Torbay J Class boats, Suzette and Dolphin afloat again

Ingo Werner last year sent some photos of his two Torbay J Class boats, Suzette and Dolphin, both built by Louis Gale of Paignton, Suzette in 1920 and Dolphin (originally Sonnet) in 1936.

The story goes that Ingo bought Suzette in 2013 and one year later Dolphin was also offered to him – he bought her, but her condition was worse than expected and so he had to invest quite an amount of time and work to get her back in her element.

He burned off all the varnish and paint, replaced the upper planks, some deck beams and the whole deck, but he says it all came out very nicely, and yesterday he finally had the chance to sail both boats.

He lives on the island of Usedom in Germany, and both boats have their berths in Peenemünde.

He reports: ‘Both boats sail like a dream, Dolphin a little bit faster than Suzette – Suzette’s rig is a bit smaller than Dolphin’s after her mainmast and boom were shortened and a yawl mast was installed in the 1950s.

The next step will be to change two or three planks on Suzette and take of the lines of both boats in February or March. I will do that with my friends from the boatyard Weiß.

In the photos, Suzette has the red hull while Dolphin is white.

Many thanks for the story and photos Ingo!

The Westsail story – how a William Atkin design became a popular GRP cruiser

A trailer for a new film about the popular and handsome Westsail GRP cruising boat based on a William Atkin double-ender (Thistle, I gather), which was itself derived from a Colin Archer type.

Like some other early GRP boats based on previous designs for wood, it has that look.

The film makers are appealing via the Westsail Owners Association for a few bob to help finish the film.