September Newsletter from Mike Lucas

Posted on

Our Website

Our website is now 7 years old and I am pleased to report that it is shortly to undergo a complete redesign by Andy our website designer, with much more emphasis on Sadlers and Starlights. It will be much easier to access and find what you want. This will proceed during the next two months and should  be finalised by end December.

Sadlers and Starlights

Business has been brisk during the past 12 months for St35’s with particular interest in well presented boats, which do sell quickly.

  • Slipstream Chichester – an early boat, but super condition
  • Ripple being a recent Bowman build, now in Plymouth
  • Wandering Star – sold in Jersey – now sailed off to the Baltic
  • Sarabande in Germany – coming on to the market soon
  • 39s – We have been involved in selling several 39s
  • Betelgeuse of S’ton – now sailed off to south Coast
  • Leemara of Northern Ireland now sold and being refurbished for serious voyaging


We increasingly find that boats are being sold privately and potential buyers phone me for my opinion and to assist in the purchase procedures; we charge a small fee for this, then advise on documents, survey and funds management. We have completed 12 boats in this manner during the past 12 months, so it does seem worthwhile for the buyer – we can also do this for the vendor.

The best of the Sadlers

A real joy for me is when we get a cherished and much-loved yacht to sell, which has just arisen in the form of Cherubino. This is a 1989 Sadler34 which I sold to my Bank Manager in 1991. This Sadler exudes the love and affection bestowed upon her, but for health reasons she is now on the market, after 30 years of proud ownership.

The MAGIC of the STEPHEN JONES Wing and Fin Keel

My first awareness of the Stephen Jones wing-keel was soon after I joined Sadler in 1989, when Stephen had already designed a super efficient fin keel for the Sadler 34. The first keel arrived in 1989, probably for Cherubino – a flange fitting at the top to distribute the load, then elliptically contoured to produce a bold entry at the forward end and fine at the aft end; the keel was narrow at the top, then progressively widened at the bottom so as to produce the effective under-water shape required and to carry the keel weight to a lower position, thus enhancing stiffness for effective windward sailing.

Ten years later I demonstrated this boat with David Harding for a PBO report; David was impressed by the enhanced windward ability and extra stiffness resulting from the new shape. Stephen Jones designed for us the Starlight 39 and the 35, both with his wing keel to the NACE section, also to follow was a suitable fin keel as an option.

By 1990 we were building our first Starlight 39, being Spring Gold 2 for Hugh Farrant, who was indeed the first Chairman of the Owners Association. Most of the first forty of the 39s were fitted with a wing keel, which was a stunning success and widely acclaimed by the yachting press for windward performance, particularly in heavy weather. Downwind they provide for remarkable confidence when steering through waves, with the realisation the yacht is completely under control, however bad the weather.

A few of the later boats were built with fin keel, which provided enhanced windward ability particularly in light airs, but in heavy weather the wing is preferable. The Starlight 35 followed soon after, also with the wing keel for most of the first 50 yachts, up to about 1996, when Bowman became involved and decided to change to fin keel, with a few wings when requested. This was mainly for racing reasons, so as to marginally improve the rating.

There were many sea-trials and tests by Yachting magazines, all of which David Harding and myself were involved with, being YW,YM, PBO and Sailing Today
Without exception, they all rated the Starlights as the best of all sailing yachts they had tested in terms of design, performance, deck layout and so on.

For next Gazette, I will briefly return to wing keels and show a few pics.
Enjoy the winter period doing all those jobs you have had no time for!

All the best, Mike

Newsletter from Mike Lucas

Posted on

NEWS-LETTER May 2023  – from  MIKE LUCAS 

We report a busy month here at Lucas Yachting with several Starlights sold through April/ May and a Sadler29 , plus a Tremlett 42 with over 700hp !!  and considerable interest locally. 

We are also assisting with the sale of two Starlight 35s, where a private Vendor/Buyer sale resulted in our assistance required to deal with sale documents, Survey  and the purchase process – one in Chichester and the other in Jersey.

We have taken on several interesting yachts this month, which have included a Starlight 46 with cruising layout and always professional maintenance – she is still with original owner and we have been entrusted with the sale of this impressive 46 foot yacht.

We are also dealing with a Starlight 35 in Germany and  now  several Sadler owners who are interested in Lucas Yachting selling their yachts; this includes a Sadler 34 in Dartmouth which is listing with us at Lucas Yachting – same owner for 22 years!

My particular interest in yachts of the 70s and 80s has also attracted the owner of a Nicholson 31 foot long-keel yacht in superb condition with many upgrades and extras

Keep in touch and by all means call me, 

Michael Lucas, BSc, CEng, FRINA 

07717 885435

Newsletter from Mike Lucas

Posted on


We have several items of interesting brokerage news about Starlights, with more owners approaching us to sell their yachts; also an interesting Moody 336 is  now listed with us and a traditional Fisher 30 ketch of the 70s, both in lovely condition.


Starlights – shortly to be listed is one of the earlier 35s which is in excellent condition, with many upgrades, renewals and loving care and attention from the owner – based in Chichester harbour with recent sails, replaced rig, regular and careful maintenance, and so on – we know this boat well – watch this space !

We are now dealing with two of the Starlight 39s (1991 and’94) which are  coming on line shortly; the earlier Starlight being based Chichester  is very special indeed, with a high standard of maintenance and extremely well selected gear and equipment; she is blessed with the larger 58hp Mermaid engine, replaced 2008; all will be listed later next week.

The later 39 was built to a high and demanding spec for the first owner, with interesting and expensive gear! – now has a bow thruster and many attractive extras ; however, ill health has resulted in very little use during the past decade, hence a maintenance program is overdue, resulting in a lower asking price.

Moody 366 – this very special Moody is still with the original enthusiastic owner and is extremely well equipped; she has had an unusually high standard of care and maintenance and has all the usual Bill Dixon qualities;  this is the first of his later designs to have really good looks and a competitive performance, with an effective hull shape and rig –  based in Torbay and shortly to be listed  – keen buyers should contact me without undue delay!

Interestingly I was deeply involved and indeed responsible for the development of the 336 during my later years with Marine Projects in Plymouth, so I am dealing enthusiastically with the sale of this  rather special yacht.

Fisher 30 – built in 1977, this yacht will attract those buyers seeking comfort and elegance, traditional qualities generally only available in these older yachts.

Plenty of well finished wood -work down below and all the convenience of a ketch rig, providing easier sail-handling – lots of storage in very deep lockers, especially in the cockpit; new upholstery further enhances the elegance and comfort of this yacht.  A recent 33hp Venus engine provides plenty reserve of power when required.

Newsletters from Mike Lucas:

Posted on

A strengthened team – We do have some good news regarding firstly our Brokerage, whereby Rob Downs has joined me part-time to assist with our website improvements, Rob already having considerable experience in this field.

He also has an interest in powerboats, in particular Ribs and you will see we have our first Rib listed, here in Dartmouth.

Starlights – I did mention that there are several Starlights we were expecting to be listing with us, two of which are now with Lucas Yachting for imminent listing, both being Starlight 39s.

A special Starlight39 is now with us to sell, in which I was deeply involved in building. She was our demonstrator for several months and I had the opportunity to test and develop this yacht on several occasions .

We then sold her to two successive owners, each time getting better until reaching the present  owner, who has updated her and further enhanced the spec to really excellent condition – details to be shortly on-line – lying South Coast. 

Another Starlight 39 is now with us and happens to be the most expensive new yacht we had ever built, with many desirable extras then fitted for the first discerning owner.

Now still with the original owner he is finding the yacht too much for him to care for, with family health problems and he tells me age is taking its toll!

Although very well equipped with effective bow-thruster and recent engine change, she has had very little use during the past seven years or so and now needs some external maintenance attention.

However, interior is in excellent condition and almost like new, with recent upholstery and this 39 will be on at an attractive price, particularly considering the substantial specification.

Details available shortly – lying Plymouth.

Further interesting news is from certain Starlights completing ambitious voyages, from whom we are hoping for detail experience, which we will all learn from, for the benefit of other Starlights owners – do write to us with your experience and stories.

Interestingly we are also aware that there are certain Sadlers which have engaged in extensive cruising and voyaging – please do write to us with your experience and advice, which we will be pleased to post on our website, so that we can all benefit from your experience

Sadler Brokerage  – we are aware of several good Sadlers for sale with other brokers or privately and would like you to contact us to check our competitive rates and extensive specialised experience – with over 500 Sadlers sold to date and 100 Starlights, we certainly have the experience to present your yacht to best effect.

Our standard rates are 6% of sale price for Sadlers (no vat) and 5% for Starlights.

We reduce both these rates by 10% for S&SOA members to 5.5% for Sadler and 4.5% for


Refurbishment and refit – Our  fleet will soon be heading for the refit season, with sundry requirements no doubt – do  feel free to call me for advice when needed or specialised parts, sails, rigging and other equipment.

Until the next time, keep safe.

All the best, 


07717 885435

Newsletter from Mike Lucas:

Posted on

Coming Soon we have a MIRAGE 30 – Collage is a really interesting small cruising yacht of the ‘70s, built by Thames Marine.

Now in splendid condition, this sturdy yacht has had a number of caring owners, who have upgraded her, in particular during the period 2005/10, which included new engine, epoxy treatment, rigging renewals and so on. With separate aft cabin, up to 6 adults can be on board – she will be available at an attractive price, being £12,900

Pics will shortly be on our website – call Mike for more detail.

STARLIGHTS – we are aware of a really good 1992/3 Starlight 39 being available at the end of this season – also a fairly recent Starlight 35.
Watch this space for more info!

BROKERAGE FEE – our rates are now even more attractive, with Starlights at 5% of sale price (no vat), reduced by 10% to 4.5% for members of the Sadler & Starlight Owners Association.
The same reductions apply for Sadlers, which are now reduced to 6% (no vat) and by a further 10% to 5.4% for S&SOA members.

FURTHER NEWS – as we take on further Sadlers and Starlights, we will keep you informed on this News Page.

Please keep us informed of your cruising ventures and we will report on this for the benefit and inspiration of other members!

Interestingly, David and Debbie Phillips are cruising on the West Coast of Scotland right now, with their beautifully maintained Starlight 35 Lacerta and meeting up with other Starlights, as I understand.
They will be due back into their home port in Torquay during September/ October.

All for now and good sailing,
Keep in touch –
07717 885435


Posted on

We are reporting a successful past 12 months or so, but would like to see more Sadlers and Starlights on our website.

We have sold most of our listed boats and there are a few new boats pending, but we are now keen to reconnect with our previous history of primarily selling Sadlers and Starlights.

To date we have sold just over 100 Starlights and nearly 500 Sadlers, so we certainly know our boats!

If you are currently thinking of selling, why not call Mike to discuss our attractive terms and specialist knowledge,  Mike has all the experience needed after some 30 years of maintaining and selling these boats and he is in a unique position to amplify your own detail for the benefit of finding the best buyers.

Interestingly, we do have another non-Sadler just come onto our books being a Halberg Rassy26 – a quite beautiful small yacht built in 1979 with a modern7/8 rig and an interior which has  ample storage space and many endearing features –  all at an attractive asking price – £12,900

For first impressions refer to our brief Sales Spec, shortly to be online, but you will need to be  quick before she goes!

call Mike on 07717 885435