Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Some Design Details of "Margherita"

1. Stowage of long items. On other Shillings I looked at there was no where to stow long items such as a boat hook except on the side deck where it would catch the sheet ropes or you would fall over it. On Margherita we made cut outs in frames 6&7 in either side of the cockpit just above seat base height to allow such items to be stowed out of the way behind the seat, under the side deck. This works really well and reduces clutter. You can see this in use, as well as fuel stowage arrangements, in the cockpit shot in my second post.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Taking Margherita Ashore for the Winter

Some of the weather in September was as good as July should have been and it went on until around mid-October.
After a final sail on 8 Oct in brilliant sunshine and gentle winds, I took Margherita out of the water the following day, using the hoist at a local marina - it is easier if more expensive!

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Building Margherita

Margherita is a "modern" wooden boat, held together largely with epoxy. The hull is cedar strip, covered in glass fibre inside and out and all of the remaining structure is marine ply and solid mahogany (or the modern sustainable equivalent!) Mast and spars are Douglas fir. and fittings a mix of bronze and stainless steel, Phil Swift, who runs Willow Bay Boats in Cumbria UK, designed the Shilling and builds them pretty much on his own. A clever man.

She is 17ft long over the deck, 19ft with the bowsprit; 6ft 6 ins wide and has a draught of 13 inches with the centre plate up and 3ft with it down. Sail area is approximately 170sqft. The lines were scaled from the Deben 4 Tonner, which originated in the 1930s on the east coat of England.

1. The hull is planked with 12mm thick cedar strip over the frames. Frames are covered in gaffer tape at this stage to prevent the hull skin sticking to them.

2. With the hull planked, it is faired using sanding boards ready for covering with glass fibre cloth .

3. The hull is filled and faired again after covering with epoxy and glass fibre, and the keels fitted

4 - 6  After inverting, the frames are removed and the inside of the hull cleaned up prior to sealing with a layer of glass reinforced epoxy resin. The frames are then glued in place and the fit out gets under way.

7. The picture of her in the water was taken minutes after the first launch. You can see that the cabin is small, but there is room for two to sleep, as well as a small cooker and lots of stowage - but no toilet other than a bucket!

September/October 2008 - Getting To Know Margherita

Margherita is my new yacht. She is a "Shilling" 17ft gaff rigged cutter made by Willow Bay Boats. A company run by Phil Swift, in Cumbria England. His workshop is in an old barn close to the edge of Lake Windermere. Phil started building her early in 2008 and I took her home on August 11th, after a test sail on the lake. I think she is a thing of beauty!

Although late in the sailing season, I launched her on 28 August on the south coast of the UK, where I belong to a yacht club and have a swinging mooring. She sails really well and looks lovely. Phil has done a great job building her and she is much admired by fellow club members and passing yachts. September and early October have been good weather-wise and I have been able to sail her for around 15 days and have slept on board for around 10 nights.

The cabin is small, but plenty big enough for one person to live and sleep; and two if sufficiently friendly. The design is clever in that the base boards of the two berths are lowered during the day to form the bottom and back of two seats that give a comfortable sitting space. There is stowage each side of the cabin and more under both the side seats and bridge deck accessed from inside. The centre plate box is low through most of the cabin (same height as the berths) and fully sealed. The plate is raised and lowered using a rope and block system in the bridge deck.

The galley is simple, with a single burner "Origo" spirit stove. I have fitted thermal insulation all around the stove to protect the boat.

Keeping the simple theme going, I have avoided hard-wired electrics in favour of dry cell battery power. For lighting I have used Osram "Dot-it" LED lamps bought in B&Q, my local hardware shop. They work OK and you can see to cook, work and read - but the light is rather cold. They are fixed to the structure with avoid drilling holes or damaging the paintwork.

The cockpit is large enough for two in comfort and three at a pinch when sailing. There are three sealed buoyancy come stowage areas and two open ones. One of the latter holds a 12 litre fuel tank and the other ropes and fenders etc.

At the end of the day, happiness is sitting in the cockpit,with a glass of red wine in hand, watching the sun go down.....