Sailing yachts

41′ Gaff Cutter

(REF: 18298)


  • Designer: Traditional
  • Year: 1904
  • Location: Hants
  • Length on deck: 41'
  • Beam: 9'
  • Draft: 8'

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Full specification

Wooden Ships Comments on this Victorian Gaff Cutter

Aeolus is a fast, elegant gaff cutter built in California in 1904 for inshore racing and is an ideal boat for classic regattas and coastal cruising. After a major rebuild in 1983, she was imported to the UK in 2003 and re-rigged with a powerful, beautifully balanced sail plan designed by the late Ed Burnett – she now goes like a greyhound with her seven sails flying.  Aeolus is well known at the Solent classic regattas and won the 2019 OGA Annual race.  With only blocks and tackles to set the sails, she offers a traditional sailing experience with modern performance.

She has a lovely polished wood interior, hand-crafted in varnished mahogany and pine with a saloon table for the whole crew to socialise.  Traditional in atmosphere, modern functionality – a flag locker adjacent to chart table with wifi instruments – enables both racing and long distance cruising.  She has 8 berths in three cabins with standing height throughout.

She has the reassurance of a largely new hull, rig and machinery and a clean insurance survey from 2017.  Fully equipped and in excellent condition, she is kept covered all year to protect the decks and varnish.  All spars apart from the mast were replaced by Collars, new sails made by SKB in Falmouth.

Length on Deck                 41′

Length Overall                   58′

Beam                                    9′

Draft                                      8′




Carvel planked in Douglas Fir, all bronze screw fastened to steam bent American white Oak timbers.

Double planked below the waterline to a total thickness of 2″.  This extra layer of planking was fitted during the rebuild and is laid over new planking, not old damaged timber.  Sheathed externally to the waterline to protect the hull from worm damage.

No external ballast keel.  She has 6 tons of lead ingots under the saloon sole.

Some stainless steel strap floors aft can be seen.  Floors through the centre of the boat are likely to be either stainless straps or timber.

Beamshelf and full length clamp supported with new steel brackets giving stiffness and strength to the hull.

Swept deck using a tight grained Oregon pine, repayed with Sikaflex in 2014.  Screwed to the deck beams over 2 layers of T&G Douglas Fir planking.  Wide teak king plank.

A very substantial toe rail all round made of laminated horizontal layers of Oregon Pine with a varnished Mahogany capping rail.

Heavy duty mooring posts and bronze fairleads

Cockpit has no well so does not impinge on space below decks.  Varnished mahogany coamings mounted on the deck with drain holes lead into a varnished mahogany companion hatch and combined skylight.  Forward of the mast is a varnished forehatch.

Tiller steering




Rig was totally redesigned by Ed Burnett in 2011 to get the boat properly balance under sail.  This was achieved by changing the shape of the mainsail and increasing the area of the headsails.

Gaff cutter rig on a solid Douglas Fir mast, believed to be from 1990.  Douglas Fir topmast made by Collars in 2011.

Slab reefing boom from Collars in 2011.  Gaff built by Collars in 2013, bowsprit by Collars in 2017.  All new spars built in Douglas Fir.

Galvanised wire standing rigging, parcelled and served in the traditional way, new in 2005, serviced in 2011.  Forestay and bobstay in stainless steel in 2011.  Backstays in stainless steel new in 2005.

Dead eyes and lanyards to external bronze chain plates over channel boards to get more width on the rigging.

Running backstays to main mast and topmast on tackles.  All sheets are tensioned with tackles.

Running rigging is all traditional 3 strand with varnished wooden blocks and belay pins.

All working sails by SKB of Falmouth in 2011, main topsail 2013.  She also carries a Yankee, jib top and asymmetric spinnaker.  Mainsail cover used at all times when not sailing to protect the sail.




Volvo Penta D2 55hp 4cyl marine diesel installed new in 2006.

Single lever controls with centreline shaft drive to a 3 blade feathering Maxprop.  5 knots cruising speed.

2 x 12 volt batteries charged from the engine alternator or through the installed shore power system.

60 litre plastic fuel tank under the aft deck.

2 electric bilge pumps and 1 manual bilge pump.




8 berths in open plan accommodation which makes the most of the space below decks.

Steps down from the companion hatch, engine box behind the base of the steps.  Chart desk to starboard faces aft with a seat, drop down desk, flag locker and electrical switch board.

Passageway to port of the companion steps into the aft cabin with 2 single berths and storage space.

T&G covered plywood bulkheads separate the saloon from the aft end of the boat.  Single saloon settee berth either side with a pipe cot above.  Centreline dropleaf table made from rich varnished mahogany.

Varnished pine bulkhead at the forward end of the saloon with a centreline passageway.  Galley split either side of the boat with a single stainless sink to port with a bronze manual water pump and storage below.  To starboard is a worktop with a portable gas stove secured in its own space.  Two portable 12 volt cool boxes.

Heads compartment to port with a Jabsco manual sea toilet which discharges directly overboard.

Starboard side passageway to the forecabin with a V-shape double berth and forehatch above.



Steering compass

Tack Tick wind, speed and depth instruments


Handheld VHF


10 x lifejackets

2 x fire extinguishers

Fire blanket



45kg CQR anchor

25m of chain

50m of rope

10kg Fortress anchor


8′ dinghy

2hp Yamaha outboard

Mainsail cover

All over boat cover




Full specification and details available upon request





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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