Advice needed: restoring a Scottish Island Class cockpit sole

Rick Standley has written to ask for some advice in relation to his current refit of Fidra, a 28’6” 3 tons Scottish Island Class yacht designed by Alfred Mylne and built in his own yard, Bute Slip Dock, in 1929. Here’s what he says:

‘Some say she was built in 1930, but that was her first racing season. To my knowledge she has always been on the River Clyde and is, I think, the only Scottish Island hull never to fallen into dereliction at some time. 12 were built, one has vanished, one has gone to Southern Ireland and the rest are in a wide variety of states.

‘I’ve owned and sailed this yacht since 1992. She is ninety years old this year and I am more than halfway through a refit. The next task is to construct a cockpit sole (I removed a plywood deck well that had been added in the early 1980s) so I have nothing to go on. I need to know what kind(s) of wood to use, what the fastenings should be made of and where the load should be borne.

Advice would be hugely valuable: I can work hard but I don’t like doing things unless I’m certain it’s the best possible plan!

She was in the ownership of one family from 1931, or thereabouts, until the mid-80s, when she was bought by a director of McGruers, Walter Brown, who organised the re-fit and re-rig. He gave her a bigger coachroof, a high-aspect rig though with no running backstays, and guardrails, and she became a family cruiser.

She was then sold to a family in Helensburgh who kept her until I purchased her in 1992.

Email me at and I will pass your message on to Rick.

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