A winter’s shed.

It’s like a winter’s tale only it takes place in the shed ; actually, make that several sheds and one of them is  in a parallel universe (NZ)

So, this is the introduction to my main series of practical posts which will take up a good half of what i’m going to be working on and writing about during the winter.  As i write, WABI”’ is back at the yard after a month at sea, cruising in the west country : i’m slowly getting all of her loose gear off and in a few days Chris will hoist her out, pop her on a trolley and i’ll get the rigs down.   After that she’s going to get centre stage right at the front of the yard…..i’d like to think it’s because she’s so pretty but it’s more to do with the fact that the trolley can usefully go round there with a boat on it.

Interestingly, right now, in the big shed at the yard is a very famous little boat that i guess most of you won’t have heard of : ‘Cooking Fat’…..a modified James Wharram design that was the smallest catamaran ever to complete a circumnavigation. She’s got a new owner now whom i met just as i got back to the yard on account of himself, Chris the boss and me lending a hand to lift the hulls onto trolleys and push each one into the big shed.  The hulls are so slim that they don’t even really take up ‘boat’ space…they fit in between other boats in the big shed.  Her new owner, another Steve BTW, has some very ambitious plans for ‘Cookie’ which, if they come off will add to her great story and be a great adventure for her new owner.


In the summer i came back from my Brittany cruise to meet up with my good friends Big Al and Nina all the way over from New Zealand ; iv’e featured their rebuilt trailer-sailer ‘Little Boat’ in the blog before and if all goes well i’ll be covering at least one of their projects at some point in the future as well.  ‘Little Boat’, in case you don’t remember is a Jim Young design which Al and Nina rebuilt and sail as their cruising boat down in the Bay of Islands but they are also well into land yachting with a couple of very quick ‘boats’ if you can call them that.  Over here we were on a bit of a mission to track down a Cornish boat called Camp Freddie, also a Jim Young design which normally lives in Falmouth….no luck so far but if anyone can put us in touch we’ll be well chuffed….gruntled even !

Little Boat.  Photo courtesy of ‘TC’

created by dji camera
created by dji camera

That’s another story though and a completely different, yet to be built, shed, as in ‘we’ll need a bigger shed’…….meanwhile, back in Cornwall…..

WABI”’ has had the benefit of 2 fresh pairs of eyes and a whole load of fresh thinking from Al and Nina while they were here so a lot of the winter series will be based on the modifications which they suggested and that iv’e been working out the practicalities of ever since.  Many visitors will know that i really like the little Liberty and that we have had a whole lot of fun with her but iv’e often said that she isn’t a powerful sailing boat and doesn’t quite have enough space……among other, minor problems of detail.  Well, our friends looked at each aspect of that and to paraphrase : not powerful enough and stable enough ? then make it more powerful…..not enough space….then make more space …..and so on.

In real time iv’e been chewing through the heavy work at home, mainly in the garden, so that i can ‘clear the decks’ so to speak so that i can get in the workshop and get on with things.   Today, in yet another day of incessant rain, i almost finished mending the driveway fence , planted the new beech hedge and another hundred bulbs.  Yesterday i shifted the nearly 2 tons of stone, all washed and sieved, back into place so i’m pretty sore and i’ll be aching in the morning.

First up in the practical posts, and hopefully new video’s, will be the second iteration of the rig project.  As i write iv’e just been discussing the new mainsail with Jeckels sailmakers and my plan is to have a new one cut specifically to work with the sprit-booms.   In the workshop already is the blank for a new sprit-boom and i know i’ll be talking about some of the practicalities of sprits as iv’e got the old mizzen sprit-boom home to mess about with the reefing system again.   WABI”’ is clean and dry inside again after having my dehumidifier in her cabin for the last 3 weeks , most of her loose gear is home, been washed and sorted and the boat is in winter yard mode…..not much aboard except coffee, mugs, tools and kettle.


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