Gaff rigs have been around for well over a century, providing an efficient means of propulsion for fishing fleets and coasters. For working craft, the main mast and boom also served as a derrick for loading and unloading catches and cargoes.
Iroko retains all the hallmarks of classic sailing - combining the leisurely ease of a bygone era with modern safety, navigation and comfort.
Varnished iroko planking, tan sails and a traditional gaff rig . . . little wonder she receives such admiring appreciation wherever she goes.
Marine engines need to be reliable, economical and extremely robust and Sabre's mighty Ford-based six cylinder was a mainstay for both leisure and commercial craft for many years. Although this engine was often turbo-charged for high-speed sports cruisers, Iroko is powered by the very understressed, normally-aspirated 120hp version.
At a leisurely 1,800 rpm, Iroko can maintain a comfortable 6.5 to 7 knots hour after hour, day after day - even week after week! - and still manages to sip a surprisingly low 1.5 gallons per hour. Built to withstand the frequent ill-temper of the North Sea, Iroko competently and confidently acquits herself in all conditions that one can reasonably expect . . . and very possibly much worse! And, whatever the weather, the cosy comfort of the wood panelled saloon or the deckhouse will keep everyone warm and relaxed.
Under sail, Iroko slips silently and peacefully through the water with all the graceful charisma of a bygone era. The sheets for genoa, mainsail and mizzen all run to the aft deck so single handed sailing is possible for the experienced sailor.
The Clyde's fjordic sea lochs, sounds and kyles offer a huge range of moorings and berths, from up-to-the-minute resort marinas to quaint little harbours and ancient settlements to sheltered anchorages miles from anywhere . . . but there are even more real gems to be discovered on the Atlantic coast, from Gigha to Ullapool and all the magical islands, secret coves and sheltered sea lochs in between.
Many waterfront inns and hotels provide free moorings for visiting boats (although, unfortunately, few are heavy enough for a boat of Iroko's weight). However they invariably have jetties or landing stages so one can anchor and go ashore in the tender. This photograph shows Iroko anchored off Arrochar at the head of Loch Long which unfortunately dries out for a considerable distance - making the small inflatable dinghy the only practical craft for trips ashore.