First published in Cruising Outpost and added to as the boat has been altered.

This was a feature article on Britannia in the Cruising Outpost magazine. Since then there have been significant new alterations added. Clicking on the underlined links will take you to the page dealing with the subject in detail

Britannia is a brigantine schooner, with a squaresail on the foremast. She is 50’ feet overall with a rakish clipper bow and roomy 14’ foot beam. She is the ideal cruising rig, capable of hauling acceptably close to the wind with four fore-and-aft sails, fast on a reach and with unbelievable down-wind stability using the square-sail, with none of the worry about gybing associated with Bermudian sails.

The forward cabin, (fo’c’sle), was remodeled to give a wider bed and new ceilings. There are two hanging lockers and lots of drawer space for storage. This cabin has two opening Portlights and a large hatch.

The saloon is spacious, utilizing the whole 14’ foot beam and incorporating the galley on the starboard side and the chart table “office” on the port side. The skylight can be opened for ventilation. The sole is teak and holly.

The galley has been completely renovated and extended into the passageway to the aft cabin. A washing machine and freezer have been incorporated. The work tops are Corrian and a new double sink and mixer tap is installed. The propane cooker has three burners and an oven.

The spacious aft cabin has a queen size bed with individual commercial air mattresses as used in hospitals, with control for individual pressure. These are much more comfortable than foam and do not suffer from absorption. There are lots of drawers and lockers and the cabin has its own en-suite bathroom.

The pièce de résistance is the aft bathroom adjoining the cabin. Not the beautiful tempered glass vanity bowl or its gold plated faucets on the marble counter top, nor even the electric toilet. It is the full size bath with ten adjustable pressure jets and a heater. Yes! a hot-tub in a sailboat that is fabulous after a days sail or a long day of boat work,

The original saloon table could not be reached from the starboard side seats. The new table has leaves that extend to both sides of the saloon. When in the folded position the table is in the center of the saloon and can be passed on either side.

The original chart table occupied 42% of the length of the port side saloon. It was completely removed and a new desk with drawers installed with a drop-down leaf the same size as the original table. The electrical distribution board was relocated, along with an antique globe drinks holder.

A 3.5 cu ft freezer was incorporated in the galley. This uses the latest low amperage compressor and freezes down to -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

The forward bathroom had no shower. It was remodeled, with new faucets, vanity bowl, an electric toilet and shower.

All sails are roller furled, with all lines coming back to the center cockpit for safe sail handling. Lines pass through running blocks and special ‘over the top blocks,’ over the coach roof.

 All winches are operated with electric winch winding handles from the cockpit. Pin-rails keep the lines tidy.

The original washboards were converted into double doors with ornamental leaded-light insets of Florida lighthouses.

The original wheel was changed for this traditional teak wheel. The table opens up to accommodate four diners.

The shore water hose has a fail-save solenoid to close it automatically if there is any leak in the boats water pipes.

The cabin sole was stripped of all old varnish and oil, then thoroughly cleaned. Then all damaged areas were repaired and varnish applied so that the floors are now shiny, but also non-slip.

The dinghy was hoisted using tackles that were very slow and hurt our hands. An electric hoist was installed and now one person can effortlessly raise the dinghy in 30 seconds.

Britannia has two 16,000 BTU reverse cycle air conditioners which  keep the inside at 75 Fahrenheit, (24C). Cool or warm air is evenly distributed throughout the whole boat to cabins and bathrooms. They can also be enjoyed while at anchor using the 6.5Kw diesel generator.

Britannia has trailboards, both sides to enhance the bow.

A new bowsprit was fabricated out of structural aluminum and powder coated. It is estimated to be five times stronger and 30 lbs lighter than the old rotten wooden one.

The tweenmast staysail was made longer than its boom. The clew can be disconnected from the boom to form a beautiful reaching sail.

Custom calibrated water gauge sensors accurately read the exact capacity of water in both tanks, not just the water level

The old vinyl headliner was replaced with ¼” thick PVC planking throughout the whole length of the boat. This is washable and mildew proof.

This is a wide angle (fisheye) view of the saloon; that has been extensively altered. from the original layout.

The port side cabin has a double bed, a hanging locker and lots of storage space and two Portlights for ventilation. The cabin is air conditioned from the front AC unit.

Overview - header
Back to navigtion


The forward cabin is a large double when the  center setion is fitted.
The port cabin was a very silly layout with a removatble section that meant the bed was only  19" inches wide. It is now a double.
The new galley now has a  freezer, washer/dryer, refrigerator, and convection microwave. There is also a pantry.
The owner's aft cabin has a queen size bed with adjustable matrasses and lots of storage space. Also an attached bathroom.
The new saloon table seats six yet when the leaves are down there is more room than the original table.
This is the new chart table, office, which offers much better use than the original.
A new freezer was built instead of an ice box. This keeps frozen food fresh.
The forward bathroom now has an electric toilet and shower.
Opening doors were made from the solid teak washboards that were very difficult to handle.
The helm offers control of the whole boat.

All the old water pipes were completely stripped out and a new system installed using new pipes and modern connectors. A larger water pump was also installed

New tank kit
shore water valveOV

Britannia has a bank of eight 6-volt batteries supplying the house side. A 12-volt battery dedicated to engine start and another to the windlass and the generator start. The batteries have a remote water filling system which keeps the water levels constant.

Portside bankOV

The yard is an aluminum spar with a 380 sq-ft squaresail that rolls up inside the spar when not in use. This is a superb down-wind sail and furling and unfurling is done entirely from the cockpit.


The original chain locker was too small to allow the chain to self-stow. The chain was re-routed into one of the large spaces under the bed where it now self-stows perfectly, every time.

All the old lifeline fittings were replaced with Dyneema rope. This is stronger than the wire and more flexible. The Dyneema is covered with white plastic tubes which prevents chafe on the lines or on the hands.



The original tiny navigation lights were replaced with larger two-mile lamps fitted with LED bulbs.


Both the manual heads were replaced with full size electric, fresh water flushing toilets. These do not smell like seawater flush toilets.

The aft bathroom was completely remodelled to include a full size bath and shower.
Twin rope deck sit each side of the companionway and carry all the lines from the sails.
Over top blocksHR

These drawings show the original  and the present layouts

internal layouts copy
Finished trailboards new

Aft anchor