WABI”‘ or WABI , is my current boat, she is a Hunter liberty 22 cat-ketch designed by the late David Thomas and built some time in the 1980’s.      I bought her in March of 2016 off her mooring in Portsmouth harbour from a bloke who was giving up sailing.      She is the third boat of mine to carry the name , my last boat was a Frances 26 which i had to sell to allow us to buy our cottage and the first WABI was a James Wharram designed catamaran which i finished from half built.  There was another boat in-between WABI’s 2 and 3 but we don’t talk about that one as she was a total bitch and tried hard to kill me.

For those that don’t know boats she is just over 22 feet in length, has an unusual rig (2 masts) which are unstayed, has a centreboard , lifting rudder and an outboard motor.   Home is currently either alongside a wall at Calstock boatyard in Cornwall or on a mooring in the river Tamar just off the yard.  Currently as i write she is sitting on and in the thick gloopy mud of the river bed.

I think that she will be a very good boat for my local cruising area which is the Tamar river at Calstock and the rivers inland of Plymouth sound : so the Tamar, Tavy and Lynher/St Germans.  All of the tidal rivers have a lot of ‘thin’ water and many places that i can tuck the boat away with the boards up.  In good weather i can head out of the sound to the Yealm and the rivers east and west……..a really bold trip would be to take her across to Brittany….watch this space !

What does WABI mean then ?

WABI as i use it has nothing to do with the current use of the word as in wabi-sabi ,  rather it comes from an alternative Zen expression scripted in the same way and has 3 meanings :

Nothing is complete

Nothing is perfect

Nothing is permanent

To me that just about sums up a boat : never finished, never quite right and always needs doing again.


Right now (winter 2017) she is getting a thorough refit to be ready this spring to start the voyage.    I will be covering the refit so far in a later post.

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