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Boat Transport News 2019
TWIZZLE CREEK TO RIVER ASLAND
Hesketh Bank, Lancashire GB, April 29: In transit from a remote anchorage on Arthur Ransome’s Secret Water, an East Coast race-winner nears an ancient West Coast boatyard. The German-built Hacker Caribic 40 ALIZÉ won the Colne Yacht Club Ostende Rally in 2007 and 2008 and the River Colne Spring Series races on the Essex coast back in 2009.
To avoid overhanging trees on Coles Lane, Walton-on-the-Naze, a long and narrow road that leads across the Essex marshes to moorings in Twizzle Creek, ALIZÉ had been sailed away from Ransome’s beloved Walton Backwaters to be lifted to transport at Suffolk Yacht Harbour on the River Orwell.
Yet lorry driver Mark Chapman faced many more trees to bring the cruiser-racer to shipwrights at Douglas Boatyard on the banks of the River Asland, the estuary of the River Douglas, where boats have been fettled for the Irish Sea for at least a thousand years.
The 8-tonne, 13-metre cruiser-racer, designed by Kurt Schröter, was built at the Hacker Werft in Travemünde on the Baltic Sea in 1997.
The narrow Becconsall Lane turns very tightly at Becconsall Old Church, avoiding a graveyard where many sailors have been buried, including James Blundell, a guide to the treacherous Ribble Sands who drowned in 1844, according to his gravestone:
Often times I have crossed the sands
And through the Ribble deep
But I was found in Astland drown'd
Which caused me here to sleep
It was Gods will it should be so
Some way or other all must go
Yard manager Grant Jackson and the team at Douglas Marine lifted the remarkably unscratched ALIZÉ for her spring re-fit on the ancient Hesketh Bank wharf, where in the reign of Elizabeth I, Nicholas Bonnde’s ship Bartholomew of Liverpool unloaded in 1565 3 tons of ferri [iron], 1 ton of sal [salt], 25 windles of avenax [oats], 2 sacks of pissax [peas] and 6 windles of fri [wheat].
Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough GB, June 29: For the first time since 2009, there's an excursion cruiser working the Lancashire lake known to generations of millworkers as Weighvers' Seaport.
In 1875 thousands of mill hands walked to the lake from Smithy Bridge railway station to watch Captain Matthew Webb training for the first recorded swim across the English Channel.
In Victorian days there were often three steamers at work on the 53-hectare lake that had been created in 1800 to feed the locks of the trans-Pennine Rochdale Canal.
A much-loved wooden, clinker-built boat of uncertain origin, Lady Alice, arrived from Whitley Bay in 1927 and after the swan song of the steamers, the 34-foot trip boat carried an average 15,000 visitors around the lake every year until she was moth-balled for major repairs in 2009.
Faced by a £16,000 repair estimate for Lady Alice, the Rochdale Boroughwide Cultural Trust, known as Link4Life, rustled up £26,000 to buy themselves a graceful stand-in. She is a 10.5 metre motorboat, built in steel as recently as 2007 but blessed with fine lines and a charming Edwardian-style canopy.
The LADY KATHERINE was built as a steamer by Webster and Lewery at Wem and designed for cruising on the idyllic, and much more aristocratic waters of Ellesmere, an ice-age lake donated to the people of Shropshire in 1953 by Peregrine Cust, 6th Baron Brownlow. Gavin Lewery named his new steam yacht after Lady Brownlow and told the Shropshire Star: "I felt the Mere at Ellesmere had a certain Victorian feel about it and I had a vision of this Victorian-style steamboat sailing on the lake."
The 20-horsepower replica Victorian steam engine, fed by a 21st century bio-fuel boiler, eventually proved "un-economic" for occasional cruising days on the idyllic mere and has now been replaced by a 13.5 bhp Beta Marine 2-cylinder diesel.
In June 2018, Gavin's team handed the 6-tonne flat-bottomed cruiser over to boat transporters Sealand for a complicated launching operation on a patch of reclaimed land alongside shallow water at the Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club, selected as the only safe area for operating a 55T mobile crane from Emsley Crane Hire in Harrogate.
WINDSWEPT AND THE WHIRLWIND
Littlehampton GB, 1939: For the first four months of the Second World War, a bookish, half-French schoolgirl lived aboard a 54ft Hillyard ketch on a deep water mooring in the River Arun.
The bilingual 11 year old would be described by Orson Welles in 1967 as 'the greatest actress in the world'.
Jeanne Moreau, who died in Paris last year at 89, never forgot the ketch Windswept, or the name of the little fishing boat Wagtail used by her English grandfather Granville Buckley as the tender to his yacht.
Granville Buckley was a former sailing trawler skipper. He had sold his own 58ft jigger smack Alicia FD 60 at Fleetwood in 1905. In the summer and autumn of 1939 he sheltered Jeanne with her mother and her baby sister aboard the hefty 'double-ender' that David Hillyard's men had built in mahogany on oak at the Ropewalk in Littlehampton in 1936.
The future star of Louis Malle's film Lift to the Scaffold, of Jules et Jim for François Truffaut and three movies for Orson Welles, was the unexpected and sometimes unwanted daughter of a 20-year old Lancashire girl who went dancing with the Tiller Girls at the Folies Bergère in the roaring twenties.
So the first words ever delivered by Jeanne Moreau were spoken in Lancashire-accented English on a summer holiday at her grandfather's house in Oldham. He called her Chatterbox.
Fifty years later, after marriages and affairs with famous Frenchmen, with men as varied as Pierre Cardin and Lee Marvin, after a dramatic Hollywood separation from the director of The Exorcist and after being named as a co-respondent by Vanessa Redgrave, 'La Moreau' was asked if she had ever loved an Englishman. “Yes”, she said. “He had the impossible name of Granville. He was my grandfather.“
She told the French novelist Yvonne Baby that grandfather was “mad about Joseph Conrad.”
I think he once met Conrad. He wrote articles for the maritime journals, acquired himself a boat with the magnificent name Windswept and rented himself out with the yacht in summer, giving courses in navigation. There were books by Conrad in his library and I read them all in English. I am totally bilingual. I went to school in England during the war.
I was eleven, captivated by voyages and a life at sea discovering islands.
Orson Welles, Michael Bryant, Jeanne Moreau and cameraman Willy Kurant filming off the Croatian island of Hvar on Welles's unfinished 1966-9 film The Deep. WILLY KURANT
Describing film-making to the Canadian photographer Shawn Dogimont in 2012, Moreau said
Filming is concentration. Just as writers very rarely say they jump around with joy when they are in front of a blank page, there can be a passion and you can feel you're on the right track. It's a very strange world. For somebody with nothing to do on the set, it's like somebody who's seasick, who doesn't know what it is to sail. The only thing you can do with that person is ask him to go downstairs and vomit, or whatever. But don't be on deck. I learned how to sail with my grandpa. My grandpa in England was a sailor.
He taught me how to repair the nets and things. He kept me busy. He would say, 'There's water! Pump.' Or 'Today is clear. Maybe we see the coast of France.'
Biographer Marianne Gray noted in 1994 that Jeanne Moreau could still sing Vera Lynn's 1939 version of the daily envoi given by 'Uncle Mac' at the end of every BBC radio Children's Hour: “Goodnight, children, everywhere”.
“If my mother had left my father sooner. I would have been an English actress.”
Jeanne's father, Anatole Moreau, had been the insomniac co-owner of a fashionable late-night bistro in Montmartre frequented by the Tiller Girls and their American Folies Bergère star Josephine Baker.
Baby Jeanne meant that Kathleen would never tour America with the Tiller Girls. For Anatole Moreau's extended family, most of them still living in villages in the ancient central province of the Bourbonnais, a Moreau baby by a Protestant dancer was a very different kind of disaster. Anatole, Kathleen and Jeanne lived in both Paris and Vichy, before splitting up after a bankruptcy in Vichy landed them in a dreadful existence in two rooms next to a Parisian brothel near Pigalle. Kathleen came home to her mother and father in Brighton with Jeanne and a new-born baby Michelle. Jeanne joined the Brownies in Sussex.
It was only the war that took them back to France. On January 1, 1940, Jeanne and her mother boarded the Newhaven - Dieppe ferry, pushing Michelle in a pram and returning to Paris five months before the German invasion.
In the late summer of 1940, with Anatole Moreau trapped in the unoccupied part of France, Kathleen, Jeanne and the baby were turned back by the Germans in a column of Parisian refugees intercepted at Orléans. Kathleen was ordered as a British subject to report daily to the Gestapo in Paris.
At 15, in German-occupied Paris, Jeanne skipped a Latin class for a secret visit to Jean Anouilh's Antigone, a play about the rebellious daughter and sister of Oedipus:
It was the coup de foudre. I was Paul on the way to Damascus. I knew at once I wanted to be an actress.
Her father hit her across the face when she told him what was going to happen:
My father was drunk and the first word that came out of his mouth was putain - whore. To be an actress was to be a whore.
The 'greatest actress in the world' is now buried in the cemetery at Montmartre, not far from the site of her father's bistro and very close to the grave of her lover François Truffaut.
For Jules et Jim Truffaut persuaded Serge Rezvani, a close friend of Jeanne's first husband and a painter who was neither a professional actor nor a guitarist, to accompany Moreau as she sang a private song that Rezvani had written about her years before. The second verse of Le Tourbillon de la Vie [The Whirlwind of Life] goes:
Elle avait des yeux, des yeux d'opale
Qui m'fascinaient, qui m'fascinaient
Y avait l'ovale d'son visage pâle
De femme fatale qui m'fut fatal
De femme fatale qui m'fut fatal
A tourbillon proved fatal for Windswept on August 1, 2003. She was flying the Italian flag in the Aeolian volcanic islands north of Sicily, where the unpredictable local weather was recently described by underwater archaeologists investigating a 2,200 year old Roman shipwreck known as Panarea III:
The archipelago is named after Aeolus, the mythological Greek god of the wind, and perhaps for good reason. The winds, together with strong currents, unpredictable weather conditions, make the islands one of the most dangerous places for seafarers to navigate.
After surviving wartime government ownership and seven different British owners between 1947 and 1978 Windswept had been restored as a major prize-winning project by the Tecnomar yard on the banks of the River Tiber at Fiumcino near Rome.
Disaster struck five months after presentation of a 2003 restoration of the year trophy to the Italian craftsmen for their work on Windswept.
Emiliano Parenti of Tecnomar, who can be seen riding the bowsprit of Windswept in the top sea trials picture, said, “She had been completely restored. I took her on the sea trial and the owners were delighted.
“On August 1, she was caught in a fierce thunderstorm off Panerea. She just exploded on the rocks of the island. It is very sad because she was a magnificent boat.”
Built: 1936 by David Hillyard at Littlehampton, England
Wrecked: August 1, 2003, Island of Panerea, Tyrrhenian Sea.
La Moreau: a biography of Jeanne Moreau by Marianne Gray, New York NY 1996.
Yacht Transport News 2017
FROM GRAVEYARD TO LAST CHANCE SALOON
Liverpool, June 29, 2017: Two months after she was plucked from a maritime graveyard on the banks of the River Mersey, the 106 year old nobby MYSTERY II landed at the doors of the carpentry workshops of the Liverpool Community College.
The last-chance refit, planned and funded by the local Nobby Owners Association, demanded two road trailers and a 50T mobile crane, in an operation that took the 12.6m x 3.65m nobby inches under the first floor of an office block in Vauxhall Road, Liverpool, then up and over, in slings, to clear a 3-metre brick wall and avoid the 3.5m steel gateway that restricts access to the college workshops.
Built by James Armour at Fleetwood in 1911 for Frank Hughes of Egremont, Wallasey, the gaff-rigged trawler Mystery II won the Magazines Sailing Club Regatta in her very first summer. Seven decades later, after two world wars and a hard life fishing from Conwy in North Wales, she was still fast enough to come second in the 1990 Liverpool Nobby race, using a suit of borrowed sails.
Moored for years as the mysterious LL59 in the tideway near the Tranmere Oil Terminal, she was well-known to thousands of seafarers. Norval "Spike“ Brown owned her for fifty years. The Liverpool insurance broker Tom Middlebrook heard that she was in trouble early this year. The 41ft 6in nobby had been laid up near Riverbank Road in Bromborough, facing demolition.
Days later the Nobby Owners Association, formed in 1987 to "encourage the restoration of traditional Morecambe Bay prawners and Lancashire nobbies“ organised a rescue by Sealand Boat Deliveries, to haul her into the Bluepoint yard at Liverpool while the association arranged an overhaul by craftsmen and apprentices at the community college in Vauxhall Road. By mid-summer, the association ordered Sealand and a crack lifting team from Roadcraft Crane Hire to hoist the 11.5 tonne hull from a car park, over a wall to land her on a second slave boat trailer for rolling for restoration at the end of a narrow alleyway at the side of the college.
ARCTIC WHALE WATCHERS
Norwegian Sea, January 2017: After a mid-winter delivery from the West of Scotland to the North of Norway, the diveboat Cearban keeps station with a killer whale off Krøttøya, northernmost inhabited island of the 365 islets in the Andfjorden.
Four weeks earlier on December 4, the crew of the specialised Redbay Stormforce 9.1 boat had been at sea off the Inner Hebrides filming basking sharks. Team leaders Shane Wasik and Luke Saddler have filmed both sharks and dolphins from tiny video cameras mounted on radio-controlled drones. The basking shark Cetorhinus maximus is the world's second-largest fish.
diveboat was hoisted ashore at Dunbeg by Oban. Four days later she was aboard the reefer ship Svartfoss at Grimsby, bound for a rendezvous in the Arctic with the killer whale, Orcinus orca, largest of the world's oceanic dolphins.
Cearban [Scottish Gaelic for basking shark] berthed by the light of the aurora borealis at her base at the remarkable Hotell Valhall the shore base for the whale watchers that is named after the god Odin's great hall in the Norse sagas.
Northbound A74[M], October 28, 2016: Driver Mark Chapman tackles the famous Night Mail climb, hauling the survey catamaran PROTEUS, 4.95m wide, from Grimsby to Ardrossan.
The twin hulls of the 23-tonne Bibby HydroMap coastal survey vessel ride wide on high-tensile steel plates chained across a low 300mm deck height steerable trailer, keeping overall height under motorway bridge safe clearance on the 3-day haul over the three North British summits, M62 Windy Hill, M6 Shap and Beattock on the wide load route from the North Sea to the Firth of Clyde.
PROTEUS is named after an early Greek god of rivers, seas and oceans and works on advanced offshore geophysical surveys with side scan sonar, sub-bottom profilers and marine magnetometers. With a draught of only 1.0 metre she can operate in shallow seas up to 60 miles from safe havens.
After winning their class in the RORC Caribbean 600 race at dawn in Antigua on February 25, the crew of the French IRC 43ft racer TEASING MACHINE sailed for the USA on a mission to race in the Volvo Round Ireland Race, starting in Wicklow Bay at 13:00 on June 18.
Liverpool, May 23: Arriving from Norfolk, Virginia, aboard the Ro-Ro container carrier Atlantic Conveyor, the formidable Archambault A13, a new design from Joubert and Nivelt, was hauled through the heart of the maritime city, with her keel detached and her high modulus Axxon composite carbon mast stepped, to the Bluepoint yard on Merseyside.
In an epic 2015 aboard TEASING MACHINE, the French oil trader Eric de Turckheim had won his class at Cowes Week, taken the Channel Race outright and finished second overall in the Rolex Fastnet Race. But ever since he went offshore racing at the age of 18, he had dreamed of competing in the Sydney - Hobart Race.
To make this happen, the racing division of Peters & May in Southampton shipped TEASING MACHINE from France to Sydney by container ship in time for the Boxing Day start of the notorious heavy weather race across the Bass Strait.
Denied overall victory only by light airs on the very last 12 miles up the Derwent River from Iron Pot to Castray Esplanade, the TEASING MACHINE team took their class, finished 11th overall and delighted their skipper.
At Constitution Quay in Tasmania, Eric de Turckheim told the Rolex Sydney-Hobart race reporter Bruce Montgomery:
We went out to sea. We saw it coming on. It was very brutal and then that was it. We just went down south as much as we could. We had to deal with the next transition.
Then ten miles from the finish, you are stuck with no wind at all for four or five hours. You know what the result is. There is no question.
But it is a great race. For me it was always a dream when I was a kid, offshore racing when I was eighteen. To be here is such a great pleasure.
De Turckheim's improbable dream demanded a swift return to Sydney followed by another bold containership move planned by Craig Stanbury and the racing division in Southampton. Using ingenious cradling arrangements incorporating the French team's own ISO shipping container, the A13 was shipped to Panama, relaunched and sailed to English Harbour in Antigua by a skeleton crew in time for the February 22 start of the RORC 600 race around the islands of the West Indies.
Once again winning IRC One in only 68 hours elapsed time and claiming third overall for the race, de Turckheim was on hand to describe his experiences and the differences between racing in the Bass Strait and competing in the Caribbean:
It was a big trip to get the boat here from Australia, including sailing 1,500 miles upwind from Panama, but we knew we had the potential to do well in this race. This is a great race and I will always remember the leg from La Desirade to Barbuda, averaging 15 knots for 140 miles with full sail and warm water cascading down the deck; it couldn't be better. We like to win but not at any cost. The ambience on board is fantastic and we were often toasting our performance with a small glass of red wine.
Christian Tiggeler, a key man in de Turckheim's crew, was in the heavy lift area of the Royal Seaforth Container Terminal in Bootle to oversee transhipping, refitting and refairing the keel and re-rigging by the Bluepoint team, led by Andy Farrell and Tim Hare, at their yard on South Ferry Quay.
TEASING MACHINE sailed down the Mersey in June, bound for Wicklow as one of 63 starters in a memorable Volvo Round Ireland Race, delighting the veteran Irish yachting reporter W.M. Nixon by making ‘a proper job of tide-dodging inside the Wexford banks’. Nixon described an epic 704-mile battle between the three MOD trimarans in the race, won in a record 38 hours, 37 minutes and 7 seconds by the Sultanate of Oman’s flagship Musandam-Oman Sail:
Everything was gettingly nail-bitingly tense, and south of Greystones, Phaedo and Concise were slowing markedly, so Musandam came up from astern and took a bit of an offing, finding better breeze only a short distance offshore which carried her right to the line at Wicklow to finish ahead and created an absurd new record of 1 day 14 hours and 37 minutes, with Phaedo 3 six minutes astern, and Concise, which had so gallantly led for most of the race, coming in another minute later.
Follow that, as they say, but somehow Rambler 88 managed to outdo the drama, as she did the final stage from Rathlin Island to Wicklow in just part of the one span of daylight on Monday. But by the time she came calling the wind had veered and thus she was able to lay the whole way down the Irish Sea to the finish, and was travelling at full chat as she came into the line.
The craft and guile behind the crew of TEASING MACHINE again delighted Mr Nixon at afloat.ie :
Eric de Turckheim’s Teasing Machine was both consistent and brilliant, and on Wednesday tacking down the southern part of the North Channel, she was neck and neck with Ross Hobson’s two-handed canting-keeled Open 50 Pegasus of Northumberland.
But while Pegasus elected to continue on starboard right over to the Isle of Man as can be seen on the tracker plan, Teasing Machine’s crew took a completely different choice, they went right to the southwest, and then tacked to curve across Dundalk Bay close past Clogher Head until the two boats met again at Rockabill, following which they paced together down to Wicklow where a bit of slick tacking saw Teasing Machine finish ahead, but by this time it was akin to bear-baiting, as the crew of the big Pegasus were boggle-eyed with exhaustion.
Teasing Machine’s time put her behind Rambler 88 on corrected, so the crazy dream was becoming reality, but that is in no way to detract from the de Turckheim crew’s performance, it was a superb playing of the hand they’d been dealt. They were comfortably ahead of Class 1 and 2, and soon out of sight on the determined little battlers of Classes 3 and 4, who until then had been snapping at their heels.
Pictures thanks to Peters & May, Bruce Montgomery, Sealand Boat Deliveries and Afloat.ie
From Zürisee to the Da-ow-a-ga
Eight thousand miles from an alpine lake in Switzerland to an alpine lake in the USA
Carnelian Bay, California, May 14: From her birthplace in Canton Schwyz ENCHANTED has arrived at her new mooring on Lake Tahoe, 1897 metres above sea level.
The 10.3m Pedrazzini Special Runabout, largest in the current range, left the lakeside workshops of Claudio Pedrazzini at Bäch am Zürichsee on April 4, after final trials on the lake known in Swiss German as Zürisee.
The rare fruit of 4,000 man hours of work by 15 craftsmen and apprentices, led by the grandson of the founder of the 102-year old firm, was shrink-wrapped at Bäch am Zürichsee by Neil Joseph from Poole in England, for transport to Lake Tahoe, a vast mountain lake not discovered by Europeans until 1844 and then known to the Washoe tribe of native Americans as Da-ow-a-ga.
Transportbedrijf Van de Wetering BV delivered the mahogany masterpiece from Switzerland to Zeebrugge in Belgium for a deep sea voyage aboard the 61,328 GRT car carrier MV Toscana via the Panama Canal to Port Hueneme, from where Californian trucker Warren Moger hauled her 500 miles into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, climbing 6,325 feet from sea level to the Sierra Boat Company at Carnelian Bay.
The Special Runabout, exhibited at boot Düsseldorf during the winter, is the second Pedrazzini to be acquired and shipped to Lake Tahoe by Sealand Boat Deliveries and Peters & May for her owner Jerry Kennelly who has a home at remote Incline Village on the Nevada side of the great lake.
FIRST OF THE NEW FAIRLINES
Oundle GB, March 3, 2016: Fairline Yachts have rolled out the first boat completed since Alexander Volov and Igor Glyanenkos re-formed the world famous firm six weeks ago.
The Targa 48 GT was destined for Bates Wharf, London agents for Fairline, after managers and workers at the new firm had first of all honoured contracts by completing all boats under construction when the old firm went into administration.
Russell Currie, the new managing director, said, “We are delighted that today has seen the first boat to roll off our production line since our purchase of Fairline Boats from administration at the end of January. We have been focusing on completing existing orders to ensure no customer of Fairline Yachts from anywhere in the world loses confidence in our ability to provide them with their new boat.
“As a result, we have experienced a surge in orders from our dealer network, for both stock and retail sold boats for this year and next. With a healthy forward order book, some outstanding future product designs, a skilled and passionate workforce, a committed dealer network and a loyal customer following, Fairline Yachts is on its way to getting back to where it belongs.”
FAIRLINE SAVED AGAIN
Two Russians have bought Fairline for less than the price of a superyacht.
Oundle GB, January 26: Alexander Volov and Igor Glyanenkos were revealed as the new owners of the rescued business to be known as Fairline Yachts.
Russell Currie, manager of Fairline North Mallorca and former engineering director of Sunseeker International in Mallorca, is the new managing director and the Oundle factory will stay open and employing around 100 staff with a plan to build between 30 and 40 yachts this year.
The Corby works and the base at Ipswich marina will not re-open.
Russell Currie said
I am delighted to have been appointed Managing Director for Fairline Yachts. With the resources of the investors, coupled with the expert knowledge of the management team and our energy and passion for the brand, the structure is in place for a great future for Fairline Yachts. We will focus on creating high quality luxury motor yachts that boaters will want to own and dealers will want to sell.
As a sign of our commitment to Fairline Yachts’ loyal customer base and dealer network, we will be completing all orders for boats received by Fairline Boats, including those that have not yet started being built as well as those that are already in production.
Alexander Volov and Igor Glyanenkos were described this week as British-based shareholders in the media technology business Megahertz and “passionate about boats.”
Fairline went into administration just before Christmas, only months after being sold by Jon Moulton’s private equity firm Better Capital to Wessex Bristol run by Ayiaz Ahmed, buyer of Fletcher Boats from SBS Ltd in June 2015. The Fairline Boats administrator is believed to have sold the firm for £4.5 million.
The firm was founded in 1963 by Jack Newington. After turning gravel pits on the River Nene into Oundle Marina he launched his first 5.8m grp river cruiser in 1967. When Jack’s son Sam retired in 1996 the company was running a network of 35 dealers in North America. In 1991 the Fairline Targa 38 was named European Powerboat of the Year.
Fairline Squadrons at the Ipswich testing base in 2007. Oxyman, Creative Commons
Yacht Transport News 2015
TO THE LIMIT AT GLASSON DOCK
Moving a 55ft blue water ketch from the Lune to the Humber.
Glasson Dock GB, March 23: Ever since the navvies linked the Lancaster Canal with the Irish Sea at Glasson Dock in 1826, this fine bridge has been testing carters and hauliers.
SHEARMYSTE, a 26 tonne, 8-foot draught, aluminium alloy ketch, built by Thrislington of Newton Aycliffe in 1984 to a Laurent Giles design, was bound for Hull when a team from Sealand Boat Deliveries and Davlyn Marine loaded her at the Glasson Basin yard to within two inches of the safe motorway bridge height.
But with a ground clearance also measured in inches, would the super-low trailer clear the canal bridge before crossing a second humped-back stone bridge over the River Conder?
After successful test runs with empty extended trailers, a moment of truth approached when the 16.7m hull and the 22.86m long main mast were loaded to separate lorries. During loading, one of the strongest tides of the year had silently inundated the road that crosses the River Conder estuary.
Despite the test run, it was no surprise when the super-low trailer grounded on the 1826 bridge. It took a dozen steel rollers under the trailer and 30 minutes 'planking up' to clear the first bridge. This triumph preceded a long tidal wade, two tight turns and a crossing of the second bridge which has defeated many low-loaders in the last fifty years.
Re-launched at Hull Marina 24 hours after lifting at Glasson Basin Marina.
CLASSIC RESCUE FROM WINTER IN THE FIRTH OF FORTH
A fine 1907 Mylne sloop has been rescued for restoration.
Burntisland GB, November 4, 2014: TRESTA, built by James Adam & Sons at the Cove Yard Docking Slip, Gourock, 107 years ago, has been towed ten miles by RIB from the isolated harbour of Kinghorn, where she was found afloat by shipwright Steve Street. Her picture appeared on the Scottish-based findafishingboat.com website.
The next stage of the rescue plan involved the Briggs Marine multicat FORTH BOXER bringing the old girl alongside a mobile crane for road delivery to Steve's Lancashire workshop by Sealand Boat Deliveries.
The great Alfred Mylne I, 1872 - 1951, drew the lines of the 9.84m [33ft 2in] sloop at his office in Hope Street, Glasgow, just after he had been invited to an international meeting at the Langham Hotel in London, where yachtsmen, designers and engineers began to formulate the International Rule that revolutionised yacht racing.
In 1968, when the elegant double-ender was owned and raced by Dr G. Henderson from Garelochead, she came third out of 34 starters in the final leg of the Clyde Cruising Club Tobermory Race.
Her new owner does not yet know how her long career in Clyde racing led to the exposed mooring by the quay in Kinghorn, Fife, a harbour inaccessible to lorries on a coast 'much encumbered with rocks' near the cliffs where King Alexander III of Scotland fell to his death after his horse stumbled in 1286.
The 6500kg 1.88m [6ft 2in] draught hull has now been craned into a workshop cradle in a yard near the River Douglas at Newborough, Lancashire.
Steve Street is still remembered on the island of Islay for his sensational 2010 arrival in Port Askaig at the helm of the restored RNLI lifeboat FRANCIS W. WOTHERSPOON. The 47-foot Watson had been stationed in Islay from 1959 to 1970. She was pensioned-off after saving sixty lives during her service on the island. Steve discovered her afloat in the harbour in Douglas, Isle of Man, but declared 'a danger to shipping'. The refit involved a complete workshop overhaul of her twin Gardner 5-cylinder diesels and gearboxes.
A VERY TIGHT JOB
Grimsby GB, January 29: PROTEUS OF LIVERPOOL, the newest Osiris Projects coastal survey vessel took to the motorways for the very first time.
Despite being hard up against the British motorway loading gauge, the Merseyside hydrographic research firm, since re-branded as Bibby HydroMap, decided to use road transport for re-positioning PROTEUS from sub-sea surveys in the North Sea to new tasks off Oban in the West of Scotland. Launched by Blyth Workcats at Canvey Island, after a short out-of-gauge road journey in 2013, the 14.0m catamaran measures 14.0m x 4.96m beam, with an overall height, after all masts and gear are lowered, of 4.3m. Sealand Boat Deliveries undertook the job using a fully-stretched German-built Doll extending trailer, offering a deck height only 300mm above the road surface. The catamaran keel centres were wider than the trailer deck, so Sealand cut three high-tensile steel plates to carry the load, losing only a few inches of deck height. Drivers Mark Chapman and Tony Curry pulled out of Grimsby docks with a running height of only 4.87m [16ft 0in], just three inches under their target.
Bound for Scotland on M180
The rig rolled into Troon Yacht Haven 34 hours out of Grimsby involving a night-time Police Scotland escort to avoid road works near Kilmarnock. PROTEUS came close to exceeding the lifting envelope of the 50 ton travel hoist at Troon. Lifting for the launch demanded removal of the trailer neck on day four of the operation. Skipper Daniel Jarvis and his survey crew boarded PROTEUS on day four to prepare, in the tradition of the god Proteus for the next stage of their voyage to Oban via the Crinan Canal.
Proteus, a son of Poseidon, was an early Greek god of rivers, seas and oceans, Homer's 'Old Man of the Sea', who would change his shape to avoid foretelling the future, eventually giving us the word 'protean' for versatility, flexibility and adaptability.
The crew left their ship's automatic identification system switched on during the cross-country move, allowing their managers the rare sight on office laptops of a maritime AIS-equipped vessel clearing Beattock Summit at a steady 45 miles per hour.
MV Proteus works up to 60 miles from safe havens under MCA Category 2 with a maximum speed of 24 knots and a remarkably shallow draught of 1.0m for inshore operations. The catamaran design ensures exceptional manoeuvrability at low and high speed with a low drag profile to save fuel.
High grade positioning systems include an Inertial Navigation System (INS) and acoustic Ultra Short Baseline (USBL) acoustic positioning system for towfish tracking. The large aft deck features a moon pool fitted with a hydraulic retractable hydrodynamic gondola designed to house a high grade multibeam echo sounder systems. PROTEUS is permanently mobilised with an AGO-CSW7 electric sonar winch which when combined with the hydraulic A-Frame, allows for the safe launch and recovery of geophysical equipment including side scan sonar, sub bottom profilers and marine magnetometers. A hydraulic lifting winch enables oceanographic and benthic survey equipment to be launched and recovered from the vessel including small inspection class ROV/drop down camera, various grab sampling equipment and benthic trawls.
Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire GB: The oldest of the marvellous canal warehouses at the Sowerby Bridge Basin was built in 1770, so it is hardly surprising that road access is tight for the lorries of today.
This is as good as it gets at this key Pennine canal base, where the Calder and Hebble Navigation of 1759 meets the transpennine Rochdale Canal of 1804. MISTY LADY, formerly FREE SPIRIT, a 10.36m x 3.65m wide F.B. Wilds Bermuda 34 Broads cruiser had been re-fitting in a tight location in Lancashire before Sealand Boat Deliveries were called in to bring her to the Calder and Hebble. After double-lifting over narrow steel gates at Bury, the drivers were faced by the tight archway at Sowerby Bridge, the only road access point to the mobile crane launching pad. Her owners appear pleased.
MANHATTAN 63 TO PSP SOUTHAMPTON SHOW
Southampton GB, September 2013: Making their very short journey from Dock Gate 4 to a keynote position at the entrance to the 2013 PSP Southampton Boat Show, the Sunseeker personnel manning the flybridge of their new Manhattan 63 were 8 metres above the road as driver Chris Bugler eased their 35 tonne package of innovation, luxury and performance into her show position, displayed on the trailer outside the Grand Harbour Hotel in West Quay Road.
The new 21-metre Manhattan 63 offers a cruising speed and range of 23 knots over 270 nautical miles driven by twin fixed-pitch propellers or IPS Pod drive units, capable of 33 knots.
NEW LIFE FOR A DERBY WINNER
Preston GB, June 19: 71 years after she was launched for wartime service in West Africa at "Sammy" White’s yard in East Cowes, LEMBERG has been road-hauled from the River Thames to the River Ribble in Lancashire.
An outer layer of teak, specified for tropical service on her double-diagonal construction, granted this 48-foot High Speed Target Tower a long life. But few in 1942 would have forecast a sixty year career for a 12-tonne "Derby Winner Class" shipped by the Royal Army Service Corps to the supply port of Freetown in the year of the battle of El Alamein. Superbly preserved after half a lifetime on the River Thames and 59 years in the hands of one family, she is now destined for a winter berth under new ownership on the River Douglas in Lancashire.
In 1947 Mr Roger Miller bought her from the military small craft disposals yard at Woolwich. His family retained her forward wheelhouse and most of her features. Fitting a pair of 6.354 Perkins diesels in place of her trio of revolutionary wartime Perkins S6Ms reduced her top speed to 12 knots but allowed the family to walk through the engine room from the forward cabin to the saloon.
Each of her 21 sisters was built on the Isle of Wight by J. Samuel White or Groves & Gutteridge and carried the name of a racehorse winner of the Epsom Derby. Lemberg was a bay stallion born in 1907. He won the race in 1910 and lived a long life at stud until he died in 1928. His owner was just as lucky. Alfred Cox mysteriously campaigned a string of famous racehorses under the assumed name of "Mr Fairie". As a young man in Australia he won a share in a silver mine playing poker with Georgie McCulloch the mastermind behind the Broken Hill Mining Company, now BHP Billiton.
LEMBERG, delivered to the RASC in 1942 [RCT Museum].
Driver Lyndon Harding fills his kettle at Preston Marina after the haul from Shepperton Marina.
J/111: NEW YEAR MERSEY ARRIVAL
Liverpool GB, January 2: The first of the new J/111 offshore racer-cruisers to reach the Mersey, Captain Guy Cowper's JEZEBEL, arrived at the Bluepoint boatyard for the new year.
Barely eighteen months after the first of these strict one-design 36-footers raced during Block Island Week in the USA, sixty J/111s have been built in France and the USA and delivered to ten countries. Ten raced together at La Trinité-sur-Mer in Brittany in the summer of 2012. In a famous last-minute performance in 2011, a brand new French-built J/111 called SHMOKING JOE arrived by lorry in Hamble only 24 hours before the start of the 2011 Round Island Race. Phil Thomas and Duncan McDonald immediately raced her to win the IRC1 and IRC 1A divisions and finish sixth of the 400 competing IRC boats in the big 50-mile race.
Sealand Boat Deliveries delivered JEZEBEL, complete with a 16.67m mast constructed by Hall Spars in a new carbon nano-tube material called Arovex. To lower her centre of gravity and deliver a boat with no more than 2.18m draught, the Johnstone brothers of J-Boats designed a hollow fabricated stainless steel fin with a flat-sided lead bulb. J/111s can accelerate to windward at over 7 knots and plane downwind at 17 knots.
The J/111 is known for her narrow waterline beam and her open transom.
FINLAND TO VALENCIA ON HER BEAM ENDS
Bosund SF, June 2012: Baltic Yachts tilted the pioneering Baltic 72 Grand Prix hull on her side to reduce her beam from 6.0m to 5.0m for road delivery to Valencia for Alessandro Rombelli, the 2011 winner of the Melges 20 Gold Cup Championship and challenger for the 2012 Copa del Rey.
Bryn Saith Marchog GB, March 10, 2012: The 106 year old Liverpool nobby ALBION is hauled into the Welsh mountains for restoration, above and beyond the remote hamlet of Derwen in Denbighshire. On the last leg of an amazing journey from the beach at Conwy to the end of a narrow track in the high country, Sealand Boat Deliveries transhipped the 12-tonne Irish Sea fast fishing boat to a farm trailer.
Gateforth GB, February 9: After 36 hours icebound in the grounds of a stately home, Sealand Boat Deliveries driver Mark Chapman decided to film his own escape attempt. On the iced gravel of a steep and treacherous private road he soon passed the point of no return. The load was a 3.8m wide Spanish-built Puma 37 sloop destined for a mid-winter delivery across the high moors of Northern England to Whitehaven on the Irish Sea.
St Peter Port, November 3, 2011: FOOTSIE, a damaged 17.6m Sunseeker Predator 52 is the largest yacht ever shipped by road vehicle from the island of Guernsey. Bugler Transport moved her by night through the streets of the port towards the Southampton ferry. TONY RIVE
Chris Bugler at White Rock in St Peter Port, ready to roll FOOTSIE aboard the ro-ro ferry Commodore Goodwill for repairs in England. TONY RIVE RESCUING USTINOV'S NITCHEVO
The ketch with a glamorous history, built for ocean racing by de Vries Lentsch in 1929, had been rusting away at at Port Napoléon in the Rhône delta after the death in 2004 of the celebrated film actor, theatre director, writer and raconteur. PHIL RUSSELL
CLASSIC MOVE: CONNECTICUT TO CORNWALL IN 21 DAYS
Liverpool, August 29: A very special parcel clears customs at the ACL Royal Seaforth ocean terminal just three weeks after yacht owners in Mystic CT struck a deal with a yachtsman in Falmouth to bring the Internation One Design sloop Greyhound back to Europe, 74 years after she left the Fredrikstad yard of her Norwegian designer Bjarne Aas. MARK CHAPMAN
Hamble, November 2011: A sister ship for KERONIMO, Jason Ker's 2011 Class 1A winner in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet race, arrives from China for fitting out near Southampton. Builders McConaghy Boats at Zhuhai in the Pearl River Delta packed the Ker 40 One Design hull by slinging her from webbing straps inside an innovative deep sea shipping frame.
Light and fast, 12.2m x 4.15m and only 4600kg displacement, the Ker 40 was designed for the Australian firm McConaghy as the next step for winning mixed fleet races under IRC and ORC rating rules and voted Best Boat Under 45ft at the 16th China International Boat Show in Shanghai. Bugler Transport moved her from Southampton Docks in the novel cradle, to be re-united with her keel at Hamble Yacht Services.
YACHT CARRIER FREE AFTER 5M DOLLAR RANSOM - THREE DEATHS
Mombasa, Kenya, April 18: After 12 weeks ransom negotiation, pirates released the German-owned ship heavy lift ship Beluga Nomination. She arrived in Kenya under tow, still loaded with her full deck cargo of yachts but carrying two bodies in her cold store. Her Polish captain and six of her crewmen were captured alive after defending the ship for 72 hours in their armoured citadel. The pirates broke through with cutting torches. Filipino sailor Farolito Vallega was executed in revenge after the death of a pirate in a failed counter-attack. Two crewmen escaped by lifeboat and a third drowned at sea. German police boarded the ship to examine two bodies. The Bremen-based shipowners applied for insolvency protection in March after their American private equity shareholders filed criminal charges against the founder of the 72-vessel fleet, Niels Stolberg, who denies any wrongdoing. Nine of the yachts are fast motor boats in transit to the Seychelles. Five were shipped by the world's leading yacht transport firm Peters & May. REUTERS / Joseph Okanga.
Copenhagen, March 5: Per Gullestrup, head of the Danish shipowning firm Clipper, said it was 'totally insane' of Danish yachtsman Jan Quist and his partner Birgit Marie Johansen to sail their 43ft yacht 'right into the pirates' arms' after blogging on a yachting website about their 'anti-piracy' plans when homeward bound across the Indian Ocean. Somali pirates have since seized the yacht ING and kidnapped Quist, Birgit Marie, their three teenage children and two other Danish citizens. All are now held 'for their own safety' with other kidnapped sailors on a pirate mother ship off the coast of Puntland in Northern Somalia.
St Helena, December 18, 2010: Every two years the False Bay Yacht Club organises a 1700 mile yacht race, downwind from Simonstown in South Africa to St Helena, the most remote island on earth. The Governor's Cup goes to the winner of a two week handicap race for yachts over 30 feet. Race supporters travel out to the island aboard the Royal Mail Ship St Helena. After a huge reunion on the island, the yachts are loaded aboard RMS St Helena and all concerned travel back to Cape Town, usually upwind, with families and friends celebrating Christmas Day aboard the 7,000 ton mail ship. Billy Leisegang's Simonis 35 monohull sloop Our Dianne won the 2010 trophy. Andrew Weir Yacht Management organised the yacht transport.
Douarnenez, France, November 24: Driver Ruud Vasterburg hauls ELISE OF LONDON out of Tréboul, just 9 months after a disastrous sinking in the Pouldavid River and 98 years after William Fife III laid her keel in Scotland.
October 2010: RNLI Dover snatched the 1903, 35 tonne, Belgian motor tjalk GOL 040310 minutes from disaster after her engine shut down off the Goodwin Sands. Her three crew were saved. Sealand Boat Deliveries and Rice Continental hauled her from Dover to the River Severn after her escape.
NAVIGARE NECESSE EST, VIVERE NON EST NECESSE
To sail is necessary, to survive is not necessary.
Attributed by Plutarch to Gnaeus Pompeius who sent sailors to sea in bad weather to bring grain from Africa to Rome.
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