Windflower was built by David Hillyard in 1933 in Littlehampton on the South Coast. She was constructed with long lengths of pitch pine planking on oak frames and keel, with an abundance of mahogany and teak in her interior and cockpit and period bronze fittings throughout, all of which she retains to this day. She now needs full restoration, after having been neglected (not by me) ashore for a decade.
She is for sale due to a change of personal circumstances, after I purchased her in good faith, back in 2018.
order to give you an idea of how she looked a few years ago (and how she could
look again, with time and effort and investment) please see the blog prepared by previous owners – google “windflower hillyard blogspot” . As
you can see she makes a lovely family cruising yacht. You’ll
see on that site there are loads of photo galleries with more pictures of her restoration
and cruising in the right hand corner.
terms of her condition now – I am not a marine surveyor and I do not have a
survey for her. On the positive side she is largely complete, largely equipped has been stored dry and is not full of rot. She remains largely original with a charming period interior. On the other hand she needs significant work. This is what I think will need doing; I am being as frank
as I know how:
Hood ends – need refastening as a result of her drying
out. She’s still got her original nails and I think these will need to be
replaced with screws
Planking – needs recaulking and refinishing.
One cracked plank, port, roughly on her plimsole line
Top of stem – rotten (no active rot at present)
Stem – looking quite fissured, but still hard
Deadwood – some cracks but still sound
Rudder – needs replacing as does the metalwork,
including the rudder tube
Sliding hatch – has taken up water and buckled, will
Interior – port bunk in saloon dismantled by me and
drinking water tank removed in order to investigate two cracked frames. All the component pieces have been reinstated although not refixed, pending frame repair.
Signs of water tide mark inside, about 3 inches higher
than the sole boards – think this was rainwater she filled with when left
to her own devices before I bought her.
All the interior bright work will need work to return
to good condition.
The canvas covers for the foam bunks have rotted in
some cases. Foam and ply bases still present.
Electronics look OK (still present), but not powered
them up. There is an auto helm, sat nav, vhf depth sounder and log.
Starter and leisure batteries are kaput, will need
Not sure about engine – its a Yanmar, but I have made
no attempt to run it.
Mast broken above the hounds
No boom, bowsprit present
Standing rigging has been cut through and will need
She’s still got most of her sails in their sail bags
Running rigging: there is some but probably will need
All exterior brightwork is devoid of varnish and has
lichen growing in a few places. No sign of rot other than a soft spot near
the scuppers on the toe rail
Galley – its all there but the cooker is looking pretty
Deck is in good shape, having been epoxy sheathed in the noughties
Charming interior, although very very dirty and needing lots of new
brass hinges (present ones have in many cases corroded), not to mention
varnish and paint aplenty.Her vital statistics can be found on the Invited Friends of Harrison Butler website (search for Hillyard, Windflower).
My greatest hope is that she
is bought be someone that appreciates her as the classic that she is and can
get her back into the water where she positively belongs. Failing this she would make a truly unique land based glamping unit with a maritime flavour – capable of sleeping 4 – 6 landlubbers in Arthur Ransome style!
have all her entries in the Lloyds Register of Shipping if you are interested.
She spent a long time in Ireland being sailed by a wealthy family in Cork,
before making her way to Dublin and then to North Devon, thence to Cornwall
where I bought her. There were rumours of her being a Dunkirk little ship – but
I can find no trace of such a record and to be frank pure sailing yachts were
not really requisitioned, instead focus was on motor yachts or motor sailers.
has sister ships: She was built in 1933 – Billy Blue (another Hillyard still active in the UK) was built the previous
year. These double enders earned an enviable reputation has being extremely
seaworthy especially in following seas. The
present editor of Classic Boat magazine, Steffan Meyric-Hughes is a fan – he
owned a share in Billy Blue for a number of years.
quite the same in appearance, but certainly in character is Arthur Ransome’s
(famous English children’s author) favourite yacht Nancy Blackett https://nancyblackett.org/2019/12/31/video-my-classic-boat-nancy-blackett/ The
Nancy Blackett was built in 1931. Windflower is in my view second only to the
Nancy Blackett in terms of Hillyards still in existence in such original
specification. She really should be preserved in some form or another.
Her asking price is nominal really. The major initial expense will be moving her from her present location, ashore in West Wales. A professional boat moving service will charge in the order of £1500 to do this to most locations in the UK.
For a prospective buyer, as is, she has many valuable bronze fittings, marine electronics, inboard engine, drive shaft and propellor, Highfield levers, stanchions, anchor winch, galley fittings etc, which in themselves would be worth several multiples of the guide price here.
She has to be moved urgently from her present location in West Wales. Any interested buyers will have to have a credible plan and the finance available to move her on a tight timescale. Please don’t bother contacting me unless you are up for this expense and are able to undertake this in the very near future.
If I am unable to find a future custodian for her I will sadly be forced to break her up. She deserves better than this. Please do contact me if you are realistically interested in taking her on, either to return her to the water, or to start a new life as glamping accomodation, garden office with a difference, or the ultimate children’s pirate boat…
I am happy to consider realistic offers. Thank you for your interest, Rob.
Current Price: £950.00
This Classic Yacht 1933 Hillyard For Restoration Or Unusual Glamping Accommodation? boat is located in Llandysul, Carmarthenshire, and is being sold on eBay by drain-plug.