Amokura: Oyster River and beyond

amokura moored
Amokura at rest

Where do you begin with a boat such as Amokura? In many ways she encapsulates everything that could be aspired to with the term ‘classic boating’. A desirable designer and builder; a long and cared-for existence, testament to fantastic original build standards – it goes without saying that she is a majestic piece of hardware – and a list of wealthy and famous owners all add up to a pretty sound package for classic boating stardom. But add in that she was also the subject of one of the most beloved books in yachting history and she levitates into a class all by herself.

George Millar aboard Amokura

Oyster River, written by George Millar and published in 1963, tells the tale of a long summer in the Golfe du Morbihan, France, the like of which most of us can only dream as we gaze longingly at scudding cloudscapes to the sound of the dishwasher completing a cycle. It’s probably fair to say that for anyone who has read the book and loves classic craft, sailing is never quite the same again. Oyster River sets a standard for cruising adventure that is pervasive, but all too elusive.

Her history and the catalogue of her care is told today on the website dedicated to her by her current owner, so we shall tell our story, perversely, both at the end and the beginning…

Every picture, they say, tells a story, and often the perusal of a boat’s original drawings can show a vessel in a new light. But until recently Amokura had been separated from her build-plans, so when their whereabouts came to light it became the owner’s aim to correctly reunite all the elements. And what a set of plans they are.

Beautifully presented drawings were the pride of any respectable design office but the detail and art on show in Fred Shepard’s workings, when the drawings eventually emerged, go well beyond simple documents produced to enable manufacture.

Firstly, there is the level of detailing – notes on structural materials, joints, even profiles, form prolific and fascinating sidebars – but it’s the overall art on show that is so captivating: the handwriting, shading, line consistency, the wording – “Before Converting Timber, Lay off on Floor – and Check” – even punctuation, shows what sets the truly great apart from the merely brilliant.

We think they tell a fundamental story, so here they are hopefully to catch your attention.

(Please click images to zoom and scroll.)

Amokura stem and keel constructionAmokura: stem and keel construction

Amokura scantlingsAmokura: scantlings

Amokura sail planAmokura: sail and rig plan

Amokura deck planAmokura: deck plan

Amokura cabin sectionsAmokura: cabin sections

Amokura lines plan - b/wAmokura: lines plan
Amokura general arrangement
Amokura: general arrangement

Sandeman Yacht Company

Brokerage of Classic & Vintage Yachts