Solent Gaffers



Janty at Newhaven

Hi everybody, I was asked to write in to let members know about my Deben 4 tonner (or should that be tunner?), Janty, which is well known by some East Coast members, but probably not so by Solent members.

I bought Janty, my second Gaffer, February 2015, from Mersea, and moved her to Newhaven, my home port, where she always turns heads, being one of a very few Gaffers here (more of which later). I have been very pleasantly surprised by the number of fellow sailors who come over to her berth and express great interest in her and her pedigree.

Janty is recorded in the OGA register, but briefly she is a Whisstock Boatyard of Woodbridge craft constructed 1939, Registered Ipswich 1948. I believe around forty plus 4 Tonners were produced, with a number exported certainly to Canada but with a few still in commission around the UK. At least one other was in attendance, in addition to Janty, at OGA55, which was a very pleasant surprise indeed.

Needless to say Janty gives me great pleasure both in terms of her ongoing maintenance needs and of course particularly her sailing performance. She is a very stiff, sea kindly craft as one would expect, being designed and specified by the very well known designer Mr W.M.Blake. A superb little ship all round.

As I have said she is now based at Newhaven and in commission effectively all year (although she is being bought out of the water for around three months this year for an overdue hull repaint). My aim is to sail her every week if weather and time permit, so she is “worked” very regularly which suits such craft very well

Being at Newhaven which I am afraid to say is a Gaffer backwater means that I see virtually no other Gaff rigged craft, certainly being sailed, at all. Since rejoining the OGA I have put out requests for other OGA members to contact me, especially those who sail east of Selsey Bill. I am pleased to say a few contacts have been established with the aim of, at least initially, setting up a rally or perhaps an informal meet, somewhere along the Channel East area. If any other members are interested in such an idea that would be brilliant,

I can be contacted at brianjimskinner [at] gmail [dot] com

With kind regards, Brian “Jim” Skinner.

Tideway Images: Home Page Photos &emdash; Janty

'Janty' sails on the East Coast, 2007.
Photo: Tony Pickering