From the board of the famous Arthur C. Robb CASQUET stands apart from other British designs of the time with a generous beam and shallow draft with centre plate. Built for an owner who wanted a capable yacht which could cruise comfortably yet perform in occasional offshore racing she has an attractive mix of visually appealing lines, spacious accommodation and rewarding performance under sail.
CASQUET is reluctantly offered for sale after more than 10 years with her current owner. Wintering afloat here at Ardfern.
Born in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand in 1908, Arthur Cecil Robb became one of the great yacht designers of his age. With a family background in sailing and having established himself locally as helmsman of some considerable talent he also proved to have a flair for designing and building smaller yachts and dinghies. A member of the Naval Reserves during the 1930's he chose to move to the UK and make his living as a yacht designer, despite having no formal training. Upon arriving in the in the UK employment was found as Yard Manager at the then very prosperous Morris and Lorimers yard at Sandbank, Dumbarton.
With the outbreak of war he found himself at sea in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserves and during his service climb to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His talents didn't go unnoticed and during periods serving with the Air Ministry he worked alongside another famous designer Uffa Fox in the development of the airborne lifeboat.
Returning to normal life at the end of the war he and his wife Susan moved the family to London where the Arthur C. Robb yacht design practice was established. As his reputation grew around the globe his design talent attracted a steady stream of commissions with a loyal following of his one design cruiser/racers in the USA. His career peaked between 1950 and the mid 1960's with variety of designs for cruiser/racers, one design racing yachts, cruising yachts, motor cruises and selection of smaller dinghies all leaving his office. Following a prolonged illness Arthur C. Robb died in London in 1964.
Classic Boat published a full review of the works of Arthur C.Robb in 2004, a copy can be provided by request.
Casquet is another British-designed centreboard yacht of the type that we shall soon, perhaps, no longer regard as typically American. Her draft is light, and comfortably below the maximum allowed without penalty to centre-boarders under the C.C.A. rule.
'There was a trend during the 1950's for beamy, shallow-draught yawls inspired by American yachts like the 'Finisterre'. Robb designed the 36' (10.8m) CASQUET for an owner wanting to cruise and also race offshore at times. On a 25ft 6in (7.7m) waterline the beam of 10ft 6in (3.2m) was much greater than contemporary British practice, but necessary due to a hull draught of 3ft 11in (1.2m), ex-centreplate, a sail area totaling 573sqft (53.2sqm) and a moderate displacement.
With well proportioned overhangs and a coachroof CASQUET was an attractive bermudan yawl. Below deck the accommodation for four had generous width of cabin sole in the saloon though the 10bhp auxiliary petrol engine was installed in cramped space beneath the cabin steps which led to a roomy cockpit with wheel steering.
Yachts with a centreplate are more expensive to build than those without, but the advantage of shallow draught can so enhance cruising enjoyment that many people, particularly in America, opted for the arrangement for both inshore and offshore sailing.'
Designer Arthur Robb - Classic Boat, April 2004.
Casquet is another British-designed centreboard yacht of the type that we shall soon, perhaps, no longer regard as typically American. Her draft is light, and comfortably below the maximum allowed without penalty to centre-boarders under the C.C.A. rule. It is about two feet less than the draft allowed under the R.O.R.C. rule, and the beam is about two feet more than the British average for her length. Displacement is generous. Though she is less extreme in her proportions than several recent American examples of her type, she has a wide beam, shallow draft, and moderately heavy displacement. The hull has only a small depth of fixed keel beneath the canoe body, and the lateral resistance depends therefore mainly on the centreboard.
Other characteristics of this yacht, which have appeared only recently in British-designed centreboarders, are the generous overhangs and normal, handsome, above-water profile.
It becomes easy to feel that it is in boats such as this-with all the convenience of their cmall draft, with thier excellent amount of internal space provided by the beam, with the ability to sail nearly upright, and with their good performance-that the best cruiser is to be found rather than in narrower, deeper yachts, long-legged and easily run aground, relatively tender and less commodious.
Casquet has 3ft 9in width of cabin sole between the saloon settees. There are many yachts of her length with little more than 2ft of width here; 1ft 9in is not unknown. A study of the accomodation will reveal the comfort that can be secured on 25ft 6in of waterline when this is combined with a big beam. Yet it must not be over-looked that casquet is not simply big for her length, but also more expensive than a narrower, lighter craft without a centreboard, for the latter feature is costly. It may be money well spent; the virtues of the type suggest that it is: but a longer, lighter, deep-draft might be built for the same price. the sail area, too, is large. With a R.O.R.C. rated area of 573sq. ft., she carries more canvas than many boots a foot longer on the waterline.
Review of Casquet by designer Arthur Robb. Yachting World Annual 1957.Full copy of review with added sketches available on request.
CASQUET was built by Rowhead Ironworks in 1956. Her second owner was the colourful and well known yachtsman Neville Duke who found fame as a test pilot. After Mr. Duke she had a series of owners before being purchased in 1973 by the Adams family who moved the boat to Ireland before bring her to Ardfern.
In 2004 I purchased CASQUET from the Adams family and undertook some re-fitting which included:
During my ownership the boat has been ashore annually for an extended period to allow for a comprehensive routine maintenance program to be completed. I have thoroughly enjoyed my years of ownership having cruised the boat extensively around the Western Isles, often short handed she has always provided a safe and comfortable passage.
Built by Rowhedge Ironworks in 1956 CASQUET was launched in 1957.
Rigged as a keel stepped yawl CASQUET has a generous sail plan specified by her original owner for use cruising and occasional offshore racing she is capable of making quick and comfortable passages.
The design of the boat has the coachroof structure positioned well inboard of the deck edges provided large clear side decks for moving around the boat. Outboard a solid toerail provides security with stanchions supporting guardwires running the length of the boat.
Foredeck - Double stainless steel bow roller on stemhead. Electric windlass with chain self stowing in chain locker below decks. Windlass control on foredeck with remote controls in cockpit. Timber constructed deck hatch providing access to storage locker forward of forepeak.
Coachroof - Traditional sheathed finish with cream non-slip deck paint applied. Timber constructed deck hatch forward providing light and ventilation. 4 dorade boxes are fitted around the coachroof providing cabin ventilation. Varnished imber grabrails run the length of the coachroof outboard. A sprayhood is fitted providing shelter over the companionway at the aft end.
Cockpit - With the engine located forward in the cabin the cockpit occupies the whole volume of the hull aft. Creating a deep, well protected space for crew when on passage. Constructed in timber the cockpit is self draining. Seating is provided along the port and starboard sides with seat athwart ships aft of the wheel and a short bridge deck forward. The binnacle mounted wheel is set well aft in the space with the mainsheet secured to the binnacle base. Outboard of the coamings primary and sheet winches are mounted on timber plinths with bronze bases securing the plinths to the deck. A large deep storage locker is provided under the cockpit seating to port.
Aft Deck - A short aft deck extends aft of the cockpit with a small deck storage locker beneath.
With a relatively generous beam in comparisons to other designs of the volume below decks feels like a boat of greater than 36'. The interior is of a traditional finish with varnished sole boards, white painted hull and structural timbers where visible with furniture constructed of varnished solid timber panels.
Forepeak - Two single berths in the traditional V-berth layout port and starboard. Bulkhead at forward end of bunks provides storage locker in the bow accessed through an opening hatch. Storage for personal items is provided under both bunks with a small drawer storage unit built between the bunks. Two small lockers are provided on the deckhead forward.
Heads - Located within a dedicated space with fitted door aft of forepeak to port. Fitted with porcelain bowled Baby Blakes manual sea toilet and porcelain sink. The compartment is finished in the traditional style with a teak sole grating and tiled splash back in way of the sink. A radiant style heater is provided in the heads compartment.
Hanging Locker - Opposite the heads to starboard is a large double hanging locker. Within the locker a radiant style heater is provided.
Saloon - Benefiting from the full beam of the boat the saloon provides a spacious central living space. A drop leaf saloon table is mounted slightly off the centre line to port with an L-shaped settee to port and a bench type settee to starboard. Both settees convert to single bunks when required with the port settee having a 'trotter box' extending forward under the storage unit. Storage is provided around the saloon with shelves and cupboards outboard.
Galley - With the centreboard casing extending forward of the engine box/companionway steps the galley is located to the port side of the casing in U-shaped configuration. The Force 10 galley range is fitted outboard with the sink located athwart ships inboard and a worktop space with folding extension bridging the centreboard case. Storage is provided around the galley with lockers outboard of the cooker and beneath.
Nav Station - Located to starboard the nav-station with sizeable chart table is in a linear configuration of no dedicated seat. Cleverly the working table top folds up and a neat quarter berth is provided beneath the chart table. A small seat is provided outboard on the port side opposite the chart table with the engine instrument and ships switch panels mounting on the bulkhead aft.
Located within an engine box which forms the companionway steps the engine is readily accessible for maintenance.
In this case we are acting as brokers only. The Owner is not selling in the course of a business. whilst every care has been taken in their preparation , the correctness of these particulars is not guaranteed. The Purchaser is strongly advised to check the particulars and where appropriate at their expense to employ a qualified Marine Surveyor to carry out a survey and/or to have an engine trial conducted which if conducted by us shall not imply any liability for such engine on our part.
This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.