First of all,apologies for lack of recent posts. Have been a bit busy with other things including a house move,so boatyness has taken a bit of a back seat.
The biggest news is that I’ve sold ‘seal’! Never thought i would but the desire to go sailing was greater than the desire for boat renovation!
I was very sad to see her go,if I could have afforded to keep her I would have done,but being able to keep two boats is beyond my meagre budget!
Paying for one can be a struggle at times……..
I wasn’t considering a change of boats, I took ‘seal’ on with the best of intentions and a lot of thought,time and effort was spent on her, so it was purely by chance that it came about. A quiet day at work,browsing Gumtree for boat bits,and this boat caught my eye. Pretty much ready to sail,very clean and tidy,not ‘played around with’ (No masonry paint/carpet tiles to be seen!) and at a very attractive price. I just had to view it!
A 30 minute drive after work,a row out onto the Orwell(the tide was out so initially we were rowing in mud not water) climb aboard, open the cabin and i was hooked.
It was a ‘no-brainer’ really,for once in my life my head ruled my heart. I could buy this boat and be out on the water straightaway if i chose to,the cash i had to add to whatever i sold ‘seal’ for would have just about paid for a used mainsail for ‘seal’ if i could find one. This boat needed very little doing,any work would be what i wanted to do,not what i HAD to do. Economics and time considerations were my prime motivation to change boats.
Selling ‘seal’ was not an easy decision to make,i would have loved to have finished her and sailed her,but alas,it was not meant to be.
Paid a deposit there and then,didn’t want to miss this one. Joined the brilliant Leisure owners association the next day(£6 a year,what an absolute bargain!) and put ‘seal’ up for sale immediately.
So,here we are,the ‘new kid on the block’ is a 1979 Leisure 17. Not got the heavyweight construction of the Kingfisher but still quite a well made little yacht,and they made over 3000 of them so they must be quite good!
She’s in good shape for a 35 year old and as far as I can tell,all original. There are (and never have been) any ‘added extras’. No electrics,cooker,sink,toilet or instrumentation,not even a compass. The interior is superb with hardly a mark anywhere,the cushions look and feel barely used. A couple of window rubbers weep a little in heavy rain,but easily cured with a bit of sealant.
Externally it’s all original gel coat which will clean/polish nicely. There are a couple of very small chips in the cockpit gel coat,and a slightly iffy looking repair around one chain plate.
The red topsides are a little tired and will be painted in the spring when I take her out of the water for anti-fouling etc.
Most of the running rigging has been replaced,the standing rigging looks good and the sails have got plenty of life left in them.
I was even given the original invoice/ bill of sale from when she was new in early 1979.
I believe I’m possibly only her 3rd owner!
She’s a real blank canvas,it’s a lovely feeling knowing i haven’t got to spend a massive amount of time rectifying other peoples attempts at ‘improvements.
‘Seal’ took about a month to sell,which i didn’t think was too bad,although i advertised her at a bargain price and lost money on her.
I had a great deal of interest,but a huge number of timewasting,piss-taking idiots as well. I’m afraid it goes with the territory of cheap boats. One guy even asked if it would pull a water-skier! Another offered 25% of the asking price.
Eventually though the right person came along and a deal was done.
The new owner is very enthusiastic about the work to be done and I think he’ll do a good job finishing what I started and probably quicker than I would have done it!
So there we have it,I’ve got a sailable boat at last!
I’ve had one sail of her already,Ipswich to Harwich although there were a few teething problems!
The forestay was excessively slack,so much so that the boom was hitting the backstay. The boom roller reefing was seized up and the boom itself was fitted/clamped too high so it was impossible to set the mainsail correctly.Have since sorted these few problems so hopefully the next sail will be easier!
Got a list of jobs(other than cleaning/minor repairs) I want to do over the winter ready for the spring including
1,Fitting basic 12v system for interior/Nav lights and instruments.
2 Fit compass/depth sounder
4,Fit single burner stove(for tea making!) and galley storage.
Nothing major,just little things to make days/nights out that little bit nicer.
This poor man WILL be sailing!