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Auxiliary Gaff Yawl - SOLD

  • Designer: G.U. Laws
  • Builder: W.E. Thomas, Falmouth
  • Year: 1905
  • Location Devon
  • Length on deck: 34'
  • Beam: 8'5"
  • Draft: 5'10"
  • Tonnage(TM): 9TM


REF: 2965

Full Specification

Wooden ships comments on this Auxillary Gaff Yawl

A completely rebuilt yacht with a new rig sails, engine, interior and electrics.  The owner has now emigrated and will not be returning to UK in the near future and realises she has to sell.  After many years of hard work rebuilding the boat, it is a great pity that she has to be moved on before the owner has had a chance to use her properly.

This superb little yacht would make an ideal cruising boat for a couple wishing to take part in various classic regattas and who want to spend their time on a proper boat rather than another indiscriminate white plastic yacht.  All the systems, machinery and electrics are new so after a quick scrub and some varnish she will be ready to sail away.  This really is a very good buy and she needs to find a new owner before the summer.

Auxiliary Gaff Yawl

Gaff yawl designed by G.U. Laws and built by W.E. Thomas of Falmouth in 1905.  This very pretty little yacht is slightly unusual of her time in that she was designed with a canoe stern.  Built as a yacht, she would have been a symbol of status when she was launched, originally having a small berth up forward for the paid hand, a common employee for well to do yachtsmen of the time.


She has spent her life on the south Devon coast cruising Westcountry waters, with occasional forays abroad to Europe.  Several significant alterations have been made during her well documented history, including the installation of the first engine, an Ailsa Craig petrol-paraffin unit, in 1923.  In 1950, Philips of Dartmouth made alterations to her deck layout, removing the original bridge deck and adding a larger cockpit and doghouse to give more volume down below and making the boat a more comfortable cruising yacht.


During the present ownership of more than 25 years the boat has had a major rebuild including 95% re-planking, replacement of all steamed timbers and doubling of the sawn oak frames, new backbone, stem post, stern post and all strap floors.  The result is a virtually new boat that has been strengthened beyond her original spec but retains the feel of a period yacht.  The addition of modern systems and machinery, including a new engine, helps to make this a very practical modern cruising yacht that will do the same job she was designed for 108 years ago.


A very pretty hull with a typical turn of the century spoon bow, running into a straight forefoot to the ballast keel.  Steeply raked stern post carrying the rudder with a fine canoe stern.  Very sweet sheer line with the original design of narrow coachroof leading into the more recent doghouse that has been designed extremely well so as not to affect the aesthetic line of her sheer.  A powerful gaff yawl rig set with a bowsprit and bumpkin and new sails, gives her balance and speed when desired.


Planked in Iroko above the waterline, larch below, with four original pitch pine planks remaining.  Fastened with copper nails and roves to sawn oak frames, each one doubled during the rebuild.  Two intermediate steam bent timbers, copper fastened.

2.5 ton external cast iron ballast keel with black iron keel bolts through a new elm keel.  Keel bolts fashioned from period bolts salvaged from a large hulk. Last drawn 10 years ago.

Galvanised steel strap floors with galvanised floor bolts and throat bolts.  All floors and bolts replaced.

Oak stern post and stem post with oak deadwoods fore and aft.  All replaced during the refit.

Beamshelf copper riveted, with large clamp type piece of timber below, full length of the boat, giving enormous strength and distributing load of the beaching legs when used.  Steel plate hanging knees to support the hull to deck join.


Deck laid in ¼ sawn Douglas Fir, caulked and payed and screw fastened to larch deck beams.  Deck is sheathed and finished in cream deck paint.


Deep self draining cockpit with full length cockpit lockers either side under the thwarts and a teak cockpit grating. High coamings all round with a varnished teak capping rail give a sense of security and shelter which is helped by the dodgers.  All replaced during the refit.

Foredeck with enough space to carry the clinker tender.  Galvanised twin roller stem head fitting incorporating the forestay fitting and gammon iron.  Bronze fairleads set into the deep toe rail.

Single action manual windlass and capstan at the heel of the bowsprit with port and starboard mooring cleats and chocks for anchor stowage.  Varnished forehatch aft of the windlass.

Original low skylight runs aft from the mast into the raised doghouse.  The narrow width of the skylight allows for large side decks giving lots of deck space, with bronze framed prisms set in the side decks.

Doghouse has been replaced and is constructed of marine plywood with a varnished yacht laid teak doghouse roof.  Three fixed windows each side with curved tops that help the aesthetics with bronze safety bars fixed externally.

The spacious cockpit steps out from the doghouse to almost the full beam of the boat.  Rudder post comes through the aft deck aft of the mizzen mast, with a hooped tiller to be able to work around the mast.  Varnished bumpkin on the centre line at deck level with galvanised deck fitting carries the mizzen sheet.  Bronze fairleads with a pair of mooring cleats on the aft deck.


Rig.  Gaff yawl.

Gaff yawl rig on keel stepped solid varnished wooden pole mast sets approx. 660sqft of sail.  All spars are varnished including the bumpkin, bowsprit, mizzen, gaffs and booms.

Galvanised gooseneck fitting with roller reefing mechanism on mainsail.  Permanently fixed boom gallows make sail handling with a small crew easier and safer.

Galvanised wire standing rigging with deadeye terminals to stainless steel rigging screws and external chainplates.  Mainmast has a pair of lower shrouds with a single cap shroud.  Standing inner forestay to the stemhead with outer forestay on block and tackle to the end of the bowsprit.  Twin running backstays on bronze Highfield levers.

Ratlines on the mainmast shrouds.

Halyard falls come to the shrouds with a belay pin rail in the rigging as well as mast band pin rail.  The spars and sails are light enough that hoisting the main by hand is an easy affair.

Mizzen mast has a pair of galvanised cap shrouds with deadeye terminals, stainless rigging screws and galvanised chain plates.

Galvanised chain bobstay and whisker stays.  Block and tackle tensioner on the bobstay and rigging screws on the whiskers.  Jib sets on Wickham Martin roller reefing gear to bowsprit end.


Complete new sail wardrobe, with some older sails, made by John Mckillop Sails, these are as new and have hardly been used.  All new sails are in tan terelyne with new main and mizzen covers.  Roller reefing on mizzen.  Roller reefing plus reef points on mainsail.


Mainsail                       350sqft                        2011                            As New

Mizzen                          70sqft                          2011                            As New

Staysail                        88sqft                          2011                            As New

Staysail                        88sqft                          Unknown                    Good

No.1 Jib                       80sqft                          2011                            As New

No.2 Jib                       74sqft                          Unknown                    Good

Topsail                         72sqft                          Unknown                    Serviceable



Pair of non- self tailing sheet winches on the cockpit coamings.



Volvo Penta MD11D 2cyl 25hp raw water cooled marine diesel.  Installed new in 2010 and has only run for approx. 50 hours.

Until the present owner the boat has always had a wing engine, but the opportunity was taken to install a centre line shaft while the stern post was being replaced.

Volvo gearbox with 2.2:1 reduction gear to stainless steel shaft with Deep Sea Seal.  3 blade bronze propeller gives 5 knots cruising, 6 knots max.  Cruising speed consumption of approximately 1 litre/hour.

Stainless steel fuel tank with 100L capacity.



1 x 96Ah engine start battery on dedicated separate system.  Hand crank starting if necessary.

3 x 88Ah domestic batteries.

Charging from 50amp engine alternator with a 70W solar panel.


Accomodation.  2 berths.

She has a simple open layout which is reminiscent of what she would have been built with.  The salon has a single settee berth port and starboard, with the stbd side converting to a double when in harbour.  The fore peak currently has the heads and storage space but could easily be fitted with a berth if desired.  Much of the interior has only been recently completed and is in very tidy and smart condition.

Step down over the engine box through the companionway in the doghouse.  Varnished Iroko sole boards with brass lifting catches.  Chart desk to starboard with lifting chart table, chart storage under and further stowage below.  Switch board and electrics at the back of the chart desk.

Galley to port with single stainless steel sink and draining board, gravity drains overboard.  Hand pumped fresh water from 25 gallon stainless steel tank, plus sea water hand pump.  2 burner/grill/oven gimballed gas stove with s/s backing making cleaning easy.  Storage below the galley with vanished crockery holders.

Moving into the saloon there is a hanging locker to stbd with a half height varnished bulkhead port and stbd forward of this.  Port and stbd settee berths with slatted bases and white painted T&G panelling on the faces.  The contrast of varnished mahogany and gleaming white gloss paint works well and creates a nice atmosphere in the saloon.  The long skylight extending forward to the mast gives ample headroom and sets the tone of the boat with nice bronze catches and fittings.

Dickinson diesel stove on the forward bulkhead for cabin heating.  Starboard settee pulls out to make a double berth.

Passageway door offset to port though the bulkhead to the forepeak.  Baby Blake sea toilet on the starboard side against the bulkhead to the saloon.  Small hand basin against the hull with hand pumped fresh water.

Large forepeak provides ample storage for sails, warps, fenders and other equipment.  This could be converted to provide a third berth if desired.



Sestrel steeing compass

NASA log

NASA Clipper sounder

Neptune 100 DSC VHF

Seacourse Autopilot

NASA Target Navtex

XM handheld VHF

FCC Precision Clock and Barometer.


Radar reflector

4 x lifejackets

Safety harness

Fire extinguisher

Fire blanket

2 x Whale Gusher manual bilge pumps

Whale 12v electric bilge pump


35lbs CQR with 60m 3/8” chain

56lbs Fishermans anchor with 5m chain and 40m warp

Mooring warps



Sail covers

Cockpit cover

Boom tent for cockpit and doghouse


Boarding ladder

Beaching legs

Avon dinghy

2.5hp Mariner outboard engine

Assorted galley equipment


It is fortunate that this yacht has had several diligent and caring owners throughout the years who have not been afraid to carry out serious work when required.  So many of the beautiful yachts from this era have long since gone as peoples tastes changed with the times and new boat owners wanted the latest designs with the extra space the often afforded.  It is therefore very nice to see a genuinely well cared for Edwardian yacht that is known to have had a vast amount of structural work carried out meaning she is now in superb condition and ready to sail.  There are few yachts of this pedigree and vintage to choose from, and only a handful of them will be as complete as this one.  The next owner of this elegant boat will clearly benefit from the time, effort and money that has been poured into her over the long present ownership.


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.


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