Homemade project takes longer than expected

A retired marine engineer has launched his homemade boat after taking nearly 30 years to construct it in his mum’s garden.

Owen Warboys, 66, was only allowed to begin work on the 40ft sloop in 1982 by telling his mum that building the boat would take five years.

He said: “My mother was happy for me to build it at her house but only because I told her it would take five years.

“I started it in my mum’s shed, but it spilled out into the garden.

“I realised that the amount of sheer labour time was a lot, lot longer than five years.”

Many people build kit boats at home, but Owen, from Hordle, near Lymington, built his completely from scratch with steel sheets and wood after realising it was the only way he could afford a boat.

“It took me a good ten years to build the hull. There were hours and hours of welding and grinding,” he said.

“I didn’t work on it every day and at various stages I got sidetracked by working on a few motorbikes and a caravan.”

As the project neared its completion Owen worked every evening and weekend on the boat for three years, until he was finally able to put the boat, Wight Dolphin, in the water this weekend.

After successfully managing to get the 18-tonne yacht out of the garden, Owen was delighting to see it floating with no leaks.

He said: “I’m so relieved that it’s finished.

“There were times when I thought it would never end, but I’m the sort of person who like to finish something once I’ve started.”