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Sold – 37ft. MORGAN GILES BERMUDIAN SLOOP – 1947 – Extensively Cruised – Lying: Dartmouth



Boat Details

Overall Length: 37ft
Waterline: 27ft 6ins
Beam: 8ft 9ins
Draught: 6ft
Displacement: 11 Tons Thames Measurement
Engine: 27hp Sole Diesel
Berths: Five Berths in two cabins
Sail: Bermudian Sloop Rig sets 667 sq.ft.
Designer: Morgan Giles
Builder: Cardnell Bros. Maylandsea
Year Built: 1947
Location: Devon


MATAWA was built to an F C Morgan Giles design by Cardnell Brothers, Maylandsea, Essex, for W E Mason of Woodford Green, Essex in 1947. She featured in Yachting Monthly shortly after launching. In 1952 A W Hollway of High Town, Lancashire became the second owner followed by Joy Donaldson in 1955. L G Gale OBE of Eltham, London bought the vessel in 1957 mooring her at Upnor on the River Medway.

MATAWA came into the ownership of the Franks family under Captain Robert Franks in 1961, who sailed and cruised extensively with his family and sailing partners up to the 1990’s. Destinations included Brittany (regularly), Spain, Ireland, the Baltic and Norway, Gibraltar and the Mediterranean. In 1974 MATAWA sailed the Atlantic circuit with Robert. An account of a gale experienced during that circuit appears in Yachting Monthly in November 1975. In later years Robert sailed in a regular crew of four, whose total ages were over 300 years. This was a considerable achievement in the years before furling jibs and modern reefing.

In the 1990’s the boat’s ownership was extended to include Robert’s sons and grandchildren, and recently even some of Robert’s Great-Grandchildren have been introduced to sailing on MATAWA. She has continued to be cruised extensively by the family and she was even thrown a 70th Birthday party in Dartmouth in 2017 where some 28 different crew members from past and present came together to celebrate this brilliant yacht.

As the senior members of the family look to retire from boating, and the junior members look for a larger boat for their growing families, it’s now time for MATAWA to move forward under a new owner. The family have more recently kept the boat in a more ‘workman like’ condition, prioritising functionality and performance over aesthetics, but a new owner may wish to restore some of the varnishing of the cockpit and other areas, or perhaps even restore the hull to the original white colour? Or maybe stepping aboard, raising the sails and disappearing into the sunset might be the order of the day. Whatever is decided, MATAWA will be happy to be along for the ride!

For John Leather’s article in Classic Boat Magazine, google ‘Matawa yacht morgan giles’ and the top two results will give you both pages of the piece.

A “vision of all that a sailing yacht should be“, John Leather describes his first sighting of a brand new MATAWA in 1947, in Classic Boat Magazine. MATAWA, a Morgan Giles designed sloop is quite a remarkable vessel, having been in the same family ownership for 60 years, and believed to have voyaged some 75,000 miles, including Atlantic crossings and visits to North Africa and Naples to name a few. She was even thrown her own ’70th birthday party’ in Dartmouth in 2017! MATAWA is no museum piece however, she is still sailed and enjoyed by the family today, only for sale as the more senior family members are retiring and the more junior seek a larger boat. Ready to sail away, MATAWA was subject to an insurance survey in October 2020 with all recommended works carried out. Offers considered by the family, who would love to see her go on to provide wonderful memories for a new owner, maybe they will be throwing a centenary party in a few years time?!

Deck and construction

  • Hull constructed of two layers of double diagonal planked 3/8” mahogany plywood, fastened onto 1 1/8” 9 ply mahogany ring frames, set at mainly 9” centres
  • Plywood layers fastened together with copper roves
  • Bronze plate pressed to create flanged floors fitted in bilge spaces
  • Stem, sternpost, deadwoods, stringers and beam shelves are of pitch pine
  • Lead ballast keel, secured with bronze bolts and backing plates
  • Deck and coachroof of plywood sections
  • Hull further stiffened by way of plywood bulkheads and supports
  • Aft cockpit
  • Manual windlass present but seized, however the present owners find it still useful for snubbing anchor chain
  • Guard rails and stanchions
  • 2 x CQR anchors
  • Temporary rain/sun cockpit cover
  • Bathing ladder
  • Bilge pumps
  • Warps and fenders

Engine and electrical

  • Sole ‘MINI-29’3 cylinder, 27hp inboard diesel engine
  • Fitted new 2012
  • Last service November 2020
  • Fixed three blade propeller
  • 12 gallon fuel capacity
  • 2 x 12 volt batteries
  • Shore power

Sails and Rigging

  • Bermudan Sloop rig
  • 14m deck stepped aluminum mast
  • 5.36m boom
  • 3 x Dacron sails (main, genoa, spinnaker)
  • D-Pro Dyneema running rigging
  • Three reefing lines
  • 62m2 total sailing area (33 main, Genoa 29)
  • Standing rigging in stainless steel 1 x 19 wire throughout


  • Three berths in saloon (2 comfortable settee berths hinged down and portside quarter berth) and twin V-berth in forward cabin
  • Heads compartment with manual marine toilet, inlet/discharge valves serviced by owner each winter
  • Galley with Plastimo Neptune 200 Gas cooker/hob, bowl sink, 4 lockers.
  • 30 Gal fresh water tank, new in 2015 by Hercules, Dartmouth
  • Chart table
  • Saloon storage
  • Fold down saloon table
  • Blue upholstery

Navigation Equipment

  • VHF x 2 (Cobra Marine DSC unit in saloon, and handheld ICOM ICM35
  • Garmin 152 GPS
  • ONWA Chartplotter
  • Henry Brown Magnetic Compass
  • Clipper duet log/speed


  • Bilge pumps, 1 manual, 1 electric
  • 5 Seago lifejackets
  • Flares, 4 pack
  • ORC G-Raft 6 person life raft, last serviced Jan 2021

Additional Equipment

  • Avon dinghy and 2hp Mariner outboard


A no nonsense, pure sailing yacht with proven long distance cruising capabilities in remarkably long family ownership. A well known yacht in RORC circles and a familiar sight in the Solent and West to Dartmouth. A purposeful, well design yacht in full commission with the emphasis on enjoying sailing rather than spending time with a varnish brush. A rare yacht, lovely lines as you would expect from Morgan Giles. Viewing recommended.

GUIDE: Sold – October 2021

LYING: Dartmouth


DISCLAIMER: Classic Yacht Brokerage offer the details and photographs of this vessel in good faith as a guide but cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information or images, or warrant the condition of the vessel, machinery or rig. Buyers should instruct their representative, agents or their surveyors to investigate such details as the buyer requires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.