Marnie is one of the best examples of what a bluewater passagemaker should be. She was custom built by Salthouse Brothers, one of New Zealand’s finest custom builders, and designed by Al Mason who is one of the most highly regarded cruising designers in the world. John Salthouse told a prospective purchaser who contacted him in 2012 that it was the best yacht he’d ever built. The current owner has had her for 15 years.
Exceptionally strong, beautifully finished and maintained to the highest standard, Marnie is a very special classic that is in a class of her own. Marnie’s first owner crossed the Atlantic and Pacific and cruised in Europe, the Caribbean and Pacific Islands. Her second and current owner recently completed a circumnavigation. He has spent the extra personal time and money to keep her in top mechanical and cosmetic condition. The result of his loving care, upgrades and improvements is a yacht ready to move aboard and cruise the world.
Marnie’s replacement cost today would exceed $2.5m to build to the same level of quality, workmanship and engineering. Her construction used kauri, one of the world’s strongest woods. Over 15000 board feet of kauri was taken from one tree to build Marnie. An example of the longevity of kauri is a bowl made from kauri that came out of the ground and was carbon dated to 6,000 years old, displayed on his dining table.
Marnie’s aft cockpit design with two companionways offers excellent light, ventilation and privacy. Marnie is equally well suited for owner operated family cruising, or world cruising with a captain. The beautiful kauri woodwork includes varnished laminate hull and deck frames and white bulkheads, similar to the Herreshoff style yachts built on the New England coastline of the US. On the practical side there is a full stand up engine room for machinery and systems.
At the forward end of the large, very comfortable cockpit is the aft companionway to the full beam aft cabin with port berth (widened to 45” at the shoulders) and starboard berth, (32” wide). Both are ideal for offshore sea berths, with direct access to the cockpit. The primary companionway steps are amidships to the main salon and adjacent to the forward end of the galley to starboard, nav center and engine room door to port. The raised salon has a large U shaped settee to starboard and a straight settee to port. The original two cabins forward of the salon have been converted to one large owner’s cabin, with Pullman with lots of storage (could easily be returned to a two forward staterooms configuration). There are two heads, one aft with a very large shower, and the second head forward with access to forward cabin and salon. The cabin sole is 7/8” solid teak and is fully removable. This summer (2013), the owner removed the cabin sole and cleaned bilges which are epoxy coated. At the same time he cleaned the tanks and waxed the outside of the tanks.
Raritan electric heads
The bright, airy main salon features white bulkheads and varnished kauri laminated beams and bulkhead planking. To starboard the generous U-shaped dinette with very comfortable seating for 6, with storage outboard and under the seating. Opposite to port is a settee with storage outboard and a well crafted teak box for tools. Aft, adjacent to the curved kauri staircase, is the door to the fully insulated walk-in engine room. The cabin sole is solid natural finished 7/8” teak.
The passageway galley to starboard between aft cabin and salon offers excellent storage, lots of counter space, very large refrigeration and custom drawer freezer.
The nav center is to port adjacent to the forward companionway. The large forward facing table has storage under the wide top and a full complement of electronics.
The aft full beam stateroom has a separate companionway to the sheltered cockpit with hard dodger. A small double berth is outboard to port with a single to starboard. The en suite head offers a very large separate stall shower with stainless shower pan and teak grate. Behind the companionway ladder is a wide wet locker. Forward to starboard is a full hanging locker. Vanity has a new counter, spigots and custom porcelain sink.
The owner’s stateroom forward of the main salon was converted from two guest cabins (one with two single berths, one with double). These two cabins were combined by the current owner, creating one large full beam master. Storage includes several hanging lockers, chest of drawers, many cabinets and book shelves. The forward head was recently refinished with new vanity countertop, faucet fixture and custom porcelain sink.
Forward is a forepeak crew cabin/workshop previously accessed through the port guest stateroom and now accessed via the passageway through the master suite. Currently set up as a workshop complete with excellent storage, and work bench with vise. A single berth and marine toilet (removed presently) is provided if needed.
The hull is almost 2” thick. Comprised of 5/16” interior diagonal planking, epoxy bonded with copper nailed to 43 kauri laminated frames followed by 7/8” of planking with bronze fastenings. All of this is heart kauri hardwood, the exceptionally strong New Zealand wood which is protected from cutting these days. The hull sheer clamp to which the deck is attached is 5” thick. Two layers of 6 oz. Dynell fiberglass cloth laid in epoxy was applied to the outside of the hull before painting. Draft reported to be 7’2” loaded.
Two layers of epoxy coated and bonded plywood attached to transverse kauri beams. All deck surfaces are painted with non-skid. The headliner between the overhead beams is covered with a low maintenance laminate.
The cockpit is superbly designed, protected by the low profile hard dodger/dog house and features comfortable seating and beautiful folding teak table.
Marnie was originally built for Donald Dalziel a knowledgeable West Coast yachtsman and racer. Having experienced over eight Transpacs, Mr. Dalziel sought out Al Mason to design a fast and sea kindly ocean cruiser but one suitable to be sailed by a family. Between Don, Al Mason and John Salthouse, there was more than enough practical experience to draw upon. This is evident as you step aboard, the more you look the more you see!
Eventually age caught up with Don and he was forced to retire from the cruising life. This is when the current owner became custodian of this beautiful and capable yacht. In 1999 Marnie cruised from Northern California along the coast , to Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, thru the Canal and back to Virginia. From there Marnie has seen the East Coast, Caribbean, Bahamas, across the Atlantic and throughout the Mediterranean. Countries visited Turkey, Croatia, Greece, France, Italy, Spain, then on to the Canary Islands, Cape Verde and back across the Atlantic before the recently completed circumnavigation.
Throughout the owners’ adventures, the attention to detail and the quality of this yacht always stood out. An excellent and comfortable sailing yacht in both light air and heavy wind and seas, capable of taking you and your family safely to any point on the globe.
A cruising friend of the owner recently wrote to him that "...I've told a bunch of other people that I think she is the most beautiful and desirable real cruising boat I've seen anywhere."
For the sailor who truly appreciates a proper classic style full keel offshore cruising yacht maintained to the highest standard, Marnie is one that should be put on the short list. She offers the total package, exceptional rugged construction, comfort and good performance. Her very substantial 38 ton displacement is built to superior standard of strength and finish.
No designer does a better job than Al Mason at creating sea-kindly displacement cruising yachts that are fast (owner reports 220 mile routine days at sea during circumnavigation), and easily managed by a couple with ketch rig. The exquisite finish detail, impressive engineering and beautiful style make her a standout in any anchorage.