Catananche is now based back on Mersea Island in Essex, not far from where her designer and builder still resides. The boat was an emotional purchase by an ex Cherubist (me) who was a wide-eyed 20 something at the time of her build – the dream of owning such a great ship now finally a reality…


Catananche was purchased by Andy Webb of AW Sailboats to bolster the then burgeoning fleet at Harwich SC. A few years later in 2022, with unfortunately a million too many things on his plate, he reluctantly decided to part with her in the interest of getting her back up and running, and sold her to me. Being blessed with no skills beyond the destructive, I immediately commissioned Andy to do a full refurb, with me doing the occasional bit of grinding under strict supervision.

Having spoken to her designer Simon Clifton, we opted to stick with his original plan to keep her in upgraded 97 rules format and go no further than that. Over the years she had acquired a self-tacker that was no longer operable, along with a bow snout – so the tacker was discarded but the snout maintained. For now we are using the sail plan in its originally intended form – when rules changed in 1997 Simon put all the extra permitted area into the main – the jib currently flies from its original bow position though in time we want to bring this forward. No gunwhales were extended at any point but with our weight on board there’s no worries there.

Changes made during the refurb include chopping out the 90s mainsheet post in favour of off-the-boom sheeting with a transom bridle, and a new interior layout that’s as clean as possible, taking some inspiration from the current crop of Australian boats. The pole launch / kite hoist is now a one-piece system that I think most people are using these days.


Sadly the original foils have been lost to time so the replacements are slightly cobbled together, heavier and sturdier affairs. Probably for the best though given my previous tendency to explode rudders with monotonous regularity. All spars have been completely refurbed and a nice new paint job to reflect the new era. It’s been such a great experience to see this boat brought back to life by Andy’s skills.

Current gear list looks like this: Sails: 91 and 97 rules suits. Parker & Kay (remember them?) / Speed Sails. Foils: Wood / carbon centreboard (Bloodaxe). Rudder off a 49er (yes this is too big). Spars: All carbon – Claridge Mast, Boom provenance unknown.

For now she’ll be doing the occasional club race on Mersea Island, and we hope to make it to a couple of class events. If any Cherubists from the mid 90s / early noughties are still about and have a boat in the garage – please come and join in!


March 2023

From June 2006, Catacananche is sailing from Weston Sailing Club in Southampton by Matt And Paula Burrows. She is back home after long cold years in the north being looked after by Andy Easton.

Still awaiting upgrade from pre 97 rules principly because Catananche doesn't break and therefore hasn't needed time in the garage.

The images below are automatically pulled from the archive of photos we have. The numbers to the left of the hyphen are the sail number of the boat and to the right the date. Click the image for full size view along with any opther information we have about the image.

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  • Name: Catananche
  • Design: Hard On
  • Builder: Simon Clifton
  • Construction: Glass and foam with localised carbon
  • Location: Weston
  • boats/2669.txt
  • Last modified: 2023/03/22 20:50
  • by jp233