Sailing adventure on minimal outlay.

Contact me.

Please feel free to contact me regarding anything I’ve talked about on this site.( Especially if you have any queries about Macavity, Idris or any experiences of your own that you would like to share. I think that the early Denys Rayner designs were quite underrated. Heavy yes, but certainly not slow for a cruising boat in a decent breeze, and really tough for those all too inevitable groundings, bumps, and scrapes that I had to go through as a beginner. The Halcyon 27 of course needs no introduction, a very well regarded boat and for good reason.

Motoring home from the Sidmouth Folk Festival early in the morning to catch the tide over the Exe bar. Captured by Captn Bob aboard "Erin".

Idris motoring home from the Sidmouth Folk Festival early in the morning to catch the tide over the Exe bar. Captured by Captn Bob aboard “Erin”.



Macavity, anchored off Clovelly harbour on the North Devon coast for a night. Lundy island is just visible in the background. Summer 2012.


  1. Steve

    March 30, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    Just spent a good while on your site Jim, really interesting. Glad to see that your new mainsail is making such a big difference to Pum’s performance. I’ve had the same problem myself and went to a larger main with similar results (although I had to find a longer boom to get mine to fit!). Will be interested to follow your adventures together in 2015.
    Cheers, Steve.

  2. Hi there, just found your site and enjoyed reading it immensely. I am bothering you as I have a dinghy that I would like to get a mooring for in the harbour at Cockwood. Some years ago I googled the harbour and found a site on which you could ask for a space at Cockwood, now I really need one I can’ t see any mention of it on the net ! Can you point me in the right direction please or tell me who runs the moorings so that I can apply to them. I live in Newton Abbot and am renovating my sailboat at Exmouth in Shelly Gut. Problem is that it’s a 50 mile round trip and it would be a boon to have my dinghy moored (it’ s far too heavy to fetch oit on a trailer), at Cockwood to cross over the Exe on, parking over there is a pound an hour 24/7 including Christmas day so overnighting is a bit pricy on a limited pension.

    I think you have put together a lovely site and I shall follow it from now on and maybe meet up with you one day.

    Thanks in advance for reading this, hope life is good and happy with you and yours.


    • Hello Rob, Paul here (owner of Kestrel 22′ that was next to your yacht in Exmouth Gut ). I noticed your enquiry here and did a bit of research for you and managed to find a link for you to follow up re. obtaining a mooring in Cockwood Harbour. Try this site and contact details and let me know how you get on at

      The site is : –

      Look forward to hearing from you soon Rob.

      ======================================== ================

      As an aside Steve, may I also congratulate you on your excellent site as well as your YouTube vids of your sails around the bay. Great info and advice, some of which I have already used on my yacht. For example your ply solar panel panel on the back of McCavity. And I am also intending to utilize your flip-out GPS Mount which is also a great idea.

      Anyway, nuff said. If you happen to find yourself around Exmouth Gut ( Next to Imperial Showground ) Steve, would really like to shoot the breeze talking boaty stuff with you sometime.

      Regards to all.

  3. Hi Steve
    Still finding out about my old halcyon
    Can you remember where you got the Tinned twin core and the other electrical parts when you redone the wiring on Macavity ?

    • Steve

      December 7, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Hi Andy. Luckily I run a small electrical business so my wholesalers can get hold of most things. Having said that, I also use a company called “Vehicle Wiring Products” who provide an excellent service and will send out a small catalogue of their wares if you contact them (0115 9305454).
      Cheers, Steve.

      • Thanks for that Steve.
        looks like a wee goldmine of electrical supplies.
        I see you have Idris at home so the work can continue over the winter.
        I look forward to following your progress.
        Cheers Andy

  4. Steve can i pick your brain on insulation ?
    I have acquired several off cuts of Kingspan 100mm insulation im going to use this for the vberth. the thing is i also found some insulation that is on a roll about 5 mm thick on the out side it is silver on the inside it is a black sticky almost glue like substance. Have you ever come across this before on any site you have been working on ?
    Am i right that this would be suitable to line the roof with ???
    Cheers Andy

    • Steve

      December 11, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Hi Andy. Don’t know what the black stuff is, sounds interesting. I would try a small piece somewhere for a summer before committing to it as it could just fall off and leave a nasty impossible mess. Kingspan is ok so long as it doesn’t get jiggled about too much. It tends to go to a kind of light airbourne powder that can give you a nasty cough. I lined an old camper van with it once and every time someone slammed a door it was a bit like being gassed. Closed cell foam insulation is better but I know you’re on a budget so is probably out of the question.

      • Thanks for the info bud. I am on a tight budget as you know.
        Every skip i go past its a case of having a look to see if i can use anything.
        The only reason i went for insulation was due to the fact it was FREE there for the taking.
        Heat wise im going to weld up a small stove using 100×100 box section that was scrap. I think if i can do this restoration ( Performing a miracle ) with in the £100 budget i will be doing not to bad. I know you said about not doing too much and ending up scunnered 9as we say up here).
        The thing driving me is that in 2018 my Halcyon will be 50 and so will i. If i dont get her in the water next year heyho but i am determined that she will be in the water in June 2018.
        I will sail her round the UK in 50 days just for the sake of it.
        I know it can be done in around 30 but best taking it easy as i have never sailed in my puff.
        I have restored a 1980 Bikini Dateline but the yacht is all new to me.
        im not rich far from it. But i can learn anything. So i dont have to pay labour costs and i dont mind skip diving lol.
        I am Scottish but not tight any thing from it if i had the money i would have her refitted to the best spec possible in fact thinking of that i probably would have a brand new yacht.
        But i dont have the cash so its me and what ever tools i have to get her sea worthy. I was watching “Coastal Path” on the TV they were in your neck of the woods. Looks real nice water down there.
        One day i hope to sail in it.
        Cheers Andy

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