Tuesday 1 December 2009

Restoration project?

We spotted this sloop while walking through the boat yard, it was coming on to evening and difficult to photograph in the fading light, so the pictures don't really do her justice.

She's been lying in a corner of the yard for a couple of years and has been recently moved, so I'm hoping it's because someone has taken her on for restoration rather than getting ready for the chainsaw.

I don't know anything of her history but she has the look of a south coast boat, well able to cut through the nasty Solent chop that we all know so well. In her heyday she must have looked great with that varnished transom and pilot house.

I can't help feeling that the Americans are somewhat better organised at preserving old boats than we are. Wooden Boat magazine has a section each month, offering old boats that need saving and there's the Wooden Boat Rescue Foundation which currently lists 97 old boats, effectively free to someone with the skills and desire (read money) to take one on.

The problem with restoring old yachts is, apart from the skill and expense required, that they generally don't fit in a domestic garage. I know a couple of people who have ongoing car restorations in their garage at home. The car can sit safely in the garage awaiting the time and expense when available, in one case we're talking 20 years and two house moves, but at least an old, interesting if not especially valuable old car, has been saved from the crusher.

Boats sadly tend to take up expensive space, so unless you have an adjacent field and barn, it normally means renting space in a boatyard, with travel to and from, which gets very expensive if you try and fit a long term restoration in with all the other domestic demands we all have.

As a result yacht restorations generally focus on the more valuable or historic yachts which make a commercally sound proposition. It also means we're in danger of loosing more and more ordinary crusing boats from our recent past.

Lets hope this isn't one of them

No comments:

Post a Comment

COMMENTS - If you would like a reply to your comment please leave your email address