PRE-LOVED - Perdriau 40 Open Flybridge

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The 40ft <I>Percerverance</I> is as unique as her builder, the late Ian Perdriau

PRE-LOVED - Perdriau 40 Open Flybridge
PRE-LOVED — Perdriau 40 Open Flybridge

How do you measure a life? Three-hundred-plus people in two separate boat club wakes is good for starters. And so it was for Sydney champion sailor and boatbuilder extraordinaire Ian Perdriau, otherwise known as "Perce." The 64-year-old died suddenly in June, rocking the boating communities of Sydney Harbour, Pittwater and the Northern Beaches, leaving wife Marg and children Kate and Sam. Subsequently, "Perce’s" own boat, the rebuilt Island Gypsy 40-footer Percerverance is now for sale.

One of "Perce’s" best friends and sailing buddy John Coates, along with long-time neighbour Bill Stevens are helping out with the sale of the open flybridge cruiser. "It’s magic… a very unique, low-profile look," John tells us.

Relating the boat’s history, John recalls that he thinks the hull "Perce" sought for the project was an Island Gypsy, "but a twin-screw thing", which was subsequently gutted in a 12-month part-time build four years ago.

Occasionally helping out with the refit, John says, "the hull is fine. It was stripped right out and Ian built it up from just hull sides and a bottom.

"We both had 40-footers at the time. Mine was a different design and Ian modelled a fair bit of it in Percerverance," said John.

"Unique thing," he reiterates," Plastic hull; but you wouldn’t know it was a production boat. She has a low-profile and little windage."

"The interior is all in red Australian cedar and grey silver ash, the twin screws replaced with a single engine. She’s like new," he adds.

Regarded among the best wooden boatbuilders in Australia, Perdriau is reported to have constructed more than 100 in the medium. This included in 2007 the replica of the famous 1925 18-foot skiff Yendys (the restored original is in Sydney’s Australian National Maritime Museum), coincidentally constructed of red cedar and silver ash, with the assistance of fellow shipwright Col Bailey.

Among other notable boats Perdriau has put his stamp on is the 20m twin-prop cruiser JBW, for the past five years the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Radio Relay Vessel for the Sydney Hobart. Owned by John Winning, from the famous Winning Appliances whitegoods retailer and a leading light in the resurgence of skiff racing, the boat was built entirely of timber under the direction of Perdriau in 1997. With his business based in Mona Vale, among the jobs "Perce" still had on the board at the time of his death was a refurbishment and re-rigging of the vintage yacht Avenger for John’s brother Richard Winning.

The latter owned the ill-fated wooden yacht Winston Churchill, which sank in the horrific storm of the 1998 Sydney Hobart with the loss of three crew. "Perce" had helped in the refit of the yacht in the year prior. As John Oates recalls, there was nothing anyone could have done, "the boat fell off a wave, the mast popped out and smashed back into the garboards".

John Coates crewed many times for "Perce," one of the most memorable being in the Sydney Hobart in 1986. "Perce" skippered Ex Tension to win the race on handicap, with Condor line honours. "Perce," already a veteran of several Sydney Hobarts, had a crew mostly of first timers, including Coates, who delighted in retelling the novices’ success was to the ire of many veteran crews who had yet to taste victory in the blue-water classic.

Perce also sailed with former 18-footer world champion Ken Beashel in the late 1960s and early ’70s, partnering to win the J.J.Giltinan international 18ft skiff championship aboard Daily Telegraph at Auckland in 1968, the series Beashel had first won in 1963. Perce was also apprenticed to him.

As you can gather from a brief glimpse of his history, "Perce" is a sailor’s sailor and a shipwright’s shipwright. "What he didn’t know about building and sailing boats amounted to little and he was happy sharing his knowledge with anyone," said yachting scribe Di Pearson in her web blog obituary to Perdriau.

So back to Percerverance. Coates continues that Perdriau included design features such as a level floor from the helm bulkhead to the transom and an opening saloon window to the cockpit, things you’ll find on many modern productions boats. "There’s a lot of room, hot and cold water, and plenty of fridges and storage," Coates says.

Replacing the twin engine setup was a single 210hp Cummins diesel and ZF gearbox with cable controls to both helms. Following sea trials, lead ballast was added to "bury her in the water" Oates says after she got her bow up and began to plane. The boat now tops out around 12kts at 3000rpm, while cruise speed is 9kts at 2000rpm.

Up on the open flybridge is a central skipper’s seat, fronting a neat helm station with basic controls and electronics, and flanked by two sunbeds. Heading aft is a sturdy mast and boom to raise the tender onto the cradle nestled between two solar panels at the end of the flybridge overhang. Accessing the flybridge is from portside steps incorporated into the cabin side, the mast’s rigging aiding the climb to the top.

At water level, a deep teak swimplatform with folding stainless steel ladder adds to the real estate, and a portside transom door grants access to the entertaining cockpit, where there’s a teak-laid sole and full Breezeway clear covers. Noticeable in the photos hereabouts are the massive sidedecks/gunwales running from stern to bow providing a solid footing, with stainless steel handrails on the flybridge and bowrails assisting movement.

The saloon has blinds, carpet and lounges, a galley with two-burner cooktop, gas oven and a fridge-freezer, while the head has a marine toilet and hot and cold shower. Accessories include a flatscreen 19in LCD TV and Clarion CD stereo. The lower portside helm includes Cummins electronic engine gauges, a Coursemaster autopilot — both duplicated up top — plus a Garmin chartplotter-sounder and controls for the Maxwell electric winch and bowthruster. Alongside the helm is the entry to the forward main cabin with double vee-berth.

John Coates says Percerverance is for sale at $250,000. "Not long ago in better times, the boat would have been snapped-up at that price, but there have been some enquiries all the same."

For further information or to arrange an inspection, phone John Coates on 0418 641 546; Bill Stevens on (02) 9979 6303 or 0414 671 478.


FOR SALE: $250,000
YEAR: 2007
BUILDER: Ian Perdriau
TYPE: Displacement monohull
BEAM: Approx 14ft
DRAFT: Approx 5ft
ENGINE: Cummins 6BT diesel

Percerverance is a rare gem, a creation of respected and much-liked Sydney wooden boatbuilder Ian Perdriau. This 40-foot open flybridge cruiser was created from a GRP production hull by the late master craftsman only fours ago, and presents ‘as new’. The white gelcoat exterior gleams in a professionally maintained lustre, while smart joinery from Australian timbers adds a classic touch to the interior. For entertaining, Perdriau kept the saloon and cockpit on the same level right through to the helm bulkhead - room is abundant inside and out. The Cummins engine and ZF box were installed new and have 400 hours on the clock. The boat is a one of a kind, with reliable performance expected for years to come.


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