Above: The 1949 vintage mahogany on oak Caprice in the process of restoration in the workshop of Gates & Co. It is 18ft overall with a 6ft beam. It has a self-furling headsail set on a fractional rig. Draught with centre board up is under 1 foot, around 6 feet with it fully down. Inset: An early stage of the restoration with the deck off.
Right: Caprice showing off her cream mainsail on her new hollow mast and boom.
The present owner, a retired surgeon living near Chichester, had sailed these yachts in the past and fancied doing so again. He was also attracted to the idea of having one restored to her former glory. After considerable searching one was found on the Isle of Wight which by amazing coincidence was the very same yacht that was in the present owner's possession in the 1970s. It was taken to classic yacht restorers Gates & Co at Emsworth for a total, in depth restoration. This was completed in 2011 and was lightly sailed in Chichester Harbour for two seasons.
Sadly a recent operation means that the owner is now unable to continue sailing his beautiful yacht, consequently Caprice is laid up ashore on a trailer in Emsworth.
Caprice does not carry a spinnaker or trapezes, has a furling headsail, so is perfect for short-handed pottering or club racing. Its ease of handling and weighty centre board make it a safe and stable craft - perfect for the owner who likes his (or her) toys to be admired but user friendly!