Anstruther – 430 miles

It is 230 miles from Home to the boat. I have never been that far from my main source of R and R. The miles are really starting to bite. I have discovered that if I drive at 55 I can do the distance on a single £50 tank of petrol, But if I get impatient and find myself going at 75 then  it is pretty quickly up to a tank and a half.


I left home at just after ten and got to the boat just before seven - I touched the zen - as a bloke I was at college with used to say.

I spent some time listening to the radio, some time on an MP3 book  and a fair bit of time listening to folk music and thinking about boats, family holidays around the top of Britain, tracking down a venerable yet jiggered Centaur.

I took the boat out for a sail today (sunday) high tide at about two so it was a pretty good window.

Firth of Forth - November 17 2013 Pittenween


I used the little Honda because it needed a run and there was not much wind. The engine works fine until about half revs when  it starts to froth a bit - but at half revs the boat is doing 3.5 knots.  At full blatt it will do 4.3 knots but the engine is clearly wasting energy sucking in some air. It would be wonderful to see how she did  with a long shaft 2.3 which would be deep enough to reduce the  cavitating

Honda 2.3 in 23 foot yachtmaxs speed with short shaft 2.3 hp Honda


This evening I had a walk around Anstruther - a few boats have been craned out. One of these had a seriously bent keel - bloody Nora.

bent keel 1 bent keel 3 bent keel


I then had a quiet evening afloat. I just love being on the boat and watching the light change as the natural light gives way to the sodium lights.

harbour harbour wall ropes stern view 2 waqll end assessor wooden boats boat


the Centaur project continues to amaze me the way the elements keep falling into place - however, soon after the rise comes the fall -but  I am enjoying it while it is going so well.  I spoke to one of my pontoon neighbours tonight - he sails a Hunter 272

27 foot long 2.5 tonnes - it is powered by a 9.8hp Yamaha in a well

and darn that well is close to the water line. I helped him to remove the 19hp Yamaha from the well - it is heavy but manageable for one old bloke.

When it comes to the three blokes, three days that is also falling into place. I have  been offered a day by a neighbour who used to do lots of engine swaps in boats - it was how he earned his living. He has offered to come and supervise the removing of the old engine.

So I have my three man team for prepping the space where the engine will will go.  I have also been offered the services of one of the finest Centaur anatomists alive in the UK today - this is his blog


Julian, who lives in Lincolnshire has offered some timber and a KTL sailor who lives in Harpenden has offered to source and cut some timber for me. So I think we have the teams for the three day operation

the dimensions  are pretty much there - but the the construction system might leave something to be desired. Not many people like the look of the block corners.  More miles, more folk music needed I fear.

The idea continues to upset people - this from a forum -


"The other reason is just sentimentality, such a shame to permanently disfigure such a great sea boat and also a little British classic."
and the response came....

" I agree.

I know where there is a suitable Centaur but I am not going to tell him.

As well as denying some cash strapped aspirant yotperson the opportunity to acquire something they will love and cherish it is a travesty to butcher, misuse and dump (for, at that stage it really will be worthless) such a boat after it has served its questionable purpose."

This is about Dylan Winter's Blog, Sailing around Britain. Tags:

4 Responses to “Anstruther – 430 miles”

  1. 18 November, 2013 at 8:08 pmPaul Mullings says:

    Obviously the flat earth crowd are still alive and kicking up there Dylan, that’s the trouble with visionaries like you….too much of a tall poppy lets chop him down to size!

  2. 19 November, 2013 at 10:00 pmTim says:

    I don’t agree that the modified Centaur will be “trashed” or become trash. So many good old boats languish for want of an engine that will cost more than the boats worth. If a cheeper arrangement can be proven around the North coast of Scotland then the project will be justified and the boat will, I belive have interested buyers just becase it’s a success! I had a Trident 24 and lived in fear of the engine dying, but owners were using outboards in wells and on the transom successfully. More strength to your elbow Dylan.

  3. 19 December, 2013 at 12:31 pmNeil says:

    I have the bills for the change out of the engine on my boat. £5k to remove the old and slot in a new Nanni 2.10, 60% of the price I paid for the boat! Lot of dosh but at least it is reliable.

  4. 19 December, 2013 at 1:06 pmdylan winter says:

    a wise investment I would say

    but as you also say… a lot of money

    hopefully the outboard will be reliable too – and allow me to disentangle the lobster paraphenalia when the prop gets ensnared

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