Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The start of the journey

Actually more a continuation down a long road.  I started sailing about 25 years ago as a young man, after a childhood as far away from the sea as it is possible to be in the relatively small British Isles.  Most of m sailing was in  keelboats around the south coast of England, with occasional trips further afield

After moving to Australia, I realised that in order to sail in the way I wanted - for pleasure rather than competition, it would be a good idea to build my own boat.  The hard part was deciding which one.  After a long search, Iain Oughtred's Tammie Norrie became my first project, although sadly unblogged.  "Gradual Progress" has taken me out on Melbourne's Port Phillip Bay many times and is here pictured in Mallacoota, together with mad dog Oscar.

I also built myself a CLC Kaholo SUP so I could throw something on the top of the car and get on the water on a nice summer evening

It's now time to step things up a notch. A boat with curtains - that's what I want to take me away from the daily drudge for longer periods.  One that can accommodate me, spouse and occasional friends in reasonable comfort, yet be trailerable.  Getting to decent cruising grounds from a base in Melbourne is either a VERY long sail through some of the world's rougher waters, or putting the boat on a trailer.

I've spent a long time thinking about the perfect boat and, of course, it doesn't exist.  Ever boat is a compromise.  Despite my love of Iain Oughtred's designs, I've come to the conclusion that the boat I would get more use out of would be John Welsford's  "Penguin"  which ticks all the boxes for me.  Whilst it doesn't have the sleek lines of an Oughtred Grey Seal, it  does have decent accommodation and the gaff yawl rig I want is still an option.  Truth be told, I'm still at the study plan stage, but that birthday is coming up fast.....  In the meantime, there's plenty of fittings and stuff to get started on.

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