Wooden Ships Comments on the Looe Lugger Guiding Star
39′ gaff rigged working boat built in 1907 as a mackerel drift netter for the Soady family of Looe. One of the last Looe boats built without an engine so her hull lines are sweet and fair giving her excellent sailing performance while still having a generous internal volume, originally to carry home the catch.
Known as one of the fastest boats of her era, she fished until 1936 when she was sold by Mrs Soady while her husband was away crewing on a large yacht. Bought by a doctor from Paignton, she was converted into a private yacht by Uphams yard in Brixham, rigged as a gaff ketch with Bermudan mizzen and fitted with a teak coachroof which is still in place today. An interior was fitted to give comfortable berths and a saloon, much of this is still in the boat in the form of some delightful period joinery.
After changing hands a few times, she was purchased in 1960 by Brigadier Jack Glennie, a true character by all accounts who cruised the boat extensively with his pipe-smoking French wife Marguerite around northern Scotland and Norway, taking paying customers on many voyages with the proceeds being donated to Save the Children.
The previous owners purchased from Glennie in 1989 and undertook an extensive 3 year refit with much new planking and framing, new deck and transom.
The current owner took charge in 2016 and embarked on a rolling program of upgrades and maintenance in line with his surveyor’s advice which has kept the boat in good seaworthy condition and improved her sailing performance. This included new keel bolts, several areas of planking, decking and stanchions, new sails and all new rigging, a full list of work done in the present ownership is available. She has been a regular visitor to traditional sailing events and regattas in both England and France through recent years and is always well received.
A lovely looking and easily managed boat with a rich history and pedigree and a well documented refit history.
2021 survey available.
The vessel has her own website with further details of her more recent sailing exploits: https://guidingstar1907.com/
Length on Deck 38’9”
Length Overall 66’6”
Air draft 50’
Displacement Approx 16 tonnes
Carvel planked in larch and red pine, fastened with galvanised boat nails to sawn oak frames fastened in pairs at 15” centres. Hood ends and garboard fastenings are bronze screws.
Various shifts of planking replaced in recent years as necessary, 6 planks on starboard side replaced in 2020.
Transom made from hardwood. Transom hung rudder, rebuilt in 2016 with new bronze gudgeon.
Oak keel of 6” square with an iroko worm shoe.
Grown oak floors across the centreline.
Wrought iron keel bolts, all new in 2017.
Internal ballast comprises cement between the frames and approximately 5 tons of lead ingots securely fitted in the bilges.
Solid straight laid douglas fir deck fastened with galvanised spikes, caulked and payed with Jeffreys Marine Glue believed to have been laid new in the late 1990’s. Fastened to oak and pine deck beams.
Oak capping rail on a high bulwark all round set on oak stanchions mounted through the oak covering board. Some sections of covering board replaced along with 1 new stanchion in 2022.
Coachroof with varnished teak coamings, dovetailed in the corners with 4 bronze portlights each side. Coachroof deck is T&G laid pine boards overlaid with plywood and sheathed with canvas.
Dandy rigged with gaff mainsail and lug mizzen. Rig totally overhauled since 2016 with a new sail plan designed.
Solid varnished Columbian pine main mast stepped on the keel with varnished pine boom and gaff yard. Galvanised gooseneck fitting and mast band with belay pins. New loose footed mainsail.
Galvanised wire standing rigging hand spliced then parcelled and served. All standing rigging new in 2017. External galvanised chain plates, removed and re-galvanised with new bolts in 2020. Rigging tensioned with dead eyes and lanyards.
Mizzen mast is varnished spruce and stepped onto a frame work spanning the aft bilge. Loose footed lug mizzen sail with a varnished wooden lug yard and bumpkin. Oak shoe with galvanised strap on deck to secure the bumpkin, it can be easily run inboard and stows on the side deck to reduce overall length.
Bowsprit new in 2022 made from douglas fir with new galvanised whisker stays.
Running rigging replaced with various blocks in 2016. New running backstays using dyneema with bronze Highfield levers, second hand levers fitted in 2017.
Staysail sets on the forestay with hanks. Jib run to the bowsprit end on a traveller.
In 2019 a new sail plan was drawn out for improved light airs performance. Sails include lug mizzen, mainsail (2020), main topsail (2022), staysail (2020), genoa (2021) and jib. Sail covers all recent or recently renovated.
Volvo Penta D2-40F 38hp diesel installed new in 2015
Single lever controls to an offset fixed 3 blade bronze propeller gives 5 knots cruising speed.
200 litre stainless steel fuel tank in the engine space.
2 x 12 volt Varta 110ah batteries for domestics and separate Varta 110ah battery for engine starting. Charged from the engine alternator or through a CTEK 15 amp charger when connected to shore power.
Installed shore power system
5 berths including a double berth in the forepeak, 2 saloon settee berths and a large single quarter berth. Excellent headroom under the large coachroof.
Companion ladder into the cabin from the sliding hatch which descends into the cabin. Galley to port and the large single quarter berth to starboard.
The galley is L-shaped with oiled hardwood work tops. Twin stainless sinks with manually pumped fresh water from bronze hand pump taps. Taylors 030 paraffin stove with 2 burners and oven. Good storage facilities under the galley and below the deck head.
Solid hardwood door through the bulkhead into the main saloon.
Chart desk to port made of varnished mahogany with electronic navigation instruments above. To starboard is a hanging locker with storage bin below. Reflex diesel cabin heater recently installed.
Full length settee berth either side of the saloon with backs that fold down to give access to storage lockers. Varnished mahogany leeboards hinge up on each berth. Shelves above under the side decks.
Oiled oak sole boards with a centreline drop leaf teak table set on gimbals. Above is a skylight in the coachroof giving light and ventilation to the saloon.
Some very nice mahogany joinery dating from her conversion in the 1930’s.
Port side door through the bulkhead into the forecabin. Rope storage bin to port and a heads compartment to starboard with a Blakes Lavac sea toilet that discharges directly overboard. Single stainless hand basin with a hand operated fresh water tap.
Large double V-berth in the bows with a chain locker below.
Kelvin steering compass of WWII vintage. Swung in 2018.
Raymarine depth sounder, new display in 2022
ICOM DSC VHF
ICOM MA500TR AIS Transponder and antenna splitter with independent GPS aerial (2018)
Seago Master ISO 9650-1 6-person liferaft in canister on coachroof – 2018, serviced 2021
Seago Active 190 automatic life jackets with lights x 6 – 2016
2m safety lines x 6
McMurdo G5 EPIRB – 2016
Dan buoy – 2016
SOS Recovery Ladder
Radar reflector fitted to starboard shroud above spreader
2 fire extinguishers, dry powder 2Kg and 1Kg – 2015
Fire blanket – 2016
Offshore flare pack in container – 2022
Smoke detector in saloon
CO detectors x 3 in saloon, galley and engine compartment
CQR anchor 45kg on deck
40m x 11mm chain fed through spurling pipe to chain locker in forecabin
Simpson Lawrence 250 manual windlass with two handles, refurbished 2019
Bruce kedge anchor 35kg in lazarette
10m x 10mm chain
Fenders x 8
Mooring lines – 2 x approx 14m, 3 x approx 16m
Old halyards approx 24m x 2
Sprayhood frame and cover
Teak compass and instrument pedestal
Water cans 20L x 3
Diesel can 20L
Petrol can 5L
Flat hose pipe
Beaching legs x 2 (1 unserviceable) with 3 x bolts
Wave Eco 1.3m inflatable dinghy with oars – 2016
Yamaha 2.5hp petrol outboard motor – 2016
Vinyl covered foam mattresses – forecabin double and aft pilot berth
Mattresses x 2 in saloon
Upholstered seat backs x 2 in saloon
Cushions x 6 (4 blue, 2 striped)
Stool at chart table
Brass paraffin cabin lamp
Reflex paraffin/diesel heater – new 2020
Brass plaques from traditional boat festivals 1993 onwards – unfixed
Gimballed brass paraffin cabin lamp in galley
Cold box 12/240v, new in 2022
Taylors 030 paraffin/diesel cooker with oven, fuel tank – refurbished 2019
Mugs x 6
Glasses x 8
Small bowls x 3
Large bowls x 5
Storage containers x 3
Lavac Zenith sea toilet
Water tanks, Plastimo Flexi 150L x 2 under saloon bunks
Set of engine spares (alternator belt, fuel filter, impeller)
Bag with screwdrivers, spanners etc
Pitch pot and box of Jeffreys marine glue
Part-filled cans of all current paints, stains and varnishes etc
Cooker spares and tools
Boxes with spare shackles and brass fittings
Mainsail Steve Hall, North Sea Sails 410 sq ft 2020 Excellent condition
Mizzen Alf Redman 232 sq ft 1997 Fair
Jib SKB 210 sq ft 1997 Good
Genoa Steve Hall, North Sea Sails 330 sq ft 2021 Excellent
Staysail Steve Hall, North Sea Sails 190 sq ft 2020 Excellent
Staysail SKB 175 sq ft 1997 Poor
Topsail Steve Hall, North Sea Sails 150 sq ft 2022 Excellent
Topsail Unknown 120 sq ft 1993 Poor
Storm jib Refurbished SKB 2017 c70 sq ft 1970s Good
Full boat cover by Quay Canvas 2021
Covers for staysail, main, mizzen and cockpit
Jib and staysail sheets, lizards and tackle ropes
Genoa outhaul (Dyneema), sheets and lizards
Sundry sail ties etc
Spare ropes for occasional tackles, preventers, vangs etc
Topsail yard and jack yard
Reefing handles x 2 (though roller reefing no longer used)
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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.