Continuing the series ‘Photographs of Boats I have owned’ here are a few more from 1998 when I joined the Dinghy Cruising Association until I left in 2008. During that time I participated in several rallies and meetings - all but one of them at venues on the South Coast between the Solent and Falmouth. The exception was at Holy Island, Northumbria, which necessitated a long journey there and back by road. That nearly put paid to the engine of my old Ford Sierra because of the hammering it took while towing ‘Micro’. I built the little boat from a Swallow Boats Storm Petrel kit, but I modified her by adding decking and fitting her with keel boards instead of a daggerboard. Equipped with a boom tent and portable galley she was a super micro-sailboat eminently suitable for semi-protected waters.
Before joining the DCA I discovered that the Roamer dinghy had been specifically designed for cruising, and that several of them were owned by members. From the Association’s quarterly Bulletin I learned that one by the name of ‘Harriott’ was for sale. I didn’t hesitate in contacting the owner and within a couple of days she was mine. I made a few changes to her. The most useful was the addition of a multi-block tackle for raising and lowering the mast.
Realizing the advantages of small boat cruising - the trailer sailer type of vessel - I looked around for a more portable boat that could be transported on the roof rack of my car. I asked Paul Fisher to design me a 50/50 canoe similar to the type Hugh Horton was experimenting with in the US, but cheaper and easier to build. Paul more or less got it right, but she was a little too heavy and a trifle too beamy. Apart from not being able to paddle her as efficiently as I had hoped, on account of her beam, I was pretty pleased with her. I could sleep aboard when she was secure at a protected anchorage, and likewise she was sturdy enough for me to have a night’s kip when she was hauled up on the beach.
‘Harriott’ - Roamer Interlude – 1999
‘Micro’ - 2001
Caleb - 2003