Sailing yachts

William Atkin Vilisar Ketch

(REF: 18031)


  • Designer: Atkin, William
  • Builder: Jack Bracket, California
  • Year: 1960
  • Location: Devon
  • Length on deck: 35'6"
  • Beam: 10'6"
  • Draft: 5'4"

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Full specification

Wooden Ships Comments on the William Atkin Vilisar ketch

Now reduced to sell before summer due to the owner moving back to the US.

Colin Archer type gaff ketch designed by William Atkin and built by Jack Bracket of LA, California, in 1960.

Atkin was the designer of Sir Robin Knox Johnston’s famous Suhali, known as the Eric Class, in which he became the first man to complete a non-stop solo circumnavigation from 1965 to 1967.  The Vilisar is very similar to the Eric but with slightly larger dimensions to increase the internal volume.

The design was inspired by the sailing lifeboats of Norway, of course drawn by the famous Colin Archer, and because of this she is a terrific sea boat and has been proved so by many owners throughout the years.  Her long keel, rounded stem and canoe stern with a stern post hung curved rudder are all hallmarks of the Norwegian designer.  Although not a race boat, she is no slouch with a steady breeze, and has won several classic regattas in a previous ownership.

Her voyaging record is as distinguished as any boat with at least two circumnavigations under her keel and a trans-Atlantic crossing, she has proven herself beyond doubt to be a competent and safe blue water cruising yacht.

She first arrived in the UK from America in 1980.  The English owner settled in Falmouth with his family and set up a joinery shop before he asked Wooden Ships to find a new owner for the boat.  They had spent the previous few years cruising extensively in warm waters and only the children’s education brought them back home.

She was featured on the cover of Classic Boat magazine in 1990, a copy of which is available along with a 2013 and 2016 survey.

We recently had the pleasure of sailing her from Falmouth to Dartmouth and we were pleasantly surprised at how easy she was to sail, how fast she was and how comfortable she was to be aboard.

Length on Deck                                 35’6”

Beam                                                    10’6”

Draft                                                      5’4”





Planked in 1.25″ Douglas Fir fastened with stainless steel screws to laminated frames.  Major refit 1998 – 2000 where she was totally re-framed and re-fastened.

Hull sheathed externally with 3 layers of epoxy glass cloth above the waterline, 4 layers below.

2700lbs external iron ballast keel fastened with stainless keel bolts, new in 2000.

Steel strap floors with steel floor bolts, all new in 2000.

Straight laid pine deck over a marine plywood subdeck and sheathed externally with epoxy glass cloth.

Self draining cockpit newly built in 2006 with a bridge deck  Deep lockers to port.

Mahogany coachroof coamings, painted white with bronze portholes.




Ketch rig with a gaff main and bermudan mizzen.

Solid varnished keel stepped masts with varnished booms, gaff and bowsprit.

Boomed staysail and roller furling jib.

All running rigging new in 2016 using traditional looking Classic Marlowbraid.

Stainless steel standing rigging to internal galvanised chain plates.

Large sail wardrobe including storm sails and off wind sails.




Yanmar 4JHE 4cyl 40hp marine diesel installed new in 2000. Thorough service 2016.

Hurth gearbox, single lever Vetus controls (new 2016) with stainless shaft and 3 blade Kiwi feathering propeller gives 6 knots cruising speed.

Gearbox reconditioned in 2011.  Propellor and cutlass bearing new in 2011



 2 x 115ah deep cycle 12volt batteries for engine starting and domestic supply.  Charged from engine alternator.  2016 solar panels to charge batteries.



30 gallon stainless steel fuel tank installed new in 2013 under the starboard quarter berth.

40 gallon plastic water tank installed in 1999, located under the bridge deck.  Foot pumps in heads and galley.





6 berths in total including a quarter berth, double and a single in the saloon and 2 singles in the fore cabin.

Galley in aft port corner with Taylors paraffin stove and manually pumped fresh water.  Masses of stroage space in the galley.

Chart desk to starboard with the quarter berth under the cockpit thwarts.

Centreline drop leaf saloon table with a single settee berth to starboard and a U shape settee to port which opens out into a double.

Heads compartment forward to port with a Blakes Lavac sea toilet and hand basin.

Doorway on starboard side into the forecabin with twin V-berths and stowage space.





Full specification and details available upon request





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.