January 2020 issue of Practical Boat Owner magazine

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Proper little yachts
Peter Poland continues his tour of the Quarter Tonners that became desirable production family cruisers

“My advice to any sailor looking for a small and sporty cruiser-racer is still to study classified ads and brokerage listings. There are many production yachts around 25ft of this ilk – several heavily influenced by competitive Quarter Tonners…”


Sealing the deal
Rupert Holmes on how to go about the negotiations, surveys and legal aspects of buying a second-hand boat

“Once you’ve found a boat with enough potential to make an offer for it, a whole lot more questions open up. How much to offer? Is there a set formula I can apply? What about the legal process: is there proof of unencumbered ownership? Will any deposit be safely held? What about surveys?”


The Scottish years
A lifelong sailor’s switch from East Coast to Scottish sailing triggers a bold and life-changing decision, by Faye Armstrong-Boyes

“The scenery was truly awesome as we approached Skye to the dulcet tones of the skipper’s wife singing This Fair Cullins…”



Wheels on water
Coulam Wheelyboat V17 on test – and how a farmer who fell from a tree revolutionised accessible boating

“She may only be a 17-footer but her impact is immense, for this is the 200th wheelchair-accessible powerboat launched by the Sussex-based Wheelyboat Trust.
Designed to be used with outboards of up to 100hp, the Coulam Wheelyboat V17 can exceed speeds of 25 knots. For more leisurely boating on inland waterways, there’s a tiller-driven model for outboards of up to 15hp…”

Sailing with SV Delos
The crew of SV Delos like to party and post videos on social media – but there’s more to them than that, says Erin Carey

“With 360,000 YouTube subscribers, 1.8 million views per month and 125,000 Instagram followers, SV Delos have made a real name for themselves. But what sets them apart from many of the 800 or so other sailing YouTube channels?”


Touch at anchor
Nick Cowan recalls a charter yacht trip, a severe gale and a bump on a rock at anchor in a sheltered harbour on South Rona

“In Staffin Bay a local man told us there was a serious gale coming in the next day.
Sure enough, the next day’s forecast was for storm force winds. We weighed anchor fairly early and set out across the Sound of Raasay to Rona (also known as South Rona). Before long the wind was rising to near gale force…”


Heaven help us!
With luck in short supply during a post-refit shakedown cruise, Roger Hughes looks to the stars

“Don and Renae Shore had flown down from Minnesota to join us in Florida for a week’s cruise, to experience the gentle art of sailing – or at least, that’s what they thought! The Shores had never been on a sailboat before, and they wanted the experience – such as it could ever be in a week on the ICW – to see if they liked sailboats, with a view of possibly buying one themselves eventually…”

Calamity in Germany
A grounding and a misbehaving mast are just two of the problems Jim Mottram faced cruising the Baltic

“It was mid-July before I reached Denmark. It had been a pleasant voyage so far, but inevitably there comes a low point in every journey, usually in the form of challenges such as bad weather or gear failure and, if I’m really unlucky, something seems to spark off a whole chain of misfortunes.”

Practical and DIY features

Rupert Holmes on how to keep your sails, engine and kit shipshape during the winter months

“Preparing for winter need not be onerous or time-consuming, but failing to do so risks creating significant problems, including damage while moored or ashore, which invariably leads to a slow start to the following season…”


DIY yacht shipping
Zoran Glozinic describes how he found an inexpensive way to ship a yacht… in a container

“It didn’t take me long to find a solution: remove the keel, build a frame around the boat, and turn the boat with the frame on its side. The container door opening height is 8ft 6¼in (2.60m), the boat beam is 7ft 10in (2.40m). That would give us 8in (20cm) of clearance – more than enough to bring the boat in…”


How to check a rudder
Expert marine surveyor Ben Sutcliffe shares tips on checking your rudder blade

“Some of the issues I’ve seen recently have arisen from boat owners keeping their craft in the water for longer periods without wintering ashore. Rudder blades – due to the poor selection of materials – will absorb water over time. So if you’re not sailing over winter – or for a long period of time – my advice is to keep your boat ashore…”


Bow thruster repair
PBO reader Keith Ireland shows how he replaced the bow thruster tunnel in his 32ft motorboat

“I thought I knew every corner of my Channel Islands 32 Island Girl having methodically worked through countless improvements over the last ten years from our home in Jersey. However, one item I’d not looked into especially closely was the bow thruster…”


Working with wood
Tony Davies shows how to get a professional finish using woodworking machinery that doesn’t cost a fortune

“It’s not difficult to achieve a professional finish using woodworking machines and there are bargains to be had every day on ebay and other buying and selling forums. But do you really need them, you might ask? With the tools listed here, you’ll be well on your way to having a professional machine shop.”