Gaff Ketch

by Jim Mitchell
(Isle of Bute, Scotland)

<i>Lorna Doone</i>

Lorna Doone

Lorna Doone was one of two boats built to the same design by Sir Allan Stewart in Rossreagh boatyard, county Donegal.

The other was Rhea of Rhu, also recently purchased and also set for restoration 500 mile south of here!

Lorna Doone is larch on oak with teak decks, mahogany cabin sides and a rubbish wheelhouse. Marine plywood was not great in 1966.

I will be rebuilding the wheelhouse and some of the coach roof but the rest just needs some tlc.... well maybe a bit more.

She is 35 feet and 8 tons net with a cast iron long keel and a 35hp Lister Blackstone (original)

More to follow once the snow disappears.......

Comments for Gaff Ketch

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by: John Russell

James- I have very many happy memories of "Lorna Doone" from the '80s when she was owned by my Uncle.

And I recall many winter days sanding the wheelhouse that apparently is no more.

What happened to her? And how is the restoration going?

As for Rhea of Rhu, I know that she was in Strangford Lough in the late 80s.

Don't know if she is still there or not.

If you read this, could you contact me?
My email is

John Russell

Lorna Doone.
by: Anonymous

I'm looking forward to hearing more about your Lorna Doone she sounds to be a fine vessel.

Let's hope that the weather improves for you soon up there in the Isle of Bute.

You must let us see some photographs of her, especially when she has her new wheelhouse (yes they had very optimistic ideas about plywood and epoxy back in the 60s).

The Rossreagh boatyard is a new one to me, especially considering that I spent some holidays, when I was a child (long, long ago) at Buncrana and Inch Island on the opposite side of Lough Swilly.

All the best to you,


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