Whilst we might not have been out on the water recently, that doesn’t mean the BOD Fleet is totally dormant. In fact, quite the opposite! This winter the fleet has been a veritable hive of activity.
Simon Hipkin is now well advanced with the fit out of the brand new C56 Never Say Never for Geoff Gritton. This boat will feature a number of interesting innovations including a GNAV upside down kicker, self-bailers in conjunction with a sealed floor compartment and a beautiful wooden transom inset into the GRP moulding. There are plenty more clever ideas on the boat which Geoff will be delighted to share with you when he launches her over the Easter Weekend (more details to follow soon).
Down in Wivenhoe Rob Maloney’s major refit of Graham and Claire Bridle’s C31 Blue Peter is nearing completion and the boat is looking
fantastic in her new, slightly darker, blue livery. As I write Rob is in the process of putting the new deck fittings onto the boat and we can’t wait to see her back out on the water.
Rob also had more exciting news for us this week when he
confirmed that he has purchased C23 Black Shadow from Malcolm Goodwin. The boat is in need of a complete restoration and he plans
to start work on her this summer. Black Shadow was originall
built for the late John Glanfield, whose
daughter Kate and son in law Billy Button are well known in the fleet and who I am sure will be keeping a close eye on the project. Kate kindly shared this lovely black and white photo of the boat when she was first launched with her original rig and bowsprit.
In Brightlingsea John Brett has been working on both C29 Panic for Bob Richardson and Alistair Burt, and C14 Aina for Steve Heppell. Panic has had repairs to come damage and genera refit work and Aina is completing a major refit. We understand Bob and Alistair have already purchased some top quality slightly used sails and that Steve also has an order in with the sailmaker too so the boys are really going for it.
The fleet is clearly trying to ensure the east coast sail making industry stays in good shape as we hear rumours that a number of other boats also have new sails on order including C54 Storm Petrel, C51 Grethe and C75 The Mike, whose new spinnaker design is shown here.
With Geoff’s new boat launching at Easter and the official BOD programme getting underway in May it won’t be long before the boats start to come out of winter storage and we can’t wait to see the fleet back on the water!
Finally, please don’t forget to put the BOD Dinner on April 30th in your diaries and if you have more BOD stories to share please email them to Fi on firstname.lastname@example.org.