Wooden Ships Comments on this Miller Fifer Motor Sailer Ketch
A superb cruising yacht, ideal for a couple, that has been used by the current owners for extended summer cruising around northern France, southern England and Ireland. She is an impressive yacht, very comfortable and with a lot of space for a boat of her length.
The Miller Fifer was a very successful range of motor sailers, built by James Miller and Sons of St Monance, Scotland. Millers were a long established firm passing through several generations with a proud reputation for building fine fishing boats up to 70’ or so.
The yard also built a number of large yachts before the war and continued with yacht building in the 1950s and 1960s with the Fifer range. The Fifers had a direct lineage to the fishing boats built by the yard and, in their various sizes were built with the same massive scantlings as the fishing boats.
The Miller Fifers were built as 26’, 28’ 33’ and a few larger models. With the exception of a few of the later boats built with a transom stern they had the characteristic canoe stern and proud sheer of the fishing boats.
This 33’ size was the most popular giving good volume in the cabin and excellent sea-keeping qualities. These are heavy, stable boats capable of pushing their way through a sea giving a huge sense of strength and confidence.
This particular example is almost certainly one of the very best available after 30 years in the ownership of a professional shipwright. She is wintered undercover every year and has been constantly updated and improved as necessary. The mahogany wheelhouse is a common weakness in Millers but this wheelhouse has been totally rebuilt and is in excellent condition. The owners have used the boat for extended summer cruising every season and she has proven to be an excellent boat, incredibly comfortable and very safe, an easy cruising boat in excellent condition.
She was re-engined in 2001 with a commercial grade New Holland diesel giving her 7.5knots cruising speed at an economical 1400rpm.
Survey available from September 2020. Very positive comments from the surveyor with very few problems discovered. Previous surveys and detailed documentation for all refit work in present ownership.
Length on deck 33’
Length Waterline 31’
Thames Tonnage 12TM
Carvel planked in 1.25” Mahogany above the water and Siberian Larch below the waterline.
Fastened with iron nails to sawn oak frames at 12” centres
Sawn oak floors across the centreline.
Iron keel bolts through the wooden floors. Bolts x-rayed about 15 years ago and found excellent.
No external iron ballast keel. Internal ballast of iron pigs of approximately 2 tons.
Yacht laid teak deck screwed and glued over a marine plywood subdeck. Varnished mahogany cover boards. High toe rail all round with a varnished mahogany capping rail.
Stainless steel stanchions and guard wires bolted through the cover boards.
Varnished mahogany coachroof coamings and wheelhouse with epoxy sheathed plywood coachroof decks and wheelhouse roof. Varnished mahogany hand rails.
Wheelhouse largely rebuilt in present ownership and in excellent condition.
Deep self draining cockpit aft of the wheelhouse with a thwart either side. Deep lockers below each thwart.
Full height double doors into the wheelhouse.
Wheel steering with chain to the quadrant.
Bermudan ketch rig on deck stepped varnished spruce masts. Mainmast set in a galvanised tabernacle which doubles as a ventilator, usual Miller design.
Varnished spruce booms.
Galvanised wire standing rigging all new approximately 2000 but upgraded as and when necessary. Galvanised rigging screws to internal galvanised chain plates.
Running rigging new in 2016.
Gibb No.7 self tailing mast winch. Pair of Gibb self tailing cockpit sheet winches.
Headsail on a roller furling system.
All sails in as new condition by Dart Sails, Mainsail, Mizzen and Genoa.
Masts stripped and varnished with new wiring
New Holland 6640 5 litre 4cyl diesel engine generating 85hp. A commercial grade engine, professionally installed in 2001. Fresh water cooled with all Bowman heat exchangers.
PRM 500 2:1 gearbox to a fixed centreline 4 blade bronze propeller. Gives 7 knots cruising speed at 1400rpm using 1.5 gallons/hour. Very economic cruising. 8.5 knots max speed.
Painted steel fuel tank of 100 gallons in the engine room.
3 x 12 volt batteries charged from the large engine alternator. Installed shore power system with mains battery charger. Solar panel on wheelhouse roof.
2 x manual bilge pumps, 1 electric bilge pump and 1 engine driven bilge/salvage pump.
1 double berth and 3 singles.
The large wheelhouse has a helm position to starboard and large chart desk to port. Crew seat forward of the chart desk.
Centreline steps into the cabin. Galley to starboard and heads compartment to port.
Galley is L-shaped with a single stainless sink with hot and cold pressurised water. Formica worktops with storage below and shelves above. Nelson 2 burner gas stove with oven and grill. Waeco Coolmatic fridge in the wheelhouse under the chart desk.
Heads compartment is large with full standing headroom. Jabsco manual sea toilet discharges directly overboard.
Main saloon with the original varnished mahogany dropleaf centreline table. Port and starboard settee berths, the starboard side pulls out to make a double. Original joinery with shelves above the settee berths.
Centreline door going forward into the forepeak with two single V-berths. Joinery all new in this cabin but built to the exact same design as the original joinery in the saloon.
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.