They think it’s all over.

The starter boat series that is.

While i am sat here completely re-writing the second of the Donald Crowhurst series, watching the snow fall and the local kids hooning down the hill outside…..


It’s been a strange couple of days, i haven’t had to go to work which is just as well because the hill is un-drive-able without snow tryes or chains.  I have been sat comfortably at my desk drinking coffee by the gallon or manfully holding the sofa down. I’ve had lots of time to read and write…..which is why i am re-writing my badly done Donald Crowhurst story.  For occasional breaks i have been working on rig and refit plans for WABI”’ and of course idly boat-surfing on ebay and brokers lists.

A few days ago yet another boat came up in the easily sub-£1000 bracket, another reasonable looking Achilles 24 but again the wrong keel configuration .  Another thing that i was searching for in boats for sale was a Hurley 23 to use as the basis for a post to reply to Stephen Mundane’s last comment.   You guys keep mentioning other starter boats so i have to go and look at them.

I actually have a problem with the Hurley 22 as i don’t rate them as a good starter boat mainly because they are, i believe, an awkward and cranky boat to sail : notably with bad weather helm and a very heavy helm to boot.    The only one i sailed was awful in that respect…..going to windward with the helm heaved up under my armpit and huge vortices boiling off the stalling rudder !.   Some time i will do a longer post on that kind of experience because some people love their Hurly’s.

Todays surf of ebay turned up this…..which isn’t exactly a starter boat but might just be the start of a project for someone keen.

Clearly a project because it’s only a hull and a cradle but if you wanted to start a project like the very excellent Roger Taylor’s ‘Mingming 2 then here it is.  It’s just down the road from me too !


And there is this one too…also just down the road.

A lot nicer, with a trailer and it has some gear.

s-l1600 (1)

And another thing :

Nice engine, wrong keel again and too far away but…..

s-l1600 (2)



  1. Steve, yes, Hurleys certainly do have a keen following! Perhaps that extra foot makes all the difference in how they sail? You probably (in fact, definitely) know more than me!


    1. Yeseterday i was going to do a piece for the series where i talked about boats that i thought, while popular, didnt make good starter boats. I don’t think, for example, that my boat is a good starter boat and neither is the Hurley 22/23 (in my opinion). Problem is that i am very opinionated about boats. When people say to me “get yourself a nice little Westerly” i just want to stick 2 fingers down my throat……and they are some of the most popular small boats around. One day, when i am king of the entire boating world, i will have nearly every caravan , Westerly Centaur etc piled into a huge heap and crushed !. I don’t know a lot of the small mediocre GRP boats from the 70’s and 80’s at all. Couple of days back another boat blogger commented on the ‘Tort’ on ‘Aziz’ at my local yard……it used to be his boat. On his blog there is boat after boat that may or not be good starter boats that i know absolutely nothing about. Today….back to Crowhurst for a re-write.


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