I blogged about attending Dylan Winter's talk at the RAFYC in Hamble on Friday night. It was quite a good talk and any yacht club can do worse than invite him down for a chat and to have him talk and show a couple of his videos.
Dylan has a dream to restore an old Westerly Centaur with a knackered inboard engine and take it to the Shetlands and round the top of Scotland. He took in a bit of local knowledge on Friday night and trawled the boat yards of Chichester harbour where he found loads of Centaurs, but not quite the right one.
Not by replacing the engine, but giving it a new lease of life by cutting a well into the cockpit floor and fitting an outboard which should put the prop right where it used to be with the inboard, rather than the more ubiquitous outboard bracket on the transom.
That way he saves an old boat from rotting to death in a boat yard as its cheaper to buy a new or used outboard and create a well for it than pay a few thousand on a new inboard and possibly gearbox, stern tube, etc.
He has the backing of one of the Yachting Magazines who will support him in his quest by taking his article (and thereby supplying a small money supply for the project).
He's also got West Systems the Epoxy people on side as well who have pledged to support the project. After all, they may get a new stream of people cutting holes in their boats and fitting outboards in them if it catches on!
Its a noble idea which if it gains traction might get a few larger old boats out to sea.
So, does anyone out there know of a half decent Centaur (it HAS to be a Centaur apparently) somewhere on the South Coast who's engine has just coughed its last and who's owner really has had enough of the bills for an inboard and wants to move on? The budget is up to £2000 for a good 'un that doesn't need much more than the old engine ripping out and the outboard well fitting along with some sprucing up.
As a skint sailor I fully support Dylan's project up to a point. If it pushes up the price of mouldy Westerly Centaurs I might change my viewpoint. lol.