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Luke Bros 30 ft Gaff Yawl 1911



Luke Bros 30 ft Gaff Yawl 1911

Designer A R Luke
Builder Luke Bros, Hamble
Date 1911
Length overall 38 ft 0 in / 11.58 m
Length deck 30 ft 0 in / 9.14 m
Length waterline 22 ft 0 in / 6.71 m
Beam 7 ft 6 in / 2.29 m
Draft 4 ft 9 in / 1.45 m
Displacement 4 Tonnes
Construction Carvel pitch pine on oak frames
Engine None
Location United Kingdom
Price GBP 35,000

These details are provisional and may be amended



Built by Luke Bros on the Hamble in 1911 to a design by A R Luke, CORMORANT has undergone a major restoration. Subsequent refits and equipment enhancements include a very comprehensive wardrobe of new Ratsey & Lapthorn sails in 2017, completed in time for the Hamble Classics which she won on both days and therefore her class in the regatta.

CORMORANT is pure and unspoilt – she can be sailed as is and as was designed to be in 1911. To see her under full sail in the Solent leaves one spellbound – that she’s quite a small boat is of no consequence. Indeed she evokes Transat small yacht sailor Robert Manry who wrote: “...To me nothing made by man is more beautiful than a sailboat underway in fine weather, and to be on that sailboat is to be as close to heaven as I expect to get...”



The monochrome photographs show her former owner and family sailing in the 1940s on the river Deben, Suffolk. The picture of her on land is when she was blown into a farmer’s field in a storm – apparently it took the capstan of a Thames barge to pull her back into the river.



"For her centenary in 2011 we sailed CORMORANT across the North Sea to Gravelines in France before heading to Belgium for the Ostend at Anchor festival.............

We left Harwich around 22:00hrs and made good progress through the night in a force four blowing from the west. Unfortunately at dawn the breeze fell away to nothing leaving us rolling in a North Sea swell for a few hours on the edge of the shipping lanes – an exciting experience! Happily the breeze filled in from WSW and we flew across the lanes although the drama wasn’t over as there was a sea fog – watching massive ships disappearing ahead of you keeps you on your toes!

We entered Gravelines - a drying harbour with just enough under our keel to make the pontoon. After two days rest we rowed out of the harbour into the channel with a westerly down our throats. Anybody who knows Gravelines will understand that short tacking out of this manmade entrance is not fun and takes a great deal of time. Eventually however we were into the North Sea and heading at great speed in twenty knots of breeze towards Ostend. We entered the inner harbour rounded up and made for the pontoon. We were amused to find a sail trading vessel claiming to be the only engineless vessel attending the event. On our gently pointed out their mistaken assumption, we were promptly invited aboard to take rum with the captain and crew! They came back to CORMORANT afterwards and drew pictures of her declaring her to be the finest vessel at the event which was very kind.

We were stuck in Ostend for a few days given the ongoing strong westerlies but eventually the breeze swung around and we had a terrific easterly to get home. By this time however all my crew bar one had left for a ferry home due to other commitments and the remaining crew member was a bit short on experience. Despite this further challenge the sixteen hour crossing back to Harwich flew by. All in all it was a good trip in a beautiful boat.

When I purchased CORMORANT her sails were too small for the rig and of a poor material. We believe her mast to be original and very much a cruising rig. So many other yachts of CORMORANT's vintage have had six foot scarfs let into their original masts to improve performance. I have resisted changing or/adding to the rig as I am passionate about preserving traditional vessels as much as is practical. CORMORANT has not been sheathed or epoxied like so many other ‘traditional’ vessels. She was however rebuilt to a high standard and has been maintained thus ever since. I have made many sails for her and believe I have maximised the potential of this ‘squat’ rig; evidenced this year by her winning the Hamble Classics in a fleet of mostly larger gaff rigged racing boats. I have owned a number of wooden boats and sailed on many more including Fifes among other famous designer names. CORMORANT is very special and I shall be more than sad to see her go".



- Carvel pitch pine on oak frames
- Lead keel
- Slatted wooden decks covered with marine ply and epoxy cloth sheathed
- Cream painted topsides and grey painted decks



- Bumpkin over raised varnished transom
- Varnished toe rail with scuppers each side
- Chromed vent port side of king plank
- Mizzen mast boom and shrouds
- Rings in deck for main sheet tackle
- Ash blocks
- Long metal tiller with bronze boss
- Large teak main sheet cleats on deck
- Raised cockpit coaming with wood and bronze cleats outboard
- Low profile trunk cabin with sliding hatch aft and 3 bronze port lights each side
- Main mast with pin rails at base and shrouds
- Raised fore hatch
- Bowsprit
- CQR main anchor with chain
- Kedge anchor with warp
- Wooden dinghy
- Various mooring warps and fenders



- Cockpit
- Cabin with a maximum headroom of c 5 ft 6 in
- 1 x Single full length berth to stbd
- 1 x Short berth / banquette to port
- 1 x Vee double in forepeak
- Galley gas cooker with 2 burners
- Various cupboards and stowage
- Opening ports
- Red upholstery



- Gaff Yawl rig and varnished pine spars – the mast original
- Stainless steel standing rigging new 2016

Sails by Ratsey & Lapthorn Cowes
- Contender Fiber Con Pro sail cloth new 2017
- Built in the traditional style with 18 inch panels and classic patching
- Racing mainsail
- Staysail
- Jib
- Working jib
- Genoa
- Working genoa
- Light genoa
- Mizzen sail converted from Bermudan to gaff
- Mizzen staysail
- Small mizzen staysail
- Reaching headsail

Other sails including older working sails
- Mainsail - 5 seasons
- Jib -5 seasons
- Bermudan mizzen
- Staysail
- Topsail with yard

- Full length boom cover new 2017 Ratsey & Lapthorn
- Counter cover 2017
- Hatch cover 2017
- Braid on braid sheets 2015
- Winter topside covers



- 4 HP long shaft outboard and bracket for movements from harbour
- 1 x 12 V HD battery
- Battery monitor and echo sounder - requires one charge per season
- 12 V socket for charging mobiles etc
- Bronze anchor windlass



- Steeering compass
- Echo sounder
- Log
- Clock and barometer
- Navigation lights



- 4 x Lifejackets
- 1 x Safety harness
- Distress flares
- Fire extinguisher
- Manual bilge pump
- Electric bilge pump



Over a ten year period to 2006 CORMORANT was rebuilt using the finest materials by Peter Brookes famed for rebuilding a number of West Solent class boats
- Forward and aft deadwoods replaced
- Most of the sawn oak frames and steamed timbers replaced with new frames in oak
- Iron strap floors replaced with laminate iroko
- Completely refastened with silicon bronze screws / bolts
- New stern post in iroko with bronze bolts and screws
- Lead keel dropped, refitted using silicon bronze keel bolts
- New all teak cockpit
- All receipts available

2016 Refit
- Standing rigging replaced

2017 Refit fitting out included
- Topsides painted in International Toplac Ivory
- Decks painted
- All bright work varnished
- Interior painted

2017 Equipment additions
- Bronze (chromed) two speed winches
- Backstay levers
- Stainless steel custom made blocks and deck fittings for backstay

2017 New sail wardrobe
CORMORANT is blessed with a new sail wardrobe supplied under close supervision of her owner; the manager of sail makers Ratsey and Lapthorn.


These particulars have been prepared from information provided by the vendors and are intended as a general guide. The purchaser should confirm details of concern to them by survey or engineers inspection. The purchaser should also ensure that the purchase contract properly reflects their concerns and specifies details on which they wish to rely.


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