2021 was gifted texture with the construction of our next boat ‘Oddity’. The basic design had been signed off and she essentially ‘went live’ with a fortuitous deal on 1.4 tonnes of lead from the breaking of a local boat. I’m pleased to report she is on schedule for launch in spring and with that in mind I am starting the Oddity blog.
Tracey has chosen the hull colour and bought a colourful mix of soft furnishings to match. In truth it was the other way round and I can’t think of a better reference for Oddity is to be a home from home. A centre of gravity about which the family and grand children can orbit. A fun refuge from social media where we can share the wider world through the eclectic joys of nomadic cruising. A kit bag of life lessons where individuality, teamwork, self reliance and responsibility are paramount.
‘Oddity’ will be a mongrel for she is a mix of past boats. I use the word mongrel with a sense of endearment for Tracey and I have spent many happy hours making her fit for this next chapter in our lives. She will undoubtedly be an outcast when it comes to the homogenised production boats of today. That said, I prefer to think she will become a loyal, lovable scruff that will readily adapt to our eclectic needs for years to come.
At thirty two feet she is a tough little bugger of ply/epoxy construction with a commercial rubbing strake for access to remote fishing docks. Although ocean capable her brief is explore the coast, upper reaches, rivers and canals of Europe. We want to probe beyond the present tide line of cruising congestion and wriggle our way into unspoiled nooks and crannies.
She will draw three feet and dry out on a wide 10mm steel shoe that runs her length. After ‘Pearl’ we could never go to sea without a large pilothouse that shares the beauty of an anchorage as we potter below. Too small to lose both a centreboard and engine under the pilothouse floor we have opted for a couple of canted daggerboards. These will draw six foot when down and can be used as stabilisers when drying out on uneven ground. Twin rudders will be transom hung with a partial keg for protection and directional stability.
The rig is designed to be dropped remotely to transform her from an ocean going yacht into a river boat. First and foremost she is a sailing boat so we have opted for a powerful gaff rig which enables all the spars to remain within the boat length. The mast will have a high pivot point and lower into a saddle on the cockpit arch such that when stowed it all be above the cockpit Bimini. The cockpit arch will also carry solar panels, a dinghy hoist and SuperWind 350 wind generator.
So there you have it, we shall be sailing a boat called ‘Oddity’ with a dinghy called ‘Quirky’. Not quite sure what that says about us but hopefully it will promote an interesting and non conformist life.
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