A Name and Tribute to Maurice Griffiths
Maurice Griffiths was the editor of Yachting monthly sailing magazine from the 1960 onwards he was responsible for yachting monthly’s designs for small boats that could be built in the garage and towed by a family car this was the YM Eventide which is still around today and the plans for this lovely boat Ripetide, waterwitch and others are free to download from
I was secretary of the Eventide owners association at one time and I owned an eventide called sigurd syr which had been built by Phil Sheaf who was Maurice Griffiths friend and plans agent. I told Phil how i had learnt to sail on a Maurice Griffiths boat called Veterata, this got me an invite to tea and a set of signed copies of his books.
I had many lovely afternoon chats with Maurice in his bunglow on west mersea island, during one of those conversations we got to talk about my boat how he had advised Phil on the building and how although it was an eventide because they had allowed a natural curve to take shape in the building molds it was 27 feet 3 inches length overall which made her fast and very sea kindly.
As most boat owners will tell you once they have owned a boat there becomes the dream boat it would be 6 inches longer it would have a different galley a bit more head room and the list goes on.
So it was a fairly dismal day and Maurice had broken his ankle some time before when I said I wanted a bigger boat well that started some heated arguments about the ideal size for short handed sailing where she would be kept what areas I would cruse and so on. But out of this I convinced Maurice I wanted at least 32 feet shallow draft because I still love the waters of the east coast of England apart from the damned useless wind farms that are now there, I didn’t know if I wanted a center plate or bilge keels I knew she had to be long keeled made of timber but apart from that not much else. But over several pots of tea and several visits we came up with the idea that i would like one of Maurices Barbican designs, but did I .
We had several chats about riggs it had to be a working rig that we could manage from the coppit no bouncing about on fore decks (Maurice pointed to his ankle) so we were looking at a gaff rig but it still was not easy enough for me at that point Maurice said junk rig but he swore if he was ever asked it was not his idea so a junk rig was decided on but with most things you change one part you need to change another so the beam was increased to 12 feet (this later became 11 feet 5 inches) 4 feet six inches draft and 36 feet long 600 sq feet of sail area which decided was to big for one sail hence the schooner which was a rig that Maurice liked but would have liked a gaff schooner.
So all these note were filled away for many years then I got the bug to build and the schooner was born.
Now Maurice like latin names for boats Veterata translates to sly fox but because it’s feminine it becomes sly vixen. I have the name plate in my office reminds me of good times. His last boat was called kylix which I understand is a shallow drinking vessel. So I needed a name for my ship and I wanted an usual name and something that Maurice would have liked so I have chosen IRACUNDA which I understand is passionate but because it’s the feminine the literal translation is passionate woman, someone better educated will tell me it means trash but I hope I am right and they are wrong
I was asked why this name and its for those women in my life my sisters my aunt and my grandmother who brought me up and those lovely ladies I have yet to dance with.