Regatta week is here again in Dartmouth, how do we know? because the fair rolled into town, loads of boats turned up and it’s raining! Sunday and Monday saw the heats and semi finals for the rowing races take place with crews representing every drinking establishment in town racing the slightly cumbersome ‘whalers’ and the slippy ‘blue’ boats from the higher ferry to the lower ferry. Monday was a foul day for rowing with a strong southerly wind and racing flood tide making it a hard pull up the course, but the best crews came through to race in the finals next Friday.
This week also saw the arrival of the newly built 3 masted lugger ‘Grayhound’ built by Marcus and Freya down in Millbrook, Plymouth. She is a replica 18th century lugger, and Marcus and Freya plan to do traditional sailing holidays and sail training onboard, starting next spring. see their website www.grayhoundluggersailing.com for more information, pictures and stories from the build. she is a striking vessel and has been built extremely well. I was onboard this morning and it is great to see the craftsmanship that has gone into the boat. The interior is still pretty empty, so this winter will see them complete the fit out to provide 12 guest berths plus crew accomodation with a big open saloon under the cargo hatch. it’s going to be a busy winter but it will be great to see something a little different on the charter scene next season.
Sunday was a hive of activity as the sun brought everyone out to play. The Moody family with the newly launched ‘PETTIFOX’ went on their maiden voyage, clocking up 7.2knots close hauled on the way out of the river. The two big motor yachts moored in the middle of the river, ‘CORVELIA’ a 1960 Silver Ormidale, and ‘WHITE MOUSE II’ the 1963 Philips 50 were also out enjoying the weather. Both boats are maintained by David Rogers of Number 7 Marinecraft who is a whizz when it comes to paint and varnish work!
Ashley Butler was out and about in his newly launched 50′ gaff yawl that he has built for himself. she is yet to be rigged but her masts are up and she looks like she is going to be a fast cruising boat.
Last Thursday saw the relaunch of ‘Pettifox’ which is now owned by John and Flick Moody of John Moody Marine Timber. They have been working incredibly hard on her at Baltic Wharf boatyard since they purchased her and she really does look a million dollars, putting lots of other boats on the river to shame!
‘Pettifox’ was built in 1992 by Peter Martin on the Isles of Scilly to a design by Frenchman Francoise Vivier. Vivier’s boats have become well known in Brittany with strong influences from the traditional working and fishing boats that have been built there for many years. She has that typical high bow, lovely sweeping sheer line going aft to the raked transom that falls to a very deep heel with a sharp rise on the keel going forward to a fairly shallow forefoot. These characterisitics made the French boats very seaworthy and dry but also very fast as they sailed on the beautiful planking run going aft and the deep heel. Although she has a gaff cutter rig and not the traditional French lug, I think she will still give the working boats over there a run for their money!
Faced with a cavernous empty hull when they bought her, John has been fitting the interior out to give a twin forecabin, several bunks aft under the deckhead and a spacious saloon with galley and a heads compartment off to starboard. The rigging has all been replaced with Lee Rogers of Dartmouth making the new shrouds and leather work. The topsides have been finished in the orignal colour scheme that many people will know the boat for and really make her stand out in a crowd. All in all she looks absolutely stunning and is a first class little boat, so a big congratulations to the whole Moody family for getting her to this stage, now they can look forward to spending the rest of the season cruising locally from Dartmouth and enjoying whats left of the English summer!
Today has also seen the completion of the sale of ‘Blazing Star’ the 55′ John Alden Yawl from Helford. She will be taken to Belguim by her new owners before the winter where they plan to finish the refit and get her back in comission for the 2013 season.
Welcome to the new blog form Wooden Ships. Here we will be writing about the boats, the people and the places that we are involved with, bringing stories of boats we have sold in the past, new boats coming on the market and tales of the people who sail them and who work with them.
Yesterday I had an early start in the rain for a meeting in Plymouth with a couple on their 18T Hillyard, Maffick. They arrived in Plymouth after an uncomfortable crossing from Vigo across Biscay, which was the last voyage of a journey that has seen them sail over 30,000Nm from Russia to the Caribbean in the last 12 years. Having bought the boat on the East coast in a very sorry state, they took her to Hilyards in Littlehampton and had a new deck and coachroof. the keelbolts were replaced, new rigging, engine out and reconditioned in the living room at home, and the interior largely rebuilt. The boat has been their floating home now for 12 years while exploring right across the northern hemisphere but it is now time to get a dog and settle down into a house, so we are putting this superb blue water cruising yacht on the market. It is so nice to meet people like this who have just gone out and done it with no fuss, no magazine write ups and all off their own backs.
We have just put on the market a very fine Buchanan yacht, Shiraz, pictured here. She has belonged to some old friends of ours for 14 years now, in which time they have taken part in classic regattas and cruised extensively from Scotland to Spain with the family. They are now looking for something with a little less of the racing pedigree to carry on cruising with for the next 14 years. Shiraz was designed as a development to the Vashti, a famous Buchanan yacht that was very successful on the race circuit. She has had all the important work done including new keel bolts and floors with a new deck in 2005. If you are after a first class classic yacht with a rich pedigree and exquisite good looks, then look no further.