Thursday, January 11, 2007

Roach’s Previous Owners (and how I found her)

Mr. Debbage of Ipswich was her first owner. The yard still exists to this day and now they also deal in yacht transportation. Strangely enough I hired them, without any knowledge of the association with “Roach”, for transportation when I originally bought “Roach” in 1996. Currently I am trying to arrange a launch with Debbages for her launch this year – I think it would be nice to Launch her at her first owner’s yard.

After Debbages “Roach” went onto become part of the Maldon Charter fleet becoming one of their most popular yachts. The photo above shows Roach sailing in the 1950’s as part of the Maldon fleet.

We now enter a foggy period in Roach’s history. I am pretty sure that there are a few undocumented owners. For starters, when I bought her, she was based in Woodbridge and had “Cowes” on her stern as her port. So at some stage she must have been based there. I also had stanchion dodgers that came with her inventory with the name “Heron” written on as her home port. Strangely the N.E.D association confirm that she was called Heron at some stage. Again, more investigation required. Please leave a comment if you can help!

I do know that her last owner is a Mr. Kevin Byford of Ipswich. I am not sure when he bought her, but my understanding is that she was left to the elements at Debbages (of all places she returned to the yard of the original owner). She was later was moved to Andy Seedhouse of Woodbridge for a quick sale to recoup unpaid yard fees.

I bought her in April 1996, on an Easter break I was looking for a sensible classis cruiser and had rules out a classic. I was on a train to Saxmundham in Suffolk to visit my parents who live nearby, and saw Roach from the train coach window at Seedhouse’s yard in Woodbridge. I got off there – I knew she was pedigree! Dad drove down to pick me up and I announced I was a proud owner of a heap of wood! A surveyor was booked and I had paid a deposit! I had no idea how to restore a wooden yacht. Two days later “Roach” was mine.


Blogger albineer said...

I have a couple of 35mm colour transparencies of Branklet aground in the Swale about 1970. We were on our honeymoon but typically I don't remember the year. The photographs don't show any sign of the two hatches shown in the plans and in the photograph above. We chartered her from Blackwater Yacht Charters based at Dan Webb and Feesey's yard at Maldon.I remember her as being a good natured and capable boat but we didn't thik much of the accommodatin in the forepart. I don't remember a second boat like her in the fleet but it's a long time ago.

You are well off without the Stuart Turner engine. Magneto ignition and salt water didn't mix whateever Mr Mills of BYC said to the contrary.

1:55 AM  
Blogger Roach1948 said...

Would love to have the copies - many thanks. I can scan them and send them back to you.

I wonder why the forepart was not to your liking. I personally like the opne plan design; the yachts are small enough enyway and it gives a good sense of space. I suspect you are refering to the lack of privacy in the heads - I am fitting curtains though.

Yes - The Stuart had to go!

11:25 AM  

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