Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sailing Again Aboard ‘Ladybird’

Almost to the day, a year ago, I was sailing aboard ‘Ladybird’, a Seawych 19’ that I once owned. I sold her to my daughter, who in turn sold her to the present owner. A year ago I accepted an invitation for a sail on ‘Ladybird’. (See link below.)

This evening I’m off to Burnham for a re-acquaintance, and to join ship at the start of a short cruise, perhaps lasting two or three days. I am to crew and to help with the navigation. The plan is to sail to Bradwell Marina on Monday, and return on Tuesday. The forecast is for S by W Force 4 to 5. The direction is good for the outward trip, but the strength is more than we shall want.

Returning via the Swin Spitway on Tuesday, could be problematical, because the wind will continue at Force 4, but instead of coming from S by W, it will come from the SW. Inevitably this will mean the wind will be on the nose, and since the tide will be against the wind after our arrival at the Spitway we can expect broken water from there into the Crouch. Progress will be slow, and the sailing challenging – that’s if we go ahead with it.

The forecast for Wednesday is better, because the wind will drop to Force 3. Unfortunately, it will come from the SW – exactly the opposite of what we would want. There will be light showers on the afternoons of Monday and Wednesday. Thankfully, Tuesday appears to be free of precipitation.

Early on Monday morning, after listening to the Shipping Forecast, we’ll decide whether to go ahead with the planned cruise, or to do something different.


‘Ladybird’ on the Crouch

Saturday, July 27, 2013

‘Lucky Town 7’

Back in January, 2010 I wrote an article about William H. Longyard’s unique homebuilt, self-designed trailer-sailer, ‘Lucky Town 7’. (First link, below.) William spent 10 years designing this rather special sailboat that can be kept in a garage, trailed behind a medium size car, and sailed along the coast - even, according to William, she’s suitable for blue water cruising.

At the time of writing my first article, building plans were not available, but now they can be purchased from Duckwork’s for the modest sum of $40.(Second link, below.)

It is not my intention to repeat things I’ve already said. Instead I want to draw your attention to the links below that provide information about ‘Lucky Town 7’. She’s a small boat with numerous useful features seldom found in production boats of equivalent size; for example, a flushing toilet and provision for a shower. In some respects she’s like a Matt Layden Paradox, but with a drop keel instead of chine runners. As with Paradox, she can be managed from below, but she does have the advantage of a small cockpit. Her single junk sail makes for instant reefing, with minimal effort and maximum safety.

If I were considering building a boat, she would be high on my list of potential candidates.


LOA                        14’

LWL                        13.75’

Beam                    6’

Sail Area               120 sq ft

Lifting Keel          100 – 265 lbs

Draught                10” (Up) 33” (Down)

Engine                  2 – 6 HP

Displacement    680 lbs

Sleeps                   2


‘Lucky Town 7’, William H. Longyard

Plans for ‘Lucky Town 7’

William Longyard’s Kayaking Page

A Speck on the Sea, by William H. Longyard

Microcruising Part 8, Bill Longyard and  Lucky Town 7

Friday, July 26, 2013

‘Marsh Duck’

‘Marsh Duck’ is an 18’ sailing and rowing decked canoe with an aft sleeping cabin. She was designed by Scott Domergue to satisfy his desire for a lightweight, economical cruising boat. She can be trailed behind a folding bike that in turn can be stowed aboard. She is light enough for transporting on the roof rack of a small car. Altogether, including rowing and sailing gear, she weighs 150 lbs, and she is able take a payload of 800 lbs. Her 6’ 4” aft cabin provides room for one person to bed down overnight, and it is possible for a second person to sleep in the cockpit under a boom tent.

Ballast takes the form of drinking water in containers, food and cruising gear stowed under the cockpit. One of Scot’s aims was to make the boat self-righting, which in fact did not prove to be the case when tested.** However, he righted her from an induced capsize, and he was pleasantly surprised  how very little water entered the boat. He intends to make her hatches watertight and to add extra sealable compartments. Because he felt the boat was under-canvassed he redesigned the rig to have a larger, fully battened sail.

Building plans are available from Chuck and Sandra Leinweber at their Duckworks Boat Store*- The cost is $125, plus a handling fee, or they can be downloaded directly to a computer for $100.


*Marsh Duck Plans from Duckworks Boat Store

**Marsh Duck – Testing new sail and rigging – capsize

Duckworks Boat Plans – Other Designs.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

'Scamp' – Micro-sailboat

'Scamp' is an 11’ 11” by 5’ 4” day-sailer, capable of being cruised by a hardy soul or perhaps two toughies that enjoy each other’s company. This remarkable little boat can be trailed behind a medium size car and she can be built by amateurs. Small enough to fit into an average garage, she will be cheap to keep. 'Scamp' plans, drawn by John Welsford, can be obtained from Duckworks Builders Supplies*in the US. People outside the US and Canada will have to part with $163.50. This includes a shipping fee of $14.50. Within the US, plans and shipping amount to $158.50.


Gig Harbor Boat Works will be building a fibreglass version. (See last link.)


*Duckworks Boat Builders Supplies

Something of a Rogue – 'Scamp'

'Scamp' – Active Capsize

Wooden Boat Forum

Small Craft Advisor – 'Scamp' Sails!

JW Boat Designs – John Welsford’s Blog

John Welsford Builders Forum

Fibreglass Version of 'Scamp'


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

West Wight Potters – ‘C’ Type for Sale

If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I am selling my ‘C’ Type West Wight Potter, not because there is anything wrong with her, or Potters in general, but because every two or three years I take on a new sailboat project.

Each venture brings with it challenges that stimulate and excite me.

Firstly, if it is building a boat, I am spurred into action because of the prospect of owning her, and I look forward to the fun I may have building her. I am keenly interested in discovering how she will perform and if she will meet my expectations. Will she do what her designer claims?

Secondly, if it is renovating and re-commissioning a boat, I always want to make her better than she was when I took her on. Such was the case with ‘Sandpiper’, my WWP that is for sale. I have given her a new lease of life. She is once again a functioning trailer-sailer. Had she been launched when I bought her she would have sunk! Areas either side of the centreplate case through which the support bolt passed had disintegrated. I rebuilt and strengthened the case, making it structurally sounder than the original. I’m pleased to say that not a single drop of water has entered the boat. She is totally watertight, both hull and deck. In the biggest seas and heaviest downpours her interior remains dry.

I was thoroughly pleased with my project. ‘Sandpiper’ came out of it with flying colours. During my 66 day cruise along the South Coast of England she looked after me, and her sailing performance was far better than I imagined. The most important lesson I learnt for getting the best out of her, was to always have the right amount of sail. Her furling Genoa was of enormous value, because sail could be reduced or increased in seconds. Reefing the mainsail by manually rolling it around the boom was easy, providing it was done when the boat was hove to.


Ian Turner is re-commissioning a ‘D’ Type WWP. On Tuesday, he had a look at ‘Sandpiper’, not with a view to buying her, but for comparing her with his boat. I feel sure it was a profitable visit, because he took photos of ‘Sandpiper’ for future reference. It was a pleasure meeting Ian, and I wish him all the best with his worthwhile project. (See 2nd link below.)

There are literally thousands of Potter owners throughout the world - people like Ian and me. You can learn more of these fantastic boats by clicking links below, and if you want to get hold of a good one, you need look no further. Click the first link.


Sale of my West Wight Potter

Ian Turner’s West Wight Potter Project

West Wight Potter UK Yahoo! Forum

US  West Wight Potter Forum

West Wight Potter Owners Home Port

West Wight Potter 15 and 19 Forum

Tuesday, July 23, 2013



There was a famous small sailing cruiser with the name, ‘Happy’. She was owned by Howard Wayne Smith who attempted to take John Guzzwell’s circumnavigation record from him. In 1959 John completed a circumnavigation of the world in ‘Trekka’, a 21’ yacht, the smallest to do it at the time. (You can read more by clicking the second link below.)

Between 1983 and 1987 Serge Testa sailed his aluminium, 11’ 10” micro yacht around the world to become the record holder for circumnavigating in the smallest vessel.

Guzzwell, Smith and Testa stopped at various ports. Through misfortune Smith never completed a circumnavigation in ‘Happy’, because his boat foundered on Nouméa Reef, New Caledonia. In pursuit of his dream, he built ‘Happy 11’, a 9’ 6” aluminium yacht, but again his ambition was thwarted because she was confiscated by the Australian Customs!

 Testa remains the record holder.

These sailors pursued their dreams – possibly in search of happiness. En route, all three suffered times of fear and hardship, times of great danger. Ultimately, two of them could look back and feel the glow of satisfaction because their dreams were realized.

Sven Yrvind is building a shorter boat than Testa’s, with the aim of completing a non-stop voyage around the world. Now, that’s some dream! But on past achievements, if anyone can do it, Sven must be a candidate.

There is no way that I can compare my ‘voyages’ and ‘achievements’ with those mentioned, but I can, and do look back with much satisfaction because of good fortune in my life, especially the blessings God has bestowed upon me.

1 Timothy 6:6 'Now godliness with contentment is great gain.'



Small Boat Circumnavigators

‘Happy 11’

John Guzzwell

Serge Testa – ‘Acrohc Australis’

Sven Yrvind - Present Project


Monday, July 22, 2013

Sale of my ‘C’ Type West Wight Potter

 As you may know, my West Wight Potter, ‘Sandpiper’ is for sale. Details can be found at by keying in the following number into the Ebay Search Box: 161065836009. A fair amount of interest has been shown. At the time of writing, the advert has been looked at 365 times in 9 days and there are 29 watchers.

If you read the description carefully you will see that I am open to offers.  I have had one offer to date, but it was for less than I would accept. To see her taken on by a new caring owner I am now prepared to include the road trailer – offers should be over £1,400 with the trailer and more than £1,200 without.
 Whoever gets her will have a bargain. Included in the sale there is a solar charger, an almost brand new 12 v battery, a single-burner camping stove, an anchor and warp, and a lifting outboard bracket. None of these things were with the boat when I bought her. Furthermore, I repaired and reinforced the centreplate case, and I had the centreplate freshly galvanized. I re-cut the mainsail and Genoa and fitted new stainless steel shrouds. All of the woodwork has just been varnished and the rudder painted.

‘Sandpiper’ is ready to go. You could be sailing her right away.

My mobile number is 07588288060. Give me a buzz, and if I’m at home, I’ll call back to any UK mainline phone. Alternatively you could contact me by using the Blogspot email facility.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sailing a Vivacity 20

A longstanding friend who owns a Vivacity 20 recently invited me for a sail from Titchmarsh  Marina to Harwich. We had a great time together.

We left the Marina at 09.45 under engine and we motor-sailed until beyond Walton Channel Number 2 Buoy in Pennyhole Bay. From there we tacked towards Landguard Container Terminal at Felixstowe docks. Sea conditions were choppy because the ebb from the Backwaters off Dovercourt was contrary to the wind. Cold sea mist unexpectedly approached and rapidly swirled around us, reducing visibility until we could hardly see vessels berthed at the Container Terminal.
On approaching Harwich Breakwater, a back-eddy helped us around it into shallows adjacent to Harwich beach. Lobster pot floats to the southeast of moorings close to the beach indicated that the back-eddy was still in our favour. From there on, the wind was from the starboard quarter enabling us to make over the ebb that was exiting from the rivers Orwell and Stour. The mist had lifted and the sun warmed us.


None of the big container vessels were underway, but lots of yachts were coming and going. We passed Shotley Spit South Cardinal Buoy to port and followed the recommended track for pleasure craft leading into the River Orwell. We continued as far as Suffolk Yacht Harbour, and there at about 13.20 we stopped for lunch.

I had parked my car not far from Halfpenny Pier at Harwich, so the plan was to moor there at the end of our sail, and my friend would remain on the boat for the night before returning to Titchmarsh the next day.


 After lunch we made full sail and headed for Halfpenny Pier, but we could not go directly there because a lifeboat and helicopter exercise was in progress. We sailed a short distance into the Stour, took in sail and started the engine. By then the lifeboat and helicopter had finished what they were doing, leaving us free to head for the Pier.
My friend changed his mind about staying there for the night, and instead of mooring the boat he brought her alongside the pontoon. I waved him goodbye, and he continued to Titchmarsh Marina.


Titchmarsh Marina

Walton Backwaters

Harwich Haven Authority Yachting Guide

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pottering Photos – Looe Lugger Festival

On Saturday, 15th June I caught the bus to Looe with the purpose of seeing the Looe Lugger Festival and also to reconnoitre the harbour on the off chance that I might put in there on my way to Falmouth. It wasn’t until Tuesday, 18th June that I sailed from Plymouth bound for Fowey. I considered stopping at Looe for a night before continuing to Fowey, but the desire to continue west put paid to that idea.


The Looe Lugger Festival did not disappoint. Hundreds of sightseers were there and the atmosphere was festive.

This is the last of the series of photos illustrating my Pottering Cruise. I’ve had fun reviewing them and making them available to viewers for downloading to their computers for personal use. 


Pottering – Part 51 (The Looe Lugger Festival)

Pottering - Part 54 (Passage from Plymouth to Fowey)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Pottering Photos – Harbours

On a cruise such as I undertook along the South Coast of England, inevitably I found myself stormbound in harbours, creeks and marinas, and many days were spent with ‘Sandpiper’ tied up to pontoons or at anchor. I was never bored when in harbour or at anchor, because boats and people were for ever on the move – boats entering or leaving harbour, and their crews coming and going on foot or by tender.


There were many opportunities for taking photos of what went on. If people were the subject, the best snapshots came about when they were unaware they were being photographed. Fishing vessels were often the most colourful subject, and working boats such as ferries and dredgers were always fascinating because of their manoeuvrings and because of their functional design.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Pottering Photos - Maritime Vessels

I never tire of looking at boats. In common they displace a volume of water equal to their own weight. The majority of them are designed to move on the surface of the water for the purpose of conveying something or persons from one place to another. Submersibles can float under the surface of the water. Remotely controlled vessels such as those used for underwater explorations or for military purposes may dispense with a crew.


The requirements of function for purpose determines the nature of the hull and the means of propulsion. Within that formula the variety of shape and form devised by their designers is mind-boggling. Considering the category of sailing vessels alone, there are numerous permutations of sail, rigging and hull types. Subdividing sailing vessels into various function types, there are those designed for carrying cargo, although very few today, and for pleasure there are cruising and racing yachts, dinghies and innumerable small wind driven boats.


Therefore, during my Pottering Cruise along the South Coast of England, I inevitably saw many different types of vessels. A selection of photos displayed here can give you an inkling of the variety.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pottering Photos – Glimpses

Every day we look briefly at things and dismiss them because they are of no significance or of no importance at the time. What we see is not crucial to our survival, nor does it have any bearing on what really concerns us at that moment. We don’t want to waste time looking at these things, just as we don’t want to waste time waiting at traffic lights! On the other hand we don’t glimpse at traffic lights, but we pay attention to them, for our very lives can be threatened if we ignore them.


When cruising my boat my senses are heightened and I am aware of what is happening at all times. The great majority of decisions for action arise from things seen, heard, felt, smelled or tasted. The sense of sight is the most informative. Our eyes are designed for immediately detecting anything that moves, particularly objects that may threaten us by travelling towards us. Even the tiniest gnat is detected.

This heightened awareness when cruising my boat tends to make me more conscious of things I would normally only glance at. Everything becomes important, not just when sailing, but when ashore perhaps doing the shopping, riding on a bus or going for a walk. Even chatting with people becomes a new experience because of this heightened awareness. Attention spans are increased and the recall of recent happenings improves. Memorization vastly improves. No longer does the brain resemble a cabbage; it becomes a live, active, functioning organism. The little grey cells become sparks of fire that send tingling sensations down the spine. One becomes alive.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Pottering Photos – Reflections at Calstock

During my cruise there were times when the wind ceased, and there were moments of peace and calm. Way up the river Tamar at Calstock where ‘Sandpiper’ was well sheltered, she and I shared precious moments of equanimity. She felt the tickling current that slid clumps of floating reeds and rotting leaves along her sides, and I heard their plaintive sighs.

From my floating island I surveyed the richness of the scene; inverted wiggling images, tints, tones, amorphous reflections that slowly danced for my delight. Birdsong filled the air, and the sky was acid blue. My old and abandoned yacht ‘Aziz’ forlornly looked on from amidst others clustered at the boatyard. She asked, “Why?” I had no answer. I could only remember times we had together, good and bad.
I was full of gratitude for shared moments as I reflected on the past.

Monday, July 15, 2013

News Bulletin – ‘Sandpiper’ is for Sale

Here’s a bulletin to let readers know that I’ve advertised ‘Sandpiper’ for sale. Details can be found at Insert the following number into the Ebay search box: 161065836009, or key in: West Wight Potter ‘C’ Type.

I would prefer to sell her without her trailer, because I shall want one for the next project. However, regarding the sale of ‘Sandpiper’, I am open to negotiating a deal with someone who will care for her.

If you want a West Wight Potter, there’s probably not another that has been tested so thoroughly. Everything works. She’s not the best cosmetically, but she is sound and reliable.

Give me a buzz on my mobile (07588288060). If you are calling from a UK land line, and I am at home, I shall be able to phone you back free of charge.



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Pottering Photos – Water’s Edge

The coastal yachtsman is ever conscious of the proximity of the shore and possible dangers as a result. During my South Coast cruise I was tuned in to the rise and fall of the tides, almost as a woman is constantly aware of her monthly cycle. Tides and a female’s monthly cycles are linked, in that they occur over periods of 28 days, that’s not to say that every woman has her period at the same time. The moon’s complete cycle from full to new takes 28 days. There are 13 lunar months in a year. 13 times 28 equal 364 days, approximately 365 days for the completion of a year. How wondrous is that!


Forces involved with the rise and fall of tides are stupendous; likewise the lateral movement of the oceans’ waters brought about by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon are mind-boggling. In my little boat I was very conscious of their awesome power. Wherever and whenever possible I worked in harmony with tidal flows and ebbs. To fight them was not a wise policy.


The boundary between sea and land is a fascinating environment where moving waters wage wars of erosion, or they build up silt, sand or pebbles; they can wash them away or set layers of marshland reshaping the coast.
From seaward the yachtsman has an ever-changing scene; perhaps chalk cliffs, granite cliffs, red sandstone escarpments, sand dunes, pebble beaches, glorious sandy beaches, tree-clad slopes, bracken covered mounds - the list is endless. They are all for the enjoyment of the yachtsman, unless they become places of danger when onshore gales remorselessly sweep over them.

 God’s Word, the Bible, reassures us that the oceans of the world will never again cover the earth as during the worldwide Flood. (Genesis 9:11) The boundary between sea and land will be maintained.

Psalm 104 speaks of the Creation when God allotted the oceans to their places, setting boundaries for them.

Psalm 104:5-9

‘You who laid the foundation of the earth,

So that it should not be moved forever,

You covered it with the deep as with a garment;

The waters stood above the mountains.

At Your rebuke they fled;

At the voice of Your thunder they hastened away.

They went up over the mountains;

They went down into the valleys,

To the place which You founded for them.

You have set a boundary that they may not pass over,

That they may not return to cover the earth.’