stella class


New member
14 Apr 2004
lancashire, england
i wonder if anyone can give any infomation r/e the stella class yacht , 26 ft clinker-hull sloop built in the 1960's and 70's. i would welcome opinions on sea worthiness and handling. all advice would be gratefully received.


25 Nov 2004
Wortham, Suffolk, UK
Nothing very factual for you, but the following may be of interest:
1. Stella's are my 15 year old daughter's favourite boat, and it is her ambition to own her own one when an adult! I share her view that they're an extremely good looking boat.
2. There are quite a few on the East Coast, with a fair bit of competitive racing. Certainly I've seen them racing on the Deben and in the Blackwater, and understand they do on the Crouch too.
3. They look as if they go very fast indeed - they carry quite a bit rig.
4. They're designed by Kim Holman, so are likely to be very seaworthy for their dimensions and performance. They are a slightly roomier folkboat in concept, I believe.
5. There's one local boat, Walton Backwaters based I believe, which certainly does the North Sea crossing to Holland - I've seen her and spoken to the crew on both sides.

Francis Fletcher


New member
16 May 2001
Sailed (not owned) a wooden one many years ago.

Comfortable boat to sail and surprisingly fast.

If I remember correctly the cockpit was not self draining.

That's as much as the memory banks can remember at this time in the morning, oh yes and the topsides were painted dark green.




Well-known member
8 Jan 2002
I owned a Stella for 23 years, only sold because I needed a boat I could stand up in, [they dont quite have enough headroom].
They are super boats to sail, very responsive with good feedback.
The MD of Oyster Yachts owns one, presumably because he wants a boat thats fun to sail.
I put up with the 'orrible Stuart Turner for years, until a new Yanmar made new boat of her.
People often complain of high maintenance, but I would prefer to paint wood than polish plastic.
One problem we had when trying change boats was that nothing quite sailed so well. Accomodation is fairly basic by modern standard, but if you want all mod cons stay at home.
Good luck


New member
8 Nov 2004
Hove, East Sussex
I briefly owned a Stella a few years back. I bought her for peanuts from a dry berth in somebody's garden after a surveyor advertising in CB had declared her basically sound, but in need of a cosmetic overhaul.

Later inspection at the yard revealed what appeared to be a reaction between the copper roves and the mahogany planking, with the result that the wood around every single rove had softened. I'm not sure what caused this exactly, but it was apparently something to do with the peculiar qualities of the wood used in the construction. At least, that's what the yard reckoned.

Anyway, considered opinion was that every single rove was in danger of falling out and needed replacing with larger diameter ones - a horrendous job, but one that I actually considered until we also found some structural rot in the keel area.

The story had a happy ending for me. The surveyor's insurance covered the purchase cost and the quite significant yard costs, and I even made a small profit by selling off a few bits and pieces. Not so happy for Merrily, and I believe at least half of her is now working as a gazebo in someone else's garden.

Don't know if any other Stellas were made with planks from the same tree, or indeed whether the build materials actually were to blame for Merrily's demise. But I learned some valuable lessons from the experience and formed some lasting impressions about 'expert' surveys!