Bionic boat tester checks in


Hi! This is the first of my blogs for Yachting Monthly and I’m not quite sure where it’s leading. All this instant publication is a long way from the hot-metal, flat-bed Cossa presses and cantankerous typesetters of my early days in journalism.

The suggestion was that I gave a flow of consciousness; sharing my thoughts on the issues of the day. Giving readers sneak previews of the latest tests. The problem was that at the time I was being made painfully aware of another major difference between the late sixties and the early 21st century and was not up to much at all.

Then I had youthful, flexible knees that would propel me violently round the rugby field, launch rocket-like in-swingers at quaking batsmen and hold their balance on the bucking foredecks of small racing yachts. But, like Linotype, Letraset and Cow gum, the various bits that make up my right knee have not withstood the test of time and have been replaced by titanium and plastic composites (pictured). They have taken time to bed in but, I am pleased to say, I resume sailing duties this week so boat tests by JJ will shortly be re-appearing in YM.

I was relieved to be told that the titanium components of the new joint are anti-magnetic and cause no compass deviation – nor will I be hauled off as a terrorist suspect every time I fly to exotic locations to test the latest yachts.

In the meantime, last Friday in fact, I had a preview of the plans Hanse is hatching for its new range of Moody yachts. Hanse recently bought the rights to the Moody marque from Premier but was cautious about what they planned to do with it.

The answer is a range of futuristic deck saloon yachts which designer, Bill Dixon, hopes will transform the way we think about cruising. A preview of the design will be featured in the July issue of YM.

I questioned why Hanse had paid good money for the name, which has been associated with a defunct range of rather staid designs. But then Bill reminded me that the yacht that launched Moody into production boat building his mentor, Angus Primrose’s Moody 33 – a cruiser whose massive beam, mountainous topsides and cavernous interior caused outrage and puzzlement in equal measure when it was launched in 1973.