Den Phillips Photography - Mariquita

Martha Primrose is part of a tapestry of maritime heritage with influences drawn from years of practical sailing and fascination of sailing boats through the ages. She has the feeling of times past, of east coast of England traditional fishing smacks and sailing barges as well as treasured and honoured classic yachts from the golden age of Edwardian yachting. The fraternity of wooden boats is far reaching. It is a tradition of sail, skills and seamanship, a language and way of seeing and understanding the sea, land and nature from another perspective. Being involved with this world is a gift and shared experience with others who feel the light, joy and beauty of wooden boats. Whether a parade of sail, competitive yacht race, arriving in port at dawn or taking part in the quintessential atmosphere of a traditional wooden boat festival, the collective enjoyment and shared stories of a adventure and practical performance of a wooden boat are unique.


Together with the fraternity of sailing there is the heritage of wooden boat building. Martha Primrose is one of five new Ashley Butler designs and builds. She is part of an era of new wooden boat building, ( late 90 s into the early millenium years), broad reaching alongside vessels by Luke Powell, Ed Burnett, Nigel Irens, David Cockwell, Gannon and Benjamin, Barry Tester and Jon Raymond Barker to name a few.



                          Martha Primrose has 4 sister ships built by Ashley Butler:


Martha II - Den Phillips Photography


Bonaventure is her nearest twin. Built consecutively by Butler and Co in 2012, she is another 50ft Mayflower. Equal in length, deck and interior layout her finish is stunning high end modern classic yacht with attention to detail and comfortable sailing her prowess. Whereas Martha Primrose has a gaff yawl rig with tan sails, Bonaventure sports a Bumudian rig and white sails. She has been in the BBC mini series with Michael Beurk sailing around the British Isles in 2018.

Bonaventure - click on image for video link



Lyra was origenally designed and based upon the modest 28ft Itchen Ferry. In 2009 she was sold at the Southampton boat show and the owner re-designed her to have a counter stern to meet his vision of his own “gentleman's” yacht. Her re-design and move towards a classic yacht with glossy varnish deck furniture and intricate joinery and plush upholstery below became a stong inspiration for the Mayflower 50 class.



Lucie B

Built in Kent in 2005, Lucie B is a 32ft smack-yacht. She is bursting with character and indiviuality and was a real head turner at the Southampton Boat Show, where she debuded after her maiden sail to the Solent in 2005. Designed “by eye” and half model in the traditional way, her lines are pleasing and she became a stepping stone away from working boats to a more developed classic style.

sallyB (2).jpg

Sally B

A loyal and reliable Bawley yacht built in Martha's Vineyard in 2003. She has all the essence of a little ship in just 28ft with pleasing ergonomics and honesty. She is rustic yet beautiful below her beamy decks, her cherry interior and ruddy red glow full of atmosphere in lamp light. She has been loved and sailed by her second owner for 15 years and has only just resold this year. She has a strength and durability, an innocence of simple construction, that is comforting and trust worthy.