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.
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
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.
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
Original Blake toilet.
Shower / Basin tap.
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.
5 x 95Ah, Exide, AGM, house (in galley island unit)
1 x 95Ah, Exide, AGM engine (under sole boards)
BEP battery distribution cluster
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
Custom switch panel
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
ICOM M25 handheld VHF
Gas & Carbon monoxide alarms
1kg auto clean engine fire extinguisher
2 x Gloria 1kg powder fire extinguisher
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
18m floating line
Jackstays and D ring in cockpit
Working boat code training manual
Stainless 5 rung swim ladder
Teak boat hook (7ft)
5 winch handles
6 fenders with socks (all blue)
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.
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.
2019 marine survey available to view by seriously interested parties.
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.
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“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