Cover image PBO Sept19 issue

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Boats, Cruising and Seamanship

Tiny twin keelers

Twice the fun! Peter Poland selects seven of the best twin-keeled cruisers under 23ft in length

“There’s still a healthy demand for a sailing boat that can literally stand on its own two feet. But where do you start? Which bilge-keelers do the best job?



Around the Isle of Wight

Andrew English and Alison Wood enjoy family cruiser-racing at the UK’s biggest annual sailing event

“Everyone had an opinion on how the kite should be flown, but from Cowes to near Yarmouth it tugged like a street full of umbrellas. Then the wind got fluky…”



Fairey tale – sailing in the 1960s

Fay Armstrong recalls an encounter with Uffa Fox in 1960s Scarborough that led to sailing success

“My husband jack and I were considered useful crew material. Jack was an extremely competent sailor and boat handler and I never got seasick. I could stay awake and alert until I stopped – even up to 24 hours without a break!”


Saône and Rhône – Escape to the Country

Richard Hare on a glorious month in the French inland waterways en route to the Mediterranean

“French inland waterways are special. Where else can you voyage from the temperate dawn chorus of blackbirds to the Mediteranean hum of cicadas? We’ve been cruising these canals for many years, but this time we had something special waiting for us at the end of our voyage…”

Pacific survival

Webb Chiles lives to tell the tale of 14 days in a 5ft inflatable in the Pacific after his yacht pitchpoles

“In the last light I searched for land. There was none. I wrapped myself in the tarp and tried to settle in for the long night of broken sleep. How many more long days and nights? Four? Forty? A hundred and four?”


Irish Sea odyssey

John Willis gets to grips with a new boat on a voyage from Guernsey to the Fastnet Rock, via Plymouth

“It was a surprisingly rough July day in the Channel but I arrived in Teignmouth from Guernsey without drama, shaken not stirred in the evening sun. I’d owned Pippin six weeks and hardly knew her but there never is a best time to go to sea, so just go…”

Portsoy Festival photos

Marsali Taylor on the beauty, culture and fun at the Portsoy Festival

“The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival is held every June in Portsoy, on the Moray coast. It was a wonderful weekend for boat lovers, music lovers and families – if you’ve never been, put midsummer weekend in Portsoy in your diary for next year!”


Practical projects

Galley sinks, cabin lighting and a Portland plotter get the PBO reader ingenuity treatment this month!


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Engine reliability tips: how to service your systems

Tony Davies on servicing your engine’s cooling system, drive belts, thermostat and more…

“Freshwater cooling allows the engine to run at its correct temperature of around 85°C, while introducing coolant inhibitors and antifreeze into the cooling system ensures a long and efficient engine life…”


Restoring gelcoat

Drew Maglio has three methods of restoring shine and protection for topsides

“Like an engine that is corroded, or lines that are chafed, worn gelcoat is a sure sign of neglect. With a bit of care and a lot of elbow grease the methods here are guaranteed to drastically improve the appearance of your boat.”



Starting on the spars

The Project Boat hull awaits fixtures and fittings as work begins with the spar gauge

“You always know when you’re getting near the end of a project when you start working on the rig. In the Secret 20’s case this involves making the four main spars: the mast, gaff, boom and bowsprit…”



Top tarpaulin tricks

Huw Williams shows how a well made tarpaulin can provide shelter and comfort

“Not all tarps are created equal. Cheap tarps litter the Internet, but often have poor quality stitching, loops that easily pull off and seams that leak, so it’s worth paying a little extra for something that won’t let you down.”


Trailer sailing tips

How to tow a trailer-sailer: top tips from a reader

“Living in East Yorkshire, but with a penchant for sailing on the west coast of Scotland, I needed a vessel that could be trailed home for the winter. I considered various lightweight vessels but all had their drawbacks. Then I saw the Varne folkboat Free Spirit…”


Launch day: 14ft Nigel Irens designed Western Skiff

The first new Western Skiff home build to be launched for over 20 years

“What a difference five months makes. It was the end of January when the revamped Western Skiff kit was delivered by Jordan Boats. Cut to the beginning of July and instead of an awkward pile of plywood we now have an immaculate new boat…”


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