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Sailing yachts

Peter Duck ketch

(REF: 18090)


  • Designer: Giles Laurent
  • Builder: Porter and Haylet
  • Year: 1963
  • Location: Devon
  • Length on deck: 29'
  • Beam: 9'
  • Draft: 3'9"
  • Tonnage: 8TM

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Wooden ships comments on this Peter Duck ketch                                                       Devon                                     £4,500

 Peter Duck ketch

The Peter Duck ketch is a sturdy yacht with a strong hint of the motor sailer, a competent and comfortable cruising yacht for 4.

The original Peter Duck was designed by Laurent Giles for Arthur Ransome, and subsequently altered to the present design with higher freeboard and more spacious forepeak cabin.

Some 40 were built by Proctor and Haylett in Wroxham, a testament to their popularity and competence and almost all of them are still sailing today.

These are stiff, dry boats with an easily handled rig and invariably a good powerful engine to get you home.

The cock-pit is deep and secure, the cabin is surprisingly spacious for her 29’ and they inspire a sense of confidence even in a blow.


We have an account of a passage by an acquaintance of ours in this Peter Duck in 1973 crossing the Med from Gibraltar to Palma which makes interesting reading. On the way they met up with the great Humphrey Barton sailing his Rose Rambler, also a Laurent Giles design of course, built in the same yard and at the same time as this Peter Duck. Humphrey Barton worked for Laurent Giles and amongst other exploits was largely responsible for establishing the reputation of the 25’ Vertue in V35 which he sailed across the Atlantic at a time when it was thought impossible for such a passage in a 25’ yacht.

The design of the Peter Duck is immediately recognisable as a Laurent Giles and has many of the features found to be so successful in such famous designs as the Vertue and the Rambler.


This Peter Duck has had a varied life following that ownership of 1973 and latterly was allowed to deteriorate, at least visually.  Found by the present owner 12 months ago, she turned out to be almost totally sound despite her appearance so he set about a refit.  Sadly “her indoors” has made him see sense and added to advice from his doctor he is obliged to reduce his fleet so the PD has to go.


He has removed all the paint to reveal the iroko hull in apparently perfect condition. Understandably without paint in a draughty shed the putty in a few of the seams has cracked. Although hair-line it would be sensible to rake out the few feet of seams affected and repay prior to painting.


Like most of the Peter Ducks, the underwater surface is cascover sheathed, a once popular process using a strong nylon cloth glued to the cleaned surface with a resorcinol glue. It should be considered as a modern version of copper sheathing providing total worm protection.  Much stronger than the now so popular epoxy glass sheathing because of the strength of the nylon – glass cloth has zero strength – it adds significantly to the strength of the hull particularly impact strength hitting floating debris.

A few of the floor bolt heads appear to be disturbed probably by rust so the cascover should be sliced in way and the bolts replaced. The cascover can be simply re-glued back in place.

The cascover on the underside of the rudder is badly scuffed by contact with the ground – probably she has been sitting on a beach at some time.

A small area of soft wood was found in the stbd  toe rail forward. Surgical repair is not justified and banging around risks disturbing other areas so the area was simply filled using a hard filler, ready to be painted..


The rest of the boat appears to be good, the deck is good under her cover and the interior is as built and  useable with minimal work.

The wooden masts are painted and appear at least externally sound. The rigging should probably be replaced.

Sails not seen.

At the moment there is no engine installed but she is fitted for a  BMC 35hp or a Perkins, both suitable and both engines often installed in Peter Ducks but neither with any guarantee.


No doubt other areas will be found for improvement and this description is not comprehensive and should not be relied on for purchase. A full survey is always recommended prior to purchase. However she is a good boat, not so much a project but more of a refit, very much on the way back up, condition fully identifiable, clean and dry and a quality class boat to work on and requiring only average skills.





Iroko planking all copper fastened to steam bent oak timbers.

Full length cast iron keel with galvanised keel bolts.

Transom hung iroko rudder with bronze pintles and gudgeons.


Decks and cockpit

Sheathed marine plywood screw fastened to oak deck beams.   Bulwark all round with an iroko varnished capping rail.



Ketch rig on wooden masts. Main mast stepped on deck. Mizzen stepped in the cock-pit.

Stainless steel rigging. Galvanised mast fittings.


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.