Small craft

Torbay J-Class Centre board yawl

(REF: 18336)


  • Builder: Louis Gale, paignton
  • Year: 1920
  • Location: Devon
  • Length on deck: 20'
  • Beam: 6'4"
  • Draft: 2'/6'

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Full specification

wooden ships comments on this Torbay J class centre board yawl

Built by Louis Gale of Paignton in 1920, one of believed 11 of this class built to race in the Torbay Handicapp Class 2.

Originally rigged as a sloop she was converted to a yawl in the 1950’s.

She has vice-free, sparkling performance, a delight to own and sail.

Her excellent road trailer and ability to take the ground with her centre-board  makes her a economic yacht to run.


The owner will separate the trailer or consider a smaller boat in part exchange.


Long keel, nicely long, tapered bow sections and transom stern. Very sweet sheer line. Carvel planked, not clinker which is rather usual in this style and size of boat and arguably more attractive.


Carvel planked in ½” Brazilian mahogany with a very fair finish, varnished inside face.

Sheer strake varnished with double rubbing strakes. All copper fastened to steamed oak timbers. Varnished elm transom.

Transom hung rudder with wrought iron tiller kinked to fit around the off-set mizzen mast.

Long external iron ballast keel,
keel bolts thought to have been replaced in the 1990’s.

¼ ton internal ballast in lead pigs.

Galvanised steel centre-plate with bronze centre-board
winch under the fore deck operated by a lanyard from the helm.

Deep varnished mahogany coamings tapered to a point at the forward end. Tufnol capping protects the top edge.

Centre thwart and side seats aft, all beautifully varnished mahogany. Painted pine bottom boards with good flat floor area allowing easy movement fore and aft.

1990 painted ply deck.

Sampson post on the fore deck takes the heel of the bowsprit. Bronze deck fittings.


Fractional bermudian yawl rig on varnished masts and spars. The main mast steps on the keel through a mast brace cross piece and locked in.

The mizzen mast steps through the aft deck on the centre-line.

Stainless steel rigging wire, new in 2003, to external bronze chain plates.

Main mast runners on single whips to cars on the sheet tracks, tails led through the coamings via bronze pulley-wheel fittings.

Pair of original bronze headsail sheet winches on the coamings.

Fixed bowsprit and bumpkin.

Roller reefing varnished main boom with bronze fittings sheets to a bronze horse over the tiller. Headsail sheets led through cars on tracks on the side decks.


Sails by Chris Scanes, Sails and Canvas, Topsham, Devon in close to new condition with as new sail bags.  Mainsail, mizzen and jib on Plastimo foil roller furling gear.


Fisherman anchor. Chain and warp.

Mooring warps.


Custom built 2wheel road trailer.

Cock-pit and sail covers.

Chromed manual bilge pump.

Electric bilge pump.

12v battery in a box under thwart.( charged ashore)


Cock-pit cushions.

Boom support scissors.


Ally bearing out pole


She had a refit in the early 1990’s and again in 2001 when a couple of shifts of planking were replaced, several steamed timbers replaced, hood-ends refastened, total cosmetics inside and out, new sails and rigging.

In 2008 the bottom was burnt off to bare wood, recaulked and repainted, the topsides were repainted and all bright work revarnished. Repainted and varnished by Fairlie Restorations, Hamble.

An eye-catching little yacht, a very stable day-boat, great sport, easily handled and maintained, great pride of ownership.

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.