Thursday, September 16, 2010

Valiant 18 Bilge Keel Yacht

You don’t need a fortune to own a small second-hand yacht such as the Valiant 18, built by Fi-Craft in the early 70s. They turn up on a regular basis at various brokerages, and a Google search will reveal where they are. If you can find one in good condition you can have loads of fun sailing her, but bear in mind the running costs which could run to well above £1,000 a year, depending where your boat is moored. East Coast River Crouch fees for a mooring plus craning in and out, can amount to £1,300 for a small yacht; on top of that, you have to add the cost of maintenance, including antifouling, but by comparison with expenses incurred when running a larger yacht, the ratio of fun to cost, is greater for the smaller vessel.

On paper, the Valiant 18 offers 4 berths, but in practice she is probably only comfortable with two sleeping aboard. A 4 HP outboard will be more than adequate to push her along nicely. With a draught of little more than 3 feet, she can poke her way into most creeks and settle on her twin keels. Performance is not going to be brilliant by comparison with modern bilge keel boats - even ones built a few years ago, such as ‘Lamorna’, the Pegasus 700 that was twice top boat at Burnham Week.


Valiant 18 Statistics

Valiant 18 for Sale £1,000

Valiant 18 for Sale, Exeter £600

Valiant 18 Sold, but good photos

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