Wendy May 26ft Gaff Cutter

In 1936 Colonel Albert Priddle was seeking a yacht which would carry him single-handed from the South Coast to his favourite haunts along the Brittany coast. So that he could dry out in the shoal Breton estuaries, she was not to be too deep and would be propped up on legs as the tide ran off. He was guided to the Olive Mary design drawn by Maurice Griffiths, a 25ft 6ins gaff cutter with an 8ft 5ins beam and drawing only 4ft 3ins.

Olive Mary was the first of four of these boats to be built. She and her sister ships, Silver Fox, and Singapore were all built at Harry King’s yard on the river at Pin Mill in Suffolk. Wendy May, the fourth and final of the designs, was built by Williams & Parkinson at Deganwy, North Wales.

All four were described as ‘dry and well able to heave-to, with sitting headroom beneath wide side-decks and with bulwarks 9ins high. In short a hard-weather packet.’ All are still sailing, Silver Fox, re-named Silver Seal was last heard of in North Carolina having sailed across the Atlantic.

Wendy May is currently owned by Dick Durham who keeps her at the Island Yacht Club, Canvey Island, Essex,