I moved to Essex in 1972, and since then I have enjoyed walking the banks of the River Crouch. At Hullbridge I see the same yachts year after year appearing at the beginning of the sailing season after their winter hibernation. One such yacht is the red and white Etap 22 seen in the foreground in the above photo. Her name is ‘Baron X’, and to my mind this is quite inappropriate because she should be a baroness! I knew one of her previous owners for whom I crewed on a couple of occasions. Under certain conditions she would leave the racing fleet behind, but on others she would lag behind – something to do with ‘sailing in the groove’. You know when a boat is performing well; she goes straight as a die while her helm is almost in neutral, meaning the boat is in perfect balance. This can be on any point of sailing, but it is especially satisfying when the yacht is sailing to windward. The sail acts as a bird’s wing providing lift, while the vessel is drawn forwards with minimal leeway as her keel effortlessly cleaves the dense deep water below her shapely hull.
Well, this afternoon I walked the riverbank at Hullbridge and memories flooded back of good times I had sailing along this stretch of the River Crouch. I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the red and white yacht.
The Etap 22 was designed by E.G. Van de Stadt. This unsinkable, lifting keel trailer sailer was produced in the 1970’s. She was unsinkable because closed-cell polyurethane foam filled the cavity between her inner and outer hull.
Weight keel L.W.L. Mainsail
0,70 - 1,50 m/1,25 m
Etap 22 for Sale