Mitten – a 1937 Berthon 8 Ton Gauntlet
Originally built in 1937 by Berthon’s shipyard in Lymington, MITTEN the 33′ Gauntlet arrived late last year for an interesting refit. Top of the list was restoration to her original colour scheme including full UV protection, along with a full makeover and subtle upgrades to the deck gear following her original deckplans. Subtle because she can benefit from some modern systems, yet at the same time maintaining her overall look and feel from the late 1930s.
Interior modernisation plans were also briefed to carefully create more space down below, to lighten the traditional dark woods of her build era, giving her a more modern and practical expanse below decks.
Interior Revamp and Modernisation
MITTEN’s interior was traditional and true to original designs of the 30s.
Upgrades to navigation and electronic systems to place her firmly in the modern era had to be carried out (figure 1) to provide her with up to the minute computerised systems, along with the latest instrumentation for her future distance cruising.
AIS, a Furuno Navtex system, Sea-Me radar target enhancer and even a Fusion iPod marine stereo were installed to give Mitten her a new hip chick image in the world of classic cruising – as well as a solar panel!
Further enhancements have included necessities such as a fridge (carefully hidden behind traditional joinery fronts), a new hot and cold water system, as well as more importantly, a new Volvo engine.
Deck Gear Upgrades – Keeping the Look
Once again an area where Berthon are well versed – taking a classic deck layout and by using the best of what is on the market today, making subtle changes for easier short handed cruising(figure 1).
The entire mainsheet system has been rebuilt. Yet by going back to the original drawings held in the archives at Berthon, what had been an unsightly carbuncle-type mess on the aft deck, was turned into a functional system which enhanced MITTEN’s good looks.
An electric windlass was also fitted snugly into the bow.
Makeover and UV Protection
MITTEN’s hull, despite her stately age, was actually in pretty good condition, but needed some work to her stem and keel, followed by some fairing of topsides.
As in all paintwork, it is the careful preparation that counts, finished off with an attractive and traditional ivory white, with a striking antifouling and boot top (figure 1).
Layers of old paint was assiduously scraped from the decks and along with her coachroof painted a sympathetically traditional light grey; finally, varnish work restored to the top quality finish for which Berthon are known worldwide.
MITTEN’s refit was completed with a new wardrobe – sails of course: genoa, storm jib and mainsail (figure 2); upholstery down below, and to protect her from the elements, a spray hood, a boom tent and an overall cover.