The tall wooden mast of Cetewayo stood out from all the others at Mercury Marina on the River Hamble. David Murrin was already on board preparing the boat. We were to sea trial some new sails and tweak the rigging in readiness for the forthcoming classic yacht racing this summer on the Solent.
Classic Boat magazine had sent me to take some photos of David which I took throughout the day; it quickly become apparent how occupied he was with the boat. No sooner had I arrived than he was off to sort out the collection of the new sails. Soon crewmembers arrived with two huge spinnaker poles and these were fixed into their new deck chocks which had been moved further inboard to allow a clear deck space.
Over the next two hours I lost count of the number of hanks of rope coming up from below onto the deck. There were also rigging blocks and track carriages, many of which were covered in hand sewn leatherwork for protection.
All of the rope is of the same hemp colour, varying slightly in diameter and fleck. With so much similar rope around careful management was needed to prevent the cockpit becoming a mass of mingled ropes. On each side are placed canvas stowage bags with compartments to keep each sheet separate and easy to grab in an instant. No problem for the experienced crew, but it would be interesting to see how this works in low light or at night.
Coffee was ordered for the eight us and drunk during a crew briefing. The sea trial would involve trying out each of the sails (many were new) from the extensive wardrobe. Out on the Solent we had some light winds and the deck crew Adam and Sam were tasked with hoisting and setting the sails one by one starting with the code 0, until by late afternoon we had flown and set all three spinnakers, grabbing a sandwich in between.
Fine adjustments were being made to the running backstays and reference points marked to the finest millimetre with great precision. We only had one breakage when a block broke free from its deck fitting. In the light wind it was a relaxed sail and it was great to feel this fantastic vessel heel over and glide along. She felt good and solid and I could imagine in a bit of a breeze her weight and narrow beam would give a real thrill/be thrilling.
Cetewayo has been owned by David Murrin (Commodore of the British Classic Yacht Club) for 27 years. He discovered her abandoned in Pembroke Dock and since then has lovingly restored the yacht to her immaculate condition. She was designed in 1954 by Laurent Giles and built between 1955-7 by Morris & Lorrimar on the Clyde.
LOA is 48ft
Displacement 18 tonnes
Beam a narrow 10.6ft.
The hull is teak with a mahogany superstructure.
Beaulieu Boat Jumble 2016 - sponsored by Practical Boat Owner magazine. This is an opportunity to clear out from the loft or garage all those boating items that you thought one day would come in useful but still find them sitting there some years down the line. Beaulieu is a great location for this event and buyers come from far and wide searching for a bargain on their shopping list. It is a great way to economise on items needed for the coming boating season. An old boat never dies so there is always someone wanting to restore it or just keep it afloat and it is here that anything from a bilge pump to an engine can be bought and taken home as the photos show. Bulky items are taken back to the car by large pick up trucks. Exhibitors vary from car boot sellers with rock bottom prices to commercial stands who make it their business to dispose of chandlery items at good prices. Some of the more interesting sellers are those selling up to go off sailing or who have been in the game for some time and want to quit. Some have acquired too much unused stuff, and are making space for the next lot. One couple I met for example were clearing out to go off, firstly to the Caribbean and then to the North West Passage, so everything including the skis was up for sale. Another couple were conducting an auction: they had bought a large vessel in Ireland, taken it across Biscay and round into the Mediterranean and decided to gut it and rebuild. Neatly scattered over the ground was an interesting selection of goodies more often seen on a passage-maker-type vessel, a Furuno radar, a saltwater/freshwater maker, a refrigeration plant, large Lewmar winches, and galley equipment amongst many other items. The couple were keeping a log of all the offers made so if you asked how much for the winches, on consulting the log “we have an offer of £300 for the pair” and for the radar “£700 offered so far”. The area covered by sellers this year was the smallest I have seen it, but there did seem to be an increase in the car-boot-type sellers. Absent were those offloading huge items, which in the past would have been large diesel engines, sterndrives, P brackets, prop shafts and commercial fishing equipment. There was however one large mooring buoy complete with rusty mooring chain, the same type as used on the nearby Beaulieu River. It required two people to carry it to the pick up point for transportation back to their vehicle. Much of the stock from the commercial chandlery type stalls was still for sale at the end of the day, and some stand owners who had come from far afield were down on sales. The Classic Motor Boat Association had an impressive display of motorboats including two Chris Crafts, one of which was a lovely Barracuda. This was a kit boat for home building, it was a boat you could assemble in your garage and the one on display was reported by its owner to be the only one known to exist in the UK. There was a lovely Riva Rudy upholstered in aquamarine coloured vinyl and an unmistakable Son Levi Hydrosonic built at the Partenocraft yard in Naples, recently restored by its justly proud owner. He was so inspired by the Soni Levi Corsair that searching for something similar he found this gorgeous craft, spotted the potential, and has now restored it to perfection. It looks in appearance like a smaller version of the famous Surfury, also from the Partenocraft boatyard. My shopping list included a boarding ladder (£5), a new trailer lighting board (£5), a length of kevlar rope (50p), a fluorescent outboard engine cover (£5). Not on my list but a good buy I spotted was a beautiful set of marine watercolour prints of classic yachts all signed by the original artist. I met many boating friends throughout the day and it will be in my diary again for next year.
The Cormate T27 is one from a new range of boats to be imported from Norway by Fine-Design Marine, Poole, Dorset. The boat excels both in performance and fine quality, it happily cruises at just below 50 knots, one of the best boats that I have recently driven, suitable for the smooth operator.
Airborne off Poole for the latest March 2016 issue of Motor Boat & Yachting magazine.
A world exclusive for Seascaper.com - Lester McCarthy captures the first on-water shots, taken recently outside Birdham Pool in Chichester, the home of RBS Marine, the UK Rodman dealer. This Rodman 890 Ventura, fitted with twin 200hp Mercury outboards, is boat number one of this exciting new range and has arrived straight from the Paris Boat Show. The boat will be launched to the press this week at Gunwharf Quays.
Fairline 53 Gran Tourismo
J.P. Morgan Asset Management Round the Island Race 2015 - boats in these photos are rounding the Needles, West Wight heading towards St Catherines Point, the southern tip of the Isle of Wight. It was a perfect sunny day with over 1600 boats competing, the first boats going through the Needles Channel at around 0800 hrs. This year's race day is Saturday 2nd July 2016. The Royal Southern Yacht Club will be the mainland hub for the event, so competitors will be able to collect their tankards there instead of at Island Sailing Club's Cowes HQ.
One of the finest new boats the English Harbour 29 designed and built by Adam Greenwood.
An amazing looking boat, they don't come much cooler