Well, a few years ago I suffered a rather nasty shoulder injury that put a permanent end to my ability to surf without agonizing pain. This was a real blow. I had only a couple of years previously given up all hope of attaining a glittering, highly paid career doing something wonderful in the south east in order to be happier and healthier doing something dull in the south west. More critically, doing something near my family and close to the sea.

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Happy days at the beach 2003 with two fully functional arms.

 

I had set up my tiny, one man electrical contracting business and was quite happy pouring all the proceeds of my labours into building our house and running a string of  dreadful, old, end of life vans…… just so long as I could still get my weekly fix of salt water adventure. Surfing at every opportunity had become a very important part of my new improved Devon life. I would have to find something good to replace it, and quite quickly. This thing turned out to be sailing. It’s a fantastic, varied sport with so many different aspects that you could never learn it all, and thus never get bored of it. A sailing boat can be as expensive or as basic as you want and can take you as far as you dare to go.

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Macavitys first trip out of Exmouth 2014. Heading, roughly towards Brixham.

 

This site is really about how it’s utterly possible to get a small boat into the water and have some fun on a small budget. I’ve learnt through trial and error and wasted a fair bit of time (not to mention precious pennies) on things that didn’t work or were unnecessary. I hope to highlight here the things that did work as well as the things that didn’t.  Along the way I will also try to give a not too tedious update of any recent trips aboard “Macavity”, my battered old Westerly 25 or any other craft I can get my hands on.

The way I’ve done things is by no means the only way to get afloat, or the right way, but it is a way. If any of these ideas can help anyone else in a similar position shake off that fear of sailing being exclusively for the wealthy few and get going, then it can only be a good thing.

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“Macavity” my dear old Westerly 25 running restoration. This is her having been freshly plopped into the river Exe in spring 2014. We were trying to get the mast rake and rigging looking right in this calm. She sure as hell didn’t look like this three years ago when I found her.

Anchored for a weekend in a local cove 2016. You can see Idris lurking in the background under the cliffs.

“Idris” anchored for the weekend in a local south coast cove 2016. Surprisingly, I was completely undisturbed for two days. You can see Idris lurking in the background under the cliffs.

 If this sounds like your sort of thing, then please explore the site and let me know what you think of it. Any constructive criticism is welcome. The general information pages are along the top bar and the up to date blog pages can be found running down the right hand side. Further back in the archives you can seek out various small projects that I’ve been involved in over the past couple of years including the rebuild of my little green dinghy “Fidget”