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Sailing yachts

Colin Archer Gaff ketch.

(REF: 17930)


  • Designer: Christiansen. Risor, Norway
  • Builder: Christiansen. Risor. Norway
  • Year: 1954
  • Location: Cornwall
  • Length on deck: 42 + bowsprit
  • Beam: 13'6"
  • Draft: 6'6"

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Wooden ships comments on this Colin Archer Gaff ketch


Built in 1954 by Christiansen of Risor, the famous old Colin Archer Boatyard in Norway as a yacht on typical Colin Archer lines.
She has all the classic Colin Archer features – long keel, canoe stern with the rudder hung outboard on the stern post, powerful sheer and generous beam.

Owned previously for 10 years in Devon with 2 Atlantic circuits under her keel, husband and wife crew.

Sold by Wooden Ships to the previous owner in 2004 and moved to Suffolk until the present move to Cornwall in 2012.

It would be difficult to find a stronger or better sea-boat.  New MCA code of Practice ticket for commercial use.

Colin Archer Gaff ketch.

Planked in 1 ¾” Norwegian pine, trennel fastened in the traditional method to 4 ½” x 4 ½” sawn pine frames in pairs (9” sided) at 18”centres to give a massively strong construction.

Recent work to replace the top part of the stem, replace plank ends and refasten.  Forward end of bulwarks moved aft and now slope gently to the deck as is typical of the Colin Archers.  Topsides repainted.

Hood ends fastened with galvanised boat nails.


Long external iron ballast keel secured with iron bolts through wooden floors.

She carries a small amount of lead trimming ballast in the bilge.


The deck is yacht-laid in hardwood, possibly purple heart, a timber similar tom iroko,  joggled into the cover-boards fore and aft, caulked and payed.

Bulwarks all round with heavy varnished capping rail on varnished stanchions with cavil bars forward and aft.


Coach-roof in varnished mahogany coamings, deck in pine overlaid with 2-layers of ply, epoxy-sheathed.

Very substantial grab rails and a traditional sky-light on the roof.

The coach-roof rises 10” to a dog-house aft, rebuilt in previous ownership prior to blue water voyaging, varnished mahogany coamings with bevelled glass windows gives good protection to the self-draining cock-pit.

The house coamings extend aft round the cock-pit in heavy coamings with a capping.

Iroko laid seat lockers each side open to cavernous lockers with lift-out bottoms to access the deeper recesses.

Bridge deck to the cabin entrance.


Aft deck locker aft of the cock-pit coaming under the tiller, varnished locker lid over the sealed, grp-lined gas bottle stowage containing 3 x 13kg gas bottles.


Gaff ketch rig on varnished, keel-stepped pine masts, varnished slab-reefing booms, all block and tackle rigging.
Galvanised wire standing rigging with spliced ends, stainless steel rigging screws to external chain plates, all rebolted prior to blue water sailing.

Stainless steel wire running back-stays on tackles.

Bowsprit replaced around 2000 passes through the substantial stemhead gammon iron, the bowsprit heeled into a huge Sampson post. The bowsprit can be retracted.



Mainsail with 3-reefs

Mizzen with 2 reefs

Boomed staysail

Storm stays’l

Jib on Wickham Martin roller gear set on a traveller to the end of the bowsprit.



Detroit Diesels 353 95hp diesel engine.

Centre-line installation with good all round access under the dog-house floor.

Conventional drive to 3-blade prop. gives 6knts cruising speed.

Shaft brake.



100 gall diesel in 2 grp-lined copper tanks either side of the engine bay, the tanks fitted with inspection ports.



1 x 12v engine start battery

4 x 6v 400amp/hr domestic batteries on 12v circuits. All batteries inter-linked with change-over switch.

Engine alternator

All circuits rewired about 2000


Accommodation.      7 berths

Fore cabin, varnished hatch on the fore deck above, single berth to port, locker to stbd.

Chains and stowage forward.

Next aft, stbd double berth, lockers under. Curtains to close off the berth.

Heads Compartment to port with Blake Lavac sea toilet, door to the saloon cabin.

Large saloon cabin with port and stbd settee berths, pilot berths each side above behind.

Beautiful mahogany drop leaf table between.

Galley in the after port corner with gimballed s/s Plastimo gas cooker, all adjacent surfaces s/s lined, good work surfaces and stowage. Centreline unit fore and aft off the after bulkhead encloses the galley and carries the stainless steel sink, draining overboard, brass fresh water and salt water taps.

Deep freeze and fridge in polished mahogany unit to stbd.


Stbd off-centre steps up to the dog-house.

Table to port with seating forward and aft.


Stbd off-centre door to the cock-pit.


7’ head-room throughout most of the interior.

Polished cabin sole.

Varnished oak deck beams above.



Maintenance schedule in present ownership

February 2005      Engine Service Volspec

May 2005               Replaced Jabsco water pump impeller Eastern Hydraulic Systems.

July 2006               New engine battery Diesco

Volvo Penta Control replaced faulty Morse unit.

May 2007              Replaced top section of main mast scarfing in new, work by Tim Walker, Boat Builder.

August 2007         Replaced five plank ends starboard bow with Douglas fir and fixed with oak trenails,  work by Tim Walker Boat Builder.

June 2009.            Coelan coated teak decks.

September 2009   New Diesco battery.

April 2011             Gas tubing replaced, Propane bottle fitted and cooker serviced, work by Will Heywood

September 2011   Repairs to main boom, mail gaff, mizzen and gaff, bowsprit, work by Tim Walker

December 2011    Below water replaced anodes, softened timber beneath saloon & portside forward, work by Tim  Walker  Boat builder

December2011     Above water replaced timber port and starboard hood end planks, bulwarks and  exhaust skin, work by Tim Walker  Boat Builder.

December 2011.   Paint, anti-foul and varnish by Neptune Marina using Sikkens Cetol Marine Natural anti-fouling. Topsides in Permoglaze white

January 2012        Replaced battery master switch and domestic battery by Neptune Marina



Navigation gear.

Swiftech VHF/FM transceiver

Furuno GPS Navigator

Target wind speed and direction (Note sensor at mizzen mast head needs replacing)

Target echo sounder and compass


Navco Tillerpilot

Monitor wind vane


Ground tackle

Anchor, chain and windlass.


Deck gear

8 fenders

Boarding ladder

Deck plugs and cleats

Boxes of electrical, mechanical and sail spares

Bosun’s chair

Belaying pins

Electric bilge pump

Fuel filters

Manual bilge pump

Engine bilge pump

Boat hook


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.