E-Boat Magazine.

This section of the E-Boat Web Site carries some articles from the club's previous magazines, which were sent to all members, as well as some on-line only material.
Please forward any articles or items for publication on the Web Site to the Webmaster.

{short description of image}  "Beth" (E-160) by Rennie Ritchie, her owner. see below
{short description of image}  "Eraser" by Colin Geddie, her owner. Eraser
{short description of image}  "Erwtje" (E-240) by Bouke van den Booren, her owner. Erwtje
{short description of image}  Item submitted by Ernst Visser (in Dutch) E-boat eigenaaren
{short description of image} "E-Major" and the Forth & Clyde Canal E-Major
{short description of image}  "Shot" by Hans Fontijn Shot
{short description of image} "Seeadler" by Paul Brunette Seeadler
{short description of image} The Mark IV E-Boat by David Ritchie  E-300
{short description of image} "Jandi" (E-162) by Colin Ross New E-162

E-160. BETHBeth on her mooring

by Rennie Ritchie  - updated May 2016

I have been sailing since I was either six or eight, I can't really remember, but I know I could virtually row a boat not long after I learned to walk. I started out by sailing in friends dinghies at North Berwick and eventually got my own second hand Graduate to sail out of Kinghorn. I was lucky my good friend's father had a 28 foot yawl and we spent most of our High School holidays sailing her on the West Coast, based from Bute. I was determined from that point, I would eventually own my own yacht, probably something around 35 - 40 feet with six berths, plenty canvas and a good inboard diesel engine...

 

Skipper at the HelmA number of years later, I recall popping into Production Yachts in Glenrothes, looking for fibreglass to effect a repair on a friend's dinghy. Little did I know that some 20 years later I would own a boat built in these premises. My first sight of the E-Boat must have been at Port Edgar around 1977, when I made one of my frequent visits to harbours and chandlers, just to look at boats. I was taken with the concept. A 22 feet 4 berth boat which could both cruise and race as well as being trailed to the west coast without the usual week long sail around the North and throughout the (expensive) Caledonian Canal. A few subsequent visits "to look at boats" saw me at Port Edgar and able to see the E-Boats sailing. At that time I decided I would like to own one of these boats and not just wait till I retired and bought my 40 footer. Well my sailing continued from Graduates to Flying fifteens to Catamarans with all manner of dinghies and cruising yachts thrown in for good measure. My son started sailing and we got him a Topper. Great fun, even for dad when the weather is "iffy." But still there was a hankering to get something which had a bit more stowage space than the ditty bag on my Dart 18 could offer. I continued to make regular sorties to Port Edgar and whilst discussing the Buzz as a potential training boat for St. Andrews Sailing Club's junior members, broached the subject of my ultimate quest for a 40 footer, being partially satisfied if there was ever anything suitable in the second hand market - at a reasonable price!

Alison "flaking" the MainWell I should have known, involving Jock Blair. It was not long till "EE BA GUM" featured in the conversation. I recalled the front cover of Scottish Yachting Life which showed E-160 doing a quick impersonation of U-160. The boat had been up for sale prior to its escapade in the 1995 Carl Dyson, but I could not contemplate the asking price. Jock suggested I pop down and look at the boat which had obviously suffered from the accident but was perhaps worth looking at with a view to spending some time and money on. After all who could know more about the E-Boats than the man who built most of them.

 

Skipper & Lesley - sail stowingNothing daunted I set off, once again to Port Edgar where I was introduced to a very sorry looking E-Boat. She was sitting on her trailer, still awash with water (salty but well diluted with the winter's rain. The sails were awash, there was no hatch garage, the sheets were cut and quite a few bits and pieces damaged or missing. What a sorry sight. However the hull, deck and mast looked in reasonable nick and my spirits were lifted. I asked Jock to contact the owner and see what he would want for the boat. I new she was the subject of an insurance claim so perhaps she could be sold for less than her pre-accident asking price.

 

Dawn Sailing It was at this point, early Spring, 1996, I contacted Ewan Hyslop, then the Sec. to the E-Boat Class Association. Ewan was more than helpful and sent me all the information on the class etc. I reciprocated by joining there and then, hopeful in the fact I would sooner or later be sailing an E-Boat. A week or so later I was given a price. Quite a bit down on the original asking price, but still a bit high for me. Nevertheless, following Jock's suggestion I contacted George MacBean the local marine surveyor and had the boat surveyed. What a blow. George found the hull to be reasonably sound but found all the internal strengtheners, under the floor boards to be fractured. This along with a number of other faults really put a damper on things. However the bottom line was she could be repaired, if I was prepared to spend the time and money on her. A quick call to Ferry Marine at Port Edgar gave me a quote for replacing the fractured hull strengtheners and then it was back to Jock. It was now a balancing act with the revised asking price for the boat to see if it could now accommodate the cost of the professional repairs. I was prepared to tackle the majority of the work, but not anything to do with the actual integrity and safety of the hull or deck.

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