The Golant Ketch is a 20′ hard-chined camp-cruiser designed by Roger Dongray. Dongray is perhaps best known for his Cornish Shrimper, which he designed in 1976 with the intention of building only one in plywood, for himself. But after various friends showed an interest, 10 more plywood boats were built, and in 1979 Cornish Crabbers started building them in fiberglass and have now delivered 1,132 of them. At first glance the Ketch and the Shrimper seem to have similar hull shapes, but this is perhaps only because the eye is distracted by their wide-plank clinker-effect construction. The Ketch is actually slightly longer and wider, and also has a finer bow, a fuller stern, and a less-raked transom.In September 2013, after a 24-year career in the wine business, Keith McIlwain enrolled in the Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy’s nine-month Boat Building, Maintenance, and Support course, in which about half the students get the opportunity to build a boat for themselves. For some years Keith had admired the 18′9″ round-bilged Golant Gaffer—another Dongray design, from 1993—but was worried that her fixed keel and 2′9″ draft would make her difficult to road-trailer. So when he came across the Gaffer’s centerboard cousin, the Golant Ketch, of which just one had been built at that time, he knew that this was the boat for him.

The foredeck is recessed to keep lines and gear from going overboard.all photographs by Nigel Sharp

The foredeck is recessed to keep lines and gear from going overboard.

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