3 Tonner 





 3 Tonner

She is a Golden Hind 28.  Sail No 12,  Single chine ply, built by Hartwells of Plymouth. 1965.  Basically a big Eventide.

Some time this autumn, John Stevens in one of his extensive trolls through the internet, found 'Cirra'.  She was in Portishead Dock just outside Bristol, sat on the hard in the middle of a building site.

We have traced her in Lloyds Register of Yachts, she has the same Saab motor as she had in 1965, with the odd variable pitch prop of the day too....

John got hold of some old   pics and paperwork, here she is in better times:


The last two show the hull stripped, before it was epoxy coated some years ago, shame they never did the deck.....


And how she is today: November 2005


We particularly liked the very useful light on the mast.......Only kidding!  Actually the mast is in very good order!


Looking forlorn and unloved....

Next to her the new marina basin, made from the old Portishead dock, was filling with plastic boats almost as fast as the quayside way developing into high rise luxury flats.  Cirra had been a sailing concern just a few years ago, but had been bought and sold since, ending up with someone virtually living in her as a caravan.  She had suffered badly from water ingress and the decks and cabin top were in a bad way.

The ply is very dry and can be torn away.

The owner was unable to sell her and if John had not stepped in she was to become a Nov. 5th bonfire.  A JCB was being lined up to crush her.

The bad state of the cabintop and deck.

This seemed a fate to dire for John to allow, so he set to and approached the Marina, to save her.  After a little wrangling he obtained possession of her.  However he wisely decided it was going to cost far more than he could afford, so found a willing buyer in Mike Hoban.


John Williams (me) and brother in law Keith, drove down to try and tow her home on my trailer, however a glitch with the boatyards tape measure meant it was not to be, as she was too wide to fit on my trailer!  I figured out she must weigh little more than 'Fiddler's Green', 3.5 ton.  Stripped out I thought we could get the weight to below 3 ton for towing,  and so it proved.  We found out from another member, at the 11th hour, that the displacement was 9,000lb, or 4 ton, fully equipped.  Later Mike confirmed she weighed in at 3 tons and towed as sweet as a nut.

securing her ready for transport...

Mike Hoban hurriedly altered his trailer, a copy of mine with 6 wheels, to take the extra width of the main keel, 9" and luckily his trailer was already a little wider for the extended bilge keels on 'Otteau' his Eventide 24.  He had to lengthen the trailer, buy stronger tyres and fit a bow chock. this was all done inside 2 weeks!

Too wide!

Thursday 24th November 'Cirra' left Portishead and is now safely tucked up in mike's garden in Buckinghamshire.

She did not fit on my trailer, but the pic gives a reasonable idea of the condition.

We hope to have regular updates on the restoration.  So far only one small section of bad ply has been found in the hull, most is in good order and epoxy coated.  however the raised topsides and the deck are in a bad way, as is part of the cabintop.  So long as the beams are in good order it will be an easy job to strip off, clean and re-plank. Just needs time and a little warmth for the epoxy.  for now it is a case of covering up and drying off, then gently removing the bad bits.......  They can go straight onto the solid fuel burner to warm her up!

Could this be an asset or just take up a lot of space?

Interior, sad but spacious!


The chainplates are in the wrong place?  No the mast has been moved...  Never mind all can be sorted later.

We hope to have regular bulletins from Mike, and doubtless John will have a vested interest in her.  Pics by John Stevens.


I happened to speak to an ex Eventide and GH owner, Chris Hobday and he thoughtfully sent this in....

Restoration job on Golden Hind No. 12.

I changed the engine on  my GH 28 Lady Louise to a two-cylinder 15hp Kubota engine, driving a fixed 3 bladed propeller. This not only provided the necessary extra power not only for the going but also for the stopping, but also provided that extra power much more quickly as the more modern engine was/is so much more free revving. The old Sabb engine, which very soundly built and an excellent marine engine, was very slow to rev because of the weighty flywheel and being a single cylinder engine. Plus we gained all the advantages of single lever control - the variable pitch control was a nightmare, it couldn't be done quickly, and as the fuel lever also controlled the engine stop it was all to easy to find you'd inadvertently stopped the engine when you least wanted it. What with that and crowded marinas - no wonder I've got grey hair and a drink problem.

The new engine fitted onto the same engine bearers, but I used cushy-foot mounts which cut down on the structurally-borne vibration, and associated noise, tremendously. I kept the same stern tube as it was too much of a job to remove it in the time I had as it would have necessitated removal of the bolts holding that part of the keel together, but had the propeller-end bearing modified by Lancing Marine to accept a modern thin walled cutlass bearing. I fitted a l inch diameter stainless steel shaft in place of the old bronze one and a flexible coupling between engine gearbox and shaft, which also helped alignment as it allowed a couple of degrees of misalignment. The flexible coupling, shaft and 3 bladed prop - think I used a 15x9 but a 14x10 would do also - were all from Vetus which I found reasonably priced, fitted (no mis-match problems) and were available off the shelf. Had I renewed the stern tube I would have used a Vetus one for that too - I actually bought one but managed to get the chandler to take it back when I found I had to do without it. If re-engining I would say best to do it now before anything else is built in the boat, it can be a pig to access things later, especially around the engine bearers, you need all the room you can get unless you are short and very slim, which I am anything but! Long arms with universal joints would also be useful, but I'm not blessed that way either. Also, the new engine will need a fuel lift pump on it if it the fuel tank is fitted in any of the usual low down positions. The tank on Lady Louise was fitted higher up and provided a gravity feed, which was handy as her new engine relied on gravity feed.

A final point, the Sabb engine weighed in at about 220 kilos - that's very heavy. The new engine weighed just over half that - as any other more modern engine will. That is a serious weight gain, and we felt the boat to be better balanced after that too, seemed to be better trimmed, but with the change to junk rig that also affected the trim so it was hard to be absolutely sure.

Now if you are looking to change to junk rig then I'm your man, as I designed the rig for Lady Louise (with a lot of other help) and I have the sail plan and the info to do it. The sail was very well received on a test sail by the sail maker himself and the secretary of the junk Rig Association (who's forgotten more that I will ever know about the rig). The modern junk rig is a seriously under-rated rig. On Lady Louise we found that close hauled she equalled the pointing and performance ability as the old Bermudan rig - although the old sails were probably at their bin-by date - but with the wind on a reach or run there was no comparison, she just ran away and embarrassed boats much larger. The modern junk is very controllable, from ability to correct heeling and weather helm on a reach/run by hauling the sail across the mast thus moving the C of E inboard, to controlling twist in the sail, to the ability to reef or drop all sail in seconds, literally seconds. Light wind sailing also vastly improved. The only down side is the effort sometimes needed in hoisting the sail, plus the lack of shrouds (it uses an un-stayed mast) upsets late night revellers as they traverse your boat to theirs rafted up alongside! The JRA is very active and development is constantly on-going as members experiment and develop their own ideas.

I hope that the above maybe of some use and I'm not guilty of reaching too much egg-sucking to Grannies!

Chris Hobday

Thanks Chris


November 2007

Mike has just sent this in.  must be the best personal boat shed we have seen!

We look forward to seeing Cirra safely tucked up inside before the end of 2007.

February 2008.  well it has taken a few weeks longer than Mike planned, but what with the planning hic-cups and the weather he has excelled.  Here are some pics of Cirra in the dry!


Look closely at this and you will spot some serious lifting gear  Mike has fitted!  I am impressed, this is one chap who does not do things by halves!


Now that is what I call dry storage.  Get the heater on and Mike will be able to glue with impunity in winter...

Mike is at present insulating and boarding out the barn, to keep all that heat in! 

The first job that Mike and Helen did was to remove the Saab inboard.  As Mike said, a lot easier with a decent beam in the right place to hoist it out on!  An advert for this will soon be appearing on the pages..  It is a feathering prop affair that has been in 'Cirra' since her launch.  Mike has a 3 cylinder Kubuto being refurbished to go in her soon!





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