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2947 gordon reborn

Started by shantymanuk, 11 Oct 2005, 07:59

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having recently spent the last 10 months completly refurbishing Gordon she is almost ready to launched again,but i am getting cold feet as she being a burton cup winner llandudno 1978 and still winning many races up untill she came into my posetion ,having arthritic problems i fear .that she will be far to fast for me,dare i say it can she be sailed with something like heron sails ,or can she be sailed with just the main.Gordon was built by impact boats in 1977 and i must say that the workmanship and the quality of the building materiels must have been of the very highest quality,she has been completly stripped inside and out ,and the timber is like new,except for two small areas on the quarters,and a small area just aft of the air tank on stb foredeck where a previous owner had allowed some water in through a bad cover  this has been completly stripped and any defective timbers replaced,the top pannel of the hull ,has been varnished as i found the pannels to be realy nicely grained it took a lot of work to get then good enough ,but she has come up wonderfully well and looks a has anybody got advice on making her easier for a decrepid old man to sail in resonable comfort.


Sounds like a fantastic renovation job. We think Gordon is a Cheshire Cat so sailing her on your own without a jib would be a bit tricky. Best to try small main sail and a jib first, or get someone to sit in the front. Jib cleats would make it easier as well. Where are you planning on sailing her, as that will make a big difference to how easy she will be to sail?

Are you planning on bringing her to the 70th anniversary regatta at Northampton next May: it would be great to see the renovation work.

Happy launching

Graham & Zoe


yes Gordon is a cheshire cat,and i will be sailing her at hickling broad ,proberbly the most windy of the broads as it does get a sea breeze ,i did think about something like heron or graduate sails ,to get used to the boat. yes she is going to be a very pretty boat ,my friend Andrew Dawson, has seen her and is impressed. don't know if I will get to the meet as we run a guest house here and don't get much time off for things like that but wee'l see

Bensaunders (Guest)

Hi ive just finished a renovation on N12 2743 which is a Paper Dart and tried sailing her with just a jib and couldn't tack(mainly becuase i had the centreboard all the way down and because of high waves). Heron sails might be a good idea, but id wait for a fairly calm day and take her out with both sails. congrats on the renovation. unfortunately i hadn't sealed the gap between the forward bulkhead and the foredeck and so when i capsized the first time (due to one of my friends knots coming undone- competion is fierce at Seasalter) she filled up and nearly sank. good luck and happy sailing.
ben saunders
N2743 "U-24"

bensaunders (Guest)

sorry meant with just a mainsail.


Twelves work best with 2 sails and 2 people.  If you feel a bit nervous at first, just find a gentle force 2 and enjoy the boat's responsiveness - I'm sure you won't come to any harm.  I raced my 12 at Hickling back in the 1970s and the worst thing that can happen is getting blown into the reeds!

Mike D


I remeber Gordon well, as should Graham. My dad and I had two chesire cats in the eigties, one was Gordon. We had them at nottingham. One saturday I was sailing one of them with geoff, and Graham was sailing Gordon with my dad, when he managed to have a tangle with a coxed 8. There was a small hole just below the water line, going into te front tank. They had to sail back to the club at quite an angle in order to stop her sinking. But Gordon was soon back on the water, after a pro repair. She had the area of discolouration on the foredeck then, after being laid up in a back garden for several years near blackpool. We had great fun with her till universty years when she was sold to norfolk.

Andy Mckee
p.s any other stories about Graham?
Andy Mck<br />3529


Hi andy,
  yes the water mark on the foredeck was still there ,part of the foredeck is being painted now ,as she has just had a scarfed repair by the water mark,and the rear of the foredeck is being painted to cover the water mark timber still fine ,but it didn't look nice ,have also varnished the top pannel of the hull and she looks superb ,if you send me your e-mail ill send photo's when fully complete if you are interested
.Regards ian

Graham Bailey

I remember Gordon.  She won Burton Week in 1978 in the capable hands of Chris Owen and his crew who was (mysteriously to me at that time) known as "Weed".  They were super-consistent but could not catch Nigel Waller on the Wednesday.  I had the pleasure of crewing for Nigel at that time.  Come the big race, I recall a very long start line with everybody at the Starboard end.  The wind went left, big time, with about 3 minutes to go so we took off down to the port end asap.  There was only one other boat down there and we managed to start in her lee which made the decision for us to tack instantly.  In the excitement, Nigel sat on the wishbone tiller causing half of it to fracture.  A light touch from Nigel and the force of prayer kept the tiller in tact for the next 2 hours which was quite a feat in a building force 5.  Great to see Gordon has found a good home.


Andy, I thought Gordon sounded familiar but wasn't completely sure.  A fine vessel, if only we'd been able to sail back to the slip way as quick at the coxed 8. Unfortunately by the time we got back they had already packed up the boat and were were speeding away down the track with it on the roof. Boo Hiss!!

PS will we see you back in a National 12 for the 70th event at Northampton in 2006?

PPS no more stories about me required!


Mikey C

not even the one involving your supposed 18th at the cheesey holiday camp disco at Porthpean last time around?

shame, I like that one...

Carbon Toys for fast girls and boys!



thanks for all the info on gordon ,I feel a lot better for all the work now I know more about her,
Andy the chap I bought her from was Steven Leigh ,can you remember if that was the guy you sold her to?he sailed her at BlakenyI think


Gordon is now ready for the water and I am waiting for a nice calm day to try her out,she looks realy good ,have a set of smaller sails from a heron to do the trials with (im a chicken)


Gordon was out on the water this morning after her rebuild,with 32st crew ,3/4 sail area ie (heron sails) and took some handling she was very livley and twitchy for the pair of oldies sailing her,i think it made us very aware of our age,(hot bath required to ease the muscles)and that gordon is a boat for a much younger crew.I am very glad I made the decision to use the smaller sails rather than her full suit,I honestly think we would have been out of our depth,she is still very much a racing machine after all these years.I have realy enjoyed the restoration ,and very glad to have sailed her but common sence must be delt with and I feel she will have to be sold.The wind was 4to5 gusting to 7out on hicklingbroad,great fun but to much for me im afraid.PS we heard a bittern in the reeds at about 12.30 what a great sound all worth while. Ian



You must be one hell of a tough guy if you think that taking it easy for your first sail includes going out in a 4 to 5 gusting 7. Even with 3/4 sails most people would find this at least a handful and for many it would be totally beyond their ability. Before you make a decision you could well regret, I urge you to try again in a more modest breeze, say force 2 - 3. I think you could be very pleasantly surprised.


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