Sailing yachts

1909 Gaff Yawl

(REF: 17972)


  • Designer: Burnett, A.S.
  • Builder: Ashton and Kilner, Poole
  • Year: 1909
  • Location: IOW
  • Length on deck: 41'6"
  • Beam: 10'5"
  • Draft: 6'3"
  • Tonnage: 14TM

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Full specification

Wooden ships comments on this 1909 Gaff yawl

Auxiliary 1909 gaff yawl, designed by A.S. Burnett and built by Ashton & Kilner, Poole, in 1909.

The first owners brief to the yard was to build the boat as strong as they possibly could as he had a plan to sail across the Atlantic Ocean and explore the Americas.  This original specification is clearly evident today with the enormous scantlings and has been one of many factors that means the boat is still afloat today and in such good condition.  In a letter printed in Yachting Monthly in 1909, the first owner Norman Deakin wrote of his requirements for a yacht that was “as good a seaboat for the given dimensions as possible, an easily handled boat which could be taken about single handed if required, and comfortable living quarters for 3 months at a time”

The result of this brief was rather different than the yacht we see today, having been launched as a gaff cutter with a transom stern, similar to her well known ‘sister ship’ Larry.  Deakin cruised over 4000Nm in his first season, winning the RCC’s Challenge Cup for the log of his journey around Great Britain.  The design proved to be everything he had hoped in a sea boat, albeit with some early modifications to the rig and interior.

In 1926, under the guardianship of Lt-Col AMB Gage, significant changes were carried out at George Martins yard on the IOW.  They added a counter stern, extending the LOD by 5’9” and converted the rig to a gaff yawl, extending the bowsprit at the same time to balance the new rig.

The present owner bought the yacht in 1964 as a young lad and has sailed her every year since then, cruising the south coast of England and northern Europe, taking part in the Fastnet and competing regularly in classic yacht regattas.  She has been meticulously maintained by the owner, periodically checking keel bolts, replacing the deck and constructing a dog house,  as well as the more minor jobs that are done on annual basis.

6’3″Powerful and elegant yacht with a very interesting history, built to a very high spec from the best materials available with enormous strength that means she has survived the test of time without needing to be rebuilt.  2010 survey available.

1909 Gaff Yawl

Planked in 1 ½” pitch pine fastened with bronze nails to massive grown oak frames.

The hull was taken back to bare wood, below waterline in 2012, above the waterline in 2013, to find the planking and caulking in first class condition.

Enormous wrought iron strap floors
fastened through the frames with bronze bolts.


Oak backbone with oak stem and stern post.


External lead ballast keel held with bronze keel bolts, last drawn in 1994 and found to be in excellent condition.  2 tons of internal lead trimming ballast


Straight laid pitch pine deck bonded to a marine plywood sub deck, seams payed with sikaflex and finished in a wood stain.  Spacious foredeck with plenty of room on the side decks to move freely about.  Massive beamshelf with wrought iron hanging knees and large scantling deck beams.


Self draining varnished teak cockpit with bridge deck to dog house entrance.

Wheel steering with varnished spoked wheel at fwd end of the cockpit with Vetus Hydraulic drive connected to original bronze Reed pattern steering mechanism with a hydraulic ram.  The original mechanism is still functioning and connected to the rudder, located under a removable varnished teak box at the aft of the cockpit.

Spacious foredeck with wide side decks due to the narrow coachroof running forward from the dog house.  Varnished butterfly skylight on the coachroof.  Small doghouse aft with 2 windows each side.



Gaff yawl rig on keel stepped solid varnished wooden masts with varnished wooden booms and gaff yard.

Main mast was extended recently to accommodate the use of the topsail without a jackyard.  Mizzen was added in 1926 at the same time as the counter was put on.

Masts removed from the boat at regular intervals and the rig serviced.  Re-varnished in 2010????

Stainless steel standing rigging to s/s rigging screws and external chain plates.

Main mast has a single cap shroud, twin lower shrouds and a single intermediate lower running aft of the mast.  Running backstays on 2:1 tackles.

S/S inner forestay to galvanised stem head fitting in.  Roller furling forestay to end of the bowsprit with a ProFurl system.

Roller furler overhauled in 2012

Single whisker stays and fixed bobstay all in stainless wire.

Mizzen mast is bermudan rigged with single spreaders.  Twin lower stays with a single cap shroud in s/s wire to s/s rigging screws and external chainplates.

Galvanised gooseneck fitting with leathered gaff saddle.

Halyard falls come to pins on the goose neck band or a varnished teak pin rail with oak belay pins in the standing rigging.  Varnished teak light boxes in the rigging.









Pair of non self tailing Lewmars on the cockpit coamings.

2 pairs of non self tailing bronze winches on the coachroof deck forward of the doghouse



Yanmar 4cyl 60hp marine diesel installed new in 1994 on a purpose made galvanised engine bed spanning several frames.

Single lever control Yanmar gearbox to an Aqua Drive and stainless steel shaft with a 3 blade bronze propeller.  Gives 8 knots max, 6 knots cruising at 1.5 gallons/hour



4 x 12 volt batteries under the ¼ berths with a dedicated engine starting bank and separate domestic bank.  Charging from twin engine alternators, one for each bank of batteries.  Link switch in case of failure of either a battery bank or alternator



50 gallon stainless steel fuel tank under the bridge deck with a water separator filter.

100 gallon fibre glass water tank under the starboard settee berth.


Accomodation             6 berths

The accommodation has been somewhat altered from original where she had crew quarters forward with the galley and a serving hatch through the bulkhead through which meals were passed aft into the saloon.  In the aft she had a ladies cabin with a distinct amount of privacy for a small boat.

The present owner has added a dog house where the sliding entrance hatch would have been which is fantastically practical.  There is room for four people seated, with enough space for a chart desk and navigation area, enabling crew to shelter from the elements while still being part of the action rather than being confined below decks.

Doors and sliding hatch into the dog house with seating port and starboard  and the engine under.  Navigation area at the forward end with electronic instruments and a switch panel.  Companion steps to below decks on the port side of the doghouse.

Quarter berths port and starboard

Forward in to the saloon with the galley at the aft end.  L-shaped galley on the starboard side with a Spinflo 4 burner gas stove, grill and oven.  Double stainless steel sink with draining board with cold running water.  Shelf behind under the deck head with storage under the sink unit.  12 volt fridge new in 2012.

Work surface area to port with a stainless steel top, microwave and storage cupboards.

Saloon with port side settee berth and U-shaped settee to starboard.  Drop leaf saloon table allows 6 to sit in compfort.  Full standing headroom throughout, partly due to the camber of the deck, with gloss white deck beams, deck head and coachroof coamings.   Varnished cabin sole boards

Passage way to port of the mast.  Heads on the starboard side with an electric flushing Jabsco sea toilet.  Hand basin with running water drains directly overboard.  Storage lockers beneath and behind the sink.

Forecabin with large double berth to starboard and the forehatch above.  Large sail locker beneath this berth, with a small hatch at the forward end into the anchor locker.



Steering compass

Tacktick sounder

Tacktick Log

Tacktick wind indicator

Furuno GPS

Furuno stand alone radar

Cetrek Chartplotter

Cetrek autopilot



6 x Lifejackets

3 x Fire extinguishers


45lb CQR with 60 fathoms of 10mm galvanised chain

70lb Fishermans anchor

Electric windlass


2m inflatable Zodiac

Tohatsu 3hp outboard engine

Hatch and skylight covers


Various mooring warps

6 x Fenders


These particulars have been prepared in good faith from information provided by the Vendors and are intended as a guide, Wooden Ships cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. The Purchaser should instruct his agent or surveyor to validate all details as necessary and satisfy himself with the condition of the vessel and its equipment.

Wooden Ships classic yachts brokers have an extensive database of boats for sale. With a wide range of sailboats, classic yachts, motor yachts and small classic boats, Wooden Ships has one of the largest selections of traditional wooden boats and yachts for sale in the UK.


These particulars have been prepared in good faith from information provided by the Vendors and are intended as a guide, Wooden Ships cannot guarantee or warrant the accuracy of this information nor warrant the condition of the vessel. The Purchaser should instruct his agent or surveyor to validate all details as necessary and satisfy himself with the condition of the vessel and its equipment.