Monday, 16 November 2015

Scottish boat delivery and AGM

A couple of months ago, Simon took on the lovely task of towing a new Lugger trailer to Kincardine to meet its new owner, while there, he drove onto Elie to collect a Lugger for refurbishment. We then had the task of finding time to take the Lugger back once the work was completed.

Having met Bob Heasman at London Boat Show earlier in the year, I mentioned that if we had the chance to, we would love to make the AGM.

So here comes my brainwave, let's deliver the boat back to Elie, and stay on for a few days. Easy, I emailed Bob with the good news, to then have an email back from a Dabber owner, asking if we could price to take his boat back to our yard, along with pricing for some work to be done on her. Well I guess it does make the trip more worthwhile.

So Friday 13th and we leave home at 4.30am, arriving at the yard and hitching the trailer up, all ready to leave at 5.05am (I can see this is going to a very long trip).
It was very dark when we left
Once we were on the road, I wondered how Simon could drive that distance without falling asleep, as I know I was nodding off many times. We had a couple of stops, and then finally we finally crossed the boarder into Scotland.

Finally in Scotland

Once over the border, the views we saw were lovely, until it started to sleet, followed by snow, the temperature gauge went from 8 degrees to zero during our journey, looking over to the fast lane, it was clear of traffic, only the snow was laying on the ground, something I haven't seen for a few years.

We finally arrived at the farmers farm about 4.00pm, only to be caught in a horrendous rain storm, we moved the trailer and the boat into the barn, and went to over her up, it was then that I saw there was another Drascombe Lugger in the barn, knowing that I collect HIN numbers, I went to the stern to have a look, and I couldn't believe it, the one I saw was McN 065 and the one we had just brought back was McN 066, what are the chances for that?

The Lugger finally back home

We left the farm and headed to Broughty Ferry, which was where we were staying for the two nights. I have to say, I picked a nice place to stay.
Saturday was a day to have a look around Dundee, so we got a taxi into town and had a leisurely walk around, It is just like being back home, but we did find that it had far more independent little shops, which is really good to see. We especially liked JA Braithwaite Ltd, which has been selling tea and coffee since 1868, I think we have a long way to go to be trading that long.
The amazing large church, which looked bigger than Winchester Cathedral caught my eye, along with the five penguin figures on the wall outside it.
A snack lunch was taken in Tickety Boos, a lovely little pub, with very friendly staff, and the best hot chocolate I have had in a long time.
Soon it was back to the B&B, change and head off to the Royal Tay Yacht Club, this was where the Scottish AGM was being held. The AGM was a small gathering of about 20 local members, John Stanage the Chair of the DA was there from Ireland, and it would appear that we travelled the furthest. It was lovely to be made so welcome by the members and owners of these lovely boats, the first time you go somewhere new it is always with anticipation, however we had no need to worry.

Niall Wardrop chaired the meeting, and dates and locations were set for the following years rallies. It was mentioned about having the Scottish Drascombe Association present at the Scottish Boat Show in 2016, and this is where I spoke of the possibility of Churchouse Boats having a stand at the show, we have heard only good things of this boat show, so we shall be looking into this with the help of Niall, Graham and Bob.
I also took the opportunity of reminding the members that in 2017, it is the 50th anniversary of Drascombes, and again would they look at which one of their rallies they would like to have as a 50th anniversary event. This was agreed, and again we will work with them to get non members along to the events too.
After the AGM, we went into the dining room for supper, the food was splendid, and even the chef come out for us to say Thank You too.

Chatting after a lovely meal
We retired to the bar afterwards, for more drinks and lots of talking. Soon, it was time to leave as we were heading back in the morning. It certainly was a good idea to make the effort to travel 500 miles to attend the Scottish AGM, it was nice to put faces to names, and meet new people, along with building bridges.
Sunday morning we head to Bob and Margaret Heasman's to collect Nokomis from their place, as this is the one we are bringing back for some work. Again a horrible wet day, but is should be quicker as it is all down hill!!
Ready to go back home

We said our goodbyes, and head off with some home made flapjacks (and very nice they were too), this was another very long and slow journey, no snow this time, but idiots who drive with no lights on are quite annoying. Again, I think I nodded off on many occasions, but it was nice to start seeing the familiar road signs knowing we were getting closer to home.
Again, we arrived home about 12 hours after we left Scotland, If I say I am going to Scotland again towing a boat, will someone please remind me of the long drive it can be. Credit to Simon for all of the driving.
What did I enjoy, well I have never been to Scotland before, and it may have been such a short trip, but the people we met and talked too really made it for me.
But overall, the highlight was on our way home I had an email from Bob, and he had attached one of his drawings for me, that really meant a lot to me, and I shall be framing it for my office wall, Thank you Bob, you are a true gent.
Thank you Bob, this is brilliant.
Well, that is nearly it for this year, after the Chichester Super on the 27th November, I will do an update of my year, and what I have planned for next year.
Bye for now xxxx


Monday, 9 November 2015

Drascombe Dabber Refurbishment

A few weeks ago we were contacted by a Drascombe owner, who said that she had a Drascombe Dabber, and was wondering what the cost to refurbish her would be, as she was very keen to get her on the water and learn to sail in her.
After a few exchanges of emails and telephone calls, Simon and I, along with Lauren and Kyle went to visit the owner, and give our opinion on suggested work and costing's.
Upon our arrival, we loved the setting of where the little Dabber was situated, just on the Thames with lots of places to take the boat too up and down river.

As you can see, a broken mainmast is just one of the items which will be replaced.
Simon and Martin have been and collected her, and she will be coming into the workshop this week for us to start.
We will take photos and update through the refurb, as it will be lovey to see her once she is finished.
Also, it will give us a chance to show off what Martin and Simon can do with an old boat, to make them look appealing again.
 The Dabber is nearly ready to be delivered back

After a few weeks with us, the dabber is now nearly ready to be taken back to its owner.

When Simon and Martin bought the boat back to the yard, the first job was to give her a good clean all over, as she had been sat in the water for a very long time.

After a wash

Once she was cleaned up, Simon noticed that she was suffering from Osmosis, this is caused by the boat sitting for a very long time in the water, and not being taken out and cleaned. Sadly this meant that the work was going to be not as easy as first thought.

Osmosis on the bottom of the Dabber

Once we spoke the owner, our advice was to sand back the gel coat on the underwater part, and treat her with some specialist paint. The owner agreed to the work, so Martin was back working on the Dabber again.

It was lovely every time I went into the workshop, as I could see a difference in the boats appearance, you get a sense of achievement with the work carried out by Martin and Simon.

After several layers of paint

With the Dabber it is easier to work on, as it can be turned over in the workshop, rather than having to lie on the ground working.

New Keel plank added

We replaced the keel plank as the previous one had just rotted away. With the new antifoul being applied, the bottom of the boat looks like new now.

What a transformation, all what is left to apply now is the name, sadly the end of the day arrived, so Martin will apply the names just before she goes to her owner this week.

Just so you have an idea of the work carried out, this is the complete list of works.

  • Supply and fit new mast
  • Remove old mast thwart, fit and supply new mast thwart
  • Rub down and treat all hull joinery
  • Deep clean the hull and joinery
  • Supply and fit new tiller extension
  • New set of ropes
  • Small gel coat repair
  • One belaying pin
  • Service Bilge pump
  • New names
  • New mast band
  • New rigging
  • Sand back gel coat and treat with specialist paint
  • Supply and fit new keel plank
In early spring, we shall go up and rig her for the owner as well as launch her. Photos will be taken and put on here as a finish to this project.