Sailing yachts

East Coast Smack Gaff Cutter

(REF: 18264)


  • Designer: Traditional
  • Builder: Aldous Shipyard
  • Year: 1912
  • Location: Cornwall
  • Length on deck: 44'
  • Beam: 11'9"
  • Draft: 5'2"

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Full specification

Wooden Ships Comments on this East Coast Fishing Smack

Built at the Aldous Shipyard, Brightlingsea and launched in 1912 as a fishing Smack for local east coast waters for a Mr Joe Francis.  She worked out of various east coast ports and was eventually retired from oyster dredging in 1984.  Bought by the previous shipwright owner in 1994, she underwent a 10 year refit where the new deck was laid, planking and framing replaced and a new rig fitted.  At that time her old Gardner diesel was removed and she spent her years up until 2017 based in Brightlingsea and racing amongst the graceful fleet of fishing smacks which is growing in size and popularity.

Sold by Wooden Ships in 2017 to the present owner, she was sailed to Cornwall where she has been based in recent years, cruising around the coast, across the channel and out to the Isles of Scilly.

Her current owner has added to the interior fit out to make her more comfortable for longer periods aboard and she ow has 6 good berths, a heads and galley.

She has been well cared for and sailed extensively in recent years.  Garboard planks were replaced, the hull re-caulked, rigging replaced, deck repaired and generally properly maintained.

Being an engineless sailing vessel in the modern world means she is not for the faint hearted, but she is a boat true to her origins, indeed her first crew from 1912 would step aboard today and sail her exactly as they would have done over 100 years ago.  Propulsion could be fitted by way of a leg, driven by electric or hydraulic motors, there is plenty of space within the hull to fit a diesel engine and tanks to power this if desired.

She proved to be a relatively fast boat amongst the fleet of Smacks with a respectable amount of silverware showing her name and is certainly one of the prettiest boats.  Although not a new or completely rebuilt smack, she is a good boat, well cared for and with the right attention will give many years of pleasurable sailing to her new owners.


Length on Deck                 44′

Length Overall                   63′

Beam                                    11’9″

Draft                                      5’2″


  • Planked in Larch fastened with galvanised boat nails to heavy grown and sawn oak frames in pairs.
  • No external ballast keel.  All internal ballast comprising 7 tons of lead ingots.
  • Stainless steel keel bolts through the wooden keel replaced in 2002.
  • New garboards fitted in 2019.
  • Hull repayed and painted in 2020.  Some new caulking in 2022.
  • Grown oak floors.
  • Straight laid solid pine deck, caulked and payed with rubber then finished in cream deck paint.  Decks repaired in 2019 and repainted in 2022.
  • Two separate hatches with painted Iroko coamings and sheathed plywood coachroof deck.


  • Gaff cutter rig on a keel stepped solid wooden mast with a fidded topmast.
  • Solid wooden gaff yard, boom and bowsprit.
  • All spars re-coated in 2021.
  • Galvanised wire standing rigging new in 2017, secured to external galvanised chain plates with dead eyes and lanyards.
  • Large sail wardrobe with many recent sails,  all of them in very good order.
  • Mast taken out in 2018, rig totally serviced.


  • No main engine for propulsion is fitted
  • Electrical system installed in 2018.
  • Single 12 volt battery with solar panel charging.  Battery located under the new chart desk.
  • Switch panel fitted for 12 volt distribution.
  • New internal lighting fitted in 2019.


  • A simple open plan interior with 6 good size berths including a large double.
  • 5’10” of standing headroom under the hatches, 5′ everywhere else.
  • Designed to make all internal areas of the hull structure accessible for ventilation, maintenance and repair.
  • Much of the interior has been re-modelled in the last few years to make her a more comfortable and less spartan boat.
  • Plastimo Neptune 2000 gas cooker with oven and grill mounted on the port side amidships.  Galley sink to starboard with fresh water from a jerry can fitted above the sink.  Sink drains overboard, seacock new in 2017.
  • Large wood burning stove in the centre of the ship fitted new in 2018.
  • Saloon area with a futon type bed, double berth to starboard and 2 single berths to port.
  • Bulkhead in front of the mast with a central opening gives stiffness to the hull and separates off the fore peak from the rest of the interior.
  • Forward of the bulkhead to starboard is a heads compartment with a Baby Blake sea toilet that discharges directly overboard.  Seacocks for the heads new in 2017.
  • The forepeak has a single berth to port and large amounts of storage space.


  • Plastimo compass
  • Lead line
  • Cobra hand held VHF
  •  Wifi AIS/GPS unit and nav laptop


  • 80kg Fishermans anchor
  • 40kg Fishermans anchor
  • 25kg Danforth
  • Manual barrel windlass with hand spikes
  • 135′ of 1/2″ chain


  • Mainsail
  • Topsail
  • Topsail Jib
  • Working Staysail
  • Tow staysail
  • Working jib
  • Storm jib
  • No.1 jib
  • Lightweight No.1 jib
  • Running sail
  • Wykeham Martin Furling Gear for jib
  • 2 x 12 volt Rolls AGM 230ah batteries
  • 140W Solbian solar panel 180cm x 51cm with Victron MPPT 75/15 smart charge controller
  • Shore power system with trip switches
  • Victron Phoenix 50amp smart battery charger


  • Large double action Gusher manual bilge pump
  • Auto electric bilge pump
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Fire blanket
  • Lifejackets and  lifelines
  • Portable nav lights
  • Horse shoe lifebuoy


  • Sculling oar
  • Deck bucket
  • Mooring warps
  • 8 fenders
  • Full winter cover with wooden frame (wooden frame is incomplete)


  • Bunk and berth cushions
  • Plastimo Neptune 2000 galley cooker
  • Galley equipment
  • Galley sink with jerry can for water
  • Wood burning stove, new in 2018
  • Baby Blake heads

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.