Sailing yachts

12 ton Berthons Gauntlet

(REF: 17933)


  • Designer: H.G. May
  • Builder: Berthons of Lymington
  • Year: 1938
  • Location: Lancashire
  • Length on deck: 36'8"
  • Beam: 9'7"
  • Draft: 5'6"
  • Tonnage: 12TM

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Full specification

Wooden ships comments on this 12 Ton Berthons Gauntlet

The 12 ton Berthons Gauntlet was designed and built by the Berthon Boat Co. Lymington, 1938. The Gauntlet range was the great early success story in the Berthon history starting with the first 12 tonner in 1934, aptly named Gauntlet, the yacht being built as a challenge in a race which of course she won.

16 12 tonners were built,  5 of the smaller 8 tonners, 10 of the 14 tonners and another 5 or so up to the largest at 26 TM before building ceased with the last 8 tonner Bardu in 1951.

12 ton Berthons Gauntlet

The design was conceived as a cruiser racer and several of these yachts have shown remarkable performances over the years.


This one is the third to last of the 12 tonners built in 1938 for the naturalist Oliver Hook who had previously ordered an 8 tonner. He eventually sold his 12 tonner but later bought her back! The present owner bought her from Oliver Hook in 1950 making over 60 years in the same ownership which must qualify for the Guiness Book of Records.


Inspected in summer 2012 and found to be the most remarkably original yacht, almost exactly as built and in very smart sea-going condition.  She is always stored ashore in a dry shed in winter.

She has never undergone one of those refits which so often spoiled a beautiful yacht and while she has been very little altered she has of course had some modernisation including  a new engine and sails and no doubt a new owner will want to look at some of the dark corners and check the keel bolts, sea-cocks, floors and rigging as ever when taking on a new boat.

She still has all her original fittings including the magnificent gear bilge pump operated while sitting on the loo and above all the most magnificent panelled mahogany interior joinery in absolutely first class condition.

In all their years of cruising over many thousands of miles the yacht has given the family the most enormous pleasure. The owners now want a new guardian to take over, to enjoy her as they have and ensure she is still sailing in another 50 years.

The Gauntlet is a very distinctive and well-balanced design with a pointed canoe stern, balanced sheer and good freeboard.


Planked in teak fastened with copper nails and rooves to 3” x 2 ½” oak frames in grown futtocks at approx 20” centres with an intermediate steamed rock elm timber.

Iron strap floors on every frame and timber ensure a very strong construction.

Long external lead ballast keel secured with bronze keel bolts. There is a recollection of a keel bolt being drawn about 20 years ago.


Solid teak deck, yacht laid and joggled to the king plank.

Varnished teak king plank, cover-boards and toe rails.

Stainless steel stanchions and pull-pit, galvanised steel push-pit.

Heavy teak bar cleats take mooring warps forward and aft.


Varnished teak coach-roof from the cock-pit up to the mast with 3 bronze port holes each side and two forward.

Coach-roof coamings extend aft to form the cock-pit coamings.

Lead-lined self-draining cock-pit well with teak gratings, varnished seats each side with tanks under and varnished bridge deck across the cabin entrance.

Tiller steering.


Hatch to the lazarette aft of the cock-pit coamings.

Varnished teak fore hatch on the fore deck.


Cabin entrance hatch with finely moulded surrounds, sliding top and wash-board.

Sheathed pine boards to the cabin rook with grab rails each side.

Iron hanging knees to the deck beams and to the cabin coamings.


Bermudian cutter rig on the original varnished mast stepped through the main deck onto the keel.

The mast is exceptionally well rigged with two sets of spreaders and jumper struts on the upper spreaders.

Fixed 2’6” bowsprit and fixed 2’ bumpkin, both in varnished spruce.

All stainless steel rigging with bronze rigging screws to internal bronze chain plates.

Twin lowers, intermediates over the lower spreaders, diamonds over the upper spreaders and diamonds over the jumper struts.

Single standing back-stay to the 3’ bumpkin.

Running back-stays on Highfield levers with the tail of the span on a hook allowing it to be removed and triced back to the shrouds.

Inner fore stay from the upper spreaders to the bowsprit heel fitting on the fore deck.

Outer fore stay from masthead to the outer end of the bowsprit.



Mainsail by Goacher of Windermere, 2011, new and unused.

Jib by Hood Sails on Seafurl roller reefing gear to the end of the bowsprit.

Staysail and jib both about 20 years old and almost unused.

Smart blue canvas mainsail coat and fore hatch cover.

Cock-pit cover over the cock-pit and entrance hatch.



2 original captive wire halyard winches on the mast take the mainsail and the roller headsail.

Modern top-action Gibb takes the staysail.

Pair of Lewmar top action 2-speed on the cock-pit coamings

Pair of modern Lewmar 40 self tailing on the cock-pit coamings.



Varnished spruce boom with original SL roller reefing gear on a mast slide with tackle tensioning downhaul.

Boom sheets to a bronze horse over the tiller.

Removeable steel tube arch boom crutch.



Betamarine 42hp 4-cylinder diesel engine, fresh water cooled with heat exchanger, installed new in 2008.

Centre-line installation to conventional centre-line shaft drive with Morse single lever controls gives a cruising speed of 6 knts.

Shaft brake.

Good access to the front of the engine by removing the cabin steps, with salt water sea-cock, fuel change-over valves, fuel filter, fan belt and pumps all easily and immediately accessible.

Engine oil evacuating pump.

12v light in the engine bay.



2 x 16 gallon stainless steel tanks built and installed by ALlansons of Freckleton to RNLI spec about 30 years ago.

Tank fillers on the cock-pit seats.



2 banks of batteries, each with 2 x 12v batteries in lead-lined boxes easily accessible under the after end of the saloon cabin berths.

12v circuits.


Accommodation.        4 berths + a pipe-cot forward.

Fore peak with fore hatch over. This yacht dates from the time when it was customary to carry a paid hand so a fold-up pipe cot is fitted in the fore peak to stbd.

Seat lockers either side and across the forward end.

Centre-line bulkhead doorway with sliding door to the owner’s cabin. Large single berths each side. Beautifully mahogany-panelled bulkheads.

The forward end of the coach-roof covers about half of the owner’s cabin to give over 7’ head-room.

Mast in the middle of the cabin.

After bulkhead sliding door to the saloon cabin.

The saloon cabin is beautifully panelled in raised and fielded polished mahogany with white painted deck-head above and varnished teal cabin sole boards.

Port and stbd settee berths.

Fine, polished mahogany double drop-leaf saloon table.

Drawers and battery boxes under the settees. Back rest fold down to give access to stowage space behind.

A sideboard each side at the forward ends of the settees has a fold down locker lid to allow the berth to be extended by 14” and to stow bedding when not in use.

Similar sideboards at the after end provide stowage, the stbd sideboard cleverly fitted with bottle racks, sloping to ensure the bottles can’t fall out!

Centre-line bulkhead doorway to the after lobby with the companionway ladder to deck.

To stbd is the heads compartment, a slightly tight fit but secure once you are in there.

New Jabsco sea toilet.

Porcelain hand basin with chrome taps. Water supplied by a vertical action bronze hand pump delivering through one of the taps and draining into the WC.

The original manual gear bilge-pump is mounted on the bulkhead


Galley to port with modern stainless steel gimballed gas cooker with 3 burners, grill and oven.

Gas bottle adjacent under the sink and reached immediately to turn off after use.

Stainless steel sink drainer, stowage under and behind.

Fresh water supply to the sink by vertical action hand pump, drains overboard.

Engine control board in the corner above the galley, easily reached from the cock-pit.





Seafarer sounder

Sumlog thru’ hull log

Sailor VHF radio

Hand-held VHF radio

Raymarine auto-pilot on the tiller

AP Navigator GPS



2 x horse-shoe life-buoys



35lb CQR anchor

25lb CQR anchor

Manual windlass, operated standing up with a long lever

30ftms chain


GRP dinghy stows on the coach-roof

Spray-hood on stainless steel frame.

Fitted cock-pit cover.

Warps and fenders.

Massive, bus chassis yard trailer.


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.

Wooden Ships classic yachts brokers have an extensive database of boats for sale. With a wide range of sailboats, classic yachts, motor yachts and small classic boats, Wooden Ships has one of the largest selections of traditional wooden boats and yachts for sale in the UK.


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.