Essential Maintenance - 7 ways to keep your boat shipshape. PBO December 2019 issue

Quarter ton cruisers
Peter Poland’s pick of the production cruisers spawned by the DIY low-budget ethos of the brief Quarter Ton cruising era

“When the Quarter Ton class burst onto the scene in 1967, it soon became the breeding ground for a new generation of 25-26ft cruiser-racers. Thanks to their simple construction the early boats were not expensive. So they appealed to a new generation of aspiring offshore sailors.”

Checks for boat buying
When should you make an offer for a boat and when should you walk away? Rupert Holmes has some of the answers

“As with a used car, or a house, presentation can reveal much. Sadly all too many boats on the market are not well cared for in this respect, while a few are so bad they are positively unpleasant. In a soft market a poorly tended boat might appear to be a route to a bargain, but be careful.”

Sail to the midnight sun
Father and son embark on a cruise to the Norwegian fjords to enjoy snow-capped mountains and a night-time wilderness trek, by Johan Augustin

“Norway is the most striking of the Scandinavian countries. As a Swede, I’ve traveled there often, so when Dad asked me to join him on a week’s sailing trip in northern Norway, the answer is easy.”


Sailing Family Robinson
Nic Compton tells the fascinating history behind a family’s much-loved and much traveled Drascombe Lugger

“It sounded like a nice story of a community coming together and bringing a nice old boat back to life, so I decided to find out more. I contacted the donor family via the Stoke Gabriel Boating Association and met with the owner’s daughter… Her story, it turned out, was well worth telling…”

Cornish coast hopping
Frank Sibly on the tombstoning teenagers and other navigational hazards to look out for on a glorious cruise of the north Cornish coast

“My wife and I had been thinking about cruising the north Cornish coast for a decade, despite Mark Fishwick’s opinion in his West Country Cruising Guide that there’s little real cruising potential on this dangerous stretch of coast…”


Weathering a severe gale
Ocean racer Pip Hare tells how she survived a life-changing weather system in Biscay

“On day two, the wind started to veer, first to the south; then to the south-west. It was an unexpected shift but not bad. We tacked and were heading for Finisterre, this time close-hauled. The 36 hours that followed will be forever in my memory…”


Tips for overwintering
Expert advice from Alex Blackwell, Ben Meakins and Rupert Holmes on simple steps you can take to help preserve the integrity of your boat over winter

“…a lazy headsail furl or fender set-up might not cost you anything, but if fate steps in and leaves you stranded ashore for longer than you intended, prevention is better than cure.”


10 tips to avoid a DIY restoration disaster
Drew Maglio on how to avoid the common pitfalls that befall the overenthusiastic boat buyer

“My wife and I have been working on our 1987 Ericson 38-200 for over a year now and have made many mistakes along the way. From a blistering hull to a sinking dinghy and costs that just kept spiralling… here are some of the lessons I have learned.”


Lifeboat to cruiser
Ann Smith describes her and her husband’s against-the-odds rebuild of a 1930s lifeboat into a cruiser

“We had Arklow delivered to Maylandsea boatyard about eight miles from where we live. Everyone just laughed and said we’d never finish her. Our answer was ‘Wait and see…’. We started work that very weekend.”


Rebuilding a gearbox
PBO reader Charles Beddingfield‘s step by step guide to replacing gearbox bearings

“I found myself cocking an ear to my boat’s 40-year-old gearbox, built by PRM in Coventry. It came second-hand long ago with her BMC 1.8 diesel engine. It was working perfectly except for a slight grumbly whir. Nobody else seemed to notice…”


Confessions of a maintenance dodger
Why things went wrong – and how regular maintenance could have avoided them, by David Berry

“Do you do preventive maintenance? I bet you do, although you might not think of it that way. The alternative (that is, my way, until recently) is to wait until something breaks then fix it, which worked for quite a while – until it didn’t.”


Ransome inspiration
Maurice Gray on the restoration of Welcome and Winsome – two Broads hire cruisers that inspired Arthur Ransome

“In 1931 Arthur Ransome, who was still foreign correspondent and angling columnist at the Manchester Guardian, cruised the Norfolk Broads aboard Welcome. Ransome enjoyed his cruise so much that he embroidered parts of it into his next novel, Coot Club.