell foam floors, two bunks, three small GRP/wood hatches and a
GRP-sheathed doghouse which makes a good sitting space. Also, accessories
including a sailing rig, warps and other ropes, a 9.9 hp Yamaha high
thrust outboard, outboard bracket, heavy-duty bow roller, anchors, chain,
windlass, Yuasa marine batteries, battery box, solar panel, charge controller,
manual pump, two electric pumps with float switches, nav lights, anchor light,
spotlight, VHF DSC radio, antenna, Origo stove, etc. (NOTE: These accessories
are NOT included in the sale except as below.)
I soon found that the sailing rig is totally unsuited to
local conditions in the Hebrides. My fault, not the gig’s. The Yamaha 9.9
outboard pushes her along economically at 6 knots thanks to her slippery hull
shape, but I don’t really want to spend another 9 months listening to an
outboard, so unless anybody local buys her in this auction, this week, I will
take her back down south, unbolt and remove all the above, and sell her as a
classic rowing gig.
If you buy her in this auction, then unless you decide you
want her with the raised deck and doghouse it’ll be up to you
to unbolt, remove and dispose of them.
The non-rowing accessories mentioned above (sailing rig, Yamaha
outboard, radio, etc, and all non-fixtures and personal items like clothing and
binoculars) are NOT included in this auction, and it’ll take me a few days
after the auction to remove them. However I’ll include a set of warps, 3
anchors, 2 anchor chains, windlass, pumps, battery box (but not the batteries)
and a few other things if you want them.
Payment MUST be made in cash within three working days of
the end of the auction, please. If you
want to leave her where she is for a time, I’ve been paying the boatyard about
£80/month, and it’s £65 to launch or recover her using a travelhoist (unless you
want to launch her using the trailer, which I suppose would be free).
Current Price: £2250.00
This Classic Boat: 30 Foot Rowing-sailing Gig, On Skye boat is located in Isle of Skye, IV49 9AL and is being sold on eBay by sailinggig.