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Yachtsnet's archive of boat details and pictures

The following information and photographs are displayed as a service to anyone researching yacht types. HOWEVER THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND TEXT ARE COVERED BY COPYRIGHT, AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF YACHTSNET LTD. Details and photographs are normally based on one specific yacht, but could be a compilation. No reliance should be placed on other yachts of the same class being identical.  Where common variations exist, we have endeavoured to indicate this in these archive details. 

Hillyard 8 tonner

Brief Notes


David Hillyard, Littlehampton

David Hillyard designed and built around 800 wooden yachts between 1920 and 1978, at his boatyard in Littlehampton, Sussex, ranging in size from two and a half tonners to 28 tons. The 'ton' measurements do not relate to actual displacement, being a system of official measurement originally based on the number of 'tun' barrels a ship could hold

Length OA

30' 0"

Sail Area


Length WL

24' 0"




8' 6"


Forecabin and saloon


3' 6"


4 plus pipe cot


6 tons

Engine type



iron keel and lead pigs internal ballast

Engine bhp

8 - 10

Keel type

Long keel with option of bilge plates

All the Hillyard yachts have a distinct look with a good amount of freeboard and a moderate amount of sheer. While the smallest models were transom sterned with outboard rudders, most of the better known designs were heavy displacement long keeled vessels with canoe sterns. They have the reputation of solid construction and good behavior at sea. Hillyards remained in business until 2009, and had moved on to GRP production of catamarans and other modern designs, when the company ceased trading. Shortly afterwards a fire destroyed the boatyard.

Most Hillyards were built on oak frames, with planking of various timbers. Pre-war Hillyards were quite often planked in mahogany, whilst after the war larch, pitch pine and iroko were used more often.

Yachts seen here are no longer for sale - the data is online as a free information service for buyers researching boat types. THE PHOTOGRAPHS ARE COVERED BY COPYRIGHT, AND MAY NOT BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT THE PERMISSION OF YACHTSNET LTD.

Go to our brokerage section for boats currently for sale

Apart from the one photo above of an 8-tonner under sail, the pictures here are of a very nice 1963 example

Hillyard 8 tonner
Hillyard 8 tonner

Heads and forecabin



Below: This 1963 yacht has the original two-cylinder Lister engine, of 8.5 hp

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