Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Friday, 8th July

'Electron', a classic East Coast Smack

Last Friday was for me a remarkable day, as time seemed to stand still, enabling me to cram a lot into it without feeling strained or hassled. In fact, the whole time was one of relaxation.

I rose early and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast, packed myself a picnic lunch and drove the car to Tollesbury Marina. En route I reacquainted myself with the beautiful countryside through which the meandering road passed - a road that I frequently drove along when I kept a small yacht at West Mersea, by the Yacht Club.

The weather was not the most suitable for antifouling, because it was blustery with heavy showers. I came prepared for scrubbing the smack’s hull as the tide receded, and I expected to find her at the scrubbing posts, but instead, CK 36 was on the Marina’s slipway, slung between frames of a large launching trolley. All the hard work of scraping off weeds and barnacles had been done by her owner. She lay there chocked up, high enough for easy access to her hull.

Her owner was nowhere to be seen. While I waited for him, I took a few photos of the 32 foot ‘Electron’. This sleek classic workboat was built in 1909 by Aldous of Brightlingsea; more recently she was completely rebuilt. Structurally, I noted that she was in excellent condition with all her seams in tact and a fair hull.

Within minutes her skipper appeared, and we set about applying antifouling to the drier, leeward side of the boat. Between showers we managed to do the windward side, with hours to spare before the incoming tide would be high enough for launching the boat.

A pretty, simulated clinker dinghy seen at the Blackwater Sailing Club

After eating my packed lunch I took my leave and motored to Heybridge Basin, there to look at the yachts and to walk beside the canal, also along the path to the Blackwater Sailing Club which overlooks the tidal Blackwater, mostly mud at low water – but a glorious playground for local yachtsmen, either side of high water.

After a leisurely stroll and a chat with visiting yachtsmen I made my way home. Then it was time for a cup of tea and a session sorting ‘Talitha’s’ reefing gear, plus setting up her anchoring system.

Well before nightfall, and not in the least fatigued, I retired to my room where I keep my computer. There I prepared my Blog for the day.


Sailing Smack Association

Photos of ‘Electron’ CK 36

Electron at Smack Dock, Brightlingsea

Blackwater Sailing Club

Heybridge Basin

West Mersea Yacht Club


Paul Mullings said...

Sounds like a great day, we all need more of those!

Paul Mullings said...

Any sign of launch day on the horizon?

William Serjeant said...


I'm hoping to have my first sail on Thursday, 14th July. The weather after that for a few days doesn't look promising.