Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sailing Yacht 'Floray of Cowes'

On Saturday I was at Tollesbury Sailing Club as a visiting guest in connection with the Old Gaffers Association Easter fun event for raising money for the RNLI.

Part of the attraction of visiting a sailing club is seeing members’ boats. At this time of year yachts are being made ready for launching, and their owners are applying antifouling, boot-topping and perhaps fresh coats of paint to topsides, and varnish to spars, taffrails, hatches etc..

A splendid wooden yacht that caught my attention was ‘Floray of Cowes’, and for your interest I have posted photos of her. I know nothing about her, except what I have seen. I like her very high guardrails and her long, varnished coachroof, but I’m glad I do not have to maintain the varnish.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Whilly Boat

I had an invitation to watch gaff-rigged sailing dinghies being launched from the hard at Tollesbury before racing in aid of the RNLI. It was a fun meeting organised by the Old Gaffers Association with the help and support of the Tollesbury Sailing Club.

I was particularly interested in seeing an Iain Oughtred designed Whilly Boat. She had received a rapid makeover after being purchased a week or so before. Therefore she was untried, and her new owner would be taking her on the water for the first time.

Getting away from the hard was made difficult by a stiff headwind and an incoming tide. One or two entrants didn’t even attempt it, but my friend with the Whilly Boat had a go.

One of the problems with a Whilly Boat is that she has a daggerboard which is not as versatile as a centreboard. Perhaps in recognition of this, Oughtred incorporated a daggerboard into his later designed Whilly Tern. Unlike the original Whilly Boat rigged with a single standing lugsail, my friend’s was rigged with a Gunter main and a small jib.

Sailing to windward in shallow water with that combination is not easy for a solo crew, because he has to manage two sheets, a tiller and a daggerboard. Furthermore, a Whilly Boat is not the most stable platform because of her slack bilges, since she was designed for rowing and sailing. Therefore the helmsman has to be fairly nimble when doing short tacks. Passing the tiller and its extension astern of the mainsheet requires good timing, and to do it, the helmsman has to sit on the thwart facing aft.  If the daggerboard is raised too high, the top can interfere with the boom. A lugsail without a boom does not present this problem, nor does the crew have to duck to avoid being banged on the head.

My friend’s leg injury from which he is recovering did not help; therefore I was not surprised when he returned to the hard shortly after setting off. Those in other, well tested dinghies were finding it hard to claw their way out of the creek against the wind. I didn’t stop to watch any more, because I was with my wife who wanted to return home, and I had lawns to cut.


Easter in Tollesbury: fun and RNLI fundraising

Whilly Tern

Iain Oughtred Whilly Tern

Oughtred Boats

Whilly Tern

Whilly Boat

Whilly Boat


Tollesbury Sailing Club

Friday, April 18, 2014

Water of Life

Today is Good Friday, the day Christians remember the death of Jesus on a cross outside Jerusalem at the hands of Roman soldiers approximately 2,000 years ago. On Sunday Christians will celebrate His resurrection from the dead, which guarantees for them, their hope of new life after death.

While all this is happening astronomers say they have found a planet capable of sustaining life. (See link below.) This planet, Kepler – 186f, has water, and without water there cannot be life as we know it.

John 4:13, 14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”


Have we finally found earth 2.0?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Hullbridge Riverside

If you like the idea of having your yacht at the bottom of your garden, then you may fancy a home overlooking the River Crouch at Hullbridge. These properties have unspoiled views across the river to land belonging to Marsh Farm on the north bank and beyond to a ridge where the Burnham Road passes between South Woodham Ferrers and North Fambridge. From their rear verandas and balconies the view extends from east, through north to the west, where on mid-summer evenings the most gorgeous sunsets can be seen reflecting off the water and mud flats. Air pollution over the metropolis enhances these spectacular scenes at dusk.

Wallasea Island lies nine miles* to the east, and a further ten miles will have you at the easternmost extremity of Foulness Sands, north of the Whitaker Beacon. A full day’s sail can be had by taking the ebb as far as the Whitaker and returning on the flood. As the prevailing wind is from the SW, the return trip will often entail much tacking. Get it right when the wind is from the south; you will have ample time for anchoring off the Sands to watch the seals and have lunch.

*Land miles.


5 Bedroom Detached House at Hullbridge overlooking the River Crouch, £770,000

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Touching Up ‘Minnow’

When I had the problem with retrieving ‘Minnow’s’ anchor I caught the chain on the forward starboard gunwale which scraped the paint. The damage was only superficial and cosmetic. Today I put it right by touching up the scuffed area with identical paint to the one used for the upper coats, i.e., International Toplac Atlantic Grey 289. A new tin of paint cost me £24.95. Astonishing!

I felt good about doing the repair, because it was a positive step towards regaining my confidence for sailing again. I’m still not confident about having another sail, but if I can equip ‘Minnow’ with a replacement anchor I may convince myself I’ll be OK. I know that if a rider has a fall, he must remount and carry on for maintaining his self-confidence. Until I have another sail I’ll never know if I’m up to it and if I want to continue.

This is a very strange experience for me, because I have always been confident on the water, and I have always looked forward to having a sail.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Nantucket Clipper Again

In January of last year I was at Bridgemarsh Marina where I saw what looked like a prototype Alan Buchanan Nantucket Clipper.* ‘Reynardini’** was for sale. On Monday I was at the Marina again and saw the same lovely craft. Her new owner(s) were preparing her for an exterior repaint.

Preparation is 70 to 80% of the task. Laying the foundation is important. I was amazed that her seams were very tight, despite the boat having been out of the water for over a year. When she’s done, she’ll be very good. It looks as though her new owner(s) have a beautiful classic yacht. I hope they will have a lot of fun sailing her.


*Nantucket Clipper

**Alan Buchanan Wooden Yawl

Gaff Yawl ‘Reynardini’

Offshore Yachts: Class Owners’ Association (Nantucket Clipper Mk 111)

Buchanan Owners’ Association

Alan Buchanan

Nantucket Clipper for Sale £10,750

Nantucket Clipper for Sale £17,950

Nantucket Clipper for Sale £17,995

Privateer and Clipper Bow

Monday, April 14, 2014

‘Callidus’ Again – Part 2

This is my fifth article featuring the beautiful Norman Dallimore classic yacht, ‘Callidus’. Since my previous write-up she has been kitted out with a fine winter cover. Her present owner has fitted a furling Genoa and equipped her with a set of new sails. After doing a big refit, including rebuilding the 35 HP Perkins diesel engine and completely rewiring the boat, plus modifying her interior, he has put her up for sale. Steve Booth of Essex Boat Shed has her on his books for £32,000, but she is advertised at Luxury for £39,000.

A 40 foot wooden yacht such as ‘Callidus’ requires constant maintenance. Her owner is forever dipping his hand in his pocket looking for change that isn’t there, and keeping her at a marina will knock him back several thousand pounds per annum, just for her to be tethered to a pontoon. Take her cruising and expenses multiply. More often than not, she cannot be sailed single-handed, which means looking for a compatible and able crew, and preferably a crew who are willing to pay their way.

Give me a small boat anytime in preference to a beauty like ‘Callidus’, because maintenance costs are negligible, especially if she is a trailer sailer, and sailing her single-handed gives the freedom to go when you like without having to arrange schedules weeks or months in advance. On the other hand if you are gregarious and have pots of money and you fall in love with a charming classic yacht, why not go for it? You cannot take your money to the grave, but you can share what you’ve got with others, and hopefully find pleasure in it.


‘Callidus’ Again

‘Callidus’ - A Classic Wooden Yacht


Classic Wooden Boat

1952 Dallimore 40

Wooden Sloop 39ft Dallimore 11 ½ Tonner