Thursday, 8 August 2019




I always intended to sell Iron Bark when I turned 70. Well, that birthday has come and now she is for sale. Below is list of her specifications and some photos; for more information contact me at

Iron Bark is a 35.5 Wylo II launched in 1997 and continuously upgraded since then. Wylos have a reputation for being tough, go anywhere vessels, and Iron Bark is a particularly good example. She is fitted out to be a comfortable voyaging home for two people plus two occasional guests, well insulated and comfortable in all latitudes, cool in the tropics and warm in the polar regions. Although she is probably the only vessel ever to have wintered unsupported in the ice of both Antarctica and the high Arctic, Iron Bark is far more than a rough, tough expedition boat. She can easily carry everything necessary for her crew to be self-sufficient for extended voyage without the load intruding into her interior. Few vessels of 45 ft have as much stowage. The gaff cutter rig is powerful, easily handled and immensely strong. The steel hull is equally robust. Iron Bark will look after her crew when things become seriously unpleasant, be it a hurricane, ice or coral.

Iron Bark is currently out of the water in the West Indies, in Carriacou, newly repainted. She and all her gear are in excellent condition, ready to take her new owners anywhere in the world that has more than 1.5m of water and less than 0.3m of ice. She is priced for a quick sale with no haggling as it is time for me to move on to the next part of my life.

Iron Bark's record is a proud one: 152,000 miles sailed and three winters in polar ice, twice round Cape Horn and once through Magellan Straits/Beagle Canal, two voyages to Antarctica and two to Greenland, and much more. She has won numerous awards: the Blue Water medal from the Cruising Club of America, the Seamanship Medal from the Royal Cruising Club and more  (and it really is Iron Bark that has won them, I just tag along for the ride).

1997 Launched in Queensland, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, New Zealand
1998 New Zealand, Antarctica
1999 Wintered in the ice, Antarctic Peninsula
2000 Antarctica, Falklands, West Indies
2001 West Indies
2002 West Indies (Annie Hill joined), Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia.
2003 Cape Breton Island, Newfoundland, Ireland, England, Canaries, West Indies
2004 West Indies, Nova Scotia, Greenland
2005 Wintered in the ice of Greenland 72°N, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, West Indies
2006 West Indies, Panama, Galapagos, French Polynesia, Samoa, Tonga, New Zealand
2007 New Zealand, Tasmania
2008 Tasmania, NSW, Queensland, New Zealand.
2009 New Zealand (North I to Fjords and back), (Annie Hill left), Chile
2010 Chile (Patagonia), Falklands, West Indies
2011 West Indies, USA (Chesapeake Bay), Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, West Indies
2012 West Indies, Nova Scotia, Greenland.
2013 Wintered in the ice of Greenland, Newfoundland, Maine, Bermuda, West Indies
2014 West Indies, Chesapeake, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Scotland (hurricane off Iceland)
2015 Scotland, Ireland, Labrador, Newfoundland, sailed for Western Australia 12 Oct
2016 Arr Western Australia 31 Mar (171 days from NF), Fremantle, Kimberley, Fremantle
2017 Western Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica (summer only)
2018 Antarctica, Falklands, Ireland, West Indies
2019 West Indies. Refit prior to sale.

Steel gaff cutter, round bilge, extra heavy-duty aluminium spars, keel cooled engine allowing her to motor in heavy ice or very silty water. Launched 1997 and well maintained and continuously upgraded since. Currently ashore in Carriacou, West Indies, newly painted and ready to be launched.
Australian registered and tax paid.

LOD 35'6'' (11.82m)
LWL 32'0" (9.75m)
Draft 4'10" (1.47m)
Beam 10'0" (3.03m)
Length over spars about 44 ft (13.5m)
Air draft (bridge clearance) approx 47'6" (14.5m)
Dry displacement approx 9.5 tonnes

Lower mast: aluminium 6061 T6, anodised, 200mmx5.8mm (massive, originally intended for use as bollards for 220 tonne Fremantle class patrol vessels).
Topmast: 75mm aluminium spinnaker pole extrusion
Rigging: Lowers 10mm 1x19 316 ss with Staylock terminals (2012). Uppers 8mm with Staylock terminals (2017). No running backstays as the mast is strong enough not to need them.
Jib on Profurl C320 (2016)
Staysails hanked on, working staysail is on a boom. Running staysails have a booming out pole.
Main laced to mast. Gaff has custom made ss jaws with molybdenum disulphide filled nylon inserts for low friction hoisting.
Topsail hoisted to standing topmast (no yards required)
Enough spare wire to replace any stay, and because the terminals are Sta-lok, no outside help is needed to do this.

Sails and sail handling:
Three mainsails. The one bent on is an old sail seeing out its days in flying fish latitudes. There are two more mainsails stowed below. One is a well made heavy sail that has had some use and is good for another circumnavigation. The other is a new, unused Tasker sail made considerably stronger than their highest specification offshore sail- a Cape Horn mainsail. The mainsail has conventional slab reefing with reefing winches on either side of the boom to allow the sail to be reefed from the windward side on either tack.
Four staysails: The working staysail bent to the boom is a heavy duty Lee sail in good condition and there is new spare working staysail stored below (made by Tasker, brand new heavy duty Cape Horn capable). There is also a new, unused light running (tradewind) staysail and a used but strong storm staysail, both stowed below. The staysail sheet leads to a two speed winch (Barlow).
Jib: Heavy duty Lee furling jib, good condition on a Profurl C320 with dedicated furling winch. No spare jib. Jib sheets are handled by a pair of Barient 2 speed self tailing sheet winches.
Topsail; Good condition. Set to topmast head without yards.
Trisail: Old but never yet used, good condition.

Anchoring gear:
Bower chain and warp lockers are made of stainless steel and self draining (no mud in the bilge). 
Both bow rollers are unusually large (150mm diameter) and have built in chain pawls. The starboard roller is modified to allow a roll bar anchor to stow below the bowsprit. 
The kedge has a heavy duty fairlead to aid deployment/retrieval.
Starboard bower anchor: 60 lb Manson Supreme on 80m 3/8" chain.
Port bower anchor: Either 20 kg Spade or 75 lb Herreshoff pattern fisherman (depending on bottom) on 40m 3/8"chain and 100m rope.
Kedge: 45 lb genuine CQR on 12m chain and 100m rope (or 20 kg Spade if preferred).
Windlass: Maxwell 1500, custom made with twin chain wheels.

Decks general:
Non skid is cork chips set in paint, which is effective when icy and cool underfoot in the hottest weather. Stainless steel has been used extensively for the toerails, deck edges and high wear areas including all the area where the chain runs. There are solid 32mm diameter stainless steel rails all round (no wire fences) supported by stanchions, each of which is strong enough to be used as a mooring point. The entire centre deck can be used as a water collection surface with the rainwater passing through flushable filters before reaching the tanks.

Self Steering:
Aries, completely rebuilt with almost entirely new components in 2017

Isuzu 3KC, 25 HP. Keel cooled with dry exhaust cooled by a freshwater jacket on the exhaust manifold. This allows the engine to be run in heavy ice or very silty water. Spare starter, spare alternator, complete set of spare gaskets and seals.
Propeller: 3 blade fixed 16"x12" LH. Spare fixed 2 blade propeller. Propeller puller.
150 litre main tank in keel pumps up to a 20 litre gravity fed day tank. The day tank gives 16 hours between fills at 1800 rpm (1.25 l/hr) giving 5.5 kt in calmish water.
The engine has 5600 hrs and has been meticulously serviced.
Engine access is excellent.

Alternator 100 amp Hehr Powerline with Hehr smart regulator
100 watt solar panel with latest generation MPPT regulator
3 battery banks: House 220 amp hr deep cycle AGM (2017) separated from engine and windlass batteries by splitting diodes to make charging completely automatic. Engine and windlass batteries are flooded lead acid. All systems have 100 or 150 amp circuit breakers immediately adjacent to each battery to protect the wiring from fire in case of a short circuit. Individual items of equipment are protected by appropriately sized fuses and/or circuit in the switch panels.

Standard Horizon CP180 chart plotter/GPS with external antenna
Standard Horizon GX 2000 VHF with inbuilt AIS
Standard Horizon CP180i chart plotter and echo sounder visible from cockpit when hand steering.
Sony FM/MW/LW radio, CD and MP3 player
YB3 tracker - installed and wired up but never activated
1500 watt 120v inverter plus 110-220 transformer

Cabins and Galley
Taylor 2 burner plus oven kerosene stove. A very good galley with plenty of work top space, drawers and dedicated lockers for all cooking utensils, plates cups etc within easy reach of the cook.
Two water tanks, 120 and 60 litres with foot pump.
LED lights throughout except for 2 rarely used dome lights.
Leather upholstery in the saloon - good condition except for 2 small cushions that need recovering.
Saloon and cabins are white panels with varnished trim. The trim is ironbark and teak with some kwila, mahogany and oak. The cabin sole is scrubbed white ash and particularly attractive. All interior paint and varnish is extremely hard wearing two-pot polyurethane.
Double berth in forcabin - a very comfortable berth especially at anchor with hatch directly overhead for ventilation in the tropics
Two settee berths in the saloon - good sea berths with lee cloths/ lee boards.
Large clothes lockers and 4 metres of book shelves.
All lockers regardless of the orientation of their top have positive catches. Everything stays in place if the vessel is knocked down.
Heater: Dickinson Newport oil fired heater with stainless steel chimney and dedicated air intake. The above deck section of the chimney and air intake can be unscrewed in moments and stowed below or extended to 1.5m above deck if the snow is deep. There is also a solid fuel heater (wood, coal, peat, briquets) that can be changed out for the oil-fired one when in places like Patagonia where wood is abundant and oil scarce, and a chain saw for cutting firewood.
Toilet: Jabsco manual with holding tank.
Manual bilge pump.

2 fire extinguishers
Fire blanket

For more details, email me at

Although they were not intended to describe how the Iron Bark is put together, the handover notes that I wrote in anticipation of selling her do describe how some of the systems work, so I will add the here.



 The engine is keel cooled. The coolant header tank is on the aft end of the engine box. Top it up with water and antifreeze/inhibitor as required. The correct level when the engine is cool is marked by a cross piece in the tank immediately below the filler cap. The system is not pressurised and the space above the cross piece marker is for coolant expansion when the engine is at working temperature. The total volume of the cooling system is approx 40 litres. I normally run about 30% antifreeze/corrosion inhibitor. This is the conventional (green) type. Do not mix it with the orange type as they are incompatible.

 The exhaust is dry with a water jacket on the exhaust manifold. It exits via a loop to the deckhead and out through a seacock just below the rubstrake amidships on the port side. The loop is high enough to prevent water entering the exhaust system under most conditions, but for safety I close the exhaust seacock at sea when the engine is not running and hang the ‘ENGINE EARTH’ key from the seacock as a reminder that it must be opened before starting the engine. I normally leave the exhaust open when at anchor.

 Fuel is gravity fed from a header tank below the galley counter. The tank holds about 20 litres which is sufficient for about 12 hours motoring. It is filled by a hand pump: to ensure that I never run out of fuel, I pump up fuel from the main tank every 6 hours. The pump is semi-rotary and not self-priming. There is a ball valve immediately below the pump that is turned off when the pump is not in use so that it does not lose its prime. To fill the header tank, first turn the cock on then put a small container under the header tank breather outlet, which is a green holes with a ball valve in it above the galley counter by the exhaust box (I use a plastic bottle). Pump until the header tank is full and fuel spurts into the bottle. Turn off the cock under the pump and remove the bottle from under the breather.

 There are two fuel filters. The first one is a Recor in the locker behind the header tank pump. It has a water separator that is drained by a valve in the base. The element is the spin-on type. The second filter is on the engine. It is necessary to remove the side of the engine box to get at this effectively – not a difficult procedure. I change the fuel filters when I think it is necessary rather than at a fixed interval. When using drummed fuel of dubious provenance in places like Patagonia, the interval may be as little as 200 hours. More generally it about 1000 hours.

 The lubrication system is conventional. I change the oil and filter every 150 hours, which is very conservative but kind to the engine. The oil change interval could be extended to 250 hours and the filter to 500 hours without adverse effect.

 The engine is isolated from the electrical system except when starting. The gauges are double insulated with no earth via the engine block. The tachometer is a proximity sensor on the cam shaft, not a frequency meter of the alternator.

 The gearbox is a conventional twin shaft (Hurth type) using automatic transmission fluid. The shaft has a plumber bearing in the middle, under the bottom companionway step. This should be greased every 500 hours. The shaft gland is a stuffing box and it too should be greased every 500 hours.



 1.      Open the exhaust at the seacock behind the removable panel on the starboard side immediately forward of the galley. I hang the removable earth key on the seacock handle so that I do not forget to do this

2.      Check the engine is in neutral and advance the throttle to about half.

3.      Turn the earth key on. It is labelled ‘ENGINE EARTH’

4.      Turn on the ‘ENGINE CONROL’ and ‘INSTRUMENTS’ switches. This provides power to the engine instruments , to the starter solenoid and alternator field coil.

5.      Press ‘PREHEAT’ for 15 seconds.

6.      Press ‘STARTER’

7.      Once the engine has started, turn off the ‘ENGINE EARTH’



 1.      Engine in neutral and idling

2.      Pull the stop control – the cord at the aft end of the engine box.

3.      Turn off ‘ENGINE CONTROL’ and ‘INSTRUMENTS’

4.      If at sea, close the exhaust and hang the removable ‘ENGINE EARTH’ key on the seacock as a reminder that it is closed. In harbour I leave the exhaust open.

5.      Put the gearbox astern to stop the propeller turning.



 Conventional 12v, negative earth and entirely double insulated (floating earth) except the starter motor and glow plugs. All wires are labelled, generally at each end, always at one end. The alternator is a heavy duty Balmar 100 amp with smart regulator. See manufacture’s literature for details (aboard in the boat's documentation folder).

 There are three battery banks: engine, house and windlass separated by splitting diodes. The engine battery is a 12v flooded lead-acid battery and the house bank is a pair of 6v AGM batteries in series. These batteries are under the port saloon seat. The windlass battery is a 12v flooded lead-acid battery and is under the forward berth. The voltage sensor from the smart regulator is connected to the house bank so it is the state of charge of the house bank that dictates the charging rate. The charge rate is optimised for AGM batteries. The solar panel is connected to the house bank and again optimised for AGM batteries. The solar panel has the latest generation MPPT regulator – see manufacturer’s literature for details.

The large battery switch is used to select the battery bank that starts the engine. It is normally left on bank 2, the dedicated starting battery. By switching it to 1, the house bank becomes the engine starting battery and ‘both’ puts these two banks in parallel. It should never be necessary to use the house bank to start the engine.

The entire system is double insulated with no earth through the hull or engine, with the exception of the starter motor and glow plugs. These cannot be easily isolated from the engine block, so it is necessary to briefly connect the engine to the battery negative when starting the engine. The heavy duty switch labelled ‘ENGINE EARTH’ does this. It has a removable key.

All systems are protected by a 100 amp circuit breakers, the long wires having one at each end in case a wire chafes through in the middle. This is in addition to the normal fuses and circuit breakers protecting individual circuits.

The windlass has it’s own battery under the forward berth. The charging circuit has a 100 amp circuit breaker in it close to the splitting diode in the main battery box beside the engine. There is another 100 amp circuit breaker between the battery and the windlass. This is in the forward cabin. The solenoid that activates the windlass is in the locker just behind the circuit breaker. The solenoid is activated by a foot switch on deck. I leave the circuit breakers in the on position except on passage.



Below water line:

1.      Sink outlet: access by lifting the floor panel of the lower locker under the sink.

2.      Toilet inlet: access by lifting the toilet compartment floor.

3.      Toilet outlet: access through the open-fronted compartment beside the toilet.

Above the waterline:

1.      Bilge pump outlet: seacock in forward small (upper) locker in the saloon, port side.

2.      Engine exhaust: see engine section

3.      Toilet holding tank breather: in the toilet compartment, near the deckhead.



 Water is in two keel tanks: the forward tank holds 60 litres and the aft tank 120 litres. Change tanks using the ball valves in the forward galley locker, under the fuel transfer pump. The fillers are on deck, the port filler goes to the small forward tank, the starboard one to the large aft tank. Rainwater can be caught and directed into the tanks by stopping the deck scuppers with a small piece of sponge or rag and opening the fills, which are flush with the deck. The whole midships deck (18 sq m) becomes the collecting surface. There are filters in the filler pipes to keep deck grime out of the tanks. The port filter is in the toilet compartment in the upper open-fronted locker beside the head. The starboard filter is in the back of the clothes locker. Unscrew the filter body to access the filter screen for cleaning.



Fuel tank is in the keel, under the engine, 150 litres. The filler is in the cockpit, port side. The main tank breather, which is normally closed, is in the forward galley locker along with the fuel transfer pump. When filling the tank, put the end of the main tank breather hose (a ½” green hose) into a suitable container, usually the same one that is use to collect overflow when topping up the header tank and open the breather ball valve in the breather hose. Close the breather again after refuelling.



Currently the toilet is a manual Jabsco with a holding tank. I have found that it requires less maintenance than the Lavac previously installed and not any more likely to blockages. If there is a blockage, it is almost always at the outlet of the holding tank rather than in the toilet and is usually because a female acquaintance could not be persuaded that there is a difference between toilet paper and paper towels or facial tissue. The system will handle toilet paper without a worry but paper towels and facial tissue clog it immediately. The least unpleasant way of unclogging it is to rig up an electric bilge pump on a long lead, hang it over the side from the dinghy, push the pump discharge pipe up the toilet outlet (which is at water level) and circulate water until the blockage is dislodged.

To use the holding tank, close the outlet seacock. The holding tank is above water level and is emptied by opening the seacock and letting gravity do the rest. When the seacock is open, the toilet contents are pumped through the holding tank on the way overboard.



The interior woodwork is entirely removable for access to the hull. The only exception is the athwartships bulkheads, which cover a trivial amount of hull. The order of removal is from the top down. For example to remove the panelling in the saloon behind the starboard settee back, start at the deckhead and unscrew the handrail and varnished battens. Next unscrew the painted deckhead panels, then the cabin side panel and finally the panel behind the settee back. The panels are held by woodscrews into timber furring pieces that are in turn bolted to the steel frames or deck beams.

The insulation is largely 32mm polyurethane panels that are a push-fit between the frames and stringers. This allows them to be removed for inspection of the hull and to allow welding of the hull without starting a fire. The insulation does not extend far below the waterline.



The rig is conventional. I originally had both running backstays and a stayed topmast but concluded neither were necessary so abolished the runners and made the topmast unstayed. The jib is on a Profurl furler and is generally trouble free. The staysail currently in use is on a boom, but the new one (as yet unused) is loose footed. I have tried it both ways, and there are advantages to each. For inshore work the boomed staysail is convenient but it is hard to goose wing it when running downwind. The loose-footed staysail with a booming out pole is better in this case.


The non-skid is cork chips set in paint. Repair of small or large sections is simple – there is plenty of spare cork chips aboard.

The rails are 1”NB 3016 stainless steel water pipe, which is about 32mm OD with a wall thickness of 3mm. This is much more substantial than the usual 1.6mm wall tubing used on yachts. The stanchions have 1” round bar inserts that are plug welded through the deck and braced by substantial gussets below deck. All are strong enough to use as mooring cleats.



 The above-deck section of the chimney unscrews and is stowed below when at sea. Usually only the short 400mm section with the cowl is necessary, but there is a 1 metre extension for when the snow is deep or if is a down draft behind a dock.


  1. Hi Trevor, we met each other in the Chilean Channels back in 2010 I think. Sad to see you selling Iron Bark. What are your plans?
    Best regards,
    Bob Williams
    SY Sylph VI

    1. Hi Bob
      It's good to hear from you. Do you still have Sylph and if so where are you both?

      I decided that I did not want to be chipping rust when I turned 80, and that is not so far off now, so have bought an Alajeula 38. It is a fibreglass version of Atkins' Ingrid. I am fitting out the new boat (actually it is not so new, having been built in 1977) in the West Indies and will keep sailing for as long as I can. Life is too short to be spent ashore.
      A return trip to the Chilean Channels would be a fine thing.
      My email address in if you want to contact me directly.

  2. I recognize that boat house at the top of your post! Maskell's harbour, Lake Bras d' Or. I anchored there on my way back from Labrador, from Maine, a few summers ago.

  3. I just binge read all of the blogs...has the boat sold? Does this one have the hinged mast that can be dropped?

    1. Sorry to have been so slow replying, and yes, Iron Bark is still for sale.
      Her mast is keel stepped and not in a tabernacle so cannot be lowered without outside help. A keel stepped mast is stiffer and less reliant on its standing rigging, which makes it better suited for sailing to remote places.

  4. So sad to see the Iron Bark will leave your side. I always like her practical simplicity and robust construction. Hope we catch up with you in 2021. Terry and Mike, ReVision II

  5. Been obsessed with the design of this boat, ever since i've watched the documentary with Nick Skeates about his Wylo. I hope to own one someday :), I pushed my own boat real hard around the Pacific these past 5 years, and would like something sturdier... someday, when/if the budget allows.

  6. Is Iron Bark still for sale?