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Old 07-05-2016, 00:52   #1
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Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

After reading a book titled Wandering Under Sail by Eric C. Hiscock I have become quite enamored with turn of the century working style sail boats in smaller sizes. these boats are much like pilot cutters in shape, and rig, just smaller versions, all wood spars, mostly rope rigging, right around the time cable became fashionable for stays and such. Common rigs were gaff cutters, occasional ketch or yawl. these boats had a long keel, tiller steering, long sliding bowsprits and a flat deck with no or very little doghouse, minimal companionway surround or cockpit, maybe a skylight. 2 very small doghouses in line sometimes. surround bulwarks with slots to drain green water and deck water rather than lifelines or railings.

I find quite a lot of these available in the UK, but very little if anything in the US.

The closest thing I have found made more recently are the hess designed bristol and falmouth cutters, and some colin archer types. "Gaff Cutter" image search on google produces many results, but most are large, or new replica types. the style is right on the money though.

I really would like to get headed in the right direction to learn more about these boats, how they are sailed, rigged, maintained... everything really.

Keywords for the search or websites, books all would be very helpful! Thank you all.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:10   #2
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

There are many gaff rigged boats in the PNW. Some in the New England states.

Some members of this forum have them too.

Look for Panope (member here) who has a Gaff Rigged boat.

But, as for the "Pilot Cutter" look, you will likely find more info and images and boats in the UK.

Go to "Wooden Boat" and similar sites and then look at the UK brokerages. They are out there.

In addition, there are the GRP (fiberglass to us Americans) reproductions made in the UK. Some have made it to the USA. I saw one for sale last year, located in NY as I recall. Some are smaller boats, about 26 feet LOD. The design/make that comes to mind as almost perfect for a couple is the "Cornish Crabber" which is GRP but based on traditional lines and some look very cozy and "warm with wood" in the cabin. I like their look. Not too expensive either. See attached photo below.

Good luck on your search.
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Old 07-05-2016, 02:30   #3
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

Hi Steady, nice to hear from you. Hope things are going well.

On gaffers. A great book is hand reef and steer by Tom Cunliffe. And of course the old classic Gaff rig by John Leather.

Atkins has some nice small gaffer designs, eg Fore and aft. Also Paul Gartside, Thomas Colvin, Phil Bolger, Lyle Hess have some gaff rigged designs in there folio, that may trigger some hits in a search engine.

What you are after is pretty rare these days, but they are lovely capable boats with lots of strings to pull to keep you entertained. Good luck with your search.
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:06   #4
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

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Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Hi Steady, nice to hear from you. Hope things are going well.

On gaffers. A great book is hand reef and steer by Tom Cunliffe. And of course the old classic Gaff rig by John Leather.

Atkins has some nice small gaffer designs, eg Fore and aft. Also Paul Gartside, Thomas Colvin, Phil Bolger, Lyle Hess have some gaff rigged designs in there folio, that may trigger some hits in a search engine.

What you are after is pretty rare these days, but they are lovely capable boats with lots of strings to pull to keep you entertained. Good luck with your search.
Greetings to you too, Snowpetrel.

I am glad you posted the names of the designers. I was thinking about listing some too, but you got them all in.

I have seen several Atkins designed boats listed (or photographed) in the PNW and along the Pacific Coast, so the OP should be able to find some Atkins "Ingrid" boats with gaff rigs.

There is a CF member with an Atkins Ingrid (with gaff rig) in the Phiippines too (on a different island from me) and the OP may want to contact her (Gaffermate) as she built the boat with her husband back in the late 1970s and has sailed it and lived on it and taken it across the Pacific to here in the PI.

Thanks for posting the book titles too.
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And to the OP, Snowpetrel knows of what he types.
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Signing off as I don't want to hijack the OP's thread/topic.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:11   #5
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

Wanderer II, Hiscock's second boat was in the Ala Wai Marina for sale back in early 2000. Might still be there. Very uncomfortable boats, very labor intensive. No head room to speak of. Sails on their sides and not really pretty. Otoh, very seaworthy and will sail through most sea states; although you will drown in the process. Englishmen are evidently very tough.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:51   #6
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

Yo;
You may want to explore a subscription to 'Off Center Harbor' a website dedicated to videos of traditional sailing vessels. It is produced by some of the folks from the mag 'Wooden Boat' and contains lots of interesting content based on gaff rigs among a great many other stunning videos.
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Old 07-05-2016, 10:10   #7
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

There is a Gaff rigged Tahiti Ketch that is coming up for sale here at San Rafael harbor, been completely rebuilt, no rot. Just North of San Francisco.
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Old 07-05-2016, 11:18   #8
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

Quote:
Originally Posted by nematon785 View Post
After reading a book titled Wandering Under Sail by Eric C. Hiscock I have become quite enamored with turn of the century working style sail boats in smaller sizes. these boats are much like pilot cutters in shape, and rig, just smaller versions, all wood spars, mostly rope rigging, right around the time cable became fashionable for stays and such. Common rigs were gaff cutters, occasional ketch or yawl. these boats had a long keel, tiller steering, long sliding bowsprits and a flat deck with no or very little doghouse, minimal companionway surround or cockpit, maybe a skylight. 2 very small doghouses in line sometimes. surround bulwarks with slots to drain green water and deck water rather than lifelines or railings.

I find quite a lot of these available in the UK, but very little if anything in the US.

The closest thing I have found made more recently are the hess designed bristol and falmouth cutters, and some colin archer types. "Gaff Cutter" image search on google produces many results, but most are large, or new replica types. the style is right on the money though.

I really would like to get headed in the right direction to learn more about these boats, how they are sailed, rigged, maintained... everything really.

Keywords for the search or websites, books all would be very helpful! Thank you all.
Seattle is the wooden boat capital of the US. The Center For Wooden Boats in on lake union. Make a phone call to those folks and I would guess they have access or knowledge of many boats for sale that fit your requirements.

Jeff
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Old 07-05-2016, 15:21   #9
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

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Originally Posted by fdr14127 View Post
Yo;
You may want to explore a subscription to 'Off Center Harbor' a website dedicated to videos of traditional sailing vessels. It is produced by some of the folks from the mag 'Wooden Boat' and contains lots of interesting content based on gaff rigs among a great many other stunning videos.
Looks like a pay to play site.
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Old 07-05-2016, 17:13   #10
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Wanderer II, Hiscock's second boat was in the Ala Wai Marina for sale back in early 2000. Might still be there. Very uncomfortable boats, very labor intensive. No head room to speak of. Sails on their sides and not really pretty. Otoh, very seaworthy and will sail through most sea states; although you will drown in the process. Englishmen are evidently very tough.
A lot more ropes to pull on than an equivalent roller furling sloop, but in that size range I wouldn't have called them labour intensive. A friend of mine happily singlehanded his 26 foot gaff cutter. All the loads were light and she was a pleasure to sail. Getting the topsail up and down was interesting at times, but much less hastle than handling a spinnaker, and its a very versatile sail than can be used on any point of sail. Steer clear of any gaffer without provision for a topsail, unless its a light boat with a high peaked gaff, like the cornish crabbers.

I would also describe his 26 foot gaffer as the most comfortable 26 footer I have sailed. Full headroom, stiff and a very comfortable dry cockpit, extremely easy motion at sea, full headroom below and a nice wood heater. It was also one of the prettiest little boats I have ever seen.

It was sailed from Tassie to Tahiti through the roaring forties and back and nobody drowned..

Other boats to look at are the Bruce Bingham flica's, also Welsford has a 21 foot plywood gaff cutter, sundowner? (Edit) Jay Bedford also does some nice little gaffers.
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Old 07-05-2016, 18:18   #11
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

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Looks like a pay to play site.
Yes, it is, but truly worth it. I initially had decided I couldn't afford it, too much of an indulgence even though I longed to have even the 'cyber' companionship of real people immersed in the building and enjoying of wooden boats, so had declined with regrets. But, so impressed with the quality of craftsmanship in the videos, the subjects and the stories they were producing, I sent a letter praising and explaining my reasons, to give support.

I hesitate to reveal that they astounded me by offering a free, 6-month trial (not sure how often they are willing to make these generous gestures). Good public relations, of course, but I didn't feel it was simply good marketing--just genuinely good people.

Whatever the reasons, the result is my recommendation to join and enjoy. It is worth it. Even if one thinks one 'knows it all', this one has been entertainingly, further educated and is grateful. I will be sending a renewal check very soon.
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Old 08-05-2016, 00:22   #12
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

Here's a few classics I found on Craigslist. Maybe not exactly what you're looking for but fun to look at. The best small pilot cutter in fiberglass is the Falmouth built by Sam Morse. Great boat but pricey. For anyone looking for a small classic in glass check out the Pacific Seacraft. Sounds like a steal.
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/5574062333.html
https://portland.craigslist.org/nco/boa/5574060824.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/boa/5574222274.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/skc/boa/5571496363.html
https://seattle.craigslist.org/kit/boa/5570104218.html
https://olympic.craigslist.org/boa/5531440752.html
Classic woodenboat sloop design EdMonk
https://skagit.craigslist.org/boa/5506606868.html
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Old 08-05-2016, 01:12   #13
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

It sort of depends on the OP's budget and exactly what he's interested in. However, Tasmania also has a fair share of lovely little gaff rigged cutters, and some of them will be in the Wooden Boat Festival, next year, 2017, February 11-13. Generally, there's too much eye candy there to stand! People who want to lodge in Hobart need to book soon, the festival has become prestigious, and 6 months ahead will find you searching.

See you there.

Ann
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Old 08-05-2016, 05:14   #14
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

Hi,
We are reluctantly selling our 1995 Gillmer 32.5 ft gaff rig ketch. You can find the advert at sailboatlistings.com, look in search in MA.
We love the gaff rig, and the ketch sails herself without a vane.
cheers, Eric
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Old 08-05-2016, 07:12   #15
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Re: Please give me a heading for classic wooden boat gaff cutters in small sizes

This is the best example of a Pilot Cutter for sale anywhere in the world. A truly awesome boat.

Isles of Scilly Pilot Cutter - Classic Boat MagazineClassic Boat Magazine
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