Sailing yachts

McGruer Gaff Sloop ‘Rowan IV’

(REF: 18185)


  • Designer: McGruer, James
  • Builder: McGruers of Clynder, Scotland
  • Year: 1938
  • Location: Argyll, Scotland
  • Length on deck: 29'6
  • Beam: 9'
  • Draft: 4'9
  • Tonnage: 9

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Full specification

Wooden ships comments on this McGruer Gaff Sloop ‘Rowan IV’

One of those very special little yachts, Rowan 1V was designed and built by McGruers in 1938 for a doctor who recounted his cruises on the West Coast of Scotland in a very readable book “Leaves from Rowan’s Logs” with a detailed account of the boat being built and her first two summers cruising on the west coast of Scotland.  The design is based on the Lock Fyne Skiff, a sailing fishing boat common on the west Coast of Scotland in the early 1900’s whose distinctive feature is the pointed wide stern, however this boat was built specifically as a yacht and the quality of the original build is a testament to that.

A typical example of McGruers fine boat building, she has survived remarkably unspoilt with the benefit of a major professional refit in 1989/93 and a sympathetic restoration in present ownership since 2010.

This is a remarkable little yacht in very nice condition with charm and character in full sea going order.  She never fails to attract attention and provides excellent, safe and comfortable sailing.  A much loved and rare classic boat in good original condition and of impeccable provenance. She is a regular sailer between the Clyde and her summer mooring at Dunstaffnage. The last two summers she has sailed north to Gairloch, and to Loch Torridon, and she now seeks a new caring owner.


Length on Deck                 29’6″

Length Waterline             26′

Beam                                    9′

Draft                                     4’9″

Thames Tonnage               9TM


 McGruer Gaff Sloop




Planked in splined Honduras mahogany all varnished and in remarkable condition, all bronze screw fastened to 2” x 2” oak frames at 11” centres on an oak back-bone.  Rudder hung on the stern post.  Bilge runners each side.

Long external 2 ¼ ton iron ballast keel, new keel bolts and 8 new grown oak floors fitted in 1989.

In this extensive refit the hood ends and much of the bottom planking were refastened, the deck was replaced in epoxy-sheathed ply with new toe rails, the top of the stem replaced, some planking replaced, new port garboard, interior refit and much more. A new oak stern post was fitted in 2003.


Decks and cockpit

Epoxy sheathed plywood deck laid new in 1992.  2.5″ scrubbed teak toe rails all round with a teak rubbing strake finished with bronze rubbing strips.  Bowsprit lodged alongside a heavy oak Sampson post. Stainless steel stanchions and guard wires. Twin chain roller stemhead fitting. Bronze deck cleats.

The large, deep cockpit has a circular coaming around the rear reflecting the stern with a mahogany plank seat and lockers in the fwd corners under the dog-house. Varnished teak dog-house over the forward end of the cock-pit with a sliding hatch and washboards to the cabin in the internal bulkhead. The dog-house is extended forward into a short trunk to give head-room at the bottom of the companionway with a louvered meat safe built into the port side of the trunk. The engine is under the cockpit floor. The cock-pit can be totally enclosed by a tent supported on a stainless steel frame allowing it to be used for extra sleeping accommodation.

Forward of the dog house is a centre line varnished teak sky light over the main saloon giving 6′ headroom below, forward of the mast is a varnished mahogany fore hatch with sheathed plywood top, both have covers.


Gaff sloop rig on varnished pine pole mast stepped well forward through the deck and onto the keel. The rig was returned to its original configuration in 2012 when she had a roller furling jib fitted, all new sails and thorough overhaul.

Varnished boom, gaff and bowsprit.  Galvanised fittings including the gooseneck on which is mounted the halyard winch and the anchor capstan.

Boom is sheeted to a horse on the dog house roof.

Stainless steel rigging all new in 2004 with swaged terminals and bronze rigging screws to a plate each side bolted through the deck and beamshelf. The mast is raked well aft with 2 lowers and a cap shroud each side. Back-stays on runners with blocks are easily handled. Stemhead fore stay and bowsprit end fore stay with fixed chain bobstay.

Varnished pine boom.  The galvanised goose-neck mast band carries a halyard drum on the port side and a chain gipsy on the starboard side.

Leathered saddle to the gaff. Traditional wooden blocks.



All new in 2012 by Owen Sails using tan Dacron.

Mainsail with 2 reefing points. 244sq’

Jib on Harken roller reefing, 167sq’



Pair of Lewmar 16 bronze self tailing winches mounted on the deck for jib sheets.  Fitted new 2014.




Nanni N4-38 4cyl 37.5hp diesel fitted new in 2008.  880 hours total and regularly serviced.

Hurth gearbox with single lever controls to a stainless shaft and centerline fixed 3 blade bronze propeller.  Rope cutter fitted.  Prop and shaft gland new in 2015.


2 separate Tektank plastic fuel tanks fitted under the side decks, total capacity of 110 litres. Fitted new in 2011 and 2015.

2 x 25 gallon water tanks, one beneath each saloon settee.


Pair of Numax 12v batteries in the forward cockpit locker for engine starting and domestics.  Charged via engine alternator.




4 berths plus a pipecot.  The cabin is enchanting, all varnished with 6’ head-room under the long sky-light and under the trunk at the galley. New berth cushions and upholstery 2011.


Attractive key hole bulkhead to the cabin with port and starboard settee berths, full sitting head-room under the wide side decks.  The port berth folds down to make a double berth.  Drop leaf table between. Shelves behind and above the seat backs. All varnished mahogany joinery, white painted deckhead.  Taylors 065 Voyager paraffin cabin heater is very effective at keeping the saloon warm and cosy.

Port off-set bulkhead door to the fore cabin with  starboard berth and a pipecot which can be fitted on the port side. The bulkhead is in varnished mahogany boards with a panelled mahogany door. The mast is stepped in the fore cabin just forward of the bulkhead. Warps, fenders and oilskins hung from the beamshelf to port. Fore hatch over.


Heads in the forepeak with a manual Jabsco sea toilet which discharges directly overboard.


To starboard in aft part of saloon, deck prism above. Taylors 030 paraffin cooker with two burners, grill and oven. Storage for crockery above with mirror and opening port-hole. Stainless steel basin with manual brass water pump in front of cooker.  Storage for pots and pans below. Paraffin tank for cooker and space heater is under starboard settee.

To port a lift-up locker seat with wardrobe and shelving above.




Bulkhead steering compass 2010

Garmin GPSMAP 551 chart plotter


NASA sounder and log

Clock and barometer



4 man Seago liferaft serviced in 2015

Assorted flares

3 x fire extinguishers

Fire blanket

Carbon monoxide alarm



Life buoy

Heaving line

Recovery sling


Ground tackle

35lb CQR

55m of 3/8″ chain

25lb Fisherman

50m of 16mm nylon warp



Mainsail cover

Hatch and cockpit covers (2012)

Boarding ladder

Fenders, seven plastic inflated.


Ensign staff

Assorted warps and lines


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.