Monday, October 12, 2015

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 9

After I wrote ‘A Reality Check According to Boats I Have Owned’ ( with links to a series on ‘Photos of Boats I Have Owned’, I realized I had not included the latest ones, i.e., ‘Minnow’ and ‘Pike’. Therefore I’m adding this Part 9 to complete the list.

‘Minnow’ – She’s a Matt Layden Paradox*. For details, click this link to her Ebay for Sale Ad.:

‘Pike’ - The sailing boat I now own is an Iain Oughtred Pike class, flat-bottom skiff. Most readers will be familiar with her, but for more information see, ‘Messing About with ‘Pike’’: .

Altogether I have owned at least 25 sailing boats and few other small craft, including rowing dinghies, and decked canoes. Not all of them were photographed.


Pike Skiff Designed by Iain Oughtred

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 1

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 2

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 3

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 4

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 5

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 6

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 7

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 8

Friday, October 09, 2015

Seafarer Day Sailer/Trailer Sailer – Part 3

'Seamonster' being hosed down

Further to Part 2 in the links section below, I would like to add that my hopes for the welfare of the Seafarer ‘Seamonster’ are being fulfilled. Today she was thoroughly cleaned, tidied and wrapped under cover for the winter. Her woodwork is to be varnished next spring. I have been informed that the owner loves her, and he will not allow (quote) ‘her to end up as scrap’.

All of this is very pleasing. She’s a classic boat, well worth preserving. She could live on for many years and be a joy to those who sail her.


Seafarer Day Sailer/Trailer Sailer – Part 2

Seafarer Day Sailer/Trailer Sailer - Part 1

Thursday, October 08, 2015

A Reality Check According to Boats Owned



Today I had an email from a friend who told me that ‘Zeta’ was for sale. I owned two boats with that name. The smaller of them is for sale; the other was wrecked on the far side of the Atlantic.*

Looking at the advert and the associated photographs, I was reminded of times I had sailed the little boat. Memories that came to mind were of sailing her to Holland when she was first rigged as a Bermudan sloop. My wife and our youngest daughter joined me at Amsterdam for a cruise of the inland waterways. We had a fantastic time.

Another occasion was far from fantastic. I was caught in a gale in the middle of the English Channel between shipping lanes north and south. The worst of the gale came in the middle of the night. The experience was frightening and very physical. At one point I was sitting on the floor, wedged between the side bunks, but I couldn’t stop myself from being thrown onto one of the bunks by the severe motion.

There was also the time I tried taking a shortcut around Start Point by keeping close to the rocks. We got caught on the edge of the race, and waves came over the boat, completely filling her cockpit. She continued sailing as if nothing had happened, but it took a good many minutes for the water to exit through a single drain hole at the rear of the cockpit.

The advert for the sale of ‘Zeta’ has made me think how fortunate I have been to have owned her and others like her. By clicking links below you can see photos of most of them.

Importantly, the advert has made me realize how old I am. I bought ‘Zeta’ in 1977 – that’s 38 years ago! Facts are facts, and the reality is that I am no longer the chap I was. No matter how much I would like to buy ‘Zeta’, realistically, I could not do the sort of things I did with her in the past, and like other ‘old gaffers’, I can only reminisce, for as long as I can.

*Harrier, a radically modified Folksong yacht (Ex ‘Zeta’):


Small ‘Zeta’ – Hunter Europa 19

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 1

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 2 (Featuring Small ‘Zeta’)

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 3

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 4

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 5

Photos of Boats I Have Owned – Part 6

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Windmill Sailboats

I was in Cambridgeshire last weekend and I strayed into Lincolnshire by the River Nene where I saw wind turbines in action generating electricity – just about, as there was hardly any wind! I also crossed the border into Norfolk where I saw Bircham Windmill, but unfortunately it was closed to the public. Both structures harness energy from the wind, and according to Wikipedia, wind sails have been in use for this purpose for two millennia.* It is not therefore beyond the wit of man to have invented a wind-powered sailboat employing a propeller for moving his vessel; indeed, it has been done. I don’t know of the first recorded example, but there are several verifiable modern sailboats driven by propellers. Peter Worsley’s is one such boat:  and see  .

Dip into some of the websites in the Links section below for other examples, particularly the YouTube videos.


Windmill Sailboat: Sailing Against the Wind

Design puts boat into a spin

Windmill Ship

Revelation 11: Windmill Powered Boat – Open Knowledge

R/C Boat with Windmill Drive

Unusual Catamaran with Wind Turbine Propulsion in Guernsey

Experimental Wind Turbine Boat

Model Windmill powered Boat

Direct into the wind sailing craft model (plans)

Directly into the wind test model

Experimental Rotary Sailing Craft

Rotary Sailing Homepage

Windmill or Wind Turbine Forum

Sailing faster than the wind

Wind Turbine Boat

Vertical Axis Wind Turbine Vector Diagrams

Vertical Axis Involute Spiral Wind Turbine

Windmill Ship Blog

Windmill Sailboat

Autogiro Boats History 1870 1933

Autogiro Boats History 1980 – 1995

*History of Wind Power


Bircham Windmill

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Abandoned Hulks

These were once fine sailing smacks, many a craftsman’s pride and joy. Now they are worthless hulks. They are decaying shadows of a former glory, left to rot on muddy banks of the River Nene. Their history and tales are lost forever, and their stalwart crews lie putrefying in grave’s chasms. Now they are silent, without speech. For them there are no cursing words; no laughter, fears or triumphs; no hard grind, blisters, ice and snow; raw wind or the warm glow of the summer sun, a surging sea and spindrift-blown sails. A bountiful sea harvest is no longer theirs for rejoicing, nor do they have times of want or storm; only calm do they know.

The sun has set, and no one remembers them, save you and me.


River Nene

Graveyard of Lost Species

Brandy Hole Boat Graveyard and Boat Disposal

Monday, October 05, 2015

Seafarer Day Sailer/Trailer Sailer – Part 2

Just under a year ago I drew attention to 48 year old ‘Seamonster’, an Alan Buchanan day sailer. She is an 18’ Seafarer single chine GRP masthead sloop.

Last weekend I was away from home, and I had a chance of getting personal with the little boat. By getting personal, I mean being close enough to touch and caress her. I was somewhat saddened to see that she wasn’t being looked after as she deserved. A boat built in 1967, if she is to remain in good trim when laid up, must be kept under cover, which at the moment she is not. Worse still, she is close to a hedge, and fallen leaves in her cockpit are doing her no favours.

Structurally she is sound, and the external gelcoat has never been painted, apart from antifouling below the waterline. Her keel pivot bolt was renewed last year, and all her woodwork is good, but varnish has peeled off in places.

I am hoping she will be cared for by her owner, as she is a ‘living’ classic, worthy of not being left on the scrap heap to die.


Please read a postscript by clicking this link:


Seafarer Day Sailer/Trailer Sailer – Part 1

Buchanan Owners Association

Seafarer Sold

Friday, October 02, 2015

Topper Sailing Dinghy

Here are photos of a Topper dinghy recently seen sailing at Hullbridge. A quick search at Ebay revealed that more than half a dozen are for sale, ranging in price between £350 and £600. A new one can be had for £2,695! Fifty thousand of them have been sold worldwide.* Ian Proctor, who designed the boat back in 1977, certainly got it right. They were originally made from GRP, but they were soon being produced in large numbers by the speedy process of injection moulding with Polypropylene. Perhaps one of the reasons for their popularity is that they can be car-topped! Maybe that is why they are called Toppers.


Topper Dinghy

The Topper Dinghy (Tuning and Features)

International Topper Class Association – about Topper

Topper Dinghy for Sale at Ebay £350

Topper Dinghy for Sale at Ebay £395

Topper Dinghy for Sale at Ebay £420

Topper Dinghy for Sale at Ebay £450

Topper Dinghy for Sale at Ebay £500

Topper Dinghy for Sale at Ebay £600