Lovely old 32ft yacht for sale in northern Germany – but who built her and when?

1930 30ft yacht for sale

32ft yacht for sale 32ft yacht for sale

This lovely old gaff-rigged 32ft sailing yacht is for sale by a friend of reader and contributor Hans-Christian Rieck – but who built her and when?

The owner has no documents relating to her construction and would love to know more if anyone can help. Is she a Hillyard dating from 1930, as the owner suspects?

Read more here, but if you’re German language is a bit rough, stand ready to use Google Translate.


Nick Gates & Co, of Thornham Marina

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scods2 scod


From top: Lady May;  SCODs ; and Girouette

Nick Gates & Co is a traditional workshop based at Thornham Marina, near Emsworth in Hampshire.

Set up in 1999 by boatbuilder Nick Gates, the company specialises in the repair and restoration of wooden boats and looks after a wide range of craft, from clinker dinghies, to classic racing yachts, steam launches and gentleman’s motor yachts.

Nick trained at the International Boatbuilding Training College in Lowestoft before joining the renowned Combes Boatyard in Bosham, where he worked until the yard closed in 1999.

Boats being worked on in the yard at the moment include Lady May, a 1930s Camper & Nicholson launch, which came to the yard for finishing and to have its interior put back in, and Girouette, a Hillyard-built boat that has been in the same family for nearly 50 years.

Partially restored by Combes in the early 1990s, she has since been laid up, and is now at Nick Gates & Co for a new deck, interior and engine.

Nick also specialises in the Nicholson-designed, 26ft South Coast One-Design (SCOD), and in recent years five of the local fleet have visited the workshop. The jobs carried out on these boats have included a total rebuild, new decks and coachroof, external varnishwork and mast repairs.

For more information see the company’s very nice website at

This page from the site might be particularly interesting to anyone who has been interested in the progress of Gadfly II – note the strong resemblance.

A pleasant episode on the Swale

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From the top – three photos of Steve Taylor’s 1923 Hillyard,
Dorma, followed by one of Alan Thorne’s double-ender,
Nissa. As usual, click on the photos for larger images

After posting about a seriously long voyage a moment ago, I thought I’d share some photos from a remarkably short one. On a nearly windless morning, Bob Telford, Steve Taylor and I motored Steve’s Dorma down the creek and tried to sail for an hour or so before the tide got too low to allow her back.

It was a delightful short trip, and I think we would all have happily sailed like that all day – going nowhere very much, but far from anything remotely like work or the trials of everyday life.

We almost had the sea to ourselves – but not quite, for Alan Thorne and his partner and kids followed us out in his Swedish double-ender Nissa. Naturally, we took the opportunity to take a few shots, and here they are.

I’m the geezer in the fetching yellow bouyancy aid, by the way, and Steve is the chap at the tiller with a sailing barge in the background. I’m not very clear why Bob’s nowhere to be seen but I think he may have been wrestling with the Primus stove at the time. I remember a welcome cup of coffee arrived some considerable time later.

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