Sailing yachts

9 ton Hillyard cutter

(REF: 17945)


  • Designer: Hillyard David
  • Builder: Hillyard of Littlehampton
  • Year: 1962
  • Location: Plymouth
  • Length on deck: 32'
  • Beam: 8'7"
  • Draft: 4'7"
  • Tonnage: 9TM

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Full specification

Wooden ships comments on this 9 Ton Hillyard cutter

David Hillyard was the most productive small yacht builder in UK until the advent of plastic, his success built on a simple design with some very specific features which proved to have huge market appeal – the big, deep centre cock-pit which permitted a cabin at either end of the boat as well as a midships saloon cabin.

2-sleeping cabins in addition to the saloon cabin was a feature not available in almost any other yacht of the size and exactly what many families wanted to sail in comfort.


The Hillyard is so often recognisable for the canoe stern reminiscent of the famously sea-worthy Colin Archer yachts from Norway or the Scottish fishing boats which worked the wild waters of the north.


Hillyard never pretended to build yachts to the expensive standards of man builders. This was an Everyman yacht, built to a price for a market which he understood. Yet despite some construction features which many sophisticated yards regarded as rather primitive, the yachts have stood the test of time, they have been sailed all round the world and the majority of yachts built in the yard are still afloat and sailing.


David Hillyard started with the little 18’ 2 ½ tonner – that’s Thames Tonnage so a volumetric measurement not a weight measurement and a very useful yard-stick by which to judge the size of a yacht.

After the Great War, in the 1920’s, you had your semi in suburbia, your Austin 7 and a 2 ½ ton Hillyard and you knew you had arrived!


The size of the boats increased and new design features were introduced. There were 24’ 6 tonners and 28’ 8 tonners and the 32’ 9 tonners which was the most popular size. The next size up was the 36’ 12 tonner and above that size fewer boats and various sizes up to the biggest boats of close to 40’.


A customer could specify personal requirements but only within certain limits. The odd aft cock-pit 8 and 9 tonner exists and there were a few variations on the theme in the cabin lay-out. Masts were usually stepped on deck to allow clear walk-through below deck to the forward cabin. The rig was a very simple masthead Bermudian sloop or ketch in the bigger boats and they invariably had powerful engines to get the family back home on time.

A major change came with the introduction of the hard chine design which gave a stiffer boat and a wider cabin sole, immediately increasing the volume in the cabin. Replace the canoe stern with a transom and you have a boat which has more volume for a given length and therefore more economical to run.

The full midships sections allowed steel plate bilge keels to be fitted, suitable for these relatively shoal draft yachts but none of this did much for the yacht’s performance under sail.

You will never win races round the cans in a Hillyard but you will cross the Channel in comfort when your neighbours are hanging on by their finger nails dressed in full oilies.


The Hillyard is a design aimed at a very specific market, totally successful in that target market in their day and just as successful now.


This yacht is one of the popular 9 tonners, designed and built by David Hillyard in his Littlehampton yard in 1962.

She has had 7 owners and is in present ownership since 2008.

At some time in the recent past she has had some major work done as seen in her deck and her all round excellent condition. A new mast and rig and other work in present ownership have assured her continuing good health.


Classic Hillyard design with a straight long keel, canoe stern, full spoon bow, centre-cock-pit with forward and after coach-roofs.

The rig has been slightly modified by the addition of a short bowsprit allowing a cutter headed Bermudian rig.

9 ton Hillyard

Planked in mahogany between ¾” to 1” thick, carvel laid giving a fair smooth surface and fastened with copper nails and roves to steam bent oak timbers of approx 2” x 1” at 9” centres.

A few of these timbers are laid up with two timbers, one of top of the other making 2” x 2” to give extra strength in way of the mast, a typically Hillyard simple and cost effective way of adding strength.

The back bone is oak with oak stem and stern post and the canoe stern horn timber cut in one sweep.

The floors are massive cross-cut oak and a few of the doubled steam bent timbers also span across the centre-line.

The greater part of the wood keel is supported on the long cast iron ballast keel, bolted through the heavy floors with galvanised steel keel bolts.

5 keel bolts replaced in 2003

All Hillyards carry a fair weight of internal ballast usually in the form of cast iron pigs often filling the whole bilge.                                                                     In this yacht the iron ballast in the bilge has been replaced by custom-made lead pigs carefully close  set and well secured in the midships bilge.

The bilge was seen nicely painted out, clean and dry.

Steering by traditional spoked teak wheel on the after cock-pit bulkhead with chain and wire cables down the port side of the aft cabin to a massive galvanised steel quadrant on the vertical rudder stock.

The galvanised steel stock is carried in a galvanised steel tube through the horn timber, all very accessible under the aft deck behind the aft cabin bunk. Emergency tiller facility. Timber rudder stepped in the keel skeg.


The deck is laid in T&G pine boards which originally would have been simply canvass covered and painted.  This deck has been upgraded by removing the canvas,  laying  ¼” marine ply over the pine boards and sheathed this in a glass cloth and resin then painting to give a strong, clean, low maintenance and water-tight deck.

Clear, uncluttered  side decks and fore deck

Varnished mahogany toe rail all round with a varnished mahogany rubbing strake round the external deck edge.

Galvanised fairleads forward and aft.

Galvanised bollard on the aft deck with a pair of big varnished cleats.

New polished stainless steel stemhead fitting round the bowsprit with twin chain rollers and fore stay anchor point.

The bowsprit heel is lodged in a freshly galvanised steel heel shoe.

Recent stainless steel pulpit, push-pit and stanchions, twin safety wires with gate each side.


Forward and after coach-roofs over the saloon cabin and the aft cabin, varnished mahogany coamings with the usual Hillyard oval Perspex windows in the sides and bronze ports forward. Roof in original T&G pine boards with the same overlay as the main deck.


Deep center cock-pit with spray-hood over on stainless steel frame, forward window.


Varnished mahogany fore hatch on the fore deck, canvas cover.



Bermudian cutter rig on varnished, rectangular section glued spruce mast stepped in a varnished tabernacle against the fwd face of the coach-roof coamings. Single spreaders.

New mast and rigging in 2008


Stainless steel rigging. Twin lowers and cap shrouds.

Masthead forestay to the outer end of the bowsprit.

Inner fore stay from stemhead to above the spreaders.

Additional shrouds from the inner fore stay above the spreaders to the after chain plate provides back-staying for the inner fore stay.

Single standing back-stay to the stern.

External galvanised chain plates, 3 per side.

New fore stay in 2009

New bowsprit shrouds in 2012.

Varnished bowsprit.

Fixed bob-stay on a rigging screw.


Slab reef varnished boom sheets to the after end of the coach-roof, the tail led in to the cock-pit.



3 Blake winches on the cock-pit coamings.

I x tufnol winch halyard on the mast


Sails.      All by Arun Sails in red terylene.

Mainsail, slab reefing.


Jib on roller furling gear set to the outer end of the bowsprit.

Light genoa.

New bolt ropes on the jib and genoa, 2010.


Mercedes OM 636 30hp 4-cyl naturally aspirated diesel engine fitted in 1972, mounted on heavy engine beds under the centre cock-pit with  conventional centreline shaft drive to a 3-blade bronze prop.

HBW gearbox with single lever controls.

New control cables in 2009

The cock-pit sole panels lift to give full all round access to the engine.


Max 7knts. 1.9 litres per hour at cruising revs/6knts.


Full engine instrumentation including voltmeter, ammeter, rev counter and exhaust temp guage and audible alarms.


3 x 12v 110 amp/hr batteries, 2 in the engine bay, one under the saloon cabin seat.

New batteries in 2012.

New starter motor in 2002

New solenoid in 2011

30 amp Sterling battery charger

30 amp alternator booster.

Solar panel keeps the batteries topped up on the mooring.


27 gallon steel fuel tank in the stbd cock-pit locker.

27 gall galvanised steel water tank in the port cock-pit locker.


Accommodation                                                 6 berths

Fwd cabin with port and stbd berths with lee cloths, stowage bays under.

Chain locker forward.

Fore hatch above.

4’9” head-room under the fore deck with more under the fore hatch.

Bulkhead with centre doorway to the saloon cabin.


Saloon cabin with port and stbd settee berths with locker/shelves over the fwd ends.

Lockers behind and below the settees provide the usual plentiful Hillyard stowage.

White painted deckhead and ship’s sides, varnished mahogany and mahogany ply joinery, varnished hardwood sole boards, curtains at the windows and original Hillyard lighting fittings.

Varnished mahogany double drop leaf table.

Galley in the after port corner with deep stainless steel sink, fresh water from a faucet with foot pump. Sink gravity drains overboard. Fold-up extension to the galley work surface over the settee berth.

Single burner gas cooker with it’s own gas cartridge set in an ingenious fire proof mount.

12v fridge in the space below the cooker surface.

Chart desk and lockers to stbd with switch board and nav instruments above.

Fold-up extension to the chart table over the settee berth to take an Admiralty chart


Stbd off-set doorway and step up to the cock-pit with the usual Hillyard sliding door. 3 shelves and a mirror mounted on the door make clever best use of space.


The Hillyard cock-pit is always very comfortable, set in the middle of the yacht to minimise motion and with large seat lockers each side, tanks under. A useful higher level seat in the after port corner has a locker incorporated under it and provides a seat by the wheel.

Removeable cock-pit table.


Stbd off-set step down and sliding door to the aft cabin.

Heads compartment to port with Jabsco sea toilet.

Large hanging locker to stbd of the entrance steps.

Original port and stbd berths now rigged as a large athwartships double berth.

5’10” head-room aft.





Compass mounted on the coach-roof.


Thru’ hull impellor log

VHF DSC radio, new 2008


Raymarine ST3000 auto-pilot.

Garmin GPS

Nav lights incl. Masthead tri-colour, low level port and stbd on the shrouds, dck floods and cock-pit lighting.


Safety gear

2 x horse-shoe life buoys.


3 fire extinguishers.

Various flares

12v fog horn

Radar reflector.

12v bilge pump on a float switch

2 x manual pumps.


Ground tackle.

35lb CQR anchor

Heavy duty fisherman anchor

12v windlass

50 meters chain for the bower anchor

33meters chain to the fisherman anchor

38 meter and 37 meter warps.


Deck gear.

Beaching legs

Cock-pit cover, new 2009

Fore hatch cover, new 2009

Mooring warps

Varnished mahogany boarding ladder

Boat hook


Heavy canvas winter cover.




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.