wooden ships

+44(0)1803 833899


wooden ships



A 1973Checkstone 28 ‘ BERMUDIAN SLOOP deigned by J J Bickford FRINA and built by C H Lavis & Son of Topsham, Devon


Boat Details

Overall Length:
Year Built:


John Bickford designed this yacht for himself, he had her built by his colleagues and neighbours in Topsham and she remained in the family until sold to the present owners in 2004.

A wholesome yacht with a positive sheer, transom stern and a full round bilge which, coupled with a generous beam for her time, produce a bigger yacht than her dimensions might indicate and a comfortable, dry, stable cruising yacht with useful shoal draft. The yacht was built using the strip plank method of construction which produces a continuous hull skin of great strength. 1 ¼” iroko  hull skin using Cascophen resorcinol glue, reinforced by 2 ½” x 2 ½” laminated iroko frames at 2’6″ centres with 2 steamed intermediates all fastened using copper rivets and roves.. 2 tons long external iron ballast keel with stainless steel keel bolts, replaced in 2005. Galvanised steel strap floors. Ply deck,  Cascover sheathed and painted to give a low maintenance and water-tight deck. Double thickness sheer strake picked out in dark maroon with varnished iroko rubbing strake and varnished iroko toe rail. The extra thick sheer strake substitutes for an internal beam shelf and as part of the hull skin, gives a wider land for the deck to create a very strong deck edge all round. The deck is uncluttered with ample width of side decks to allow easy passage fore and aft. Stainless steel twin chain roller stermhead fitting. Stainless steel Sampson post on the fore deck. Pair of varnished cleats on the fore deck, a very useful varnished cleat each side midships – why does every yacht not have them? – and a pair of varnished cleats on the after deck.

Very comfortable self-draining cock-pit with twin drains. Two panels in the well, seated on rubber gaskets, lift to give good access to the back of the engine, the shaft gland and the stainless steel fuel tank. Seating each side and aft is continuous with the deck removing the usual problems of water seeping into the cock-pit lockers, varnished iroko trim round the edge. Access to the cock-pit lockers is by doors in the well. The locker lids are all carefully labelled with the contents of that locker. Deep, varnished iroko cock-pit coamings are extension of the cabin coamings and provide good back support and as sense of sitting in the boat rather than on it like too many modern designs. Tiller to transom-hung rudder.

Excellent 2009 sprayhood with forward window  and windowed wings on stainless steel fold-down frames with grab handles in the upper corners provides excellent protection to the cock-pit. Coach-roof in iroko coamings and ply deck, painted externally. Two windows and two port holes each side. Varnished teak fore hatch on the fwd end of the coach-roof with grab handles each side. Varnished teak sliding hatch to the cock-pit cabin entrance with twin wash-boards.
Masthead Bermudian sloop rig on alloy mast stepped in a painted galvanised tabernacle on the coach-roof. Single speaders. All stainless steel standing rigging, renewed Dec 2010.  Single standing back-stay to the transom, twin lowers and cap shrouds, stemhead fore stay on roller furling gear and inner fore-deck to spreaders fore stay. Stainless steel rigging screws to internal stainless steel chain plates. Pair of Antal 2-speed self tailing sheet winches on the cock-pit coamings. Single Lewmar 12CT 2-speed halyard winch on the mast.

Aluminium boom on Proctor through-mast roller reefing gear, operated by a fixed, fold-away handle on the fwd face of the mast. Boom sheeted to a stainless steel horse over the tiller with jammer on the lower block.

150sq’ fully battened mainsail by Relling, 1999
220sq’ Jib on Furlex roller furling gear.
Staysail, recut by Arun Sails 2007
Storm jib, Lucas Sails, unused.

Volvo 2002 18hp 2-cyl diesel installed 1992. Single lever controls. Centre-line installation to centre-line 3-blade prop gives 6.4 knts max. The engine is professionally serviced annually. 20 gall stainless fuel tank under cock-pit with calibrated wooden dip stick. 2 x 12v batteries (1 x 115A/H + 1 x 71A/H) under the chart desk seat, new March 2011. 12v circuits. NASA battery monitor. 12v engine driven alternator. Shore power connection to Smart charger system keeps the batteries charged and running at max efficiency.

Fore cabin with V-berths and infill to form a full width double berth.
Fore hatch over.  Chain locker forward. Varnished iroko coamings.,
Centre-line bulkhead door to stbd heads compartment with Jabsco sea toilet. Heads door optionally closes off the fore cabin.
Hand basin in a slide-out shelf above the sea toilet with foot pump cold water supply. Drains either to the sea toilet or to the black water tank. 2005 black water tank with macerator pump.
Compartment opposite to port with a built-in fridge under a work surface with top-loading opening. Cave locker under the side deck behind.
Port off-set bulkhead doorway to saloon cabin. Concertina varnished doors fold back against the fridge.
Galley down the port side with rectangular stainless steel sink at the forward end against the bulkhead, drains overboard. Generous work surface alongside next aft. Very smart Origo 2005 2-burner, gimballed  spirit cooker above a fixed oven. Lockers under the side decks.
Part bulkhead to the chart desk with aft facing seat. Desk against the aft bulkhead removes and drops down to open the quarter berth below. Book shelves under the side deck, batteries under the seat.
Stbd side of the saloon cabin, a seat against the fwd bulkhead and seating down the stbd side, lockers behind under the aside deck. Matching back-rest cushions. Fine varnished hardwood table, new 2005 drops to convert the saloon seating to a double berth. Centre-line steps to the cock-pit. 25 gall grp water tank in the fore peak.
Varnished mahogany joinery, varnished iroko coamings and cabin sole. White painted ply bulkheads and deckheads. New curtains to the windows in 2010. 6′ head-room in the saloon cabin, 5’6″ forward cabin. The yacht has been rewired with LEDs in the fore cabin and saloon. Two mini spotlights forward. Dedicated chart desk light. 2010 LED masthead tricolour masthead nav lights and anchor light.


Silva bulkhead compass in the cock-pit.
2006 Echopilot sounder cock-pit bulkhead.
2006 Echopilot through hull log, VHF with DSC
Raymarine ST2000 auto-pilot on the tiller.
Furuno GPS in the cock-pit bulkhead.
NASA AIS at the chart desk. Horse shoe life bouy
3 fire extinguishers including dedicated engine compartment.
Stainless steel wire and webbing jack-stays on side decks.
35lb CQR anchor with 70 meters 8mm chain
Delta kedge anchor with 10 meters of 10mm chain + 22 meters warp.
12v capstan type electric windlass.
Avon Redcrest 9′ inflatable dinghy.
Mercury 2.2hp outboard engine, serviced annually. Beaching legs
Full cock-pit cover, matching sail cover and fwd hatch cover, all in excellent condition. Warps and fenders.

In present ownership significant improvements have been carried out by Rossiters Boatyard in April 05 and again in May 06. The hull was stripped to bare wood and sheathed in Kevlar below the waterline making her exceptionally strong and worm proof. The strap floors were removed and refitted with new bolts; the keel bolts and skin fittings refitted; the cock-ppit was rebuilt with new sole, bearers and drains; the diesel tank was replaced; the main hatch and fore hatch were replaced and new widows fitted. On deck, new pulpit and pushpit were made and fitted with new stanchions and guard wires on quick release clips; the stainless steel Sampson post was fitted on the fore deck with the new Lofrans 12v windlass. The engine mounts have been replaced and a new Vetus exhaust mixer box fitted.

The yacht has been fully rewired and 240 v circuits fitted for shore power with consumer unit, battery charger,  battery monitor and ventilated battery box made and fitted. A built-in fridge was fitted in the forward port locker, new bilge pump, auto-pilot, log, AIS and new nav lights provided. In the cabin the galley was rebuilt with new cooker and oven, the chart desk rebuilt over the quarter berth and a new table designed and made to convert the seating to a double berth.

The heads was refitted with new slide-out hand basin, waste tank and macerator pump. The cabin sole has been replaced in varnished iroko, More recently in May 08 some repairs were made at Dolphin Quay Boatyard to the deck around the chain plates and in 2009 an infill and cushions were provide to convert the V-berths in the fore cabin to a double berth. The standing rigging was replaced in 2010 and new batteries fitted in 2011

Guide: Sold
Lying: West Sussex
Viewing: Through the brokers. Tel: 01905-356482 / 07949-095075