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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. 

Oysterman 16

Brief details


Oystersailers, Penryn, Cornwall

Designed by Canadian Paul Gartside, along the general lines of a Falmouth sailing oyster dredger, the Oysterman 16 is a small GRP gaff cutter, with a small cuddy in the forepeak. Heavier and with a far higher ballast ratio than many other small GRP gaffers, the Oysterman 16 has a substantial rig, and as a result is surprisingly fast.


22' 0" inc bowsprit

Sail area

315 sq ft


16' 0"


gaff cutter


6' 4"




3' 0"




3,000 lbs




2,100 lbs


4 - 10

Keel type

Long keel with encapsulated ballast

Falmouth Working Boats are traditional gaff cutters, evolved over many years to work under sail in the Fal estuary. Today, these boats still earn their living dredging for oysters under sail, as powered vessels are banned from the oyster fishery. The full-sized working boats are typically around 28 ft on deck. For almost as long as these boats have worked, they have been raced in the closed season for dredging, originally for substantial cash prizes. This led them to develop a powerful gaff rig for the summer racing season, though they normally dredge under a reduced rig.


The Oysterman 16 was designed by Paul Gartside as a smaller version, purely for leisure use. These boats were built by Oystersailers of Penryn, along with a larger version 22 ft on deck. Open versions, and boats with a small cuddy, were options, and some boats appear also to have been sold as unrigged motor launches. The hull form is true to the working boat origin.

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.

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