Sunday, June 12, 2011

Boats I have Built


I built my very first boat at the age of 13. She was a skin on frame shortened Scout Kayak named ‘Tyrol’ after the Tyrolean Mountains. An elder brother had visited them and he told me how beautiful and majestic they were.

My next homemade boat was a Percy Blandford PBK 15 decked canoe I built while doing National Service in North Wales. If she had a name, I cannot remember it. I sold her to a friend who used her for at least 20 years before she gave up the ghost. Unfortunately I do not have any photos of her.


During intervening years I bought and renovated several yachts. In the early 80s I built ‘Zeta’, a 25’ Folksong yacht from a hull and deck moulding. I gave her a junk rig with a tapered Needlespar mast.


Next was ‘Micro’. She was based on Swallow Boats’ Storm Petrel. I bought just the hull panels and modified the design for weekending. I equipped the boat with bilge keels instead of a daggerboard, which gave me room for a full length berth under a boom tent.


After ‘Micro’ I built ‘Caleb’, a 50/50 sailing and paddling decked canoe designed specifically for me by Paul Fisher.


The boat that I consider to have been my best in terms of craftsmanship was ‘Faith’, a Paradox sailboat designed by the genius Matt Layden.


I doubt I shall give her this name, but she is the boat I am now building and hope to finish in time for sailing this season. Her designer is Derek Munnion, and she is very unusual in that she has a proper drop keel, which should make sailing her a leisurely affair.


I've added an article about my Hunter Europa 19, which was not included in the above list of boats that I have built. Here is the link:

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