During my time editing the Hillyard Owners Association
website Corsaro has featured in many guises from
historic passages through the Med as Hishi to her more
recent years as a livaboard on the River Tamar. I am
please to say that following a number of years in
decline she has come into the ownership and caring hands
of Chris and JJ. The early, fact finding stages of her
restoration have provided some sobering images and the
following narrative from her brave new custodians. I
trust all members and others viewing this will offer
their encouragement and hard learned experience, not to
mention contacts to Chris and JJ as they embark on their
Update Corsaro - August 2017
link details the latest progress in the life and
restoration of Corsaro, kindly provided by Chris
Weekend work 4th to 6th November 2016
Hi everyone thank you for your keen interest so far in
the restoration of the Corsaro.
Me and my partner decided to travel our 5hr drive down
to Corsaro after work on Friday night we arrived in
Saltash for 9pm and was met by our friend graham who had
our dinghy while were both at the boat.
Unloaded the car with everything we planned to take
including our new Clarks heavy duty water pump and
carried them down to the pontoon. Loaded everything up
ready to transport out to Corsaro and headed other to
her. The river was a nice flat calm which made it lovely
once we got to the Corsaro we unloaded everything set up
our tent on the bow and got the heater going in the main
cabin with a nice hot cup of tea. And Corsaro
surprisingly gets quite warm which you need with the
bitter cold of the Tamar.
In the mean time before we went down to the boat we have
finished restoring the port and starboard name plates
and started restoring the paint table.
First day Saturday we had a few bits to bring other that
we left with the car loaded them up in the dinghy and
prepared to head back other to Corsaro as were rowing
back other we making good progress one boat away from
Corsaro the rollick that positions the oars to the
dinghy on JJ side snapped on us and went into the sea
and we started to drift out. Made a phone call to couple
of people got hold of Tim the previous owner of Corsaro
who dropped everything to come to us with his boat as
were a drift down the Tamar passed a police patrol boat
who we tried to flag down but they just waved and sailed
on eventually Tim got to us which by this point were
under the Tamar bridge but got picked up took back to
Once back on deck after the chaos of the morning had a
cuppa and set up the new pump to suck the bilge out as
we heard of what was sitting inside the Billie which is
not pleasant. So we soaked it out in matter of minutes
with our high pressure pump and then sucked water in
from the sea filled the bilge up again and then pumped
back out we did a couple of times and then left the
bilge with some sea water in overnight.
After levelling the bilge we started on our next job
scrapping some of the barnacles of the hull and see
exactly how bad the damage is on the sides that need
replacing. With scrapping the hull we used a sharp hoe
on an extendable pole and cleaned the port side of her
and as we going along checking the condition of the
lower planks were able.
Checked the conditions of the mooring ropes which we
already bought 4 new ones and new shackles which was a
good call seen as one of the stern lines is close to
snapping. Good job we got new ones been put on her.
The following morning while the tide was flat calm we
started to scrape the starboard side of Corsaro removing
some massive muscles from her side that went quite far
down. Once scraped she had risen out of the water quite
a bit and seen as since we took owner ship she has risen
a good 8in to 10 in out of the water and sits better.
One of the main points of this trip was to clean her
hull best we can without beaching her. Check condition
of things clean the bilge and toilet out and get
measurements of the stern section ready to manufacture
the protective frame that’s going up while her deck is
Only a quick flying visit but plenty more to come with
more progress to come. Including the reinstatement of
original features and bringing Corsaro back to her forma
Chris and JJ
Chris and JJ write;
Hi for the past week me and my partner
Julie-Ann ( JJ ) have spent the last week clearing the
deck and all the areas on board Corsaro to see exactly
what we are dealing with and some original features have
been discovered. Including a special roo thats survived.
Other than looking really rough in places
she is not in bad condition. Her frames are in good
condition and and her sides baring in the 2 top planks
and the deck.
However some sad discoverers have been made
the running lights have been removed. Anchor is long
gone. And the original bed in the aft cabin complete
wreck. Was quite a week and removed over 2 tons worth of
rubbish and corsaro is now sitting higher in the water.
But before we went for the week i restored
one of the original name plates.
Chris and JJ
If there are any Hillyarders out there
with information about Corsaro nuggets of information
regarding products and services, particularly in the
local area please send them through to me or use the
Yahoo blog, with thanks... Yours Aye Guy
Two & a Half-Ton Sloop
From thoroughly dedicated
Having sold Sequoiah our 12 ton Hillyard in 2011 we were
hoping to enjoy
the use of the wooden S&S 'Sage' for some years to
come and that this
would be the only wooden boat we would have to
look after but a rather fateful telephone call yesterday
Lucas in Dartmouth alerted us to the 1933 21/2 tonner
'May' in need of a
good home and currently lying somewhat dejected in
Darthaven Marina. Having tracked down the current owner
permission to go and have a look see, with a prodder and
trekked down to the marina.
See photo attached.
The deck canvas has lifted everywhere the rigging loose
and baggy (but
with some nicely varnished spars), more paint on the
inside than i could
ever have imagined, but the diesel engine did turnover
and some reasonably clean and useful sails inside the boat
(not sure she
has had any sails up in present ownership) A number of
but surprisingly few soft patches we have agreed a
sale price and will be taking her over shortly.
Now to find somewhere to keep her and then try and work
out what to do
Will keep you posted and you better reinstate my
membership so perhaps
you could send me details.
(Oh and send for the men in the white coats)
Zahura - Two & a Half
Hi there folks,
Thanks for getting back
to me, it’s very much appreciated. I’d be delighted to
join the Yahoo area. Just send me the link to join and
I’m there! I saw all the info on the site, and she is
I’d love to know a bit
more about her history and especially how she came to
get to the far North of Scotland! The guy that had her
in Inverness unfortunately died last year before I got
her, so I cant trace any info that way.
I won’t be beginning
the restoration until later in the year, but she has
been covered up nicely to conserve her in the condition
she is currently in.
I’ve just finished
restoring a Stella yacht for my father, and have
restored and built a few clinker sailing dinghys so it
should be easy enough to take on this job, although it
is the first carvel boat I’ll have worked on.
I’ve attached a few
pics of her that I took before putting the cover in
place to show you what state its in(which aint too bad
really). She was purchased initially for the engine, a
Yanmar 1gm10, that was removed and installed into the
Stella. She is way too gorgeous to cut up though, as my
old man suggested!! I simply couldn’t do that!
I will do her up and
put either the Dolphin engine out of the Stella in her,
or a Seagull outboard on a bracket on the stern.
She is Bermudan rigged,
and I need to know the length of the mast to replace or
repair it when the time comes.
to hear from you again soon,
Little Hillyard For Restoration
I want to sale my small boat to a boat-lover who will take
the time to
She seriously needs to be mended, after 15 years in a
The constructor was David Hillyard.
Lenght : 2, 46 meters or 8.07 ft
Width : 1, 20 meters or 3,93 ft.
Can you tell me if you know the story of this boat ?
How much can I ask for ?
I live in Brittany in south Finistere, close to Fouesnant
and Port La Foret.
She was previously owned by a family of Douarnenez
(close to my home) and
they use her only to go to the Tristan Island, a few meters
off the coast.
Thanks for your reply.
Spartan - A Very Special Little Hillyard
Neil Greenfield writes
I hope you
are well and thank
you for the mail.
Hope you had a
sure she is planked in mahognay, which have been swaged
and the ribs are
either oak or ash, with knees in i think oak.
The decking was
ply, which i assume is not orginal.
enclosed some pictures, please let me know if you want
She has an island
sailing club ( Cowes IOW ) burgee on her bow.. might
I am hoping for a
simpathic restoration, and my feeling is she has been
'buggered' about with, in term of seating and furniture,
so any help would be great.
Waterwitch - 4 ton - 1935
Nigel Sherratt writes
Some pictures of work on
'Waterwitch' at Alan Staley's yard in Faversham that
might be useful for the site. I've compressed them but
can send the originals if needed. Stuart Turner
P66D engine (1970s) taken out and donated to a
good home and work started on the hull and filling in
the prop cut-out. The stern tube and bearing could
not be removed and have been cut off flush and
filled with epoxy (photo 40, 43). The hull is mostly in
good shape but some damage from clumsy caulking at
the stern requires splining and a big lump of
epoxy justifies a new section of one plank. The
copper 'tingle' patch (photos 38, 43) is
interesting. Like something out of a Giles cartoon to my
eyes but not a surprise to Alan Staley. I have seen a
similar repair to the floor of a greengrocer's in
Greenwich using a piece of zinc. Photographs by Tim who
is doing most of the work.
Nutmeg - 9 Ton
GIROUETTE - 4 Ton -
A recent visit to
Emsworth recently resulted in a chance meeting
with Nick Gates who owns and runs Nick Gates
& Co, a traditional workshop that
specializes in wooden boat repair and
restoration. Although looking at another
Hillyard he very kindly showed me Girouette
who's images below tell virtually the whole
story, but as I know you Hillyarders like a
Girouette has been in the same family for nearly
50 years. She was first worked on by Nick Gates
when she was taken to Combes Boatyard for
restoration in the early 1990s. Following the
closure of the yard, she was laid up for nine
years. She is now being fully restored, with
work including new deck, interior and engine.
trained at the International Boatbuilding Training
College in Lowestoft, Suffolk, from 1986-7
before joining the renowned Combes
Boatyard in Bosham, West Sussex, in 1987. He
remained with the yard until its closure in 1999,
latterly working as slipway manager, and then set
up Nick Gates & Co (formerly Southbourne
For Services that can get you
Hillyard looking like this please contact:-
Nick Gates & Co
Unit B, Thornham Marina, Emsworth, Hampshire. PO10
Tel: 07957 422941; Email:
Be inspired by this
first class restoration and superbly presented website http://www.mariposa-hillyard.co.uk/
John Casey writes;
I own a Hillyard called
Bunty. Ive been perusing through your site and found her
on the "List" with her details along with another boat
Joy. I bought her in 1999 and rebuilt her through the
years to 2008 when she was launched in the july. I have
her history from 1978 but would like to track down further
details. Do you have any hints on tracking down history or
have details in your records please? I sail her out of Skegness
Yacht Club on the east coast of Lincolnshire. Enclosed is
a pic took off the sandbanks south of skegness in 2010
Bunty (Joy 2) 1927 6 Ton
Your members may be interested to hear about Girouette,
a 3 ton 1936 Hillyard that we are currently restoring. She
has been owned by the French family for forty-odd years,
and her restoration started back in the mid eighties at
Burnes Shipyard in Bosham. That yard closed just as most
of the boat had been dismantled, and she was moved to
Combes Boatyard, also in Bosham, where I worked from 1987
until its closure in 1999. During that time she was almost
completely reframed, the ballast keel was removed, the
wooden keel and garboards replaced. A new pine T&G
deck was fitted, traditionally canvassed, and trimmed in
Brazilian mahogany. She was relaunched and kept in a
mudberth for a few years.
When Combes closed in 1999, I moved her by road to
Thornham Marina, Emsworth, where she was stored outside,
but well covered, for the next nine years. During this
time I have established my own business maintaining and
restoring wooden boats, many of which are ex-Combes
This spring we stopped up Giroutte’s dried-out hull, and
relaunched her into the marina pool where she stayed
afloat (after a fashion!) for most of this summer. In the
autumn we put her in the workshop, and have removed the
now-rotten canvas deck covering. We have fitted an
interface of plywood and have sheathed the deck in epoxy
and glass cloth, giving a ‘canvas look’. To complete
Girouette we will be fitting a new interior, engine, and
refurbishing the mast and spars. Apart from the deck, we
have a ‘no plywood’ policy with this type of restoration,
and by using a wealth of family photographs will return
her to her appearance of fifty years ago.
If any of your members are in the Chichester area they
are more than welcome to pop into the workshop for a
hello. If its tea break they may even be lucky!
There are some pictures of Girouette on our website,
listed at the foot of the page. I do hope you find this
information of interest.
She floats! Petmar hardly took in any water, and only a
few dribbles remain. She is floating way above her
waterline, as we have removed all the internal ballast.
What a relief, and the beginning of a new stage of the
3rd August 2009
After 5 months hard work on Petmar, we are relaunching
her tomorrow morning! Thank you all for your advice and
support during the first phase of her restauration. Next
up, cabin sole, galley and recovering the cabin top, with
some deck sanding, painting and varnishing thrown in.
Will post photos when I get a minute. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hillyards/
Suffice to say she looks like a different boat now, with
her new paint!
2nd July 2009
Work on Petmar is progressing well. All the planking
that needed doing at the stern is done, and we will soon
be moving on to the ribs. As you can see from the most
recent photographs uploaded in the album, paint is
beginning to cover the bare planks, and she is looking
much much better.
We got a helping hand from Bernard, a shipwright who
stopped in Boulogne for a couple of days, for the longuest
plank that needed doing. We had to bring the new one quite
a way because an anode bolted on the hull had caused the
old plank to crack all the way through. Once that was
done, the hole in the stern really began to close up, and
suddenly she looked like less of a wreck.
The kindness and enthusiasm of several people has really
made a difference. Someone here who owns a boat and who I
barely know gave me a brass diesel tank and some other
odds and ends from his old boat, which saved me from
buying that! People get all enthusiastic seeing a wooden
boat being repaired, and ask all sorts of questions. They
aren't as common in France as I think they are in England,
and the first query is "are you recaulking her?" It seems
thats all they know about wooden boats here, that they
need caulking. Actually, Petmar's caulking is in tip-top
condition, not showing its age at all, so all we have to
do is replace it where it has been removed around new
planking. We are repaying the seams though. The mastic in
there was plain linseed oil putty I think, and had
hardened and cracked. Being replaced with red lead putty.
Only the starboard side left!
On another note, there is a classic yacht festival in
Boulogne from the 11th of July to the 14th (for the
Bastille day celebrations), with tall ships, sail fishing
boats, music on the quayside and plenty of food and drink.
I will be present on Geoff the shipwright's boat
Coppernob(1959 East Anglian). If anyone would like to come
for the festival and enjoy the free mooring, drinks and
meal on the Saturday night, let me know and I can fill in
and send of the form for you, seeing as this is very short
notice. (information requested: Boat name, type, size,
year, number of people on bord-for meal tickets-, and any
special features). It would be lovely to see some other
Hillyards in the flesh (or wood!), and of course meet the
Best wishes to all, hope you are enjoying the lovely
weather we have had recently,
Petmar arrived safely in Boulogne and the hull is almost
striped of all paint. The boat was emptied of all the
accumulated stuff and the rusted balast removed. As the
paint comes off it is wonderful to be able to view the
beautiful planking and imagine all the work that went into
it. Also, it allows my favourite shipwright and myself to
identify problem areas and take a look at some of the old
repairs. Most were of very high standard, with diamond
pieces graved in so neatly! It is nice to see that someone
cared for her a great deal. I personally have a softspot
for the Elm half heart-shaped rudder! We have soaked it in
linseed oil and wrapped it up to prevent cracking.
Unfortunately, it is this area (the stern) which
concentrates most of the work, with one spot of rot going
straight through the hull. Good job we didnt prod that one
too much when she was on the water! Those bits of planking
will be replaced. Reading the posts on rot caused by
electrolysis, it seems that that is what as happened in
some places, with old repairs simply rotting and the rot
spreading. There were three anodes on Petmar: two on the
rudder straps and one diretly on the hull. I will probably
get rid of all when she goes back on the water and see how
she fares without. Friend here has a wooden boat with no
anodes and the prob/prop shaft etc seem to be doing ok. We
are just careful to unplug the boat as soon as we are not
She will be going into the shed on Friday for the hull
repairs, so the real work is about to begin!
All in all though, the more I work on her the more I
like her, the cabins look better with all the junk out and
the badly designed galley sink in the tip (someone added a
sink on a pedestal at right angles to the original galley,
which greatly reduced the space inside and looked
rubbish). I can actually see the boat now, and I have
spent some time down there daydreming already! I have the
feeling I will spend many an hour simply admiring the
beauty of the wood and the craftsmanship. I am one happy
On another subject, does anyone happen to have the details
of the people who owned her for 40 years or their family? I
though they might like to receive some news of their boat
and perhaps be relieved to know that she is being restored.
Many thanks again for all your comments above,
Update - Monday 27th April 2009
Greetings to all!
Work is progressing fast thanks to the nice weather and
the shipwright friend (can never thank him enough!).
Unfortunately the chandlery that was supposed to lend us
their hydraulic cradle on wheels decided that they wouldnt
at the last minute so work is being done outside on the
hard. This has led us to reorganise the schedule somewhat
as the sun beats down hard and there is barely any shade.
The hull is drying out and seams opening. To delay this I
have already applied the primer and first coat of white
above the waterline and will be learning how to repay
seams this week to get the paint on below the waterline
Meanwhile, Geoff (the shipwright), has been getting on
with the stern, which is really why I have come for your
experience and advice today.
The area aroung the stern tube is completely rotten.
This includes planking and the horn timer. Some repairs
were made before, but only to the outside. As the whole
area is open and accessible, I am considering replacing
the stern tube for a stainless one to avoid electrolytic
damage in the future. This would also mean replacing the
rudder shaft and straps as well as the stearing fitting at
the top, as galvanised and stainless just do not mix. The
original stern tube is not badly corroded. The dilemna
really is that there is limited time and getting such
things made can take ages, simply because everything needs
to be fitted exactly right and it will take a fair bit of
time to be made. Also it will cost be quite a lot.
Has anyone else who has had this problem with the tube
fitted a new one? If you haven't, have problems in this
area occured again after replacing the rot?
For the moment I am leaning towards the do not replace
side of the argument, and will probably keep the original
tube if thats what seems to be the general trend. We will
replace the wood and rebed the tube and hope for the best.
Thanks to all,
The twelve ton Hillyard Antipodes has now been laid up
ashore for three years with little time for the owner to
work on it as he is in the business! At present the
cockpit and tanks are stripped out, plus the rudder stock
tube and exhaust hull fitting. The tanks may well be
rebuilt by Tektanks. While the ironwork has been partially
and incorrectly replaced by a friend of a friend. Not such
a good idea after all! Summer '09 afloat may be wishful
thinking but Summer '10 is a must.
The owner Jonathan is on 01243-512494 for advice help
Jonathan has over 40 years of sailing experience and
recalls David Hillyard from 1962/63 when his father was
negotiating with him for 'Permission' to but a new boat.
Jonathan, please can you drop me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
as I am working from a photocopy with some missing print
and want to make sure all the above is correct.
Balboa Yacht Club, Amador, Republic of
Charlie is a 1960's Hillyard yacht under restoration in
the Republic of Panama, where a top class wooden boat
industry is being developed. Using skilled wooden boat
shipwrights and superb local timbers at excellent prices,
the boat is being given a face-lift. Originally, the
Fernweh, that sailed from California to Balboa in the
Republic of Panama, she had fallen into disrepair and was
about to be scuttled until bought by Panama Yachting
Services S.A. for restoration In March on the railway of
the Balboa Yacht Club the hull was restored and painted
and much of the deck replaced. With new mahogany planking,
caulking, new pine decking under plywood the hull was made
sound and she got fresh paint. A second time on railway
concentrated on a new deck house and the interior. She is
on her way to becoming a top quality Hillyard yacht again.
Still to come are teak floors and a teak deck, made from
Panama's local teak supplied by Panateak S.A.
The work on LETONA was very slow in getting started but
now that the professionals are involved things have moved
on apace. About 30m of mahogany planking has been replaced
with oversized fastenings in the original frame holes.
That was a job best left to the professionals, who will
also caulk the new seams. I will plug the nailhead holes
and pay the seams with putty, rub down and paint the
entire hull: topsides, boot-topping and antifouling. I
also have to replace a small section of the af terdeck and
somehow cover that with the same kind of synthetic canvas
that sheathes the rest of the decks.I have to fit new
chainplates which I have had made, re-glue the mast
sections and attach the standing rigging. All the
brightwork needs sanded and re-varnished, there is a
splendid Taylor paraffin stove which needs a thorough
clean and polish. The Baby Blake head and the 12hp Petter
both need servicing, the stern gland re-packed, water and
diesel tanks drained and cleaned, new carpets and cusions
made and fitted, rewiring and some internal joinery and a
lot of painting and varnishing.
After a fit-out for the 2009 season she should be ready
to go! There's nothing to it...
Twenty years ago I persuaded my friend Howard Nixon to
partner me on the restoration of a tiny little cutter
called TEXA, which had been under a tarpaulin on the beach
at Tayvallich in Argyll for as long as anyone could
remember. The project took us nine months – that’s another
story – but I am happy to say that TEXA is still very much
in use, and that Howard and I are still friends.
Having spent the last few seasons skipping around Loch
Sween in a petrol-powered Shetland, I was beginning to
have notions about returning to the glory of sail. I was
half-looking at GKs and Sonatas, thinking how much fun my
family could have off Scotland’s west coast in something
fast, safe and comfortable enough for overnight stops,
without having to worry too much about maintenance.
I don’t spend much time on the internet, but have been
occasionally compelled to scour the Projects section of
boatsandoutboards.co.uk in the vain hope that something
very useful might be going very cheap, very close to home.
And in June, it was. FREE TO A GOOD HOME the advert
announced – seducing me into clicking for more
The last thing on my mind was another wooden boat in
need of restoration, but sometimes one must listen to the
heart, rather than the head. A Hillyard 9-tonner awaited a
new owner, 15 miles away in Ardfern. We went to look at
her. All I could picture was the image of her anchored off
Tiree sent to me by the heartbroken but pragmatic owners.
All my wife Mandy could picture were the other images sent
by email: sections of planking missing from sheer to
waterline on both sides, afterdeck removed and hood ends
sprung from the sternpost. All our daughter Niamh could
picture was a vision of herself at the helm, dressed as a
pirate captain and muttering nautical nonsense. She’s
eight. We had a week’s holiday in Cornwall (where it is
almost impossible to escape from boats) during which Mandy
agreed to let Howard assess the project’s viability, and
to be guided by his opinion. Well, you’re reading this in
the HOA Newsletter, so we reached the right decision.
LETONA has now been moved to A&R Way’s boatyard in
Lochgilphead, where I will work on her as time,
inclination and money allow. There’s a lot to do, but I’m
confident that I can do most of the work myself. If I get
really stuck I can call on the professionals, and I will
certainly be very grateful for handy hints from Hillyard
Letona on The Road
Gallant Maid is currently being restored by John
Hamilton and June Cockton at the River Brede Moorings,
Rye, East Sussex. All being well the plan is to have her
back in the water by the spring 2008. As you can see by
the photos punctuating this article there has been plenty
of hard work put in to the project to date. June and John
write, "I'm sure lots of other Hillyard Owners will only
understand to well the love they have for their boats.
Love, sweat and tears....."
" Who says Hillyards can't fly...." A photo of Gallant
Maid being craned from the hard standing at her moorings
to a nearby field whilst work was carried out By the
Environment Agency on local flood defences. Note the
trustee tyre on her bow that kept her covers on throughout
the recent bad weather.
A further picture shows John ' King of the Corkers (sic.
Caulkers) hard at work.
I am sure all Hillyard Owners reading this will offer
their best wishes and support to this fine looking
Please see For Sale and News pages for more details or via email@example.com
Detailed below is a request form member Xavier Kormann
owner of 9 Tonner Sarkl who is currently based in France
We are French and we own a 12 ton sloop build in
1964 .Is name is SARKL. We complete restored the
boat: 60% of the hull is new,we used 5000 copper rivet,we
also changed the decks and roofs.
I like to change the portholes but I have
difficulty finding them. Maybe would you be kind to
help me for the search. They can be in stainless steel or
brass. The dimensions are 600 x 200 4 units and 400
x 200 4 units
Thanks you in advance
Please contact Xavier via firstname.lastname@example.org
Please follow the attached link to see some stunning
restoration images and associated story. An inspiration
from new member Arne Sylvester - http://sylvig.dk
Owner - Will Fennell
Just to let you know my plan for my lovely little
hillyard 2.5! Last year I purchased Alice, believed to be
1936, but definately a Hillyard 2.5. She was owned by the
secretary at Aldeburgh boat Yard, Suffolk, where I am a
boat builder. She hasn't been afloat for 3 years but I am
in the process of giving her a quick spruce up so i can
enjoy a summer with her for the first time.
At the Aldeburgh Boat Yard we specialize in classic
restoration, mainly in the meter boat classes. Recent
projects include 8 meter 'If', 6 meters Maida, Jo, Abu and
Houri. 5 meter 'Indian', 50 sq seafart cruiser 'Hiltgund'
and Alfred Mylne yawl 'Gudgeon'. Yard owner Peter Wilson
is also currently building a modern (wood composite) 8
meter for himself.
A quick look over 'Alice' reveals that although she is a
delightful little boat, she suffers from what I am told is
a common problem in the 2.5 ton class, that of low
standard joinery and general finishing. The hull however
is in superb condition. The entire back bone is sound, no
cracked timbers or floors and all well fastened.
Therefore my plan for winter 2006 is to 'lift her lid!'
and replace the deck, coach roof and any deck beams which
refuse to part company with the current, rather flimsy
deck. I also plan to fit a very small inboard diesel
engine with offset prop, and maybe if my budget and spare
time will stretch to it, a hollow wooden mast.
I was pondering replacing the coach roof from the moment
i got Alice, but I was swayed when the current owners of
the afore mentioned Mylne yawl 'Gudgeon' handed me a Tesco
bag with 4 bronze port holes in it! Not only are they
simply fantastic to look at, they were the 1920 originals
from gudgeon which the surveyor rejected during the
restoration, despite having twice been trans Atlantic! So
Alice having square windows, of course needs a new lid to
fit round ones, decision made!
I will endeavour to keep you informed with words and
pictures during next winter and of course if you or any
other HOA members are in Aldeburgh please feel free to
drop in. There is always something interesting going on!
Aldeburgh Boat Yard Co Ltd.
I'm not sure whether to call this project a restoration?
I think a project becomes a restoration when and if the
deck comes off the boat and in this case I have stopped
just short of that!
I took Alice out of the water when the very expensive
bilge pump I installed which was keeping her afloat packed
up. Having sailed the entire summer with a more than damp
bilge I started to get an idea of what I was in for this
As soon as Alice was out of the water I took the
opportunity to drop the keel off. All the nuts came off
the bolts with no real problem and before the boat was dry
from her scrub the keel was on the floor. The hard crumbly
layer of white lead stuck to the bearing surface of the
keel showed immediately the cause of the wet bilge. what
was probably a good soft seal between lead keel and wood
keel 70 years ago is now a chocolate tea pot.
After giving the keel bolts some welly on the anvil they
showed no sign of deterioration or metal fatigue so will
be reused in the spring. With no room for Alice in the
shed I have had to build a tent over her outside. This has
worked really well so far standing up to a nearly full
The first job in the tent was removing the coach roof.
this was quite quick and was shortly followed by the
cockpit and 3 bulkheads. All have been kept in one piece
for patterning because they were nicely fitted but very
I started stripping the layers and layers of paint from
the cockpit area and when I had done so I had a good poke
at the areas susceptible to rot. I found the usual water
logged timber ends and some over generous use of sitka
flex on the hood ends, but the real heart sinker was the
stern knee. From my short season sailing Alice i knew
there was a leak from somewhere around there. Some good
poking with a screwdriver showed the stern knee and floor
on it to be very soft indeed. I decided I would never get
a better opportunity to replace it, so out it must come.
The 5 bronze bolts all came out easily bar one, which had
to be drilled out. lots of screws were taken out of the
planking near the hood ends, and after some grunt with a
prise bar the knee popped out.
I'm glad I did take it out because all the bolts holding
it in fell apart on the anvil, the stern post was behind
the knee was wet and the knee itself had seen much better
days. The stern post is now drying out nicely and I have
made a new knee. when I am satisfied everything has dried
out well and I have done the necessary work on the hood
ends I will fit the new knee and repaired floor. I will
fasten with new bronze bolts and bed on sikaflex.
I will try to keep you up to date. Sorry about the
essay, please feel free to edit where you feel necessary!
6th November 2006
Quick update on Alice. All floors have been removed,
repaired and refastened, mast compression post removed and
replaced with ring frame to free up cabin space, complete
repaint inside, all seams cleaned out underwater, timber
ends replaced where neccessary.
4th July 2007
Owner - Steve Langdon
My wife and I were smitten by the Allan Lindsay's
lovely lines when we first got a glimpse of her at the
Poole Yacht Club on a cold day in April of this year after
driving down from Cambridge to have a look at her. The Allan
Lindsay, a Canoe stern 6 tonner, (28 feet, beam
7ft7in, draft 5 feet, bermudan) with a centre cockpit
built in 1957 of mahogany on oak, had been slowly
deteriorating at her berth in Poole for the last eight
years and was now up for sale.
Despite our growing panic at the amount of rot we found
and our inexperience (The Allan Lindsay is our first
boat), we were determined to have her. An offer was made
and accepted, and, with the encouragement of Michael
Walden, Commodore of the Hillyard Association and many
others. we began the restoration of the Allan Lindsay
Owner - Geoff Winter
Walden suggested during his visit that I contribute
some notes for the newsletter on what I have been doing
during what has turned into a very long drawn-out refit.
Much of the work has been intended to make her more
efficient both under sail and under power, particularly if
short-handed: in part due to the competition for space on
the water these days: also to reduce maintenance in what
is quite a sever climate. The changes to her general
appearance and character are minimal.
As I do nearly all the work myself I use materials and
fittings which I think are most suitable or which can be
adapted. Also, I keep a lookout for things which may come
in useful (an inherited habit!). I have a Davey & Co.
catalogue of the 1920's and it is clear where BRYNHILDR's
fittings came from - how easy it was in those days. Not
just in those days, a few years ago a local galvaniser
lost two bollards and Davey & Co. were able to supply
identical replacements. I have recycled as much original
timber, and used existing holes in the structure where
possible. I have also used plywood where appropriate (e.g.
for hatch covers and locker bases).
Built 1933 to my later father's order and brief
specification. From memory I think he said the cost was
£760 (of which about £100 was for the engine and £5 for
the dinghy - 10 Shillings per foot!) ready for sea. I
still have the dinghy, but rarely use it.
1933 - 1957: West Coast of Scotland
1957: Shipped from Port Glasgow to Sydney, Australia
following the families relocation in 1955.
1957 - mid 1970's: Sydney Harbour, mostly weekend sailing.
Mid 1970's to date - maintenance only initially, then
major refit with occasional use under power. The longest
period out of the water has been about six weeks.
Some years ago I increased the efficiency of the rudder
by almost eliminating the gap between rudder and transom,
slightly reducing the propeller aperture in the rudder
blade, and tapering the training edge of the blade. I can
thoroughly recommend this for transom hung rudders.
Last year I made a tiller lock, which seems to work well
but required a new tiller. A 10mm nylon hole attached to
each toerail, passes through a series of five 10mm holes
or eyes in a fitting built into the tiller about two
handbreadths from the end. Numbering these hole or eyes
from one to five: 1& 5 are holes in brass cheek plates
recessed into each side of the tiller, 3 is a fixed eye in
the centre, and 2 & 4 are eyes on a block which is
moved fore or aft by a rod threaded in a knob (in effect a
nut) on the end of the tiller. Turning the knob, which
draws eyes 2 & 4 towards the tiller end jams the
I had thought for a long time that BRYNHILDR was rather
tender considering her hull shape. I have lowered the
centre of gravity if the internal ballast. The effect was
noticeable even when moored, confirmed under sail 9th
Spars and Standing Rigging:
The spars are original: the boom and gaff were shortened
in 1935 when a cloth was taken off the leech of the
mainsail. The mast was unnecessarily tall; I have taken
2ft-6in off the head and lowered the hounds 5ft (but not
the forestay). Backstays now give additional support to
the forestay terminating just inboard of the toerails
about 5ft 6in aft of the mast on travellers on a stainless
steel bar, controlled from the cockpit. I studied
published designs and many books, from Dixon Kemp and
Claud Worth to Tom Cunliffe before making any changes.
A new polyester mainsail, not as high peaked as the
original, is now in use, and a 1960's flax staysail. I
have fitted two of the original three tan cotton jibs with
hanks. A stay, to which a jib is now hanked, is attached
to a bowsprit traveller. The geometry of the rig enables
the stay to be set up taut by the outhaul. The jib can be
set, or lowered and held down by a downhaul, from the
mast. The jibs never had as much use as the other sails;
even after sixty seven years they still have a pleasant
aroma when warmed by the sun.
All halyards and sheets (except headsails at present)
are synthetic. Headsail halyards are low-stretch rope;
small winches for these have been fitted to the boom
gooseneck mast bands. The throat halyard now has a single
block with becket at the gaff instead of a double, which
gives the same purchase as peak halyard. Coiling away
after setting sail is now much quicker.
The above is a brief outline of some of the work done so
far. If any members would like additional information,
whether mentioned here or not, they are welcome to contact
Owner - Joel
Howdy Hillyards association, found your website a while
back and it has been great to look through the pictures
and info. Especially to see some of the restoration
projects. I have just recently purchased a Hillyard 9
tonner. She is in North Carolina and I live in New
Hampshire so I plan to move down there to work on her this
upcomming winter. She has been out of the water for 8
years and needs a whole lot of love. I'm really excited
for this project and fell in love with the boat when i
went down to visit her. I guess I just wanted to let you
know about this project that im so excited for. If you
want to post the pictures of the restoration on the site
that would be cool. I have a ton of pictures as she sets
Take care Joel
Joel's 9 Ton Hillyard