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Katy Ann of Oare


So the stressful thing that happened on Monday was that I spent some time discussing with the broker whether I could buy Katy Ann1, the Westerly Konsort that Hugo and I went to see on Saturday, in its current stripped but un-antifouled state as I could then get the yard to Coppercoat it.

Coppercoat is a Good Thing: not only does it remove the need to antifoul every winter but it keeps the osmosis at bay which, for a boat this age (it was first launched in 1980) is an issue. So I think it's worth the investment and given that the current owner had the boat stripped back to her gel coat (something which is expensive to get done) ready to re-antifoul this was an ideal time to do it.

So on Tuesday I put in an offer on Katy Ann and this morning the owners accepted it so now, subject to a satisfactory outcome to the survey which I've got to get organised in the next couple of weeks, I will soon be the owner of a Westerly Consort.

As I said on Saturday I picked Katy Ann because she was in good condition, looked well looked after, and was generally very well equipped. I particularly liked the deep cockpit and the broad side decks with the shrouds inboard. There's also a second forestay which starts half way between mast and the bow which makes a handy thing to hold on to on the foredeck: a place where I always feel very vulnerable. Bilge keel so it will take the ground and it only draws 3'3" so ideal for East Coast creeks. Headroom wasn't enough that I could stand up straight but I didn't need to bend over, just bend a bit at the neck. The only significant change I'd make would be to the chart table as even Hugo found it hard getting in and I found it a real struggle to get in and out. This seems to be a common problem and various solutions are proposed on the Westerly Owners' Association mailing list so that will be a job to do.

Anyway I've put the sales details lifted off the agent's web site here on our public wiki so I've got them for posterity. Those photos were taken while she was still in the water. She's out now and there's some photos I took last Saturday here, not that they're very exciting.

The plan once I've taken possession and the yard have Coppercoated her is to move her up the Orwell to berth her on pontoons at Debbage Yachting on New Cut in the heart of Ipswich. I did consider the two marinas in the harbour, which have the merit of being accessible at all states of the tide (Debbage dries a bit, especially at Springs) and have much better facilities but Debbage scored in two ways: it's closer to the railway station - which is very handy as I may be unable to drive for a year if I have another seizure - and is about two thirds the price of the other two (around £1,900pa compared to £2,700!).

While I wait for all that happen I've got to go on a course to get my VHF Radio (SRC) Short range certificate. Bizarrely this is the only qualification I need before it's legal for me to go and play ... which is lucky really as I don't actually have any formal qualifications for sailing. I did do an RYA Day Skipper theory course a couple of decades ago but the pace of it bored me rigid so I never finished it. Other than that I'm self taught. Shrug.

Anyway I will, no doubt, be looking for crew this summer so if you fancy a sail, whether you're experienced or not, drop me a line and I'll add you to the mailing list.

  1. In case you're wondering about the title of this posting her full registered name is Katy Ann of Oare but the "of Oare" part seems to have fallen out of use along the way.

Tags: sailing Written 19/01/11

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