Small craft

Amethyst Bawley gaff cutter

(REF: 18343)


  • Designer: Traditional
  • Builder: Amethyst Marine, Dorchester, UK
  • Year: 1997
  • Location: Worcester
  • Length on deck: 24'3"
  • Beam: 8'9"
  • Draft: 3'10"
  • Tonnage: 4TM

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Full specification

Wooden ships comments on this Amethyst Bawley gaff cutter  

Gaff cutter built by Amethyst Marine, Dorset in 1997, based on the lines of an 1890’s Thames Bawley.  These were shrimp fishing boats, mainly based out of Old Leigh, well known for cooking their catch in large copper pots onboard while sailing back to port, so the shrimps could be loaded onto the train and sent to London as soon as they were landed.

This little yacht was built as a prototype with the aim of going into production.  Unfortunately the plans changed so this remains the only one to have been built.  The original sale price was advertised at £45,000+VAT

Strip plank cedar hull, with 2 diagonal layers of mahogany laminated to the cedar below the waterline, 2 layers of mahogany laid  fore and aft on the top sides.  Total hull thickness of 7/8”.  Finished in an epoxy coating and varnish.

Oak stem, mahogany keel and deadwoods in mahogany.

Painted transom, reinforced to 1 ¼”.

Transom hung rudder on galvanised hangings with stainless steel pin.

1 tonne long external lead ballast keel with 6 x 1” bolts through the laminated floors.

Amethyst Bawley gaff cutter

The epoxy and strip plank construction negates the need for conventional framing, however 2” laminated floors tie the hull together across the centre-line and add strength for taking the ground.


Laid teak deck on ¾” plywood sub deck.  Deck beams constructed from laminated mahogany.  4” toe rail all round provides good security without being too bulky.


Large coachroof extends aft from the mast.  Painted coamings with 3 bronze portholes each side.  Cambered coachroof top in plywood over aaaa t&g sub deck.  Handrails either side.


Large cockpit with bench seats either side and lockers under.  Cleats on the sidedecks for staysail and jib sheets.  Mainsheet horse on aft deck with wooden tiller under.


Large foredeck  gives plenty of space to work the halyard falls at the base of the mast.  Wooden hatch gives access to forepeak.  A pair of sampson posts sat either side of the king plank for securing mooring warps.  Galvanised stem head fitting incorporating anchor chain roller on port side and gammon iron above to hold the 13’ douglas fir retractable bowsprit.  Bobstay chain on 3:1 block and tackle.


Gaff cutter rig with typical Bawley loose footed main on a 26’ douglas fir pole mast.

Mast is deck stepped in a galvanised steel tabernacle.

High peaked gaff yard with leathered saddle.

Varnished bowsprit between a pair of Sampson posts and passing through a galvanised gammon iron over the stem, the heel located in a fitting on the deck secured with a pin so reasonably easily removeable.

Standing rigging is 12mm galvanised wire, parcelled and served in the traditional way.

Dead eyes and lanyards for tensioning the standing rigging to external galvanised steel chain plates.

Running backstays on block and tackles, made up to cleats that are easily reached from the cockpit.

Bronze bar main sheet horse on the aft deck.

Bronze cleats


Sails, rig and canvas.

 All sails by James Lawrence Sailmakers, Brightlingsea, Essex.

Main                                      235sq’

Jib                                           114sq’

Stays’l                                    57sq’


Top sail on yard.

All running rigging & blocks

Pair of bronze sheet winches plus handles



Lombardini 17hp LDW602M 2 cylinder diesel engine with Technodrive 40 reversing gear with very low hours to fixed 3 blade centre-line bronze propeller gives 6 knots

Rigid plastic fuel tank in the port cock-pit locker.  Approx 50  galls.


Accommodation  comprises a main saloon with a U-shaped settee to port around a mahogany table.  This table drops into the gap to create a 6’6” double berth.

Storage and tanks under.

5‘11” headroom in the main saloon.


To starboard is a large hanging locker against the aft bulkhead.  Forward of this is the galley with a recessed sink, Flavel 2 burner gas cooker with oven and grill.  Work surface fwd of this with fridge under.  Deep storage lockers behind.  T&G finished pine bulkhead to forward area.

Pressurised water supply from 5 gal rigid plastic water tank. Sink drains overboard.

Water filter.


Centre folding hinged door slightly offset to starboard.  Door folds to become the heads door.   Heads to port with Jabsco sea toilet.  Storage locker behind.  Large hanging locker to port with shelves for bosuns stores.


A third bulkhead separates off the generous forepeak cabin.  V-berths with large storage areas under.  Foam cushions.  Small hatch into anchor locker.

Built-in buoyancy compartment under the forward end of the berth provides collision security to the fore foot.


This little boat was lightly used for a couple of seasons on the Hamble after her launch before bought by the present owners.

She has been laid up ashore under a tent in Worcestershire for 4 years due to the owner’s health issues and is now ready for a thorough refit prior to recommissioning.

See separate report on current condition.

This is a fine little yacht of a traditional design built using modern construction techniques and materials.  A seaworthy vessel with surprising volume, enough space and comforts to allow a couple to cruise the Channel and coastal waters in comfort.


Sadly the owners are not going to recommission the yacht and she has to go, hence the very reasonable price.





Nasa Log

Depth sounder

VHF radio



Port & Starboard lights in red and green light boxes secured in the rigging in the traditional way.


Ground tackle

Sowester CQR Anchor (20LR)

Ample chain



Horseshoe lifebuoy x2

12v Par bilge pump.


Deck gear

Warps – Various

Fenders – various x6

Boat hook

Heavy Duty fitted winter cover by James Lawrence



Berth cushions

Gas cooker

Sea toilet

Internal electric lights

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.