Our “nautical” past

We have owned a few boats over the years and as you can see below we have had a selection of build problems, mechanical and water ingress problems.   However, overall, we don’t feel that we have had any more or any less problems than most other owners and we would do it all over again.

1977 to 1980: Shetland 535, “Q.E.Too”



Q E TOO was a 17′ cruiser with out board and  was a 2 berth model.  She had a GRP hull and was poered by a 15hp Mercury outboard.    We moored her on the river Great Ouse initially at Hermitage Marina near Earith, before moving on to Hartford Marina at Wyton.  She was our first boat and we spent many happy times cruising in between Kings Lynn and Bedford.   Our springer spaniel, Bob was always with us and being the inquisitive type, got himself (and us!) into a few embarrassing situations!

1980 to 1985: Fjord 27,  ” Mikarla of Welwyn”



MIKARLA of Welwyn was a Fjord 27 Selcruiser Aft Cabin model, built in 1974 to  the very demanding Det Norsk Veritas standards and powered by a single Volvo 190hp petrol engine.   She had a GRP hull and an excellent double divan  aft cabin  which was great for our two young daughters.   We slept in the forward V berth and it was very much outdoor living as the galley was in the cockpit!   We cruised her only on the Thames.  In 1986 we decided it was time to buy something a little larger and head to the sea.


1985 to 1989: Storebro Royal 34 Baltic Aft Cabin,  ” Nordic Royal”


Nordic Royal was a Storebro Royal 34′ twin screw diesel yacht, built in 1967 to the very demanding Det Norsk Veritas standards and powered by two Volvo MD29 engines of 92HP each. Her construction was mahogany planking on oak frames, carvel hull, oak keel, teak deck, mahogany superstructure and GRP coachroof. She had a very nice aft cabin which accommodated our two daughters very well. She also had a dinette (which converted to a double bed) and a forward cabin with V-berths giving 6 berths in total.   We moored her in Chichester Yacht Basin ( now Marina) and cruised her extensively in the Solent and on the south coast.   However, we soon discovered that  the Broker who sold her to us and the surveyor he recommended to us were working together and she was going to require an inordinate amount of repairs and ongoing maintenance work to keep her in prime condition and so decided to sell her and move back to a GRP hull.royal-34-layoutNordic Royal layout


1989 to 1989: Profile 33, ” Relanda”


Relanda was a Profile 33 which we ordered to be built new to standard specification and a few amendments.  She was GRP construction and powered by two Volvo 65hp diesel engines.   This time, we decided to go for a sedan model which meant no aft cabin.  However, she had a forward cabin with two V-berths for the girls and a dinette which made into a double for us.


The build turned out to be a nightmare which resulted in us having to have her surveyed before we took delivery and on the advice of the Surveyor, we rejected the boat and refused delivery.  As you can imagine, this turned into legal threats from both parties about the teems of the contract etc. etc.   However, we advised the builder that we wanted to take delivery but that we would only do so once the Surveyor was totally satisfied with the build.    By now, of course, our “love” for the boat was seriously diminished.  We eventually took delivery, moored her in Chichester Yacht Basin (now Marina)  and, perhaps influenced buy what had on gone during the build, there were many things we did not like about the boat and we decided to sell her before the year was out.


1989 to 1993: Princess 35, ” Princess Relanda”

princess-berth0037Princess Relanda was a Princess 35 flybridge cruiser, built in 1988 of GRP cronstruction and powered by 2 x 200hp Volvo KAMD41 diesel engines.  We purchased her with only 12 engine hours on the clock all of which had been  on the river Thames and we immediately moved her to Chichester Yacht Basin (now marina).


princess-layout0036She had a double berth in the forward cabin and two single bunks in a separate cabin on the starboard side.  She had a deep V hull designed by Bernard Olesinski and she was a fast boat with great sea-keeping qualities.   princess-moving                                    We cruised her extensively along the south coast and regularly across to the beautiful Channel Islands, St. Malo and the north Brittany coast.   One point worthy of note was that very early on in our ownership, we were unlucky to have a major engine failure in the English Channel when one of the engines picked up a liner and blew all of its engine oil into the bilge, resulting in engine seizure.   We limped back to Cherbourg on one engine (not a pleasant experience when you don’t have enough engine power to get a planing hull up onto the plane!). Fortunately Volvo picked up 90% of the repair bill as the engine was only 14 months old at the time.   We finally decided that we would like to try sailing so we spent the next 12 months being taught to sail then chartering various sailing yachts before buying our next boat.


1994 to 1996: Westerley Corsair, ” Sea Dawn of Dolphin Haven”


Sea Dawn was a 36′ Westerley Corsair centre cockpit sloop rig sailing cruiser, built in 1987 and owned until 1994 by Commander M.J. Perret (RN) of Dolphin Haven, Galmpton Creek, Devon.  Mr Perret owned a small boatyard there and we purchased the yacht from him and moored her in Dartmouth for 6 months before bringing her back to Gosport Marina. She had 7 berths so was a great family boat with the added benefit of having a centre cockpit which gave a feeling of added security being away from the water at the stern, which the family, in particular, liked. Her auxiliary power was provided by  a Volvo 2003 28hp diesel engine and we used so little fuel that we only topped up once each year.   She had a great forward facing navigation station down below, a dinette, galley, heads, forward cabin with V-berths and a very nice owners cabin aft, complete with en-suite heads.westerly-layout

We cruised mainly in the Solentwesterly-cockpit and western Channel venturing as far as Penzance on one extended trip.   She was a very enjoyable boat to sail with the only downside being that she was very heavy to sail which meant she was not a particularly good sail in light winds. Whilst we enjoyed our  time on Sea Dawn, we were finding that the combination of still being at work and sailing slowly severely restricted our distances so we decided to go back to a motor boat until we had more time on our hands.


1997 to 2001: Sealine F37, ” Impulse of Brighton”


IMPULSE was a Sealine F37 Flybridge 6 berth cruiser, built in 1996 and powered by two Volvo Penta KAMD42’s shaft driven engines giving a total of 460HP and a cruising speed of 15-25 knots and a maximum speed of 28 knots.  She was a comfortable and seaworthy boat with a nice turn of speed as she picked up onto the plane.   She had an excellent double divan cabin to the starboard side which was great for our two daughters. The access to the fly-bridge was by a very safe set of stairs.

2002 to 2006: Bavaria 40, ” Relanda”


Relanda was a Bavaria 40 which we ordered to be built new to standard specification with a few additions.  Her auxiliary power was supplied by a Volvo MD22L 50hp diesel engine which allowed her to make about 6 knots under power if needed. She was designed for easy single or two handed sailing using in-mast reefing for the mainsail and roller furling genoa for the headsail with all lines leading back to the cockpit.bavaria-layout-1

She was an “owners” version which in simple terms meant that she had a nice owners cabin with en-suite forward and two double cabins in the stern, a good forward facing navigation station and a large open aft cockpit with wheel steering.  Whilst we always tried to avoid heavy seas, It was quite exhilarating when the waves are running and you are so close to the water!

2007 to 2016: 

padworthIn 2007 we had both retired from work and decided to buy a Recreational Vehicle (RV) in the USA and do some travelling there so we took the opportunity to purchase sh a share in two individual syndicated narrowboats.  Both boats were 57′ Narrowboats.  “Padworth” was a self managed syndicate and had a semi traditional stern with traditional layout and “Castleber” was a managed syndicate and had a cruiser stern with “reverse” layout.20160806_144920-copy