Port Dinorwic Centaur – the slow death of Ana Sira

This place http://www.portdinorwic.co.uk/ has half a dozen yachts going up for auction. Ebay 28th Feb Among them is this Centaur





she has the right rudder and is the A layout

the keels look okay




it has dead instruments



the roof has been badly relined


the hatches have been off so it is full of water






Roger the UK's best known Centaur anatomist says this

just looked at those pictures of the blue one posted on YBW.com. Having found the majority of the internal ply structure on mine to be rotten i'd take a screwdriver and knife to check for rot in the half bulkheads and bearers that the internal moulding sits on.

Personally speaking I wouldn't touch that Blue one with a barge pole unless i was paid to take it away (in the region of a grand,) its just not worth it knowing the damage that that volume of water can do. Although its interesting to see the keel joints are 100% watertight, i just dont know why you'd let a boat get to that state of disrepair.

 Theres better boats out there that are less aggro.


However, the good thing is that I know it does not leak - so there is a good chance that the keels are fairly well attached
would anyone be prepared to take a better look at this boat for me
Get some better snaps of the inside
Is the engine worth anything at all?
how badly rotted is the wood
I am hoping that something better does come up
in the meantime.... if it is cheap enough then it might pass muster

I sent an enquiry in

got this reply
I enquired and got this email from some-one called Gareth Cleaver at


Hi Dylan - this boat, along with half a dozen others will be put on e-bay on 28th February.  We have to conduct an open sale.  If you wish to pursue this you are welcome to make a bid for her on ebay.
Thanks for your interest.

the sails will be in bad nick after five years exposed to the weather

I am hoping that something better will turn up

but it would not do any harm to learn a bit more




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40 Responses to “Port Dinorwic Centaur – the slow death of Ana Sira”

  1. 4 January, 2014 at 9:56 pmDavid says:

    And the best of British luck! You’ll need it if you get it!

  2. 4 January, 2014 at 10:46 pmdylan winter says:

    it does look pretty horrible doesn’t it?


  3. 5 January, 2014 at 1:22 amSean says:

    I was with you on this until the 8th picture down. Then shivers went through me as I looked through the rest. So sad that it’s been left to get like this. I think this boat might actually delay your journey. Anything that looks that bad in picture will be even WORSE in person. And any time spent on something that can’t work is time you could have spent locating something that can work. Imagine the time and liability this boat could saddle you with when you find the terrible hidden surprises–and you know you will. I love a diamond in the rough as much as the next man, but I’m not sure there’s anything here you WANT to discover. Best suggestion: do anything you can to forget about this poor decrepit beast and keep looking for another.

    Best of luck!

  4. 5 January, 2014 at 8:43 ammartin says:

    hi Dylan I have been following your plight to find a centaur I required a pageant last year last year and find it quite roomy only 3 foot shorter.I was wondering if you have looked at http://www.andyseedhouseboats.co.uk as there are a few cheep boats there

    keep up the good work

  5. 5 January, 2014 at 8:57 amdylan winter says:

    I very nearly bought a Pageant – but was deep in inboardophobia at the time – Centaur is the one for me

    as for Andy Seedhouse – he is a wonderful man and he is on one of my films about Woodbridge – but he strips every last fender, warp, anchor and bit of string from the boats he sells

  6. 5 January, 2014 at 10:42 amHenrik Scheel says:

    Hi Dylan It looks to me like you are trying to buy a 7.000 GBP boat for 2.000 GBP and at the same time hope to find one which do not require much maintenance. You are not a maintenace man you say in your videos.

    It is not a realistic benture. You may be lucky to find one at 5.000 GBP but if this is not within your budget, maybe you should consider increasing the budget or adapt your preferences. Another thing to consider is a trade in of you current Hunter.

  7. 5 January, 2014 at 11:16 amdylan winter says:

    not going to sell the hunter

    too good – too perfect to sell

    as for raising the price I am prepared to pay….

    we shall see. I have time on my side

    but if I can find a £5,000 Centaur for £2,000 I shall be very happy

  8. 5 January, 2014 at 2:26 pmBob Stenbom says:

    I’ve learned the hard way that first cost is least cost in these ventures and even more importantly that the time involved to bring these resurrection projects to completion is abominable. I fear this could result in “Keep Turning Left” could become “Stop Turning Left” for a longer period than you would like if the project list is too long.

    In my opinion, given what you have chronicled so far for the English Coast, the Scottish Tourism Board should give you a suitable boat to use on this part of your voyage and get you on your way as quickly and safely as possible this season. Since following your journeys, I have realized there is so much more to see on your wonderful island than the usual tourist fare (London and surrounds) I have crossed the pond to see in the past.

    That said, good hunting as you go forward. Nothing is more fun than boat searching (and dreaming) in the off season.

  9. 5 January, 2014 at 3:21 pmdylan winter says:


    you are correct on all points. I am hoping that I can find a better candidate for my adventure into yacht surgery. They are out there – she is calling to me – I just need some-one to help her reach out.

    the most sensible thing to do would be to just borrow £10,000 from the bank and buy a well looked after Centaur with a reliable engine…. but if my dad discovered that I had borrowed money for something as indulgent as a yacht he would be spinning in his grave.

    Of course it will be a cold day in hell before the Scottish Tourist board pays an Englishman to do such a job. They would be going for swinging kilts, tossed cabers, peated scotch and gobbled haggis.


  10. 5 January, 2014 at 5:43 pmHenrik Scheel says:

    Why dont’ You try to make an internet financing solution? Give your members an option to pay e.g. 50 GBP via Paypal. If you get 60 payments of 50 GBP it would give you 3.000 GBP which would make the 5.000 GBP boat more realistic, and make it possible for ‘the saga’ to continue?

  11. 5 January, 2014 at 5:55 pmdylan winter says:

    getting the begging bowl out for something as self indulgent as a yacht seems a bit cheeky and makes me uncomfortable. Selling dvds or downloads feels like a proper thing to do. The right boat is out there in the back of a yard, she is calling me, I just have to find her and take her on an adventure… she will turn up…. I have until the end of march before falling back onto plan B or C

  12. 5 January, 2014 at 6:04 pmHenrik Scheel says:

    Off course You can look as it as begging. But for Your members it would be a chance to ‘pay for the show’. Its a fair payment I think considering the price on cable TV per month etc. Keep it as an option, remember the internet is pioneering in a lot of ways. To finance a boat by crowd funding would be cool.

  13. 5 January, 2014 at 11:02 pmDavid says:

    Hi Dyl,

    I hope I am wrong but I believe your only realistic chance is a donor. Even a wreck of a Centaur with rampant osmosis is probably worth much more than your budget – probably approaching what Katy L is worth. Not wishing to be negative but…

    Westerly Centaurs are still very highly regarded (I am not an owner) and people are prepared to take wrecks on and re-engine, reupholster and fit out because they are so bullet proof.

    I agree with your motive and I wish you the very best of luck. Think it would be great to do this journey with your family, but really think that you are being a little unrealistic about choice of boat / price ratio. How about something cheaper like a Macwester? A good Centaur is worth more than Katie!


  14. 5 January, 2014 at 11:17 pmdylan winter says:


    you might be right…. I failed to buy the boat in Southampton because I did not have the funds in place – that went for £1750 – A layout, spade rudder. Another engineless one went for £800. There is one in Wales for £3K. The boats are there – sitting unused – the bills are piling up. I have three months before plan B and C slip into place. No rush. Time will tell.

  15. 6 January, 2014 at 8:37 amoldfatgit says:

    Dylan, why not crowd fund on the basis that you repay as much as you are able when you sell. In other words sell shares in the boat which you buy for a reasonable sum, do up, sail the Shetlands, Cape Wrath and south as far as suits, then do up a bit more, sell and repay what you can? You needn’t guarantee an increase in value just a fair share on what she sells for. Now, you will probably have to compromise on the engine, as one with a working and reliable inboard will sell easier than one with an engine well, however, your bad experiences with the Slug are most likely due to that installation and engine and won’t necessary be repeated with a good Centaur.

  16. 6 January, 2014 at 9:45 amdylan winter says:

    When I started there was not that much sailing material on youtube – now there are lots and lots of excellent films on there. I blog about them myself.

    Guessing how many people are following the journey is hard to judge – around 10,000 occasional youtubers

    2,000 loyal youtubers who watch every film – but youtubers are very flakey people

    KTL has 1200 former subscribers – 250 current subscribers at $4.99 a pop – Paypal and VAT reduce that to around $3.50

    Amazon costs for serving the films to subscribers are running at around $80 a month.

    The DVDs do better – I have sold nearly 100 sets of KTL 4 and 5 at $25 each – I make about $15 on each one after repro, post, jiffy bags, inserts, cases and VAT – useful revenue but not enough to buy a Centaur.

    so there are perhaps 350 people who are keen enough on KTL to buy in as opposed to just watching with interest on here, the forums and on youtube with the nag screens. For a while I did have a donate button – it made me uncomfortable and earned zip-all anyway.

    Oddly enough, two years ago when “The Beast” was giving me mega-gyp – (bad enough to make me consider throwing in the towell) I did get some donations – enough to get it going again. I think those were blokes who loved old single cylinder engines.

    Journalism is still my main source of income – some sailing – some other types. However, sailing is the passion. I have never enjoyed my sailing more than I am now although with the boat in Sciotland and me in Buckinghamshire I do not feel like a sailor between trips up the M1.

    One of the reasons for not spending a lot of money on a good boat is that there are so many wonderful little drying harbours I want to get into and some beaches and creeks to explore. Those Scottish harbour walls are really aggressive and a decent swell could turn a £10,000 Centaur into a £5,000 Centaur overnight.

    I am also really worried about the lobster pots. I do not know if the firth of Forth is worse than elsewhere but their 1 litre oil cans and polyprop lines are the giddy limit. I have three m onths to find a boat – if I have to dig deeper to find one then so be it. Shorter term the POLO has gone zip so I need to find another clunker to replace it.

    I still have plan B and Plan C


  17. 6 January, 2014 at 1:34 pmDavid J says:

    Plan D: Rent a cottage in Scotland in reasonable proximity to the coasts. Your family (and you) would have a shoreside base that doesn’t require long commutes. Then you could take your family members (and dog) in various combinations for various lengths of cruising without inciting calustrophobia-induced mutiny. And, if Katie L is up to the sailing conditions, you wouldn’t need a Centaur at all.

  18. 6 January, 2014 at 1:40 pmdylan winter says:

    Your Plan D is a good one

    for a while it was my plan B

    but it is not cost free

    three months in a cottage over the summer….

    it would cost at least £1,000 a month for a holiday let – probably more

    petrol for commuting from cottage to the boat…. Scotland is a big place

    mercator lies about how big it is

    and they would be deprived of the pleasure of sleeping in quiet anchorages

    they all know that they are free to jump ship at any time – as long as they take the dog with them

  19. 6 January, 2014 at 3:58 pmPhil Sitch says:

    Stick to your plan Dylan, I expect more Centaurs with be up for sale in the Spring, especially when bills for storage start dropping through the post!
    Good luck.

  20. 6 January, 2014 at 5:11 pmMick says:

    Dylan, it might go against your nature, but my suggested is the following plan:

    1, Borrow 10k (or even 12k)

    2, Buy a Centaur (put a lot of effort in, buy a bargain etc etc) etc very important!

    3, Cover the expenses and bank interest side of the trip utilising you great/excellent film making skills, make films and sell to your existing customer base and the umpteen Westerly sailors out there. (Don’t know how many, but they must be a lot and a ink to their owner association etc could be great for you and a big buzz for them)

    4, Sail for 6 months, have fun, enjoy an amazing chance in life time family sail/holiday, kids soon become busy adults. (You can’t get the time back, it will be absolutely fantastic)

    5, Sell, your now semi famous, proven reliable boat, for a slight profit.

    6, Pay off bank loan, sit on KTL drink a glass of wine and laugh your socks off at the very idea of you, a fantastic film maker and entertaining sailor spending months slaving on a tricky refurbishment, when you could be sailing (you know refurbs always cost more than you think).

    7, Have second glass of wine, pick another classic boat, sail to the black sea and repeat as above.

    (PS, if you go the refurb route I am sure it will be fine, but above will be cheaper)

    Saw this great quote

    “To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… ‘cruising’ it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.” -Sterling Hayden

    Kind regards

    Professional tax and business advisor (and hunter minstrel sailor) Lol

  21. 6 January, 2014 at 5:15 pmMick says:

    Sorry if any typos, no glasses on lol

  22. 6 January, 2014 at 6:28 pmdylan winter says:

    Dear Finacial advisor

    pleased to have you aboard. Your plan is a most excellent one…. in parts.

    It has a couple of small flaws

    1/ My dad will be pinwheeling in his grave if I borrow money for a boat. For him this would be a sin beyond measure. If he was still alive he would disinherit me – if he had anything to passs on apart from his wisdom

    2/selling the boat at the end – I have yet to sell a boat/car/wife/horse for a better or even close to equal price I bought it for

    3/Inboardophobia – I have a terrible affliction. My nightmare sceneraio is that I should be up in the North of scotland, suffer engine failure and have to fit a new one or have it repaired. Suddenly I would have to borrow even more money to get the boat going again – see part 1

    4/lobster pots

    5/ making money from films… total revenue this year from downloads and DVDs was £4,200. Outgoings on KTL exceed the £4,200 by some considerable amount if you include petrol for the car, VAT, mooring fees, insurance, inland waterways license, Google Earth license, Amazon server costs for the downloads, disk copying fees, jiffy bags, postage.

    this means that every hour I spend sailing or at my desk making videos I make negative money. I am sure that as a tax advisor you are well aware of the concept of negative money.

    On the good side the bit about drinking the wine and enjoying the sailing is spot on.


    seriously though… buying the older boat means that I can finance the whole thing from current funds – if the boat sinks then I can just walk away (okay swim). If I have £10K or even £12K tied up in her then I have a burden that needs sorting. Just imagine if I had to sell Katie L in order to get the £6,000 to replace the engine in the expensive Centaur

    as the yanks say… the old clunker route means that I have less skin in the game.

  23. 6 January, 2014 at 10:21 pmjeremy johnson says:

    Hi Dylan,

    Wow this thread seems to have set the sugeestions pouring in, I couldnt resist contributing.

    Practical actual help : Going to ask for two DVD’s for my birthday this weekend (see order soon from Mrs J)

    Possible help : I’d be delighted to sink, sorry “invest” £100 in a share of the Centaur project to buy a share in the boat (ps I recall that full part ship registrations are in shares – which could be useful). The great thing about this potential crowd source funding scenario is that the investors wouldn’t be able to take their eyes off your blog, from your every post as they see “their” boat’s progress. It adds an additional element of involvement. To top your funds up you could do it with say 70 people at £100 each ?

    Can I suggest a plan E : As you point out the problem for an old Centaur that needs a new engine, a new leas of life, is that the cost of re-engining doesn’t stack up against the resale value you get afterwards i.e.You lose money. But what if you offered the owner in that predicament say £1,200 contribution to the re-engining for in return the loan of their boat for this Summer. You’d then have a fixed affordable cost of £1,200 and a boat with a newly installed engine including newly installed razor sharp over-sized rope cutter on the prop.

    Maybe PBO would find value in a series on the installation of a new engine. With tall their expert advisors they could put their oar in in planning the project as a sort of ‘this is the best way to do it’ ? including all the ins and outs as to why. And maybe act as a guide for the way to go for those many other Cantaurs needing a second lease of life ?

    As for the possibility for wrecking the boat in part or whole – well there is insurance available in UK waters – its not like your crossing an ocean ?

    Wishing you every possible fair wind in what ever route you end up going down – I’m sure it will the right one.


    Jeremy J

  24. 6 January, 2014 at 11:33 pmdylan winter says:


    Blimey, really, you in for a ton? What would your missus say if she knew the way you are prepared to spend her hard earned cash? There are some crazy men out there – and you stand in the front rank. Wonderful.

    Re-engining costs around 6K – that is 4K for the engine and 2K for the rest of the gubbins and the man to fit it. That is serious pesetas.

    At the moment PBO are more interested in the well idea than re-engining. They have said that they will take four pages on the job and another four on the journey – £800

    Honda have offered me the loan of an outboard for a year – and some money for some words for their magazine.

    So if I go the engine well route then I have a free engine – and one that will be 100 per cent reliable and lobster pot proof.

    The crowd sourcing is a great idea… but it still feels a bit like begging and the KTL crowd is astonishingly bijou and concervative

    I will let plan A unfold for a few weeks yet before going to plan B – which is the higher cost route involving an inboard.

    as for you being sure that whatever I do will be correct – man you are so wrong on that one.

    Bless you for your faith and enthusiasm though J


  25. 7 January, 2014 at 12:36 pmOwen says:

    Dear Dylan,
    Have you considered returning to the Isle of Wight in your boat search? I thought I would try and help, so I had a look on Wightbay : http://www.wightbay.com/boats-watersports/23ft-westerly-nomad/4806133
    Rather like the idea of a Nomad in a Nomad. Just a thought. Keep up the good work.
    Kind regards

  26. 7 January, 2014 at 3:08 pmjeremy johnson says:

    Not spend Dylan, invest a £100. It would equity not debt – so your dear father need not turn over in his grave. Effectively you’d be sailing a bunch of other people’s boat. And they would get reimbersed when you sold the said Centaur with a relevant proportion of the proceeds. Investors get the added interest in the project, involvement, you get an appropriate boat to do it in. Seems a win win. You could even have a launch party for the investors when they see their investment hit the water after re-fit.

    I can see that the well idea does have its merits. The difference in additional fuel costs for an auxilliary on a displacement sailing boat over a season must 4/5ths of not very much at all, and I doubt there are going to be many windless days where you’re going.

    Incidently, after much research on outboards for the Seal 22 I used to have, I did notice how much quieter the 2 cylinder engines were over the single – I hope if you’re going up to 10hp you’re into 2 cylinder territory.



  27. 7 January, 2014 at 3:57 pmDavid J says:

    You will do what you will do, regardless of all our brilliantly conflicting, unsolicited advice. But please, Hondas or any outboards are not “100 precent reliable and lobster pot proof.”

  28. 7 January, 2014 at 3:57 pmMick says:

    Good luck on whatever plan you choose. Happy to go £100 if thats the chosen plan.
    if engine blew up £6000/71 investors is only £84 extra, Happy to take on the risk.

    Just need 68 more shareholders (id stretch to 2 shares)
    Maybe a general forum style link needed on the site to make sure we give plan Z (shareholder plan) the best/a chance of fruition ? (The westerley afair)

    Just watched the Tobemory yacht race, fab clip, really enjoyed it.

    Kind regards

  29. 7 January, 2014 at 8:36 pmdylan winter says:

    crazy dude too

  30. 7 January, 2014 at 8:37 pmdylan winter says:

    they are close to it if I have a spare or two on board – and if I get a rope around it I can lift it out, replace the shear pin and carry on – get a rope around an inboard prop and it is either a dive over the side, a lift out or a run aground and wait for the tide to go out.

  31. 7 January, 2014 at 8:38 pmdylan winter says:

    outboards make a really ugly noise though compared to the deep tock of the diesel

    – I miss several things about the beast – the sound of her voice was pretty good, the heat she produced, the electricity.

    What I do not miss was the smell of diesel, the wet bilges, the fear

  32. 7 January, 2014 at 8:53 pmrichard says:

    You could try for another viral you tube and start a new google account. I am sure if you said you wanted to turn the centaur to a gaff rig and use a seagull to power it (in comparison with the Honda) it would generate a lot of controversy!

  33. 7 January, 2014 at 8:59 pmrichard says:

    I would buy a share in KTL Enterprises too

  34. 7 January, 2014 at 9:11 pmdylan winter says:

    gaff rigged Centaur

    now there would be a thing to see


  35. 8 January, 2014 at 12:47 pmHenrik Scheel says:

    Now Dylan, several people includning myself would go for sponsoring part of your venture. As I see it we are waiting for Your next move…

  36. 8 January, 2014 at 1:21 pmdylan winter says:

    I am going down to the solent on friday to have a look around _ I am speaking down there somewhere

    meantime this has appeared on the market


  37. 8 January, 2014 at 7:47 pmDave Fisher says:

    Keels might be fine on that blue one while she is standing on them, but I bet the
    second you pick her up and they flex down as the weight comes off the water will
    poor out.

    PBO, a most dangerous mag. if you work in a boat yard. Everyone becomes an expert
    during the winter!

  38. 8 January, 2014 at 8:38 pmdylan winter says:

    you are correct – imagine the fear when she first hits the water… aaagh!

  39. 18 February, 2014 at 7:38 pml says:

    6 other boats going up for auction, 7 including this one. Auction starts this week, ends 28th Feb.

  40. 18 February, 2014 at 8:00 pmdylan winter says:

    I am so pleased that I have Harmony

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