Right of Centaur Giles from Walton Backwaters – “cracking sails”

Much saddened by your selling a lovely boat - much heartened by the price you got for her!  I'm also beginning to feel a loss already at the thought of you not actually being out there whilst we MOB's follow pretty much in real time - sometimes feeling smug and warm in front of a fire whilst you crouch over a small gathering of tea lights in some isolated spot, sometimes green with envy when tied to a desk and you're free exploring yet another cranny of our stunning coastline in glorious sunshine.  I think that part of the thrill is sharing your adventures in real time.

This does not detract at all from the quality of your superb films - tailor made for boaties like us.  I often revisit favourite sections - yes on the big telly too - and I have no qualms in indulging in KTL displacement activity in the middle of the day.  It clears the head...  As long as they are lurking in cyberspace their appeal will spread and taps should not stop!

I sympathise with the sailing/funding equation.  I struggle to justify keeping my Centaur, but I do have some cracking sails - locally - and that is the point.  I can be on the boat within twenty minutes of leaving my house, so I do day trips, weekends and, when I can grab the time, a week or two exploring the Thames Estuary.  I never have to travel to or from the boat.  Although I would love to, I couldn't afford to do what you have been doing over the past, what is it , seven years?  All those long expensive drives.

However, by the skin of my teeth, I have hung on to the Centaur.  By devious means I procured a private all tides mooring in the Backwaters.  No cost.  I leave her there for most of the winter, getting the odd wonderful low sun day, hauling her out only to do the essentials for a week or two.  Limited boatyard charges - less than £150.  Antifoul £70.  Oil and filters £30.  Annual fuel - last year my bills were £37 diesel and about £15 for petrol and two stroke oil for the outboards.  An odds and sods account for which I allow £200 - never spent that much yet.  Of course there is the risk of a big one - a new main or shredded headsail.  I have so far avoided that but, amortised over the years, not that expensive.  The engine is a seven year old Nanni 23 hp three cylinder - so I keep my fingers crossed on that one.

So to sum up it's not expensive if you keep it local, but I do admit, I miss the ability to creep up the smallest gut.  I think I mentioned it before - I came up with a cunning plan on that one - I sold my lovely West Wight Potter to an old friend who lets me take her out any time.  I really should be a politician...

Anyway - thank you for all the pleasure you have given us over the years.  Here's to the time when, due to the sudden death of a completely unknown relative, you can afford to restart the glorious adventure!  I've done tiny bits of the west coast of Ireland and - if you can stop it from raining - it's fab!


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

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