BCYC 016 - Mikado

Built 1904

Name

Mikado

Type

One Design

Construction

Mahogany & Pitch on Oak

Beam

8' 6"

Launch Date

1904

Designer

William Fife, Fairlie

Sail Plan

Bermuda Cutter

Draft

6' 6"

Owner

Michael & Beverly Briggs

Builder

William Fife, Fairlie

LOA

42'

Displacement

7 ¾ tons

History

Mikado was built for Sir William Corry and was one of two Fifes, designed and built as contributions to the new Clyde Linear 30 class in 1904. In her second season Mikado achieved a total of 6 firsts, 3 seconds and thirds out of 36 starts, placing her third place overall out eight 30 footers. Until the 1920's Mikado retained her original format as a day racer with two cockpits and a large gaff cutter rig, set on a pole mast with a short bowsprit.

Mikado retained her original rig and deck layout but was then converted, like so many gaff rigs, to a cruiser racer with a Bermudan rig. There is a Fife drawing of Mikado with a sloop rig but photos in the 1930's show that she in fact remained a cutter, retaining an enormous boom, short bowsprit, no fixed backstay and two or maybe three small headsails. Mikado was acquired by Chris Cracknell and restored between 1990 and 1995 after she was found in a sad dilapidated condition in Exeter. Fortunately much of her frames and planking survived, and amazingly so has her 1938 mast, but she has endured extensive work to restore her, including new floors and straps, new deck, new bronze and metal fittings (most made by Chris), a new Dolphin petrol engine, new interior and coach roof. The object of the restoration was to re-create her cruiser-racer period but with a wider coach roof loosely modelled on Fife's own Clio of 1921. The interior is oak panelled, with minimal modern intrusion, and the result is a two to three berth cruiser racer, well able to compete on the ISC rating without age allowance in light to moderate winds. Mikado has awesome power in light weather, and is still winning races well into her second century.

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