Registration number 2013
Status Registered


Function Fishing Vessel
Subfunction Trawler
Location Torbay
Vessel type MFV
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No


Builder Thompson, George & Son, Buckie
Built in 1947
Hull material Wood
Rig Gaff Ketch
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Sail
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Inboard diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Breadth: Beam
17.60 feet (5.37m)
6.60 feet (2.01m)
Length: Overall
54.00 feet (16.47m)


SOUTH STAR BCK107 is a canoe stern Scottish trawler now converted to a traditional sailing boat. She is carvel build of larch planking on heavy oak frames. Built in 1947 by G Thomson & Sons of Buckie, she was launched as the ‘North Star’, a dual purpose seine netter. She was the first ship to be launched from the yard after the war years and started the herring boom run of production. The yard had a great reputation of producing strong vessels with fine lines. She cost £5991 + £241 for extras. The Banff advertiser reported on the launch - "hundreds of people lined the shore and cheered as a band played and the North Star slid gracefully into the sea". She fished under the number BCK107 for 20 years when she was decomissioned and fitted out by Herd & McKenzie as a ketch for the private use of the legendary Captain O M Watts. Watts was then the chief editor for Reeds Nautical Alamnac, chandler, author and designer of many vessels. He renamed her SOUTH STAR and kept her until 1985 where she past through various owners until she was saved from destruction in 2004 by her current owner Lucas Craze. Craze undertook an extensive six year restoration on the river taw in North Devon. During that time she had 50% planking replaced, 50% deck, new stem, frames, interior, above deck structure, masts and spars. Also her keel was replaced - between the tides using a cradle and no crane. Her masts and spars were cut from the forest and ‘canoed’ down river 10 miles. All materials were sourced both locally and sustainably. Craze lived aboard through the work and continues to use her as his home today. She made her post rebuild voyage around Cape Cornwall and up Channel to Plymouth. Rigged now as a Gaff Cutter Ketch she sails well, although slowly with borrowed sails. She will continue to sail out of Plymouth where further improvements are being made.

Key dates

  • 1947 Built by G Thomson & Sons of Buckie, launched as NORTH STAR
  • 1967 Vessel decomissioned and entered private ownership. Renamed SOUTH STAR
  • 2004 Vessel started six-year restoration plan

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