Susan J

“Susan J” is a Heard 28 gaff cutter, with a GRP hull, based on a Falmouth Working Boat, designed by Percy Dalton. She was built, in 1991, at “Gaffers & Luggers”, Tregatreath Yacht Yard, Mylor Bridge, in Cornwall, by Martin Heard. The hull was then fitted out by Traditional Yacht Services on the Isle of Wight in 1992, by her first owners, Leslie & Susan Goodfellow, who, we understand, sailed her, from the Solent and to the Mediterranean via the French canals. She came into the care of the Shaw family in 1999 and, following a major refit in 2002, including a new bowsprit and re epoxying of her hull, she was sailed around Great Britain in 2003. Mike and Dan Shaw cruised her extensively along the South Coast from their base in Poole, with trips to France and Holland, Round the Island Races and the Netherlands OGA10 Rally in 2014.

We have been “Susan J”’s third custodians since April 2017. She brought us, safely, from Poole back to her “roots”, in the SW, where she is moored off Helford Passage. In 2018 we had her, 28 year old, engine replaced with a Beta 30 and new gearbox. Her small quarter berth was adapted to provide a permanent navigation area and extra stowage. In 2020/21 her mast was overhauled and her rigging replaced and simplified. At the same time her 12V panel was rebuilt and the charging system revised, to improve battery functionality.

In the new owners first season, she joined the OGA “South by Sou’ West” cruise at Plymouth, reaching the Isles of Scilly. She has participated in Falmouth Classics, local South West Gaffer events and revisits the Isles of Scilly most years. In 2018, she returned to the Solent and attended the OGA50 Rally in Cowes. In 2019, she sailed to Brittany, including Lampaul, Douarnenez and Paimpol, and then Lulworth via Teignmouth and Lyme Bay. In 2021, she visited Guernsey, Sark and Herm, via Dartmouth and Plymouth and attended Fowey Classics, as part of the inaugural West Country Classics series. In 2023 she completed the OGA60 Round Britain Cruise, clockwise from Plymouth, ending at Ipswich, before returning down channel.

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