Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Yachting World People’s Boat

One-off based on People's Boat

There is virtually no information on the Web about the Yachting World People’s Boat. I believe she was conceived back in the post-war years in response to a competition run by the Yachting World Magazine. Who designed her I do not know, but I can remember seeing a few of these wooden yachts that had been built by amateurs. I think they had a LOA of roughly 22’ and a beam of around 6.5’ and a draught of 3’. They had a low profile cabin and a moderately sized cockpit which was not self-draining. I believe one Yachting World People’s Boat did a circumnavigation from west to east via the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, but all this is from a hazy memory.

Recently I was passing along the waterfront at the Hullbridge Yacht Club when I saw an attractive double-ended wooden boat being painted and prepared for the water. Her owner told me he had started caring for her after his uncle had been forced to give up sailing. His uncle had designed and built the yacht which was based on the lines of a Yachting World People’s Boat. She was much lager than the original boat, but instead of a transom she had a canoe stern. Her underwater profile, with a single chine and a ‘v’ bottom with a long straight keel, was very similar to the original People’s Boat.

I can remember first seeing this unique yacht in 1973 at her Hullbridge mooring which was too shallow for her to remain afloat at low water. This meant she has always had to have legs fitted to keep her upright when her keel settles on the river bed. She is normally moored fore and aft with her bow pointing up river to prevent her from swinging out of position. Traditionally yachts which are moored fore and aft have their bow facing upstream, because the ebb flows faster than the flood, and in the case of this particular boat, her bow points towards the prevailing westerly wind.

She is rigged as a high aspect ratio Bermudan sloop, and with her deep long keel which is well ballasted with iron, I feel sure her performance to windward must be very good. I like her built-up doghouse which gives standing headroom where the deadrise kicks up towards her stern. I also like her tabernacle which makes raising the mast an easy procedure. The well maintained woodwork, after all these years, is a credit to her owner. Built from plywood, she remains in excellent condition.

Other touches are her generous side decks, pushpit and pulpit, and note the hawse at the bow for mooring lines. She has a substantial bow roller to take the forces of the anchor chain. The mahogany rubbing strip below the gunwale gives a bit of class, besides being a practical means of protecting the topsides when the yacht is moored alongside another yacht or to a quay. The raised fore hatch and opening lights on the cabin trunk can provide ample ventilation when the yacht is at anchor or in port.

All in all, this special yacht is a delight for her owner who cares for her as if she is his soulmate.


A Scanned Copy of the Original Brochure for the Yachting World People’s Boat can be obtained here:

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