Heron II Sailing. Credit: Nic Compton
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Winner of Classic Boat Restoration of the Year 2020, Heron II is a beautiful 1936 Fred Shepherd design, now revived with a modern touch to meet the desires and capability of current times. She slices through the swell with a “..good turn of speed” – as reported by Uffa Fox in Racing, Cruising and Design and is roomy and bright inside, with a stylish and practical living space. Inside and out she is a thoughtfully evolved classic, finished to a high standard, in-keeping with her original build.

General Specification

Heron II is a 1936 Fred Shepherd design and built by Woodnutt & Co on the Isle of Wight for Stanley W Cooper, to Lloyds highest standard (100A1), she is a registered National Historic Vessel 

Length, overall – 52′ 0″

Length, on deck – 46′ 3″

Beam – 11′ 4″

Draught – 6′ 6″

Sail area – 1,041 sq.ft

Rig – Bermudan Cutter 

Construction

Hull – Burma Teak 1’¼” planks. Copper fastened 

Frames – well grown English Oak with 1 steamed American Elm between

Sternpost – Burma Teak 

Stem – English Oak 

Beam Shelf and Stringers – Pitch Pine

Keel – English Elm

Ballast Keel – 7 ¼ tons, lead, fastened with 1’¼” naval brass bolts to keel. And 1 ton of internal lead pigs 

Rudder – Burma Teak with bronze fittings 

Deck – Laid Burma Teak

Bright work – Burma Teak

Spars – Silver Spruce

Deck Layout and Equipment 

Minimalist clean deck with;

Stainless Steel cleats and fair-leads

Lewmar self tailing winches in the cockpit and original winches on the mast. 

Stainless steel push and pull pit, stanchions and bronze Stanchion bases. 

Chrome plated mushrooms, vents and port lights. 

Stainless steel mast band and goose-neck. 

Lofrans stainless steel X3.5 windless and 60m of 12mm chain

22kg CQR anchor

Stainless steel crans-iron with 2 large mooring cleats incorporated 

18 x portlights (newly chromed, new glass and seals)

Deck shower aft deck 

Accommodation and Equipment 

Deck house with fold out table

3 permanent single berths aft

Drop down chart table opposite galley 

Bow cabin with double berth or converted to a V berth 

2 further berths to convert in the saloon. 

The saloon houses the original gimbal oak table. 

Galley –

Fully equipped galley

Sink and a half with mixer tap 

130 litre Isotherm fridge with 6 litre freezer compartment (Webasto Cruise Elegance CR130), 

Dometic moonlight 3, gimbal oven, (3 burners, oven and grill with electric spark)

4 x 904 Camping Gaz bottles in gas locker

Heads – 

Original Blake toilet. 

Shower / Basin tap. 

Large lazarette

Rigging, Sails and Covers

Standing rigging – 1×19 stainless wire with Sta-Lok fittings, 2020

Running rigging – Marlow classic look, 2020

Running back stays in Dyneema

Blocks of good quality and appropriate sizes 

Chain plates stainless, 2020

Mast head stainless, 2020

Goose-neck and mast band stainless, 2020

Bowsprit crans-iron and heel, 2020

Main sail – Crusader Sails, 2020, Dacron, white

Stay Sail – Crusader Sails, 2020, Dacron, white

Jib – Crusader Sails, 2020, Dacron, white

Jib Top – Crusader Sails, 2020, Dacron, white

All with leather detailing. 

Mast Head Asymmetric Spinnaker – North Sails, 2016, with snuffer, blue and yellow

Balloon Foresail – Ratsey and Lapthorne, year unknown, green

All with appropriate sail bags 

Boom / Main Sail Cover – Crusader Sails, 2020, hemp colour

Full lengthen bow to stern sun awning, (split into 2 sections, forward and aft of mast) beige

Fore hatch cover, beige

Mid ships hatch cover, beige

Life-raft cover, beige 

Mechanical, Electrical and Tankage

65hp Ford FSD engine, with only 400 hours. 3lph at 2000rpm giving 6kn’s

Jabsco cooling water pump 

2 x fuel filters, Racor primary, micro secondary. 

Vetus 330 water strainer 

Gearbox Newage PRM 150D (new with engine)

3 blade fixed prop 

316 stainless prop shaft

Edison patent oscillating steering gear. 

The rudder is a single forward pivoted raked blade of Burma Teak, with through deck and hull stock in forged bronze with upper stuffing gland and lower bearing. Bottom pintle is located in the timber keel at base. The rudder has a part cut out to accommodate centre line propeller. Emergency tiller is to the top of rudder stock.

Blake sea-cocks throughout.

Fully rewired with tinned marine cable.

New batteries 

5 x 95Ah, Exide, AGM, house (in galley island unit)

1 x 95Ah, Exide, AGM engine (under sole boards)

BEP battery distribution cluster 

75Ah alternator 

Victron MultiPlus inverter / charger 1600VA 

Victron BMV-700 battery monitor / display 

3 x double plug points with integrated USB points

Marinco stainless 230v 16A shore power inlet socket (in cockpit)

Calorifier Surecal 40 litre with 1kw immersion heater 

2 x 5 litre expansion tanks 

Fresh water tanks – 2 x Vetus polyurethane (under saloon sole) 1 x flexi tank in bow, total 400 litres. 

Fuel tank – stainless steel situated under cockpit sole, 100 litres 

All pipe work throughout Heron is new and of best quality 

Navigation and Electronics

Plotter – B&G Valcun 9 at helm, with European C-map chart 

Instruments – B&G Triton2 display in cockpit

Wind – B&G wireless masthead wind sensor WS320

Transducer – TriData DST800 

VHF – B&G V50 with DSC

AIS – Em-Trak B-100 with Splitter 

Compass in cockpit 

Handheld VHF – ICOM M25 

Stereo – Fusion BB100 Black Box (wireless and dual zone)

2 x Fusion speakers in cockpit and 2 x Fusion speakers in saloon.

Masthead TriColour – Lopolight

Deck bow and stern – Lopolight

Spreader lights – Lopolight 

Anchor light (LED)

Steaming light / deck light on mast 

Cockpit lights (LED)

Interior lights – LED warm white and red, and dimmable spotlights

Lofrans X3.5 Stainless Windlass

Whale WaterMaster auto freshwater pump + Strainer 

Whale IC grey water pump, fully automatic, no holding tank required

Bilge pump – Rule Mate 2000, automatic, with manual override 

Manual Whale Gusher Urchin bilge pump, operated from cockpit

High water alarm – Rule

Gas alarm – Pilot

Smoke alarm

CO2 alarm

Custom switch panel 

Safety

EPIRB Ocean Sig Rescue ME 406 Cat2 GPS

Ocean Safety 8C charter ISO. 8 person ISO/ORC Life-raft. Next service due 31/07/22

Hammer hydrostatic release 

9 x KRU sport 185 Auto Life-jackets with harnesses and Baltic elasticated safety lines

Jonbuoy DanBuoy and Horseshoe

Jonbuoy DanBuoy

ICOM M25 handheld VHF 

Gas & Carbon monoxide alarms

1kg auto clean engine fire extinguisher 

2 x Gloria 1kg powder fire extinguisher 

Fire blanket

Fog horn and canister set

Kim safety ladder 

Emergency radar reflector

Grab Bag – Solas B

Ikaros flares (6), parachute rockets (4), buoyant smoke (2)

Water and food rations 

Thermal protective aid x10

First Aid kit – category C and manual 

Emergency VHF antenna 

Anchor ball and motoring cone

Emergency Nav lights

Softwood bungs

18m floating line

Jackstays and D ring in cockpit

Signalling flags

Working boat code training manual

Miscellaneous

Stainless 5 rung swim ladder

Teak boat hook (7ft)

5 winch handles

6 fenders with socks (all blue)

Mooring lines

Restoration 

The restoration of Heron II has taken place over 4 years (2016/20) and has included a full restoration of the original teak deck to make her water tight once again, some minor structural work to the hull – to restore the damage caused by the previously open deck, a complete strip back to then be freshly painted and varnished (inside and out), plus a full interior overhaul. She has also been converted from a Ketch rig to a Bermudan Cutter – as she originally was; shown in Fred Shepherd’s designs in Racing, Cruising and Design and our archive of images.

Structural work – Bow king plank and capping rail replaced with teak.  Breast hook also replaced. 2 frame tops replaced in bow and 2 frame bottoms replaced aft, all oak. Deck re-splined.

Keel – Naval brass keel bolts removed and polished, some washers replaced where necessary. Garboards re-corked 

Hull – Topsides stripped and painted, finished with International Mediterranean White.
Skin fittings – All removed and restored or replaced where necessary.

Toe rail refastened. New teak capping rail and king plank. New laminated breast hook. 

Deck – Refastened, splined and re-corked. New teak cockpit sole. New winch bases. Re-bedded all deck prisms. 

Deck house – New toughened glass windows. New gas locker (in-line valve and pressure tester and Pilot alarm) under table with drain leading to open deck. Engine ignition and control panel moved to deck house. 

Helm – Restored steering system

Cleats and fair-leads – reorganised and replaced with stainless steel 

All chrome work re chromed

Pull and push pit and stanchions removed, polished and re-bedded on new deck plates. 

Windlass and anchor system replaced with Lofrans X3.5 windlass and 60m 12mm chain running into new chain locker in forward cabin and 22kg CQR anchor.

Spars – Mast stripped, bronze mast track refastened, new stainless steel mast head and mast band/gooseneck. New bowsprit crans-iron and heel (incorporating stay sail stay fitting and 2 large mooring cleats). New boom (acquired from the mast of David Dimbleby’s yacht ‘Rocket’), fitted with 3 reef points, new bronze track. Original engraved ‘Heron II 1936’ boom end cap maintained. 

Rig – Mizzen Mast removed and rig returned to original layout. All new stainless steel 1×19 standing rigging with Sta-Lok bottle screws and fittings throughout and new chain plates. All new classic look running rigging and new blocks

Interior – Every square inch of interior taken back to bare wood, including bilge. Then painted/varnished in best quality product. Bilge re-pitched. Interior varnish satin finish. Changed interior layout by opening up the space (providing better manoeuvrability and light) and moving the galley aft for better stability when under sail. New galley with full size Isotherm fridge and new island unit / kitchen work top encasing engine and house batteries, also used as a seat for the drop down chart table, housed above berth. New heads but maintaining original Blake head. New double bow cabin construction, can be adapted to V berth. All original oak interior panel boards, berths, under drawers and gimbal table restored. 

New mattresses and upholstery. All sole boards, excluding saloon, replaced. 

Electrics – All wiring stripped out and replaced with modern marine tinned cable and all new equipment. See electrics section for specification. 

Engine – Engine and gear box have only 400 hours. During the restoration the engine was removed and had all new: cam-belt, starter motor, alternator, water pump, oils and filters, pipe work, chlorofier with electric immersion. Prop and prop shaft removed, cleaned and refitted. 

Steering gear removed and restored. 

History 

She is a well respected vessel, now with registered National Historic Vessel status. She was built in 1936 to the highest standard, Lloyds 100A1, for Stanley W Cooper. Upon launch Uffa Fox dedicated a full chapter to her in his 1937 book ‘Racing, Cruising and Design’.

Present owner, Aaron, was first introduced to classic sailing yachts at the age of 7 on-board this very vessel! Then lying on the Isle of Wight, owned by a family friend, Michael Clark, a radio engineer. Michael and Heron II featured in Yachting Monthly 1984.

It is believed that Heron II once broke the record for the Isle of Wight to Scilly Isles race. 

Enthusiasts who have enjoyed sailing on her in the past have contacted us since her revival to fill in some gaps. Michael purchased Heron in 1984 from a Christopher Smith. And before that, in the early sixties to mid seventies she was owned by John Morris, who owned Gosport shipyard John Morris & Co, which built minesweepers during the war. At some point Heron was converted to a Ketch with mizzen mast. 

Aaron forged a career as a Yacht Skipper before then taking on the restoration of Heron II in 2016, taking her from the IOW to Dartmouth.  He then won the Restoration of the Year Award 2020 for his work bringing her back to life and after featuring in an extensive article in Classic Boat magazine in March 2020.

While based in Devon Heron was used for a photo-shoot/video for an Adidas and Palace clothing commercial. Heron II was then moved from British waters down to Cannes in Southern France, ready for chartering.

Survey

2019 marine survey available to view by seriously interested parties.

Brand

Comes with a modern brand image ready for chartering, a website, t-shirt design and plates and personalised flag and a promotional postcard/flyer design.

Photos above, credit Nic Compton.

“The Construction plan shows that Heron is well and truly built, and a hundred years from now she may easily be sailing and giving pleasure to some owner.”

– Uffa Fox. Racing, Cruising and Design 1937

“The Construction plan shows that Heron is well and truly built, and a hundred years from now she may easily be sailing and giving pleasure to some owner.”