Sailing BoatsBlue Water CruisersMengehetti EdmondoSteelbird 38Steelbird 38: Unusual Italian craftman-built ocean-going steel cutter with interesting trans-Atlantic history
Steelbird 38, Alice Fouché, was professionally built of corten steel by Edmondo Mengehetti to a Vittorio Lombardi design in Genoa in 1975 for trans-Atlantic crossings. She has had a chequered career. First, we understand, she was used for running drugs from Venezuela to Venice; later for bringing cannabis resin to the UK, when she was caught and became forfeit to the Crown. Since then, she has been refurbished inside in American white oak and is a comfortable, very sea-worthy cruiser with one double and two single berths (+ two full-length pipe cots) in separate cabins, each with its own basin and heads. The saloon has the galley and a dinette (which will convert into a further double berth) and a Taylor’s diesel heater. There is a separate chart table with chair in the wheelhouse area.
Dimensions: Length: 11.3m; Beam: 3.4m; Draft: 2.1m
Hull: multi-chine in 4mm corten (semi-high tensile) steel with angle frames; deck 3mm corten steel; long fin and skeg.
Displacement: approx. 12 tons.
Rigs: R/R genoa, self tacking staysail (alternatively, 2 yankees, staysail and running backstays). Fully battened main with lazy-jacks and cover. Over-specified alloy mast and ss standing rigging. Winches: all by Barbarosa except for one Barton
Steering: cockpit tiller/inside hydraulic wheel steering. Raymarine Smart Pilot X5. Neco remote fluxgate compass with cockpit and inside repeaters.
Engine: Farymann 28 HP, raw water cooled, capable of hand start. This is the original engine (ruggedly designed for fishing boat use) and it has proved 100% reliable. A universal joint and thrust block-cum-stern gland ensure no problems with stern shaft alignment. Triple stern gland seals replaced 2018.
Tankage: Fuel: 160 litres. Water: over 1000 litres in three tanks under galley sinks and forward .
Anchor: 45lb CQR with 60m chain. 2 further anchors with 30m chain Cayman electric winch.
Safety equipment: carbon monoxide detector, multiple fire extinguishers, fire blanket, heat activated extinguisher in engine bay, life jackets including children’s, jack stays and safety harnesses, Seago four-person liferaft, two life buoys, Life-Sling.
Equipment: 6 HP Sidepower bow thruster and Cayman electric winch with dedicated gel battery (60ah) forward. Space for 3 domestic and one starter battery each of 110ah. Sterling charger. Aerogen 4 wind generator. VHF, GPS, Navtex. SSB and car-type radio receivers. Seafarer 5 echosounder. Radar reflector. Boat Leg Company telescopic boat legs, storable under forward berths. Fully enclosed framed cockpit canopy + spare canopy for winter cover. Clock and barometer. Covers for winch, wheelhouse windows. Inflatable, spray dodgers, warps, fenders, charts, bosun’s chair, spares, etc.
Domestic: Heads fore and aft with basins to serve separate sleeping quarters. Forward heads with Rinnai gas water heater (currently u/s) and pressurised water. Gas in forward draining locker. Galley with Eno gimballed cooker with 3 burners and oven. Gas in dedicated draining stern locker. Twin sinks with fresh water foot-pump. Seacock and tap to sink for seawater but currently unconnected. Isotherm fridge, shore/battery powered Cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils. Shore power sockets. Taylors diesel cabin heater.
Comments: Built in 1975 for long-distance cruising and redesigned and refitted in mid-1990s by shipwright owner for himself with short-handed use in mind. Condition generally good though under-equipped in terms of electronics by modern standards. Carefully maintained, though a few items, e.g., cooker and water heater, need some attention. 1996 and 2007 Survey Reports available for inspection. The boat is comfortable for living in and relishes big seas. We have felt very secure in forces 7s in the North Channel and in the Irish Sea
Viewing: Ashore at DRB Marine, Rosneath
Further information, including FULL HISTORY OF YACHT, LIST OF IMPROVEMENTS/EQUIPMENT we have added and 2019 insurance survey, available on request.
Sheila and Nicholas Bielby
Frizingley Hall, Frizinghall Road,
Bradford BD9 4LD
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