For many the discovery of wooden boats is not one which is ‘new’ but the romance of the ruin, preserving of history, the re-creating, the saving, the love of labour, the vision of a dream.The modern day classic yacht revival and resurgence of restorations of classic yachts built during the era of elite new wooden yacht construction demonstrates the pinnacle of yacht preservation.  


Preservation of traditional sail and the restoration of British working craft is central to maritime heritage.Ashley Butler’s experience of restoration work is extensive from his full structural restoration of the 1903 40ft Morcombe Bay Prawner, Ziska, to the fine joinery of the 1915 Hereschoff 115ft Schooner, Mariette


Whether it is the Antigua Classic, Mediterranean Circuit, Brest International Festival of the Sea or the Swale Smack and Barge Match, sight of historical sail in all its glory is awesome and a sight to behold and cherish.




This is the largest and oldest of Butler & Co’s restorations to date.At 114 years of age, this 75ft Sailing Trawler built in Brixham of English Oak is the oldest in existence.Her mighty grandeur and history embedded in her timbers is the driving force behind the Pilgrim Preservation Project’s vision and determination to see her gracing the waters once again - not gathering fish from the sea, but taking children on educational voyages.Sponsored by the Heritage Lottery Fund Pilgrim will require over 100 trees, 3,500 cubic feet of timber required, the full structural restoration of hull and decks is to take approximately two years and is now fully underway at Old Mill Boatyard. Visit Pilgrim’s website, 


Designed and built by William Fife on the Clyde in 1925, Rosemary is 38ft 6inch and constructed out of mahogany on oak frames with oak stem and stern post.Her present owner is grand daughter of William Fife and her admiration and thrill to own and restore such a timeless classic is inspirational.Butler & Co are embarking upon the next stage of her restoration this winter. 



Believed to be one of the largest Looe Lugger’s ever built, Iris’ 45ft on deck is no real measure of her serious volume and robust wooden construction.She was totally replanked and partially reframed with English oak and larch.As she emerged from the dry-dock in ethereal twilight of a cool March evening in 2008, her future as a family cruising lugger was excitingly imminent.   

Spirit of Britannia 

With the fashion for adventurous experiences afloat and resurgence of restoration of British working craft, the 60ft East Coast Smack from Boston, Britannia, under went extensive refit of new decks, interior, engine and hydraulics in preparation for the 2008 sailing season for the charitable Trinity Sailing Trust.  


Our Collection

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