Keels on wheels


This keel has a lot to answer for. Francis Chichester looked on in horror as it did not prevent Gipsy Moth IV from becoming a ‘rocker’when she was launched in the Solent in 1966. Having sailed her to Sydney , the great circumnavigator, talked experts into tacking on an extra temporary chunk. But that did not stop him being knocked down in the Tasman en route to the Horn.

The long red keel did manage to keep the boat upright in her concrete tomb at Greenwich for the next 30 odd years. Then, released once more, Camper & Nicholsons modified the keel permanently before she set off courtesy of Yachting Monthly on her second circumnavigation. But it didn’t stop her rolling. She threw drawers at me, jars of Marmite at mate Antonia Nicholson and a knife at YM’s chief boat tester James Jermain.

Now, still doing her darndest, she holds up the traffic in West London. For the full story see Paul Gelder’s exclusive book: Gipsy Moth IV: a legend sails again, copies of which he will be signing at the Earls Court Boat Show.