Sailing yachts

Percy Dalton Gaff Cutter

(REF: 18138)


  • Designer: Dalton, Percy
  • Builder: Peter Nash
  • Year: 1980
  • Location: Devon
  • Length on deck: 42'2"
  • Beam: 13'
  • Draft: 7'
  • Tonnage: 17

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Full specification

Wooden Ships Comments on this Percy Dalton gaff cutter

Built by Dartmouth based shipwright Peter Nash in Dartmouth in 1979-1980 to a design by Cornish naval architect Percy Dalton based on the Bristol Channel pilot cutters and the West Country sailing fishing boats.   Long keel with pronounced rocker, straight stem and transom stern with slight tumble-home, with the rudder hung on the transom.  The underwater shape of this yacht gives some clue as to the very impressive performance and sailing capabilities which have gained her such a fantastic reputation over the years.

One of the most remarkable gaff cutters in UK waters. Although she has the appearance of a traditional pre-war boat she was only built 35 years ago and she has had considerable up-grading and ongoing maintenance work since.

In the past she has made several trans-Atlantic passages, competed successfully in many classic regattas and won her class at the Antigua Classics. On her first crossing she sailed from the Canaries to St Lucia in an incredible 17 days proving her to be a very fast and seaworthy yacht,  She is capable of being sailed very hard and is easily managed with the aid of autopilot and self tailing winches.  Her huge benefit is the cockpit which is deep, safe and spacious and means the crew are not perched on the deck as is the case with many gaffers these days.

She has recently had a major external cosmetic refit where the hull was stripped back to bare wood and re-painted. The rig was removed for a total refit and is now back in the boat.

Length on Deck                       42’

Length Waterline         40’

Length overall              54’

Beam                           12’8”

Draft                            6’10”

Percy Dalton Gaff Cutter


Carvel planked in iroko with non-ferrous fastenings to 3” x 4” grown oak frames + 2” x 2” steamed oak intermediates on an oak back-bone.  Bonze screwed fastened into the sawn frames and copper rivets in the steamed timbers. External 4.5 ton lead ballast keel with bronze bolts through heavy oak floors and bronze strap floors.

Original laid iroko deck, caulked and payed, the cover boards painted together with the inside of the bulwarks. The 12” bulwarks are carried on oak through deck stanchion posts and fitted with varnished iroko capping rail. Nicely moulded bulwark planking. Stanchion posts with guard wires above the capping rail

19’ x7’ coach-roof on 12” varnished iroko coamings fitted with bronze ports each side, traditional sky-light on the sheathed ply coach-roof deck. Twin dorades forward with polished copper vents. Grab rails. Nice fore hatch, good clear side decks.

Large, self-draining cockpit with teak gratings and deep coamings all round.  Edson worm gear wheel steering fitted in 1998 direct onto the transom-hung rudder head under a varnished iroko box with the main-sheet horse over.

Wide bridge deck lifts to give access to the engine and side seat/lockers. Slightly stbd off-set entrance hatch to the cabin with sliding top and wash-board. Nav instruments in varnished boxes either side of the entrance hatch, easily visible from the helm.

Massive twin oak bitts on the fore deck take the inboard end of the bowsprit which passes through a stbd side galvanised stemhead gammon iron with chain rollers. Storage boxes either side on the fore deck for warps etc.




Gaff cutter rig on keel stepped varnished hollow spruce mast fitted new in 1997 with fidded top mast. Painted doublings. Galvanised mast fittings.  Galvanised standing rigging to external galvanised chain plates with heavy rigging screws all recently removed and stripped then parcelled and served in the traditional way.  Light boxes carried in the rigging. Pin rail at the foot of the mast takes the halyards. Topping lifts etc taken to pin rails on the bulwarks. Running back-stays on tackles to both hounds and topmast. Running bowsprit with bob-stay on tackle runs in completely over the top of the coach-roof.

Varnished slab reefing boom carried on twin galvanised mast bands sheets to a horse aft with 4-part tackle on double blocks. Jib on bowsprit traveller.

1 pair of bronze and 1 pair of chromed Lewmar ST40 self-tail sheet winches on the cock-pit coamings fitted new in 1999. 26’ varnished spinnaker boom. Booming out pole. Halyards on tackles.


Gaff mainsail with Spare

Staysaill, (Ratsey Lapthorn 2011) with Older Spare

jib, (Ratsey Lapthorn 2011)

Jib topsail and main topsail either gaff headed or the larger jackyard topsail

Large Assymetric with Snuffer

Total 1650 square feet (approx.)



1 pair of bronze and 1 pair of chromed Lewmar ST40 self-tail sheet winches on the cock-pit coamings fitted new in 1999. 26’ varnished spinnaker boom supplied new in 1999. Booming out pole. Halyards on tackles.




Ford four cylinder diesel, 85hp.  Fuel Consumption at 5kts 2.6lts/hr, at 6kts 3.0lts/hr, approx 1100/1200 rpm.  Primary Fuel filters are twin Vetus on a manifold enabling them to be changed without stopping the engine. They also have a gauge to show when they need changing.   PRM   Gearbox to centreline stainless shaft and a fixed 3 blade bronze propellor.


Diesel fuel: 220 litres, (range 400 miles max. at 5kts)

Water: Total capacity 320 litres in two tanks under the saloon benches each 160 litres.  Galley foot pump to sink via Jabsco filter and also to heads washbasin



1 x 12v engine start batteries. 4 x 12v deep cycle gel domestic supply batteries on 12v circuits. Shore power circuit.





8 berths + a child’s berth.

V-berths in the fore cabin open to the stem. Going aft through the centreline doorway in the bulkhead into the main cabin with a large double berth to port.  Stbd is a childs berth, storage shelves and a solid fuel stove which heats water for 2 radiators. Bulkhead opening to the saloon cabin with port and stbd settee berths, pilot berths up behind both sides and a drop leaf table between.

Aft to port L-shaped galley with 3-burner gas cooker with oven and grill (2 gas bottles in fore deck box with auto level check). Sink with salt and fresh water pumps, manual pump-out. Fridge, lockers etc.  Opposite the galley to starboard is a large storage area with drawers and shelves which worked perfectly for her long distance crusing.

Part bulkhead to aft port corner chart desk and navigator’s berth, instruments around the chart table, freezer under the berth. Aft stbd side louvered door to heads compartment with sea toilet and hand basin. Ladder between removes to access the engine. 2 x 160 litre fresh water tanks in rigid plastic under the settee berths.

6’6” head-room. Varnished coamings, white deck-head with varnished beams, white bulkheads and varnished joinery. Varnished cabin sole boards.






Ground tackle

150lb main Fishermans anchor

Manual two speed winch

35kg CQR kedge Anchor



2 compasses,


Autohelm Tridata depth and speed,

Autohelm wind speed and direction

Raymarine GPS,





Purpose built Dinghy, (10′ 6″), clinker spruce on oak, copper fastened, iroko thwarts, with oars, tiller, centreboard.

Automatic electric bilge pump

large Whale Gusher manual pump plus complete spare.

Bosuns stores with spare cordage of various sizes, spare blocks and snatch blocks, various shackles, riggers kit. Also spare tackles and handy billies, belay pins, etc


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.