Sailing my Paradox and country living

Worn out but happy


I arrived home last night after my little cruise feeling quite tired and spent. Yesterday morning’s  sailing exploits, when I spent ages beating up the river against the tide, only to run aground at one stage and expend much energy getting off the mud. then, in the afternoon, winching the boat onto the trailer,  followed by the long drive home.  were more than enough for one day for me.

But the tiredness will be gone  after another day or so and  the memories and photos will be with me for longer. The cruise was very satisfactory for me , with some cracking good fast and exhilarating sails and some slow ghosting at times too. Most enjoyable.

As always, I was flabbergasted at just how many nice yachts were moored up  in our harbours with no one using them. I’m convinced that 90 per cent of them just sit on their moorings or marina berths and hardly ever go for a little sail. One really wonders why people make such a big investment of capital to buy these expensive things and then fork out for mooring, insurance and maintenance without  getting fair use of their asset.  I suspect that a lot of them count as conspicuous consumption, there just to demonstrate the owner’s purchasing power……. Most are on the big side too. 35 or 40 feet is about the average. Maybe that they need more than one person to sail them and that the owners struggle to persuade others to crew for them..

Frugality is my motto. My 14 days and nights didn’t cost a huge amount.  There was the initial stock of food which I put on board before launching consisting and fruit and veg and a few tins of sardines and tuna, cheese and bread and butter,  some rice and couscous together with pasta .

The fuel for my old car for the return trip from home the the Dart – perhaps 35 quid, the 37 quid that I paid in the boatyard for using their slipway and secure parking for car and trailer while I was away.

I used 3 litres of petrol for the outboard and  3/4 of a litre of meths for the cooking stove over the 2 weeks. And about a litre of paraffin for the anchor light and interior pressure lamp. Not once did anyone ask me for any money for anchoring or using a mooring buoy.

So, on the whole I didn’t make too much of a dent in my bank account so don’t need to go on an extra economy drive to compensate.



For the mandatory picture, i noted this gaffer in the Dart yesterday. Caught my eye because it’s so different to the average  boat and I have a soft spot for gaffers anyway,.  I do like the low topsides and small deck house although the pram hood doesn’t add to her looks.  The grey colour is lovely.  Most boats have high topsides and huge cabins on top which makes them caravan like. This sort of thing is more elegant  to my eye. Anyone know what type she is?







3 thoughts on “Worn out but happy

  1. Hello Jim,
    Nice cruise by the sound of it. Agree totally with the frugality thing. When I was a lot younger I completed a 1500nm. coastal cruise and when I told people (lubbers mostly),, that I’d only shelled out,$7 for diesel in eight months, they thought I had rocks in my head. None so strange as folk.

    Yes too, all those expensive moored craft being left literally abandoned. Do that many people have buckets of money they need to get rid of ? I do wonder about the crew deficit theory too, I have a fellow off a 40 footer near me, always pestering me to crew for him. Mostly he just chugs about under power alone.
    Nice gaffer, no idea what type, we don’t get many of those type ’round ‘ere Skipper.
    Thanks for the heads-up on Paradox potholes/ventilation problem too. I’m off to scrub my bottom, cheers.
    Regards Terry


  2. Hi Jim. Another wonderful read. Looks like you had reasonable weather as well. That beautiful grey boat reminds me of a Lyle Hess design. The 24′ version arrived in Poole in 1973 with Lin and Larry Pardy on board having sailed from the States. I got to know them quite well as I was working in Piplers the chandlers then. They had built the boat. They went on to sail thousands of miles in her. See the link. Anyway a great read Jim. Thanks. Roly.


    • Hi Roly. Nice to hear from you again. I too remember seeing Seraffyn at the Quay too. At that time I was just finishing the building of my 23 ft gaffer but nothing like as good quality as that Seraffyn which is a hard act to follow. And thanks for the link. She looks a very well maintained boat and in wonderful condition for her age and the miles that she’s sailed.


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