Stonehaven boatbuilder ?

25th October 2006, 10:22
Kazak here, otherwise John MacLean from Iona.

You are currently helping me with my enquiries into ring-netter 'Amaranth'. I wonder if anyone out there can tell me about my other boat.

She is a 21', clinker 'long-liner', and I know very little about her though I've owner her for three years.

I bought her from Sea-way in Macduff and she had been berthed in Banff for several years prior to that. Apparently she was built in Stonehaven about 25 years ago -but this puzzles me as she feels older than that to me. What I have been told is that she was built for a retired army colonel. She was then sold to an engineer who motored her round to her new home in Banff. His daughter was a nurse called Susan, and when I bought her she still had the name 'Girl Susan'. I have since restored her and renamed her 'Clovelly' (after my wife's old home near Bondi in Australia).

The Sonehaven link is interesting as there was a blue, similar (abandoned looking) hull lying in Stonehaven harbour until a couple of years ago that I used to admire. It apparently was a locally built boat -presumably by the same builder ?

I keep Clovelly on a swinging mooring off Iona and she is seakindly and safe. She currently is fitted with a Yanmar 1GM10 which pushes her along well.

Any information about her or her builder would be gratefully received.

25th October 2006, 18:26
bonny looking boat, altho i have little info. The blue one you mention was Orion, it had a chute at the stern for shooting sma'lines presumably. Will post pic of that one. I know of no boatbuilders in Stonehaven, altho there was one at Cowie to the North of Stonehaven, altho that was way back. Ten miles down the coast from Stonehaven is Gourdon. Alec Nicholson from there built a few small clinker boats, probably in the 1980s. I think he did two for Stonehaven, one of which was possibly called Bluebird. Altho I'm told that the boats he built were generally under 18 feet and varnished.I beleive Alec now lives in Stonehaven.
Also, Jimmy Brown, harbourmaster at both Stonehaven and Gourdon, built his own thirty foot boat, Callerou ME128, at Gourdon with James Craig, joiner. He might be able to help you.
Possibly Orion and Girl Susan were built by a local joiner, rather than a boatbuilder, as one-off projects. Orion always looked a bit like a Shetland yawl, I thought.

25th October 2006, 19:14
The Orion was built by an ex farm worker of Shetland origin. He built her in his garden shed without plans, just from his memories of the 'Shetland Models' from his younger days in Shetland.
I saw her when she was just about ready for launching, I was in college in Aberdeen with a relation of his, who took me to see her. She was really well built, you wouldn't believe she was built by someone with no boatbuilding experience. This would have been about 1973 or 1974, I think.

25th October 2006, 19:31
pic of Orion posted in fishing vessel gallery.

26th October 2006, 19:08
Thanks Willie and Graham,

Interesting to see the picture of Orion. Where is she now ? The last time I was in Stoney she wasn't there -but that was probably a year ago. Has she been restored ?

The bloke I bought Girl Susan from mentioned that she wasn't professionally built and whilst she is well built there are tell-tales that she didn't come from a yard. Any idea if the builder of the Orion is still around ? I'd like to try to trace him. I'll post a picture of Clovelly (as she is now) when a glitch on my pc is sorted.

26th October 2006, 21:26
If all goes according to plan, will be at Whitby this weekend, and the following weekend am hoping to get quick visit to Gourdon. If i get the chance, will nip along to Stoney, see if I can find anything out. No promises, tho!

12th November 2006, 11:51
Builder of these boats is still around, altho not in good health at present, so I'm told. Orion is still out of the water, lying near Laurencekirk, and owner has another of his boats at the mooring .