South Dock 19th January 2014
I went to the Boat Show out of habit really. My expectations were very low. Last year the day out was made worthwhile because the show was linked to the outdoor show. The combination worked well with good stands in the Outdoor Show selling binoculars, cameras, decent clothing and bikes. This year the other show was the Telegraph Cruise Show. Zero interest from me I’m afraid.
However, the start of the show wasn’t too bad at all. Firstly the trip there was fun. We went by boat from Greenland Pier (next door!) and took the cable car across the river. A great trip but a bit pricey. Tarik from Rotamarine had kindly given us two free tickets so that was an excellent start. We entered the hall and turned right and enjoyed our stroll down the aisle chatting with various stand holders until we reached the Adventure Cruising Corner. This was the best bit of the show. We went to two talks. Tom Cunliffe was hysterical the way he was slagging off all the AWB’s. I’m surprised the organisers didn’t throw him out. Then came Will Stirling who gave three shorts talks about his trip to the magnetic North Pole, his amazing “new” boat yard in Plymouth, and his dinghy sailing trips out to lighthouses. These adventurous dinghy trips suited his desire for adventurous sailing yet without taking up too much precious time.
Will has sailed around Spitsbergen, right the way around it, which is quite a feat and we had a good chat. As it happens he is currently renovating Vertue V111 (Tom Thumb). This sounds like a fine all teak Vertue built to Lloyds A100 specification. His client is keen to have everything in top order without it brimming with technical gadgets. It sounds like the yacht will be going on some adventures once the work is all finished. Will came down to have a look at Sumara and we had a grand evening together chatting about Vertues. Tom Thumb has a deck stepped mast so the layout inside is quite different to Sumara but we swapped information about cockpit locker drains (I’m rather proud of mine!) and teak decks.
I heard from two other Vertues this week. A chap called Greg Currie dropped me an email to say he owned Vertue V162 in Australia and was keen to see Sumara when he visits London in February. I shall look forward to that.
I sent Adrian Morgan a copy of our theatre catalogue as I had read in Classic Boat that he is an avid fan of the Axminster Catalogue. I received a nice acknowledgment and an invitation to sail in company with Sally – Vertue V2 the next time we are on the West Coast of Scotland. Well sadly that will be a few years away with the Russia Trip being next on the list.
Update on Tom Thumb 2nd August 2021
The Vertue Tom Thumb had a little bit of storm damage a few years back and Tim and Dan from Johnson and Loftus Boatbuilders in Ullapool put in back in order. Joe sailed it up to Ullapool but put his gas camping stove on top of the Taylor Paraffin cooker because he has an aversion to paraffin cookers. He then sent Will a picture of the set up to wind him up! Tim speaks highly of the owner who sounds like a very interesting character. I believe Tom Thumb is currently moored in Craobh Marina.