A Boat on the Side

Stornaway 18 – Easy on the Eye . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Impossible to Kill!

Further to my post on 22 September, progress on the old Stornaway is good. Her hull has been sanded, filled, faired, primed, sanded and sprayed a very smart aquamarine and black. With a pinstripe boot topping, the hull is ready to go – new rudder and all. We’ve made up some new spars, sanded and repaired the deck, fitted a new laminated hatch and a lovely new rounded coaming.

It’s been curiously rewarding to work on her, I say curiously because repairing and restoring old boats has never been a favourite of mine. But with this one, after her near death experience, it is particularly gratifying to see her live again. The older Stornaways were clearly good boats but as a designer and builder I can’t stand still. The new models incorporate more than a dozen major and minor improvements to hull and rig. We’ve been able to incorporate many of them in Ian’s boat.

The keel is now deeper, the rudder wider and more efficient, the new bowsprit is longer and there’s a much more robust sampson post. Out went the old wooden tabernacle, on goes a beautifully polished stainless steel one (thanks again Argon!) We’ve fitted the new coaming section forward and fitted a new pin rail for the sail control and halyards. This enables the jib to be furled in a few seconds and the mainsail brailed up or gathered up to the mast equally quickly. These are important features on a working sailing boat, both in use for well over a hundred years on traditional work boats.

Our part of the renaissance is done as the proud owner will finish off the interior, varnish the spars and re-rig her. Needless to say, he’s extremely pleased and so are we. I was sorry to see her go (again!) but we can’t wait to see her back on the water and in the hands of our most experienced Stornaway skipper.

The Stornaway you can see in the background is a full cabin version but more on that one later.

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