Sailing yachts

Norwegian Gaff Ketch

(REF: 18173)


  • Designer: Traditional
  • Builder: Fleckfijord, Norway
  • Year: 1935
  • Location: Devon
  • Length on deck: 53'
  • Beam: 16'9
  • Draft: 6'6

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Full specification

Wooden ships comments on this Norwegian gaff ketch built in Fleckfijord

in 1935 as a fishing boat on traditional lines with full body,  long keel and canoe stern.  The Norwegians had a particular style of ship design that was embodied by the Colin Archer yachts and working boats, all well known for their extreme capability at sea.  Bought by UK owners in 1974 and returned to the UK for a refit and conversion to sail as a pleasure vessel retaining the original wheel-house, huge Wickman semi-diesel and light gaff schooner rig.

Bought by the previous owner in 1986 and refitted in Dartmouth in preparation for extended cruising.  She was sailed around the UK and northern Europe for many years before she left the UK in 2004 for New Zealand and returned via the Suez Canal in October 2006. A remarkable and totally successful voyage.

The present owners purchased the boat in 2008 in order to use her as a base to study wildlife in the Caribbean and South America.  She again left the UK in 2008 and sailed to the Caribbean where the boat provided the perfect steady platform in rough seas surveying remote islands, with copious space to carry equipment and supplies for extended periods.   The owners then sailed on to S America via Easter Island and the South Pacific, where they circumnavigated the land mass, rounding the infamous southern capes, via the Falkland Islands and eventually setting sail and returning home in 2015.  Much of this trip was undertaken by a husband and wife crew including the 5000Nm voyage home this summer with their 9 month old baby aboard.

A very distinctive vessel with a remarkable history of ocean cruising.  She has cruised many thousands of blue water miles in the last two ownerships and although details from before this time are scant, it is known she sailed back and forth across the Atlantic numerous times and has been a very comfortable and safe home to many people.  Having recently returned from a successful shorthanded 5000Nm journey she is well proven to be eminently capable,

Norwegian Gaff Ketch

Length on Deck                                   53′

Length Overall                                     67′

Beam                                                     16’9″

Draft                                                      6’6″







Planked originally in 2” pitch pine all  trennell fastened to massive sawn pine frames with monel boat nails in the hood ends and garboards, a typically heavy Norwegian fishing boat construction.

Refastened throughout the majority of the hull over the years,  she has also had sections of new planking in the last 5 years, most recently in Brazil where the hull was fully sanded back for regular inspection and  50′ of topsides planking was replaced with a tropical hardwood.  Replacement of 4 frames in 2015.  The whole underwater section and half of the topsides were professionally re-caulked in 2015, followed by a total professional paint job.

Approx 4.5 tons internal ballast in lead pigs fitted across the frames in 1999 to replace original iron ballast.

Massive oak floors across the centreline fastened through the planking and side fastened into the frames.  An epoxy coated RSJ has been bolted to the bottom of the keel to provide protection from grounding and to stiffen the hull.  All new hull anodes in 2015.


Deck and Superstructure

The deck is spacious and clear, constructed of straight-laid pine, caulked and payed in the traditional way. Aft deck replaced in 1999. The fore deck and side decks were replaced in 2004 by a Bristol yard.  In 2014 the deck was sanded back and coated with Sikaflex 612 Elastometric coating combined with a polyester fleece membrane.  This has resulted in a totally watertight, hard wearing but flexible deck coating which has proven to be extremely successful.

14” bulwarks on pine stanchions with an Iroko capping rail. Cavil bars fore and aft take mooring lines. Sampson posts through the capping rails port and stbd, forward and aft.  The entire bulwark planking was replaced in 2015 with work carried out to the knightheads as well.

The midships coach-roof between the masts with main entrance to the cabin was fitted in 1999 and has a companionway set to starboard allowing entrance into the main cabin.

Opening fore hatch. Centreline skylight just aft of the main mast and twin hatches in front of the coach-roof fitted by Bristol yard in oiled hardwood give ample ventilation in hot climates.

Deck seating and table on the after deck was fitted prior to the circumnavigation, cleverly designed to give head-room in the engine room below under the seats, it was recently fitted with a covering roof which doubles as a fresh water collection system.  Hatch to the engine room on the aft deck in front of the wheel.

 Hydraulic wheel steering to external rudder hung on the stern post.





Gaff ketch rig on varnished solid pine masts stepped on the keel. Slab reefing wooden booms and wooden gaff spars with a lightweight aluminium main topmast.

The main mast and all rigging was replaced new in 2009 after being dismasted in the Atlantic.

Galvanised wire standing rigging, new in 2002 with main mast rigging new in 2009, fully parcelled and served and set up with dead-eyes and lanyards on both main and mizzen to external galvanised steel chain plates. Hardwood ratlines on the main mast rigging.  Stemhead fore stay on a rigging screw.

The bowsprit heel is set into a galvanised steel bracket on the fore deck and passes through the bulwarks to stbd of the stem.  Chain bobstay on a tackle with galvanised whiskers stays and a bowsprit net. Jib on bowsprit traveller with a Wickham Martin Furling system.

Running backstays to both main and mizzen set up with tackles. Main topmast preventers.

Derrick pole on the main mast to get the dinghy etc aboard.

Throat and peak halyards to both main and mizzen on 4-part tackles, falls coiled to the masts.  Main sheet on tackle to two point deck attachment, single tailed.  Mizzen sheet to the stern post.

Main topsail sets to topmast head. Mizzen topsail set on yard.





Mainsail in red Classic Canvas terylene, with 3 slab reefs, new in 2009.

Mizzen also red Classic Canvas terylene with 3 slab reefs, new in 2004.

Tan terylene staysail.

No 1 jib in cream terylene 2004

Several older jibs.

New 2006 spitfire jib

Storm staysail.

Main and mizzen topsails. The main topsail sets on a leader.

2 pairs of Gibb sheet winches on the rail aft.





Perkins 6354 120hp 6-cylinder diesel engine installed new in 1988 .  Borg Warner Velvet Drive gearbox to conventional centre line shaft drive to 3-blade prop with single lever controls.

6knts @ 1200rpm

9knts @ 1800rpm

1200 litres diesel in 2 stainless steel tanks in the engine room.



Lister Petter 5kva 240v 2-cyl diesel generator in sound proofed box in the engine room fitted in 2000.

1500W Sinewave inverter new in 2015

Victron Smart battery charger.

4 x 90W solar panels with new Victron regulator in 2015.



6 x 12v batteries on 24v domestic supply, New 2015

2 x 12v engine start batteries on 24v supply.

Generator start battery, new in 2015.

Anchor windlass batteries, all replaced in recent years.



Total of 180 gallons of water in 4 separate tanks

1200l of diesel in two stainless steel tanks in the engine room.




Accommodation: 8 berths  


The accommodation has been altered in present ownership to suit their particular needs but could easily be changed again to offer the previous ten berths if necessary.

Accommodation from forward:

Forward heads compartment just aft of the anchor locker with a sea toilet to port, hand basin to stbd. Sail stowage outboard of the sea toilet. Shower cubicle on the centre-line forward with an opening hatch to access the chain locker. Opening deck hatch above.  Manual pump-out from the shower tray.

Bulkhead to forward cabin with a large double berth to port and another double to starboard set slightly further forward in the boat.  Aft of this double to stbd is a study with a desk, stowage and berth.

Centreline passageway aft to the saloon cabin with a settee berth to stbd under the deckhead and a dinette to port with athwartships table. The table seats 6 with another 2 at the end in the middle of the cabin.  High level pilot berth up against the ship’s side to port above the dinette.

Solid fuel cabin heater against the forward bulkhead to stbd with a hot water system run off the flue.

 Open tread companionway to deck in the after stbd corner.  Door to the engine room behind the companionway.

 Galley in the after port corner with gimballed gas 4-burner and oven and cooker under the port side deck, work surface against the after bulkhead with sink and drainer, drawers and cupboards under in mahogany joinery.  Athwartships work surface along the back of the dinette seating with lockers under thus allowing prepared food to be passed directly over onto the table. A long, narrow athwartships galley of this design works well in a sea.

Large engine room with main engine in sound-proofed box on the centre-line, enough space to walk all round with good head-room each side under the deck seating.  Generator in sound proofed box against the forward bulkhead.

Work-bench down the stbd side with tools properly arranged. Electrical control panel and engine control panel over the work bench.

A full length passage berth is on the port side.

Fuel tanks each side under the side decks.  Fuel can be selected from either or both tanks, and a fuel polishing system can be used to transfer fuel.

Large chart desk across the back of the engine room, easily accessed from the wheel on deck above.  A sea toilet is placed at the bottom of the companionway beside the chart desk for use on passage.

6’4” head-room in the saloon cabin due to the sole being dropped in recent years. 5’6” head-room under the beams in the forward passageway and cabins. 6’ in the forward heads.






Thru-hull Log

GPS chartplotter

New VHf with AIS transceiver

Raymarine radar

C-trek auto-pilot


Barograph and barometer

Iridium Satellite phone



Commercial liferaft

Horse shoe life buoys

3 fire extinguishers

Off-shore flare pack.



Large Bruce claw anchor new in recent years

75lb CQR anchor

45lb CQR anchor

180 lb Fisherman anchor

Lofrans 24v electric windlass with remote control

100 meters chain on the bower anchor. A further 50 meters chain stowed under the cabin sole for emergency use.


Full set of sun awnings

Selection of tools

Warps and fenders.



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.