Sailing yacht “David G Hillyard”

After much soul-searching, we have decided it is time to part with the Hillyard we have owned and loved since 2003.

She's one of the rarer breeds of Hillyard, an eight-tonner, with all the usual Hillyard virtues, but with more versatility than many. She is big enough to make Channel crossings from the Solent to Cherbourg or the Channel Islands a realistic proposition, and small enough to be able to tuck into the snuggest berth at Polperro. Bilge plates mean that drying harbours are easy, and the very modest (3'8”) draught means that she can be taken through the Brittany canals from St Malo to the South Brittany coast at Arzal. (She also has the heart to do it the “hard” way via Ushant and the Raz de Sein.) She lacks the aft cabin of many Hillyard designs, but has a spacious, airy saloon... and best of all, a cockpit big enough to seat a family of four around a table in comfort on a Summer evening. Rig is a straightforward Bermuda rig, with the main-sheet running across a "horse" on the aft deck, and a gallows for the boom. Headsails are hank-on.

Asking price is £9,000.

Email enquiries in the first instance please, to myself Piers Snell at

The story behind the name – originally built in 1968 (mahogany on oak frames) as “Laycrest II”, her owners at the time of David Hillyard's death had her renamed in his memory. We know her simply as “DGH”.

She was extensively refurbished to follow all the recommendations on our pre-purchase survey when we acquired her in 2003. Most of this happened in Spring 2004. She was re-engined with a Beta 35HP, given new galvanized standing rigging, keel bolts replaced, under-waterline hull taken back to bare wood and resealed, seams recaulked and repayed, and generally spruced up. Over the next few years, she acquired a new mainsail 2006, working jib 2013, Origo 2-burner alcohol stove 2005, toilet replaced 2015, Navicom DSC radio 2005, JRC radar 2007, cockpit tent 2007, refurbished 2018.

She has been kept in the water throughout our years of ownership, and is in ready-to-sail condition; some equipment is a bit tired, and if given a survey, the surveyor will identify some issues that need addressing sooner or later... but she's not for sale because she's broken, she's for sale because we're running out of energy.

This is how she looks from the pontoon

and this is how she looks from the dinghy

and how she looks on dry land.

Bilge plates mean that when you go to Scilly, you don't have to compete for mooring buoys or lose sleep in a rolly anchorage... just park your boat!

And on the inside,

(the “Sailor” LW/MW/SW radio stays with the boat, and nautical fittings in general.)

This is how she looks rigged for the French canal system...

and its wonderful serenity

and altitude (215 feet higher than most Hillyards go!)

The long way to Southern Brittany means heading for the Raz de Sein.

Under the right conditions, she can go fast...

but most of all, she's a perfect family boat, where children feel safe

and enjoy the regatta scene. (Full set of original code-flags live in a purpose-made drawer.)