1904/1989 Gaff cutter, Fife design, Ed Burnet sailplan for the purist classic sailor for sale

Solent, United Kingdom

£56,000 GBP

1904/1989 Gaff cutter, Fife design, Ed Burnet sailplan for the purist classic sailor
General information
1904/1989 Gaff cutter, Fife design, Ed Burnet sailplan for the purist classic sailor
Used sail boat for sale
£56,000 GBP
Price comment
Offers considered
Name of boat
William Fife III design, CP Kunhardt developed a GL Watson inspired rig. 2010 Ed Burnet new sailplan
Length overall
17.98 metres
Length waterline
10.97 metres
Length on deck
12.50 metres
2.74 metres
2.44 metres
Air draft
18.29 metres
18,000 kg
Wood, carvel, plank-on-edge
Full Keel
Solent, United Kingdom

About this 1904/1989 Gaff cutter, Fife design, Ed Burnet sailplan for the purist classic sailor


AEOLUS is an astonishing throwback to the earliest days of yachting, yet she’s a thoroughly practical, easily handled classic yacht with the old world charm and amazing looks so that people love sailing on this characterful cutter.

A gentleman’s cruiser racer – what is there not to like here? AEOLUS’s lines and dimensions, especially her draft, makes her is a lot of fun and fast enough for the classic circuit. Her volume below – with standing headroom almost throughout - means she can accommodate and cruise a family and crew in one of the most charming and cosy interiors you can ever imagine. A total restoration and modest price does render AEOLUS a contender both as a family yacht and / or to race in the prestigious Vintage Gaff Class.

Go to aeolus1904.com for full videos, photos, details etc.


For racing Aeolus works best with a crew of eight working closely together to handle the seven sails we use in light winds. Crew members, both experienced and new to the waves, love sailing the boat as it produces a marvellous team spirit. when setting sails. belaying the many ropes and moving around the deck as a cohesive team simply adds to the pleasure of sailing her. Aeolus has attracted many modern boat sailors to experience the more elegant and calm approach of classic yacht racing. The current owner has particularly enjoyed the generous support in the early days in learning from other boat owners and then developing his own style to introduce people to traditional sailing and running the crew as a team.

Look at the video of the Round the Island Race below.

Sailplan - see

Sails Maker Luff Area Age Condition

length m sq m

Main SKB 5.3 56 2010 good

Staysail SKB 7.3 13 2010 good

Jib SKB 10.8 22 2010 good

Maintop SKB 10 16 2013 good

Jib top small James Lawrence 10.5 20 2012 good

Jib top large James Lawrence 12.9 23 2012 good

No 1 or Yankee James Lawrence 15.5 29 2016 good

Asymetric spinnaker 15 94 2011 good

Second hand from a J120, lightweight cloth

History and condition


Aeolus was originally built in 1904 in San Diego California, to a William Fife III design and CP Kunhardt developed a GL Watson inspired rig. She was owned and raced locally successfully and later was used for chartering. Skipper was Capt Tony Carter

Aeolus spent a number of years laid up in San Francisco Bay in the 1970s & 1980s.

Rebuild 1989

She was rebuilt by Eric Ashford, a well regarded shipwright, in 1989 as an exact replica with the keelson as the only original timber. Douglas fir planks, doubled to the waterline with light timber frames of white American oak, fir planks for the topsides, triple layered decking finished in Port Orford cedar, teak capping rails on low bulwarks. Ironwood has been used for beams and structural timbers. Mahogany used for deck structures, teak for capping rails, rubbing strakes. king planks, pin rails.

The spars and sailplan were replicated which, in the prevailing style at the turn of the last century, was over canvassed with a boom extending 10ft beyond the transom and light spars. While suitable for inshore racing it produced excessive weatherhelm and an unseaworthy boat. She was seldom sailed and spent more time laid up on the quayside.


In 2003, she was imported to the UK and taken to the Elephant BoatYard and then Lallows at Cowes for extensive work on the hull, deck, engine and electrics installed etc. She was rarely sailed.

August 2008 purchased by Anthony Wheaton, her current owner, who commissioned Ed Burnett, the UK’s foremost gaff yacht naval architect, to produce a balanced sailplan. The new sails from SKB in late 2009 have been cut very flat; the mainsail has a much shorter foot and bigger headsails have achieved balance and beauty. The rigging was renewed and interior built over each winter 2010 to 2015 to provide a full cruising accommodation giving eight berths,

Aeolus has been extensively sailed and raced, with a programme of improvement and maintenance, and is well known in the Solent.


Aeolus is in excellent condition, ready to sail.

The owner purchased in 2013 a full cover for the boat which covers the boat throughout the year, including between consecutive sailing weekends. It was the best thing done for the boat. It protects the boat from rainwater and preserves the brightwork, varnish and metal fittings.

Every year, the hull is inspected and antifouled, propeller adjusted and greased, anodes replaced, the engine serviced, cap rails and rubbing strips oiled.

Each winter, all sails and cushions are removed from the boat and shored ashore. Most ropes and blocks are removed from the mast and stored inside the boat to protect them from the weather.

Major works carried out in 2022 :

Topsides painted

Deck structures varnished

Spars stripped back to the wood and revarnished

All wooden blocks stripped, greased and varnished.

Technical specification - what is included in the sale

Ownership Anthony Wheaton

Ownership period 2008 to current

Registration OGA no 2938 https://www.oga.org.uk/boat_register/boat/?oga_no=2938

mortgages/encumbrance None

Included in the sale The vessel

All equipment on the boat

The website

The Instagram account

Facebook page

All photos and videos processed by the owner

A large file of documents, history, manuals, electronic and paper etc

Technical specification


Length overall 18m

Length on deck 12.85m

Length waterline 11.5m

Beam 2.7m

Draft 2.4m

Weight 18 tonnes of which 8 tonnes is laid lead and cement inside the hull and 6 tonnes of lead ingots on top, under the sole of the saloon and galley

Height of mast 20 m above waterline


Hull profile Plank on edge – see photo

Original build 1904 in San Diego, Californian USA, builder unknown,

Designer William Fife III design, CP Kunhardt developed a GL Watson inspired rig.

Restoration 1989 in San Francisco Bay by Eric Ashford

Fully renewed other than the original keel timber 8 x 1.2 x 0.8 m in size

Planking: Carvel Douglas fir, 25mm topsides, 50mm double planked up to the waterline

Double Planks sheathed with epoxy when rebuilt in 1898. Epoxy in good condition.

Hull is antifouled annually

Frames: American white oak steamed .

Size 45 x 45mm spacing 320mm

Fastenings: Bronze screws

Keel Frames and planks joined to the keel

Above the keel for 0.6m the hull is filled lead and concrete

Ballast External ballast none

Internal ballast -lead ingots 6 ton under sole value £10,000

Deck: New in 2006 Port Orford cedar 1in planks curved, on 2 layers of cedar T&G planks 18mm

Payed with Sikaflex, all renewed in 2015

King boards Teak, oiled

Cap rail and rubbing strake Teak, oiled

Deck structures, hatches and coachroof Mahogany, varnished

Cockpit Mahogany and oak, varnished, on top of the deck, self draining

Steering Tiller, wood, oak

Stemhead Galvanised gammon iron for bowsprit

Deck fittings Bronze

Belaying pins Bronze and Oak


Head-room Full height 1.8m in companionway, saloon, galley, heads

Aft cabin 1.4m

No of Berths 8

Foscle 1.7m Double berth with 4 mattress cushions

Aft cabin 1.8m 2 single berths with 2 mattresses

Saloon 1.8m 2 single berths/seats with 2 mattresses

2 cot berths above , canvas

Saloon Mahogany polished table to seat 8.

Offset to allow easy passage through the saloon.

2 fold down leaves

Bench seats with waterproof mattresses on both sides extending to full width bunks.

6 storage cupboards under the seats

4 brass lights

Skylight above

Galley Sink, cold water brass manual pump

Waste water electric pump and switch below sink

Water tank 200l

Stove, single burner, gaz canister, gimballed

Cupboard for 2 cold boxes, 12v plug in, removable

2 further cupboards

4 drawers

Cup, glass, plates, bowls coffee jug rack

Many shelves for food storage

Heads (next to the mast)

Toilet, seawater RM69, manual pump .

Light, toilet roll holder



Mainmast Keel stepped Douglas fir Solid Varnished 1980

Topmast Stepped on mainmast Wood douglas fir hollow Varnished Collars 2011

Boom Wood douglas fir hollow Varnished Collars 2011

Gaff Wood douglas fir hollow Varnished Collars 2013

Bowsprit Wood douglas fir solid Varnished Collars 2017

Spreaders Wood oak, solid Varnished, painted topside Collars 2011

Standing rigging


Each side 3 for the mainmast, 1 for the topmast through the spreaders

Galvanised wire. Parcelled and served. All serviced in 2010

4 sets of deadeyes lignum vitae, lanyards new in 2010

Chainplates Bronze

Forestay Stainless steel, fixed length new 2010

Bobstay Stainless steel, bottlescrew new 2010

Outerforestay Stainless steel, fixed length new 2017

Tension adjusted by a rope tail led inboard to a tackle on the bowsprit

Backstays Running Main mast and topmast pairs

Stainless steel, rope tackles to chainplates. New 2010

Whisker shrouds (supporting bowsprit) Galvanised wire. Parcelled & served Serviced in 2010

Whisker stays – stainless steel poles new 2010

Running rigging All ropes renewed since 2010

All ropes are traditional looking 3 strand hawser laid Strand Hempex Rope. Synthetic rope with the style and feel of hemp. in brown or white.

Blocks – 64 on the boat, all in wood with stainless steel frames or wire.

Blocks for sheets have ball races for easy use.

Blocks at deck level are covered in leather


Engine Volvo Penta D2 55 hp 4 cylinder 2006 Hours 840. Engine serviced annually.

Gearbox Volvo D2 2006

Single lever controls forward and reverse

Location Centreline, under the companionway

Propeller Maxprop, bronze 3 blade feathering

Speed 4 knts cruising 7 knts max

Fuel tank 70 l plastic, under the aft deck forward of the rudder stock

Engine start Electric

Gauges Rev counter

Oil pressure & temperature audible alarms


Generator On engine

Batteries 12v 1 for engine starting ) new 2019

1 for domestic appliances )

System 12v electric wiring system renewed in 2016

3 isolator switches – engine/domestic/both

18 switches on panel above chart table for each light and appliance

18 Fuse box


12 v appliances :

Bilge pump

Waste water pump

Fridge x2 sockets

USB and socket chargers

Navigation – lights , VHF, instruments

12 v lights Saloon 4

Galley 2

Companionway 2

Aft cabin 2

Foscle 1

Heads 1

Chart table 1 white and red, touch on/off

240 v Shore power connection

Victron Energy charger and switch/fuse box

To charge the 12v batteries

To supplier 3 off domestic double sockets

Navigation equipment

Instruments Tacktick wifi system

System controller unit – above chart table

Compass transducer – opposite chart table

2 displays, digital and pictorial for wind direction

Wind vane and anemometer(speed) – on the topmast

Speedometer – thro hull. Removeable

Depth gauge - thro hull

VHF Cobra MR F77B DSC & GPS New 2022

Aerial inside the hollow topmast 15 m above sealevel

Hand held VHF

Navigation lights Topmast head – NASA LED white/green/red

Steaming light – white – mainmast head

Rear light - white – in transom

Compasses Tacktick on wifi display

Magnetic dome in cockpit

Hand held sighting compass

Manual instruments

Magnifying glass A vintage instrument placed on charts to magnify the detail. 6in diameter 3 in tall in brass with AEOLUS inscribed in the side - see photo.

Ruler, dividers



Charts and manuals Solent set of charts, South coast almanac,

Winning Tides,

2022 tide tables

Safety gear

Lifejackets and life lines 10 and 10

Jackstays 2 Webbing lines along the full length of both side decks

Fire 2 extinguishers + blanket

Flares Full container

Ground tackle

Anchors CQR 45kg 25m chain, 50 m rope

Folding fortress 10kg, 5m chain, 20 m rope

Mooring warps 4

Fenders 6

Additional items

Boom cover Green Ratsey 2013

Boat cover Full cover, brown. 2011 It has preserved the boat in excellent condition

Fuel container 10l for diesel with funnel


Read more

Volvo Penta D2 55
Engine hours
Fuel capacity
70 litres
Maximum speed
13 kph
Cruising speed
7 kph
259 kilometres
Number of cabins
Number of berths
Passenger capacity
Drinking water capacity
125 litres
Additional Accommodation Details
Traditional interior in mahogany and douglas fir.

Saloon with table to seat 8, in polished mahogany with 2 drop leaves.

Galley with 2 worktops, sink, cold water tap, single burner stove, 240v double rings, 2 cold boxes, drawers, cupboards, shelves.

Marine toilet.

Chart table and seat with tacktick wifi instruments, vhf, switch panel, chart light, drawers and book shelf.

Electrics 12v and 240v shorepower sockets.

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