Understanding Glala's design and construction helps to place her historically and guides the work we do.


LOA - 78',   Beam - 13',   Draft - 4'6",   Displacement - about 45 tons

Overall Glala has the appearance of a small steam yacht. The upright bow and cruiser stern, which are rather Dreadnought like, are of the period. With limited engine power her narrow beam and fine entry would have made her easy to push through the water.



Her carvel construction is an ancient method and the materials, teak, elm and oak are of the era, but the severe bends in her cruiser stern would have been almost impossible to build in timber alone. She is actually of composite construction with wrought iron floors and frames, a ship building technique that was in vogue around the mid 19th Century, reappearing here in an Edwardian yacht.



Glala was a product of her time. By 1900, the internal combustion engine had led to the development of the motor launch and by 1910 engines were getting big enough to power more ambitious vessels. Steam yachts were big; practically small ships that required boilers, coal bunkers and a crew of mechanics and stokers. Something bigger than a launch but smaller than a steam yacht was emerging, something that was to become the motor yacht. Boat builders finally arrived at the modern form of the motor yacht - with the engines out of the way, in a compartment under a wheelhouse - in the 1920s when engines could be controlled directly by cable.

Glala is an earlier type, she didn't have direct engine control until 1939. Instructions were relayed from the helm to a mechanic in the engine room by telegraph, a technology inherited from the steam engine. This is why Glala has a full size engine room. In a sense then, Glala was an experiment, built at a time when designers were feeling their way with a new technology.

Glala has been modified over the years, reflecting evolving technology and a changing social world, but her original design is essentially pre First World War - Edwardian - making her a surviving example of a very early stage in the evolution of the motor yacht.