Archive for the ‘Vertues’ Category

Another Vertue Spotted – Mea V89

Monday, August 1st, 2016

During my rather too short summer holiday whilst in West Mersea I spotted this fine Cheoy Lee built Vertue called Mea. Andrew, the friendly driver of the club launch, also pointed to another Vertue moored a few cables away but I can’t recall the name. Mea was built in 1959 of teak on ipol frames with a lead keel. In 1966 she was fitted with a Volvo MD1 diesel engine. I wonder if it is still chugging away! The boom is described as short, presumably because she has no bumkin. The Cheoy Lee Vertues do seem to last a long time, I expect this one will easily see out 100 years.

Vertue Mea V89

Vertue Mea V89

Mea V89

Mea V89

Vertue Spotted (Number V210)

Saturday, May 28th, 2016
Cilix V208 moored in Troon

Cilix V208 moored in Troon

23rd May 2016
Just after we arrived in Troon Harbour a nice varnished boat arrived. It was a Vertue called Cilix. She was built in Holland in 1993 from green oak frames and iroko planking. Alan was the owner and he had sailed from her base on the River Fal in Cornwall. Alan will be sailing around the West Coast of Scotland over the summer. The boat has some lovely features including some bespoke bronzework.. She has a bumkin, slutter rig and deck stepped mast. Alan explained how he can unstep the mast by himself, or at least without a crane. Certainly something I can’t achieve with Sumara’s keel stepped mast.
Keep an eye open for her if you are sailing the Scottish Islands this summer.

The End of the Sailing Season for Sumara

Monday, October 12th, 2015
Sumara ashore in Harry Kings Yard

Sumara ashore in Harry Kings Yard

I’d arranged to have Sumara hauled out at the end of September. Of course it was sod’s law that the first few weekends in October have been warm and sunny with a gentle sailing breeze. At least the sails were packed away nice and dry. She will winter in Harry Kings Yard at Pin Mill. I like it there.

Notes from the East Coast – London to Wrabness

Monday, July 20th, 2015

After a hectic year it was with some relief that we were able to slip out of South Dock on a late Sunday afternoon tide with two weeks of sailing ahead. There were no exciting voyages planned just a bit of gentle sailing around the muddy waters of the Thames Estuary. The tide kicked in as we waved goodbye to London’s Canary Wharf.

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf

 

 

 

 

One tide will get a small yacht down to Southend so long as you don’t hang around. The flood will then help you into the Medway where Queenborough

awaits as a handy overnight stop. I hadn’t realised that the all tide landing had been revamped so we picked up a buoy. The Sheppy launch came over to collect £12.00 from us (£18.00 alongside). We intended to stay the next day but a poor weather forecast prompted us to whizz across the estuary to Pyefleet to avoid getting “holed up” for a few days. The Thames was empty, not a yacht in sight, which is amazing considering it is so close to London. Once again the late tide meant a night time arrival and inevitably it involves scraping over the swatchways with little water under the keel. We entered the River Colne and dropped the sails off Brightlingsea. I prepared the anchor as we crept up the creek under power, there being too little water to attempt entering Brightlingsea. Stupidly checking the little illuminated chartplotter rather than the dark chart led us promptly into a very sticky mud bank while in theory being surrounded by 2.2 m of water. Nothing would shake Sumara out so we pumped up the dinghy, threw in the aluminium Fortress anchor and a long warp and I tossed it over in deeper water to avoid the brisk breeze blowing us further onto the bank. With a bit of time and a bit of winching we eventually swung around and began to float. I hauled up the kedge, found a bit of deeper water and laid the Rocna out for the night.

A Twister in Pyefleet Creek?

A Twister in Pyefleet Creek?

 

Pyefleet is a very peaceful spot, well it was once we had stopped frigging about. Even with many yachts it seem very remote. We spotted what looked like a Twister hauled out on the south bank. After breakfast we waited for a bit of flood before mooching into Brightlingsea. We were here last year and it was a bustling little town with children lining the jetties crabbing and people swimming in the outdoor pool and the sea. There were queues at the ice cream shops and the chippies but this time there wasn’t a soul around. Apparently the schools haven’t broken for the holiday and until they do the town remains on standby. I preferred it busy. The weather wasn’t great so we went for a drizzly walk along the river bank. it occurred that it might be nice to walk to Wivenhoe. We asked directions from a lady being walked by her dog who told us it was not possible to walk to Wivenhoe. Armed with her inspirational answer we marched onwards determined to prove her wrong. Sadly she was right but that wasn’t going to stop us. We diverted up along a creek until we hit a main road and then walked along the pavementless road for what seemed like 8-10 miles. Why is it so many country roads don’t have pavements? We almost caught a train at one point but pushed on to eventually arrive at a splendid pub by the river at about 7pm.

Wivenhoe Pub

Wivenhoe Pub

 

 

 

East coast boats certainly have more “character” than those on the South Coast. We admired some of them over our beer before catching the bus back to Brightlingsea.

 

Outside the Wivenhoe Pub

Outside the Wivenhoe Pub

 

 

 

Some "characterful" East Coast Boats

Some “characterful” East Coast Boats

 

 

 

 

 

The next day we set off for Wrabness. The wind died en route so we started the engine. By some weird fluke I decided I would have a look at the engine, something I often do when motoring through calm patches on ocean crossings but not normally on little trips like this as I always check the engine before setting off. I lifted the cover only to find the diesel fuel pipe had come adrift and was squirting diesel onto the hot exhaust. It only took a few minutes to repair but I wonder why I decided to look at the engine just then? Our friend Peter has a caravan and his yacht at Wrabness. The caravans come with a mooring and a very fine mooring it is too. We picked up a vacant one having been assured it has been empty for ages. For years Wrabness has been a quiet sleepy place loved only by those who live there or happen to be lucky enough to have a beach hut or caravan there. That changed slightly last year when Grayson Perry built his special house in a nearby field with beautiful views across the Stour.

Wrabness Caravan Site with Grayson Perry's House

Wrabness Caravan Site with Grayson Perry’s House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grayson Perry's House

Grayson Perry’s House

 

 

Despite its new fame Wrabness remains a wonderful place with gorgeous walks along the river and through the woods. We visited the community shop which has a café and on some evenings a bar too. Inside the café are works by the local art group on the wall. They look like paintings that people have really enjoyed doing as part of the community. Next to the shop we were admiring a little railway garden when we met the artist who created a “Four Seasons” painting to brighten up a corner. It would be nice to think that the new famous artist has maybe inspired the locals to enjoy their painting. If you moor at Wrabness be sure to visit the garden and shop. I picked up a book called “No need for a Boat” by Peter Caton about tidal islands. I instantly bought the book because I enjoyed his Essex Walks book so much. A great shop.

Wrabness Railway Garden

Wrabness Railway Garden

 

Wrabness Garden Picture

Wrabness Garden Picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be continued – Wrabness to Woodbridge

Sumara gets some TLC

Sunday, April 26th, 2015
Sumara Varnished up to the Rubbing Stake

Sumara Varnished up to the Rubbing Stake

I seem to be more pushed for time than ever, not helped by the fact that we have entered the very hilly Stroud Marathon on 10th May. Nevertheless, Sumara needs looking after and anything to save time is going to be a big help this year. I can actually varnish the hull up to the strake in just two hours. Sanding takes about the same time using a Festool Rotex connected to a Festool extractor. So I can easily get these tasks out of the way before going into work. The thing that takes the time is

where the varnish has failed and that is always on the margin boards and the odd bit on the top of the coach roof. To get a build up on the damaged patches of six coats of Epifanes varnish, waiting a day and sanding between each coat was going to zap up too much time so I have opted for Epifanes Rapidclear which dries fast enough to get two coats on a day and, most usefully, doesn’t need sanding between coats. Now I have achieved the build up I will sand all the upper brightwork and slap on a coat of Epifanes gloss varnish. (Rapidclear is not a full gloss varnish). Ideally I would give it two coats of gloss but that won’t happen so I have promised myself to give the margin board an extra coat one day at anchor – that probably won’t happen either!

While I was working on Sumara yesterday Marcus de Mowbray called through the fence. Marcus is the grandson of Jack Laurent Giles. He came into the yard the take some pictures. On Sunday while I was working in Arthur Beale’s Arthur de Mowbray called in buy some bronze rudder pintles. Arthur is the other grandson of Jack Laurent Giles! Arthur makes amazing dug out boats amongst other creations.

Sailing plans for Sumara this year are very modest. I feel like some very gentle East Coast pottering, catching up with some friends who have boats at Wrabness and Walton on the Naze. Last year we really enjoyed our fleeting visit to Brightlingsea and will be happy enough just mooching around. I am hoping to base Sumara at Woolverston on a swinging mooring so I can make use of those rare weekends. Having Sumara in London right outside the house is handy in some ways but hopeless for weekend sailing as the combination of tides, weather and lock opening restrictions conspire against a simple weekend sail. Hopefully the new location will ensure I get sailing whenever a spare day is available.

 

More Vertue News! V61 and Vertue 11 V14

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

 

2nd February 2014

One day I’ll learn to use this WordPress program properly and then I’ll try to organise all the information regarding Vertues in a nice list with all the sail numbers. In the meantime I’m afraid its all a bit random.

A fine steel Vertue called "Virtue" V61

A fine steel Vertue called “Virtue” V61

Last week I got a nice email from Ben Deveson in Holland who has just purchased V61 called “Virtue”. Unusually she is built of steel and believed to be one of three. I had a look in the “Blue Book” and two are listed as being built in 1954 by Hitters and Proost, Netherlands (V61 and V64). There is no mention of V62 or V63 so maybe there are three steel Vertues. The sail number in the “Blue Book” is H331. She looks like great a testament to Dutch steel boatbuilding. Ben is keen to get her sailing as soon as all the other yachts penning her in the shed have been launched. He will then sail her to his mooring by his house in Badhoevedorp for some minor upgrading before embarking on some adventurous cruising the following year. The boat still has her original cotton sails! Hopefully we will meet up when Sumara returns from St Petersburg in 2015/16.

Last week I met Philip who owns Vertue 11 V14 called Corina. Corina is currently moored snuggly in Dover sheltering from the appalling weather. Last year we sailed together across the Channel and Corina beat Sumara by quite a distance. As Corina is having a new set of sails this year I think I shall decline any future racing although hopefully a bit of East Coast Cruising may be possible without undo embarrassment.

We both went to a talk by Robin Knox-Johnston on the Cutty Sark. They have built an 80 seat theatre inside the ship. We weren’t too impressed when he proudly announced that he shot a shark for no apparent reason other than sharing the same sea. Nevertheless everyone seemed to enjoy the talk. I can’t honestly say that I did.