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Sold – 21ft. HARRISON BUTLER CYCLONE DESIGN GAFF YAWL – 1926 – Lying: Chichester



Boat Details

Overall Length: 21ft on deck
Waterline: 19ft
Beam: 7ft
Draught: 3ft 6ins
Displacement: 3.4 Tons
Engine: 10hp Yanmar Diesel
Berths: Two Berths
Sail: Gaff Cutter Rig (yawl 280 sq.ft)
Designer: Dr T Harrison Butler
Builder: A H Watty, Fowey, Cornwall
Year Built: 1926
Location: West Sussex


The Cyclone Design dates from 1919 and is a development of Harrison Butler’s early design Seagull published in 1912. LITTLE KINGFISHER is one of only a small number of yachts built to this successful design by A H Watty Boat-builder in Fowey in 1926. Before the war, John Carter was a registered owner stationing the yacht in Itchenor. From 1947 to 1951 Major-General Sir Horace Roome KCIE CB CBE MC owned LITTLE KINGFISHER mooring her in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. During the 1950s Major D S Sole and later A E Bloomfield became registered owners keeping the yacht in Cowes and Woodbridge respectively. More recent owners include Richard Best, 1975, John Birchall 1994 and Dan & Hannah Matthews daughter of sailor, writer and broadcaster Tom Cunliffe. The present owners bought LITTLE KINGFISHER in 2017 and completed all the recommendations from a full survey in February that year. Previously LITTLE KINGFISHER was restored by boat-builder Paul Drake in the years leading up to 2009 on the East Coast.

Carvel pitch-pine planked hull on sawn oak frames and intermediate steamed timbers, copper nail and rove fastened. Teak laid decks, varnished teak coachroof coamings and cockpit, teak and mahogany brightwork. Spoon bow, long 1.25-ton ballast keel, transom stern and round bilges. Internal lead trimming ballast.

Traditional below decks accommodation with full-size port and starboard settee berths, solid fuel stove. Galley to port with Thetford two-burner gas cooker with grill having a fold-down cover. Hanging locker to starboard. Jabsco marine WC forward with casing and lid. Forward additional berths and sail stowage.

Currently rigged as a yawl with a total sail area of about 280 sq.ft. Gaff Cutter rig also drawn by the designer sets 317 sq.ft. Spruce pole main mast, keel stepped, mizzen mast deck stepped. Spruce gaff and booms.

10hp YANMAR DIESEL ENGINE 1GM10 last serviced June 2019. Oil filter changed November 2019. Starting battery replaced in September 2019. Two 80 AH batteries. 12-volt cabin lighting.

Sail Wardrobe includes: Main sail; Staysail; Jib; Mizzen sail. Wykeham Martin type furling gear.

Bilge pump replaced in August 2017.

ICOM M421 VHF radio.

Wooden boat hook;

Two oil lamps;

Saloon cushions;

Bespoke cover (bought for £2,500 2 years ago);  plus Spare cover; and Wooden bin.

Plough Anchor with 6mm chain.

Schedule of recent maintenance;

Anti-fouled August 2020;

Decayed timber replaced June 2019;

Rig removal and replacement incl. varnishing & mast head light & wiring April 2018;

Cutlass bearing replaced April 2018


An opportunity to acquire one of Doctor Harrison Butler’s early ‘pocket cruiser’ designs with his trademark and unmistakable sweet lines and good sailing performance. Well maintained and restored in previous ownerships LITTLE KINGFISHER is in full sailing commission on the South Coast and ready to enjoy for carefree sailing days and weekends afloat. With her relatively shallow draught she is also ideal for estuaries and rivers or coastal cruising.

GUIDE: Sold – March 2021

LYING: Chichester Harbour


DISCLAIMER: Classic Yacht Brokerage offer the details and photographs of this vessel in good faith but cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information or images or warrant the condition of the vessel, machinery or rig.  Buyers should instruct their representative, agents or their surveyors to investigate such details as the buyer requires validated. This vessel is offered subject to prior sale, price change, or withdrawal without notice.