Forums: Whisstock Designs: New owner of a Whisstock Design New Topic Post Reply
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Posted: May 25th, 2009 at 11:09   |   Subject: New owner of a Whisstock Design
My name is Richard Elkan and about 20 months ago I bought a 17' 6", 3 berth cutter from the maker Paul Randall. This is my second full season of sailing, so just about getting used to handling and really enjoying sailing "David B", as I have named her. She is moored at Waldringfield, just 3 miles or so down river from the old Whisstock boatyard at Woodbridge, Suffok, so I hope she feels a link with her spiritual home! Time has prevented me from making anything but short passages to the Orwell and Orde, but this summer I hope to make a few longer trips. So far I have enjoyed the very spacious accomodation for such a small craft and the many appreciative comments from other boat owners regarding her looks. Its taking me a little while to get used to her initial tenderness and have confidence in the ballast. This is probably as this is the first ballasted boat I have owned, my last being a Phil Bolger designed Chebacco, with no ballast, but huge form stability, so a case of a complete opposite approach to boat stability. This winter she was completely revarnished and Wykeham Martin roller reefing fitted to the jib. She is rigged without a mizzen and seems to handle very well in this form. The only problem I have encountered is a sticking centreboard (no doubt caused by mud, as her mooring does dry out for an hour or so at low water) This has been overcome by drilling a small inspection hole in the centre board case (closed by a screw in bung) into which a steel rod can be inserted to push directly onto the centre board. After this action the uphaul and downhaul can be used as normal. If there are any other Whisstock owners who would like to trade experiences or suggestions, UK or worldwide, I would be delighted to hear from them.
Best regards, Richard
Posted: May 27th, 2009 at 19:20   |   Subject: New owner of a Whisstock Design
Hi Richard.

I'm so glad you are enjoying sailing David B. Is she the original of this design that Paul Randal built in 1995? It's nice to know she is on her 'home' river now.

It's almost certainly the mud that is making the centreboard stick. Even when we built large yachts with big heavy centreboards, we could never entirely overcome this problem. Your solutions sounds just about right to me – simple and effective!

They are pretty lively little boats, but they pick up quite a bit form stability as they heel as well as the integral ballast stability. For more extended cruising, you could consider adding 100kg of internal ballast alongside the centrecase each side – The ballast needs a base to sit on and should be secured – I would be happy to send you a sketch of what is needed and where it should go. You can take it out again for trailing, or just local cruising.

If you had any photos I would love to put some on our site.

Best -- George Whisstock
Posted: Jun 4th, 2009 at 09:23   |   Subject: New owner
George, thank you for the response. David B is the original "Walnut 17" built by Paul in 1995.
I keep in touch with Paul and he sails on his/my boat quite often. He did a superb job in the construction and I aim to maintain her in the condition she deserves. I would be most grateful if you would email a sketch for details of adding extra ballast. I will email photos of David B to you, although I have no good ones of her under sail as yet. You may notice I have added, what I call "coaming seats". These are very small perches, that allow the helm and crew to sit on the top of the coaming to help flatten the boat. Off round to the Orwell next weekend for the Classic Yacht Club Regatta at Suffolk Yacht Harbour.
All the best, Richard Elkan
Posted: Jun 4th, 2009 at 14:15   |   Subject: New Owner of a Whisstock Design
Thank you so much for the photos. I lost all my originals taken when Paul and I sailed the boat for Classic Boat magazine – and I lost the actual article too – so I am very happy to have some now.

The little coaming seats are a really good idea – they look as if they make a really comfortable perch and a great place to sail from, with a tiller extension. May I add them to the design (with a credit to you)?

I will email you sketches of the additional ballast (may be a day or two in the coming). Have a great time at the Classic Regatta – wish I were there! However, here where I am sitting right now in Rockland Maine, I'm looking out over the harbour and there is a 'windjammer' just rounding the breakwater lighthouse close hauled under full sail - we have world's the largest fleet of these traditional 2- and 3-masted gaff topsail schooners here – and she makes a fine sight.

Posted: Jun 6th, 2009 at 11:29   |   Subject: Coaming Seats
Hi George,
Please do add the coaming seats to the design. On reflection one longer seat may be neater than the two separate seats that I added. If I remember I had just enough mahogany to do it in two seats.
I envy you the sight of the windjammers. I saw a three master on the River Thames, last year.Tower Bridge lifted to let her down stream. You know how narrow the river is there and then she set full sail, with no motor running. I have only ever seen that once, even the Thames Barges rarely set sail, for fear of sweeping their corporate guests off the deck if they tacked or gybed.
Best regards, Richard