Jump to content
Frank

Pocket Offshore Cruisers

Recommended Posts

Yea I really like the Welsford boats. Looked into what's involved in building a sundowner.. about 1200 hrs for an amateur to build a hull and deck from memory.

 

Economically it didn't make sense when you could re-fit a Raven or Reactor etc for a lot less time and $.

 

Could easily fall in love with a Sundowner though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

one almost won the ak to fiji 2 handed division,they admitted due to circumstances had to use auto helm at one stage so dsq

If they have rules that say you can,t use an autopilot when racing offshore shorthanded then that should be changed , as a safety issue especially when short handed, if you are wet cold hungry and tired 10 minutes below to recharge or check charts etc with an autopilot keeping the boat on track may save lives, ridiculous to penalize a boat for what may be required for good seamanship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest 000

Did you ever feel your little ship might let you down due to its size?

No, I didn't, but then I didn't have any extreme weather, a couple of 50 knot blows but not more.

This is a long time ago but I recall the main problem was running down wind. Being a little boat she was very subject to wind and sea and the downwind course would frequently yaw 20° either side of the course line. On one occasion in the Atlantic the yaw was so bad that the twin running headsails backwinded and broke both booming out poles. The only solution I could think of to the problem was to tack downwind. The miles added were not all that great and apart from solving the problem it added immeasurably to the comfort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

'Tonga Bill'.

 

Bill Tehoko, known also as Tonga Bill, was my age and my best friend among the yachts in the anchorage here. He had little advice to give about my predicament other than to lend a sympathetic ear and advise me not to worry and “do what you feel and it'll work out just fine.”

Bill and his new French bride Nicole, that he found on the neighboring island of Reunion, lived aboard Mata Moana, a little 18-foot plywood and fiberglass sailboat he built himself on his home island in Tonga. The year before, he sailed it alone across the Pacific and Indian Ocean. He was the only modern Tongan voyager I ever heard of but I wasn't surprised he was here on his tiny boat, since his Polynesian ancestors were the greatest seafaring people in the world a thousand years ago. The truly surprising thing is that there are not more Polynesians sailing the seas. Bill supported himself working as an artist, doing carvings and sculpture and making jewelry from whatever was at hand. Nicole and Bill often came aboard Atom for dinner with me and Dolores, where there was more room to stretch out than on their little boat.

One of the many humorous stories Bill told was about a Swedish Navy boat that invited him aboard for dinner in some remote Pacific port. The captain was impressed by Bill's voyages alone in his small craft and asked him to speak of his experiences to his officers. At dinner, the curly-haired, dark-skinned Tongan said in a straight face, “Did you know, captain, that I am part Swedish?” With that he had everyone's attention. After noting the raised eyebrows, he continued, “Yes, my grandfather ate the first Swedish sailor to land in Tonga.” Bill said the Swedes didn't know whether to laugh or throw him overboard.

Bill's four-horsepower outboard motor was even less reliable than Atom's inboard motor, so we decided to build a sculling oar for each of our boats. This way we could at least maneuver our boats in and out of calm harbors if the engine was not working. Bill picked out two planks of African hardwood at the lumber shop that we shaped with handsaw and plane into 14-foot oars. For a finishing touch, Bill carved an auspicious Tongan motif along the blade of my oar. After practicing the twisting figure-eight sculling motion with an oarlock on Atom's transom, I was able to propel the boat across the harbor at about one knot; not fast, but dependable when the wind went too calm to sail.

Bill and Nicole were preparing to depart in Mata Moana for a voyage up the Red Sea to France, a hard trip even in a much larger boat and I worried to myself about their fate. On the morning of their departure, Dolores and I escorted them out of the harbor with Atom. With blustery trade winds astern we sailed side-by-side several miles out to sea, gliding over the waves like two wandering albatross. The twin jibs set out from Mata Moana's tiny mast contrasted starkly with the empty sea ahead. The contrast grew even sharper as we waved farewell and turned Atom back to Grand Bay. The next time I looked back they were a spot on the horizon and then they were gone.

Ten years later, when I met them on Reunion Island during my second circumnavigation, I found out that they had encountered a storm off Madagascar, had taken some damage to their boat and diverted to the Seychelles where they lived for several happy years before returning to live on Reunion Island.

 

Words and pic courtesy of the free online e-book 'Across Islands and Oceans' by James Baldwin.

Tonga Bill Mauritius.PNG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

often wonder about the great sea masters of yesterday,Polynesians,Maoris etc why we very rarely seeing any sailing or crewing,yet see plenty out in runabouts that imo shouldn't of left the beach.

 

Why have they given up on what their ancestors did?

 

Thanks Zozza must see if the library has a copy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

often wonder about the great sea masters of yesterday,Polynesians,Maoris etc why we very rarely seeing any sailing or crewing,yet see plenty out in runabouts that imo shouldn't of left the beach.

 

Why have they given up on what their ancestors did?

 

Thanks Zozza must see if the library has a copy

I've also wondered the same thing. You would think their genetics would be hard wired to exploring the oceans.

 

Maybe its because they are a bit smarter than us. Planes are a lot quicker and a more comfortable option than sailing across big oceans in a little boat.

 

I've put that book on my list too

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...