Owl – 1909 Fred Shepherd gaff ketch

Owl on the hard at IBTC Lowestoft in 1996-7 following her refit

Owl on the hard at IBTC Lowestoft in the mid 1990s prior to her refit

Owl is a Shepherd-designed gaff ketch, built in 1909 by White Brothers.  Originally 41 feet long, a later owner Mr Andrews, who was keen on racing, extended her to 55 feet in 1921.

Following WW2 she was owned by Englishman David Burnett who kept her until 1974 when she moved under new ownership to St Malo.  In 1990 she was bought by an Italian owner, who is believed to have run American Express in France for a time.  He commissioned her 1993-96 refit at IBTC in Lowestoft.  Her restoration took longer than expected which delayed the start of Amokura’s refit.

Since her refit Owl has been based in the Mediterranean.  Initially she had black topsides although these have since been changed to white which must make her more comfortable down below, as well as easing the maintenance burden…

Owl changed hands again in 2011 and is now available for charter – see websites here and here.  The latter of these includes outline plans and some attractive photographs, a selection of which are included below (with thanks to Vincent Baculard).  Click the pictures to see larger versions.