Hurley 22 Across the Atlantic

September 19, 2014 at 11:18 am

In 1996, when I was 21 and freshly returned from a years backpacking in Australia, I sailed with my father on his Trapper 500 to Stavanger in Norway from the Netherlands through the Kiel Canal into the Baltic and up through the Danish Islands and Copenhagen. We were away for 4 months.

This was in a different time, before the Internet, Kindles, iPads and MP3s. We had battery operated ‘ghetto blaster’ tape player which was used daily to listen with anticipation to the Shipping Forecast on longwave BBC World Service (for we were in the far off, mystical areas of North Utsire, South Utsire and Fisher). It was also used occasionally to play my fathers 60s hits compilations tape (just the one), and I think we’d picked up a Creedence Clearwater Revival tape somewhere too (maybe Holland?) though I soon gave up trying to inflict him with my 90s trance tapes but kept them on my tape walkman for private enjoyment when I was on watch alone.

As well as some music and the BBC World Service we also had the onboard library consisting of a few crinkly dog eared copies of Practical Boat Owner, a copy of Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (mine) and Gypsy Moth Circles the World by Sir Francis Chichester (Dads) which were all well read.

But despite this limited access to media I really don’t remember being bored. We just chatted and talked and got to know and relate to each other as adults, though we did also spend a fair amount of time amusing each other with seal impressions if I remember rightly…

Anyway, in one of these well-read PBOs I remember there being an article on fitting a Hurley 22 to cross the Atlantic (and presumably it is this that is referenced on any Hurley 22 advert on Apollo Duck or Boatshed). Sadly I no longer have the copy of PBO but I’ve found part of the article here and it still makes very interesting reading though sadly the illustration is missing.  I remember it as a cutaway drawing showing where everything was stored.

It’s interesting to me because as well as some great tips for Duet, I think this article probably seeded my desire for a Hurley 22 (though I can also remember trawling the classifieds at the back of these PBOs dreaming of a Hartley ferro cement ketch but I’ve moved on from that now!).   It’s also interesting how technology has moved on, but the cost of a Hurley 22 is about the same. It’s also very “Jester”.

(If anyone’s seen our Trapper 500 lately I’d love word.  She was called Sula and last known in Hartlepool.  We had her nearly 20 years…)

Weather Forecasting (or not)

August 26, 2014 at 3:23 pm

The weather’s turning rubbish, eh? I’ve had a few very chilly nights, and it seems every time I go out I end up beating into 20 knots of wind, regardless of what the Met Office has forecast. In fact I’m starting to grow distrustful of the Inshore Waters forecast as it seems to be often very wrong. For example for Salcombe-Plymouth I was forecast SW 3-4, but got a NW5!

Windguru seems to be more on the money though, and has the benefit of giving you 7 days and is localised. I’ve also just been recommended WeatherWeb which seems promising too…  Apparently there is a high coming at the end of next week, but it will be short lived unfortunately.

It is all very changeable though. Yesterday I saw 30 knots, while today the wind have been very light.  Looking last night I was going to try to make a dash for Fowey tomorrow morning (Wednesday). The tide is favourable after 6am (and it’s a Spring) and it’s 20 miles so should take 5 hours ish. Looking at this there is a window. The winds have moderated and would be from behind, and the wave height is lower (and this is really important for a little boat).

Apparently the Tall Ships Regatta is on in Falmouth this weekend, and it would be good to get there for that. Either that or I’ll be stuck here til next Sunday by the looks of it.

Watch this space…

I’ll be watching the weather…


Courtesy of

Beautiful Beaulieu…

April 28, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Well, I actually traded at Beaulieu Boat Jumble this weekend… (With my clothing business, not with actual boat bits.)  I got there at 6 o’clock on Saturday evening to set up, and literally within 5 minutes of getting out the van I had bought a spinnaker pole with no ends for £6.  (I subsequently found one end to fit on another stall which I exchanged for one golden nugget (£1) – so it’s very nearly even useful!)

Boat Jumbles are like that; If you think they are busy when the first boiler suited and be-oilied public rampage through the gates then you should see the 2 hours before the gates actually open.  It builds up like a crescendo of Arthur Daley types all just running about swapping outboards and propellers from one stall to another if they think they can turn a profit.

Beaulieu Boat Jumble 2014

Little do they know, most of the propellers and outboards have already changed hands 3 times by now…
(Photo stolen from

Then of course there’s the poor trunk traders who generally are less accustomed to the ways of ‘The Hustle’.  By the time they arrive, the keenest traders have been round everywhere 3 times for the best ‘deals’ and are waiting ready to pounce on the gentle folk, who just want to get a few quid for their old bits and clear a bit of space in the garage, as they open their estate cars and set up their wobbly paste tables on the grass.

So, it pretty much rained all Saturday night, and was forecast to rain pretty much all Sunday morning!  Beaulieu is amazing for bargains though and I had a big list of stuff to buy (paint was a biggie, I need epoxy, and primer, and antifoul).  Except of course I went and left the list in the van, so there were a few deviations that I couldn’t help.

Also, I was kinda supposed to be on my stall, selling my stuff… Though I had bought a spare ticket to take a mate, in the end, what with the weather I decided to go alone…  And to open my stall up late after I’d been round for my bits and pieces. Amazingly though,  a lady from the Moody Owners Association who had bought from me last year, and follows my Facebook group, actually offered to man my stall while I went shopping!  I’m not sure she expected to be left so long, and with the dog, but thank you Annie!!

I got some cracking bargains, even after opening time…  (* denotes not on list but yet irresistible):

Brand new £350 (mrp)  Gill Ocean Jacket (like this) for £40, yes £40! (Gill were selling off samples – shows you their markup!)*
2 x 2.5 litres of Hempel Gel Protect SFE200 for £50 (would have been £150 full price)
2.5 litres Hempel Tiger Xtra Antifoul for £45 (£60 full price – if you shop around)
10l water carrier £3*
5l water carrier £2*
2 stainless steel hinges for the cooker lid I have yet to make £1
A harness (so I don’t always have to wear my lifejacket) £3*
A small pressure cooker (will fit on boat stove) £8*
Big Mainsheet shackle £3*
Yellow ‘Q’ flag and French courtesy flag £8
Irish courtesy flag £2
Set of softwood bungs £4*
Small pointy wire brush drill attachment for crevices £1
Bunch of galvanised shackles £1.50*
Brass bulkhead clock £2
Brass barometer (though it turns out it doesn’t work!) £2
Stainless steel collar which *might* do for the rudder £1.50*
Storage box for screws (or something) £1*
Bundle of teak strips (ex decking lengths) £5*
5m routed teak trim for hatch £9
North Brittany Pilot from late ’90s £2 (the rocks don’t move)*
Lundy and Irish Sea Pilot (current), and South and West Coast of Ireland Sailing Directions (2008) £10*
2 lengths of 8mm Dyneema (used but useful condition) £4*
1 length of 10mm Braid on Braid (used but useful condition) £2*
6ft? bare spinnaker pole (ie no ends) £6*
1 Spinnaker pole end £1*
and, a Proctor complete whisker pole  (6ft?) £10 (bargain!)*

(Also picked up a free copy of next month’s Practical Boat Owner :-)

So, I did spend £200.  But I got a lot for it I think.  And I did sell the old paraffin stove that came with Duet to my sharkey looking neighbour for £20.  He then promptly told me he would get 80 quid for it (from the right person) …but to be honest I just wanted something towards a new alcohol stove and to clear a bit of space in the garage (and I also think ‘the right person’ for a paraffin boat stove is a rare specimen).

Rain stopped play really, and by midday the site was a quagmire.  There were a lot of empty pitches, but still clearly bargains to be had.

Verdict: A grand day of fundamental economics (and mud).

Next weekend I will be back to the interior scraping over on Portland…

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