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Watermaiden: HARRISON BUTLER ‘Rose of Arden Design’ Famous Transatlantic Yacht


‘ROSE OF ARDEN’ BERMUDIAN CUTTER designed by Dr. T Harrison Butler and built by in 1939 by Mashfords, Plymouth, Devon


Boat Details

Overall Length: 30ft (9.1m)
Waterline: 23ft
Beam: 8ft 7ins
Draught: 5ft
Displacement: 8 Tons TM
Engine: 10hp Volvo Penta MD
Berths: 2
Sail: Bermudian Cutter Rig sets 400 sq. ft.
Designer: Dr. T Harrison Butler
Builder: Mashfords, Plymouth
Year Built: 1938
Location: Devon


‘Rose of Arden’ bermudian cutter designed by Dr. T Harrison Butler and built in 1939 by Mashfords of Cremyll, near Plymouth. Made famous by her previous owner of thirty-seven years, the late Geoff Taylor who crossed the Atlantic from Plymouth no less than fourteen times and sailed Watermaiden extensively in the Caribbean, South America and the Mediterranean.

Built for World War 1 fighter pilot Philip Pike of the West Country and registered as Water Wraith 11 . Re-named in 1957 Magellan Cloud and in 1963 Water Maiden .

Philip Pike was killed during the 2nd World War and John Wollen of St Annes, Torquay become the second registered owner. Her subsequent owners were C F King, John Panton and Dr. J W Doupe all from Plymouth. Leslie Gooch became custodian in 1963 re-naming the vessel Water Maiden. Geoff Taylor bought her in 1978 and remained sole owner until 2015, when after his death she was bought by a former member of the Harrison Butler Association.

The Harrison Butler Association is a thriving group dedicated to preserving yachts built to the designs of Dr. Thomas Harrison Butler with a world wide membership of over 150 individuals.

Describing the design in 1938 THB wrote:

‘The metacentric analysis has been calculated with the inclusion of the rudder. Theoretecally she ought to balance on the wind with the rudder amidships, and carry faint weather helm with a loose helm’.

Carvel pitch-pine planked hull, copper fastened to steam bent oak timbers.Pine deck, epoxy sheathed. Teak cabin and cockpit coamings, skylight and hatches.
Full long, iron ballast keel 2 tons. Elm keel, iron floors and knees.

Hull and decks re-painted 2016. Brightwork re-varnished and garboard seams re-caulked 2016. New rudder heel support and keel bolts checked 2016. Keel bolts drawn in 2014. Professionally re-rigged in 2016.
Pine pole mast, keel stepped. Galvanised standing rigging. Set tan coloured sails. Bermudian cutter rig sets about 395 sq. ft plain sail.

10hp VOLVO PENTA MD 10A, two cylinder petrol engine. Recently serviced with many spares. Stainless steel fuel tanks.
Traditional accommodation, with teak joinery as per THB’s original design plans offering two berth saloon, aft galley and navigation area, fo’c’sle with sail stowage, Baby Blake heads and space for a pipecot or fixed bunk.

Two anchors and chain
Mooring warps and fenders
Various compasses
Cooker and gas bottles
Navigation lights
Sail covers
Cockpit cover
Original Baby Blake sea toilet
Beaching legs


Classic Yacht Brokerage have known Watermaiden for over twenty-five years during which time she has been one of the most extensively cruised Harrison Butler designed yachts of all time.
Currently available is a recently published book detailing the exploits of her former owner, Geoff Taylor and his adventures aboard.

The Rose of Arden was the development of THB’s theories of yacht design and hull balance and particularly appealing is the lovely parabolic stern. Only four examples are known to have been built to this design making this a rare opportunity indeed. Seriously for sale.

Guide: SOLD
For more information, photographs or to arrange to view Watermaiden contact: CLASSIC YACHT BROKERAGE.
Sales Office – 01905-356482 info@classicyachtbrokerage.co.uk