Vale – Iain Oughtred

15 March, 2024

The CYAA would like to note the passing of renowned traditional yacht designer and builder, Iain Oughtred, aged 84.

Iain passed away peacefully on the 21st February on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, his home of the last 23 years. 

What may not be apparent to many is that Iain was an Australian, born in Melbourne in 1939. He moved to Sydney as a 10 year old, where he learnt to sail on Gwen 12’s at the Mosman Sailing Club. Iain was a champion sailor in a number of Australian dinghy classes and was the Australian Gwen 12 class champion on two occasions in the early 1960’s. He published his first design, an 18ft pocket cruiser called Happy Jack in 1967, followed by a 29ft cruising yacht a couple of years later.

Iain relocated to the UK in 1980 and was a pioneer in the the building of traditional designs using epoxy-ply construction. Iain moved to Scotland in 1989 before settling at the Isle of Skye in 2000. He said of Scotland; “I felt a deep-down connection, like an empathy with my ancestral roots. I believed this was my place, where I should be.”

He became well known following a stint with Woodenboat Magazine in Maine USA, where he confirmed his status as a leading designer of small sailing and rowing boats

Over a career spanning more than 50 years, Iain produced over 120 designs for traditionally-styled boats, ranging from 8ft – 60ft. His designs were heavily influenced by traditional boats in particular those of Viking/Norse and Scottish working boat ancestry. His boats were well known for being  fastidiously built and beautifully proportioned.Some of his better known designs include the popular Caledonia Yawl, Ness Yawl, Grebe, Tammie Norrie, Acorn Skiff and his St Ayles Skiff.

Iain’s sister Liz, paid tribute:

“Iain you have lived a life true to your passion, as best you could. We love and honour your memory. Go well with peace and love. Old souls will be waiting to welcome you. Our love surrounds you as you leave us.”

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