Christophe Grlllet, owner of the first wood Sagitta has been writing to us regularly as he cruises in his Sagitta. In 1991 he sailed to the Baltic, and was past Helsinki, en-route for Leningrad/St Petersburg when he heard about the coup attempt in the USSR. Understandably, he decided to give the Soviet Union a miss that year! Since then he has sailed to the Med and has been cruising around, although he had problems when his anchor cable was deliberately cut while the boat was in the Balearics and he was in the UK. Once repaired he sailed east and reported : "12 1/2 knots with ghoster and full main. It lasted most of the day, my compliments. 22 knots of wind just as your prediction. Arbalete is now at Porto Carrao, Sithonia peninsula, SE of Thessaloniki, Greece. I had a wonderful time and think she is a wonderful boat. Thank you.I am now nearly as far east as I got in the Baltic. So we have nearly circumnavigated Europe. Whether single handed or with 6 aboard all has gone very well indeed."
We wrote about the Mira "Timena of Sylt" in the last newsletter. Jurgen and girlfriend Ines visited us in the summer, enroute for the sun. It is a beautifully built boat, built in an amazingly short time (8 months singlehanded) . Whenever we go on a Mira we are always amazed at the amount of room and the load carrying ability. Even with 2 dinghies, surfboards, bikes etc, Timena still floated above its marks. We sailed out to fhe Eddystone in the Wizard to see them off, and later heard that they had arrived in the Canaries, in fact Jorgen wrote "when we left Plymouth we had two days variable head winds, followed by 2 days calm. But from Cape Finnisterre to Porto Santo we found real tradewinds, up to F7. The boat was often too fast even with the 3rd reef and no headsail" (In a postcard they reported sailing nearly 300 miles in 24 hours, not bad for a home built cruiser!)
"After 9 days at sea we reached Porto Santo which is a very nice small island; which is not over-crowded with tourists'. After 8 days there we sailed on to Maderia. On this trip our Autohelm broke after 1990 miles and 2 months. We sent the junk back to Hamburg. It was then 45 hours/280 miles to Fueteventura, mostly in tradewinds. Nice. Now a holiday and painting the boat and of course some sailing between the islands with friends. I don't have to tell you that everyone is amazed about the nice motion on this boat. The cockpit is perfect here in the sun" and there we must leave them basking in the warm sunshine.
Peter Kinch and son Ralph once again competed in the Round Britain race in their Banshee Dasher. It was a very rough trip, and there were numerous retirements. However they battled on and were fourth multihull to finish and third on corrected time. Well done!
V Manu from Belgium writes "I have now fiinished Pixie 134 which is a great success~ Easy to handle, fast and a lot of fun to sail. Congratulations on your good plans! I have ordered the study plans for Merlin from my local dealer. I hope to get them soon because my hands are tickling to start building again "
Meanwhile in Malta Peter Williams is sailing his Quattro 16: "I found the building of the Ouattro very easy and the performance of the boat is outstanding. Both Joey and I entered our Quattros in the National championships and we were placed 1st and 2nd in the handicap event ~ Joey winning 5 out of 6 races, (I won the other one). The skegs are excellent - tacking is so easy; I hope that more people become interested now that we have a 1 - 2 in the National races. I found that a beltsander was invaluable to me as a very inexperienced woodworker. I could handle this tool far better than a planer. The hulls have a superb finish, most people don't believe me when I tell them I made it out of wood "
"I have now enjoyed a couple of seasons sailing my homebuilt Strider (No 37) and I have not regretted choosing your design for a moment. " So says John Furneaux from Rhyl, N Wales. "The Strider is everything I required; an excellent daysailer wIth an exciting turn of speed and enough deck space for a couple of families. It has taken us (my wife, two large teenage children and myself) on weekly cruises around the Welsh coast and taken me further afield across the Irish Sea. There are times when having a cabin would be nice, but generally speaking having such a large deck space is safer and more enjoyable"