Friday, January 02, 2009

Classic Boat Restoration Awards

It was very nice to see that Roach was a contender in the restoration awards in this month’s Classic Boat. Not because I feel her restoration should be mentioned, as I don’t; I am just an amateur who has taken a few years and a modest budget to get Roach waterborne. I welcome the mention as I feel that Norman Dallimore was one of Britain’s most talented yacht designers of the time but is sadly very under-rated today. Having him mentioned in the yachting press now and again is a good thing.

There are a couple of things that I need to correct from the entry in Classic Boat though. The first is that the yard which has helped me tremendously is Everson’s and not Roberston’s. There have been too many people that have helped to accredit here but I will mention Jerry Hearle (ex Robo’s) and John Krazja (ex Whisstocks) have both helped out enormously on the boatbuilding front.

Roach is unusual in the sense that she is a modified Burnham Sloop design. The original Burnham Sloops being designed in 1938. She was re-drawn by Dallimore in 1948 for Priors of Burnham. Dallimore changed the lines to widen the beam to 7ft from 6’8”, deepen the draft from 3.9ft to 4ft, and increase the length by 1ft to 22ft overall but leaving L.W.L the same at 18ft. “Roach” was built over the Winter of 1952/3 by Stebbings of Burnham and not Priors as originally intended. The sail plan was also reduced from 265sq ft to 225sq ft. Suggesting that the original Dallimore design was too tender. I am glad of this modification as the original plans sport a long overhanging boom with runners. The modified design sports a permanent backstay on a mini offset bumpkin, which suits my single-handed sailing much better.

I can say that she is now a very stiff boat for a 22fter and really a pleasure to sail in a blow. She really likes to be driven. In under a F4 she does tend to be a bit sluggish, but a few new light air sails this season, I think, might help with light wind river sailing. More soon on my sailing and maintenance plans for 2009!


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