Saturday 8 August 2015

Got me a boat

When I wrote on Tuesday that I was looking for a row/sail boat, I never thought I would own one by Friday.
Browsermeister Brian Pearson pointed out an ad for a boat that seemed to fit the bill, so I schlepped over to Clacton yesterday to take a shuftie.
The boat is a ketch based on a Cygnus 15 hull. Now I happen to know the Cygnus 15 quite well - on the River Hamble it has been rebranded the Bursledon Gig. So I knew she rows well. But would the owner be able to convince me she can also sail?
I was shown her by one of the builders, Alan Hopewell. His old friend John, the owner and the other builder, suddenly and distressingly died three years ago and the boat must now be sold.
Alan took me through the rig and it seems well thought through and even an ignorant sailor such as myself should be able to learn the ropes fairly quickly I hope.
She has a big flat floor that is only a couple of inches shorter than me, so camping in her will be possible. With a bit of chainsaw surgery, sleeping aboard may even be comfortable.
So I paid electronically and towed her home. After a minor disaster (light board fell off) and a moremajor  disaster (trailer tyre blew out on M25) I arrived home triumphant.
A few modifications (change the rowlocks, add a stretcher) and she will be ready for a fortnight of cruising at the DCA camp at Cobnor. Can't wait.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Hell yes... Fair winds skipper! :-)

Patrick Hay said...

Good looking boat.

Bursledon Blogger said...

Should make a nice boat for pottering around Chicester Harbour, don't forget a fishing line and a couple of crab pots.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! You're lucky I didn't see her first!
Ian Maldon Essex

Gavin Atkin said...

Not too big, not much maintenance, a smallish rig and rows well... A chap could get envious. Good luck with her!

Graham Neil said...

I think she looks splendid, the boy done good.
Looking forward to hitching a ride at Cobnor.

doryman said...

Jealous I am. Not to start an argument, but I believe she's a yawl. And a real beauty at that.

Chris Partridge said...

Doryman has lit the blue touch paper and I am standing well back...

Unknown said...

Hi, more interested to know how she sails? The Cygus 15 is based on the local Falmouth Quay Punt, and is still commonly raced down here. The CRA (Cornish Rowing Asc) accepts them at their events as a separate class from the 15ft Randan Skiff which is one of the traditional classes.
Didn't know that they were also the Bursledon Skiff as well though.
Perhaps comes from the moulds having been sold to a company in Norfolk at one time?
I believe the hulls are now being produced back in the South West again.
You mention that your boat is rather heavy? Cygus produced two different specs, a heavyweight version for the local fishing industry, and a lightweight "racing spec" for the rowing clubs. If you find it particularly heavy, perhaps yours is one of the former.
I love these boats, had one built for the club I was rowing for at the time, and have always fancied one for myself.
I have often wondered what they'd be like to sail, virtually no keel to speak of, so I imagine it makes a little leeway?

Unknown said...

By the way, I believe that Doryman is correct re the ketch / yawl question.
A ketch has the aft mast forward of the steering position, in a yawl it's behind it.

Chris Partridge said...

I have come to the conclusiion she is a yawl. I hadn't heard the 'mast aft of the steering position' definition before, usually arguments revolve around whether the mizzen is before or aft of the rudder post but I think the position of the helmsman makes a lot of sense.
I think the hull was made in East Anglia, but I understand they are being produced back in the West Country again. It seems heavy to me largely because getting it out of the water is a bit of a performance, but that is mainly caused by the recycled trailer she is on. Things should get a lot easier with a purpose-built combi trailer.
More on the sailing performance soon...

Unknown said...

Ah I see, lugging one out of the water after a brisk session at the oars can be a bit of an ordeal, even with one of the lightweights, as I know to my cost. The slip at Kafa Mill in Fowey is a bit steep which doesn't help.
Thought you were referring to yours being a bit sluggish and feeling heavy under oars.
Really nice boat to row, and big enough for those days when you fancy a picnic at that isolated cove with no access on foot, or a weekend rowing / camping trip even.
Really must do something about getting one.
I believe the bare hulls still sell for around £700, which seems pretty cheap, especially if you're a bit handy and can do the fitting out yourself.
Hope you have fun sailing too.

Unknown said...

Of course, strictly speaking the terms Yawl and Ketch refer to boats with a fore and aft rig, so it's debatable whether they can be applied to a lug rigged boat at all??
Just thought I'd throw that into the mix, and contradict myself into the bargain. Make things clear as mud ;-)