Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Monday, 5 March 2018


Went down to the boat yesterday and notced a few changes in the pond at Eastney.

The first is that there's a Seawych that has joined the boats down in the moorings. From the red-ish hull and the white superstructure, it's a leter model than Sprite 2, most likely a Mk2.

The other change is that Mashooka has been cleared from the beach. Sadly, it looks like she's been broken up as she was pretty much disintegrating over time. It's sad, because she's been down at Eastney since the first time I went down there, but successive owners have just neglected her. The last owner tried to do some work on her, but wooden boats end up being worse than they look.

But her mast coming down a few weeks ago and the collapse of her cabin must have been the last straw. She looked pretty much a wreck the last time I took a picture of her.

Nuthatch, a Kingfisher 20 that was on the beach up by the ECA slipway also went a few weeks ago, so it looks like the Harbourmaster is doing the rounds to clear some of the worst offenders when it comes to lying on the beach. But up until last year Nuthatch always had a ticket on her.

Which reminds, me, some effort needs to be made this year to get Jim's boat back on a mooring an off the beach. Her engine is good to go, all it needs is the rudder sorting and she should be ok to float.

Of course she does need a new block, chain and buoy to moor to. But hopefuklly we can get that sorted cheaply.

Another boat that needs some work is Nicky's. The hole that was cut in the hull to make an outboard well needs filling. I did say I'd do it last year, but didn't get round to it. Hopefully this year I can get both Jim and Nicky off the beach and closer to sailing.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Not only Small yachts are free

This ad just appeared on on of the Facebook Yachty Groups...

Shipman 28
Unfinished project boat ashore undercover in Fareham, Hants. 7 year old sails but hardly used. Good mast with new haliards 7 years ago. Yanmar 1GM10 engine. Inside very tatty but she does sail nicely - tiller steering, like a big dinghy. I just don’t have the time to finish and sail her and she deserves better!
Class details here

If only I had the money.... which sounds counter-intuitive when talking about a free boat. But just keeping it on a cheap swinging mooring would cost about £700 for the year, insurance would be more expensive and usually requires a survey on something that size.

The cost of getting it into the water (at least £100 for a lift) and before that making it sea safe (changing the through-hulls and seacocks, plus yard fees for the time it takes to make good).... the list goes on.

So a free yacht can quite easily cost the thick end of £2000 just to get it on a mooring,let alone get it up to a decent standard. 

In the long term of course it's cheaper than buying a similar boat outright, but it's not for the Skint Sailor. Realistic goals are the best way to keep costs down. Letting your heart rule your head (like buying a 28ft project yacht) is a surefire way to loose a lot of money.