building1Heir Boat Works is the birthplace and home of the Heir Island Sloop.

Gubby Williams, the boat’s designer and builder, introduces his creation to you:

In the Heir Island Sloop I've tried to graft the desirable features of a light, fast, modern yacht onto the solid, traditional virtues of the Heir Island Lobster Boat – hardly a novel scheme, I know, and not easy, particularly when the aim is not a hybrid hodgepodge but a wholesome, sea-kindly speedster of individuality and charm.


So the hull is cedar Speedstrip, epoxy-sheathed, on a mahogany backbone and laminated pine frames, or GRP, finished in wood, including deck, interior and spars.

The sails are more 'racing' than 'cruising', but on solid pine spars, and the jib is self-tacking. Mainsheet blocks are modern cast alloy, but all fittings are bronze. There are bulkheads fore and aft with closed-cell foam behind. The trim and bottom boards are solid wood. The beam is 'modern' in its generosity, but the overall look would bring a grunt of approval from a Heir Island lobsterman.


The lines are very conventional with a strong American influence, seen in the beam, the hollow waterlines forward, the triangular centreboard and the club jib – legacies of my time at the Brooklin Boatyard in Maine.

Seven feet of beam (2.1m) at the deck gives great space inside, and impressive righting leverage from bums on the side deck, and at the waterline the beam comes in to 6’ (1.8m), which on the waterline length of 16’ 6” (5m) is by no means chubby.

I was brought up on massive iron centreplates which ricked backs and wrecked boats. The Sloop has a triangular, marine grade aluminium board, with a small sheave in the top. As a result you can lift it with two fingers. For stability, there's 450lb (204kg) of ballast in the bilge each side of the case in handy lumps.

The boat is fast and well-mannered. The decent displacement, a third of it amidships, makes her powerful and buoyant.
And a prettier boat would be hard to find……


mooredHeir Island Sloop Specification:

L.O.A. 18’ 5" (5.6.m) L.W.L. 16' 6" (5.0m)

7' 0" (2.1m) 5' 11" (1.8m) as W.L.

1' 2" (0.34m) and 3' 6" (1.1m)

1700 lbs (771 kg) Ballast 450 lbs (204 kg)

Sail Area
175 sq ft; (16.3 sq. m)
(137 & 30 sq ft; 2.7 x 3.5 sq m)
Genoa 65 sq ft. (6.0 sq m)

Wooden Boat:
5/8 cedar speedstrip Epoxy glued and screwed to laminated yellow pine frames and mahogany backbone. Epoxy sheathed with 6oz. cloth.
GRP Boat:
3 layers of 600g chopped strand over 2 white gelcoats. Appropriate foam and glass stiffening and reinforcement.

3/8 Marine ply, epoxy coated on laminated yellow pine beams and shelf, teak toe rails fore and aft.

Coaming teak, thwart and benches mahogany, sole bare iroko.

All bronze, some custom.

Pine or spruce.

Marine grade aluminium, sheave in head.

Good racing quality cut and cloth.

For more details on the Heir Island Sloop, or to discuss any other boat building project you may have in mind, please contact us.