Archives: Sailing yachts

Peter Brett Dee 25

Wooden Ships Comments on this Peter Brett Dee 25

31’ Dee 25 designed by Peter Brett and built by  Allanson & Son, Lancashire in 1960.

Peter Brett is best known as the designer of the famous Rival yachts, and he evolved the lines of the Dee 25 into his Rival 31 which was largely the same boat but with a little more volume and built in GRP.

He designed the first Dee 25, Fair Rover, for himself.  The design was featured in Yachting World magazine in 1951 and she proved very successful in his local Irish Sea races.  10 more Dee 25s followed all built at the same yard in Lancashire with the class named after the River Dee on which they were built.

No. 2 Rondinella is a name many people will know, winning the Cowes-Dinard Race in 1959 and the only boat in Class 111 to finish the 1965 Channel Race which was hit by severe weather conditions.  She featured in Adlard Coles book Heavy Weather Sailing because of her superb sea keeping qualities.

Such was the success of Fair Rover and Rondinella, the yard went on to build another 8 boats to the same design.

The design has not excessive draft with a long keel for good stability limited over-hangs and a generous beam for the period. It is said that the drying mud berth mooring near where Brett lived on the Dee Estuary was an influential factor in the design.

The interior rigid ply bulkheads with their signature keyhole design are an integral part of the design and contribute to her strength. She stands up well to her rig and is remarkably fast.

This yacht has been altered slightly with a cutter rig and a small bowsprit.  Her staysail is self tacking on a boom with a roller furling jib making her easy to handle in all weather conditions.

She had a major professional refit in 2000 and another between 2014-2016.  In the first refit the deck was replaced and the interior refitted.  In the latter refit many cracked frames were repaired or replaced, the engine renewed and a new mast fitted.


Length on Deck                          30’9”

Length Overall                           34’

Length Waterline                       25’

Beam                                            9’

Draft                                             4’6”

Thames Tonnage                       9TM

Displacement                              5.6 tons

Kim Holman Landfall Class Ketch

Wooden Ships Comments on this Kim Holman Landfall Class Ketch

Kim Holman Landfall ketch built by Whisstocks Boatyard Ltd, Suffolk, UK  in 1958.

This is the first yacht of 6 built to this design and gave her name to the class.  Built for Claude Whisstock, the owner of the boat yard, she was therefore the ‘boss’s boat’ and would have been built with a little extra care and attention.  Owned by Whisstock for 25 years, she then had another long ownership before being given a major refit between 1998 and 2004.

Bought by the present owners in 2006 and sailed to Devon where she was modified and prepared for long distance cruising and live aboard sailing.  After cruising the West country in 2007, the owners departed in 2008 for a 15 year cruise, arriving back in the UK in 2023.  Their cruise took them south to the Cape Verdes, across the Atlantic to Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina before travelling north through the western Caribbean, into Cuba, USA and Canada before heading home via the Bahamas, Bermuda and the Azores.  The voyage covered 29,000Nm with over 400 anchorages and moorings.

The boat has behaved impeccably throughout that period and has never given any cause for concern.  She has been a comfortable and safe cruising home, easily handled by her 2 crew in all conditions and much admired wherever she went.

The time has come for the owners to move ashore and the boat needs a new custodian who hopefully will wish to continue the cruising life for which this boat is ideally suited.  Priced sensibly to reflect the boat and the owners’ desire to sell her sooner rather than later.

Full survey report available from November 2023.


Length on Deck          38’ / 11.6m

Length Overall           42’ / 12.8m

Length Waterline       31’8” / 9.7m

Beam                           11’2” / 3.4m

Draft                           5’6” / 1.67m

Thames Tonnage        16TM

Displacement             14.6 tons

Iain Oughtred Grey Seal

Wooden Ships Comments on this Iain Oughtred Grey Seal

Iain Oughtred Grey Seal professionally built by Christopher Dawson of Scoraig near Ullapool.  Launched in 1997.

Classic Boat magazine article from 1998 detailing the build and launch.

The Grey Seal is one of Oughtreds larger designs, a capable cruising yacht.  It is said that this is the only one of Oughtreds boats that is truly designed for open water sailing in every sense.  The design had options for centreboard or full keel.  This boat is a centreboard version which gives her very shallow draft and all the benefits of that.  She has beaching legs enabling her to dry out and take the ground easily.

Built for the current owners and launched in Little Loch Broom, she has sailed the west coast of Scotland and explored most of the lochs and islands in the area.  In 2007 she cruised the NE Scottish coast in company with other traditional and historic vessels.

Laid up ashore under cover a number of years ago, the family are reluctant to sell but realise they cannot keep her forever without using the boat properly.

She comes with a Snipe road trailer which has been recently serviced so the trailer is ready for a journey.  Total towing weight on the trailer is approximately 2.5 tons.

A really unusual and very special boat, in need of some refit work but recently built and basically sound.


Length on deck            22’1”

Beam                               7’7”

Draft                                2’3” plate up

Displacement                1725kg

Sail area                         265sqft

Danish Haikutter Gaff Ketch

Wooden Ships Comments on this Danish Haikutter Gaff Ketch

Danish Haikutter built by Carstensen & Hinrichsen of  Skagen, Denmark in 1924.

Traditional Danish fishing boat design with an elliptical counter, exaggerated sheer line and bluff bow.

Rebuilt and converted in 1990 then in 2018 she had professional work including a new stem and 100m of planking around the bows plus many new frames.

A regular site in the Baltic and Northern Germany, this is a well known and well respected sailing vessel.


Length on Deck                      58’3” / 17.75m

Length Waterline

Beam                                       15’3” / 4.65m

Draft                                       7’3” / 2.2m

John Alden Challenger GRP Yawl

Wooden Ships Comments on this John Alden Challenger GRP Yawl

John Alden Challenger Yawl built by Halmatic Ltd, Portsmouth in 1961.

The Challenger Yawl was developed through a series of tank tests at the Stevens Institute model basin with the aim of producing a first class seagoing sailing yacht to be built in the new GRP material, but in basic design and finish she was to retain the ‘style of the accepted first class sailing yacht’.  At the time the design was launched in 1960 GRP was very much in its infancy and many were sceptical about the new material.  In order not to worry the market too much, the design of the early GRP boats was similar to their wooden counterparts which was the accepted norm.

Halmatic Ltd of Portsmouth produced these hulls which were finished with mahogany superstructure to keep the feel of a classic yacht, and fitted out below with varnished wooden joinery.

The result is a very elegant and sea kindly yacht, eminently capable but with her centreplate she has a draft of just 4’ with the plate up enabling access to areas most boats her size cannot go.  The split yawl rig is very easy to handle and with a relatively low aspect she does not get overpowered easily.

This yacht has recently had new standing rigging and has a low hours Yanmar 39hp diesel.  The interior could be tidied up in places and improvements made to some systems, but she is a yacht in regular use for family sailing.


Length on deck          38’

Length Waterline       27’

Beam                           11’

Draft                           4’/7’

Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter

Wooden Ships Comments on this Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter

Built in 1909 by Bowdens of Porthleven as a Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter, one of the smaller boats in the fleet but no less seaworthy than her bigger sisters.  She was launched from the same yard in the same year as Olga, another well know Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter.

Her history is well documented with many long distance adventures, in the present long ownership she has sailed numerous times to northern Norway, Svalbard and Greenland and has proven herself with many voyages through incredibly rough weather.

She had a thorough survey in 2017 after sustaining damage to her mast.  The result of this was a new mast fitted in 2018 plus a lot of work to the hull and decks to get her into shape.

In 2022 she has had significant professional repairs to the aft deck, deck beams and transom.

A smaller Pilot Cutter like this has many attractions, not least how easy she is to handle compared to the larger boats.  Her rig is that much smaller so there is less weight and power to control therefore requiring a smaller crew to sail her safely.  This will be a huge attraction to many buyers as the difficulty of getting crew is something which haunts many boat owners.  Her interior still has up to 6 berths with good headroom and enough storage space for supplies and equipment on long passages.

A pedigree pilot cutter with a long rich history which is in good sound condition and ready to sail.  2017 survey available along with a list of work carried out recently.


Length on Deck                 38′

Length Overall                   52′

Length Waterline             38′

Beam                                    11’6″

Draft                                      6′

Thames Tonnage             18TM

Harrison Butler Z4 Tonner

Wooden Ships Comments on this Harrison Butler Z4 Tonner

Harrison butler Z4 tonner, designed by T. Harrison butler and built by Alfred Lockhart (Marine) Ltd of Brentford in 1938.

Refitted by the current owners in 2023 with a thorough refit, full list of works below.

The Z4 is one of the well known designs of T. Harrison Butler, an amateur yacht designer and Opthalmic surgeon by profession, who produced some very fine, well mannered and capable yachts.  The name is derived from the Thames Tonnage of the design, a measure of useable interior volume.

The boat has a comfortable cabin with 2 good sized single berths and ample sitting headroom.  The compact galley with a Taylors stove is crisp and practical.  The Forepeak has a heads compartment with sitting headroom under the forehatch.

A very smart and well presented example of the class with a detailed recent refit history and seemingly very much ready to go.


Length on deck          22’

Beam                           7’

Draft                           4’

Thames Tonnage        4TM


2023 Refit List

  • The hull was carefully taken back to bare wood to remove many paint layers and after repairs the hull was primed with three coats of Epifanes Underwater Primer and two coats of Seajet Antifouling.
  • All the strap bolts were replaced and all the related plank areas were repaired.
  • Straps were cleaned in situ and cold galvanized and then protected with two coats of Zingatarfree. A system we’ve used elsewhere that seems to work well.
  • The iron keel was mechanically abraded to bare metal and coated with three coats of red lead paint, then antifouled.
  • Where the hull opened while drying, or where repairs had been carried out, the seams were cleaned and the areas re-caulked. About 1/3rd of the hull was re-caulked.
  • New engine beds were made and fitted. The keel bolt under the engine bed was replaced. This was made and galvanized for us by David Webster at Deep Blue Engineering.
  • The metal engine bed frame was removed, shot blasted, cold galvanized and given three coats of Zingatarfree.
  • While working on the hull we came across the previous sockets for beaching legs. We repaired these and have restored them. Legs need to be made.
  • On the deck the tabernacle was removed and re-galvanised and the four holding boats were renewed.
  • The stem protection strip that runs from deck to keel had rusted and this was removed and replaced with stainless 316 and re-fastened.
  • The stemhead fitting was cold galvanized and rebedded.
  • We inherited stanchions, pulpit and pushpit with the boat which some previous owner had made and which had subsequently been removed. We galvanized these and they have been refitted with dyneema lifelines.
  • David Webster at Deep Blue re-built the boomkin which was found to be weakened by rust, and at the same time he fitted an attachment method for a Pacific Light self-steering. The Pacific Light is not part of the sale but it in first tests is seen to work well.
  • David Webster at Deep Blue remade and galvanized the upper and middle rudder pintles and these were refitted to strengthened transom mounts.
  • The lower chain attachments for the boomkin were repaired and all the fastenings and chain replaced.
  • The fuel tank was removed and cleaned and fitted with an extra shut-off valve and proper breather pipe.
  • The fuel tank was changed from hanging by a few screws to sitting on a new beam and then rigidly fixed.
  • The filler cap to fuel tank had previously been leaking and this arrangement was changed and improved.
  • The central Ringframe was found to be weakened at the base by rust. The rusted area was cut out and repaired with a 316 stainless strut – also made by David Webster at Deep Blue.
  • A reconditioned engine was fitted after complete service to all systems.
  • The interior of the boat has been repainted from bilge to deck ceiling.
  • The relatively new Collars mast was stripped of fittings, which were regalvanised, and the mast given 11 coats of varnish.
  • An improved VHF aerial was fitted to the mast with better wiring and stronger mount.
  • The boom was given the same treatment as the mast with fittings removed, galvanized and with 11 coats of varnish to the wood.

8 Ton Hillyard Sloop

Wooden Ships Comments on this 8 Ton Hillyard Sloop

28’6” 8 ton Hillyard, designed and built by Hillyards in 1967.

She was built for the present owners father but sadly he passed away the year after she was launched, so the current owner has had the boat since 1968.  Sadly health issues mean a new custodian is being sought.

Hillyards were one of the most prolific yards in the UK and produced a vast number of yachts during the time they operated.  The ‘8 ton’ refers to the Thames Tonnage of the yacht, a measure of useable interior volume.

Nicely maintained, this boat has 4 single berths and 6’ headroom with a separate heads compartment.


Length on deck                      28’6”

Beam                                       8’7”

Draft                                       3’

Thames Tonnage                    8TM

56′ Ed Burnett Pilot Cutter

Wooden Ships Comments on this 56′ Ed Burnett Pilot Cutter

56’ Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter designed by Ed Burnett and built by the Bristol Classic Boat Company.  Launched in 2008.

Ed Burnett was commissioned to design a new vessel for The Island Trust as a sailing training boat for young people.  The design was inspired by the Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters with some alterations to make her more suitable for her role in youth sail training.  For example, the beam was increased a little to be able to get the whole crew around the saloon table, an important element for team building and relationships while on the vessel.

Pegasus has operated successfully since her launch in 2008 taking thousands of young people to sea.  She has taken part in the Tall Ships Race, sailed to St Petersburg, raced in local classic regattas and events and generally has been a stable fixture of West Country sailing.

The boat has a commercial licence under UK flag to MCA Category 2 for 10 guests and 2 crew.  She is fully equipped with the necessary domestic, safety and navigation gear to sail with this licence and will come with all that equipment.

This is a very well built vessel, constructed using top quality materials and has been surveyed regularly throughout her life.  She has done a lot of miles with The Island Trust meaning she has been in constant and regular use, well cared for and repaired and upgraded as necessary.

She has a total of 12 berths in 4 cabins with excellent headroom throughout.  She can be sailed by 2 experienced people making her a versatile vessel.


Length on Deck                      56’1” (17.11m)

Length Overall                       73’3” (22.37m)

Length Waterline                   46’9” (14.24m)

Beam                                       14’9” (4.5m)

Draft                                       8’6” (2.61m)

45′ W. H. Thomas Gaff Yawl

Wooden Ships Comments on this 45′ W. H. Thomas Gaff Yawl

45’ Gaff Yawl built by W.H. Thomas of Falmouth in 1906.

Built as a private yacht, she was found in a neglected state in Glasgow in 1998.  She had a major rebuild in Suffolk and was re-launched in 2001.  It is believed that she was one the first yachts in the UK to be built with an engine and electric lights, called sparks at the time, according to the Lloyds register.

Owned and run by The Island Trust since 2012 as a commercial sail training vessel for young people.  The yacht also serves for teaching RYA sailing courses and has proved to be very successful in that field.

She currently has a commercial licence under the MCA to Category 2 for 8 guests + 2 crew.  The boat will be sold with all gear and equipment required for commercial sailing to the above standard.

Having been subject to regular surveys for her commercial licence, she has always been well maintained with major work carried out as necessary.  Between 2015-2016 she had a major period of work where the ballast keel was dropped and the bottom end of the hull strengthened with enormous new wooden floors and corresponding stainless steel plates then all new keel bolts.  In 2017 the stem was replaced and she had a new teak on ply deck which is in superb condition.

Her low aspect rig makes her easy to handle and she will ride through heavy winds with ease.  She has a large spacious cockpit and a large volume interior that is currently fitted out with 10 berths for commercial sailing.  This could very easily be altered to make her more suitable for private sailing if required.

A well equipped attractive yacht with a full commercial licence.


Length on Deck                      44’8” (13.63m)

Length Overall                       55’5”(16.9m)

Length Waterline                   36’6” (11.13m)

Beam                                       10’8” (3.26m)

Draft                                       7’6” (2.3m)

Thames Tonnage                  17TM