Friday, 7 December 2012

Pre-purchase Survey of Westerly Storm at Marchwood, Southampton

Between 1986 and 1993, Westerly Yachts built 142 of the Storm 33. These cruiser / racers never really took off as a One Design as they had difficulty with keeping up with the lighter boats in light winds. As a cruising boat though, they were more successful as their size made them well suited to a three-cabin layout. The forward cabin is spacious, with a hand basin on the port side. The saloon has plenty of room, with more storage space than her modern equivalents. The galley on the port side is well laid out, with a large, forward facing chart table on the starboard side, just forward of the heads. The aft cabin makes very good use of the space under the cockpit sole and port-side seating. Once I had removed the numerous fenders, buckets and warps, I could comfortably fit inside the stern locker, an area where I usually spend at least half an hour of my survey time: There's always so much to inspect here, often with access for inspection of fuel tanks, stern gear, steering gear and the quality of the hull-to-deck join.

Westerly Storm 33

This Storm was one of the very early ones and she had a cast iron fin keel, masthead rig and Volvo Penta 2002. Her survey report turned out to be a bit on the dull side as there was very little about the boat that was in need of attention.

Both the current and future owner of this Storm are members of the Westerly Owners Association, the largest yacht owners' group in the World. A Westerly owner since 1995, I am also getting to know and like these boats better through my day-to-day survey work. Fieldhouse Yacht Surveys also offer an attractive discount to WOA members, so consider joining them when you are looking for a survey on your potential Westerly buy!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Valuation Survey of 1973 Tequila Sport 24

Spider Pig was sitting on her road trailer when I inspected her yesterday down at The Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham on the UK South Coast. Built in 1973, she is a quarter ton club racing yacht, built by Oivier Gibert who later became Gibsea or Gibert Marine. Under her first owner, she was named 'Ichabod', then later 'Born to Run'.

The current owners of Spider Pig are members of the Brighton Marina Yacht Club and intend to race her from there. The club's Frostbite Series that runs through January and February will most likely be their first. Judging by the bare, low profile deck and exposed cockpit of Spider Pig, the frostbite is going to reach every appendage of the five or so friends that will be crewing her.

Spider Pig, a Tequila Sport 24
Since buying her in early 2011, the boat has undergone a fairly substantial refit, with areas of the coachroof and foredeck being re-cored after the original balsa core had become rotten through moisture ingress. Her cockpit bares only a minor resemblance to the original after much of the cockpit moulding was taken out and replaced by a cleverly designed and built sandwich structure.

New cockpit of Spider Pig
A fine addition to the boat, and a great improvement over the original, is the new Jefa rudder that they had custom built. The blade profile was modelled in CAD and then CNC milled to shape and to fit around the aluminium stock. The assembly was then overlaminated with GRP and faired to give a very smooth and light rudder.

I intend to keep a close eye on the  Brighton Marina Yacht Club website in the New Year. The boat still needs a few hours spending on finishing off the re-fit, but she looks like she'll give a lot of smiles per pound and the bigger boats a run for their money.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Pre-purchase Survey of Beneteau 50 in Swanwick, Southampton, Hampshire

I had a very long but interesting day last week surveying this very nice 2001 Beneteau 50 at Ancasta Brokers in Swanwick, Hampshire. This blue water cruiser was designed by Bruce Farr and had the shoal fin keel option, giving a draft of only 1.8 metres. She was very well equipped with a Panda Fisher generator, Brunton Autoprop, bow thruster, liferaft and EPIRB. The interior was very nicely finished with cream leather upholstery and woodwork that hadn't seen too much heavy use. Similarly, the teak deck hadn't received much hard wear, although the caulking was standing proud of the planking, suggesting that successive scrubbings with a stiff broom had worn back the teak. A light sanding should rectify that pretty quickly.

Yacht Survey of Beneteau 50, Ancasta Swanwick, Southampton

A few years ago I had an excellent delivery cruise from Ramsgate to Corfu on a Beneteau similar to this. Unfortunately my berth was in the forepeak accomodation. Although very spacious and comfortable whilst on her mooring, I have vivid memories of lying on my bunk in rough seas and to occasionally find myself in mid-air as the bow slammed into the troughs. I soon relocated myself to the saloon. Here I was continually being disturbed by the change of watch, but at least my bed didn't move so much.

For details of our pre-purchase surveys, take a look at our website at Fieldhouse Yacht Surveys. Feel free to email us or telephone us to discuss your specific requirements.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Valuation Survey of 1968 SCOD in Emsworth Marina

Today I visited Emsworth Yacht Harbour in Chichester Harbour to perform a valuation survey on a SCOD, which is a traditional sloop with a carvel hull and mahogany planking on oak frames . I had arrived before The Deck Cafe in the Marina had opened, so I had the coffee and toast to look forward to after the survey.

A SCOD from Burnes of Bosham
I had previously performed a pre purchase survey on this SCOD for the current owners back in January 2011. After a fairly thorough refit, performed in part by Nick Gates of Emsworth, she was ready for her valuation survey. Built by Burnes of Bosham in 1968, she was almost the last SCOD to be built and remains in almost original condition. She has been much restored but modernised sympathetically. She was built from carvel mahogany planking on oak frames with splined topside planking. Her new paint was very well applied and her splines were well faired. Her sloop rig still had its original spruce hollow mast. She had four berths in two cabins with a sea toilet and stowage aft of the forepeak. She also had her original mahogany tender. This 8' mahogany boat was very finely made and light too.

Tender to the SCOD
I don't imagine that I'll get much time to sail out in Chichester Harbour this year, but I look forward to seeing her out there next season.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Hustler 32 Survey in Chichester Harbour

Valuation Survey in Birdham Marina

This 1999 Hustler 32 is berthed just a few metres away from Sundew, my Westerly GK24, down in Birdham Pool Marina, Chichester. The Hustlers were very spacious compared to other 32 footers of that era, yet they were fast race boats too. The fact that she has a cast iron keel with additional lead at the botyom of the keel, combined with her racy lines, suggests that this was the designer's original intention.
I have just spent the last few hours inspecting her as part of a valuation survey for her owner. She has been very well fitted out and well maintained. The inventory is certainly biased towards single-handed sailing, with a lot of attention given to safety. The only downside of the boat is that the local birdlife population must be roosting in her rigging, and on a diet of blackberries too!
valuation Survey in Birdham Marina

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Coaster 33 Yacht Survey at Itchenor

Coaster 33 Yacht Survey at Itchenor

Just writing up my report on yesterday's survey on Waveney Harrier,  a superb example of a 1975 Coaster 33. These motor-sailors were built in the 1970's, through to the late 80's, with just under fifty made in total. Like Waveney Harrier, most were ketch rigged.

She has been cruised quite extensively by her previous owners, enough for one of them to write and publish a book called 'Cruising Down Channel in the Waveney Harrier'. I bought the book on Amazon the other day, but passed it on to the current owner once I'd had a brief read of it.

Her hull and cockpit / coachroof moulding were in very good shape for a boat of this age, not surprisingly considering how sturdily they were built. The interior and exterior joinery was also of a very high standard. She had also been recently re-engined with a Lister Petter 40HP, giving the owner a quieter and more economical engine than the previous Perkins 4.108.

I was lucky enough to spend the day on this boat down on the scrubbing piles at Itchenor, near Chichester. The very nice owner and friends were on-board too, making this a very enjoyable and interesting job, and on one of the sunniest days of the year.

Take a look at page 22 of the October 2012 edition of PBO, you'll find a review of Motor Sailors, including the Coaster 33. Also included in the review are The Fisher range, various Colvic Watson boats, a Nauticat and a Northeaster.