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…)