Gaia Specs

  • Designer: Thomas Colvin
  • Flag of Registry: Canada
  • Hull Shape: Monohull with Full keel
  • Hull material: Steel
  • LOA: 42 ft 0 in
  • Beam: 11 ft 9 in
  • Maximum Draft: 4 ft 4 in
  • Displacement: 18,000lbs
  • Ballast: 4000 lbs (removable 1″x3.5″x 19″ Lead ingots sealed in keel with removable ss lids)

Sails & Sailcovers

  • Mainsail & foresail – junk rigged, fully battened with pultruded FG battens & Aluminum mast section yard. Tan bark, made by Chris Scanes, England.
  • Tan bark Hild Genoa on Furlex furler, installed on Sitka spruce bowsprit.
  • 2 Aluminum masts & Aluminum mast section yards
  • No standing rigging except for forestay in furler and two temporary backstays with barber hauler
  • Running Lazyjacks. can be used to lower sail bundle
  • All lines come into the pilothouse, little need to go outside to reef/unreef.
  • Main and foresail covers new Sunbrella fabric, professionally made in 2021
  • Riding sail
  • 2 x Harken self-tailing winch (for hoisting sails)
  • All ball bearing blocks recently renewed
  • Note on sails: Although we intend to sail this season (2022) with these sails they are in need of replacement. We have not done so thinking that potential purchasers may have their own ideas re tanbark or not, overlapping genny or not and possibly an interest in pursuing the interesting developments in junk rig evolution as described in the JRA (Junk Rig Association) newsletters and by members of the International Junk Rig Association and others. See

Engine & Systems

  • Inboard Yanmar 3YM30F, diesel, 30HP
  • Year Built: 2006 Year Overhauled 2019 ~100 hours since overhaul
  • Propeller: 3 bladed Auto Prop auto pitching propeller with spare Autoprop propeller
    • Propeller puller and spare bearings.
  • Direct Drive through Hurth reduction gear and Aquamarine Aquadrive 20000
  • Vetus wet exhaust muffler and water strainer
  • Tides Marine Strong Seal (superior replacement for previous Lasdrop)
  • Racor filter system. (Fuel is filtered 4 times before entering engine)
  • Walbro diesel transfer pump and spares (for moving diesel around, polishing if needed and transferring to daytank)
  • Spare alternator, starter motor, fresh water cooling pump and 2 salt water cooling pumps and many other engine related spares.


  • Fresh Water Tanks: (60 Gallons in four separate tanks, two in lower mast sections)
  • Fuel Tanks: (65 Gallons in three tanks. One in keel. One day tank. One polypro reserve.
  • Holding Tank: Polypropylene(20 Gallons)


  • Number of berths: One queen size aft. Two single fwd. Two temporary for passages or extra
  • Number of cabins: 2
  • Number of heads: 1

Inside Equipment

  • Three Electric Jabsco bilge pumps
  • Manual Henderson bilge pump
  • 1500 watt Heart inverter/battery charger
  • Toyoset NS2700-1 diesel cabin heater 
  • Dickinson solid fuel fireplace, chimney not yet re-installed after repairs on deck and because we never use it in the tropics
  • Three burner Force Ten propane stove with oven (Replacement for original)
  • Lavac Vacuum Marine head with Whale Gusher pump (best marine head available)
  • Katadyne 80 Watermaker with spares
  • 2 Surocco fans
  • 4 Cafrano fans
  • Bissell Clearview vacuum cleaner
  • Spare Battery charger

Outside Equipment/Extras

  • Tender Saturn inflatable catamaran type with heavy duty foot and manual pump and pressure monitor. Unfortunately a rat ate part of the dinghy, so no longer on board.
  • Tohatsu 3HP 2 stroke outboard motor. Needs to be rebuild because of not being used since July 2021.
  • Maxwell Nilsson 3000 windlass with updated much superior Italian made motor and adapter flange by Nilsson New Zealand 
  • Manual handle for above
  • Aries Windvane with Wheel drum
  • Deck wash hose with Surflo Blaster deckwash pump and accumulator
  • Deck mounted two 25 lb propane tanks


  • 25 kg Spade steel in anchor roller
  • 15kg Spade Aluminum ditto
  • 75 lb Luke Fisherman dismantlable (never used)
  • FX55 Fortress with mud adapter (seldom used)
  • FX25 Fortress (seldom used)
  • 175 ft ⅜” Hi Test galvanized steel anchor chain, galvanized in 2021
  • 2 high quality Swiss made SS swivels and 2 SS chain lock stopper
  • 2x200ft ⅞” nylon anchor rode (rarely used, see picture below)
  • Ankarolina flat anchor line 56M


  • 1 x 110 AH 12v Start battery AGM
  • 8 x 110AH 12v House batteries AGM
  • Mix of LED & fluorescent lights
  • Electrical panel with Xantrex Battery monitor and 2 heavy duty battery switches
  • 8 Solar panels 720 W total, now 7 as we lost one in hurricane Ian.

Helm & Navigation

  • Raymarine Evolution electronic Autopilot with EV sensor Core, Raymarine Linear drive, P70s control head and Raymarine Autopilot Core Pack
  • Spare Raymarine Linear drive, spare motor for Linear drives, Spare Raymarine Autopilot Core Pack, spare P70s control head, spare fluxgate compasses 
  • Remote for Raymarine Autopilot
  • Raymarine  depth & speed and wind displays
  • Realistic VHF marine radio (oldest electronic item on board
  • Handheld VHF marine radio
  • AIS Vesper marine, needs to be replaced as screen has deteriorated and is difficult to read.
  • Compass Sestrel 
  • Raymarine RN300 GPS, obsolete as everything now has its own GPS.
  • Lowrance Chart Plotter
  • Lowrance Broadband Radome (to be repaired/replaced)
  • Icom HF SSB ICM802 Radio (Ham capable)
  • SGC SG230 HF Antenna tuner
  • ISS TCI-1S Tuner interface 
  • Magellan Handheld GPS 3000XL (emergency use, stored inside Faraday cage.
  • Whitlock MAMBA Steering with torque tubes, quadrant and gear boxes.
    • Wheel is laminated wood.
  • Emergency tiller
  • Aerodynamic balanced rudder 
  • Aries windvane autopilot with wheel drum (later tilting model)


  • Hull repainted (2021) (two part white polyurethane)
  • Deck repainted with new non-skip (2021) into white two part polyurethane 
  • Aquamarine blue Cabin sides repainted (2021) with two part polyurethane 
  • Bottom paint (New 2021) black/red/black semi ablative copper antifouling 
  • Solid welded stainless rails provide excellent safety
  • Stanchions are one inch SS pipe (1 ⅜” OD) waist high. (No falling overboard on Gaia! And no shouted warnings of “don’t pull on my stanchions”!)
  • Wrap around bench seating at stern


  • All Beckson Lexan port holes open, giving excellent ventilation and airflow. All have screens. Spare screens, trim and 1 spare window.
  • Upholstery recently replaced and in good shape.
  • Dinette converts into single berth
  • Large storage lockers in forward cabin under beds
  • Hanging locker in main cabin
  • Loose carpets partially covering teak and holly sole in both cabins
  • Plenty of storage throughout


  • Double basin sink with manual water supply on center island allowing multiple cooks!
  • Force 10 gimbaled 3-burner propane stove with oven
    • 2 25 lbs propane tanks mounted outside
  • Xintex S-2A propane solenoid with safety sensor (needs replacement)
  • Well insulated refrigerator with new (2020) compressor and cold plate.
  • Ample storage for provisions, many Tupperware and other plastic containers.
  • Stainless steel sink with manual water supply
  • Lavac marine toilet
  • Plastic 20 gallon holding tank with Y-valve for overboard discharge.
  • Henderson pump for discharge at sea. 

 Emergency Equipment

  • RFD/Servitec Life raft. Four person. (Needs inspection)
  • Parachute anchor (description to follow) (new, never used)
  • Jordan Series drogue with all needed lines and attachments. Two large ss bollards installed aft to take the huge strain this drogue can exert. (Never used)
  • Tasmanian designed drogue. (New, never used)


  • Brownie Third Lung electric (lithium battery) dive compressor capable of supporting 2 at 65ft.
  • Night vision binoculars
  • Shark repeller (South African made) Needs new batteries

Design: History & Description


American shipwright and boat designer Thomas Colvin, who has long championed both metal construction and junk rigs on cruising sailboats, has designed about 300 small ships and boats over the course of a career that has now spanned about 70 years. He designed the original Gazelle for himself and his family to cruise aboard way back in 1967. The Gazelle has since proven to be both his most successful and perhaps most interesting creation, with over 700 sisterships launched to date.

The first Gazelle was conceived as a no-frills light-displacement boat that could function both as a shoal-draft coastal cruiser on Chesapeake Bay, where Colvin was based at the time, and as a bluewater cruiser. She was built of 10-gauge Corten steel. Her most distinctive feature was her schooner rig, which consisted of two Chinese junk sails mounted on lightly stayed aluminum masts with a Western-style triangular jib out front flying from a long bowsprit. She also carried a triangular “fisherman” sail between her masts or sometimes flew a loose-luffed reaching staysail from her main masthead.

By all accounts the first Gazelle sailed well, as is reflected in her performance ratios. She balanced well on all points of sail, her helm required little attention, except when running dead downwind, and she was reasonably fast. Colvin reported hitting speeds of around 9 knots sailing his boat. Thanks to her narrow beam, shoal draft, and generous sail plan, she also needed reefing early, which is easy to do on any junk-rigged vessel.

The interior lay-out is similar to those seen on modern center-cockpit boats, except there is no cockpit. Instead the helmsman is stationed on a flush-decked area between the main and aft cabins, directly abaft the mainmast and directly over the engine or cargo area.

The main cabin connects to the aft cabin below deck via the engine or cargo area, which has only stooping headroom. The main cabin does have full standing headroom and the forepeak has a narrow V-berth bisected by the keel-stepped foremast, which precludes installing a filler section to make the berth a double.

Design Modifications for Gaia

Gaia’s rig was designed by Sunbird of England (Allan Boswell) and is self standing (stay and shrouded except for a forestay for the genoa and temporary backstays.

Gaia has a cockpit and a much loved light weight pilot house. 

Gaia has a forward facing steering wheel activating a torgue tube steering system designed by Whitlock of England.

Gaia’s interior is light and airy with 14 opening ports and differs markedly for Tom’s concept. She is the opposite of ‘no frills’.

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