Thursday, 2 February 2012

The intention

My boat was in poor condition when I bought it, having sat in a boatyard for 5 years with quite a bit of rainwater inside. Some parts of it were badly built too, and some aspects of the boat (though not the design) I considered poorly thought out. I'd done the minimum amount of work to get the boat sailing and have a shot at the commercial fishing idea. I've tried the fishing. As an experiment, it demonstrated a lot, and I guess in that sense it was successful. Unfortunately, it demonstrated that commercial fishing from a sail boat in the English Channel would never be anything but a hobby. However, part of the reasoning behind the fishing business was that if it failed, at least I'd end up with a boat! Which is more than I have been left with after some previous enterprises.

So, time to go cruising again. South. Somewhere warm and sunny.

This is my first catamaran, but my 5th or 6th(?) cruising boat, so I know what I want in a boat fitted out for cruising. The first part of this journey will be repairing and adapting the boat in preparation for blue water sailing. It may be of interest to others preparing a boat for an adventure, or contemplating a similar enterprise. I think it might help me too - I have already done much of the work that was needed yet the boat still looks like an abandoned wreck! It'll be helpful to document the improvements, because so many of them are invisible and easily forgotten, and so when I ask where did the time go, I can look back and see what has been done.

Here's the boat in Google maps street view. One of the improvements I made previously has paid off. I fitted some oak/epoxy/glass shoes to the hulls so that it could take the ground without damage (more on this in another posting). Instead of paying a fortune to keep the boat in a yard, I can put it on this river beach. The boat floats only on spring tides. Usually I can back my car right up to the boat, making it easy to transfer tools and materials. Excellent place to work. Nice and quiet, with kingfishers and buzzards and other birds of prey a common sight. But in December and January, the sun never hits the boat, and it is always cold and damp. Nicer then to try to find something interesting to do indoors, nice and warm! A blog, maybe...

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