A Boat on the Side

Fake new model

Not really a new model at all, just a new layout and one or two significant tweaks, the hull remains the same – if it ain’t broke etc. But it gives me an excuse for publicity and it’s no worse than the world’s car manufacturers who spend trillions promoting a ‘new model’ which is often exactly the same car with a new grille, new tail lights and new seat colours. So it’s really a new model then – a Scintilla 24 EX (for exploration.)

We’ve been approached by a Brunei based adventure/sail training organisation to provide a number of compact yet sea going boats for a variety of roles, based around an established sail training programme. Our Sienna 19, although developed with exactly that in mind was not suitable as parties of up to 8 needed to sleep onboard during extended voyages. The standard Scintilla 24 fitted the bill and with an interior that was always customised to her owner’s choice, it was relatively simple to accommodate.

Following the brief, the operator’s requirements called for some more significant changes. I widened the cockpit almost to the sides as per our Scintilla 19 and lengthened it by 300ml or so. As a result you can now comfortably seat 6, or 8 at a squeeze. A fold-up table or two can also be accommodated for alfresco dining and dissertation and the boat’s yawl rig makes fitting a decent awning a breeze and a cool one at that. Down below it’s a bit more radical with a fitted head and decent washbasin, a good sized galley, nav station, and bunks for four plus one in a hammock. Hang on, you might exclaim, that’s only five! Where do the other poor buggers bed down? Well they’re banished to the cockpit on li-los or other inflatable devices. But here’s the thing, this is the tropics remember and they’re better off out under the stars and an awning than down below. Nevertheless good ventilation in those latitudes is vital for safety and sanity so there’s lots of opening ports and my patented – well in spirit at least – wind scoop system to force those balmy night zephyrs to where they belong. So we do our best to keep them cool, well fed, well rested, and well happy.

Scintilla EX layout

Click to enlarge

While we’re into Scintillas, one of our European builders, Gerard in France, produces and excellent blog http://scintilla24.blogspot.com.au which provides a good step by step guide to building one. Gerard ordered a kit with a keel prefabricated to take an inboard diesel, clearly shown in the photos. Being from Toulouse he will cruise the Canal du Midi and the Mediterranean, perhaps even as far as Monaco  . . . . I am consumed with jealously.

As many of you will know, we’ve been closely involved with education under sail for nearly 2 decades with lots of our boats voyaging here and there with their precious cargos of tomorrow’s mariners. I, for one, am extremely thankful for my own experiences as a young boy on the water – we sailed our own little ship, Graham and I, to far distant islands where smugglers furtively stowed cognac and evaded the revenue cutters. Almost true that for one of the yacht clubs we sailed from was Brandy Hole on the River Crouch, a river with a fine history of alcohol anarchy. To my utter delight I’ve just googled it and it’s still there. So let’s raise a glass to all those who, with patience, guide each generation towards a better, more worldly future with the aid of small ships and infinite horizons.

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