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41ft. TWELVE TON ‘GAUNTLET’ CLASS CRUISING YACHT, designed by Harry May of Berthon Boat Company, Lymington, built by Philip Sissons in 1947, commissioned in 1978 and re-fitted 2009.


“The Gauntlet design needs little introduction as one of the most successful cruising yacht designs of the 20th Century. This example, most likely the last built to the original plans, in the current ownership cruised many thousands of miles and has proven to be a weatherly and capable yacht. Seriously offered for sale as the current owners are looking to move ashore. May 2018 haul-out and re-paint. Massive price reduction for quick sale”


Boat Details

Overall Length: 41ft 4ins overall - 37ft on deck
Waterline: 35ft 6ins
Beam: 10ft
Draught: 6ft 3ins
Displacement: 12,000 kg
Engine: 60hp Ford Diesel Engine
Berths: Four Berths in Two Cabins
Sail: Cutter Rig
Designer: H G May
Builder: Philip Sissons, New Zealand
Year Built: 1947/1978
Location: Turkey


The Gauntlets were designed by Harry G. May of the Berthon Boatyard in Lymington, England in 1934. They were designed to be a sea-kindly craft with moderate overhangs and draft, a fairly heavy displacement and an easily handled sail plan. They were designed with a canoe stern and were built in 8, 12, 14, 17, 18, 24 and 26-ton versions. Initially, they were intended to be cutter rigged, the 12-ton version having a short bowsprit, while the larger craft had all inboard rigs. The sloop rigged 8 and 14-ton versions were the exception. These boats probably had the ultimate in wooden watertight forehatches.

The quality of materials and methods of construction were of a high standard. Carvel construction was used with a substantial bilge stringer as an additional feature of the construction. The lower portion of the stem was carried well aft over the ballast keel to incorporate the mast step, thus preventing the garboard strakes from working under mast compression.

Any good marketing scheme works to combine advertising with word of mouth promotion. Therefore it was not surprising that a number of Gauntlets took part in RORC events. They achieved a number of successes, especially in heavy weather, confirming both their sea-kindliness and their sail carrying power.

The choice of the class name is a story typical of the period between the wars. H.G. May was approached by a potential client to design a boat suitable for cruising and offshore racing. After inspecting the finished design the client apparently had second thoughts about accepting the proposal. He approached another designer and requested an alternative design based on the same requirements. After looking at both designs, the client chose the boat from May’s competitor.

H.G. May was, to say the least, somewhat annoyed as considerable effort had been expended to produce a good design. He had great belief in his design and so, in his words “œthrew down the gauntlet” by having the yard build his design for himself, and challenging his erstwhile client to a match race, one new boat against the other.

H.G. May’s confidence in his design was fully vindicated by his winning the race comfortably, thereby establishing in one fell swoop the potential of his Gauntlet against the latest design thoughts of his competitors.

Tiare Taporo III was built by her first owner, Phil Sissons in a boatshed at Evans Bay, Wellington, New Zealand. Her keel was laid in 1947 but she was not finished until she was launched without a rig in 1978 as “Reflections of Wellington” 31 years later! Photos taken on launch day are available. An interesting aside is that her 4 cylinder Ford diesel engine was purchased brand new in 1965 and so sat in the boat unused for 13 years. The engine was turned by hand periodically. Sadly Phil Sissons passed away before his creation was launched.

The next owners were 3 young men who finished her off and launched her without a rig. They lived in the roof space of the old boatshed to save money while they worked on their dream. This included sailing offshore but was not to be. Lack of the wherewithal and girlfriends got in the way. However, they sailed across Cook Strait many times, albeit without even a compass! She was then sold to Brian Parker of Wellington who fitted her out to a higher standard and raced her extensively out of Wellington. She reputedly won a Cook Strait race by 7 seconds.

There was then another owner who brought her to Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula where Jim Donald (the current owner) saw her. He bought her in 2002 and took her to the Bay of Islands in 2004. His ambition was to sail offshore, having completed  4 previous offshore passages to and from various Pacific Islands. However, there was a lot of work and re-equipping to be done before she could be totally ready.

There followed in 2006/7 a refit in Kerikeri, Bay of Islands and then a move in 2008 to Whangarei to the Norsand Boatyard where Noel Barrott, their master shipwright took over. “œBelt and braces” characterises Noel together with his uncompromising attitude to best practice boat building. We could not have had a better or more competent person to carry out the refit and we were very lucky to have found Noel.

During our time at Norsand, Whangarei the decision was taken to change the name from “Reflections of Wellington” to “Tiare Taporo III”. The original “Tiare Taporo” had been a famous schooner built by Charles Bailey Jnr. in Auckland NZ in 1913 for the Pacific Island trading business of Jim’s great-grandfather, A.B. Donald. “Tiare Taporo II” is a 12′ clinker built sailing dinghy built for Jim by Percy Vos in Auckland in 1966. She is on permanent loan to the Auckland Traditional Boatbuilding School. The decision to change a name is never taken lightly but in this case with offshore cruising the goal, it seemed entirely appropriate.

Refit work completed through 2006/2009.

Kerikeri new cockpit coamings constructed to allow better seating in the cockpit. New galley sole. Isotherm refrigeration installed (freezer and fridge). Entire boat rewired and replumbed. New gel house batteries and new lead-acid engine start battery. New Raytheon GPS and original Autohelm 6000 autopilot upgraded with new TMQ electronics. Windvane self-steering installed. New enlarged companionway dodger and supports. All tanks removed and inspected new fittings. Open Ocean watermaker fitted. Now extensively modified as the original installation was incompetent. This involved replacing the original brass headed HP pump with an American 3 cylinder stainless steel pump in 2012 and also upgrading the HP waterlines as the originals were not up to spec.

Whangarei (Norsand) the following are the notes compiled by Noel Barrott covering the extensive refit work undertaken by him:

“Tiare Taporo III” is a 38′ (OD) double ended cutter. She is a Gauntlet design see above.

She is a traditional heavily built vessel constructed to a high standard with select materials. She is carvel built in NZ Kauri (1.75″) with 1″ Teak decks laid over NZ Kauri diagonals interspersed with canvas impregnated with Stockholm Tar. Frames are two laminations of Australian Spotted Gum and keel/deadwood is Australian Tallow Wood.

She has been through an extensive refit at Norsand Boatyard, Whangarei under my supervision, with much of the work performed by myself. Like myself, the two other traditional boatbuilders involved have had extensive structural and practical experience (5 circumnavigations between us including 3 roundings of Cape Horn).

Any remedial structural work was not due to poor construction; rather it was due to poor electrical bonding practices with accompanying electro-chemical degradation to some timber adjacent to electrically bonded skin fittings.

A thorough assessment of the hull was possible as she was burnt off back to bare timber and remedial work carried out as necessary. This included replacement of four hull planks. A number of bolts in the centre-line structure were removed, inspected and on being ascertained as being sound were replaced in the vessel. Stopwaters were fitted. Fore gripe Monel sheathing removed, damaged fore gripe chopped back and new cap straddling old nib ends of scarphs.

Forrard ends of all planks raked and re-caulked, tangs fitted over scarph nib. She is now tight in this area.

Fore gripe chock removed with transducer due to leaks and corroded and broken fastenings. New chock in Amazonian Purple Heart fitted with improved fastening sequence and transducer setup.

Suspect sheathing on deadwood removed, deadwood faired up, graving pieces fitted into defects, underside cut back, resheathed and Amazonian Green Heart sacrificial wormshoe fitted all on red lead and tar.

Improved and strengthened windvane fastenings to the hull.

A pair of hanging knees were fitted in the doghouse and incorporated into a new mainsheet traveller assembly. Also, a hatch envelope structure was created and integrated into the structure.

All ports were replaced with toughened glass.

The rig was completely rebuilt with reference to, but in excess of Skeenes Elements of Yacht Design.

A tension rod was fitted in way of the mast at partners.

Stemhead cut down to deck level. New cap-rails forrard. New stemhead fitting and bowsprit/spare man assembly fitted with Stenhouse slip for lower inner forestay.

Pulpit altered and refastened through the deck. This enabled better access to wiring to forrard nav light.

All new headgear at the stemhead including bobstay fitting.

New main boom and all new boom and mast fittings with exception of masthead fitting which was rebuilt. Mast and boom fittings designed and built with reference to Skeenes Elements of Yacht Design.

Mast (original Oregon) hauled and stripped with numerous splines, graving pieces and plugs fitted due to tangential cheeks, rot and old fastening holes that had been superficially stopped.

New pole track built on the front of the mast with new Selden telescopic pole installed.

Sliding gooseneck fitting fabricated together with a second track with gate to accommodate trysail.

The deck layout was assessed. Staysail sheet leads and Panama leads were designed and installed. Anchor windlass completely overhauled. New bowsprit designed, built and installed to accommodate the new cutter rig and improved anchoring system.

Grab rails fitted to the doghouse. All other existing grab rails, dorade vents and other deck fittings removed and re-fitted with improved fastening systems.

The machinery has been rebuilt or serviced and re-installed by professionals in their field. This included the fresh and saltwater pumps, fuel injection pump and new exhaust manifold by Savage Engineering of Christchurch.

Sails have been re-cut to suit the re-designed rig, old sails overhauled and new ones added to the wardrobe.

Palms fitted to cap-rail aft for turning blocks for Genoa sheets and pole after guys.

Provision has been made for various preventers and fore-guys.

All fittings and palms electrochemical treated to remove corrosion, fully bedded and installed.

Anchor locker modified with a central division to allow two anchor rodes. Extensive shelving to improve locker storage in saloon and under the cockpit sole.

A great percentage of the running rigging and its associated hardware is new. Standing rigging was replaced in 2007 and subsequently modified to suit the new rig design as necessary.

I have been out on sea trials and am confident that we have handed over a sound boat with practical, workable systems.”

Offshore voyaging Jim and his partner Jean Tallentire left Opua in the Bay of Islands in July 2011. Had a rough 11-day passage to Noumea, New Caledonia. Stayed in NC for 3 months during which we circumnavigated NC.

Then sailed for Bundaberg in Queensland in November of that year. Stayed there until April 2012 when Jean had to temporarily return to NZ to nurse her sick sister. We installed a new hot water cylinder (Isotemp) and a chart plotter (Raymarine C90W) while in Bundaberg. The new watermaker HP pump was also installed at Bundaberg. Jim was joined at Bundaberg by Dennis Bouverie who had been one of the 3 young guys who originally launched her back in 1978. Jim and Dennis sailed her to the Whitsundays. Dennis returned to NZ and Jean came back to continue to Cairns. While in Cairns we replaced the original gel house batteries with Century AGM’s (540 amp hrs) and also a new engine start battery. We decided to stay in Cairns until the following April in 2013 when we left for Darwin via Cape York and across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Gove, NT. Arrived Darwin July 2013 and left the same month for Kupang in Indonesian Timor. Then spent the next  3 months cruising through Indonesia visiting Komodo, Lombok, Bali, Bawean, Belitung and Banka before leaving Indonesia at  Nongsa Point, Batam. We then proceeded to Danga Bay Marina in Johor, Malaysia where we left the boat for 3 months while we returned to NZ. Original fuel lift pump replaced in Johor. When we returned we left Johor in February 2014 and sailed north up the Malacca Straits via Port Dickson, Port Klang, Pangkor, Penang and Langkawi to Krabi in Thailand arriving in early May 2014.

Haulout at Krabi Boat Lagoon and refit by Popeye Marine (Capt. Des Kearns and his wife, Ked) we hauled out into the most seamless haulout/refit we have ever had. It was a very happy coincidence coming across Des as it turned out that as a  young man of 19 he had sailed out of Auckland on the original “Tiare Taporo” (see above) in 1964. He is now a semi-retired Master Mariner and is also a marine surveyor.

We were out of the water for 2 months and during that time the boat was painted above and below the waterline including the mast in situ. Varnishing also. Stainless steel repairs, heat exchanger maintenance, drawing the propellor shaft to re-metal bearing surfaces and replacement of both Cutlass bearings.

We then re-launched the boat and by then were ready to travel by air to Chennai in India for Jean to have 2 hip replacement operations. We were away for 2 months during which time Popeye and their team of expert carpenters raised our cockpit sole by 120 mm. This was a tricky and involved job but they did it perfectly and it has really enhanced the boat.

Further cruising we have been (Jan. 2015) at Yacht Haven Marina, Phuket. Now Krabi Boat Lagoon on our way to Langkawi for visa run and further sailing in this beautiful part of the world. Then Krabi Boat Lagoon again in March while we go overseas to see grandchildren. We will be remaining in the area for at least the next 12 months.


  • “Tiare Taporo III” (formerly “Reflections of Wellington”)
  • Launched Wellington, NZ 1978 keel laid 1947.
  • 12-ton Gauntlet design
  • Designer: H.G. May (The Berthon Boat Co., Lymington, England)
  • Builder: P. Sissons, Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Length OA 41′ (12.5 metres)
  • Beam 10′ (3.1 metres)
  • Draft 6′ 3″ (1.91 metres)
  • Masthead height above sea level 46′ (14 metres)
  • Displacement: 12 tons
  • Tiller steering
  • Engine: 4 cyl. 60 hp FORD diesel 1965 see above notes
  • Engine hours as at 19/01/15 4,508 hrs.
  • Head refurbished NZ 2010. Freshwater pump rebuilt, injector pump rebuilt and new exhaust manifold by Savage Engineering, Christchurch NZ. New geared starter motor NZ 2010. New fuel lift pump Malaysia 2014. Raycor primary fuel filter.
  • 1.5″ diameter SS shaft with shrunk-on wear bushes at bearing positions driving a 3 bladed fixed prop 20 x 20. New Cutlass bearings and bushes 05/14.
  • Heavy duty ceramic face to shaft seal. Renewed 05/14.
  • Flexible coupling in drive-train.
  • Tanks: Monel.
  • Fuel capacity approx. 400 litres.
  • Water capacity approx. 450 litres.
  • Watermaker engine driven 60 litres per hour. Substantially rebuilt Australia 2012 with new 3 cylinder SS HP pump and upgraded HP hoses.
  • Batteries: 2 x Century AGM’s 540 amp hrs. new 04/13. Engine start battery 1000 amps cold cranking new 03/13.
  • Construction: Carvel planked in NZ Kauri (1.5-1.75″) over laminated Australian Spotted Gum frames in 2 laminations 2.5 x 1.5″. Copper and bronze fastened. Keelson: Australian Tallow Wood.
  • Bilge stringer: 5″ wide x 2 double thicknesses both 7/8ths. of an inch.
  • Lead keel with Monel keel bolts. Sacrificial wormshoe in Amazonian Greenheart mounted on copper and Stockholm Tar.
  • Monel metal fixings incl. keel bolts, chain plates, etc.
  • Cabin and cockpit coamings: Teak.
  • Decks 1″ Teak nailed with Monel nails through NZ Kauri substrate into substantial deck beams, canvas impregnated with Stockholm Tar between. Cockpit all solid Teak. Coachroof: Marine plywood covered in cork chips and antiskid paint. Teak and Iroko grab rails and dorade vent bases.
  • Solid Teak forehatch with perspex insert opening fore or aft.
  • Teak and Holly galley sole with lifting hatch giving access to storage below.
  • Saloon sole: Teak trimmed marine ply in 5 opening hatches giving access to the bilge.
  • Pumps: 2 Whale hand-operated bilge pumps for engine bilge and forrard bilge. Rule electric bilge pumps on float switches (2014) as above. Whale Gulper pump for galley sink discharge (2012). Electric pump forrard for shower discharge through Jabsco filters (2009) and holding tank.
  • Head: Jabsco hand operated discharge through holding tank.
  • Deck wash pump (2010) pump under V-berth.
  • Fire extinguishers: 4 x dry powder
  • Fans: 4 x 12v bulkhead mounted.
  • 3 x 4.5 kg. alloy LPG bottles secured on deck aft.
  • Refrigeration: 12-volt Isotherm water cooled fridge and air-cooled freezer.
  • Hot water cylinder: Isotemp 24 litres engine and shore power heated.
  • Power generation: 1 x Airex Marine 400, 2 x 60-watt solar panels mounted outboard either side of the cockpit. Heavy duty 140amp alternator.
  • Autopilot: Autohelm 6000 heavy duty linear unit with a direct drive onto the rudder head. TMQ “œbrain” for autopilot installed new 2008.
  • Electronics: HF radio ICOM M-802 (2008) and Pactor modem (2010) for email communication, VHF Cobra (2014), AIS receiver (2011), Raymarine chart plotter C series C90W (2012), depth, water speed and wind instruments Autohelm. Dedicated GPS Raytheon 320 (2008) “talks” to chart plotter. 2 handheld Garmin GPS’s.
  • Many paper charts and chart plotting equipment.
  • Safety: Coppins (made in Motueka, NZ) “Stormfighter” para anchor new 2009 and stored below decks. Rode stored in port anchor locker and bridle (as per “œPardey system”) stored in starboard lazarette.
  • “Safety at Sea” 4 man inflatable liferaft
  • Danbuoy secured to rail aft of cockpit
  • 2 RFD horseshoe lifebuoys recently recovered in rescue orange Sunbrella.
  • Throwable lifeline.


There is accommodation for up to 4 persons in single settee bunks port and starboard and exceptionally large double V-berth forward under forehatch giving good light and ambience.

Tankage (monel tanks) under saloon settees.

From aft: demountable steps and lifting timber engine cover. All half height bulkheads around engine removable.

To starboard is storage locker with shelf and to port is fridge machinery and hot water cylinder. Immediately above is storage for liferaft and sea anchor. Forrard of this to port is chart table/freezer lid with lifting lid chart drawer. Freezer and fridge below. Above on outer bulkhead is switchboard (rewired 2007), inverter (2010) and 50 amp battery charger (2015). Above chart table are AIS (2011), VHF (Cobra) (2014) and HF radio (ICOM M-802) (2009). Just aft port side is Pactor modem for Sailmail email and various electronic equipment relating to HF radio and autopilot.

To port is fully equipped galley with deep SS sink and all storage for galley items.

Next to this is a 2 burner LPG Force 10 stove (new 2009).

Forrard of two half height bulkheads are settee berths port and starboard. Tankage under and extensive stowage in shelved lockers above and behind settee backs.

Saloon table on 2 SS supports. Centre-piece and two leaves. Dimensions when fully extended: length 890 mm. (2′ 11”), width 580 mm. (1′ 11”). The table has been completely stripped during KBL refit 05/14 and coated with a durable matt finish. The table has fiddles.

Forrard again to port is Jabsco hand operated head and shower with hand basin in a separate compartment. To starboard is clothing storage with removable shelves and louvred door.

Forrard again is large V double berth with a bookcase to port. Access to partitioned anchor locker from V berth.


From aft –

Fleming self-steering mounted outboard at the stern.

3 x 4.5 kg LPG bottles stored on deck with LPG hose taken through a deck fitting and then through starboard lazarette to the galley.

Teak seat incorporated into pushpit. Small SS flag pole.

HF radio aerial incorporated in backstay.

SS leads incorporated into bulwarks both sides for towing dinghies etc.

1 60 watt solar panel each side mounted on stanchions – total 120 watts.

2 RFD horseshoe life rings

To port mounting board for 2.2hp. Suzuki outboard

Under cockpit sole extensive storage with a shelf at bottom above the shaft.

Cockpit Drains

Engine Morse type controls starboard side.

Bridge deck with house batteries stored under accessed from behind companionway steps.

Sunbrella lee cloths new 2014.

Widened bimini with new covers 2014.

The aft end of doghouse all solid Teak – storage inside companionway dodger. This was new in NZ in 2007 and all restitched since with UV resistant thread. Clear “window’ giving excellent visibility ahead. Very substantial dodger frame with boom gallows incorporated above.

Sliding Teak companionway hatch with hatch envelope constructed 2009 in NZ.

Main boom (painted) with all fittings new 2009. See above.

Teak bulwarks 190 mm. (7.5”) including varnished Teak cap-rail from bow to stern with 6 scuppers each side incl. 1 each side in the cockpit area.

2 larger ports each side in the doghouse with 2 smaller ports at forrad end of the doghouse. 8 smaller ports (3 opening) in saloon and V berth areas giving excellent natural light. Additional ports in V berth area are 2 small round opening ports at front of coachroof. Opening ports by Chatfield Engineering, NZ. All ports reglazed 2009 with toughened glass.

Dinghy (Zodiac “rollup” 2 metre) – new 2013 – carried on coachroof aft of the mast. Pad eyes for securing.

Custom made Panama leads incorporating substantial cleats fore and aft and midships for mooring.

Mainsheet traveller just forrard of companionway hatch with the main sheet led to the end of the boom and into cockpit either side of the companionway.

Timber grab rails top of doghouse and coachroof. Screw type vents at after end of coachroof, dorade vents with sheet guards at forrard end with solar powered vent above the head.

Lifelines as per NZ Category One requirements. Opening gates each side.

Folding SS ladder designed to sit over bulwarks and long enough to be also used as a swim ladder. Carried lashed to standing rigging and lifelines.

Teak pin rails with bronze pins each side.

Mast as described earlier. Oregon spar keel stepped on a substantial step. Single spreader swept back rig. Standing rigging 8 mm. New 2008. Bronze rigging screws (Chatfield Engineering, NZ) onto Monel chain plates. Mounted outboard on hull giving spacious walking access fore and aft.

Mainsail new NZ (Simon Willis Sails, Kerikeri, NZ) in 2007. Slab reefing at mast.

Selden whisker pole on own track on front of mast. When not used it rests on its own fitting just forrard of the mast.

Staysail sheet cars adjustable on side decks. Staysail on bronze hanks on inner forestay which runs between stemhead and mast hounds. Staysail can be reefed to become storm jib. Built by Doyle, Whangarei, NZ in 2009. Running backstays. Staysail sheets on block and tackle system.

Genoa extensively recut and refurbished 2009. Luff on slugs. Originally built by Port Nicholson Sails year unknown. “Reefrite”, Kerikeri NZ roller furling – year unknown. Maxwell 2 speed winches with Anderson 2 speed winch for roller furling.

Additional sails: Trysail permanently on own mast track. Original but never used and refurbished 2009.

UPS light weather sail on bolt rope luff. Colour yellow/blue. Suitable when wind from just forrard of the beam to broad reach.

Aviation round parachute for light weather downwind sailing. Controlled by halyard and one sheet. Can sail with this sail when wind is almost abeam to astern.

Spare heavy weather Genoa on roller furling spar from masthead to end of bowsprit.

Bowsprit in stainless steel with Teak platform. Mounted on palms on hull below bulwarks. SS wire bobstay. New NZ 2009.

Nillson (NZ) anchor winch rebuilt (incl. re-metalling the shaft) in Pangkor, Malaysia 2014. 100 meters x 9 mm. Italian anchor chain with 25 kg. Rocna anchor with swivel.

Spare anchor is 20 kg. CQR.

Sundry covers incl. boom cover and foredeck cover. Davis fore hatch wind chute never used. Sunscreens for lifelines to keep the heat off decks at anchor – new 2015.

GUIDE: Sold – September 2018


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