Archives: Sailing yachts

Harrison Butler Z4 Sloop

Wooden Ships Comments on this Harrison Butler Z4 Sloop

Harrison Butler Z4 Tonner with raised topsides.

Built by Alfred Lockhart Marine of Brentford in 1939.  One of the 50 or so Boats built to the Zyklon design by Dr T. Harrison Butler between 1938 and 1939.

Approximately 6 were built to this slightly altered design with raised topsides to increase the volume of the cabin.

Harrison Butler Association Certificate of Authentication No.1

HB Association Sail No. HBZ435.

This boat has been in the present ownership since 1981 and used extensively for family cruising, with young children growing up aboard the boat cruising around the UK.

Thorough survey from November 2023 with a detailed list of invoices showing work done since that survey.  Copy of this survey and invoices available on request.


Length on Deck            21’

Beam                               7’2”

Draft                                4’6”

Thames Tonnage

Elkins Centreboard Gaff Cutter

Wooden Ships Comments on this Elkins Centreboard Gaff Cutter

24’ gaff cutter built by Elkins of Christchurch in 1934.

An elegant boat with a clever lifting coachroof to give more space when cruising.  This has sides made of canvas and a full cockpit tent to create a much larger space when the boat is berthed up.

Modernised with an electric motor and pod drive to make her easy to use without a cumbersome outboard hanging over the stern.

Centreboard makes for a shallow draft hull that can easily access areas others cannot.

This is a superb weekend cruising boat with a couple of berths and sitting headroom.  Full of charm and pedigree, she is an eye catching yacht in nice condition.


Length on Deck                      24’

Length Overall

Beam                                       7’3”

Draft                                       3’11” (centreplate down)

Paul Gartside Bermudan Sloop

Wooden Ships Comments on this Paul Gartside Bermudan Sloop

Designed by Paul Gartside and built by the first owner, launched in 2003.

The brief to Gartside was for a ‘strong, tight and easily handled no-nonsense boat, capable of beating to windward in adverse conditions’.

The builder was limited in size by his barn, hence her overall length of 21’.  The construction utilises modern glues to create a very tough and durable hull that requires minimal maintenance and will withstand very tough sailing conditions.

In 2013/2014 the current owner, a professional shipwright, bought the boat and carried out a refit with a new engine and systems, new electrics, added cockpit tents and other gear.  More recently the rig has been upgraded with a stack pack system on the boom and roller furling on the headsail.

This is an unusual and very capable little boat in excellent condition and very well equipped for short handed offshore cruising.

Her custom made yard bogey and accompanying road trailer mean she can be easily transported home to reduce running costs and make for hassle free boating.


Length on Deck                          21’

Length Waterline                       17’10”

Beam                                            7’

Draft                                             3’7”

Displacement                             4000lbs

Sail Area                                      232sqft

25′ Gaff Cutter

Wooden Ships Comments on this 25′ Gaff Cutter.

25’ gaff cutter designed and built by the present owners father in 1953.

The builder was a professional shipwright and wanted a family yacht to go cruising with his young family.  Originally she was flush decked, but in the 1960’s the doghouse was added to make her a more comfortable cruising boat with 4 young children.  The doghouse was fitted with a removable solid back for security and to enclose the cockpit.

Built in Pill and cruised around the Bristol Channel, she was designed for drying harbours with shallow draft so she can also take ground easily.

The boat is now owned by the one of the sons of the builder, but with advancing years a new owner is sought to take on this interesting boat and continue her story.


Length on Deck                      24’6”

Length Overall                       29’6”

Length Waterline                   23’4”

Beam                                       8’6”

Draft                                       3’6”

Displacement                         4.3 tons

Shetland Zulu Gaff Cutter

Wooden Ships Comments on this Shetland Zulu Gaff Cutter

Shetland Zulu fishing vessel built in Fraserburgh, Scotland in 1924.

Originally rigged as a lugger she was used for fishing off the Shetland Isles, heading out for herring mainly.  These boats were built strong, tough and very seaworthy to cope with the waters north of Scotland all year round.  Between 1950 and 1980 she became a service boat in Lerwick used as a pilot vessel and serving as a mail boat for the island of Foula.

In 1980 she was sold into private ownership and converted into a yacht, subsequently receiving a major refit in 1990 with new decks, rig and interior.  After being sold to France she was again given a major overhaul with a complete refastening of the hull.  She has been in the present ownership since 2007 and has been steadily improved and upgraded in between extensive cruising around northern Europe.

Length on Deck                 41’10” (12.75m)

Length Overall                   53’3” (16.5m)

Beam                                    14’2” (4.3m)

Draft                                      5’3” (1.6m)

Air Draft                               52’6” (16m)

Peter Brett Dee 25

Wooden Ships Comments on this Peter Brett Dee 25

31’ Dee 25 designed by Peter Brett and built by  Allanson & Son, Lancashire in 1960.

Peter Brett is best known as the designer of the famous Rival yachts, and he evolved the lines of the Dee 25 into his Rival 31 which was largely the same boat but with a little more volume and built in GRP.

He designed the first Dee 25, Fair Rover, for himself.  The design was featured in Yachting World magazine in 1951 and she proved very successful in his local Irish Sea races.  10 more Dee 25s followed all built at the same yard in Lancashire with the class named after the River Dee on which they were built.

No. 2 Rondinella is a name many people will know, winning the Cowes-Dinard Race in 1959 and the only boat in Class 111 to finish the 1965 Channel Race which was hit by severe weather conditions.  She featured in Adlard Coles book Heavy Weather Sailing because of her superb sea keeping qualities.

Such was the success of Fair Rover and Rondinella, the yard went on to build another 8 boats to the same design.

The design has not excessive draft with a long keel for good stability limited over-hangs and a generous beam for the period. It is said that the drying mud berth mooring near where Brett lived on the Dee Estuary was an influential factor in the design.

The interior rigid ply bulkheads with their signature keyhole design are an integral part of the design and contribute to her strength. She stands up well to her rig and is remarkably fast.

This yacht has been altered slightly with a cutter rig and a small bowsprit.  Her staysail is self tacking on a boom with a roller furling jib making her easy to handle in all weather conditions.

She had a major professional refit in 2000 and another between 2014-2016.  In the first refit the deck was replaced and the interior refitted.  In the latter refit many cracked frames were repaired or replaced, the engine renewed and a new mast fitted.


Length on Deck                          30’9”

Length Overall                           34’

Length Waterline                       25’

Beam                                            9’

Draft                                             4’6”

Thames Tonnage                       9TM

Displacement                              5.6 tons

Kim Holman Landfall Class Ketch

Wooden Ships Comments on this Kim Holman Landfall Class Ketch

Kim Holman Landfall ketch built by Whisstocks Boatyard Ltd, Suffolk, UK  in 1958.

This is the first yacht of 6 built to this design and gave her name to the class.  Built for Claude Whisstock, the owner of the boat yard, she was therefore the ‘boss’s boat’ and would have been built with a little extra care and attention.  Owned by Whisstock for 25 years, she then had another long ownership before being given a major refit between 1998 and 2004.

Bought by the present owners in 2006 and sailed to Devon where she was modified and prepared for long distance cruising and live aboard sailing.  After cruising the West country in 2007, the owners departed in 2008 for a 15 year cruise, arriving back in the UK in 2023.  Their cruise took them south to the Cape Verdes, across the Atlantic to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina before travelling north through the western Caribbean, into Cuba, USA and Canada before heading home via the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Azores.  The voyage covered 29,000Nm with over 400 anchorages and moorings.

The boat has behaved impeccably throughout that period and has never given any cause for concern.  She has been a comfortable and safe cruising home, easily handled by her 2 crew in all conditions and much admired wherever she went.

The time has come for the owners to move ashore and the boat needs a new custodian who hopefully will wish to continue the cruising life for which this boat is ideally suited.  Priced sensibly to reflect the boat and the owners’ desire to sell her sooner rather than later.

Full survey report available from November 2023.


Length on Deck          38’ / 11.6m

Length Overall           42’ / 12.8m

Length Waterline       31’8” / 9.7m

Beam                           11’2” / 3.4m

Draft                           5’6” / 1.67m

Thames Tonnage        16TM

Displacement             14.6 tons

Iain Oughtred Grey Seal

Wooden Ships Comments on this Iain Oughtred Grey Seal

Iain Oughtred Grey Seal professionally built by Christopher Dawson of Scoraig near Ullapool.  Launched in 1997.

Classic Boat magazine article from 1998 detailing the build and launch.

The Grey Seal is one of Oughtreds larger designs, a capable cruising yacht.  It is said that this is the only one of Oughtreds boats that is truly designed for open water sailing in every sense.  The design had options for centreboard or full keel.  This boat is a centreboard version which gives her very shallow draft and all the benefits of that.  She has beaching legs enabling her to dry out and take the ground easily.

Built for the current owners and launched in Little Loch Broom, she has sailed the west coast of Scotland and explored most of the lochs and islands in the area.  In 2007 she cruised the NE Scottish coast in company with other traditional and historic vessels.

Laid up ashore under cover a number of years ago, the family are reluctant to sell but realise they cannot keep her forever without using the boat properly.

She comes with a Snipe road trailer which has been recently serviced so the trailer is ready for a journey.  Total towing weight on the trailer is approximately 2.5 tons.

A really unusual and very special boat, in need of some refit work but recently built and basically sound.


Length on deck            22’1”

Beam                               7’7”

Draft                                2’3” plate up

Displacement                1725kg

Sail area                         265sqft

Danish Haikutter Gaff Ketch

Wooden Ships Comments on this Danish Haikutter Gaff Ketch

Danish Haikutter built by Carstensen & Hinrichsen of  Skagen, Denmark in 1924.

Traditional Danish fishing boat design with an elliptical counter, exaggerated sheer line and bluff bow.

Rebuilt and converted in 1990 then in 2018 she had professional work including a new stem and 100m of planking around the bows plus many new frames.

A regular site in the Baltic and Northern Germany, this is a well known and well respected sailing vessel.


Length on Deck                      58’3” / 17.75m

Length Waterline

Beam                                       15’3” / 4.65m

Draft                                       7’3” / 2.2m

John Alden Challenger GRP Yawl

Wooden Ships Comments on this John Alden Challenger GRP Yawl

John Alden Challenger Yawl built by Halmatic Ltd, Portsmouth in 1961.

The Challenger Yawl was developed through a series of tank tests at the Stevens Institute model basin with the aim of producing a first class seagoing sailing yacht to be built in the new GRP material, but in basic design and finish she was to retain the ‘style of the accepted first class sailing yacht’.  At the time the design was launched in 1960 GRP was very much in its infancy and many were sceptical about the new material.  In order not to worry the market too much, the design of the early GRP boats was similar to their wooden counterparts which was the accepted norm.

Halmatic Ltd of Portsmouth produced these hulls which were finished with mahogany superstructure to keep the feel of a classic yacht, and fitted out below with varnished wooden joinery.

The result is a very elegant and sea kindly yacht, eminently capable but with her centreplate she has a draft of just 4’ with the plate up enabling access to areas most boats her size cannot go.  The split yawl rig is very easy to handle and with a relatively low aspect she does not get overpowered easily.

This yacht has recently had new standing rigging and has a low hours Yanmar 39hp diesel.  The interior could be tidied up in places and improvements made to some systems, but she is a yacht in regular use for family sailing.


Length on deck          38’

Length Waterline       27’

Beam                           11’

Draft                           4’/7’