April 30, 2013
11-06-18: LUCKY SARAH (now MARMITE).
20/11/11. A cold November day brought a road transport delivery from Spain to Berthon; LUCKY SARAH was not looking that lucky! Her new owners purchased her following survey but without seeing her, as they had always wanted a big Fisher. The idea was that this she might “possibly” be their final yacht and they appreciated the sturdy qualities of the marque (LUCKY SARAH’s hull is around 1” thick). The planned use is for cruising South Coast and Channel Island area, but with the capability and specification for voyages much further afield. The Fisher’s motor sailor heritage, layout and design are perfect for their family.
Back to that cold day in November 2011…when LUCKY SARAH’s new owners turned up they were a bit shaken to see such a sorry looking yacht. Berthon’s Keith Harris was on hand with hot coffee and reassurance that she could be transformed whilst in the big blue sheds with the right attention as despite her years she was heavily built and there was plenty of material to work with, and stacks of potential to make her their yacht.
Once settled in the big blue sheds LUCKY SARAH was extensively refitted and worked on by all the trades in the Berthon team. She now has a new engine, generator, aft air conditioning plant, communications and navigation electronics. All her systems both engineering and electrical were replaced. We also installed a new galley and equipment with Corian worktops, and LUCKY SARAH also now has a new aft heads and day heads both with Corian vanity unit tops. The forward guest heads was extensively refurbished using as many of the original features as possible.
LUCKY SARAH’s interior has had a major birthday with new side and headlinings, LED spot & strip lighting with fitted dimmers to create just the right ambiance for entertaining and dining. The upholstery and mattresses were replaced using the original back boards, but with new sponge and fabric. All the colours and fabric finishes were picked by Mrs LUCKY SARAH as Mr LUCKY SARAH is colour blind and more interested in the nuts and bolts! She was cleaned, painted and varnished internally. Maintaining her original layout and traditional styling and finishes, the updates complement her charming 1977 interior, which now gleams throughout.
Externally there have been lots of repairs to the gelcoat on the topsides and superstructure. The timber on the rubbing strake, bulwark timber, cappings and elsewhere has had many, many years of poorly applied varnish and stain, so all stripped away and now showing superb and well matched natural teak.
The superstructure has new non-slip Treadmaster fitted around new deck hatches with clear glazing instead of the standard light smoke to improve the natural light that now streams into the interior. This made for a massively light and airy wheelhouse, galley & dining area and aft cabin! LUCKY SARAHS’s owners have said “she is a new yacht in the original hull”!!
Another cold day, this time April 2013. Although 90% completed last summer, the hull which was more wet than suffering from osmosis, needed more time to dry out and so it was agreed she should be mothballed undercover and force dried using infra red heating interspersed with regular steam cleaning to draw any remaining salts and contaminants out before being epoxied and anti fouled. With time on their side, the owners took advantage of a quiet week in the normally hectic Berthon paint team’s workload to and paint the masts oyster white, banishing the old fashioned golden anodized look. Now replete with new standing and running rigging and in-mast furling mainsail, LUCKY SARAH’s owners this time, although still very cold and trying to shelter from the wind and hold onto their hats, are much happier with the way she is now looking. As you can see, many of the original features are still there, but LUCKY SARAH is now sharper, cleaner and newer both inside and out.
Commissioning work and basin trials of the new equipment is now complete. The next stage is sea trials with a new suit of tan sails to suit, so she will look both striking and traditional under sail. Following the inevitable owner tweaks, she will give many more years of service to her current and potentially successive owners. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.