I met this bloke .

We had just made it onto a mooring outside the harbour at St Aubyn on a rapidly falling tide, in fact we had the boards up for the last 50 yards and we were only just skimming across the sand even then.     Once the water dropped away and i had a poke around the boat to feel what the bottom was like (good hard sand) i noticed this bloke walking out to the boat on the mooring next to the one i had borrowed. After a mug of coffee the water had gone completely leaving us high and dry on the lovely hard sand so i went over the side for a walk around and went for a look at the other boat.   It turned out that this was one of the other boats that i was seriously considering before i bought the Liberty and its a boat designed to a very similar concept : the ‘Poacher 6.5’.  I keep calling it a Cat Ketch when in fact the masts are equal height….which makes it a Cat Schooner…..whatever !

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I had been chasing one of these for months before i bought the Liberty, one came up in a very poor state locally which i just missed being able to buy and by the time another one came up i was already committed to buying then Liberty.   The poacher is a slightly smaller boat all round than my Liberty and has a lifting keel rather than a centreboard, below its a bit pokey and small when compared to the much more comfortable liberty.  I still kind of like the look of the poacher though as it has the look of an older IOR mini-tonner and those are the boats that i grew up with as a sailor.   Going way back i remember one of these being sailed in the Menai Straits when i was crewing on an IOR half-tonner.

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The owner says it sails well but needs a lot of sorting out : by all accounts it leaks through just about every deck fitting. While i was there i walked over and had a chat with him while he was trying to get the sails rigged, he let me clamber inside and take some photographs too. I haven’t posted any of the interior photographs mainly because getting them involved me hanging upside down in the hatch….its very small below !     Apparently this is the very first boat of the type and not many were ever built, i still kind-of fancy having one as a project though.

More recent one seen in Emsworth.

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