Seaweed cooked aboard


We laid up this year in a batch of three boats: a Hurley 22, my own Contessa 32 and an unusual 36ft Alan Buchanan sloop made of steel. She was the last to be hauled up the slipway at Saxon Wharf, Rochford, Essex and her owner, Richard Bessey, was out with the metal primer paint as soon as her hull was dry from the jet-wash.

‘That’s the beauty of working with steel,’ he said, ‘not only that but when you find a thin patch you don’t need a shipwright to put a new section of hull in.’ He’s right: a welder can do the job.

My own problems were trying to get the three inch band of seaweed off the topside above the boot-top. It’s not surprising people eat the stuff as it cooks very easily. The sun had cooked mine so efficiently I had been left with a ribbon of carbon which I had to scratch off with a square of synthetic kitchen scourer. Unfortunately it abraded the topside, too, so now I’m faced with a painting job I’d hoped I’d eradicated by buying a plastic boat.

So it goes.