A classic with a classic conundrum


There can’t be many yachtsmen switching from GRP to timber. But one of my colleagues in the Roach Sailing Association is doing just that.

Simon Joel has his Hurley 22 up for sale so that he can concentrate on his 31ft Alan Buchanan Viking sloop. Both are in the boat yard: the former bare to the elements the latter trussed up in plastic sheets and tarpaulins which reminded me of my own many decades of wooden boat ownership.

His Buchanan has beautiful teak laid decks, but such beauty, as I know only too well, hides a beast. And Simon is grappling with his own problems weighing up the options of how to deal with a softening beam shelf. The proper job of course is to take off all deck fittings, rail and covering board. Then strip off the teak planking, then lift the ply decking beneath to get at the beam shelf itself.

But I suggested some judicially drilled holes and injections of West epoxy. The look Simon gave me made me realise it is well I am no longer a wooden boat owner!