Other YM Designers

The main instigator of the Yachting Monthly sponsored designs was of course Maurice Griffiths as he was the Editor of Yachting Monthly during the period when these designs were published.  To read more about Maurice Griffiths please see the appropriate page: Maurice Griffiths


Kenneth Gibbs

Boat-builder Kenneth Gibbs designed the Junior in 1954 and the Senior in 1955 for the Yachting Monthly series of sponsored designs. He is known to have built these, as well as a few Eventides, at his boatyard on the Upper Thames at Twickenham. In the years leading up to his death he became something of a recluse and withdrew completely from the boating scene.

Unfortunately not a lot is known about Kenneth Gibbs and we would be extremely grateful if anyone can add any further information about him.

Instructions for building both the YM Junior and YM Senior can be found in the book “Building Chine Boats” by Michael Verney and available exclusively from the EOA.


Alan Buchanan

At the end of WWII Alan Buchanan was working as an engineering draughtsman at De Havilland aircraft factory. His family owned a summer house at Mersea on the river Blackwater and here he sailed and designed boats in his spare time. Eventually he left De Havilland and set up as a boat designer at his home in Enfield, Middlesex before moving to Burnham-on-Crouch. He had a remarkable ability to grasp the basics of a brief and come up with a design from it very quickly. He used to visit Wyatt’s boatyard at West Mersea regularly for maintenance of his own boats and when Wyatt’s moved into building small yachts Alan quickly became their main designer.

In 1944 his design for a 4 ton Bermudan cruising sloop “Puffin” was published in Yachting Monthly and the following year his 29ft 3in cruising sloop “Pintail” won 2nd prize in that magazine’s competition to design an estuary cruiser. In 1946 Maurice Griffiths, who had returned as Editor of Yachting Monthly after was service, commissioned Alan to design a 3-ton sloop for amateur builders. So the YM 3-Tonner was born, 20ft overall with fixed keel or centreplate. It proved to be a good small cruiser, although sadly not many were built although many sets of plans were sold. Readers found the round bilge type too difficult for home build and requested a simpler version. Alan was then commissioned to design the 19ft Wild Duck.

During the 1950’s his reputation grew and he was soon running a sizeable office at Burnham employing around 10 draughtsmen and engineers. In collaboration with Priors Boat Yard he built a series of successful off-shore racing yachts. In 1952 Buchanan began building steel yachts in Holland to be finished in England, and this soon became a major part of his business. By the mid 1950’s his office was developing glass fibre designs and Alan designed the first European glass fibre yacht – 35ft, built by Stebbings and called Bonito. The first production design was the 22ft 6in crystal class, which later became known as the Halcyon 23.

Since the early 1970’s he has continued to work from his home in Jersey and in 50 years he probably designed more yachts and pleasure craft than anyone, as well as considerable number of small commercial craft. In 1979 in recognition of his achievements he was awarded the medal of the Small Craft Group of the Royal Institution of Naval Architects. He is an honorary member of the EOA and in 2002 he very generously transferred the copyright of the 3-Tonner and Wild Duck to the EOA.

Instructions for building Wild Duck can be found in the book “Building Chine Boats” by Michael Verney and available only from the EOA. Building details for the 3-Tonner can be found in the author’s previous book “Complete Amateur Boat Builder”.


Colin Faggetter

Colin Faggetter began a second career as a boat-builder and shipwright at Fox’s yard, Ipswich after leaving the Navy where he had served as a navigation officer with B&I and P&O lines. He has built many craft, including the Eventide, as well as his own designs. He designed the 23ft and 27ft Goosander for the Yachting Monthly series.

He now lives in retirement in Suffolk where he has continued to design craft for the home builder from the 35ft Fulmar to small pram dinghies for use as tenders. Almost every one of his designs has been built as a model, some of them even being radio controlled. Unfortunately we are no longer able to offer his Goosander plans, of which we sold very few copies, as he has withdrawn this design from our portfolio, preferring to try to sell plans elsewhere.


John Rowland

American designer John Rowland, who died many years ago designed the 27ft Mouette by taking the lines of a Grand Banks Dory, extending them and adding a larger transom and a ballast keel, launching the first in 1959. A number were built in the States and proved seaworthy craft with a surprising turn of speed.

In 1972 “Eric the Red”, undoubtedly a Mouette, was exhibited at the Earls Court Boat Show, built very cheaply by Don Ridler out of odds and ends of scrap timber, bed-sheets and bamboo and subsequently successfully sailed across the Atlantic. Yachting Monthly saw the potential of the design for the home builder of limited means and asked John Rowland for his blessing to promote the boat in the UK.

A naval architect was engaged to draw up a complete set of plans but despite being a very pretty boat it has not proved very popular due to only having sitting headroom. John’s aim had been to design a small cruiser that anyone could afford to build but he claimed that unfortunately more modern building methods and plastic designs caught up with him.

We have very little information about this designer, who was apparently one of the last people in the United States to carry freight under sail, working on an old schooner into the late 1950’s. If anyone can throw any further light on him we would be pleased to hear from you.