Back in that hot summer of 1976, Roger Jones decided to build another boat!
Years before he had built and sailed a Y.M. Senior, 'Taro'.
I recently learnt the name originated from his and his wife Rita names!
As Roger was a builder by profession, he thought he would use the materials he knew to help him construct a boat, so he chose Ferro! She was to be 'Contaro'!
Now the Eventide 26 was a little on the small side to normally be considered for a ferro project, but there have been craft built of all sizes from this versatile material, even 12 ft dinghies, so why not. He purchased a set of drawings from Yachting monthly and proceeded to convert them to a ferro build.
The most obvious problem was chines. Ferro is better in gentle curves, so Roger made the flat panels into 6 ft radius curves and gently rounded off any 'corners'. He plotted the whole lot out on paper and has kindly donated copies of his drawings to the EOG. They are included with the Eventide drawings CD. further more, although he did not consult MG, and indeed he apologised to MG in an article in one of our old publications back in the late 70's, he need not have been concerned, for MG had indeed already designed craft in Ferro, so would not have been put out!
the calculations Roger made, of weight and C of G etc, plus the displacement calculations, all proved correct, for as you will be able to see from the following pictures, she floated on her marks. Although she was heavy by comparison to a timber Eventide, she weighed in at over 4.5 tons, whereas a standard E 26 might only be 2.5 tons, the curving of the hull induced a slightly greater volume displacement, which offset the additional weight.
Having said that she did need a decent blow to get her moving and light airs were not her forté! Roger rigged her with Gaff rig, and also made all her sails as well! Roger of course went on to own Valiant Sails as well as formerly being a partner in the sail loft in Downs Road in Maldon.
Contaro was launched in 1978, after just 2 years in the building, and was regularly to be seen in the River Blackwater area. Roger eventually sold her in 1993, when she moved to London with her new owner. In 1995 an Australian chap bought her out of South dock Marina on the Thames, but never got in touch again and her whereabouts today is unknown. Unless dear reader you know different, in which case we would be delighted to inform Roger where she sails from now. Perth maybe !?
Below is the article written for the old magazine, that john was the editor of at the time!
|Spring 1976, the rod and wire shape springs up in the back garden.|
|Within a few weeks the hundreds of wires were fastening the lot together and the mesh was added.|
|It soon looked like a real ship!|
|Near the end of that scorching summer and under a specially constructed sunshade, the plastering team move in.|
|Frantic activity for a day, no ferro can be allowed to dry out and all must be as smooth as a baby's....|
|There were teams of plasterers specialising in this and travelling the country fairing hulls in sheds and gardens everywhere!|
|Just getting the last creases out of the finish!|
|Faired off and looking good|
|Roger and Rita's daughter trying the cockpit out for size!|
|Cabin sides in place|
|The main bulkhead in place|
|The cabin almost finished|
|Mast and rigging check. the mast look short because it is. Roger gaff rigged her.|
|Note also the roof of the bungalow had been repaired!|
|Almost ready for the off.|
|Arthur Keeble pulls her out of her building yard, Autumn 1978|
|On her launching trolley, on the hard.|
|Waiting for the tide|
|Roger impatiently rowing round her!|
|Is she still aground?|
|Floating slightly high on her waterline, as she is not kitted up with cruising gear yet.|
|The proud builders Roger and Rita, 1978 launch day|
|Beached for a BBQ?|
|Waiting for the tide at Osea|
|River Blackwater and under sail.|
|She needed a bit of a breeze, but once moving she went well.|
|1985 Roger and Rita onboard. I seem to remember there was also a handsome Siamese on a lead most times too!|