Sally II

Sally II
Vertue Rewarded: Sally II on Loch Broom. Sailing my own boat again, for a change

Sunday, 19 October 2014


Since the last post things have been interesting. After the flood was cleared we were hit by a southerly that sank a boat or two and swamped a Flying Fifteen and now we are braced for the tail of Hurricane Gonzalez.

But the Ilur moves forward with thwarts and aft seating in and rudder and centreplate made.

Photos, as usual, tell the story better. One thing though, plywood boats need a lot of paint... and painting takes days and days to do well. At the moment it's all about fitting out, with nice oak and bits of larch to plane and sand.

The rudder I have faced in 9mm larch to disguise the plywood. I think a nice wooden rudder looks good at the back of any boat and the butt end of a larch board, where is splays out, is just the right shape either for the end of a plank or, in this case, the shape of a rudder stock. It's only cosmetic so you can choose according to grain and figure, rather than strength which the inner ply cheeks have aplenty.

Next stage is to finish the oak seating fore and aft, fit the rubbing strake and start on the floorboards by which time some of the shiny bits will be arriving from Davey...

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Ilur Latest

Thwarts fitted, breasthook fashioned and mast thwart fashioned. The solid foredeck arrangement was modified in favour a separate breasthook/mast thwart so as to stow a small anchor in the bow.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Ilur Makes Progress

After the traumas of flood, weeks of fine weather when sailing my own boat became rather an attractive idea, the Ilur got back on track.

The inwales, centreboard cladding (my addition), framing and undercoating are done, and today I added the mast thwart and breasthook.

The photos tell the story better than I can, so here they are (in no particular order). And, good news, two more boats in the pipeline; very different. Fingers crossed. More anon...

Monday, 1 September 2014

Monday Morning; Sun's Shining, Back to Work...

Nothing like a good clear out, although we would have preferred a more structured approach to the spring or rather autumn cleaning rather than a raging torrent that swept all before it.

But the mud is all cleared and the tools dry and the silver lining is appearing. The flood did afford the opportunity to rethink the storage arrangements and wood stacking which has now been moved outside. Funny what you find amoing the debris; bits of wood that came from various boats over the years. Much of the offcuts I assiduously stacked under the bench has been discarded for firewood. Why I should have thought any of it was ever going to be useful.

The Ilur has been put back on its strongback ready for the next stage. And there is a set of oars nearing completion on the other work bench. Wonder how long before the place gets as cluttered as it was before.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014


The small burn that runs under the road above Leckmelm farm burst its banks during a period of intense rainfall on Monday, sending a flash flood through the farm and through my workshop. The photos speak for themselves, as we attempted to clean up the silt that carpeted the shed and dry out tools and salvage what remained of the timber.

The good news is that the Ilur... floats. albeit somewhat prematurely, and was not damaged in the slightest. Nor was the Honda VFR 750 or the little Yanmar waiting to be refurbished, both or which were well high enough and dry enough to escape. But it will be some time before normal service is resumed.

The farm itself has suffered severe damage to roads and cottages.

A number of lambs were swept away and a pet cat, but despite the ferocity of the surge, everyone managed to escape before the deluge struck. And it struck with frightening force and speed. All the turkeys were lost and the silage. So, perhaps, we were fortunate. And fortunate too that Ullapool rallied around to help in a way that makes you proud to be a part of the community.

Thursday, 10 July 2014


Gracie, for that is her name, was launched on 28th June at Looe in Cornwall where a small crowd of family and friends watched her debut.

All went well and motor trials on the Saturday were followed by a short sailing session the next day.

The owner seemed pleased, and the bystanders, many of whom were boat builders (or certainly appeared to know a thing or two about boats) said nice things. Champagne was poured and there was a small gathering later to celebrate.

Have to say that the whole process was most enjoyable. Thanks Ian.