Thursday, August 27, 2015

‘Lady Rosemary’, a Transworld 41 Ketch

I am amazed at the amount of information that can be found on the Internet about certain boats. I saw this centre cockpit Transworld 41 at Hullbridge. She was on a slipway at the eastern end of Brandy Hole Reach on the River Crouch. By keying her name, Lady Rosemary, into Internet search engines I was able to find out quite a lot about her. She was designed by William Garden and she was built by the Transworld Boat Building Company in Taiwan, in 1978. She is a British Registered vessel of 17.26 tons.

From Ancasta’s brokerage website* I discovered that the first owner had taken her on a world cruise. Her very comprehensive inventory at the time of sale included a Hydrovane self-steering unit and she was equipped with Seldon in-mast furling systems for both the main and mizzen. (This doesn't appear to be the case at the moment - see photos.) She was set up for single-handing, which for a globetrotter is a good thing, because crews are not always easy to find. On the other hand, she has seven berths distributed between three cabins. A bit of chartering wouldn’t be out of place.

She is a bigger and far more complicated yacht than I would want to own, on account of numerous bits of equipment that could go wrong and the expense of running her, but she has already proven herself to be a practical live-aboard yacht with a few home comforts such as: a hot and cold pressurized water system, and heating in the form of an Eberspacher cabin unit.

While looking for information about the boat, I could not avoid coming across details of the couple who currently live aboard Lady Rosemary.  They are Jack and Anita Curtis. Anita set up a Blogspot blog** in 2008 telling of their life afloat. She makes and sells handmade jewellry, and she has a website illustrating her wares. Here’s the address:  .


*Transworld 41 ‘Lady Rosemary’

**Anita Curtis – A Life Sailing and Crafting

‘Lady Rosemary’ at

Hydrovane Self-steering

Transworld 41 Ketch (Builder’s website)

Transworld 41 for Sale £29,950 (Aft cockpit version)
Lo-Kee Transworld 41’ Ketch – Facebook

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Hurricane 5.9 Catamaran

This year’s Hurricane 5.9 Nationals were held at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club between 15th and 18th August. I took the above photo on 9th August. It features a Hurricane 5.9 catamaran at Burnham Sailing Club’s pontoon. This class of racing catamaran was designed and built by Reg White and his brother Robert, both of whom were Olympic sailors based at Brightlingsea Sailing Club. Reg helmed a Tornado Class catamaran at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. With his brother-in-law John Osborne as crew, he won four of six races to secure a gold medal for Great Britain. Tragically, he died of a heart attack after an evening race with his grandson on 27th May, 2010.

The Hurricane 5.9 is similar to the Tornado, but less beamy at 8ft to comply with width restrictions for trailering in the UK. She has very tough, rigid hulls constructed from foam sandwich/carbon. The latest SX version has a pre-bent metal mast and a Pentex Square-Top mainsail. With dual trapezes she can be managed by crews weighing between 18 and 30 stones. (Combined weight)

These racing cats are admirably suited to places with shallow water, because they are equipped with kick-up centreboards and kick-up rudders. There is a fleet of five 5.9 SX catamarans at the Marconi Sailing Club which is situated on the south bank of the River Blackwater. I was a member in 2007 and 2008 and I recollect seeing many catamarans at the boat park.

Apparently, a broad, all age spectrum of sailors, male and female race them, and there is a friendly, family orientated Hurricane 5.9 Class Association.*

It is surprising what one can glean from a photo. Of interest to me is the little motive ‘Zhik’ on the side of this particular Hurricane 5.9. Zhik manufacture and market high performance sailing wear, of which a useful item for me would be their ‘Deckbeater’ shorts that have pads for protecting one’s posterior when hiking a boat. If you read my article, ‘Had an Excellent Sail with ‘Pike’ – Part 2’, you will know why!  (To see it, click the very last Link)


*Hurricane 5.9

Burnham Sailing Club

Reg White

Reg White

Reg White – The Telegraph

Photos of Hurricane 5.9 Nationals at Thorpe Bay

Thorpe Bay Yacht Club

Marconi Sailing Club

Brightlingsea Sailing Club
Catamaran Training Event at Marconi Sailing Club

United Kingdom Catamaran Racing Association

Catamaran Class Associations

Catamaran Sailor – Reporting on the Hurricane 5.9 in March 2010

Square Top Mainsails

Square-top Mainsail

Zhik High Performance Sailing Wear

Zhik Deckbeater Shorts

Zhik T2 Harness and Infusion Rigging

Had an Excellent Sail with ‘Pike’ – Part 2


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Messing About with Pike

As regular readers will know, Pike is my Iain Oughtred skiff. I bought her at the end of May, but I’ve only sailed her once. My intention was to try her to see if I could regain my confidence for sailing again. Prior to that, I had sold Minnow ***along with her gear, because I lost all desire for getting out on the water. Readers of this blog, friends and relatives tried to persuade me not to sell Minnow, but I would not listen, being convinced that my lifelong passion for sailing had finally come to an end. Others asked me to crew, but I did not accept their invitations. Then I was asked by the owner of Ladybird to come for a sail, and although I was hesitant I said I would give it a go. I was a bit anxious on the day, but the sail went well.*

The experience helped me gain confidence for taking Pike for a sail**. Since then I’ve had a two day cruise**** aboard Ladybird which has given me more confidence. Therefore I’m looking forward to another sail with Pike, but that won’t be until the weather cheers up, and conditions are right. From loss of confidence to looking forward is a big step in the right direction. Meanwhile, I’ve been messing about with Pike on dry land doing maintenance and modifications.


Pike Skiff designed by Iain Oughtred

*Day Sail with ‘Ladybird’

**Had an Excellent Sail with ‘Pike’ – Part 1

**Had an Excellent Sail with ‘Pike’ – Part 2

***’Minnow’ Pledged to Another (Sold)

****Two Day Cruise - Part 2

Monday, August 24, 2015

Modifications to ‘Pike’

A tiller extension is not required - Note the rope horse.

Tiller extension in stowed position - Note the lashing to secure it. Ugh!

The tiller is far better without an extension. I'll be changing the sheeting arrangement.*

Quite a few changes to the original Iain Oughtred design were made to Pike by previous owners. The rudder was modified by having a fairly unique system for raising the lower half. This entailed having an up-haul and a downhaul, both of them running along the upper surface of the tiller. Each had independent hooks for retaining them when under tension. Above them there was a tiller extension. These additions did not feature in the original design.

When I sailed the skiff for the very first time I found that there was no need for an extension, because the tiller could be reached when I was sitting on the side benches and on the thwart. Furthermore, the sheet sometimes became trapped under the end of the extension.

Another added item not featured in the original design was a rope horse for a sheet block. When there was no tension on the block it often came into contact with the tiller and the extension. Instead of a rope horse there should be a continuous* sheet running from the clew of the sail through single blocks either side of the transom. The sheet should be long enough for the sail to be brailed to the mast.

I am currently making these changes. There are a few more things I would like to attend to before my next sail.


‘Pike’s’ Rudder

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Two Day Cruise – Part 3 (Bradwell to Burnham)

Goodbye to Bradwell Power Station - literally it is being taken apart

Skipper at the helm

The skipper checking 'Ladybird's' mooring before leaving

Goodbye and thank you 'Ladybird'

A planned short coastal cruise may not be straightforward on account of the weather. Would there be enough wind? Would there be too much? Would we be able to sail the boat back to Burnham according to the navigator’s plan?

The 48 hour forecast at the start of the cruise predicted that the wind would be from a southerly direction between force 3 and 4. In which case, we would be on a reach for the first leg from Bradwell Marina to the Swin Spitway, and after tacking through the Spitway we could expect a long fetch with the wind coming from a point forward of the beam.

In practice, that is how it nearly panned out, except we arrived a little too early at the Spitway. Instead of being there shortly before low water when the ebb would have been almost stationary, the tide was still ebbing into the Wallet. In order to make over the ground, we had to have help from the engine. At that point, just when we did not want the wind to head us, it did! However, we were able to make 240 degrees while lee-bowing the ebb.

There are two passages between the Buxey Sand to the north and Foulness Sand to the south. We chose the northerly one marked by Swallowtial port hand buoys. The alternative passage was through the Whitaker Channel, but had we taken that option, the tide and wind would have swept us away from Burnham. The better tack was with the wind coming from the port hand side.

At the outset, on leaving Bradwell Marina, the sky was grey, and there was fine drizzle, which was not at all inviting. No wonder only two other yachts were under sail, each of them considerably larger than Ladybird, and as usual, the larger ones sailed faster. For us that was helpful, because we could see where they were heading which was in the direction we wanted to go, i.e., towards the starboard hand Bench Head buoy. From there we would continue to the N W Knoll buoy and the Eagle before arriving at the Spitway.

The sky began to clear, revealing bright blue openings between clouds to the SW. The wind increased to about a force three. Instead of sailing at two knots, the yacht was doing over four. We should have reduced sail to slow us down, for arriving at the Spitway as planned at 09.45 – just before low water. Low water at Burnham was at 1016, but out at the Spitway it was earlier. The further north you go on the North Sea, the earlier high water is. That’s because the flow or flood travels from north to south, and consequently the ebb moves in the opposite direction earlier than in the south.

The advantage of sailing at neaps is having deeper water at low water than at springs, because the range of water between high and low is less. For us, this was helpful because sailing on a south-westerly heading we could avoid the ebb by creeping over the shallows in the vicinity of the Swallowtail buoys. Beyond and in the Whitaker Channel, the flood made itself felt by lee bowing the yacht on both tacks – short when on starboard tack, and long on port.

On approaching Foulness Sand, south of the Sunken Buxey shoal, we drew close to seals basking on the sandspit. There you can sail very close to the sand in the proximity of Buxey No 1 buoy. Seals are not daft; they know were they can catch fish more easily -that’s where their prey have less room to pass between narrows; in this case, Sunken Buxey shoal to the north and Foulness Sand to the south.

Here we came to the highlight of our cruise. Conditions couldn’t have been more perfect – smooth water, sunshine, beautiful cloud formations, sparking water, fresh air, and a perfectly trimmed boat. Ahead, lay our destination. Seven miles away, we would have to stop sailing, tidy the boat, pack our gear into the tender, and call it a day. We did not wish our time away. Instead, we wanted to continue.

One thing I forgot to mention was the wonderful hospitality of the skipper. I never once had to prepare food or make a drink. He did it all! I was entirely spoiled and mollycoddled.

Thank you, Captain for a great time.


Two Day Cruise – Part 1

Two Day Cruise - Part 2 (Burnham to Bradwell)

Bradwell Power Station

Wild Foulness

Ray Sand Swatchway

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Two Day Cruise – Part 2 (Burnham to Bradwell)


Safe Water Mark

Bradwell Marina

It was with a little trepidation that I stepped onto the platform at Burnham-on-Crouch railway station where I was to be greeted by the owner of yacht Ladybird. My trepidation was not to do with meeting him, but with facing the fact that I was going to start a short cruise involving more than would be required of a day sail with Pike, my Iain Oughtred skiff. We would be leaving the River Crouch for a sail through the Ray Sand Channel, which would mean crossing the narrow isthmus of sand between Ray Sand and Buxey Sand. The return trip would be via the Swin Spitway at the eastern extremity of the Buxey Sand.

The Met Office Inshore Shipping Forecast for Gibraltar Point to North Foreland was: ‘SW 3, occasional rain, fair later.’ In fact, the rain came later that night when we were snugly berthed at Bradwell Marina. It continued into the early morning of Thursday, 20thAugust.

High Water for Burnham on Wednesday 19th was not until 15.49, which gave us ample time for getting to the yellow marker buoy from where we would sail northwards across the shallows for the Ray Sand Channel. At midday we cast off from Ladybird’s mooring at Rice and Cole and we powered clear of neighbouring boats before making sail.

We anticipated that our crossing of the sand at the shallowest point would take place about an hour before HW Burnham. There were surprisingly few boats on the move, apart from a number of Burnham scows being sailed by youngsters. The Foulness Firing Range launch was anchored off Foulness Point and red flags were displayed on the south bank indicating that firing was taking place. We already new that because periodically, there were emissions of black smoke followed by the sounds of explosions. Rather than firing rounds, it appeared that the burning off of outdated explosives was taking place.

A SW wind of force two gently wafted us over the incoming tide to give us two to two-and-a-half knots, bringing us to the all important yellow marker buoy. We arrived there a little later than planned, but that gave us the advantage of deeper water for crossing the hidden isthmus under Ladybird’s keels. We had an updated, detail chart showing two safe water buoys with vertical red and white stripes. Sure enough they were picked out by the skipper and confirmed to be so by further inspection through binoculars. They gave us reassurance that we were where we should have been. By then the wind was on ‘Ladybird’s’ port quarter and it increased in strength, possibly to a force three, giving us a good speed of over four knots. Far ahead to port there was the unmistakeable outline of Bradwell Power Station, which was very close to our planned destination at the marina.

Our course was parallel to the eastern fringes of the low-lying Dengie Peninsular. Ladybird’s track matched the zero metre line on the chart, but with the depth sounder showing four metres, giving us three metres to spare.

At the northern end of the Peninsula, beyond Tillingham Marshes, there’s the ancient landmark of St Peter’s Chapel. This historic building is a useful feature for taking compass bearings, and we used it for confirming our position in relation to Bachelor’s Spit, over which we passed with only a metre to spare - and that on a falling tide!

To avoid the ebb from the Blackwater we sailed as close as we dare to Sales Point at the entrance of the river, but beyond that, and hard on the wind, the current forced us further and further into deeper and faster flowing water. Had we not resorted to motor sailing we would have been forced to anchor until the tide or wind changed.

With only a mile to go, we furled the Genoa, started the engine and chugged into the wind, so as to arrive at Bradwell Marina in time for an evening meal. We walked a short distance to the Green Man pub where the skipper treated me to a deliciously tasty meal of fresh haddock and chips.

As is customary for me on the first night of a cruise, I did not sleep well. I fitfully slumbered, periodically waking to listen to the pitter-patter of rain and to speculate about the next day.

(Part 3 to follow)


Two Day Cruise

Dengie Peninsula

St Peter’s Chapel
Green Man Pub

Friday, August 21, 2015

‘Daisy’, a Roamer Cruising Dinghy is for Sale

You’ll note that at the top of the homepage of this blog there is a photo of my old Roamer dinghy. She was designed by Eric Coleman, specifically for cruising. He was a founder member of the Dinghy Cruising Association (DCA). To learn more about Roamers, go to the links section at the bottom of this page.

If you like what you see, and you want to get hold of a Roamer, why not respond to the advertisement below and ask to see ‘Daisy’ – but no time wasters please! – Only genuine enquirers with a real desire for a good cruising dinghy and the cash to buy should respond.

If you are not already a member of the DCA, you can discover how to join by visiting their website at  .


Sail number R205

A rare opportunity to buy a well-made example of this famous self-righting 14ft cruising dinghy designed by Eric Coleman, one of the founders of the DCA, and featured in his book Dinghies for All Waters. He took his inspiration from ballasted sail and oar lifeboats with raised buoyant ends, as seen elsewhere in this issue of Dinghy Cruising.

     Daisy was launched in Summer 2011, and has been sailed infrequently since. The builder worked from DCA plans supplied by Peter Bick, and she was some seven years in build. The hull was not made using the stitch and tape method but exactly as the original, with chine log / frame construction, which results in a very tough plywood boat.

      I have been asked by the builder's widow to advertise Daisy in Dinghy Cruising. You should also find details on Bill Serjeant's popular blog by the time you read this:  There is a pdf available on the Roamer design on Bill's site, and I have a copy I can send by return of email should you have any difficulty. Roamer is a dedicated cruising boat: with her centreplate up she is self-righting from 120 below vertical, and has lots of stowage. Her appearance is unusual, but as her designer remarked wryly, she is reminiscent of Columbus's carrack.  Keith Muscott

Note: the timber across the cockpit is to brace the cover – not a spar.

It was raining heavily at times while I was photographing the boat, so these shots could have been a lot better.

Non-slip floorboards go over the storage space above the cockpit sole, which is kept dry using a substantial bilge pump (left of main hatch).

She is not Bermudan rigged, as designed, but has gunter spars in Douglas Fir.

Immaculate sails by Mouse Loft, North Wales
Plywood from Robbins
Painted with International Toplac
Good galvanised trailer
Steel centreplate with winch, as plans
Yamaha 3hp MALTA outboard in excellent condition
Heavy boat cover, bought late 2012

Price: £3,200
Apply to Rita Leckie, Anglesey:
Tel. 01248 853 939

Overall length: 14ft
LWL: 13ft 3ins
Beam: 5ft 10ins
Weight for trailing: 600 lbs


Roamer Dinghy

Roamer Dinghy - Part 2