Jaws said…..

“We’ll need a bigger boat”.

This doesn’t actually come from the film of the same name but is something that an old sailing mate of mine once said : the situation is that he was sailing aboard the first ‘Enza’ attempt on the Jules Verne record, ie to sail around the world in less that 80 days. On the first attempt i believe they broke the boat and it was when they were all stood around looking at it when my man Jaws (yes that is his sailing name) came out with that immortal quote.

As visitors will know now i am promoting the idea of doing the maximum with the minimum ie getting out there in small and simple boats but that i also go with the idea that a bit more length gives us ‘longer legs’ and that it is often beneficial to have just a bit more waterline length and thus boatspeed than i currently have.  Don’t get me wrong i really like the Liberty but i wouldn’t mind a tiny bit more space inside and a bit more waterline, stability and sail-power.  As visitors here know it doesn’t take much more length and beam to get a lot more space, usually a lot more expense, and get that extra increase in sailing ‘power’.  The Liberty is both under-ballasted and under-canvassed at times, i have dealt with the first problem just by increasing useable weight but really can’t deal with the latter without major expense so at some time ‘we need a bigger boat’.

How much bigger ? well not very much actually with the Liberty at 22 foot and some small change and not very beamy it wouldn’t take very much to increase the waterline and the volume. As some visitors know i come from a racing (IOR) background and have recently kicked around the idea of converting an old race-boat hull into a cruiser-racer maybe with lifting boards or keel and messing around with the rig.  I looked at this concept with the relatively small GK24 recently and came up with a viable plan : maybe using something like a Warwick-Collins keel to reduce the draught but at the same time started searching around for IOR-like hulls with the work already done and yes there are a couple out there.

Here is one thats been kicking around on ebay for a while.


The boat is a Dehler 25 as designed by E Van de stadt and built by Willi Dehler : good designer and good boat engineer. This one looks like a nice one and yes its outside my budget but the idea is there. It is amazingly a trailer-sailer with both a lifting keel, cassette rudder and water ballast.  Opinions/reviews seem mixed with some people regarding them as being a bit of a handful in a breeze….there again i grew up with twitchy over-powered quarter and half-ton racing yachts so they are probably much more like what i am used to. Remember now that i sail a boat with very limited stability so this would be a step-up. I fancy going to see one of these : sadly this one is way over on the east coast and clearly in fantasy territory.

Good concept though : about the size i am looking for, comes with a trailer, enough space to have 2 settee bunks and allegedly a double up for’d.



  1. Good looking boat, nice to see something second hand that’s not in need of a major refit.

    You must have heard the story from Jaws about when they broke it on the first attempt, classic Jawsy understatement 🙂

    We too are over powered and under ballasted but we just sail within the limits. I am hunting for some photos of the refit but fear the computer may have eaten them.


    1. The Liberty now seems to sail a bit better with more weight aboard, i added some weight with the much heavier battery immediately under the companionway and i carry a lot of water and stores aboard all under the in-fill space. As original i think they were under-ballasted and under canvassed. For what most of them do thats fine and i guess that sailing them cross-channel was never part of the plan. Seen a couple of the Dehlers around now and a similar but slightly larger boat called the Parker Super Seal (Ron Holland) of the same era. in time i might go that way as i understand IOR boats. Thanks for looking for photographs, my computer lost all mine when it died a couple of years ago and that was most of our NZ and Yosemite stuff….all irreplaceable.


      1. I haven’t given up yet I think I have some vid of putting in the new rear quarter so that’s next on the list to find, first about 2 tons of logs to ring up and split its winter soon 🙂


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