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Sunday 28 December 2014

Tidewater Cutter - Brego

The Tidewater is one of Maurice Griffiths designs, a cutter of 30 feet the original was mentioned in the famous journalist and designers book "Little ships & shoal waters".

The Tidewater is a classic Maurice Griffiths design with his signature shoal draft. The cabin roof is extended out to the full beam of the yacht and thus gives a volume in the cabin which one would not believe in a 30’ yacht. The cock-pit is deep, safe and very sheltered because the dog-house roof is extended aft to cover it. With her buoyant bows, 50% ballast ratio, full bilge and good freeboard this is a yacht which will sail relatively upright, she is a dry boat for her size even in a chop and her 4 ½ tons weight gives her a comfortable motion seldom found in modern designs of a similar size.

I received an email from Paul Calvert who clearly believes the Tidewater design is one of the best having owned Brego since 1995.

In Paul's words "She is, in my opinion, Maurice Griffiths best design. She sails very well, is well rigged with ample sail area and does well in light airs. She remains very balanced and reassuring when reefed down and sailed hard. She also steers herself hour after hour with no help from anyone (the Aries vane has only been on a year)".

"An extremely comfortable boat to live aboard and having a very good motion at sea. Starting out at Walton on the Naze in Essex we have sailed the East Coast Rivers, then to Whitby, Peterhead, Inverness, Caledonian Canal. All over the West Coast of Scotland. Then Ireland's East and South Coasts until she is now in Valentia Island, Co Kerry."

For a boat cruising the often chilly UK, that extended doghouse is a great feature as is the clear deck space forward, ideal for working and anchoring.


  1. I used to think the pilothouse was simply top hamper, but nowdays it seems simply practical. Still, a nice design is hard to come by. This one looks good and seems an integral part of the design, not an afterthought.

  2. Thanks for positive comment Doryman. If you get the chance look at Maurice Griffith's '60 Years a Yacht Designer" to see the Tidewater Cutter lines. Yes, the pilothouse is original, it is perhaps more a doghouse than pilothouse as you don't 'pilot' from there, it is actually giving 6' 4" headroom to the cabin. It also acts as a very effective dodger to the cockpit. Standing in the cockpit you can see over it, but duck under it to dodge flying spray. Sitting in the foward end of the cockpit you are snug underneath the aft edge of it. By the way, I suspect BB might be referring to the smaller sister of the Tidewater when mentioning 4.5 tons since Brego displaces over 6 tons. (6.6 tons according to the above mentioned book). Thanks for posting.

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  4. Couldn't go past this post without commenting. I am a great MG fan (I have a set of plans for his Lone Gull 2 design) and I have all his books. This example of the Tidewater is really stunning - like all of MGs designs she looks purposeful and workmanlike - I like the colour scheme - be good to see some interior photos - ok now off to take a look at her plans in 60 years a ........
    Interesting blog by the way.

  5. ........ I consulted MGs book and see that your featured Tidewater has the original deck plan with the amidships raised deck. Later designs had the deck forward of the mast raised and the amidships section with normal side decks. I prefer the amidships raised deck example - she looks very nice in your photos. A good old fashioned no nonsense cruising boat.

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  8. lovely boat...however is there enough length to the cockpit seats to lie down for a snooze? love the english designers....their boats are no nonsense...

  9. lovely boat...however is there enough length to the cockpit seats to lie down for a snooze? love the english designers....their boats are no nonsense...

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  12. Hi Paul. I would like if you would get in touch with me. You might remember me, I purchased Mick Delaps boat a few years ago. My email ivangodley@live.ie ... Kind regards, Ivan.

  13. Hi Paul, My Uncles bought the plans with permission to build 1 boat, from Maurice Griffiths, that boat was Brego. My Uncle Alan is 94 today and was talking about Brego. It would be great if he could see her again. Please reach out Iain.montgomery11@gmail.com. Many thanks.