Sailing yachts

28′ Gaff Cutter

(REF: 28678)


  • Designer: Traditional
  • Builder: Chris Rees
  • Year: 1992
  • Location: Devon
  • Length on deck: 28'
  • Beam: 8'
  • Draft: 4'6"

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Full specification

Wooden Ships Comments on this 28′ Gaff Cutter

Built by well known Plymouth boatbuilder Chris Rees in 1992 to his own design, an exceptionally robust construction for blue water sailing.

Rees built Pete Goss’ boat Spirit of Mystery which he sailed to Australia. The owner has a newspaper article in which Goss states meeting Chris Reece “was a match made in heaven”.

Rees sailed this boat down to NW Africa via the Azores and later across the Atlantic, up to Nova Scotia and Greenland before returning to UK .The owner has photos of her dated 1997 in Greenland against a background of rocky mountains and icebergs.

Bought by the present owner in 2006 having retired from a life of rebuilding and tuning pianos for Steinway.  With only one owner between him and the builder, and after several years living on board the owner started on a prolonged refit but now time and health have caught up with him and it is time to pass her on to new energy and enthusiasm.

Now close to completion, a new owner will have the benefit of a proven, blue water yacht which with even amateur knowledge and some investment of time and money will be an exceptional cruising yacht at a very sensible budget.

All structural hull work appears to be completed. The greater amount of work left to complete is the rig and she needs a suit of sails.

This is not a yacht in the classic manner of elegant counters, scrubbed teak decks and acres of perfect varnish but an excellent example of a practical, functional and very capable yacht without being excessively large.  At this price Sarah Louise is a good buy to a new owner with ambitions for blue water sailing on a budget.


Length on Deck 28’

Beam                                    8’

Draft                                      4’6”


  • Every aspect in the construction of this yacht is designed for strength without excessive weight.
  • 12mm marine ply with double chine and a thick grp sheathing for additional strength as part of the original construction makes for an immensely robust hull.
  • Varnished pine rubbing band round the deck edge.
  • Long keel with an external iron ballast keel and generous freeboard, all designed to give a stiff, dry boat.
  • The ballast keel is formed by a 10mm thick steel box filled with concrete, through bolted in pairs to the hull.
  • Internally, the hull is further strengthened by bulkheads at aft and forward ends of the saloon cabin, bonded to the hull and with galvanised steel strap floors in way.
  • 3’’ x 2’’ laminated frames at 18’’ centres with 2’’ ply floors across the centre-line, double stringers round the chines, long gusset ply bracing supporting the frames across the chines built in to the joinery and double ply gussets joining the frames to the deck beams.
  • Sheathed ply deck and varnish ply coamings to the coach-roof all new in current refit.
  • Coach-roof extends from the cock-pit up to the mast with varnished ply coamings set with 2 fixed oval chrome bezel port lights each side, a butterfly sky-light and full length grab rails.
  • A 9’’ varnished pine toe-rail all round set 1’’ off the deck to allow any water immediate escape.  Clear side decks allow safe movement around the deck.
  • The cock-pit well is completely sealed to be self-draining through vents each side above WL. with open cave lockers under the side decks.
  • Small triangular hatch right aft under the tiller to a sealed watertight compartment, potentially to take a gas bottle within regulations.
  • Varnished mahogany hatch on the clear fore deck.
  • Substantial twin bitts carry the heel of the bowsprit which passes through the galvanised stemhead gammon iron fitted with twin chain rollers.
  • Massive rudder stock with relatively small blade hung on heavy galvanised steel gudgeons and pintles. Tiller steering.


  • Gaff cutter rig on solid varnished pole mast stepped through the deck onto the keel.
  • The Greenland photographs show a tall, well balanced rig with topsail on a yard reaching high above the masthead for light airs sailing, cutter-headed and a relatively short and therefore more manageable boom. Properly set up this will be a comfortable rig for a single hander.
  • Single stainless steel shroud each side to external s/s chain plates as per original plan.
  • S/s chain plates further aft to take the running back-stays, originally on block and tackles.
  • Inner fore stay to the stem-head gammon iron.
  • Masthead fore stay to the end of the bowsprit.
  • Fixed length bob-stay to stainless steel stem plate.
  • Slab reefing boom with twin straps round the mast.
  • Low level pin rail each side of the mast takes the halyards etc.
  • Varnished pine pole mast, boom with fittings, gaff and bowsprit.
  • The rig is still work in progress with further standing and running rigging to be fitted.
  • No sails.


  • 2 cylinder Beta 14hp diesel engine sited under the companionway steps, flexibly mounted on heavy oak beds to centre-line 3 blade prop.
  • This engine was formerly installed in a yacht in the yard, with very low hours. Starts and runs smoothly with no smoke.
  • Excellent access to the engine with the steps removed, all perfectly clean.
  • Throttle and gear Bowden cables in situ await control lever.
  • Vêtus plastic fuel tank.
  • Battery under entrance steps.


  • 4 berths.  5’7”head-room  under the beams in the saloon.
  • Full width V berth under the fore deck, end access by a wide opening in the bulkhead.
  • Saloon cabin with port and starboard settee berths.
  • Recently made upholstery on 4” foam cushions to all berths.
  • After port corner with tiled cooker recess. Cooker fuel type yet to be chosen and installed. This recess will readily accept the ubiquitous 2 burner grill and oven gas cooker or any of the liquid fuel cookers.
  • Round stainless steel sink set in varnished mahogany joinery unit giving a trotter box over the end of the berth.  Manual, vertical action fresh water pump.  No water tank yet fitted, planned as flexible tanks under the settees.  Hand pump to sink evacuation.
  • 4 deep lockers over under the side deck.
  • Stbd side chart desk takes half size Admiralty chart.
  • Very practical, deep bins outboard of both settee berths.
  • Deep recess/cupboards aft each side of the entrance steps for stowage and hanging.
  • Varnished pine sole boards, varnished mahogany trim to the joinery.


  • Plough anchor and chain in a galvanised steel box under the forward berth with galvanised hawse pipe to deck.
  • Box of rig fittings etc.
  • Spars and rigging
  • Upholstery

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.

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