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Old 16-11-2015, 13:20   #16
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

FWIW, we live and sail aboard a 1972 Cheoy Lee Clipper 42 schooner. She's a marconi rigged staysail schooner, but with classic looks and plenty of beautiful teak trim. With her clipper bow, bowsprit, graceful shear and long overhangs, she meets all our desires as far as looks go, and with her full keeled, wineglass hull is both seakindly and seaworthy. So don't overlook the staysail schooners as you continue your search - you may find just the boat, as we did.
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Old 16-11-2015, 16:30   #17
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

To suddenly sailing. Don't under estimate the ease of sailing a Gaffer. Self tacking stay sail, Main sheet on horse rail and jib on a continuous sheet. Very easy slab reefing. Front sails on hanks. The timber is not so much hard work if kept up with.
If the attached picture works out, doesn't it say it all.
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Old 16-11-2015, 17:51   #18
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

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Originally Posted by DRussell View Post
There is a Thomas Colvin "trinity" design gaff rigged schooner with aluminum hull for sale in BC, the ad makes it look like a nice yacht, can't find much info on the trinity design. Check BC kijiji listings under sail, asking roughly $40k cdn, I am not affiliated with the owner in anyway. I am kind of in love with it but not ready to purchase our liveaboard at this time.


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Colvin Trinity and Colvin Saugeen Witch are one and the same hull.

I have Panope's original prints and some sheets say "Trinity" while others say Saugeen Witch. Not sure why the two names exist. Could be to denote different rigs.
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Old 16-11-2015, 18:08   #19
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

I owned Roberts design traditionally rigged gaff cutter 12 ton spray replica built near tannersville pa.

We loved sailing her as the builder was a master carpenter and she was a beauty.

but:
The gaff main required 2 people , (3 on a windy day) to manage safely. Taking in a reef on a windy day was an interesting exercise.

She was slow and tacked across waves poorly. The waves just stopped the blunt bow as it came across.

The traditional rig was great for groups as there were lots of things to do on each tack. Solo sailing was not an option.

There is a book listing many of the spray replicas and it looks like some people redesigned the bow and used modern rigging components.

From the experience I learned to love gaff rigs and now own a 14' compass classic. Only help I need is provided by my poodle.

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Old 16-11-2015, 18:10   #20
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Oh, Uncivilized! how uncivilized to suggest skinned or splined boats that were once-upon-a-time fine carvel planked ones! Shoo away that idea or brush it under the rug!

Mercater--lovely boat!

Our schooner is wood and we love it. I would not suggest a wood boat unless the buyer really knows what they're looking for and why a wood boat will achieve that for them. Now I do appreciate composite hulls alot, but too many wonderful carvel planked boats have been hacked and fiberglass-ed over often hiding rot that will just keep on giving until the boat is no longer seaworthy. Suggest you stay away from boats that were modified after build from that which the designer and builder intended since it almost always is hiding a problem or creating a new one.

Speed and gaffers--it's more a matter of hull than rig when it comes to the potential of good speed. A poor hull form can't be fixed by a great rig.

Gaff material: I'm not quite sure why it is that people start suggesting all the ways to make the gaff lighter--the weight aloft, in the case of the gaff can serve on good purpose--weight aloft is known to dampen a harsh motion of a boat. This is one reason empty lumber schooners used to hoist a couple logs up into the rig--to dampen the roll.

I've been told the weight of the gaff boom helps bring the sail down when it comes time to drop the sails. Ha! that's a joke. In the case of our 500+sf gaff foresail with its Sitka spruce gaff boom I can't say it helps. If we're dropping sail in a blow, that boom wishes to stay aloft and we often must haul down on it smartly else we'd be indefinitely at sea sailing. But--don't let someone tell you the gaff needs to be light since I can haul our foresail up alone and as an average woman in strength I'm not as strong as the average guy. No winches needed, just 4:1 purchase on the throat and peak halyards.

If you keep a good lookout and you have a reasonably good budget to work with, you'll likely find a traditional looking boat, in fiberglass, that will make you happy. If it happens to be a gaffer, more so the happiness.
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Old 16-11-2015, 18:18   #21
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

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Originally Posted by jfyiii View Post
The gaff main required 2 people , (3 on a windy day) to manage safely. Taking in a reef on a windy day was an interesting exercise.

The traditional rig was great for groups as there were lots of things to do on each tack. Solo sailing was not an option.

Jfyiii
Why did it take so many people? On a 12T boat I figure your main was about the size of our 30T boat's gaff foresail (500 sf or so). What did you keep everyone busy doing on each tack? My husband and I sail double-handed (solo one of us on each watch) and while we do enjoy each other's help with things, it's possible to do it all alone. Several of the previous owners of our boat have sailed her solo on bluewater passages so it's not just us.
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Old 16-11-2015, 19:58   #22
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

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Colvin Trinity and Colvin Saugeen Witch are one and the same hull.



I have Panope's original prints and some sheets say "Trinity" while others say Saugeen Witch. Not sure why the two names exist. Could be to denote different rigs.


Thank you, I was doing detective work trying to find more info and thought the lines looked very similar however this model seems to have almost a wheelhouse or nice hard dodger. Between that and SV Vixen it has definitely peaked my interest in gaff rigged boats


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Old 16-11-2015, 20:37   #23
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

There is an immense difference between a 30 footer and a 50 footer. Once you determine your budget and what you want to do with your boat you will greatly narrow down the range. From my perspective there is a good reason why there a few gaffers built, especially in recent years.
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Old 17-11-2015, 01:19   #24
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Here's a very trick, & unique "gaffer" - PT Dinghy
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Old 17-11-2015, 05:30   #25
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

One to raise and one to steer. On a windy day the third person was for safety.
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Old 17-11-2015, 05:51   #26
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

I'm also a big fan of gaff rigs. A couple of my friends both owned Lazy Jack Schooners. They're great for skinny water with their centerboard & extreme shoal draft. A real plus for Florida & the Bahamas but I'm not sure it's as advantageous in the PNW. Why not find a boat you love & re-rig it? A gaff rigged Bristol Channel Cutter would be gorgeous!
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Old 17-11-2015, 06:54   #27
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

Dear Gaff lover,
My wife and I have been sailing our 32.5 ' Gillmer gaff rig ketch since 1995, when we first launched. The rig is great fun. The sails are small and easy to handle. She self steers without a wind vane. We do use a winch for the free flying jib after doing the old fashioned way for a few years. Much easier. All the other sails use block and tackle, and it is no problem. There is a topsail on mast, not a separate stick. Good for under 10 kts.
the trade offs, as we see it are a decided lack of windward ability compared to a more modern rig. We tack through 120 honest degrees. More lines to handle and keep buying. We like everything on the boat to be " as new".
Our ketch is built strip planked of mahogany, the wooden hull has never been a maintenance problem. On the other hand the tons of teak and Sitka spruce requires a lot of varnishing.
Tom Cunliffe wrote a great book on gaff rig sailing. Highly recommended.
I was disappointed to see that he switched to a mason 43/44 in his dotage.
By the way, our boat is sort of for sale. See Sailboatlistings.com. Star of India, Cape Cod, MA, or write back. We are ambivalent as we can not find a boat we like better, and we are getting old. Perhaps a gaff rig cat boat is our fate.
Good luck with your search. Happy to answer any questions.
cheers, Eric and Sue
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Old 17-11-2015, 11:10   #28
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

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One to raise and one to steer. On a windy day the third person was for safety.
Ah...Sailing is really better with 2 people or at least one plus an autopilot.

For the 2 years before we hooked up the autopilot, we did try to have one of us in the cockpit yes. If winds are light, it's no biggy but if good winds, having someone at the helm is helpful.

Our preferred method (2 person) of raising sails on the schooner is to put up the gaff foresail first--it is powerful and almost centered on the boat's for-aft CG--and then we put up staysail, mainsail and jib.

Alone...
Raising the mainsail on a schooner points you nicely into the wind where you'll hang in irons forever unless you put up another sail. Just to see if it would work w/o autopilot helping me (or another hand) I've (partially) raised the main (alone) while it's sheeted in tight just to get that point-into-the-wind started and once I'm nicely pointed up and nicely in irons, I've gone forward to raise and set the gaff foresail. If you do that, there's a bit of run-around to get everything up.

While underway, with a person at the helm or with the autotpilot engaged, I can reef or douse any of the sails at any point of sail--when in big seas, you really don't want to ever point up into the wind just to deal with your sails. Having said that, reefing or fully dousing a heavily loaded sail alone does call for a winch or handybilly to downhaul the sail.

I thought you were going to say you had running backstays and needed more people to deal with them. We have a fixed backstay but use running backstays in heavy weather to keep the forestay tight. That dealing with running backs can be tricky if you're short handed and setting up to tack or gibe.
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Old 17-11-2015, 12:50   #29
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

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Originally Posted by AiniA View Post
There is an immense difference between a 30 footer and a 50 footer. Once you determine your budget and what you want to do with your boat you will greatly narrow down the range. From my perspective there is a good reason why there a few gaffers built, especially in recent years.
hi AiniA, i am not sure if you are aware but for some old english sprays and punts LoA is a deceiving measure as you may end up with 50ft LoA on a boat with 35ft LoD
the Heard 35 has an LoA of 48
the Cornish Pilot Cutter 30 has an LoA of 39
there are knockoffs with shorter bowsprits
and there are those that do not know weither to include the sprit in the ad.
so for a traditional Gaffer looking for anything between 30ft and 50ft, with the limited amount of such boats on the market, the search already is rather narrow
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Old 20-11-2015, 20:05   #30
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Re: 30-50 ft LOA non-wooden Gaff-Rigged Sloops and Schooners?

After years of living aboard a 28' 7" fibreglass sloop, we started looking for a steel hull to fit out - ideally a 35' cutter. However we fell in love with the neglected hull-and-deck of a Brewer 'Corten' gaff schooner, 42' 9'' LOD; 51' LOA. Our boat had been the personal project of a guy who was selling kitset hulls of this design, so there should be a few around. Great sailing performance, very sea-kindly. We sailed her to NZ with our young daughter - not always easy, but a fantastic experience. I miss her still.
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