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Sailing yachts

Miller Fifer 33′ Ketch

(REF: 18209)


  • Designer: James Miller
  • Builder: J Miller & Sons, St Monance
  • Year: 1961
  • Location: Cornwall
  • Length on deck: 33'
  • Beam: 10'4"
  • Draft: 4'
  • Tonnage: 12TM

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Wooden Ships Comments on this Miller Fifer 33′ Ketch

James Miller built many fishing boats at his yard in St Monance on the Fife coast, the largest over 70′. He also built some very fine yachts to various UK designer’s plans working from the 1930’s through to the sale of the yard and subsequent closure in the 1970’s.

The yard used their knowledge of the Scottish fishing boat, famous for it’s sea-worthiness, to produce a range of motor sailers, the Miller Fifers, which became very popular and varied in size from 26’ to over 40’ with the most popular being this 33’ version.  The Fifers followed the lines of their working sisters having long keels, a powerful sheer, good freeboard and a signature canoe stern making them tough, capable cruising boats.

This particular example was built in 1961 and has benefited from some diligent owners who have invested in the boat and kept her up to a good standard.  In recent years the machinery has been overhauled and in the previous ownership she had many upgrades and improvements, particularly throughout the interior and with the addition of a diesel generator.

Last survey was in 2016, copy available, with a string of invoices for work done since that time.  This is an attractive and seemingly solid cruising boat with a nice interior, ideal for cruising in our northern climate.

Length on Deck                 33’

Length Waterline             31’6”

Beam                                    10’4”

Draft                                      4’

Thames Tonnage             12TM




Heavily planked in larch fastened with galvanised iron boat nails to heavy sawn oak frames.

Frames are made in futtocks fastened together with galvanised bolts, approximately 6.5” x 2.5” at 10” centres.

Oak backbone with sawn oak floors across the centreline.

External oak keel with a steel keel band.  All internal ballast in the form of iron pigs.

Yacht laid teak deck screwed to a marine plywood subdeck on mahogany deck beams.  Teak coverboard with a low mahogany toe rail all round.

Superstructure made from mahogany with painted coamings and a varnished wheelhouse.  Sheathed plywood coachroof deck with a varnished mahogany nosing and hand rails.

Varnished forehatch and butterfly skylight.

Wheelhouse has sliding side windows and a full height entrance door at the aft end.

Deep self draining cockpit with thwarts either side that lift giving access to deep lockers.




Bermudan ketch rig on deck stepped varnished wooden masts in tabernacles.

The rig sets a modest 285sqft of sail which rarely needs reefing and gives a useful push when motor sailing as well as steadying her motion.

Mizzen is stepped on the wheelhouse roof and the main is stepped on the coachroof deck.

Varnished wooden slab reefing booms.

Plastimo roller furling headsail system.

Stainless steel standing rigging to internal galvanised chain plates.

Tan terylene sails including mizzen, mainsail and genoa




Lister Blackstone 4 cylinder 36hp diesel.

Professional overhaul in 2021 including 3 new pistons, new gaskets and a complete service.

Starter motor and lift pump both overhauled in 2019

New exhaust system fitted in 2017.

Stainless shaft to a centreline fixed 3 blade bronze propeller gives 6 knots cruising speed.  This is a very economical engine.

Shaft and stern gland all new in 2017 with a Tides Marine dripless seal.

SidePower SE80/185T 24v electric bow thrusters.

Gearbox Operated with a bronze wheel at the helm with a chain drive onto the gearbox.

4 batteries in total for domestics and engine starting.  2 x 115ah domestic batteries and 2 x 125ah engine start batteries.  Charged from the engine alternator or through the 240 volt battery charger.  Solar panels on the wheelhouse roof trickle charge the batteries.

240 volt system with sockets around the boat.  Shore power and generator supplied.

Paguro 3000 diesel generator in a sound proof box in the engine space.  Produces 3Kva of power.

Thought to be steel fuel tanks, since sheathed in GRP, one tank each side in the engine space.  Total capacity of approximately 200 litres  New Racor fuel filter system fitted .

Water tank of approximately 100 litres.




4 single berths in the saloon and forecabin.

Aft door into the wheelhouse from the cockpit with helm position to starboard and a seat to port.

Centreline steps into the cabin with galley to starboard and heads compartment to port.

Heads has a sliding door into the large compartment.  Jabsco manual sea toilet discharges either into a black waste tank or directly overboard.  Hand basin with hot and cold pressurised water.

Galley has a 2 burner gimballed stove with oven and grill.  Single stainless steel sink with hot and cold pressurised water.  Good amount of storage space in various lockers.  Oak work top hinges up infront of the oven when extra space is required.

Large saloon with a settee berth either side and a centreline mahogany dropleaf saloon table.  Storage space below the settee berths.

Full height lockers either side at the forward end of the saloon.

Centreline door going forward into forepeak where there is 2 single berths with storage lockers below.

Anchor locker right in the bows.

All berths have varnished mahogany leeboards that hinge up when required.





Full specification and details available upon request





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.



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