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JUNE 2016 £3.95

Tranquil times on the Thames

Festivals fun and cross country cruising

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50 Editorial


Instructor’s tales




Molly across England


COVER: Beale Park Boat Show – see you there!


Frances 26


The open-air life


Sleeping beauty


Sailing Shtandart in a Biscay gale


Potato Race: a Dutch classic event


This cruising life: Tentatively going tidal


Draughtsman Yachts: boatbuilder to Yorkshire


On Watch: kit for ship and crew


Off Watch, Over the Yardarm and Shoreside


Boat handling: Several good ways to stop


Practical: The feather-edge scarph


Tools: Matters of the heart


Calendar and Next Month


The last word: The romantic night afloat


Looking forward to nights under canvas at Beale Park New NHS Flagships; Reliance modelled; Pilot cutter Olga up for charter; French lock gates; Antigua Classics; Seagulls in Oz; A preview of everyone’s favourite summer weekend

Around the yards

Classic A&R restored; Nancy Blackett’s mast trouble; Roeboats busy in Cork; Ratsey and Lapthorn’s new manager

Association news

Solent’s GRP Sunbeams; Enterprises at 60; Finesse rally

Classic Coast

St Ives – Jumbos, Wallis, Hepworth and more

Smylie’s boats Scottish Fifies

The Post

Godwin’s Law, Solo serving, call for a crew list, praise for Rival 34

Andrew Bray

Keeping it simple isn’t so simple

Nardi’s nods

Fingal 27, a Knud Reimers design


14 15 15 16 19 21

A top-up tip with an aftermath Getting a gaffer from the Blackwater to Bristol beneath bridges How Chuck Paine’s first boat came into being and a new look Roger Barnes extols the delights of dinghy cruising

Siesta, the brand-new 12-metre designed 75 years ago A wild, wet delivery trip in the replica Russian flagship Robert Simper joins the klippers, the tjalks and the rest Helen Lewis and the Skipper tiptoe down the Thames towards the sea On the Humber, Joe Irving has a reputation for restoring classics Night vision, solar cooking, warm shirts (as worn by Elvis) and more Guy joins a club; Alone at Sea, a Thames companion, places we love


Sooner or later you need to pick up a berth. Nick Beck shows how A step-by-step photo guide to the job


Des Pawson provides a clew to the mystery Events for the coming month and year, and what’s in our next issue Or not. Lucy L Ford recalls some less-successful occasions CLASSIC SAILOR

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From 13th to 19th July

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FÉV RIE R 2016 – Photo : Jacques Vapillon

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Editorial Dan Houston

Looking forward to going to the Beale Park Boat Show in June with a tent


ur first Beale Park Show with Classic Sailor magazine So the trick is to take a tent. And you can usually find someone who is willis something I am very much looking forward to. Not ing to help you put it up. One year I got to the location of our tent to find the that I am new to the place. I think I have been to every late magician and comedian Paul Daniels helpfully putting it up. There was show since Beale Park took over as the venue of choice some bemusement on either side as people were convinced he should have for an annual small boatbuilder’s show around the been able to produce it, fully guyed-out from one of his pockets. I know I shouldn’t drop names, and the Queen was telling me that, but millennium. That was when the National Maritime it’s just to illustrate the kind of place Beale is. Museum at Greenwich (which had been the long term Of course some people put a tent up over the boom of their boat and sleep venue) wanted their lawn back to celebrate the 21st century. afloat; Beale has its share of those types with a variety of dinghies on display A show for small wooden boats is always going to have a different feel to, from the Dinghy Cruising Association. This say, a show for GRP dinghies. But from the month Roger Barnes can hopefully whet start Beale established an atmosphere that I know I shouldn’t drop names – the your appetite for the simplicity and sheer joy attracts many who simply like the idea of of small boat cruising with a feature on living messing around in old-looking boats. Queen was telling me that, but it’s to in a dinghy on p36. Occasionally Roger has The setting in rural Berkshire just up the illustrate the kind of place Beale is been known to paddle out into the middle of road, and river, from Pangbourne puts it the lake aprés the aprés as it were, anchor his firmly in Mole and Ratty country, and you Francois Vivier Ilur and sleep in the moonlight. There’s a kind of surreality are not surprised when you meet a character who looks a bit Wind in the to that, especially when you find him coming “ashore” in sea clothes and Willows (I don’t mean the weasels of course!). buying his morning kipper from Mike Smylie (p15) who maintains a hearty In the early years, the company I worked for tended to book me into cheer throughout the three days that belies the fact he is getting up every two “nearby” hotels... It was a mistake, I soon found out that it was much more hours through the night to put a handful of oak sawdust on the slow smokfun to stay on after the show closed and enjoy the aprés Beale pastime of ing “fire” of his kipper house. The kippers are a taste sensation by the way. gentle drinking around the campsite. The hotels were wasted, twice, as I Then you look over his shoulder and see a scale model submarine toolfound it impossible to order a taxi by the time the aprés Beale had become ing quietly across the lake (with a dog on its bows) and you realise that you aprés enough and the description “nearby” turned out to be seven or eight have come to somewhere which really is very different from anywhere else. miles wobbly-hike away.

Beale Park hosts a range of boats, both for the sea or inland waterways and draws specialist craftsmen and boatbuilders from around the country. Usually it’s good weather!


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30/04/16 3:53 AM

Signals Around the world via Lowestoft, Swansea, Brittany, Anstruther, overleaf to Beale Park, and on to p10 for Antigua and Australia NATIONAL HISTORIC SHIPS

National Historic Ships UK has expanded its Flagship of the Year scheme this year to include three vessels. In addition to this year’s National Flagship, the former Southampton Ferry MV Balmoral, now based in the Bristol Channel as an excursion ship, two Regional Flagships have been awarded: Lowestoft sailing smack Excelsior and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal shortboat Kennet. Excelsior, built 1921 and recommissioned as a sailtraining ship in 1988, has recently emerged from a period of refurbishment and is currently carrying out an extensive sailing programme in her home waters, around the coast of the UK and abroad – she is currently visiting Norway.

Excelsior Trust chair Jamie Campbell said: “We are delighted that our commitment to maintaining part of East Anglia’s maritime heritage has been recognised by National Historic Ships. This prestigious award reflects the dedication by a small group to ensure Excelsior’s iconic red sails will continue to be a much loved sight off our coastal shores. “Hundreds of people every year, both young and not so young enjoy their time aboard her and we are determined to carry on making her available to as many people as possible in years to come.” Bill Ewen: Tributes have been paid to Bill Ewen, former skipper of Excelsior and other


Replacing gates of oak on the canal The ‘Patrimoine Maritime’ in Brittany will be well appreciated by those who have ventured across la Manche for its wonderful classic boat festivals, writes Chris Blakey. This commitment to preserving and capitalizing on their boating heritage is not limited to the coastal ports and the open sea, but also extends to many of their inland waterways. The canal d’Ille-et-Rance, runs between St Malo and Rennes over 50 miles with nearly as many lock gates. It began construction during the time of Napoleon I and came into use in 1832. This splendid waterway now provides a beautiful resource for tourism and

Above: in the workshop with M Gudeau; here, a gate ready for replacement


Three new Flagships

sail-training ships including Duet, who died in March. “Bill devoted much of his life to Excelsior and the young people

whose lives were broadened by sailing in her,” said John Wylson, vice-president of the Excelsior Trust.

leisure generally whilst also offering an inland route for suitable craft to the Atlantic, avoiding the Brittany coast. Considerable energy and funding is being invested in this waterway, not only for the canal and its banks but also the towpath (chemin de halage) and the lock gates. These traditional wooden gates obviously need repair over time – some have been replaced with steel gates, but there is now an on-going project funded by local government to return them all to original wooden gates made from best French oak. The impressive canal workshop is based at St Germainsur-Ille, where these superb examples of traditional skills are constructed to plans drawn up many years ago. They are marked out on the workshop floor, with a plumb-bob still used for measurement and cutting. The team, led by Jean Pierre Guedeu, builds and

Sailing on: Excelsior is “part of East Anglia’s maritime heritage”

replaces three or four of the 90 door panels each year in line with their 30-year life expectancy. One door panel for an upstream gate, weighs in the region of 1½ tons, with a material cost of €9,000 whilst a downstream gate panel, weighing up to 4½ tons, costs €12,000, not including labour. The build time for each door is about 6 to 8 weeks. The removal and replacement takes place over the closed winter period. The team is also involved in a continual process of bank restoration, including dredging, erosion protection and re-instatement of grass and flower borders, up to a kilometer a year. This rather wonderful resource does seem quite under-used; together with the lovely villages along its length, it offers an enjoyable and peaceful way to appreciate a stunning area of the French countryside.


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It will be displayed heeled over, going to windward and carrying all sails with a full complement of model Action Men crew QUAY PEOPLE


Large scale model of Reliance unveiled As we went to press the Herreshoff Marine Museum, Bristol RI, USA, was preparing to unveil (on 1 May) this stunning model of the 1903 America’s Cup winner Reliance. The fine-scale model in 1/6th scale is 37’ feet tall and 34’ long (11.2/10.3m). It faithfully captures from original plans all details of the original America’s Cup winner. Built over the past four years by a team of volunteer artisans, it will be displayed heeled over, going to windward and carrying all sails with a full complement of

Preview of the new nodel of Reliance

model ‘Action Men’ crew. Viewed from deck level it will look very realistic. Reliance was the largest and most extreme of all the great

90-footers. An engineering and design marvel of her time, for a century she was the tallest single-masted yacht, carrying 16,200 sq. ft. of sail.

Matt Williams is skipper of Swansea Museum’s 1909 Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Olga and Maritime Technician for the museum’s pontoon of historic craft. A local from The Mumbles he’s rowed, sailed, and fished since a boy and has been a member of The Mumbles lifeboat for 10 years.


Pilot cutter Olga cuts a dash for charter Anyone keen to experience an original Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter in as an original condition as can be imagined, need wait no longer. Swansea Museum is now chartering its1909 56ft (17.07m) pilot cutter Olga, following new deck and interior restoration at T Nielsen’s Gloucester Dock yard. Original plans and old photographs were used to recreate the Edwardian finish, and the result is a stunning environment for the purist, and, says the museum, “for those who appreciate

atmosphere that you can slice and put on a plate to enhance a charter along one of the most beautiful coastlines in the British Isles”. Olga’s cruising agenda can take in the wildlife delights of Lundy and Skomer, and at this stage charters can be driven by customer requests, so might include any of the gourmet restaurants from Coast at Saundersfoot, The Coal Hole at Oxwich Bay on the Gower, or Rick Stein’s culinary empire at Padstow. Anyone who would like to join her for the Round Lundy

Race on 20 August, should make haste to contact to Olga’s skipper Matt Williams on 07881269210 or email him at Matthew.Williams@ Prices are £500 + VAT for eight people per day. See our next issue for a feature on Olga competes in Cock of the Channel 80th anniversary race.

Olga – why not charter her for the Round Lundy?


Anstruther adds a pipe band Anstruther’s Harbour Festival, Saturday 4 to Sunday 5 June, this year revives the historic ‘Anster Fair’ with a pipe band parade, Scottish country dance displays, ceilidhs, artists, craftspeople and local artisan food sellers, plus live music, childrens’ activities, and street entertainers. All this in addition to the Anstruther Muster of visiting boats and the Scottish Fisheries Museum’s Open Day.

Sandy Lee has spent the last four years studying and recreating his stunning model of Reliance. During the process he has come to admire the sheer genius of Nat Herreshoff, her designer. We hope to have more on this soon.

After 20 years at the helm of Mylor Yacht Harbour in Cornwall. Roger Graffy is stepping down from leading his 45-strong team and asking anyone who thinks they can take over from him to apply for the job. Happy sailing Roger! CLASSIC SAILOR

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Signals Preview June brings in the new boating season with longer days and warmer winds and what better way to start than the first weekend, at Beale


Beale Park Boat & Outdoor Show 2016 The Beale Park Boat Show, 3–5 June is one of those events which are more like a festival than the initial list of exhibits might suggest. Supported by a good number of boatbuilders, suppliers and industry specialists it is a good show to come and compare boats – many of which you can launch and test sail on the lake. But with a good beer tent and demonstrations of craftsmanship from boatbuilding and knot tying to bushcraft and preparing and cooking fish, it is also a day out in its own right. Classic cars and motorbikes add to the atmosphere and with on site camping many stay over the weekend.

There are always gorgeous examples of the wooden boatbuilder’s craft here; varnished chestnut and honey-coloured boats make you think you’ve jumped in between the pages of Wind in the Willows. Check out the Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association, many of whose members display at Beale, with good practical boats to suit a range of budgets. “Wood is the primary construction material for custom building and the show has builders experienced in the huge variety of methods possible with wood. From skin boats to simple plywood designs, to exquisite traditional

L–R: The famous jazz band won’t be there this year according to organisers, so this is a reminder! There are lots of small boat designs to view and try; memorabilia stalls; a quiet sail in the company of a swan

3rd, 4th, 5th June


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...varnished chestnut and honey-coloured boats make you think you’ve jumped in between the pages of Wind in the Willows QUAY PEOPLE

Kipperman aka Mike Smylie

Alasdair Flint, runs Arthur Beale

Sail in company with a swan builds this is where you can talk to the builders and take another step on the path to owning a unique design that has your ideas built into it,” says the WBTA’s Nick Newland who adds that in these days of mass production, owning a boat like that can be a life-enhancing experience. This year Traditional Boat Supplies will be back, under new ownership (CS8), Demon Yachts is bringing a Kite (CS2) and de Bleuchamp will have a champagne tent. Classic Sailor will also be there in a tent so do please come along and meet us. And as our photos show, the weather is often brilliant!

Tickets: 3, 4, 5 June Online On the day Adult single (16 years+): £8.00 £10.00 Child single (2 to 15): £6.00 £8.00 Disabled adult single £4.00 £5.00 Disabled child single £2.00 £2.50 Classic Car + 2 people £5.00 £6.00 Tel: 01296 631 273 or 07806 299 757 Pangbourne, Berkshire RG8 9NW

Andrew Wolstenholme, designer

Roger Barnes, dinghy dweller, p36

Simon Cooper, salmon fishery


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29/04/16 6:14 PM

Signals A single-handed race in Antigua, Seagulls and dead fish... ANTIGUA

Lorema Returns to kick off the 2016 Antigua Classics An easterly zephyr dances along the flat calm surface of the sea. We push off from the pontoon, begin to skull away from our gargantuous schooner neighbour Adix writes Emma Louise Wyn Jones. Weaving between moorings, the sails are raised and we drift out of English Harbour. I join Leo aboard his beautiful little Folkboat (CS3) for the first time since he left Falmouth, UK on his grand adventure. Realising he’s left masking tape all over the hull from his recent paint retouching, we giggle and both get to work balancing ourselves over the side to remove it as Lorema makes her own way towards the start line. “We’re in for a light race,” Leo casually announces. “We’re probably going to be out here a while...” He turns on some music and pulls two beers out of the cooler! The race begins and as predicted we are left at the back end of the fleet. Reaching the first mark, Lorema nips underneath the 5 boats undergoing their tacking

procedures in the light airs. Leo grins over to Paloma and shouts: “Whats the point in having a small boat if you can’t do things like that!”. Unbelievably we’re in the lead. Managing to maintain our position for the majority of the race, Lorema sails across the line in third place, stealing the winning title of the 2016 Single Handed Race after handicap! For the duration of the week the wind remained light and the boats bobbed around the courses enjoying themselves as they went. One of the week’s highlights was watching Alexis Andrews incredible film Vanishing Sail, which received a standing ovation and left many teary eyed at the end credits. To top it off, I had the pleasure of photographing the newest Carriacou sloop, Free of St Barths (story in CS soon), in her first ever race! Despite the lack of wind, the regatta brought a great energy to Antigua as the season draws to a close and I look forward to returning next year.


Clockwise from left: Leo helming Lorema in the single-handed race; young crew on Free; rounding a mark in light airs; sailing alongside the big boys


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30/04/16 1:20 AM

What do British Seagulls have in common with Deep Purple? Answer: Smoke on the water AUSTRALIA


A proper flock of Seagulls

There was a decent sized ‘flock’ in attendance at this year’s Australian British Seagull Owners National Gathering. Mark Walker was there. Despite the rumours British Seagull outboards are alive and well, and still ‘kicking’ in various parts of the world, especially previous colonies of The Old Dart. The British Seagull Owner’s Group, a loose, ‘email collective’ with no physical or corporate presence, has attempted to hold an annual National Gathering since 2010, after the author returned from New Zealand’s Waikato race determined to locate and bring together Australian Seagullians. To date, gatherings have been held in Jan 2013, Feb 2015 and the most recent event, at Nelligen on the Clyde River on the NSW South Coast, in Feb 2016. The original event, held on NSW Myall Lakes, featured four boats. Numbers have risen annually since. Members also attend wooden boat shows to wave the flag, and fire up the occasional Seagull. For 2016, in March, 10 boats, 22 people and at least

12 Seagulls gathered at the Big 4 Holiday Park on the Clyde River, four hours drive south of Sydney, to make smoke, make merry, and generally have a good time mucking about on the water with their British Seagulls and a bunch of like-minded enthusiasts. Participants came from as far afield as Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane. The ten-strong fleet, featuring nine Seagullpowered boats, with motors ranging from a Forty series through 102s, Silver Centurys and even two late-model, recoil-start Model 75 Seagulls from the 1980s, puttered downstream to congregate at

Bateman’s Bay, for lunch in the local township. Dinner later was at the Steampacket Hotel opposite the caravan park, in ‘black tie or Seagull shirt’ – most guests choosing to wear the shirts. A quick run up the Clyde River the following morning was followed by the Official BBQ, held at wooden-boat builder and Seagull owner, Sam Aspinall’s workshop.

Powering along nicely. An excellent quiz question is: What do British Seagull outboards and Deep Purple have in common? Answer: Smoke on the water

The Clyde River south of Sydney saw ten boats powered by Seagull outboards celebrating the motor’s enduring charm

Captain Björn Ahlander has the unusual task of running aViking ship - the replica Draken Harald Hårfagreun, which, as we go to press has stopped in Shetland for some minor repairs on its way from Denmark to America – a cruise in the wake of Leif Eriksson, who discovered America 500 years before Columbus.

Ben Lane’s company See it for Real took over the management of the Beale Park Boat Show, p8, last year. “I am hoping to build more of a festival atmosphere into the show,” he says. Ben, with son Tom above, sailed in his 20s but says family has now taken over.


Chile waters full of dead fish The occurrence of millions of dead sardines found floating along the shores of the Queule River in southern Chile in mid April has left experts puzzled and the government temporarily banning their consumption. The dead sardines choked parts of the river and a huge cleanup was organised. Some estimate several thousand tons of the fish had died, posing

a health threat to local people and the ecology. The news comes after thousands of dead squid were washed ashore at Santa Maria island in Chile in January – low oxygen levels in the sea were suspected. In March a deadly algal bloom hit the country’s salmon farming industry, killing 23 million fish as temperatures in the sea rose above average.

Sardines... mass death puzzles scientists

Famous French sailor Loïck Peyron was in Plymouth at the end of April preparing to sail Eric Tabarly’s 1964 wooden ketch Pen Duick II in the Transat, to New York, due to start May 2. The veteran said it was to be his 50th crossing of the Atlantic and that in homage to his hero Tabarly he would not use modern CLASSIC SAILOR 11

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Signals: Around the yards A Danish restoration, a mast repair, an 8-Metre for America, a busy Irish boatbuilder, a westcountry yard and a sailmaker DENMARK


A&R’s AR restored Round the corner from the Flensburg fjord, just into Denmark, is the Soholm family-owned boatyard, where a beautiful pre-war yacht is being lovingly restored, writes Helen Lewis. AR was built for Henry Rasmussen of Abeking & Rasmussen in 1936 as his own racing and cruising boat and the yard’s flagship. She is cutter rigged yawl, 63ft 2in overall. She came to Britain after the war as a ‘Windfall’ yacht under the name of Lively. In 1953 she was sold back to Germany as a training vessel, under the name of Möwe (Seagull). Come 1982 she was a little worn and sad, inside and

out. Considered somewhat old-fashioned she was put up for sale. Fortunately for her, Tom Nitsch and Angelika Berger were unusual in appreciating AR long before it had became fashionable to own a classic. This exquisite boat has now been a treasured part of their family for 35 years. Now it is ‘pay back’ time and AR needs some surgery. Tom, with help from talented boatbuilder Kai Wohlenberg and occasionally, when time allows, from Angelika and son Ric, are doing a major restoration. They have carefully stripped AR, replanking where necessary.

The decision has been taken to replace the traditional caulking with epoxy and complete the sealing process with epoxy paint. This has had the effect of stiffening the boat and should stop the uptake of water. She is expected be back on the water this summer and a fuller report in Classic Sailor is planned for the autumn.

AR was Henry Rasmussen’s own boat, and the yard’s flagship Left: Tom and Ric epoxying the hull


Nancy Blackett’s mast issues For the second season in succession Arthur Ransome’s Nancy Blackett has encountered mast problems during fitting-out. Last year, a crack was discovered near the hounds, which resulted in a 10ft scarph being let in. This year, as the mast was about to be stepped, Alan Fuller, yard manager at Robertsons in Woodbridge, noticed a hairline shake about 6in long midway between the cabin top and the spreaders.


Nancy Blackett with her bandaged mast

After calling in surveyor James Pratt for advice, it was decided to wrap the mast in epoxy-impregnated glass cloth over a 1.5m length, centred on the shake. Nancy Blackett’s winter refit list was a lot longer than usual, following her fiveyearly survey in the autumn. It included a new floor, many garboard fixings and some two-dozen other non-routine items. To meet costs the Nancy Blackett Trust has recently launched a £20,000 appeal.

8-Metre Natural, newly restored at Demon Yachts


Demon’s 8-m sideline Demon Yachts, builders of the Andrew Wolstenholme Kite (CS02), also does restorations and refurbishments. Working with designer Ian Howlett, Matthew Lingley and Euan Seel have recently completed work on Natural, an 8-Metre designed by the late Ed Dubois and built in1990 in the US by Greene Marine. Work included a new keel & rudder, re-coating the brightwork, new chainplates, a rolling mast step, and, says Matthew, “about 101 other jobs”. She’s now been sent back to the US where she races out of Sodus Bay Yacht club and she will be at the 8-Metre World Cup in Toronto later this year. Demon, now building its third Kite, is planning to be at Beale Park in June.


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Of Ratsey’s new manager: His engineless gaff yawl is well-known on the east coast racing scene, and Steve is looking forward to returning her to her home waters RIVER LYNHER, CORNWALL

Time to buy a boatyard?

We came across this boatyard when we were searching online for classic glassfibre yachts and noticed in their brokerage section they have for sale a tidy-looking 1972 Contessa 32 which has been reduced to £16,500, on their site

Ken Greenfield and Robin Grigsby then told us they were also selling Boating World, the “largest west country boatyard” on the west bank of the River Lynher in Cornwall. The 20 acre yard was founded in an old stone quarry in 1974 and is going for £1.25M.

The site of the yard on the River Lynher, nr Saltash


New man on the helm at Ratsey

As seen in Game of Thrones – Roeboat’s latest Faering


Roeboats are go

Tieran Roe’s Roeboats workshop at Ballydehob, Co Cork is a hive of activity at present are, with two boats on the go. One is an 18ft Faering similar to, but 2ft longer than, the ones he built for TV series Game of Thrones and Vikings. Tiernan says the extra length will improve the boat’s looks and performance. The other is a restoration of a tiny clinker-built 6ft punt built for a child in the 1930s. Next up on the stocks is an 8ft punt for a repeat customer who wants it to use as a tender for the 16ft expedition boat Tieran built for him in 2013. She’ll be traditionally built using Lawson’s Cypress over Oak all copper fastened. Tieran has also recently launched the 16ft WilliWAW (his name), a sea boat he designed and built last year: Spraoi. “She proved to be better than I had anticipated and much admired,” he reports, “So all in all a successful experiment – I have a few more modifications to make to the boat.” She has articulated splashboards to allow for alternative rowing positions. Concurrently, he’s also working on the repair of a 1930s motorboat that suffered some backbone damage in a grounding incident. Once repaired, he’ll give her a thorough once-over structurally and mechanically before she’s ready to be relaunched for the summer season.

Ratsey and Lapthorn has appointed a new general Manager: Steve Meakin. Steve is an experienced sailmaker, having run his own sail loft on the east coast specialising in classic yacht sails. In addition to his extensive knowledge of the sail-making industry, Steve is a passionate life-long sailor, with experience of sailing in everything from dinghies to fishing smacks, large classic racing yachts, cruising yachts and offshore racing yachts. His engineless gaff yawl Cormorant is well known on the east coast racing scene and Steve’s now looking forward to returning her to her home waters: she was built on the Hamble by A R Luke’s Bros in 1911. Steve will be competing in as many of the classic sailing events as time will allow as well as working with Ratsey’s customers to build and develop successful sails. He will be working alongside celebrated sailor Andy Cassell and as well as building on the core sail loft operations, he will be seeking to expand all areas of Ratsey’s marketing as well as building on the sailmaker’s dedicated ongoing customer support. Steve is not just a sailmaker – he has also gained significant experience in

Ratsey and Lapthorn’s new general manager Steve Meakin

customer operations, having been responsible for over a thousand staff across a global customer services operation for a large well known telecoms provider. At Ratsey and Lapthorn then, he will be focused on delivering not only world class sails but also world class customer service Managing Director David Banks said: “We are really

delighted to welcome Steve to the team at Ratsey and Lapthorn where I know his extensive knowledge of the sailmaking industry, his hands-on approach, attention to detail, sense of humour and excellent communication skills will be a benefit to all our customers and an asset to the business as we look to develop on the success of Ratsey and Lapthorn.” CLASSIC SAILOR 13

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29/04/16 10:01 PM

Signals: Association news Sunbeams’ GRP success, Enterprises at 60, Finesses at Chatham

Finesse class rally

Solent GRP Sunbeams The eye-catching Sunbeam classic day racing yacht, designed by Alfred Westmacott in 1922 has from its early days sailed in two fleets, in the Solent and in Falmouth. Until the 2000s the Solent Division numbered about 24, but by 2010 the number of active Solent boats had declined to about 15. Realising they needed to arrest this decline by widening the appeal of the Sunbeam, they decided to risk the experiment of building a new Solent Sunbeam with a GRP hull, albeit without the support of the Falmouth Division. Nine of the new boats have now been built to take the fleet number to over 30. They cost about £64,000 on-the-water,

ready to race, with state of the art rigging and controls; somewhat less than a new International Dragon, and maybe half the cost of a new wooden Sunbeam. The new GRP boats have appealed to working professional men and women who maybe do not have the time to maintain a wooden boat, and the inbuilt buoyancy and lower maintenance costs have been positive factors. With the addition of the new boats and their owners and crews the class has also attracted additional wooden

Sunbeams into the fleet and is now in a very healthy and vibrant condition. The success of the GRP project is the fact that the new boats have proved to be neither faster nor slower than the existing boats, the key technical factor being that the weight distribution throughout the GRP hull mirrors that of the wooden hulls: a tribute to the design work of naval architect Theo Rye, and the technical skill of Mark Downer and his company who made the tooling and new hulls. Duncan Kelly

This year’s Finesse rally takes place over the weekend of Saturday 30 to Sunday 31 July 2016 at Chatham Marina, using the events pontoon. Boats will collect at Queenborough or Stangate Creek on Friday 29th with a parade upriver on the Saturday morning. Others will join as passages allow. There will be a ‘meet and greet’ then a buffet using the marina’s events marquee. Those not leaving until Monday 1 August will be able to enjoy a group meal at a local taverna. The rally is open to all Finesse class yachts, the 21, 24 and 27/28 footers. Email Dick Smith for details:

The last Chatham rally in 2014

Thames race for Enterprise 60th A special Thames Tideway Race to mark the 60th anniversary of the Enterprise class is to take place on Saturday 11 June. The race, organised by the South Bank Sailing Club, will start on the Thames at Putney – where the first Enterprise was built 60 years ago by designer Jack Holt – to a finish line set down the river. A second race sees the fleet race back to Putney, passing under many of the river’s famous bridges and past well-known London landmarks. South Bank Sailing Club’s Commodore Allan Munro-Faure says the club is looking forward to holding this special anniversary race exclusively for the Enterprise Class. “We held a similar race to celebrate the Enterprise’s 50th anniversary, and we’re delighted to be able to do the same now for the 60th. For safety reasons, we have to restrict the entries to just 40 boats so the entries will be allocated in order of entry form receipt, with a waiting list. Running a race along such a busy river is an exciting challenge, and it’s a race

that attracts a lot of attention due to the tricky sailing conditions. The only special requirements we have is that every boat needs to carry a paddle, 20 metre of fixed line and an anchor.” Entry forms are available from the Enterprise Association website at www. The entry fee is £15 and this includes pre-race bacon butties, and a post race buffet at South Bank Sailing Club. The Enterprise class 60th anniversary fleet photo competition has been won by Penarth Yacht Club. To celebrate the Enterprise dinghy in its 60th anniversary year, the Enterprise Association organised a photo competition of Enterprise boats and sailors at clubs all over the UK and internationally. With entries from as far afield as India, the winning photo is a panoramic image (below) showing the fleet of Enterprises rigged outside the historic and beautiful Penarth Yacht Club building, with the Severn estuary in the foreground.

Johnny Allen, who judged the images which were displayed at the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show said: “We were delighted that the clubs took up the challenge to photograph their fleets and sailors. All the images will be used on the Enterprise website throughout this year, demonstrating the breadth and depth of this fleet and the many varied locations where Enterprises are sailed and raced.” The presentation of the prize to Penarth will take place at the Enterprise Inland Championships at Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club on Saturday 7th May. The fleet is celebrating its 60th anniversary with a Cocktail Party and Black Tie Dinner at the Inland Championships. Other anniversary celebrations include a Black Tie Dinner on the last night of the Enterprise National Championships at Brixham Yacht Club on Friday 29 July..


p14_CS0616_Assoc news.indd 14

29/04/16 6:37 PM

Smylie’s boats

Classic ClassicCoast Coast

Itchen Fifi es Ferries


I St Ives One of the few tolerably safe harbours along Cornwall’s rugged Atlantic Coast, St Ives is however not wildly suited for visiting yachtsmen, unless their vessels are comfortable taking the ground. By ethe time you readand this,there’s the very Th harbour dries, no real possibility of this imposing marina – mercifully, given the structurethat tumbling into seatown crowds flock to thethe little may have been averted, at least for as it is. another winter. severe Low tide is aUnusually golden opportunity south-easterly haveadmire pushed to wander thestorms sands and coastal erosion onthere. the Suff olk coast’s the boats lolling Among Orfordthe Ness them eyetoiswithin likely atofew be feet of the lighthouse’ s foundations, attracted to the pair of creamy and members of the Orfordness clinker double-enders called Lighthouse havePaynter been working Celeste andTrust William . flatTh out install ‘soft defences’ esetoare the replicas of the– bags of shingle in sausages Jumbo, St Ives’wrapped own 19th-century of high-performance geo-textile design of fishing luggers (CS8); bonding to keep thein seathe at last bay (see they were– both built decade by the evangelical Jonny The 98ft was built Nance, wholighthouse arranges races and in 1792 and festival decommissioned by even a boat around them. House in 2013, in view of William Paynter commemorates (Trinity the threat fromdesigner; encroaching sea.will Celeste their original It has no already survivedtoananyone attempt need explanation by the National Trust, which owns whose own or whose offspring’s the Ness, towas impose a policy childhood enhanced byofthe ‘controlled ruination’ (ie letofitthe fall books about Babar, King down). Elephants). The Lighthouse Trust aims Ashore, the geography of to keep it standing, and open to the town becomes increasingly visitors, ‘for as long as possible’. random as one progresses Visiting, on open days only, involves a short ferry trip and a 40-minute walk, each way, across the Ness. Dates for 2016 are still to be announced, and are dependent on Above: St Ives stability and safety of the continuing Harbour, with and the its surrounds. the structure

northward from the shopping streets and into the area known as Downalong; with its maze of alleys and the multiheaded promontory (called the Island) it’s easy to get disoriented and pop out on a Orford Ness all itself is a classic beach (they’re called Porthexample of an ever-changing something) other than the one you coastline. The long, shifting spit of intended. land separates the River Ore Ththat e town just about manages from sea isitsquite capable of to risethe above tourist honeypot closingespecially the river’s over mouth and forcing status, towards a breakthrough higher up,these where the Porthmeor beach, where river’s alternative is the Alde. narrow alleys andname rough-built It’s mecca for connoisseurs bleak, whitewashed cottages still of manage exposed seascapes (and WWII to conjure up the spirit of Alfred militarythe detritus on Havergate Wallis, fisherman and primitive Island). Access, by boat, is carefully painter, 1855-1942, whose boat restrictedon by bits the National portraits of boardTrust. somehow A good everyday emblemise the port.alternative on theStnearby mainland is thebeen equally Ives and artists have bleak stony beach known inseparable for more thanasaShingle Street. a relationship now century, Orford village three pubs, celebrated by thehas Tate Gallery, including the Jolly down though more in itsSailor glorious by the harbour; analways excellent fish in architecture than perhaps restaurant, its contents.the Butley Orford Oysterage, theoffiSt neIves Pump Street The trueand heart however Peter WillisHepworth’s bakery. has to be Barbara studio and garden, now a museum and a placid place packed with her sculptures. They beautifully sum up the elemental nature of the area. Peter Willis

Orfordness Lighthouse

Jumbos Celeste and William Paynter. The spiral at Orfordness Right: ‘Twostaircase Sailboats Lighthouse maySails’ still be climbed with BH on the by visitors Alfred Wallis

owned an take Itchen Ferryimagination once and havetofond of her fibeached t doesn’t a huge linkmemories the fifie sailing shing alongside the Kingdom old Supermarine Woolston, thetoriver boats to the of Fife,shed the at ancient landacross that lies the PalForth. of Itchen shea was called she was no from northSouthampton. of the Firth of Here whole hostthough of fishing ports pal thecoast, new bridge were building the time. We –having me andan my lineofthe from they Burntisland to theatriver Tay, each Pal that is – were ones to crash into one the of the support association withthe thefirst herring fishery. It’s said Fifers werepillars. fishing Th is was mostly down to two that the sailsofdidn’t really the in when the Vikings were busyfacts: invading parts Britain andfitthat, boat and the Stuart-Turner engine never started throughout myDutch time the 17th century, Fifers emigrated to Holland to teach the with It was, though, a great learning experience on ‘why buy how the to fiboat. sh. (One does wonder what the actual enticement wasnot toto swap athe boat’ . I oftScottish en wonder what to her. lovely coast forhappened flat Holland!) Wonder was,they in fact, a fine example of disappear an Itchen Ferry. by the great Nevertheless obviously didn’t all for theBuilt fishing continued Wonder, SU120, hasupright been lovingly and sailsfrom Dan HatcherThinese 1860, to flourish. fishers adopted a very type ofrestored boat, probably from I remember seeing her a few backStudy during Swale DutchFaversham. influence even if the link is unclear at ayears glance. thethe uprightness Barge Match. G Hatcher,beach known as King to his contemporaries, of some of theDaniel Low Countries boats suchDan as the bomschuit though, was veryissuccessful builder of without yachts atsome his Belvedere yard between 1845 plan. and athere a similarity, albeit of the fullness of the body and 1880 and thus boatsconsidered were equallythese renowned forbe their Washington, in his hisworking 1849 report, fifies to thespeed. most his fastest, but speedy she was. they were Not that Wonder seaworthy of the was eastnecessarily Scottish boats he studied. In a nutshell The roots upright both(and endsname) with a wide beam, giving good stability. Early boats of these craft came from were clinker-built open yawls though size (and use) increased rapidly the small fishing village of nineteenth in the second half of the Itchen onto thethe expansion centuryFerry due lying in part river in the eighteenth in theItchen herring fishery and partly century. Smallbuilding sprit-rigged to improved techniques. clinker-boats workedsafety off theonce the Decking improved beach, fishing as far as fishermen hadout been convinced as to its the Isle of Wight. Their size advantages. Previously they regarded grew as they full decks astrawled a luxuryfurther at the expense of away from their base. they could get the amount of herring Consequently they adopted aboard. On the other hand they were the rig as many ablegaff to house a full working complement of crew fellows did. Thfurther. e boats were and thus sail By 1870, with three-quarter decked with carvel construction, they awere in excess small with two berths, of 70ftcuddy and rigged with two huge dipping lugsails that took at least seven amen cupboard and stove to was so massive that a man couldn’t wrap his to haul. Thcoal e mainmast while away thearound hours when arms wholly it. notTh fishing. Gaffsailed -riggedfar and wide around the British coasts, fishing in the ese boats with a long-boom over theand the west coast, setting trains of drift-nets that North Sea, the Channel stern and two took hours toheadsails, haul aboard. Only with the advent of steam capstans did the some as long 30ft in sail ease, although often this only meant they job ofwere hauling, andasraising length. Much of nets. the catch could set more wasToday’s shrimps and oysters andowned by the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Reaper , FR958, they raced home land.survivor, though there are other smaller versions such Anstruther, is thetoprime In 1872, according the fishing registers, were ,570 second-class as Wick-based Isabel to Fortuna , WK499, andthere the Swan LK243, in Lerwick. boats working Solent and anotherIn61Shetland in Poole where the boatsthe were There were the variations in design. they adopted gaff rig similar. e design Southampton and the Swan , builtwas in widespread 1900, is thearound sole survivor of that Water type. Meanwhile and theTh Solent– somewas being referred to single-lug as Hythe fishing cutters. Other for well-known the ‘bauldie’ a shortened version developed the inshore builders Alfredsome Payne Fay, bothTh ofeNortham, andfrom Lukes, whose fisherieswere of which areand survivors. name came Guiseppe Pal before he moved Hamble. They yard was about the same spot as I kept Garibaldi, the Italian patriot who gained notoriety in theto1850s in the war were mostly fishermen who crewed for the yacht-racing for the unifiworked cation ofbyItaly. He was also an accomplished marinerfraternity who during the oceans, regatta season, and to theTyneside fishermenintoo raced aboard theirwelcomed own craft. sailed the including 1854 where he was Freda , CS110,perhaps Black Bess , CS32, Itchen Ferriesbyhave been survivors: enthusiastically local working people, a pointer to his impression Nellie,the SU71, see forlast more as they to engine upon Fifebut fishers. Not for the first nor time wereadapted the fishermen power quitesowell and others lurk in way-out new places. One I’ll ask themonif a in Britain moved to name a particular type ofday fishing vessel of globe. Itchen.If we’d got more than a anyone knowshappening whatever happened toabout my Palthe newsworthy somewhere modicum of a fishing fleet today, one wonders which of our current global upheavals would be remembered for posterity through their boats!

The1870 roots (and name) of these craft camein By with carvel construction they were from the small village Itchen lying excess of 70ft and riggedofwith two Ferry, huge dipping on the river Itchen in theseven eighteenth century. lugsails that took at least men to haul CLASSIC SAILOR 15 17 CLASSIC

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30/04/16 1:36 AM

The Post Email or post letters and replies to the editor – see opposite; we’ll make sure responses to queries are forwarded on. Godwin’s law objection

While reading the guest column of the March issue of Classic Sailor (Sam Llewellyn on advice from online forums), it was interesting to note that the thread – which I can only hope was fictional - did not quite follow Godwin’s Law. Godwin’s law states that as the length of an online discussion grows, the probability of a reference to Hitler and/or Nazis being made approaches 1. So, while the thread in question did not quite reference Hitler, it did reference battles with the Germans in WW1, cannibalism and people suffering psychiatric distress. I wonder, did our author deliberately twist Godwin’s law? Or is it a genuine discussion that just then went completely off the rails? OMH, Sheffield.


I enjoyed the article on pressure cooking (CS April 2016) which brought back not entirely pleasant memories of my Mum’s boating stews. Pressure cookers are not the only way to cook food safely on small boats.  On Daisy our Cornish

A flask like this can carry on the cooking process once you have started it

Press gang

Just wanted to say thank you for the crew plug (CS7). It worked! I am all crewed up for my trip. Judging by the amount of interest a regular slot in Classic Sailor of crewing opportunities for skippers and crew would be of value. Thanks again Martin Goodrich

Barking and singing

Shrimper we use a food flask much like the old hay boxes to slow cook food and to free up the single burner spirit stove. Flask cooking works particularly well with couscous, rice and noodles. We use a warmed 500ml (1pt) stainless steel food flask (£10 from Mountain Warehouse or similar). 1/3 fill with couscous or 2/3 fill with Rice or Noodles, add a dollop of vegetable stock to taste and fill with boiling water. Seal and leave to stand while you cook your sauce.  Bon Appetit! Chris Jones, CS Daisy

THE NEXT STEP Dear Classic Sailor, thank you for your beautiful presentation of Suzi Grala’s article about me and my boat Mobi. There is more to the story now, of course. In the three years since its inception, I have gathered more experience of sailing, and of sailing with disability, having been shoehorned into the crew of a staysail ketch through the Caribbean, and having joined the Mariners of Bewl, a group dedicated to integrating able-bodied and disabled sailors on a reservoir in Kent. While I am a better sailor, and am certainly better acquainted with craft that are designed or modified with disabled sailors in mind, my Mobi is still nearer to what I look for in a craft than anything else I

have come across. She is flexible, adaptable, companionable, integrating, low tech, and high on safety. She is, however, a prototype, a test-bed, born in a garage. What could I do if I started again? I do know a lot about living, and adventuring, with disability, I have a history of craft, and of design, and I have learned a lot from Mobi. It’s now time to get back to the drawing board, to modelling and prototyping, this time with guidance from within the boat building industry. My original brief for Mobi needs challenging and refining, and I have much to learn about fine hull and rig design. Are there any designers of craft out there, looking for a challenging apprentice? Duncan Curtis, Hastings, E Sussex

Well ‘fluketines’ (CS7) may be a load of jolly old bollocks, but a fleet of trawlers really did work out of Barking Creek until the latter half of the 19th Century, and as with most things in life there’s a song about it! intheboatshed. net/2012/04/02/annie-dearman-and-steve-harrison-singbarking-town/ Barking Town broadside is in the Madden Collection at Cambridge University. Unlike the Bodleian (Oxford University) ballads, Madden is not (yet?) online. In fact we’ve never seen the actual sheet – our source is the version reprinted in D. Occomore ‘Curiosities of Essex’, though

I expect that we’ve edited the text in various ways (it’s so long ago). Of course broadsheets hardly ever give a tune, and none is mentioned in Occomore. However, it was immediately obvious to me on seeing the text that an appropriate tune would be ‘Swansea Town’ as collected by Gardiner in Hampshire in 1905. So I set our version to that tune. Gavin Atkin, Kent

Serving Don

On the serving mallet with diagonal hole in it (CS6 March). I did not invent it, I found it  on Iolaire in February 1957 when I bought her. I look at all the drawings in your article on serving mallets, and come to the conclusion that the Iolaire mallet is both the simplest and the easiest to use. You just thread the end of the marline from the INSIDE of  the ball, through the diagonal hole, once around the  handle, pull enough through so you can start the serving, pop the  ball over the handle, and  start serving. All other serving mallets  require feeding marline 

Mobi on Lock Crenan


p16_CS0616_The Post.indd 16

29/04/16 10:54 PM

I was impressed how she handled with a near gale on the quarter, she could have been on rails – on a Rival 34

Letter of the month

7 Haslar Marina, Gosport, Hants. PO12 1NU


Brighton Marina when a fluky gust gybed her! I would like to say how much I enjoy Classic Sailor, I had what I considered a Plastic Classic until last year, ‘Nutmeg’, a Samphire 23; a real boat-shaped boat, but I had to sell her as being a boat-owner and a carer do not mix well. Best regards David Cornes

Rival 34

I was interested to read the article in the current ‘Classic Sailor’ about the Rival 34 (I also know the Rival 42 in the article). I crewed for a friend on a Rival 32 from Poole to Brighton on his delivery voy-

age to his new cruising ground in Denmark. We left the Hamble in a Force 6 Southwesterly and I was impressed how she handled with a near gale on the quarter, she could have been on rails. The only hairy moment was when we entered

Write for some fizz Each month our letter of the month will be sent a bottle of de Bleuchamp Champagne

from the ball on to a spool before you start serving, thus a extra step in comparison to the above. The one important thing  that  must be done, is as soon as a ball of  marline is bought,  the outside should be well covered with electrical tape or some inexperienced sailor will start pulling marline off the outside of the ball, then the ball will collapse and can not be fed from the inside. Don Street, Ireland

Hi Victoria Good point! Basically traditional rope was wormed, parcelled and served – wormed with thin line between the lays of the rope to create a more even surface, parcelled in strips of linen which were then doped with Stockholm tar and then served – with tarred marline so that the

Editor Dan Houston

+44 (0)7747 612614 Art Editor Stephen Philp Sub Editor Peter Willis Contributing editor Guy Venables Columnists Andrew Bray, Federico Nardi Advertising Catherine Jackson +44 (0)7495 404461 Lynda Fielden +44 (0)7788 722438 Admin Evie Farrelly Web design Tim Allen Publishing director John Clarke Chairman David Walker

Solo serving CS6

Please let me know what this serving mallet is used for   i.e. what is its purpose? Vicky Douglas, email

rope – or a steel stay more usually in the latter days of sail, looked like a more solid surface and was protected from chafe. Among its purposes were that it protected the rope or wire from the salty elements – so prolonging its life, and (with wire) it happily protected a sailor’s hands. But it did turn them (and his bare feet in the rigging) black. When I came off a trad

schooner in 1985 I had tarry soles on my feet for around a year! Luckily the hands were a lot cleaner!! A less sticky form of tar was made by adding varnish to the mix - but the whole point was not to make it too brittle or it would crack and let water through. Needless to say serving rope took a long time aboard ship. Dan Houston, editor

Classic Sailor Ltd Published monthly: ISSN 2059-0423 Subscriptions See our latest deal at or call: + 44(0)1273 420730


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29/04/16 10:54 PM

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Andrew Bray Keep it simple! “One of my cruising ideals, often preached but sadly, rarely practised... How do you define simple?”


ast year I was invited to judge a cruising log competition. This is not as simple as it sounds because the forty or so cruises submitted ranged from an ambitious Arctic voyage and a cruise in Cape Horn waters to a sojourn in Scotland and a first-timer’s solo sail in the West Country. To add to the complexity there were several categories for which entries might be eligible and previous winners were excluded from some but appropriate for others. However, any concerns I had that I would be so entangled by these complexities that my judgement might be affected were soon allayed as I was wafted from the bays of the Balearics to the anchorages of the Aleutians, from a North Sea gale to uncharted waters in Labrador. From the comfort of my computer screen I was taken on a voyage around the world and left marvelling at the achievements, great and small, of some very modest yachtsmen.

electric winches to autopilot, radar and chart plotter to fridge and a watermaker – wonderful when it worked, less so when upended in the bilges in the Caribbean heat. Next time, I vowed, my boat will be simple, really simple. How do you define simple? Is it a boat that is simple to operate and sail or one with minimal halyards, sheets and the like? Or is it one free of (or is it bereft of?) multiple complex electronics? Neither the Sadler nor Firefly qualified on either count. Perhaps simplicity is a boat that does not rely on complex systems of any kind to operate efficiently or one where any primary systems are quickly and easily repaired whilst at sea. Maggie May qualifies as simple in electronic terms because all she has are a log and a depth sounder. If the latter fails then there’s always the leadline and for the sort of sailing I normally do speed and log are a bit of a luxury. But when it come to sail controls she’s up there with the best of them. From the bow, working aft, there are the following: bobstay, jib rolling line, jib halyard, jib sheets, burgee halyard, kicking strap, peak halyard, throat halyard, mainsheet, mizzen halyard, mizzen sheet and snotter. That’s thirteen lines. Sometimes it’s a bit like playing an organ as I open and close rope clutches and heave in and ease lines. It’s good for idle hands and the end result makes it all worthwhile!


“The success and enjoyment of a cruise seems to be in inverse proportion to the complexity of the boat”

In due course I nominated the winners, the awards were presented and that was the end of that, for another year anyway. Except it wasn’t. In my summary I commented “The success and enjoyment of a cruise seems to be in inverse proportion to the complexity of the boat in which it is sailed. Too much time, it seems, is wasted head down in the bilges, waiting for engineers or spare parts whilst the simple boat sails on”. Simplicity of boats and the way they are sailed has long been one of my cruising ideals, often preached but sadly, rarely practised. When I was equipping my Sadler 34 Dash, simplicity might have been my intention but it certainly wasn’t the result. There were more control lines than on many gaffers and my colleagues on Yachting Monthly mocked me mercilessly claiming that when I plugged into shorepower, the lights of Lymington dimmed. Firefly, my next boat was, if anything, even more complex, complete with everything from


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29/04/16 6:26 PM

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2/04/16 12:08 PM

Nardi’s Nods

by Federico Nardi of Cantiere Navale dell’Argentario

The Fingal 27: ‘Designed by Knud Reimers, a delightful, very traditional full-keel cruiser/racer, with a long list of RORC wins’


ere we have another design by Knud Reimers, surely the most well-known and prolific Swedish yacht designer with more than 3,000 drawings, but this time for a boat only 27ft 3in long. The Fingal is a delightful looking, very traditional full-keel cruiser/racer, built in fibreglass. In her time she was very popular in northern European waters, with a long list of wins in RORC Class IV racing. The Fingal was originally destined for cruising with four crew; later a version for five adults and a small child was offered. In her very detailed original drawings the interiors were clearly shown, but occasionally the boats were sold with only partially completed interiors, giving new owners the possibility to finish them as they pleased; this also reduced the initial price. Two hundred were built from 1964 until the 1970s. The hull and deck moulds were made by Fimoverken, Swedish pioneers in glassfibre construction with laminations well in excess of Lloyd’s specifications. A Volvo Penta inboard 6hp diesel engine was foreseen. You can buy one in northern Europe for the same price as a racing bicycle.

Above: The Fingal 27 initially provided accommodation for four racing crew; later designs for cruising managed to fit in five, plus a small child in the starboard saloon berth, as shown in these detailed drawings


FINGAL 27 LOA: 27ft 3in (8.3m) LWL: 21ft 2in (6.45m) Beam: 7ft 6in (2.3m) Draught: 4ft 4in (1.3m) Ballast): 2,650 lb (1,202kg) Disp: 6,700 lb (3,039kg) Sail area: 340 sqft (31.6m2)


p21_CS0616_Nardi.indd 21

29/04/16 6:29 PM



E Y- O N -T H A M E S

The Thames Traditional Boat Festival returns in 2016 with an even bigger display of vintage & classic boats, cars and aeroplanes! Highlights include: the exclusive Bluebird K3 returning to try again for her first ever Thames run, WWII Dunkirk Little Ships, WWII fast patrol boats, WWI dog fights, amphibians, military vehicles and over 180 traditional boats that makes this the largest event of its type in Europe plus all the quintessentially English eccentricity that makes it so utterly unique!


Following the great success of 2015, with over 10,000 visitors, the “Trad” will run for 3 days from Friday 15th to Sunday 17th July. Please see website for details.

Supported by

15 • 16 • 17 July 2016 Fawley Meadows • Henley-on-Thames

In which John Clarke recalls a battery top-up tip from an old soldier he’d prefer his charterers not to follow


aving run a sailing school for 18 years I can honestly say that the instructors I have worked with have all been larger than life characters. And none more so than Sticky Stapylton. Sticky is a retired Lt-Col in the army, now in his late seventies but as fit as a fiddle. He comes complete with monocle and a very crisp accent, and is an excellent sailor. He is also good fun, and one year when out with fellow instructors for a few days playing in the Solent, he reduced us all to tears of joy watching him illustrate the use of his home-made handy-billy. Anyway, a few years ago he rented one of my boats (a Bavaria 38 as it happens) for seven days to take some clients across the channel in March. He duly returned and handed back the boat to Lee, my Chief Instructor at the time. Lee asked if there were any problems on the boat and Sticky replied in the negative, saying that everything was working fine. Over the next couple of months we had a few complaints that the boat was smelling a bit, which because I have lost all sense of smell, I couldn’t perceive. Oh and I forgot to mention that at the time Sticky used to write an article for All at Sea, a freesheet magazine, which

he entitled Sticky’s Tips. So one Friday afternoon in May Lee and I were having a coffee in the office, having prepped the boats for the weekend charterers; Lee with his feet up on the desk, and reading said magazine. Suddenly he yelled out “oh no, f***ing hell,

what’s Sticky done!?” “What?” I cried. “Read this,” said Lee. And there in Sticky’s Tips was the tale of his rental of a Bavaria 38 in March, which he took across the Channel. He mentioned that one of the domestic batteries was low on distilled water, so he

No distilled water? Sticky had his own alternative supply

had gone to the chandlery to buy some. Unfortunately the chandlery had been closed, so he had remembered an old trick from his army days in the desert. He topped up the battery with his own urine – and that was his tip! Of course Lee and I went legging it down to the pontoon and went on the boat of which we had complaints about the smell. We lifted up the saloon seats, opened the battery bay and unscrewed the caps off a domestic battery – fine. Okay, let’s try the engine battery – also fine. Well it’s down to the other domestic... and PHEW, the whiff was vile. The charterer was due any minute, so we quickly unscrewed it, and were lugging it onto the pontoon when Richard, who had chartered the boat for the weekend arrived at the boat (he was a regular and knew where we would be). “What are you doing?” he asked. “Well, you’ve only got one domestic battery for the weekend” was our riposte. “Though you can have this one as well, if you like, but take a whiff of it first”. “I’ll settle for just the one” he said, not surprisingly. Of course I got straight on the phone to Sticky, telling him that I had just read his article. He sounded quite chirpy on the phone, very pleased with his initiative. I pointed out to him that there was one commodity in short supply in the desert, and that was water. However the boat had two water tanks full and he could easily have boiled a kettle and used that water for the battery. “Ah but John, boiled water isn’t as pure as distilled water.” “It’s a darned sight purer than your p***” was my reply. Needless to say we remain good friends.


Instructors’ tales: Sticky situation


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Stepping across the country The easiest way to move a 19ft gaffer from the east coast to the west? By river and canal, of course. And that’s just what Mary Gibbs did


t seemed obvious. I wanted to move my 19ft gaff cutter, Molly Cobbler, nearer home. The Blackwater (where I had bought her) has great sailing, but isn’t convenient for Manchester! Taking her round the south coast seemed too long, with winds often likely to be westerly; getting her transported seemed downright dull. So why not go via the Thames and the Kennet and Avon Canal? We could sail into the Thames, and then round Wales, and I had never seen most of the inland route. The more I looked into it, the more I could not see why not. Molly,

with her 7ft beam and minimum 2ft draught (plate up), would fit just nicely. Sailors regularly use the French canals and rivers to access the Mediterranean; so why not use British ones to access the Irish Sea? I spent the winter studying the route, reminding myself about locks, and inveigling various friends and relations to assist. I sail Molly single-handed, but all those locks made crew a necessity, if it were also to be a pleasure trip. Molly easily passed the Boat Safety Scheme inspection, and I acquired the relevant licences, windlass handles and a British Waterways key.

Molly Cobbler, designed by Paul Fisher, is based on a Mevagissey Tosher; Fabian Bush and Bernard Patrick built her; epoxy glued clinker ply on laminated ash frames. Length 19ft Beam 7ft, Draught 2ft (plate up) Left: Approaching Houses of Parliament 24 CLASSIC SAILOR

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Molly, with her 7ft beam and 2ft draught, would ďŹ t just nicely... but I increased the number of fenders CLASSIC SAILOR 25

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LONDON TO BRISTOL INLAND Molly herself needed a few specific preparations, notably adequate supports for the lowered mast. It was designed to be lowered, but the existing gallows was not very strong, and, directly hinged from the tabernacle, the mast protruded several feet astern. Barnaby, of Practical Marine Solutions at Bradwell, took up the challenge with enthusiasm. He constructed a stronger gallows with galvanised supports, and pointed out that we could use the tabernacle to hold a sturdy support to carry the mast level, along with a smaller support near the bow. And, indeed, once the mast had been lowered carefully on to the supports at London’s South Dock marina, and I had carefully tied up all the rigging along it, before fastening the boom and the gaff securely on top, the whole arrangement was wonderfully stable, and remained so throughout the trip. I also increased the number of fenders. With 24 Thames locks and 102 canal locks, and numerous prospective encounters with heavy steel narrow-boats, Molly needed as many fenders as I could tie on to her! The trip up the Thames was an experience in itself. We battled strong westerly winds up the lower Tideway while a contingent of Dunkirk Little Ships battled the tide in the other direction on the way to Ramsgate and Dunkirk. Mast down, we motored through London, passing a seal below Tower Bridge, looking up at Big Ben, all shining gilt in the sunshine as it chimed the three-quarters above us, admiring the eclectic collection of houseboats on the Upper Tideway, finally mooring at Hammerton’s Ferry at Richmond. My friend Yvonne had crewed for me throughout the Tideway, and D and Mike, who live in Richmond, volunteered to take turns to help me up the Thames – the locks are all staffed, but having crew certainly made the trip easier and faster. We admired the posh houses lining the banks, but I enjoyed more the woodlands of densely packed trees – willows, poplars, alder, horse chestnuts – many of which appeared to be slowly falling into the river, between the marshes crowded with tall reeds and the meadows edged with Yellow Flag Iris.

We enjoyed the families of scatty ducklings and disciplined geese, but the swans in Windsor were a bit much and we moored on Bath Island, part of the Royal Estate. Next day we wound our way through the Chilterns, passing marshy woodland, or well manicured gardens, with some ancient looking churches. And in Bourne End reach we encountered a fleet of Thames A-class raters racing. With their incredibly high sails (to catch the wind over the trees) they looked challenging to sail but were lovely to watch.  I stayed in Henley a couple of days, and went cycling through valleys with beech woods on steep slopes and small ancient villages drowsing in the sun. I finished the trip up to Beale Park by myself, sharing the crowded locks with an eclectic collection of other boats, as the country became messy and industrial near Reading, and then sunny meadows and willow trees near Pangbourne (this is Wind in the Willows country). I thoroughly enjoyed the stay on the Thames by Beale Park boat show (p8), where I paddled in a coracle! But now came the difficult bit... At last, early in June, I waited apprehensively on the Thames at Reading for my younger son Robert to join me for the start of this part of Molly’s odyssey. The Thames had been much easier than I had expected, but the canal locks were an unknown quantity. It was early evening when we turned off the Thames, past a willow tree which appeared to be trying to fall into the water (a recurring theme!), into the unprepossessing entrance to the Kennet. The Kennet Navigation, based on the river of that name, dates from 1724. The River Avon was also used for navigation up to and beyond Bath from an early date. The canal between was conceived in the late 18th century and completed in 1810. The locks have a number of different mechanisms, and the first one, Blake’s Lock, had one of the oldest, with white and red levers which go up and down. It was easy to operate though, and we headed up the narrow winding section under the numerous Reading bridges. No-one else was moving on the water this first evening, which certainly

Clockwise from top:Looking up Caen Hill locks; About to go downstairs; Thames A-Raters at Bourne End; The Prospect of Whitby pub, Wapping


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I steered Molly for the first and probably the last time through a shopping mall, past a large exhibition of plastic dinosaurs

Left: Molly Cobbler’s route up the Thames and along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Bristol

helped. This section has the only traffic lights I know of on a canal, with a press-button to request passage through Brewery Gut, a winding one-way-only passage which passes through the Oracle shopping centre, still open, with customers watching us over their coffees, as I steered Molly, for the first and probably the last time, through a shopping mall, past a large exhibit of plastic dinosaurs. We stopped by Southcote Lock, as dusk fell. There are stern notices by the moorings alongside the locks and swing bridges forbidding their use except for transit of the bridge or lock. However, I did not feel it was safe to carry on in the fading light with no certainty of finding a mooring, and we made amends by leaping out to open and close the gates for the two boats which came through before we left the next day. The day finished (as quite a lot did) with a walk along the tow-path to the nearest hostelry. It became obvious later that Robert had drawn the short straw of this trip; Reading to Newbury is the oldest section of the canal, with markedly variable lock construction. Some had flat brick sides. Several had metal-lined recessed walls where the fenders slipped into the gaps and became useless. A few were brick-lined but with smooth curved (‘scalloped’) recesses, which were almost as difficult to cope with. And two were ‘turf-sided’ locks, where the sides were sloping and covered with plants, and there was a frame-work rather like scaffolding to support the safety ladder and for boats to put lines round. I found it easiest to use the ladders to loop Molly’s lines over, moving them up (or later, down) as the lock filled (or emptied). With only one crew, it was impossible to get lines round the bollards at the top, and the locks often had rough edges, on which the lines could snag. Also, many of the earlier locks had gate sluices, so that the incoming water surged down the lock straight at Molly. It was important not to go too far into the lock, and to increase the flow gradually, but even so, I sometimes needed Robert to slow the flow, or help with the lines, as Molly tried to surge about. It helped to use the ladder on the windward side if possible, so that we were not blown into the wall as we rose to the top. And there was little rest while under way – few of the gaps between locks on the Kennet were greater than a mile, and many were much less. (But I later found that going down is easier.) I cautiously tried following a narrowboat into one lock, but there was not enough room for both of us and the fenders. I was

not prepared to risk Molly’s plywood construction by letting someone else come in after her. Narrowboat crews were mostly very understanding. Some locks were less well maintained than others, and once or twice I had to secure Molly and get off to help Robert shove at a gate. Mostly they were not bad, but it was impossible to predict how long a lock would take. Once we found a crew painting and maintaining a lock, and they cheerfully operated the lock for us; several times passers-by offered help, and one cyclist carried a windlass handle with him! There were also swing bridges which had various mechanisms, ranging from the all-hydraulic – operated by a keypad, accessed with a British Waterways key – to the manual footpath ones which were simply pushed round, after using the windlass handle to release a locking chain. All this emphasizes the hard work, but it was often great fun too. I loved watching the eager ducklings, scattered all over the canal beyond the reach of their resigned mother, the obedient goslings in rigid line-ahead between two aggressive parents, and the anxious moorchicks scuttling under the shelter of the banks as their parent cheeped at them. There were swallows feeding, and red kites soaring overhead, while grey wagtails performed acrobatics near locks. We passed flowering Comfrey, Cow Parsley and Yellow Flag Iris, and the enormous leaves of Butterbur lined the banks (as did nettles!) Periodically we passed sanitary stations, where we could dispose of rubbish and take on water, and there were frequent canal-side pubs or cafés. Most marinas don’t encourage visitors, though we stopped at one, just before Newbury. Here Peter, my husband, took over, after a brief tutorial from Robert before we headed west. After Peter’s first bridge, where we had several fascinated spectators, we paused for lunch by a lock surrounded by reeds and waterlilies. It was a brilliant sunny day, as we motored between wooded slopes and cattle filled meadows (some of the cows standing in the edge of the canal). The next day was wet. Working the canal felt like being in a sauna, and pointed up a major difference from sailing at sea – it is impossible to keep a canal boat clean all the time. Mud, grass and worse... I got in the habit of cleaning up every evening! Things did become easier – partly we worked out a rhythm, but west of Newbury, all the locks are flat-sided, so the fenders needed less supervision, and all had wall CLASSIC SAILOR 27

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We saw a water-vole paddle out from the bank and swim behind us, herons seemed to be everywhere

Whte Horse above the Kennet and Avon; Mary at the helm; Molly’s galley

sluices, so the incoming water could expend its force on the opposite wall, rather than on Molly. Some hire boats we passed regularly; we encountered large passenger boats and groups of youngsters in canoes. Everybody admired Molly. At Crofton, there is a series of nine locks over less than two miles near the original pumping station. We moored part-way up, and walked ahead to inspect the summit tunnel before going to eat in Wilton, coming back in the dusk along a Roman road over the chalk hills between flower-grown fields. The next day we reached the summit level, which we had been warned was very shallow, but Molly did not touch. The summit tunnel is one-way; 502 yards long, but straight. I stationed Peter on the foredeck with the searchlight, just in case! On the far side we had four locks before the Long Pound – 15 miles with no locks; but soon we reached Pewsey, where Peter caught the train home. I spent two nights there, cleaning and varnishing. Monica and Alan, friends experienced on canals, then joined me, and

our movements became more planned, as I had to get them to previously booked bedand-breakfasts. We had a lovely sunny, lazy day on Tuesday to Devizes, with the Wessex Downs to the north of us. But the next day was something else! The Caen Hill flight is a series of 16 locks, one after another, part of a total of 29 locks which lower the canal by 237 feet over two miles. We expected it to be hard work, and it was. Fortunately, Yvonne arrived to return Molly’s sails which she had offered a temporary home to, and we linked up with a mini-narrowboat, short enough to share a lock with Molly, so we had five people getting two boats through as a team. We soon settled into a rhythm where Alan went ahead to sort out the next lock, while Yvonne and Monica operated the gates and helped with lines when needed. I got hot, sweaty and unbelievably muddy. We all lost count rapidly. But the views from higher up the flight were spectacular and the shallow feeder pools between the locks of the Caen Hill section were full of water

flowers and birds. We paused for a picnic lunch in mid-afternoon, and then headed on to the bottom of the flight, where we put the kettle on! The rest of this section was considerably easier, with long gaps between locks, wooded hillsides, and reed-lined banks. We saw a water-vole paddle out from the bank and swim behind us, herons seemed to be everywhere, and we watched buzzards overhead. On Friday, approaching Bath, we crossed two spectacular aqueducts across the Avon gorge. And near the end of that day we went down the impressive Bath flight of six locks, including Bath Deep Lock (two locks combined to make one with an overall depth of 19ft 5in!) At the bottom we joined the River Avon, and were in flowing water again. The next day, after a stunning vegetarian breakfast at the Green Rocket, my older son Jeffrey, his wife Anna and I set off for Saltford. I had taken them up to a lock to demonstrate how it worked, and they picked it up really quickly. There were no vacant moorings, but when we came in to a jetty, only to find an un-noticed ‘private’ sign, the owner came out and assured us we could stay as long as we liked – I think he was captivated by Molly! The next day the country changed to steep wooded slopes on either side, with some marshy areas. At Hanham, the last canal lock, we rang ahead to Netham lock, to make sure the tide was not too high for us to enter Bristol’s Floating Harbour (created at the beginning of the 19th century to overcome the problem of ships drying out in the Avon’s high tides). We motored through the harbour in the middle of the city to the Underfall Yard, where Traditional Rigging were booked to raise Molly’s mast again. It had been fun, but we were ready to get back to sea. Unforeseen problems? Well, sometimes we had difficulty finding moorings – either we could not get close enough to the banks (narrowboats have gangplanks!) or it was too shallow (particularly west of Avoncliff Aqueduct) or else there was no room. (Don’t leave mooring till too late in the day!) Also the lowest bridge on the canal is 2.39 metres (7ft 10in), but the lowest bridge on the Floating Harbour, Princes Bridge – it can swing, but only by arrangement, – is 2.2 metres (7ft 2.6in). We got through – just! Would I recommend it? Yes! – if your boat can fit, and you have the time – a minimum of three weeks, to get familiar with the different requirements of canals, then it can be a great adventure. But very different!


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“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” Kenneth Grahame, author of Wind in the Willows

First love Chuck Paine named his first design after his first girlfriend; the pretty 26ft double-ender was wildly successful – and he’s recently updated it


originally designed Frances for myself, with no real hope that more than one boat would ever be built. My foremost priority was that she should be beautiful. Second was shoal draught – I had a dream to spend a winter in the Bahamas, where there’s a lot of ocean but it’s spread pretty thin. The keel drew only 3ft 10in, and this limits both her windward ability and her stability – a compromise I was willing to make at the

time. Mine would be flush-decked, and I played with various studies of freeboard vs headroom until I was convinced she was the smallest boat with sitting headroom that could still look graceful. In June of 1973 there had been an article in America’s Time magazine about a boat – the Westsail 32. The boat was nothing to write home about, and indeed it sailed like a tethered rock, but it was built of newly invented fibreglass so it promised not to


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In Oban, Scotland we saw these fishing boats, and I got to thinking if you put a keel on something like this it would make a great cruising yacht


beautiful. I knew the limits of my pretty meagre savings, and thought 26ft would be about the right size for me to build when we got home. I’d be able to sit upright in her, but only stand up in the companionway. Any boat of this size would be little more than a floating tent, and I wouldn’t be spending much time below decks. It would need a place to sit and eat, out of my lap, a double berth for sleeping at anchor, and a little cooker and marine toilet, which could be unenclosed. Privacy wouldn’t be an issue, as I’d be sailing singlehanded or with my wife. When I returned home from India I took the biggest risk I have ever taken in my life. I decided to build this boat on spec. I put an ad in a rural Maine newspaper, realizing that only in Maine could I afford to rent a suitable space to build a 26ft boat. I expected to get maybe the back of an unheated barn. Instead, with my incredible luck, a retired colonel who had tired of being a gentleman boatbuilder offered me the boat shop of my dreams, filled with the finest tools his retirement pension could buy, for next to nothing in rent. My fiancée graciously allowed me to name it after my first sweetheart, a British girl named Frances. When my hull was pretty much finished and about to be turned upright I heard

require a lot of maintenance, and the article awakened a great many folks to the possibilities of an alternative lifestyle, exploring the world in a sailing yacht. In late 1973 I quit my job working as a draughtsman for American racing yacht designer Dick Carter, and my girlfriend and I went on a backpacking trip from Scotland to India. In Oban, Scotland, we saw these fishing boats, and I got to thinking if you put a keel on something like this, and a

mast and sails, it would make a great little cruising yacht. By then I had decided to try to go it on my own as a yacht designer when I returned home, and to design a little boat to look like a smaller and more affordable version of the Westsail 32. I carried a little notebook in my backpack, and began sketching. It had to be a double-ender, so as to steal some of the thunder of the Westsail 32, and because I considered double-enders to be especially

The Frances 26 was built in Britain by Victoria Yachts which also built the Frances/ Victoria 30, 34 and 38. CLASSIC SAILOR

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So there I was, about to become America’s great new yacht designer. What could possibly go wrong?

about a boatbuilder further downeast in Maine who might be looking for a design to build in his shop. His name was Tom Morris. I drove up to see him with a half model of my design under my arm and met him. He broke into a huge smile when he saw my model – and I knew I had my first customer. He was ambitious and obviously honest, I was ambitious and all I wanted was a builder who would make my design look good, and he built his boats to a very high standard of finish, so we shook hands on the deal that changed my life. I gathered together a bunch of my boatbuilder friends, and in three days we had taken a mould off of my upside-down hull. So there I was, about to become to my thinking America’s great new yacht designer, promoter, and builder. I had a beautiful heated shop in which to build any future prototypes that I might dream up, full of the finest tools somebody else’s money could buy, a pretty new girlfriend who would later become my wife, my loyal dog Shep at my feet, and a handshake royalty contract with a partner I knew I could trust. I was on top of the world. What could possibly go wrong? The shop burnt to the ground that October. Gone were my nearly-finished boat, my life savings, all my tools, and my livelihood such as it was. I had to seriously consider, and fast since I was once again penniless, what to do? I talked it over with my fiancée. I could pretty easily go back to Boston and find work as a mechanical engineer, or maybe even back with Dick Carter. But we both agreed I’d come too far down this road to turn back. It was incredible good luck that a mould now existed and for this reason getting another hull would be a lot easier. Debby and I agreed that when you’re young and have decided what to do with your life you have to follow your dream. So we found a cheap place to get through that winter, a farm on a hilltop so remote that it could only be accessed by cross-country skis. I got a few part-time boat carpentry jobs and planned to build another Frances the next summer. Tom Morris offered me space in his shop, and I hired my twin brother to help me build our second boat together that next

Above: Chuck’s first Frances 26 Right: The Frances 26 as a seaboat; the two righthand photos are of La Luz, which sailed from Maine to New Zealand


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CHUCK PAINE DESIGN summer. By the end of the summer of 1975 she was finished. Finally I and the world had a Chuck Paine design that actually floated! I singlehanded her to the Newport Boat Show and Tom Morris and I sat on her and we began selling boats – to our immense surprise and pleasure the Frances was an immediate and remarkable success! Frances wasn’t perfect – no boat is – but there was something about the way she looked, and the fact that she sailed pretty well compared to her more old-fashioned competitors, that began to attract attention to my designs. In order to promote his efforts Tom Morris sent a black and white photograph of one of his Franceses to all of the European yachting magazines. Bernard Hayman, the editor of Yachting World at the time, wrote an embarrassingly favourable editorial about the boat. As you see quoted here from a subsequent issue of the magazine, the response was tremendous: “Two months ago a small double-ender was used to illustrate Yachting World’s leading article, a return to simplicity in cruising. That single photograph has produced more correspondence and enquiries than any other boat in the last ten years. The boat? A Frances 26, designed by CW Paine.” – Bernard Hayman. Four British boatbuilders saw the design’s potential and competed for the right to build the boats. Tom and I chose the one most like us – young, hungry, honest and ambitious. Peter and Ida Gregory and the Desty Brothers built Victoria Yachts in Southampton from virtually nothing. But it grew rapidly, and after a year or so of hard work and heady success, they moved to a larger facility in Warsash and began to order more of my designs – one of them a sistership to a design that Tom Morris was already building, the Victoria 30, and others completely new designs: Victoria 34 and 38. Victoria Yachts began with this – my Frances 26 but with a saucy little cabin you could stand up in- if you weren’t too tall. Most of them had an enclosed heads which got the ladies to come on board. Something like 100 individual yachts were built on the same hull, with different deck and sailplan configurations. No boat of 26ft is large enough to be truly seaworthy in dangerous conditions, but with 50% of their weight in

Bernard Hayman, editor of Yachting World, wrote an embarrassingly favourable editorial about the boat CLASSIC SAILOR

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The Frances 26, now updated Sailplan and lines of the original Frances 26

Top right: Chuck and his Frances in the shop. Right and below: Chuck Paine sketches for Frances


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Top: Interior of the original Frances 26 Left: Lines of the latest version, the Frances 2; a bit beamier, with a deeper and shorter keel. The marine toilet can be spotted abaft the mast and to starboard

ballast and a little diesel engine that could get you home in half a gale – with a scrap of sail up and an eye to the weather – these scrappy little pocket cruisers have done some remarkable passages. The Internet is full of unconfirmed stories of long passages

in the boat, but the longest one I can actually verify was in a flush-decked version named La Luz that has made it from Maine to New Zealand! So what would I change if I designed her today? I’d use a redesigned rig that is taller

and simpler than the rigs used forty years ago. Its genoa has a longer leading edge – the single most influential contributor to sailplan performance in my long experience as a designer. The genoa would be as large as could be fitted with roller-furling/reefing— an idea virtually unknown when I originally designed her. The rig can be taller because the mast would be lighter (carbon fibre) and the hull considerably stiffer owing mostly to a deeper draught keel (4ft 3in). So this is the Frances 2. The hull is a couple of inches beamier, to further enhance her stability and roominess. And I’d use this even shorter, but prettier, cabin and finish it in varnished wood. The settees are long enough to be used as sea-berths, extending aft beneath the cockpit seats. Where’s the loo? The starboard counter with the sink on it flips up to reveal a marine toilet – I continue to contend that a boat this small does not need an enclosed head. The deeper and shorter keel would make her more weatherly, and the fully balanced rudder would make any self-steerer much more effective. Where are you, my stout-hearted adventurers from the ’70s? Change your life like I once changed mine, and get to work building this boat! The Bahamas are still waiting. CLASSIC SAILOR

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Downsize for a l Cruising in a dinghy can get you across seas – and further up creeks than yachts, advises Roger Barnes


hy do you cruise in a dinghy rather than a cabin yacht?” I am often asked by sundry quayside loiterers, as I go about my business on board. “Don’t you find a dinghy really restricting? You need a proper yacht to really explore the coastline. And isn’t it extraordinarily uncomfortable? I could never be that Spartan.” Actually dinghies can get you about very efficiently, if you want them to. I have a friend who used to sail his 15ft dinghy across the English Channel simply to save the ferry fare, and on the long crossing from Devon to the Channel Islands too. A Drascombe Lugger once sailed nearly all the way round the world, Wayfarers often cross the North Sea, and a Ness Yawl was recently sailed and rowed from Britain to the Black Sea. On the other hand, I have a number of friends in the Dinghy Cruising Association who invariably sail from the same familiar launching sites and rarely take their

Above: breakfast aboard; the kit is simple, the view unsurpassed Left: a wellfound dinghy need not fear the seas

dinghies outside the sheltered waters of the Solent, but they go out sailing a number of times every month, even in winter, and they have an intimate and subtle knowledge of the nuances and intricacies of that stretch of water. My own cruises lie between these extremes. I enjoy the excitement of exploring new waters, and often tow my dinghy to a distant unknown coastline, to spend a number of days living on board and exploring the coast. But I see no point in making a long overnight passage in a dinghy, just to say I have done it, if I can put my dinghy aboard a regular ferry service serving the same route. Even so, I often sail out of sight of land when on passage to an offshore island or crossing a deep indentation in the coastline, and this feels adventurous enough in a small open boat. So here we are then, you and I, aboard a typical cruising dinghy, out at sea. The

serried swell rolls towards us from the unbroken horizon, for even off the crowded coast of Europe there is often no other vessel in sight. Our dinghy rises to the faces of the oncoming seas, and then swoops down into the troughs beyond, picking her way across the ever-changing face of the deep. A wavetop catches her unawares and crashes aboard, drenching her up forward and running down into the boat. We work the pumps at intervals to keep the water under the bottom boards. A flock of storm petrels breaks the loneliness, dodging over the wave tops and flashing their white rumps. Aboard a cruising dinghy on passage, the routine is the same as on any other sailing vessel. There is the timeless ritual of regular log entries, checking her position and marking it up on the chart. The weather is always a concern. Is the wind strengthening or slackening, backing or veering? Does she need another reef or would she make


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a life of simplicity She exudes a quiet competence that lesser-used yachts can never match

better progress under more sail? Meanwhile the helmsman craves a constant supply of drinks and nibbles. Fortunately ample quantities were prepared in advance and stowed close to the helm. We look around our boat with pride as she breasts the swell. A true seaboat can always be recognised from her simplicity, robustness and sense of order. Everything is smart and seamanlike. There is no affectation or redundancy, just the minimum of tough, well-chosen gear. She may be scuffed and salt-stained, but she exudes a quiet competence that lesser-used yachts can never match. Onwards we sail, and the sun begins to sink in the sky, the air grows colder and the sea becomes greyer and more menacing. But she is close to her destination now, and soon the arms of the estuary reach out to embrace her. We run in over the rough water on the bar and enter the shelter beyond. This

is when a cruising yacht would pick up a visitor’s buoy, slip into a marina or look for a suitable all-tide anchorage. But cruising dinghies do not need to moor in deep water, to fret at their cable among a crowd of other boats, nor do they visit marinas very often. Unlike those stand-offish yachts with their deep keels, dinghies have an intimate relationship with the coastline. Traditionally, small open boats were designed to operate close inshore, inside any off-lying shoals, making use of the counter currents and eddies in the shallows, and working out of tiny drying coves and creeks. They are creatures of the littoral, and the green parts of the chart are their natural habitat. As usual the sea breeze is blowing up the river valley, so we sail straight through the crowd of boats in the deepwater anchorage and into the open water beyond, heading into the upper reaches of the river. If the crew were hankering after a run ashore, we might think about drying out on a sandy beach, close to a convivial pub. But tonight our needs are simple: we just want a quiet anchorage in a remote upriver creek, well away from the crowds. Our dinghy heels to a sudden gust and slips away around the corner up the river. The valley narrows. Trees reach down to dip their leaves into the water. We drift past an

Above: The pleasure of gliding upstream on a golden summer’s evening Below: heading out to sea

abandoned quayside, ivy cloaking the ruins of warehouses and limekilns. Then the valley widens out again and the sun glistens golden on a broad river pool. The bottom should be soft and flat here. It will be a peaceful night once she has settled onto the mud. With the tent cover erected over the open well of the boat and the stove lit for a brew, the interior of the dinghy begins to dry out. The same vessel that was lashed by the waves of the open sea has become a snug home. We kick off our sea boots and remove our outer gear, then lay out the mattresses and scatter some cushions around. Soon we are lounging comfortably, watching the view swing past through the stern flaps of the boat tent. The sense of enclosure created by just a thin wall of canvas is remarkable. There is a feel of comfortable homeliness aboard. We sip our drinks and chat about the day’s voyage. A night in a camping dinghy is very different from the experience of sleeping in a cabin yacht at anchor. We have a profound sense of being an intrinsic part of the natural environment, surrounded by the dabbling and splashing of the creatures of the foreshore. Inevitably we wake in the night. The wind has risen and the boat is snatching at her rode. We open the tent flaps and peer out. The beauty and splendour of the night sky deep in the countryside is breathtaking. Stars carpet the heavens, and the dark shadow of the skyline sways past as she swings insistently to her cable. We check the transit we took before turning in. It is still in line. The anchorage is well sheltered CLASSIC SAILOR

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Above: A larger dinghy such as this Swallow Boats Bay Raider can make a good base for a cruising boat

and she has not budged. We snuggle back down into our bunks again, reassured. Some time later we look out again. The noise of burbling water under her hull has ceased. She has settled on the mud and now lies rock solid. The moon is high in the sky and the mud banks gleam in its light. We lie there for a while watching the scene and listening to the almost imperceptible hissing and scuffling in the mud all around, where small life breathes and feeds. Next time we look out the boat is once more afloat and the seabirds are following the rising tide up the mudbanks. Dawn is well risen and the sun is burning off the morning mist. The water steams around our dinghy and fog lies in the hollows of the surrounding fields and woodlands. As usual early in the morning in summer, there is a light land breeze blowing down the valley towards the sea. We decide to strike the tent quickly and get back down to the mouth of the estuary while it lasts. There is just time for a quick breakfast – a cup of tea and some cereal. The stove is fired up again and the fresh milk is fished out from the ‘cool store’ in the bilges. Then the sleeping bags and cushions are shaken out and crammed into stuff bags, the mattresses are rolled away and placed with them in roll-top dry bags, which are stowed out of the way and lashed down. The stove and galley boxes are closed and pushed into their seagoing positions. There is little else

to stow away other than the tent, and this is left until last. The less gear you have, the easier it is to keep track of it all each time you pack away the dinghy. Like other yachtsmen, we enjoy buying gear for our small craft: dinghy cruisers are not strangers to yacht chandleries. But much of the stuff in there has no relevance to us. Indeed it is noticeable that experienced dinghy cruisers tend to reduce

We are not Spartans. We drink decent coffee. We eat well. We want for little in our simple sailing boats their equipment over time, not add to it. It is like a constant process of Buddhist refinement. There is beauty in simplicity. But we are not Spartans. The fewer pieces of equipment one has, the more important each particular item becomes, and the more demanding you become that it performs efficiently. Like minimalist backpackers, rather than acquire more gear we tend to replace cheap gear by more expensive and higher-quality stuff. We invest in better and more comfortable mattresses, or higher quality sleeping bags. But unlike minimalist backpackers, we have space for additional luxuries. There are bottles of wine, beer

and whisky beneath the bottom boards. We drink decent coffee. We eat well. We want for little in our simple sailing boats. Gear stowed, we raise the anchor and slip away from our upriver anchorage. The last shreds of mist wisp across the water before us. There is little wind, and our sail hangs limp in the crisp morning light, but the ebb tide carries us through the calm patches. As we ghost silently down the river, a yacht passes under power. Her crew wave happily, while they shatter the peace of the morning. We wave cheerfully back, but are impatient for them to be gone so tranquillity is restored to the watercourse. We understand why yachts do this. Unlike us they cannot row if the wind abruptly dies, and they are fearful of running aground or hitting other moored craft. Most sailing yachts motor most of the time. It is how things are in these sad latter days, part of the Faustian pact yachts have made in return for their spacious cabins, padded banquettes, drinks cabinets and fixed berths. But we wonder if they realise how much they have lost. Roger Barnes is president of the Dinghy Cruising Association and author of The Dinghy Cruising Companion (pub Adlard Coles, £16.99)


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It’s what you would rather be reading… Welcome to the new magazine about traditional seamanship and seaworthy boats.




APRIL 2016 £3.95

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But how to get your copy ahead of the vicar? He’s a canny subscriber, realising that a yearly sub is a lot less than a case of communion wine! He gets his issue delivered direct to the vicarage door while also saving on the newsstand cover price. Join our flock and take advantage of our special rates. We can also send out individual issues at cover price plus P&P. 12 editions – £42.50 Please quote our code 16CS There are bargains for overseas readers and other ways of paying too.



Sleeping beauty Siesta, the 12-metre designed 76 years ago by Johan Anker and newly built by Robbe & Berking is about to face her first race By Detlef Jens


he bow, sharp and elegantly curved from the waterline up to the pointed stem, slices through the waves without any visible sign of effort. The water pearls off the richly varnished dark mahogany topsides, the leeward rail kisses the sea as the thoroughbred heels gently to a little gust and the sweeping teak decks gleam in the sun,

while the superbly crafted sheerline is proudly on display, rising towards the bow and, to a lesser degree, the long, overhanging stern. This classic racing yacht must surely be the epitome of the highly refined sailing craft of the late 1930s that were then induced by the International Metre Rule. Designed by none less than Mr Johan Anker from Norway,

often referred to as ‘the master of the lines’, in 1940, she was launched in Germany, on the shores of the Flensburg Fjord, in 2015 – a gap of 75 years between design and launching. The design, number 434, is actually Johan Anker’s last 12-metre and his second-last overall – his last, also unbuilt, was an 8-metre yacht. The war and Anker’s death, due to


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illness, in 1940 were the reasons why these two boats were never built – until now. Robbe & Berking Classics, of Flensburg was able to source and secure all drawings that Anker had made for his last and probably best ever 12-metre, and built this classic yacht for the Danish yachtsman Eric Tingleff Larsen, who loves classic racing yachts – among many

other things he already owns no fewer than six 6-metre yachts, several of them restored or built by Robbe & Berking Classics. At the christening of his 12-metre during this summer’s Robbe & Berking 12 Metre Open European Championship in Flensburg, he cracked the obvious joke: “I already have six sixes, so accordingly I should then also

have 12 12s!” Which would obviously delight Oliver Berking, the yard’s proprietor, but then Eric did not yet fully commit to this idea… Anyhow, this must be a case of kindred spirits between the Dane Eric Tingleff Larsen and the Norwegian Johan Anker. Anker also had many racing yachts built for himself, all of them obviously to his own design, and he

Siesta’s classic formula: frames alternately ash and steel, skin of mahogany


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From tree to hull, and fitting the keel. Right: the deck beams 42 CLASSIC SAILOR

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In Anker’s time the boat would have been built in his own yard under his own supervision, omitting the need for very precise specifications in the many small details was one of the most successful racing helmsmen of his time, crowning his racing career with winning the Olympic Gold Medal in Stockholm in 1912 with his 12-metre Magda IX. A year before, he had already made his mark in England, having sailed his 12-metre Rollo from Norway to Cowes where he put the strong British competition and the yachts of Wm Fife and other designer colleagues to shame. The President of the Royal Yacht Squadron, above all sportsman and gentleman, said at the time: “This is what I call sport. You have built your own boat, sailed it across the North Sea with your own crew and then won almost every single first prize!” The design of Siesta, as the new 12-metre is named, would have benefited from the practical experience gained with this and Anker’s other 12-metres. She was built to Anker’s original drawings using the specified materials: ribs of ash wood and steel, planking of mahogany, and teak decks. Admittedly, contemporary glues have been used and as Anker’s plans were not comprehensive in every detail, a naval architect had to work through them and complete them where necessary. In Anker’s time, the boat would of course have been built at his own yard under his personal supervision, omitting the need for very precise specifications in the many small details. However, due to Robbe & Berking Classics’ expertise with these yachts – let us not forget that the yard has its origins in

the restoration of the 12-metre Sphinx – this newly built classic 12 is in its construction as faithful to the original intentions and specifications as humanly possible. Siesta was in the water last summer but not yet quite ready for racing. Her regatta debut will be this coming August at the metre-class regatta organized by the KDY in Copenhagen. Before that, it is a case of crew and team building. 12-metres are difficult beasts to harness and to get the full potential out of them the crew has to work together like clockwork. Just stepping onto the boat and going out to race is not the recipe for success in this vintage class, as even double Olympic gold medallist Jesper Bank had to find out when he chartered the 1936 William Fife Vanity V for the 2015 Europeans to sail “with family and friends” and came “only” third in the overall rankings. For the experienced, sailing a classic 12 is pure bliss – and adrenaline. These graceful sailing machines are responsive but not nervous; however so powerful that they are indeed challenging even for the fearless. As Patrick Howaldt, co-owner of both Vanity V and Vim, puts it: “The 12s have tremendous power and elegance. These heavy yachts that have large sail areas are very demanding. It is immensely satisfying when you have moulded a crew of 15 people into a team and trained them so they can perform all manoeuvres, even in strong winds and under

Photo taken May 1940 at ‘King Cottage’, where King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav had his headquarters, shortly before his departure for London from Tromso. Between King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav stands Johan Anker CLASSIC SAILOR

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12-METRE SIESTA 2015 Length overall 71ft (21.65m) Beam 11ft 10in (3.6 m) Draught 8ft 8in (2.64 m) Sail area 1873 sqft (174m2)


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“If we are sailing a regatta in a modern class, the boat is only a piece of sports equipment – a means to an end. This is quite different, here we are dealing with real and beautiful boats!” The smile says it all

The International Rule of 1907 produced several ‘Metre’ classes, most notably 6-Ms, 8-Ms and the 12s, which dominated the America’s Cup competitions from 1958 to 1987. The rule has changed three times over the years but has remained popular with classic sailors who love the elegance and performance of metre boats

pressure, properly; if everybody always knows what he has to do and when. It is an extremely rewarding experience when you pull off a complicated manoeuvre in strong winds. The forces acting here are enormous, it can be dangerous and a real challenge to sail these yachts properly and accurately. “The races are always very close and hard fought, and that I also find fascinating. But not just me; even young sailors find these yachts and the atmosphere on board quite exciting. And it’s not just the regatta sailing – sometimes a night passage from Copenhagen to Flensburg for example, just navigating and sailing, that’s great. For 12s are versatile, you can also cruise them in style, and elegantly.” And Jesper Bank explains the difference in 12-metre sailing: “If we are sailing a regatta in a modern class, the boat is only a piece of sports equipment, a means to an end. This is of course quite different, here we are dealing with real and beautiful boats!” However, he had also seen that these classics were sailed toughly and no holds barred and that his competition gave away nothing on the water. So the boat that is considered Johan Anker’s masterpiece by many is going to compete in a tough fleet of fiercely campaigned 12s. Over the past few years, the Baltic fleet of classic 12s has seen an enormous boost, with 15 yachts competing in the 2015 Europeans in Flensburg – a strong and competitive fleet this size had actually never before been seen in the classic 12 class. Developments culmi-

nated when Patrick Howaldt bought the legendary Olin Stephens 12-metre Vim from the Med to the Baltic, where she is now owned by a group of friends from Copenhagen, and when the 75-year new Siesta was launched at Oliver Berking’s yard in Flensburg. Which, you may by now not be surprised to read, sails like a dream. “This boat has a large volume and is generally big when directly compared to other 12s,” says Sönke Stich, yard manager at Robbe & Berking Classics, after the first few sail trials. “The lines are full and freeboard is high. As a trade

successful restoration of this 1936 Abeking & Rasmussen 12-metre. Siesta’s sail wardrobe is by North Sails and of top quality, making her close-winded and fast. Like several other true racing 12s, she has no engine, which does improve the sailing but does not make berthing, even when assisted by a RIB, any easier! Down below, she is stylish in her original wood finish, ribs – alternating wood and steel – showing in many places. To comply with the 12-metre class rules, several more pipe cots will be fitted, but apart from these, a few

And it’s not just the regatta sailing – sometimes a night passage, just navigating and sailing, that’s great. For 12s are versatile, you can cruise them in style, and elegantly off she does not have as much sail area as others but despite this, she accelerates quickly and dashes off again after each manoeuvre.” The owner has chosen a large diameter wheel for steering and this gives the helmsman an ideal position on the windward rail for the perfect overview of the boat, his sails and the competition. Sail handling also is easy, as easy as it gets on a 12. Her deck layout and choice of hardware has been optimised with input by the owner, based on the highly efficient layout of the yard’s first 12-metre project, Sphinx, the boat that started it all back in the summer of 2008 – Robbe & Berking Classics was formally founded following the

seats and a toilet, that’s all there is in creature comforts below decks. This yacht is a true classic by pedigree and build. The first new wooden 12-metre to be built in many decades, Siesta is truly unique. A pure racing yacht from the 1930s but built in our time. This boat has already caused a stir simply by being launched, but we are sure there will be much more of her to be told about in the future. And who knows – from what rumour spreads along the Baltic coasts, the next classic 12-metre project is already well advanced in planning stages at Robbe & Berking Classics – do watch this space for more 12-metre news! ★ CLASSIC SAILOR

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Making sail in a Biscay gale Well, a sail on Shtandart beats a hire car to get to a trustees meeting, sothought Pete Sedgwick, part of the Cutty Sark 2Sail Foundation team.



s far as I was aware, my trip to Portugal was to involve a hire car and a road race round the coast looking at potential sites to build a new clipper ship. The sort of busman’s holiday anyone might expect to have in February. Nice and cool, no tourists, lots of winter sun – that sort of thing…but! The Cutty Sark 2Sail Foundation, formed to promote an ecological approach to cleaner marine transport, is looking for a build site. Our first project is to build a replica Cutty Sark tea clipper and then use the ship to carry dry cargo. As well as developing traditional shipbuilding skills, the new ship will be used for sail training and promoting ecologically acceptable modern technologies relating to marine transportation. The new Cutty Sark will be an exact replica on the outside, but state of the art on the inside and is being designed to meet modern health and safety standards. This project was started by Vladimir Martous who built the Shtandart, a replica of Peter the Great’s frigate dating back to 1703. Shtandart has been sailing the coasts of Europe for the last 15 years and is used as a sail training

ship as well as for filming projects. The ship is also now the mobile office for the Cutty Sark 2Sail Foundation and my meeting was in this ‘office’. Shtandart was moored in Cascais near Lisbon and had to be in Farrol, about 350 miles north, no later than 12 February to take part in a filming project. I had arrived on the 5th, so plenty of time to visit potential build sites and for the Shtandart to reach Ferrol. One thing however was going to change this plan considerably. It takes about three days to sail from Cascais to Ferrol in normal conditions, up the coast, round the corner, past Le Corunna and bingo there is Ferrol. But as you are no doubt aware, the weather in that region is a little unpredictable, especially in February and with low pressure it decided to be very unpredictable. Storms had been forecast towards the end of the week but there was a good southerly breeze blowing which was ideal for the trip and Captain Vladimir made his decision: the car hire was cancelled and we cast off in the late afternoon of the 6th. It was not advisable to delay because the coast is unforgiving and the possibilities of finding shelter are definitely limited. Once out of the harbour we sailed in light winds, changing watch every four hours and all was fine and

The weather there can be a little unpredictable, especially in February; with low pressure it decided to be very unpredictable: Pete Sedgwick, left 46 CLASSIC SAILOR

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The Shtandart, replica of Peter the Great’s 1703 flagship, has been sailing the coasts of Europe for the past 15 years


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dandy for the next 48 hours or so. Not too cold, just enough wind and a slight following swell from the south. On the evening of day two as I came off watch, the wind started to increase and the atmosphere was indicating that it just might keep on increasing. The weather map was showing storms way up north but medium to strong winds in our area. I turned in and as is usual, was sound asleep in seconds. The next thing I know is a lurch, and an automated airborne leap from my bunk, landing without ceremony on a very hard bulkhead. Once I had got myself together I realised I must have a slight groin injury, so decided to lie low for a bit to recover. As the ship was somewhat bouncy, I headed for the mess room so I could get a brew and sit securely locked between a table and bit of ship. On the way, I stopped off to have a pee and was greeted with a wall of water where the toilet should have been. I mentioned this to Alexi the engineer who happened to be walking past (carrying a wrench – they always carry a wrench, even on aeroplanes). He took a casual look and said “Zis iz qvite normal in zis method of sea condition.” I should have explained that Shtandart has a mainly Russian crew and they do not have the emotion that resembles panic. They just ‘do what a man has to do’ whatever the circumstances or conditions. Well, when I made it to the mess room and galley, the floorboards were up and three of the crew were giving the bilge cocks some serious exercise whilst another was carefully uncoiling plastic pipe and joining it to a bilge pump strum box. On the lazarette deck, two more crew members were

getting the best they could out of a couple of mobile Honda pumps. At the same time, the ship was steaming along at what felt like a thousand miles an hour and considerable amounts of water seemed to be intent on washing the deckhead and walls of the galley. If this had been a film, there would have been cries of ‘abandon ship’ and some woman crying and praying in the corner. There was a lady in the corner, but she was drinking tea and eating some biscuits whilst reading a book! Believe me Russian ladies, like the men, are impressively calm and together, whatever the situation. The problem was being caused by one of the cannon ports which had worked loose and was letting in vast quantities of the Atlantic. This situation was further complicated by the failure of one of the bilge pumps due to an electrical problem which would take time to fix. Hence the appearance of the auxiliary pumps. By this time the thought of tea had gone from my mind (as had the groin pain), and I ended up in the bilges with water up to my knees, collecting plastic, a catapult, several assorted bits of timber, not to mention some cling film and other unmentionables– all intent on blocking up the strum boxes on the auxiliary pumps. This situation was enhanced with showers of Atlantic coming in through the galley extractor vent, not to mention other numerous orifices within the galley. Car hire began to seem like a much better plan. Eventually the situation was rectified. The cannon port was re-fixed, the ingress of the Atlantic stopped, the bilge pump electrics sorted and most importantly of all

Shtandart, laid down 24 April 1703, launched 22 August 1703. Length on deck 82ft; overall 113ft Beam 23ft Draught 11ft Height 108ft Replica laid down 1994, launched 1999

a new location was found for the kettle so that tea could once again be brewed. Dawn was now on the horizon and I ventured on deck to be greeted with what seemed like a tempest scene from a classic marine painting. There was white water, the deck was awash and the gratings from the skylights were playing a game of pool across the deck. Looking for’ard, I glimpsed two sails pulling beautifully on the foremast and as there were no cherubs or naked ladies hanging in the rigging and pointing towards heaven, I was convinced I was still alive and that all was well. Dmitry, the first mate, appeared from nowhere and laughingly stated that we had run into “a bit ov a breeze”. The wind must have been a good Force 8 to 9 and the swell was running at about 10-12 metres. It looked like hundreds of feet high to me, but I had been below for some considerable time getting acquainted with bilge pumps and the like, so the view on deck was a bit of a shock to the system! Later that morning we screamed into Ferrol in fine style. Vladimir and Dmitry were at the helm looking for all the world as if we had just sailed across a flat, sundrenched stretch of ocean. As soon as we were in the harbour (doing 9 knots under bare poles), the pilot boat appeared and we were directed to the naval base, the best place to be with the wind as it was. Immediately the crew started the onerous task of drying everything out and getting things shipshape. Several naval officers appeared and looked on in awe and amazement. We had safely come through one of the worst Atlantic storms for some time. An unforgettable journey and brilliant seamanship. CLASSIC SAILOR

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DUTCH POTATO RACE Every April dozens of Dutch workboats meet in Volendam to race in commemoration of a wartime relief mission. Robert Simper went along to join in the fun


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e have all seen the old photographs of harbours with forests of masts. One of these was Volendam in the south-east corner of the old Zuider Zee, where in 1891, 258 fishing boats crowded into the small harbour. In 1932 the Zuider Zee was dammed off and became the freshwater Ijsselmeer; the Volendam fishing botters gave up one by one. Another dam has divided the Ijsselmeer since then, and the southern end is now called the Markermeer, named after the Isle of Marken, just across the gulf from Volendam. Once a year Volendam’s harbour again becomes a forest of masts when the traditional workboats arrive to take part in the Pieperrace, the Potato Race. It commemorates Volendam’s moment of glory during World War II when food and fuel shortages brought the Netherlands to the edge of starvation. Eleven botters from Volendam sailed across the Ijsselmeer and collected 50,000 kilos of potatoes for the starving people in Amsterdam. This regatta for traditional Dutch work boats was started in 1985 and provides the vast numbers of tourists visiting Volendam with a spectacular sight. It is sailed over a triangular course out in the Markermeer, with two races held on consecutive days and attracts 60 or 70 or more classic work boats – this year the number was 59. The boats are divided into various classes, klipper barges larger and small; tjalken large and small; lemmerarken; vissers – Ijsselmeer fishing boats – skutsjes and others..


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My illusion that the Netherlands is the best-organised country in the European Union was slightly shattered at the Potato Race prize-giving. It was held in an alley...

Top: Botter BU59 Guilden Belofte; then from left: Tjalks in Volendam; start of the race, with klipper Rival using a watersail; Vrouw Cornelia, a small tjalk

When we (Pearl and myself) joined the race a few years ago, we sailed on the steel 120ft (36m) klipper Eensgeszindheid (unanimity), a regular participant. Normally Peter van Weelderen and Birgit Brockhuyse, who own the barge, work the Eensgeszindheid from Enkhuizen carrying 34 passengers on trips in the Isselmeer and Waddenzee, but for this race 27 of their friends arrived to act as race crew. Everyone spoke good English and thoroughly understood the handling of the big klipper. Also on board were the owners’ two beloved Dutch sheep dogs. However the dogs looked forward to their return to dry land and when approaching the harbour started keenly pulling out the mooring ropes. Because the water between Volendam and the Isle of Marken is shallow, and the town wished the tourists to see the boats under sail, the race is started just outside the harbour. Starting 60-odd boats in this narrow channel would probably result in a massive pile-up, so a boat starts the race when it passes the committee boat and holds up its number. The boat’s time over the course is worked out at the end of the race. Aft, at the wheel, skipper ‘No Stress’ Peter never raised his voice, although afterwards he claimed that he had lost his temper when a tjalk forced him into shallow water and the great 5m banquirai wooden leeboard churned up a trail of grey mud. The foredeck was run by the mate, Kom, the third full-time member of the crew, while boatbuilder Otto raced backwards and forwards on the long deck relaying Peter’s wishes and urging the crew on. On the first day there was a very light wind but it quickly became obvious that our vessel was fast, as she started at the tail end and steadily moved up through the fleet. As the Eensgeszindheid is a ketch the big decision was, when to hoist and lower the two big stays’ls between the masts. Also there was the constant changing in the depth of the leeward leeboard. Peter did this by pressing buttons aft of the wheel as the klipper has motors on the leeboard winches and also the anchor windlass. At the wheel Peter looked thoughtful and Otto rushed about reporting how the sails were pulling. A close watch was kept on the klipper Avontuur, another ketch, clearly well sailed, but we slipped past. Then the single masted klipper De Hoge Weir unfurled a huge light weather jib and sailed around the second to last buoy ahead of us. Otto rushed about the deck trimming sheets, but mostly everyone was very quiet as we slowly drew into the lead. There was wild excitement aft as we slipped home first. Birgit opened a bottle left over from last year, but it had gone flat.

In fact the whole event went flat because the committee boat misunderstood what was happening and gave the first to another klipper that had not sailed the whole course. With such a complicated start it was not surprising a mix-up had occurred. Next day there was more wind and again Peter kept his cool, but in his determination to get ahead he sailed very close to other boats but never touched. The Ijsselmeer sailors are very good at close sailing, as well as being good at getting on with people. The Dutch charter skippers are incredibly good at taking huge steel barges in and out of little harbours without hitting or even touching other craft. We kept cross tacking with the threemasted Nil Desperandum, a klipper the same size as Eensgeszindheid , but Peter correctly predicted that his ketch would out-sail the schooner. Up and down went the stays’l and the big ‘half wind’ jib, Peter pulled his baseball cap almost over his eyes and just kept muttering, and Otto shouted the orders in Dutch. At the table for evening meal we could not follow the conversation in Dutch (just as well as we were told later that it was about the fact that if you fell in the water you would be swimming in whale sperm!) but on deck the orders were very similar to English. Otto was even more desperate to get the best out of the sails. On the last run the mizzen was set half down to let the main have the full wind and one stays’l was acting as a main tops’l. In the Dutch inland waters sailing with sails half down seems to be practical. It worked well and Nil Desperandum was well astern, but at the finish we were surrounded by boats, and had little idea of the final results. My illusion that the Netherlands is the best-organized country in the European Union was slightly shattered at the Potato Race prize giving. It was held in a Volendam alley and the organizers struggled to get themselves heard over the noise from the crowd of happy drinkers. Waiters swished out of cafés with trays of beer held above their heads for the thirsty crews. Everyone had enjoyed the day and was happy, but above the noise I just heard the name Eensgeinzdheid. Peter had won the Klipper Class after all. Peter and Birgit beamed with delight as I photographed them with their medal; only their dogs were totally unimpressed with the event. Once the prizing giving was over boats started to head back to their homeports for charter work. No fuss, no bother, sail here is a well organized business with some 350 vessels undertaking charter work. This year’s race took place on 2/3 April. In light winds Eensgeszindheid came third in class, behind Bohème and De Hoge Wier. CLASSIC SAILOR

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29/04/16 8:49 PM


Tentatively going tidal Helen Lewis and The Skipper acquire an almost seagoing boat, some new skills and a new nautical vocabulary and head off down the Thames


o there we were, two bedraggled river ‘mice’ standing on a rocking pontoon in Chichester Harbour in pouring rain gazing at a small but perfectly formed 1970s estuary boat. Nothing had prepared us for the teak decks and the beautifully fitted wooden lockers with tiny sculpted chrome hinges. It’s true that someone had seen fit to kit him out with upholstery more fitting to a lady’s boudoir and his padded cream control panel was shocking. Against that he had a capacious double berth up the pointy end, a separate saloon cabin with a bench seat, a dining table that slotted into the seat to create another double bed, a small galley and even a heads. He (yes, another ‘he’) also boasted a dog house with a canopy extending to the rear and a bench seat at the back between two wooden samson posts. He had not been ‘messed around’ with and had been professionally fitted out by West Stockwith Yacht Services who had attached a plate to

that effect at the stern declaring this to be a Colvic Northerner Sealion. In fact this was ‘the’ Sea Lion. The search for a small motor cruiser that looked like a ‘proper’ boat had paid off. We had looked at others where the portholes had been turned into sliding oblong affairs and the fittings had been proudly bodged by owners various, but this was a gem of a boat. There were many things we were to learn about buying boats. However, if ever you should be so foolish as to try it, count yourself lucky if it rains hard on one of your maiden visits. Take your time and hope that the rain continues for a few hours, open all the lockers, gaze at the deck head, run your finger round the windows and portholes, and look for telltale patches of dark wood (see The Skipper’s Word). On that first visit we settled down on Sea Lion listening to the beat of the rain on the deck and wondering, as so many had done before us, at the snugness of a

Sea Lion: first viewing in the rain (but note the proper portholes)

boat when the weather is wild outside. Our young dog immediately fell asleep on the sole and we knew we were going to buy this boat, even when the small trickle of water above my head reached my collar bone and trickled down my front. It would be years before we found the source of that leak and the Skipper has never told me what the restoration cost for Sea Lion was. Our sea trial was uneventful. We didn’t know enough to do more than be delighted at being out in Chichester Harbour on a sunny day with an engine that started first pop and had a steady rhythmic beat: a Perkins 4108 that lived up to that first introduction for the five years we were to own it. The survey was completed and we didn’t know enough to be as alarmed, as we possibly should have been. We invited a new boatbuilder into our lives. He drove up from Brighton and inspired us with his confidence, a practical, ‘can-do’ air and neat nautical clothing. We were


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THE CRUISING LIFE: PART 3 Left: Helen and daughter Chloe relaxing in Sea Lion’s saloon. Right, from top: Boatbuilder Terry Pachol at work; Sea Lion’s refurbished wheelhouse; Helen and Lola passing the Houses of Parliament

not to be disappointed. Terry Pachol delivered Sea Lion six months later with his decks stripped off and refastened, new samson posts (to replace the rotten ones with the aforementioned but unnoticed dark wood), a clever little shower in his minuscule heads, a holding tank and a saloon with gleaming varnished panelling to replace the cream padding. I renewed his flock upholstery with a jaunty beige and scarlet stripe, made porthole covers out of embroidery rings and Sea Lion was ready for an adventure. Oh, and as the Skipper reminds me, he at least was already preparing for more serious cruising – we

If ever you should buy a boat, count yourself lucky if it rains hard on one of your maiden visits

had a radar, AIS and chart plotter fitted! Naively I must have assumed this was the latest thing for river work. Now as you may remember we had never been to sea and although Sea Lion was now perfectly capable of being cruised round to the Thames we had him moved by lorry to Shepperton Marina. It is totally surprising to me now, all these adventures later, that we were so timid. We cruised him in what to us was extreme luxury up and down our old haunts on the Thames. Then one day the Skipper, as if from nowhere, declared his intention of “putting to sea”. Sensibly, for a sensible Skipper he is, he took himself off to the East Anglian Sailing School to learn about tides and navigation and other sea things. Craftily he wooed me with snippets of adventure and tales of where we might head until one day I found myself with three weeks holiday heading downstream beyond the confines of the non-tidal Thames.

Truly, the world begins at Richmond Lock. Here one has to calculate the tides and here we waited, realising perhaps for the first time the enormity of what we were about to do. As we hesitated a grand passenger steamer purred up and headed into the lock. We scurried in behind and nervously inquired of the Lock Keeper whether there was sufficient water below the lock to “make our passage”. The answer was terse and unequivocal – “Follow ’er, ’er’ll see youse right.” Unfortunately ’er was quick and ’er knew where the deep water was. Poor little Sea Lion belted along like a duckling trying to keep up with a swan. The Skipper frantically instructed me to mark where she had made her turn as she disappeared round the next bend with a swish of her elegant bottom and barely a wake to show where she had been. We rocketed along until we found ourselves bewildered and just a little shocked in London proper. CLASSIC SAILOR

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The Skipper’s word

Sea Lion in Chichester Harbour

Suddenly there appeared super fast tourist boats cutting us up at every turn, tugs pulling long loads of semi-submerged cargo trying to trip us up and the water was heaving and rocking with all the traffic so that poor little Sea Lion with his flat bottom and microscopic bilge keels was plunging and rolling like a cork. Next, with a certain amount of dread, we realised that we must wait for the lock to open, tied up to a waiting pontoon, before we could get into St Kat’s. The dog looked green and I felt green, though from sea-sickness or fear I’m not sure. Amidst all this angst we were excited: we had been admitted to ‘big school’. Here was the proper grown-up world where commercial traffic and pretend boaters like us could mingle. Here we suddenly met foreign boats and boaters. We had salt on our lips though we were still many miles from the sea.

sea hours, and I needed to step up from nautical upholstery to a few practical deckhand skills (Competent Crew). We had no idea what to expect from this bit of our trip and had not lived so intimately with a stranger ever. When Andy arrived he was unmistakeable. Rolling gait, reassuring handshake, kit bag on shoulder. What else he brought was less welcome. Cap’n Andy had a tummy bug! Wartime spirit prevailed and at dawn, pale but undaunted, we untied and made our way jostling for position with a flotilla of Dutch boats waiting for the lock gates to open and disgorge us into the bubbling Thames. The mood of the sailors was infectiously jolly and I sat on Sea Lion’s prow fending off other yachts and trying to look as if I had been up to this malarky forever. Unfortunately for me the sturdy lump of metal attached to the rear of the Dutch yacht ahead turned out to be his self-steering vane, not a handy point. My cover We had been admitted to ‘big school’ fending-off blown I decided to abandon the cool sailor look and admit total – we had salt on our lips though ignorance. In a surge we plunged still many miles from the sea into the Thames once more with Cap’n Andy calmly sipping his tea and keeping a weather eye on us. Our berth was next to a seasoned sailor Yesterday it had all been grand London: of extreme years. As we ventured out to the Houses of Parliament, Blackfriars, sea he was making his first sortie up the Tower Bridge. Today we raced with the Thames into calmer waters. He told us of tide through Dickensian London, past his berth in Brightlingsea and in what was Greenwich and the Cutty Sark, old to become a familiar generous cruising warehouses and on to windswept Essex gesture he pressed on us an invitation to marshes. We half-expected to see Little use his mooring if the need should arise. Dorrit scurrying away to buy eels or We in turn handed over our Stanford’s Magwitch leaping out at Pip. Past the chart of the non-tidal Thames, thus sealing wreck of the Robert Montgomery full of our fate as seafarers. unexploded munitions. Then a decision Later the next day, after we had come to from Cap’n Andy to make for Chatham. It terms with floating loos and showers and was out of our way but a welcome break in the spectacle of dishevelled sailors in their our voyage with a deep all-tide harbour. jimjams weaving their way bleary-eyed Almost at sea now and a far cry from towards the ablutions, we were joined by peaceful ambles upriver on glassy waters. Captain Andy. We had prudently decided that the best way of ensuring our safety at Next month Helen faces lock work at night sea was for us to have some instruction on in torrential rain and the Clacton Chop. our own boat. The Skipper had already got his Day Skipper Theory qualification under The Skipper contemplates the mysteries of going astern in a single-engined classic. his belt but needed his Practical and more

We were in a Danish harbour on a dry, sunny day, and I was squirting water at the port side break of sheer. The skipper of the adjacent Rassy stared at me for a while and then asked what I was doing. “Trying to find the source of a leak,” says I. Rassy man looked appalled. “Haven’t you ever had a leak?” I asked. His expression was now that of a man quizzed about a dark secret in his past. “Oh no!” he cried out with a shudder, ducking below and slamming his hatch. It’s possible that there is a classic boat that does not leak, on the same principle that, as Jean Luis Borges put it, every man risks being the first immortal. More likely, though, the skipper doesn’t care, doesn’t want to admit it or doesn’t know there is one. If you daysail a nice old yacht in sunshine down the Orwell or up the Beaulieu, take on a bit of spray and get the covers on before the rain, you may never realise quite what a mahogany colander you are master of. There are leaks and leaks. I am less concerned about the salty ones below the waterline. They may have the capacity to drown you, but they won’t irritate you in the process. Nor do they generally rot your classic. Bilge pumps, bungs, tingles, and so on deal with hull leaks until you can get her lifted and sorted. No, my idea of a good leak is fresh water entering the boat in one place and emerging elsewhere after a punitive attack on your beam shelves, carlins, elbows and knees. The leak which drizzled down Helen’s neck the first day we clapped eyes on Sea Lion stayed with us for three years, defying master shipwrights and amateur bunglers. The gap between Sea Lion’s plastic deck and the teak laid over provided an array of miniature water courses to distribute leaks to innocent corners of saloon and cabin, evidenced by ominous areas of darkened varnish. My weapon of choice was and is Captain Tolley’s Creeping Crack Cure. It is recommended for use in dry conditions, but the eureka moment when I found the saloon neck-drizzler came after applying the Captain to a suspicious pinhole under the step at the port side break of sheer after giving the area a good dowsing. It was like tipping dye into an underground river to see where it comes out. The bulkhead below was streaked with white smears – hurrah! It was all I could do not to nip next door and tell Rassy man all about it, but I feared he would wave garlic in my face and summon the local exorcist. Jonathan Lewis

Sea Lion shows tell tale signs of water ingress.


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02392 817119

IBTC Portsmouth Traditional Wooden Boatbuilding Training

————————— Our practical wooden boatbuilding diploma includes City & Guilds level 3 and is taught on real boats, including some well-known names such as Dolly Varden & Lively Lady giving a comprehensive training experience. Working in the amazing Boathouse 4 with its gantry cranes and internal canals, we offer a flexible approach to gaining practical skills. Building better boatbuilders, fit for industry. Courses range from a day to a year. Come and visit us we are a free to enter part of the Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth, open 363 days a year. Or see us at Beale Park Boat Show 3rd - 5th June.

CLASSIC YACHTS & OLD GAFFERS This is a class for all yachts over 24ft length on deck, built of wood or steel before 1975 or in GRP before 1965. A division for Spirit of Tradition yachts may be allocated for boats built after the above dates to designs that reflect the appearance and virtues of classic yachts. There will be fleet splits depending on entries including nonspinnaker fleet.

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2/04/16 12:00 PM


Up the Humber Joe Irving is a widely respected classic yacht restorer. Chris Potter went to Barton Haven in Yorkshire to find out what’s going on in his Draughtsman Yachts yard.


he mighty Humber estuary has, for centuries, been a major source of commerce between Great Britain, Europe and the rest of the world. It is the second largest estuary in the UK, with an area of over 75,492 acres, a length of 42 miles and a width of 9 miles at its widest part; it separates England’s two largest counties, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. The Humber serves the ports of Hull, Immingham and Grimsby that handle over 40% of the UK’s seaborne traffic. As far back as Roman and Viking times goods were brought up the Humber and thence up the rivers Trent and Ouse. Commercial traffic used the river Ouse as far as the City of York up until the 1960s, most recently in sailing barges called Humber Keels. A number of small rivers empty into the Humber for much of its length and have

carved out small inlets known as ‘havens’. Brough Haven which is some 10 miles inland from the City of Hull is the home of the Humber Yawl Club, whose members such as George Holmes and Albert Strange helped to pioneer small boat sailing as far back as the 1880s with their Humber Canoe Yawls. Sadly the only Humber Yawl and indeed the only true classic still at Brough is Leona, owned by former secretary of the Albert Strange Association, John May. Classics on the Humber are far from neglected however as, at the southern end of the Humber Bridge, in Barton Haven, is the yard of Joe Irving’s Draughtsman Yachts. Barton Upon Humber is an attractive little market town with a long history of shipbuilding and repair and also has an historic church with a Saxon tower. The road which passes Joe Irving’s yard was once the main thoroughfare from London to Hull, and the Left: Joe Irving. Right above: Barton Haven with keels and the Humber Bridge; below: Barton Haven in the 1890s

former Waterside Inn directly opposite has a plaque commemorating the ancient ferry, established in 1351, which not only carried passengers but also horses. The Inn was a ‘staging post’ and had accommodation and stabling for travellers and their horses. The Clapson family, who had owned the Barton yard since 1889, rented a shed to Joe back in 1998. Five years ago Joe purchased the entire yard from Rodney Clapson. Rodney’s son David is now one of Joe’s shipwrights. Amazingly the ancient rights to operate the ferry now belong to Joe, though not a lot of use with the Humber bridge right next door. The positioning of both the bridge and ferry are at the Hessle Narrows. With a good 7-knot spring ebb and wind


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against tide, vicious short seas are thrown up, locally referred to as “Hessle Whelps”, in which a number of small boats have foundered over the years – crossing with horses and passengers by sail and oar must have been hazardous to say the least! Joe’s yard is always busy with many ongoing projects. Currently the main ones are a full restoration of a Yorkshire One Design, Saint, a massive restoration of the 72ft Fife schooner Elise and a Holman Sterling 28 having repairs and a re-paint. The Yorkshire One Design class are 26ft day boats, sailed exclusively from the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club at Bridlington. The class originates from 1898 and has raced continually since. As the boats are ageing CLASSIC SAILOR

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29/04/16 10:39 PM


Huw Jones decided to use the De Quincy drawings to restore Saint, thus preserving the originality of the Yorkshire One Design class

Top: Yorkshire One Designs in close racing at Royal Yorkshire YC, Bridlington Above left: the Holman Sterling; right: Dave Clapson

they have needed continual maintenance and most of this work on the fleet has been carried out by Draughtsman Yachts, the recently restored Jester being a superb example of Joe’s craftsmanship. The YOD currently in the yard, Saint, is owned by Huw Jones, who also owns another YOD, Sinner and the ‘First Rule’ Fife 8 Metre Ierne which was restored fully by Draughstman in 2008 and exhibited at the London Boat Show that year. Huw, it must be said, is a purist when it comes to his restorations. He explained to me that the YODs had all been modified over the years. For instance, they acquired little cuddies similar to the Dragons which were also sailed from the RYYC and when the Dragons went over to metal masts the

YODs abandoned their gunter rigs for ex-Dragon bermudan masts! In the 1950s there was talk in the RYYC of building a run of new YODs and designer Roger De Quincy was commissioned to re-draw construction details for building. Roger looked at the existing class boats and as many of them had been modified differently, decided to ‘go back’ to the original lines and produced drawings accordingly. In the end the project went no further. The drawings, however, accorded with Huw Jones’s principles and he decided to use De Quincy’s drawings to restore Saint, including removing the cuddy and replacing the bermudan rig with the original gunter, thus preserving the originality of the class. She was in a pretty sorry state when she

came into the yard but is now planked up to the sheer-strake with new ribs and grown oak floors (again one of Huw’s insistences). There are by complete chance, a couple of interesting little twists to the De Quincy saga; Huw owns what is believed to be the first and one of only two surviving De Quincy designed St George class One Design yachts, similar to a Dragon, but slightly longer and fuller. She is at Draughtsman Yachts, awaiting a new owner looking for a worthwhile restoration project. The next twist is that Roger De Quincy and the famous Uffa Fox represented Great Britain, sailing International 10 square metre canoes against the Americans. Not only was one of the ruling bodies of canoe design at the time the Humber Yawl Club, but it is


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believed that Fox and De Quincy actually raced under the HYC burgee! The Holman Sterling was a 28ft development of the Stella and Holman 26 after Kim Holman realised he could achieve a rating advantage with a few small line changes, and developed into the very successful Twister. Like the majority of Twisters, this boat was built by Uphams of Brixham. She has had some new planks and ribs and is stripped ready for re-painting. The Fife schooner Elise is a mammoth job but work is now progressing apace, although a finish date has not yet been set!

A new arrival shortly expected at the yard is a 37ft Illingworth design, Fabius, built by Souters in 1962. Her owners are John and Pauline Hodges. Fabius was built for Pauline’s father and she and John tracked her down to Italy, then partly sailed and partly trailed her back to the UK. She will be given Joe’s ‘full treatment’ and we look forward to reporting on her! Joe Irving’s father Henry has cruised extensively round the East Coast and has written couple of pilot books on the area. His lovely old gaff cutter Venture, a Paull Shrimper, has a very interesting

history. She was built in steel and then clad with timber – evidently the builder worked for one of the shipyards in the area and stole the steel from his employer, then added the wooden cladding to hide the felony! Barton Haven and Joe Irving’s yard contain so many interesting historic and current curiosities that it would be impossible to cover them all in one article, but one which definitely deserves a mention is the fact that there is an on-site wood carver, useful if you are restoring Fifes! When not carving Fife dragons for Joe, Howard Boyd is a well-known carver in his own right; one of the pieces he was just finishing when I called in was of an archer to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the battle of Agincourt!

Top: Elise, the Fife 8 Metre; Above left: Elise’s carved stem; Inset:Woodcarver Howard Boyd; Above right: Howard’s tool chest


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29/04/16 10:39 PM

On watch: kit for ship and crew

Raymarine Flir TK Scout

When we first tried one of these many moons ago it was extremely impressive but large and very expensive. However, as is the way of tech, you just have to wait a bit and it’ll soon be small and affordable. Now this fist size marine thermal image camera is the lightest and most affordable there is. Ideal for spotting small craft, man overboard or wildlife. We’ve yet to try out this particular model but if the previous ones are anything to go by, it’s brilliant. £495

GoSun stove

Admittedly it takes a little practice, mostly because it is such a new way of cooking but the GoSun stove is incredibly innovative – it combines an evacuated glass tube and parabolic reflectors. No fuel is required, it cooks only using solar power and it doesn’t even need to be summer. We have made muffin logs, sausages, baked potatoes, ratatouille, rice, pasta, meats and fish. You feel ahead of the game when using it, it’s light and portable and even after six months, it’s still fun. Perfect for boating. GoSun Sport is £200, other models available.

CPO shirt

Ideal for the spring, the CPO shirt is so heavy it’s really more of a jacket, made from 100% heavy flannel wool and worn by everyone from Steve McQueen to Elvis Presley in the 50s and 60s. They’re tough, warm and soft. There are many lesser quality imitations, the best being the deep dark blue original US Navy ones (there are bargains to be had on ebay still). The buttons should have an anchor on ‘em, and if you’re lucky the label should say US Navy issue. Or if you’re rich you could just buy one from £199!

Ratchet wire cutters

These ratchet wire cutters can cut wires one-handed due to the ratcheting handle, and every tool is individually tested when it leaves the factory. Much easier to use than traditional wire cutters and can get into gaps bigger tools would be unable to. This model is suitable for standing rigging up to 7mm in diameter. www.arthurbeale. £237.60

Garmin GPS 73

With a clear monochrome display and highly sensitive GPS, it’s perfect for either the cost-conscious sailor or someone wanting a back up. It stores 1000 waypoints and 100 tracks. The features include virtual starting line, man overboard, tack assist offcourse and anchor alarms and race countdown timer. The model is robust yet light and it even floats. 18 hours of battery life with two AAs. What Garmin are also really good at is designing tech that we idiots can use pretty intuitively. All you could want really and without the battery-draining colour screen. £139.99


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Gill tall yachting boot.

In spring we’re not quite ready for docksiders or bare feet but full ocean wear is a bit too much. Gill’s 100% natural rubber tall yachting boot is an inexpensive all year boot with a tie top and comfy (arch support) warm razor cut soles perfect for anything short of a full summer’s day. You see a lot of them around. Always a good sign. £59

Fishing buckle.

Whether you’re pulling in a marlin or a mackerel, Hemingway style, the strain on your inner arm is palpable. Instead of putting on a bulky and unnecessary crotch height rod holder here’s a simple die-cast belt buckle that unclips to free up an arm for pipe lighting or beer drinking and give you that extra pivot by slotting the end of the rod into it. Nice neat invention. Can’t wait to try it out. Currently in the crowdfunding stage on If you want in, funds start at $25 (£17.50)

Kit Bags and knives

We love these colourful sailing bags from Isle of Wight based Ben Coombes. Available in three sizes in a number of colours and designs they are water resistant and priced from £15 to £50. He also sells sailing knives in a hand-stitched leather sheath, from £50. £15 to £50

Mr D cooking pot.

This is a fuel saving vacuum cooker with an internal pot that, once brought to the boil is put in the locking outer vacuum pot and has no more need for power or gas for the next 8 hours and yet still keeps cooking. This enabled us to make pot-based meals we’ve normally only dreamed of without using up all our gas. Not only that but once in the Caribbean, acting as a normal vacuum flask it kept ice for three days.  Bread and cake makers are sold separately and again, being able to make fresh bread at sea by only using ten minutes of a gas hob was a new pleasure. It also comes with a padded jacket with a handle which was used for hanging it up whilst it was cooking away in rough sea and for passing ice from one boat to another. Many sizes, this one is 4.5l. £89.95

Heaving the Log

A line, to which markers or ‘knots’ were attached at eight fathom (47ft 3inches to be precise) inter­vals, was wound on the reel which one man holds over his head. To the end of this 500ft line was bent a canvas bucket or triangular chip-log drag, a wood panel weighted on one side so that it would float upright but remain stationary in the water. The second man holds in his hand a 28 second sand-glass. The officer in charge of the operation lowers the drag over the taffrail and as soon as it fills with water he sings out “Turn!” The sand glass is turned and the line runs out. When the half-minute is up the man with the glass calls “Stop” and the line is hauled in. By counting the markers as they paid out over the rail the speed of the ship is measured by “so many knots.” The knot count was regularly taken, marked in the ship’s log, and this was added to the master’s dead reckoning of the speed of the vessel as he updated his position on the chart. A great advantage of the system was that it could be used equally well at the night as during the day, since the knots could be counted in the dark. From Sail Ho! by Gordon Grant, 1931 CLASSIC SAILOR 63

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Over the Yardarm

Guy Venables discovers the sanctuary of the sailing club involves more than low bar prices I have just joined a very nice little sailing club. There are many reasons to join one, the camaraderie, the exclusivity, the banter, the bar. Some people even sail. But in this column it is the sailing club bar to which I divert my attention. Someone once said to me that the thing they liked about drinking in their sailing club was that they knew that “not just anyone was allowed in”. It is a private escape that can be far more secluded than any pub. If I was on the run I’d probably hole up in my sailing club (especially as mine is on an army base and requires all sorts of barriers, armed guards and checkpoints). The process of elimination starts in the informal interview. Here the club secretary is not finding out about whether you can sail or not, he’s having a little informal chat to make sure you’re not a crashing bore. So if you’re in, you’re not one, but if you’ve ever been told that there were too many applications this year and they’re running it purely on the first come first served basis, then you are. It being a private club means that it can navigate around some of the more insidious tax laws about alcohol sales. These savings translate straight to the bar, so much so that when once enquiring how much a SINGLE house scotch was, the surprised response was, “I don’t know, sir. Nobody has ever ordered a single before.” It is an unwritten law of the sailing club that one should make it a personal mission each year to drink enough at the bar to offset the savings against the price of membership. The sailing club bar can also be a sort of time warp. Where else will you find a Harp beer pump? A JPS bar mat? The Big D peanut sheet with the slowly revealing saucy lady? If I was a film producer and I wanted to shoot a bar scene in the late 80s I’d go no further than a sailing club. This is all part of the escapism though, a way of immersing yourself in another world for a while, surrounded by familiar objects. An idiot-proof place where you can talk about a halyard without first having to explain what one is. Where you’ll never hear those annoying questions like “How can you sail against the wind?” or “Isn’t it rather cold and uncomfortable?” That, in itself is a form of blessed sanctuary.

Off watch Books: Gloucestermen and the Thames

Alone at sea Gloucester in the age of Dorymen 1623 - 1939 By John N Morris

The story of the schooner fishery of the NE part of the United States of America and the Maritimes of Canada is one of danger, conquered by inspiration and innovation. As fishermen ventured further offshore to harvest the lucrative cod of the Grand Banks, and spent ever longer periods at sea they needed better vessels. The era culminated with the famous racing schooners like the Puritan and Bluenose and the fisher captains’ names became famous and their crews respected the world over. Rudyard Kipling’s Captains Courageous lionised the fishery in a brilliant novel, and film in 1937 while some schooners were still working. This book, a collection of five books in all, is a masterpiece, charting the whole era of the fishery under sail, from the coming of the mackerel and the simple dory to the end of schooners with depression, motorisation and the second world war. It’s a 448 page tome, and tells you stuff like it took 30 minutes to bait a 500 hook tub of long line. It’s a huge amount of research on Gloucester especially with appendixes of the vessels and crew lost. £14.56

Writing the Thames

By Christina Hardyment There’s a bit of the Thames in many of us. I’ve lived alongside it, five doors upriver from the Tate Gallery, worked alongside it, sailed up the tidal bit, motored on the upriver bit, written about it, and messed about in boats all over it. The very word incites a frisson of interest. Even now, about 40 miles and at least three watersheds away from the nearest recognisable bit of the river, I find I live near the Thames Estuary – it stretches in a great arc of North Sea form Orford to the North Foreland, you know – and I feel pleased about that. So this book can hardly fail to excite. It’s basically an anthology, or perhaps a sampler, of – as the title announces – writing about the Thames. Christina Hardyment, though credited as author, is as much its editor, selecting the passages and providing an amiable and knowledgeable linking commentary between them. There are many familiar authors, some new (to me, notably John Eade), and even an old colleague, Steffan Meyric Hughes, makes an appearance. The book is divided into sections – writers, naturalists, boaters, bodies (mainly crime fiction) and others. Like the river itself there are inevitably some dull passages but also some delightful surprises. And the illustrations are marvellous. One to keep handy. PW Bodlean Library £25


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Shoreside Places we love

Rent: The Alexandra lifeboat

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Just up from Margate this smashing art deco salt lick of a house has been successfully run as a B&B so there’s business scope as well as a cracking good family home. If you go on holiday you can always rent it out to the Poirot film crew. Within sailing from Ramsgate, Canvey and Sheppey Islands and the Thames. Four double bedrooms (three with ensuite), with a large living / dining room and a second living room, there is room for all the family. A white wall encloses gardens with many seating areas, raised vegetable beds and exotic plants. £595,000. Contact: bnbwhitehouse@ for a viewing.

Run ashore Send us your favourite pubs The London Inn, Padstow, Cornwall.

There are many pubs in Padstow, most catering particularly for the booming local tourist trade, but down a thin street in the centre of town (Lanadwell St) is the London Inn. It opened in 1803, taking its name from a local sloop. It’s a small, genuine pub, with well kept beer and the bar is stocked with a reassuring line up of local sailors and fishermen. Good hearty food (crab sandwiches feel like they’re plucked straight from the sea, which they might be) and B&B rooms for those of us fed up with our bunks. It can get busy in the high season evenings and there’s often a kicking live band. If you’re sailing, this section of the Cornish coast has few harbours so I’d pop in if I were you., tel 01841 532554 CLASSIC SAILOR 65

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Sailing skills Boat handling under engine: Part 6 In the previous article we had a look at parking up when the touchdown zone was a nice long stretch of pontoon, but what about when it’s a wall, piles or even (shudder) a finger berth? As our series on boat handling under engine comes to an end Nick Beck looks at a few of the more esoteric landings we might be required to perform.


s the malaise of pontoon ‘finger’ marina moorings spreads inexorably through our harbours, it’s becoming increasingly rare to stumble across fore-and-aft piles, quay walls, scrubbing grids – or even just to be asked to raft up alongside another boat. I think that this is a shame, not only because marinas are often ugly, noisy affairs, but because it steals from us the fun of developing

the skills necessary to deal with anything unusual, thus dumbing down the abilities of the average sailor. Marina pontoons are also occasionally laid out in a way ill-suited to tidally prone harbours – and frankly there’s nothing quite like the view of traditional boats moored along a quayside to stir the heart. So here are a few thoughts on how to handle the unusual, the difficult or the downright unfair.

Blind-side berth: You’ll need to make a sharp turn; if wind and tide won’t help and space permits, consider going past, turning and coming in from the other side; or raft up (gently) to the other boat and then warp across. Tricksy fingers Nothing makes my heart sink quite like being told to park up on a finger berth deep inside a marina, especially when said marina lies along the banks of a tidal river. It’s the kind of thing that makes me long for a lonely anchorage away from this purported ‘civilisation’. Even when the entry is fairly easy, karma seems to demand that the exit will be horrible. But there are times when needs must so here are a couple of the nastier possibilities and suggestions about how to achieve the job without unduly frayed nerves: Blind-side berth You know the scenario; the friendly chap on the marina radio apologises for having no

hammerheads available and offers you a finger pontoon instead. “Don’t worry!” he says, “you’ll be pointing up-tide.” And then he utters those fateful words, “starboard side to,” which you know in this marina means a blind-side berth. Now, if the wind is blowing you onto the target pontoon or is puffing along against the tide there needn’t be too much panic as either will assist you in making the sharp turn necessary and can even be encouraged to do so using a foresail. If the wind is flowing with the tide or blowing you off the target however, then you’re going to have to force the issue. If space and the tide rate allows, I’d consider passing the berth, spinning the boat


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Nothing makes my heart sink quite like being told to park up on a finger berth... getting out of it is always going to be entertaining too

and then coming at it the other way. If there’s a ton of tide, space to crab in, and the wind is manageable then you may try ferry gliding in, but remember that the tide will slacken off closer to the shore. Lastly – if there’s room to get alongside the guy in the open berth then why not lie on him and then warp across? Getting out of the same finger berth in these conditions is always going to be entertaining too. Whatever you decide though it’ll be aided by walking the boat backwards to get her as close to clear water as you can. Tide up the rump I had this with Amelie Rose once coming into her winter berth at Poole Quay Haven. To add insult to the imminent

Pilot cutters Morwenna, Polly Agatha and Amelie Rose rafted up in Yarmouth

using the engine. If there’s no space to do this, leave. Escape with the tide pouring in behind you will mainly be decided by how well your little ship answers in reverse. A reverse ferry glide is entirely possible but they do tend to slew around rather a lot going this way – if you add to this a cross wind and a heavy prop kick you’re rather leaving your resulting track up to Lady Luck. Again, shuffling backwards will certainly help and I’d always try to work with my prop kick. Wind pressure on the bow will either tend to negate this (if blowing on the opposite side to the kick) which will see her crab diagonally backwards, or will exacerbate it making for a turn perhaps slightly tighter than you intend!

Tide up the rump: Plan A (not shown): ferry glide in backwards. Plan B: line up the bow good and early, and control speed. Plan C (not shown): give up and go elsewhere

Quay walls (wet and dry) Ostensibly a quay wall is just a seriously tall, solid pontoon of course, but there are a few extra things to think about when the platform that you’re tying up to isn’t going to move obligingly up and down with the tide.

likelihood of injury there was the best part of a gale blowing us along to boot. We were lucky that it was a straight run in but still it took a good aim, four seconds of full astern and a full pontoon crew to get her stopped. If the wind isn’t playing silly buggers and there’s a fair tide running I’d give serious thought to ferry gliding in backwards. With cross winds or a blow in-line with the tide it might be time to consider going somewhere else, especially if you’ve got a strong prop-kick. If you absolutely must then it’s imperative that you get the bow pointing into the berth many boat lengths before you enter the danger zone and keep your speed as under control as you can CLASSIC SAILOR 71

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Sailing skills: Boat handling under engine, Part 6

Piles, ‘Fenders’ and other obstructions. Often the reason that a quay wall still exists is for the use of ferries, fishing boats and other, larger, craft. To give these flat sided fellas something to lie against it’s fairly common for there to be piles or ‘fenders’ (sometimes even concrete) set against or upon the wall itself. From our point of view these are either a hindrance or even a positive danger requiring some clever fendering and rope work to keep our paintwork unscathed. Setting up some horizontal fenders of our own will help

from just wondering blithely off the edge. Amelie Rose has done for several of these barriers in her time (sorry Yarmouth), so to save yourself the embarrassment of admitting to the HM’s staff that you’ve bent yet more harbour hardware do eyeball the top of the quay before you poke the ’sprit up there.

Left: Horizontal fenders. Below:Quay walls: Step1: tie up alongside a ladder with short bow and stern lines, and horizontal fenders. Step 2: long bow ad stern lines and springs, and a handy billy amidships, to the ladder.

Getting your crew ashore Especially when entering harbour at or nearing low tide, swarming the quay is sometimes a job more suited to an alpine goat than a tired crew mate. To assist in this the builders will more often than not have provided the odd ladder (hopefully) bolted to the wall. Unless you have a trustworthy shore-crew ready to take your lines you’ll therefore need to find a ladder to get alongside in the first instance. From there – and with a crewmember or two safely ashore with the lines you can settle the boat into her intended position.

Getting alongside is only half the job Our experience of getting Amelie alongside a quay wall has inclined us to always look on it as a two stage job. Firstly get her safely tied up alongside a ladder with short bow and stern lines and (if immediately necessary) a spring or two. At this stage we will generally have a couple of crew using horizontal fenders to keep her safe from any protuberances. With the situation thus contained we now have plenty of time to lay out long lines (see below), shuffle her into the required slot, and to set up her fender boards. Long-lines and the handy billy Unless you enjoy waking up every hour to fiddle with your lines you’ll do best to lay out nice long bow, stern and spring lines. As the boat drops to low water you can ease these until at dead low water they have just a little catenary left.

Unless you’re dealing with a crazy tidal range you’ll probably find that these now need no more attention. The boat will tend to drift away from the quay at high water and will have a little more scope to move fore and aft (hence the need for good long fender boards). I’ve seen several ways of dealing with this drift; from putting weights (often buckets of water) on the bight of the warps, to gathering loops of slack line together and binding with small stuff, but on Amelie Rose we just tend to deploy the handy billy onto the quay steps that are (hopefully) nearby. Putting the billy’s hook on the shore side and tying the tail to the boat provides for a method of pulling the boat ashore whether you are boarding or leaving. Do remember not to tie off the handy billy however – or else you may find the ladder is joining the list of things that you need to apologise to the HM for.

us to get alongside in the first instance (see ‘horizontal fenders’) but anywhere that’s got a decent tidal range is going to see the boat move forwards and backwards a fair amount – so a decent set of fender boards is just the ticket for a relaxing night. Harbours will often lend these out but I’ve never yet seen a freebie set that’s a decent size and so on Amelie Rose we carry our own – about 4ft by 8in of 1½in softwood. They’re great for any scenario where you need to ‘bridge’ between a couple of fenders or where you want to protect the fenders themselves from the ministrations of a rough quay wall. Another favourite adornment of the average quay are fence posts carrying some sort of barrier designed to keep the terminally stupid 72 CLASSIC SAILOR

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The HM’s team will likely know where the shopping trolleys are buried – and be keen to not clutter their quay with a brand new wreck

Drying out alongside For those of us without legs to strap alongside our boats, a quay wall can be the perfect place to dry out – be that to indulge in a spot of barnacle scraping or simply in order to enjoy a visit to a drying harbour. It’s not a bad idea to be sure what’s down there before committing your hull planking and keel however. This can either be achieved by lying off at anchor on the previous low water and paddling ashore in the dinghy or via a chat with the HM’s team who’ll likely know where the shopping trolleys are buried and will be keen to not clutter their quay with a brand new wreck. Once you understand the lie of the land beneath, the job is not a whole lot harder than lying alongside. If you are lucky enough to have a

slope to lie on then be sure to utilise it if your vessel (like Amelie Rose) is deeper at one end than the other – it’ll make for a more level and comfortable night. Plenty of fenders (and fender boards) will protect the shore side of the hull, and then you just need to ensure that she decides to lean in rather than out. Drag anything weighty to the shore side (anchor, chain, spare fuel & water, the boom) and see how she’s lying, a couple of degrees of inward lean should do the trick. If you’re unsure and there’s something meaty ashore to tie to then attaching a halyard from the mainmast will give you a fair bit of leverage – but remember that this will need tending to as the water comes and goes. Personally I’d always be there for at least

the first time she takes the ground regardless. A great idea for anyone considering a quay berth longer term is to get a big water barrel with a bunged hole at the base. Pop it on the shore side and fill it when mooring up. Before you leave just pull the bung and let it all drain overboard before leaving the water barrel ashore. (Thanks for that one Luke!) ‘Getting’ piles and foreand-aft moorings There was a time when these were commonplace and any Yachtmaster Examiner worth his salt would know the whereabouts of every single local set. Nowadays they mostly have pontoons strung between them but fore-and-aft mooring buoys are not that uncommon so an understanding of the

necessary mooring technique is still worth acquiring. Whilst I’m sure that it’s not a hard and fast rule you are most likely to come across these lying more or less in line with a reasonable tidal flow, and using this is the key to an early and stress-free visit to the local inn. Piles, although they seem to be all hard and unyielding, are often easier to handle – for precisely the reason that they are firmly rammed into the ground beneath – making it possible to rest upon them awhile whilst attaching warps. Mooring buoys have a tendency to dance around rather more but essentially the technique is the same. Before you start with either fore-and-aft buoys or piles do make sure that you have long enough warps. Ideally they should be as long as the

Amelie Rose snugly settled in the mud alongside a quay.


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Sailing skills: Boat handling under engine, Part 6

gap between the piles you intend to use, less about half your boat’s length. Before piling on in there (sorry for the pun) do scout the area – specifically you’re looking for tell-tales of what the tide is up to. Start by stemming the tide half a boat length or so from the rear pile or mooring (1). If the tide is slightly angled on the line of the piles then you will find the process easiest if you approach from the opposite side to the tide. Now, gently, ferry-glide toward the pile/mooring. The point of contact that you are aiming for on the boat is just forward of the shrouds, the so called ‘shoulder’ of the boat. Have a crewmate ready with a horizontal fender to fend off the pile and another crew ready to tie on the stern line (2). In the case of a buoy it’s good to have one of the crew call the distance and point to the buoy as you’ll probably lose visual on it before contact – another benefit of a pile is that you’ll be able to see it the whole time. Once contact is made you’ll need to hold the boat in place – stemming the tide once more whilst the crew get their line attached. Once the stern line is attached crew will need to come aft to control the line – keeping it

Mooring on piles: 1: Stem the tide half a boat length from rear mooring 2: Ferry glide in and tie on stern line 3: Ferry glide towards second pile and secure bow line 4: Fall back and adjust lines

nice and slack so it doesn’t interfere too much with your steering – but remaining ready to gather in excessive line to avoid the possibility of fouling the prop. Now ferry glide away from the pile again. If you’ve read the tide right the boat will pivot slightly on the mooring or pile and then come away nicely. Ferry glide towards the second pile/mooring and repeat the process of coming alongside to secure the bow line (3). Now ferry glide away from the second pile and then allow the boat to fall back, paying out the bow line and gathering in the stern until the boat is lying as you’d like (4). The exit will depend on whether the bow or stern

is facing the tide when you decide to depart. If the bow is up tide, and if you have a warp long enough, then you can pull forward to place a doubled warp around the bow mooring before falling back (easing the bow and pulling in the stern) to release the stern line. Then pull forward to give yourself some room before slipping the bow. If you’re already using the longest warps you have then free the stern before bringing the bow right up to the mooring to untie. With tide up the rump your exit can be a little trickier. Indeed if there’s limited room between the piles and she doesn’t answer reliably enough in reverse to be able to ferry glide out backwards

then there may be nothing for it but to wait for slack water or even for the tide to be back on the bow. With a little more room it may be possible to allow her to fall ‘forwards’ to detach the bow line then pull back to give yourself enough room to steer clear of the down-tide pile or buoy before you’re swept on to it – and if the tide is slightly angled to the line of the moorings/piles then this will assist. Buoyed Mooring Lines / ‘Strings’ Often strung between two larger mooring buoys and kept afloat by a series of smaller floats these are another favourite on tidal rivers that haven’t yet fallen to the

Tying up to scrubbing posts - don’t forget the ladder!


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Last – but by no means least – don’t forget that you’ll need a ladder to dismount your trusty ship as the tide falls

marina curse. Some will have actual mooring points (generally buoys) arranged along their length but others rely on you attaching your warps directly to the line itself using a rolling hitch to forestall sliding along it. Whichever way you approach these things I guarantee it’ll pay to have a stout long boathook handy, and if (as is often the case) the tide intersects the string at an angle it helps to come at it from the tide-ward side. I have seen this done rather niftily, single handed, by John RB running down-tide in Fowey harbour. He used the engine to stop the boat alongside with his prop-kick pulling the stern in towards the string before quickly attaching a stern-line and letting the tide hold the boat in-line while he dealt with the bow. However most boats will have crews and the helm can approach the job up-tide, nudging the shoulder of the boat into the string whilst using the engine and rudder to stem the tide. This brings the string close to the centre of the boat (where most have the lowest freeboard) enabling the crew to attach a bow line. The boat can then be allowed to drift back aways to bring the stern line attachment point to the centre before being pulled back to sit between the pair. Springs

could also be set but as the boat is essentially lying to fore-and-aft buoys I personally wouldn’t bother. To exit, my preference is to set up a doubled spring with a round turn to grip the string and to let the tide spring us off either fore or aft depending on which way it’s running. Remember the line is buoyed so there’s little chance of it fouling the prop but if you’ve noticed it being pulled under at times then it’d be best to drive on to a fore spring. Scrubbing Grids Once a common feature of any haven with enough tide to make them work these are now giving way to cranes, travel-hoists, boat-lifts and other technological ways of separating an owner from their money. Some will be little more than a wall to lean on with a nice firm base on which to rest your keel – and these can be dealt with like any other quay wall that you wish to dry out alongside (see Quay Walls earlier). Others – often those along rivers – will consist of an inclined base (or grid) lying perpendicular to the shore with a line of two or more piles alongside for you to lean the boat on. Often these piles will have mooring rings just like any other pile mooring which is great as you’ll not

need to fiddle with your lines as the tide ebbs and floods. As with any other time that you’re thinking of taking the ground it’s a good idea to understand what’s down there on the seabed before you commit your vessel to lying on it. Whilst I’ve never suffered the horrors of discovering that she’s descended upon some unforgiving iron spike, a thumb-sized dint in Amelie Rose’s ballast keel does attest to some point where she’s settled on something that didn’t want to give way. Lying somewhere nearby in order to observe the seabed at the preceding low water will make for a more relaxed landing when it comes time to do the deed – and also gives you the chance to see how accurate your tidal predictions are shaping up to be. On the subject of tide, it clearly pays to be particularly careful as the range works its way from springs to neaps – especially if high pressure is in the forecast. Ignoring this could leave you with a far longer stay than intended. If the tide runs particularly hard at your intended grid it may also help to arrive at slack water as there will likely be a cross-tide which could make for difficult manoeuvring. Horizontally doubled fenders or fender boards will come in useful in the same way as

when dealing with piles in other scenarios and making sure that the boat chooses to lean on the pile rather than away from it is just as important as it is when drying out on a quayside. Last – but by no means least – don’t forget that you’ll need a ladder to dismount your trusty ship when the tide falls!

So there we are; that’s the harbour side of things dealt with, under engine at least. Next up I think we should get out to sea and have a look at something that most of us would be lost without, sails. How do they work, how do we get them up and down, and how to get the best out of them when they’re up there…

Tying up to string (buoyed mooring line): 1: Approaching uptide, nudge centre of the boat into the string to attach bow line. 2: Fall back and attach stern line. Use rolling hitches and (3) your boat will settle between its lines.

About the author: Nick Beck is a commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and Yachtmaster Instructor. In 2009 he left the world of Investment Banking IT to start an adventure holiday and sail training business (Topsail Adventures) aboard Amelie Rose, his Luke Powell replica Scillonian pilot cutter. Since then he has introduced hundreds of people to the wonders of traditional sailing.

What do you think? Join in the conversation on our Facebook page: classicsailormagazine Have any problems with your boat that you’d like us to address? Let us know via Facebook or email us at post@ CLASSIC SAILOR 75

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Joints: Feather edge scarphs The technique for making a feather edge scarph joint demonstrated by IBTC’s Ian Cook. Words and photos by: Richard Johnstone-Bryden.


carph joints provide a simple yet effective method of joining two lengths of wood end to end. There are several variations including the feather edge scarph, single lip scarph, plain scarph, and the table hooked scarph. Feather edge scarph joints are frequently used to create a single length of timber to form one half of a wooden spar. The joint’s strength is provided by a combination of its scarph ratio and the glue. The scarph ratio is determined by the joint’s length in relation to the thickness of the piece of wood. To give an idea of the relative strengths, a ratio of 4:1 provides roughly 65% strength of the same section of solid wood. This increases to 85% with a ratio of 8:1 while a ratio of 12:1 equates to a strength of 90%, and 95% can be achieved by extending the scarph to a ratio of 20:1. The chosen ratio will be determined by the task for which the joint has been selected. For example, Lloyds rules specify a minimum ratio of 4:1 for planking, 6:1 for bolted scarphs and 12:1 for spars. Fig 1-3 To clearly illustrate the techniques involved in the making of a feather edge scarph joint, Ian cuts the two halves of the joint from a single piece of wood using a ratio of 4:1. The process begins by marking out the diagonal lines on the top of the piece of wood for the two halves of the scarph joint ready for cutting. Ian then puts the wood on its side and uses a set square

to mark the position for the feather edge of one half of the joint and the other half ’s upper edge. Fig 4-7 When Ian cuts out each half, he does so slightly to the “waste side” to leave some surplus wood which will be removed when each half of the scarph joint is planed to its final profile. As Ian cuts out each half of the scarph joint, he keeps a very close eye on the saw blade to make sure that it does not work its way across to the wrong side of the cutting line. To ensure the closest possible fit between both halves, it is important not to start planing the second half of the scarph joint until the first one is finished. Fig 8 One half of the scarph joint has been cut roughly to size. The joint’s uneven surface will be removed when it is planed to shape. Fig 9-10 Ian cuts out the second half of the scarph joint. At this stage he leaves a little waste above the intended shape which will be removed when it is planed to its final profile.











Fig 11 The two halves of the scarph joint have now been roughly cut to shape. Fig 12-13 Ian places the feather edge onto another piece of wood so that it is properly supported while he scores a line so that


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Description and practical demonstration of the techniques by Ian Cook, joinery instructor at the Lowestoft Suffolk based International Boatbuilding Training College (IBTC). Further Information: International Boatbuilding Training College. Tel: 01502 569663 Email: Website:

The joint’s strength is provided by the combination of its scarph ratio and the glue. A ratio of 4:1 provides 65% strength of solid wood; 12:1 is 90%

it can be cut to the desired length. He then uses a tenon saw to remove the bulk of the surplus. Afterwards, the remaining waste is removed with a block plane. Ian uses a set square to check that the feather edge is true. Fig 14 One half of the scarph joint is placed in a vice to be planed. To ensure the extremity of the feather edge is fully supported, the scarph is placed on top of another piece of wood. However, there is a minor difference in width between the two pieces of wood so Ian inserts a piece of sandpaper into the vice to act as a wedge. The supporting wood also prevents the scarph piece flexing, which could distort the joint, when the plane is used. Fig 15 Ian rubs a pencil along the outer edge of the wood that is being used to support the feather edge. Ian will know that he has achieved a fine feather edge as soon as he starts to remove this lead with the plane. Fig 16 Due to the length of the featured example scarph joint, Ian uses a smoothing plane to trim each half to its final profile. However, if it had been a longer scarph joint it would have been more appropriate to use a longer No 7 plane to achieve a true surface. Fig 17 Ian uses the straight edge of his smoothing plane (a metal

ruler will do just as well) to assess his progress at regular intervals by ensuring that he is achieving a true edge along the length and width of the scarph. Fig 18 Having detected some minor imperfections Ian marks some lines across the scarph joint with a pencil. At this stage Ian only needs to make the smallest adjustments so the theory of using the pencil is that once these lines have been removed by the plane he should have either achieved a perfect profile or be very close to doing so. Fig 19 Having trimmed the first half of the scarph joint to the desired shape, Ian repeats the earlier steps to trim the second half to the required profile. The only difference here is that in the final stages Ian will review his progress by checking how tightly the two halves fit together. To achieve the strongest possible joint it is vital that both halves fit tightly together. Once the two halves of the scarph joint have been formed they can be glued together. Beforehand, gently key up the matting surfaces with sandpaper to provide a better surface for the glue to adhere to. Don’t forget to remove any dust from the keyed up surfaces BEFORE spreading the glue. In this example, a feather edge scarph joint has been used to join two pieces of wood to form one half of a wooden spar. CLASSIC SAILOR 77

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29/04/16 9:13 PM

Tools: matters of the heart Des Pawson clears up the mystery of the heart-shaped obect that was raised in our first issue Letters pages. Here’s a clew...


regret that Bob Turner has it wrong (letters CS7), the mystery item is an Improved Heart Clew but minus its thimbles, as is clearly shown in this double page spread from the 1892 catalogue Henry B Newall Co of New York & Boston. The more complex of these clew irons are perhaps some of the pinnacle of the ship smith’s work. All of these clews had the bolt rope spliced in the thimbles and the iron work sewn to the canvas. The Heart that he had in mind is indeed an all wood item used in various places in much the same way as a block, but without a moving sheave. It is related to Deadeyes and Bull-eyes as the opposite illustration from the same catalogue clearly shows. Probably one of the earliest illustrations is to be found in Elements of Block-making, which formed part of David Steel’s Elements of Rigging & Seamanship published in 1792. All these Hearts, Bullseyes & Deadeyes have a score round the outside – something that is not needed in the improved Heart Clew Iron that is sewn and spliced to the clew of the sail. An iron version of these wooden hearts was called a Lanyard Thimble which first appears in the Davey of London Catalogue No7 1928 and

had disappeared by their catalogue No11 1976. A lost style of thimble that worked very well to set up the shrouds on smaller craft, a number of turns of the lanyard could pass round the wide part of the thimble without the turns jamming. For good measure there is also the heart-shaped Jib Sheet Shackle, another extinct item of chandlery from the Davey of London No7 1928 catalogue, shown in the 1976 catalogue but now unavailable. This simple but beautiful example of ship smith’s work enabled two sheets to be attached to the clew of the jib. If the sheets in question had hard eyes spliced round thimbles it would look very close to the Improved Heart Clew. Let us celebrate these wonderful items from the past. Today the classic sailor is much restricted in what is available both in ships smith’s ironwork and the ships turners wooden items. This makes it all the more important that examples that surface at a boat jumble or when an old vessel is broken up are preserved. Working from original items and not just from an engraving in an old catalogue can give today’s or tomorrow’s craftsmen a massive insight into the past.

Above left: Lanyard Thimble from Davey’s 1928 catalogue Above right: Putting a Clew to use Opposite top: Various Clews from H Newall’s 1892 catalogue Middle Right: Dead-eyes, Hearts and Bulls-eyes Below right: Jib-Sheet Shackles and Lanyard Thimbles, also from Davey’s


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Boats for Boats forsale sale

Every advert in print & on-line to reach your potential purchaser Every advert in print & on-line to reach your potential purchaser 20th of every month. Deadline 24th tel 07945 404461 Email: tel 01273 420730

“Patient Griselda”

1960, 25ft LOD, Gaff cutter, built by Colne Marine & Yacht Co, Rowhedge. Designed by Francis Jones. Long keel draws 3ft 3ins. Carvel planked Pitch pine on Oak, marine ply sheathed decks. J.Lawrence Sails, Lister inboard. Kept in Rye, E.Sussex £ 9,750 Tel: +44 (0)1621 859373


Van de Stadt Rebel 41 Ketch, Tyler Boat Co. 1968 Skilfully fitted out by first owner. Owned and sailed for 20 years Scotland west coast after 2 seasons in West Indies. Full osmosis treatment in Kilmelford. New Volvo D240 Engine and Eberspacher heater in 2014 New 6 man Liferaft. Sails good, ,made / serviced annually Owen Sails . Monitor SS Gear (not fitted). Currently ashore Kilmelford, from Mid April on Arisaig mooring. £ 50,000. Contact: 01234 712266.

“Saskia Blue” 1946, 23ft LOD, Gaff Cutter, a specially commissioned Deben 4 tonner. Built by Whisstocks of Woodbridge to a W.M Maxwell Blake design. Gowen Sails. Stuart Turner auxiliary engine. Oak and Larch planking on Rock Elm timbers. Long ballast keel draws 4ft. Kept Milford Haven Pembrokeshire £8,950 +44 (0)1621 859373 “Loveday”

1969 VOLKER 1000 Steel ketch built 5mm thick steel and still is. Re-engined with Thorneycroft 2.5 litre,10 metres long with good sail inventory. Interior fitted out throughout in Teak. New navigator and Radar and Autohelm this year.(Raymarine) Fitted with an A frame so that one person can lower and raise both main mast and mizzen. Outside steering position complete with engine controls Aft double cabin with hand basin. Double berth forward. Sleeps 5 in comfort. Life raft serviced this year with certificate. A very good cruising Ketch £35,000 Tel 01502 712311


1936 24ft 6inds LOD Gaff Sloop, W.M Blake design: A Ranzo 4 t predecessor of the Deben 4t, built by Robertsons of Woodbridge. North Sea Sails, furling headsail. Pitch pine carvel planking on Oak grown frames. Long keel draws 3ft. A Bukh DV10hp. Kept in Woodbridge, Suffolk. Offered at £5,500 Tel: +44 (0)1621 859373


Perfect for some coastal cruising in style! Currently on her trailer near Aberdeen, we can deliver to the new owner. Corriemhor is fitted out for coastal cruising and enjoys a high level of equipment: £16,000 For more info on the Romilly including our sail around Mull and a Force 8, see Please contact Stephen Booth


12’ Swampscott Dory built to very high standard,comes with sailing gear,air bags and oars. Easily car toppable ,used for one week only,as new. Super little boat Only£995 Contact: Peter Hough Tel 07840979473

Much-loved 4-berth T.24 seeks new home. Owner swallowing hook after 47 years. Built 1969. GRP hull, marine-ply deck (renewed 1993) and coachroof, teak trim, Yanmar 1GM10 regularly serviced, Avon inc. Excellent spinnaker. Sails well. Hull sound, coachroof needs repainting, gas-cooker elderly, hence price £2,500 ono. Ideal project. Mooring Felixstowe Ferry, own cradle in Yard. 01473 659572 or

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a simple form to fill in by post or email. A very pretty long keel Morgan Giles classic, 1955. Honduras Mahogany on CRE Oak backbone. Alloy spars s/s rigging. Complete restoration, traditional style retained, with modern comforts. Lying Inverness. (20mins airport/ train) L/0 30ft W/l 26ft Draft 5ft 6ins.Good survey 2011, OIRO £20,000. 01997 421909

DOUBLE DOUBLE 130mm 130mmxx50mm, 50mm,80 80words wordsand anda apicture picture- £100 - £100 SINGLE SINGLE 63mm 63mm xx 50mm, 50mm,30 30words wordsand andpicture picture- -£60 £60 TEXT 3030 words - £30 TEXTONLY ONLY63mm 63mmx x12mm 12mm words - £30

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1/ 1/ 2 2P su PRRI su b ICC bssc EE crrib aadd ib e s s er rs fofo s! ! r r


2/04/16 11:01 AM

trailer and upped rating to category B. £37,950

and bronze work. Complete with cover and break back road trailer £8,995.

2000 Cornish Crabber 22’ in lovely condition with Yanmar 1GM10 diesel, Bespoke road trailer and upped rating to category B. £37,950

standing lug yawl rig. Complete with electric motor, covers and road trailer. 2006 GRP Kittiwake 16’ gaff 2001 David Moss Sea Otter £7,750 rigged sloop. A very high end fit out with lots of hard wood and bronze work. Complete with cover and break back road trailer £8,995.

15’ in lovely condition. Cedar strip/epoxy construction with a standing lug yawl rig. Complete with electric motor, covers and road trailer. £7,750

Boats for sale Boats for for sale sale Anglia Yacht Brokerage Boats 1999 Storm 15’ with balanced lug 1990 Drascombe Dabber Mk2 in Tel. +44 (0)1359 17 47 M J Lewis & Sons (Boat27 Sales) Ltd Complete with(Boat cover, electric exceptionally tidy condition with M Jrig. Lewis & Sons Sales) Ltd Tel:01621 859373 - Email: MTel:01621 Joutboard Lewis (Boat and combi road Sales) trailer. Ltd cover, Honda 2.3HP 4-stroke and 859373& - Sons Email:

1999 Tel:01621 Storm 15’ with- balanced lug 1990 Drascombe Dabber Mk2 in 859373 Email: £2,250 road trailer. rig. Complete with cover, electric exceptionally tidy condition with £4,450 outboard and combi road trailer. cover, Honda 2.3HP 4-stroke and £2,250

road 1999 Storm 15’trailer. with balanced lug 1990 Drascombe Dabber Mk2 in rig. Complete with cover, electric exceptionally tidy condition with £4,450 outboard combi road trailer. small cover,sailing Honda 2.3HP Anglia Yacht Brokers are and a well established boat 4-stroke and £2,250 road trailer. builders based in the UK near Bury St Edmunds. £4,450

2006 Cornish Crabber 17’ in lovely condition with coppercoated underside, 6HP 2006 Cornish Crabber 17’Suzuki in 2004 Post Boat 14’6” in stunning condition 1982 McNulty Longstone 12’ larch on oak in 1987 Cornish Cormorant in tidymarketing condition with 1995 Lune Whammel 17’ Mk1 gaff cutWe provide traditional sailing boat and 1978 Drascombe Dabber in good 2008 Memory 19’Yacht gaff sloop with Deben Lugger with covers, spray 1993/94 Cornish Crabber 17’ with road Anglia Brokers are a 2007 well established small sailing boat spray hood, covers, cushions and and break-back road lovely condition with nice tan lugsail, cover and second alternative sprit-sailand rig easy+ original. ter-rigged with covers, Suzuki 2.5HP lovely condition with copper52ft Fleur duwith Lys4-stroke by Dagless 86ft Thames Sailing Barge,1926 41ft Silverleaf by John Bain 1935 condition with new cover, rudder/tiller 2-berth cabin. In very condition hood, Mariner 4HP 4-stroke trailer, recent hood and 4-stroke refurbishment services, brokerage and4-stroke are always on covers/spray hand with builders based in the UK near Bury St Edmunds. easy-launch road trailer road trailer. Includes recent cover, Honda 2.3HP outboard, Easy-launch trailer. and Easy-launch road trailer last year. with Mariner 5HP 4-stroke outboard launch road trailer. Suzuki 4HP 4-stroke outboard. 52ft Fleur du Lys by Dagless 86ft Thames Sailing Barge,1926 41ft Silverleaf by John Bain 1935 1961 Essex £69,500 Steel, Essex POA. Suffolk. OIRO £50,000 19m Luxemotor motor barge, trailer. coated underside, 2006 Cornish Crabber 17’ in £7,000 Suzuki 6HP and £2,950 outboard and Essex combination road trailer. £5,250 advice and help. We provide traditional sailing boat marketing and £3,750. new road trailer. £10,950. £7,950 Anglia Yacht Brokers are a well established small sailing 1961 Essex £69,500 Steel, POA. Suffolk. OIRO £50,000 2003Luxemotor Essex. OIRO £175,000 52ft Fleur du Lys by Dagless 86ft Thames Sailing Barge,1926 41ft Silverleaf by John Bain 1935 boat 19m motor barge, £2,750 with copper£12,950 4-stroke and break-back road inlovely condition 2000 Cornish 2006 GRP Kittiwakebuilders 16’ gaff 2001 Sea Otter 1961 Essex £69,500 Steel, Essexin POA. Suffolk. OIRO £50,000 2003 Essex.Crabber OIRO £175,00022’ £10,950. based the UK nearDavid Bury StMoss Edmunds.

barge, 5,000

refurbishment services, brokerage and are always on hand with coated underside, Suzuki 6HP trailer. Wehigh provide traditional15’ sailing boat marketing and Cedar lovely condition with Yanmar rigged sloop. A Alex. very end in lovely condition. adviceand and help. Please askroad for 4-stroke break-back £12,950 refurbishment services, brokerage and are always on hand with 1GM10 diesel, Bespoke road fit out with lots of hard wood strip/epoxy construction with a

trailer and upped rating to category B. £37,950

trailer. £12,950 Please ask Alex. andfor bronze

advice and help.

work. Complete with standing lug yawl rig. Complete cover and break back road Please ask trailer for Alex. with electric motor, covers and £8,995. road trailer. £7,750 South Coast One Design

Come and see us at the Southampton Boat Show 11th - 22nd Sept


35ft Berthons W.Solent Edwardian Heard 28, 1984 Gaffers & Luggers 1961. Sussex £11,500Heard 28, 1984 Gaffers & Luggers 32ft Gaff Ketch 1903 Essex £29,500 35ft Berthons W.Solent Edwardian Yacht Essex OIRO £40,000 Kent £19,950 Essex OIRO £40,000 32ft Gaff Ketch 1903 35ft Yacht Berthons W.Solent Edwardian Heard 28,Essex 1984£29,500 Gaffers & Luggers 1989 Drascombe in lovely 2010Drascombe Swale Pilot 16’ in lovely condition NewDeben DebenLuggers Luggers beingbuilt builtto toorder order for Kent Mk3 £19,950 YachtCoaster Essex OIRO £40,000 Essex £29,500 1991 Winkle Brig 16’ Lugger Dayboat in lovely 1991 with Mercury with 8HP New being

Come and see us at theCome Southampton Show 11th Boat - 22nd and see us at Boat the Southampton ShowSept 11th - 22nd Sept

conditionand withlightly upgraded covers, condition used.buoyancy, With Mariner Suzuki outboard,trailer. Road trailer outboard and4HP easy-launch £5,250 £3,250

a second suitbreak-back of larger sails. 2-stroke and roadComplete trailer. with Spray hood, covers, Mariner 4HP 4-stroke £6,750. and Easy-launch road trailer £6,950

forMay Maydelivery. delivery.Prices from £14500 inc VAT. Prices from £14,500. Inc VAT

t s a k! u e Anglia Yacht Brokers are a well established small sailing boat builders Se le Parune based in the UK near Bury St Edmunds. We provide traditional sailing boat marketing and refurbishment services, brokerage and are always Dunkirk Little Ship, Osborne 35 19’ Golant Gaffer 2007, As new 25ft Gostelows Gaffer ea th J on Mussel hand with advice£6,950 and help. Dunkirk Please Little ask for Alex. Cutter Ship, Osborne 35Essex £19,950 19’ Golant Gaffer B 2007, - 5 1937 Essex POA 1959 17m Dutch Essex 1935 d

l Cutter

Essex £45,000 1959 17m Dutch Mussel Cutter Essex £45,000

Dunkirk1937 LittleEssex Ship, POA Osborne 35 1937 Essex POA


Essex Gaffer £6,9502007, 19’ Golant 3r Essex £6,950

South Coast One Design 1961.Coast Sussex £11,500 South One Design 1961. Sussexlug £11,500 New balanced Roach 10’ dinghies New Balanced Lug 10’ Roach Dinghiesbuilt to built toorder. order.£3250 inc VAT. We have 2 demonstrators in stock from £2950 £3,250. Inc VAT. We have two demonstrators in stock from £2,950.

As new 25ft Gostelows Gaffer 1935 Essex £19,950 As new 25ft Gostelows Gaffer 1935 Essex £19,950

A Specialist Brokerage service for Classic Vessels 1999 Storm 15’service with balanced lugVessels 1990 Drascombe Dabber Mk2 in A Specialist Brokerage for Classic HM L & Work Boats traditional Yachts A Specialist Brokerage service for Classic Vessels rig. Complete with cover, electric exceptionally tidy condition with traditional Yachts & Work Boats HM L traditional Yachts & Work Boats outboard and combi road trailer. cover, Honda 2.3HP 4-stroke and




ptre -




MJLewis_DEC_CS.indd 1 MJLewis_DEC_CS.indd 1

road trailer.

26/10/2015 12:31 £4,450

26/10/2015 12:31 26/10/2015 12:31

Crabber 17’ inYACHT SHARES2006 FORCornish SALE IN A CLASSIC Anglia Yacht Brokers are a well established small sailing boat s amongst the syndicate, lovely condition with copperDue to changing circumstances amongst the syndicate, builders based in the UK near Bury St Edmunds. or sale in the Internationalcoated underside, Suzuki 6HP Due changing circumstances the syndicate, theretoare a number of shares foramongst sale in the International We provide traditional sailing boat marketing and there are a4-stroke number of shares for sale in road the International and break-back 12M, Sceptre. refurbishment services, brokerage and are always on hand with 12M, Sceptre. trailer. nd very keen sailor, and advice and help. Tom Smith, a Yachtmaster and very keen sailor, and £12,950 ailing boat… BUT“I’m I COULD! “I’m TomI couldn’t Smith, a aff Yachtmaster and very keen BUT sailor,I COULD! and thought ord a 70ft sailing boat… assic wooden International Please ask for Alex. thought Iacouldn’t aff ord a 70ft sailing wooden boat… BUT I COULD! I bought share in Sceptre, the classic International nger. Twenty years later, I I bought a share in Sceptre, the classic wooden International 12M, 1958 America’s Cup challenger. Twenty years later, I e sailing this iconic yacht!” 12M, 1958her America’s Cup challenger. Twenty yearsyacht!” later, I still enjoy good looks and love sailing this iconic still enjoy her good looks and love sailing this iconic yacht!” 19th share, plus an average You can too, for £12,000 for a 19th share, plus an average – have a look at www. You can too, for £12,000 for a 19th share, plus an average annual tails, photographs, and subscription of £2,500 – have a look at www. annual subscription £2,500 – have a look at www. forofmore details, photographs, and for more videos of this beautiful boat.details, photographs, and videos of this beautiful boat. a boat share, but there are You may not have considered a boat share, but there are oach to going sailing: You may not have to considered a boat there are many advantages this approach toshare, goingbut sailing: ail with, lower costs, share many advantages topeople this approach to going sailing: No trouble fi nding to sail with, lower costs, share a yacht. No finding people to sail with, lower costs, share the trouble responsibilities of owning a yacht. the responsibilities of owning a yacht. enjoy the following:

Come and see us at the Southampton Boat Show 11th - 22nd Sept

On Sceptre, you will also enjoy the following: Sceptre, also enjoy the following: ghbred boat thatOn eats up the you mileswill - Eighteen friends to go sailing with - Working together to Superb sailing in a thoroughbred boat that eats up the - Eighteen friends to go sailing with - Working together to storic yacht - It’s not a time share, so sail when you can (depending onmiles qualifi cations, schedule Superb sailing in ang, thoroughbred boatinstruments that the share, miles Eighteen friends to go sailing with Working together to maintain and reefi improve a historic yacht - It’seats not up a time sailimprovements when you can (depending on-qualifi cations, schedule de a new main sail, jib roller new navigation and many-so other maintain and improveinclude a historic yacht - It’s notjib a time so new sail when you can (depending onmany qualifiother cations, schedule etc) Recent upgrades a new main sail, rollershare, reefing, navigation instruments and improvements etc) and Recent a new jibonroller reefi ng, new instruments and many other improvements thenupgrades ring me toinclude book a trial sail,main Tom sail, Smith 07576 909141 for anavigation chat. Interested? Visit and then ring me to book a trial sail, Tom Smith on 07576 909141 for a chat. Interested? Visit and then ring me to book a trial sail, Tom Smith on 07576 909141 for a chat.

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2/04/16 10:47 AM


Send us your events!

This month

29-31 July, Lymington

Classic Sailing St Mawes Pilot Cutter Review

Sutton Harbour Classic Boat Rally

26-29 May, Fowey-St Mawes

Plymouth 29 July - 1 August

Brixham Heritage Regatta Fowey Classics

28-29 May, Brixham, Devon See Brixham trawlers and trad boats racing in Torbay

2-5 August, Fowey

Peel Traditional Boat Weekend

Oostende voor Anker 26-29 May, Ostend Harbour, Fully booked but you might bag a bunk on an old gaffer

Thames Barge Matches Medway 28 May Blackwater 11 June Thames 25-26 June Pin Mill (Orwell) 16 July Colne 10 September

Come and see us and other great attractions at Beale Park in the first weekend of June sellers, plus live music, childrens’ activities, and street entertainers. anstrutherharbourfestival.

Seafair Haven 2016 11-18 June, Milford Haven

Coming up

Falmouth Classics

Les Voiles d’Antibes

17-19 June, Falmouth

1-5 June, Antibes, France

Round the Island Race 2 July, Cowes-Cowes IoW

Yarmouth Gaffers Regatta 2-5 June, Yarmouth IoW

Sea Salts and Sail Festival 8-10 July Mousehole, Cornwall

To be opened by Luke Powell

Dartmouth Classics Regatta 9-10 July Acts as feeder race to Plymouth on Monday, July 11 for the start of the Plymouth-Brest-La Rochelle Revival Race.

Charles Stanley Cowes Classics Week 11-15 July

Brest Festival 13-19 July

5-7 August, Peel, Isle of Man

British Raiding

19-24 July

8-12 August, River Clyde,

Thames Traditional Boat Festival

NEW Bridlington Sailing Coble Festival

16-17 July, Henley

13-14 August, Bridlington

Douarnenez Festival

Panerai British Classics Week 16-23 July, Cowes,

America’s Cup World Series 21-24 July Portsmouth

NEW Contessa 26 50th Anniversary

Beale Park Boat Show 3-5 June, Pangbourne, Berks bealeparkboatandoutdoor

Tall Ships International Regatta & Festival 20-30 August, Blyth

Holyhead Traditional Boat Festival 2-4 September, Holyhead (OGA)

Great River Race 3 September, Thames

NEW Contessa 26 50th Anniversary Championships

Northern Boat Show

3-4 September, Lymington,

3-5 June, Liverpool

Thames Trafalgar Race Anstruther Harbour Festival 4–5 June, Anstruther, Fife. A muster of visiting boats, Scottish Fisheries Museum’s Open Day and the historic ‘Anster Fair’ with pipe band parade, scottish country dance displays, ceilidhs, artists, crafts, artisan food

10-11 September, Tidal Thames

Southampton Boat Show 16-25 September

NEW Hamble Classics Regatta 24-25 September Scottish fishing boats at Anstruther in Fife for the festival in early June

In Classic Sailor next issue Brest 2016 It’s the festival to dwarf all festivals. Every four years since 1992 the Britannic French Naval port of Brest brings vessels from all over Europe and beyond and presents them in a vast week long jamboree to fascinate crowds of up to a million

visitors. And this year Classic Sailor is helping to organise the British Village with a group of craftsmen and some good cheer. We preview the festival and our part in it in our July edition. We’re also at sea in a Ted Hood Little Harbor design and starting our six parts of pilotage series... CLASSIC SAILOR

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30/04/16 1:23 AM

Last word: A romantic night afloat Lucy L. Ford


n early May, at the start of what was to be one of our coldest summers, the newly appointed President of the Pontoon Camping Association decided to encourage new membership and extend the BBQ experience of existing members, beyond the confines of the Harbour by announcing that the first ‘President’s BBQ’ would be taking place in some far flung Bay …” Bring a boat… and a woman… for a romantic night afloat!!” Only two ‘new boats’ fell for this ‘lure’… one upped anchor after 15 minutes… the other made a rapid departure soon after dark… in both cases the ‘female’ passengers were just a little sick! After sixteen years of aquatic camping, the vagaries of nautical terminology such as “lee-shore” and “prevailing wind” still elude me. What eludes me more is why we always seem to anchor half a mile offshore and why we always seem to BBQ in the shade. Thus I was put ashore with all the elegance of a beaching whale, and despite the inevitable wet knickers and boots full of water, made it up the steep shingle

incline, dragging astern a plastic bucket into which had been stuffed the contributions to the BBQ… we won’t mention what else had occupied the bucket on some of our previous voyages!! In the fast fading light, a straggling band of nautical fugitives, huddled together around the charcoal embers, teeth chattering over last season’s purchase of 1 Euro per bottle ‘boat red’ and inhaling the carcinogenic fumes given off by anything flammable that could be scavenged from the beach, in an effort to keep warm...

The sausages, more drunk than the cook, rolled off into the sand, the oozing grease binding on a coating that resembled bread crumbs which, with kitchen roll forgotten, no amount of dusting with near numb fingers, could remove… A romantic night afloat, being rocked by the rhythm of the swell… ever at odds with the movement of the boat, is not to be recommended. A roll to starboard and one’s fleshier parts become impaled on the locker catches… a roll to port… precipitates an unfortunate collision with snoring stubble… After half an hour ‘the skipper’ didn’t know whether his luck was in or out… and any tentative approach of salt encrusted, mackerel smelling breath was rebuffed by pre-mortem groans … “oooohhhhh... so… s…i…c…k! The romantic night afloat is a fantasy, a rumour, put about to encourage jealousy among those in the fleet whose other halves have sensibly abandoned their men folk to ‘hot water bottles and army issue long-johns’. As for the BBQ… only the ‘President in Passing’ complained about the somewhat ‘gritty texture’ of his hot dogs… some people are never happy!


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29/04/16 9:28 PM

Model shown is a Drascombe Longboat p84_CS0616_drascomb.indd 1






30/04/16 1:57 AM

Profile for Dan Houston

Classic Sailor No9 June 2016  

Frances 26, Fingal 27, Open air cruising - in a dinghy, Tall Ship Shtandart, 12-M Siesta, Potato race in Holland, Draughtsman Yachts and tak...

Classic Sailor No9 June 2016  

Frances 26, Fingal 27, Open air cruising - in a dinghy, Tall Ship Shtandart, 12-M Siesta, Potato race in Holland, Draughtsman Yachts and tak...