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William Ferris 41ft Gaff Cutter 1889/2016



William Ferris 41ft Gaff Cutter 1889/2016

Designer William Ferris
Builder William Ferris, St. Feock, Cornwall
Date 1890
Length overall 56 ft 9 in / 17.3 m
Length deck 41 ft 0 in / 12.5 m
Length waterline 38 ft 0 in / 11.58 m
Beam 10 ft 6 in / 3.2 m
Draft 5 ft 7 in / 1.7 m
Displacement 14 Tonnes
Construction Wood
Engine Volvo Penta 55HP 4 cylinder Diesel
Location France
Price GBP 265,000

These details are provisional and may be amended



LITTLE WINDFLOWER, is a handsome gaff cutter that has enjoyed long ownerships over her many years cruising the waters around Ireland, Brittany and Channel Islands, the English East and South coasts and the Baltic including Scandinavia and even to St Petersburg. More recently she has been sailing the Mediterranean from her home in the south of France. Her owners in their turn have taken care to keep her in a condition worthy of her origins. Remarkably when her current owner decided she deserved a refit, her basic structure was found to be so sound that little of that needed replacement; albeit she received a comprehensive fit out with new deck, spars, rig and interior joinery with new systems. LITTLE WINDFLOWER has certainly had plenty of time to prove herself extremely capable at sea but with one of the most charming and cosy interiors you can ever imagine; a real gem. To conclude; lying near St Tropez, the rental of her berth can be made available by separate negotiation with her owner.



LITTLE WINDFLOWER was designed and built in 1889 by William “Foreman” Ferris for Carew Davies Gilbert of Trelissick House, St Feock near Falmouth. Ferris designed her as a larger version of a Falmouth oyster boat of which he had built several including “Harriet” “Five Brothers” and “Florence” (still sailing). His many other vessels include the famous schooner “Rhoda Mary” in 1868, then the fastest schooner in Britain.

Originally she was used by the Gilbert family for fishing and local excursions. In 1913 after Gilbert’ death she was bought by the well known yachting writer and graphic designer Frank Cowper, who fitted her out with a cabin as a sea going yacht. He describes her in his books “Sailing Tours” and “Cruising Sails and Yachting Tales” and found her to be an exceptionally seaworthy yacht.

She had several owners between the wars and for a period was rigged as a ketch. During World War II she was owned by C S Blundell who was to die in a destroyer action in the Aegean in 1942. In 1945 she was bought by the redoubtable Dr T.A.A. Hunter who cruised her extensively and raced – for example in the RORC 1948 Belle Isle Race in which she defied extreme weather conditions to win her class.

Very unfortunately after a Biscay cruise in 1956 she sank in Corunna Harbour and was subsequently sold to George Marlow for a rebuild, crucially replacing the bottom planking with greenheart and renewing the keel and keelson. He spent many years completely renovating WINDFLOWER but never sailed her thanks to a late romance and marriage; instead selling her to John Richardson of the Elephant Boatyard who finished the refit and re-launched her in 1978. John sailed her to the Mediterranean through the Canal du Midi and spent two winters in Palma.

Nick and Elizabeth Temple bought her in June 1986 - and enjoyed sailing her for not quite a quarter of a century before selling her on to her current owner, who had kept her on the Beaulieu River taking her offshore mainly around the South coast of England for a couple of seasons - and sometimes single handed - before taking her out of the water in October 2011 for an extensive restoration. She was kept undercover until 2015 when she was sailed for that season. She then went back into the shed to have work finished and to be relaunched in 2016.

She has subsequently been domiciled in the south of France, much enjoyed by her owner and maintained by her guardian.


REFIT and maintenance 2011 - 2019

- Stripped of deck, bulwarks and superstructure
- All frames, deck beams, beam shelf, keel, keelson, stem, rudder post and deadwood found to be solid, original and left intact
- Subsequently one plank was removed for inspection and was replaced and one frame was partnered in English oak
- A keelbolt was removed and found to be in perfect condition. It was replaced.
- Fastenings checked and removed as needed - and all removed found in perfect condition
- Subsequently any fastening with any evidence of corrosion replaced .(This has since been ongoing)
- Every winter all fastenings are checked and if any corrosion is found, the fastening is replaced
- All seacocks removed and replaced with new in bronze
- Hull faired and the topsides splined
- Painted anew in 2015.

- Original deck beams remain in place with grown oak knees
- New oak deck beams built to support new deck layout
- New Burmese teak decks laid 2015 over epoxy ply substrate
- Superstructure and bulwarks redesigned
- Forward hatch cover, skylight companionway and lazarette hatches rebuilt in Brazilian mahogany
- Cap rail newly constructed of Brazilian mahogany
- All deck fittings in bronze and found good
- Muir electric bronze capstan fitted new

- New rig designed by Theo Rye
- New brushed stainless standing rigging by Spencer Rigging
- Spars replaced with new by Noble masts
- All running rigging replaced in braided polyester
- Bronze and ash blocks provided by Colin Frake
- Sails including jib top and topsail made by SKB Falmouth

- Completely rebuilt in mahogany joinery to a very high standard with modern conveniences
- New cabin sole
- Mahogany paneled bulkheads
- Leather covered berths
- Spanish mahogany table remade comfortably sets 8.

- Engine removed, overhauled and replaced. New shaft then and subsequently in 2019 propeller replaced
- Navigation system Zeus2 installed in 2016
- New stainless fuel tank to port
- Replumbing throughout
- Rewiring and new electricals throughout

- All wood used for the restoration was old stock new wood
- The mahogany used for the superstructure and rails and much of the joinery down below, had been in storage since its import in 1950s

Most of the refit was carried out by Giles Brotherton, an excellent shipwright who had apprenticed, and then worked at Fairlie Restoration on numerous classic yacht restorations before becoming independent to specialise in historic wooden yachts from his yard GB Marine in Southampton
- The rig, rigging and deck plan designed by Theo Rye
- All varnishing and painting was performed by specialists in their field
- Electronics and navigation system were professionally installed

- Replacement internal iron ballast with 3 ton fitted cast lead and painting bilge spaces; 2000
- New 55 hp Volvo Engine; 2002



- Original build on the estate at Roundwood Quay of local oak and American pitch-pine
- Traditional carvel construction of pitch pine on oak frames and green heart bottom planks
- Swept teak deck
- Mahogany superstructure



- Varnished toe rail and capping
- Teak deck swept planking
- Bronze padeyes each side
- Bronze Panama style mooring fairleads each quarter
- Bronze mainsheet horse and padeyes
- Ash cheeked main sheet blocks, some leather cased
- Long oak tiller in bronze boss mounting
- Teak and bronze deck cleats; three each side for main sheet tackle and mooring
- Raised varnished cylindrical lazarette hatch
- Cockpit self draining with teak sole
- Kobalt engine control
- Engine instruments in protected bulkhead fwd
- B&G repeater
- Padeyes and cleats for running backstay rig each side
- Running backstay bronze and ash blocks
- Panama style mooring fairleads for mooring mid deck
- Raised companionway sliding hatch slopes down forward
- Raised butterfly hatch skylight
- 6 x Recessed bronze deck plates for sheet fairleads; 3 each side
- Bronze pinrails by shroudseach side
- Single spreader main mast
- Halyards to ash blocks and pin cleats on mast
- Leather bound mast hoops for mainsail luff
- Bronze anchor windlass offset to stbd with warping drum over gypsy
- Bronze chain hawse
- Raised varnished fore hatch
- Bowsprit - all bronze bottle screws for stays and bobstay
- Panama style mooring fairleads each side forward
- Forestay deck fitting
- Spade main anchor 2020
- 60 m Chain 2020



- Mahogany panelled throughout
-LED lighting throughout
- Access via companionway sliding hatch
- 5 step demountable ladder down over engine compartment aft
- Long generous quarter / pilot berth to stbd
- Very capacious stowage wet locker to port aft

- Wallas diesel stove with hob, heater and blower lid
- Brazilian mahogany lockers and drawers for crockery, pots, utensils and provisions below and outboard
- Fridge
- Ceramic sink with H&C taps

- Ships isolator and switchboard panel
- B&G Zeus plotter and GPS
- Icom VHF M32-30
- Recessed chart table with drawers under

- Large double drop leaf Cuban mahogany dining table on centreline
- Surround leather upholstered settee berth to port, lockers under, shelving outboard
- Long bench leather upholstered settee berth stbd, lockers under
- Butterfly skylight
- Bronze cased deckhead light

- Door in bulkhead to head compartment to port
- Blake Victory ceramicc and bronze manual WC
- Ceramic basin with H&C taps set in varnished mahogany cabinet with drawer and locker
- Hot and cold shower fitting
- Bulkhead light
- Drainage to black and grey tanks
- Tank gauges to stbd
- Chain locker and black tank stbd
- Deck head light in passageway

- Hanging locker to port
- Locker and small desk to stbd
- Double berth
- Water tanks below
- Varnished battens each side
- 2 x Deckhead lights
- Hatch in deck head



Mast and spars in Douglas fir by Noble Spars (2014)
- Single spreader hollow pole mast
- Hollow boom
- Hollow gaff
- Solid bowsprit
- Channelled chain plates in Bronze and stainless and leathered
- All standing rigging replaced 2016 by Spencers in brushed stainless steel

SAILS - all new 2015
- Mainsail
- Jib
- Staysail
- Jib topsail
- Topsail
- (Asymmetric and storm jib available)

- Mainsail boom cover
- Sundry covers and biminis



- Volvo Penta 55HP 4 cylinder indirect cooling 2002 under cockpit
- Single prop driven by direct shaft via Volvo gearbox
- Calorifier (under port settee)

- Charging unit
- Shore power unit
- 2 main domestic batteries 2016
- 1 engine starter battery 2016
- Battery isolators
- Power outlets including USB ports

- All tanks custom made in stainless steel 2016
- Diesel fuel tank; 70 litres
- Fresh water; 200 litres
- Grey water
- Black water



- B&G Zeus2 9 inch navigation platform with WiFi connection
- Repeater in cockpit well
- Masthead VHF
- AIS splitter
- AIS transponder



- Assorted life jackets harnesses and tethers
- Jack stays
- Life ring
- Ladder
- Zodiac tender and Yamaha outboard



1915 Pastel: c/o Steve & Sula Riedlinger


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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Brokerage Of Classic & Vintage Yachts