Beth E160 continued...
Thankfully after some discussion I made an offer which was accepted and I was the proud owner of E-160. Her first trip was somewhat short. From the outcast areas of the marina hard standing into Ferry Marine where the fibreglass work was undertaken. A couple of weeks later I was back at Ferry Marine with my friend, Roger armed with his Discovery. By arrangement we met, Ewan and "F" and I was able to borrow a few bits and pieces from "Esprit De Mer" so I could copy them for E-160.
I regularly try to keep my hand in driving 40 tonne articulated lorries, just for fun, but towing the E-Boat was something else. The lorries are wide, but not a patch on the boat. She is only 5" within the legal width for this country and boy did she fill the road. We stopped off at my parent's home in Kirkcaldy to let then see the boat as a) they were interested and have always liked pottering about on the water and b) they were helping me financially to get the boat. It caused quite a stir and filled the street. The next stop was home and into the coach works across from my house. "Donald Heggies" had paint booths which could take lorry trailers, but even so the boat's width required thought to go into the manoeuvring.
One of my friends was a spray painter and with Donald Heggies permission we had access to the coach works out with normal business hours. Two full weekends work were required to rub down, prepare and paint the hull and my original thoughts of retaining the red and white colour scheme went out of the window when we realised how much the paint was going to cost.
However one of my very good friends just happens to run a transport company and his vehicles are liveried in blue and white. Well I have always liked blues so with a bit of thought and judicious masking the boat's hull became a greyish white with the lower sections, deep blue. After the painting it was out to Guardbridge where I had been offered a space for the boat in the lorry park. I am very grateful for this assistance as it meant I could get the boat into the vehicle workshops out with normal working hours and Trevor would spend hours with me sorting bits and pieces.
By June she was almost ready. We had a couple of the sails away to Iolair for repair. Months of immersion in salty water does little for eyelet's in the sails. Additionally the use of the No. 2 as a "hatch" had taken its toll.
The sheets were shot and whilst I was trying to be economical, new spinnaker, genoa and main sheets were required as well as a number of fittings. A new tiller had to be fabricated (out of stainless steel) and a new tiller extension purchased. Even some 3 full months of drying out could not dry out the foam backed lining in the cabin, so it all had to be ripped out. To seal the glass fibres and keep them from cutting into human skin the interior was painted in light blue and white gloss.
The boat's electrical wiring and fittings had to be stripped out completely. A new deepcycle battery was fitted and new wiring led through the cabin via a new, fused, switch panel. Two strip lights were fitted, the mast rewired and a new tri-colour navigation light fitted to the mast top. Power was also led to the compass light, the chart table, an auxiliary radio point and to the instruments. The immersion had completely ruined the depth sounder so the Autohelm Bidata system was fitted. There is not a lot of space on the bulkhead so consideration was given to the combined unit, albeit the numerals are smaller and cannot be read from a great distance. But then again how big is the E-Boat cockpit. The interior fixtures and fittings were more or less left with broken side panels in the galley area, no cooker and looking rough although probably functional. These would be taken care of in the Spring'97 re-fit.
Well the day finally arrived and E-160 was towed to St. Andrews to be floated off her trailer and moored in the inner harbour basin. A nice mooring away from the harbour wall so she could sit on the soft mud when the tide was out. We had a most enjoyable season with her, although I would have preferred to be out in her more often. Wouldn't we all. I kept her in the water until 25 January, 1997 when she was taken out to allow me to catch up with the interior work. Since getting the boat, and in addition to the aforementioned work, I have replaced the bulkhead compass. The original was clouded and had a rather large air bubble inside it. I have replaced the cooker, put in a sink, sold my catamaran and bought a full suit of new sails with some of that money. The service I got from Iolair was fantastic. From enquiring about sails, to collecting a full suit from Mussellburgh took less than a fortnight. I picked up a porta-potti, relined the front cabin, replaced the front Houdini hatch and now have her back on her mooring having re-launched her at the end of March '97.
The '97 season started with a few hours in a Force 6 and we have sailed regularly most weeks. Sadly work commitments have tempered the amount of time I spent sailing for the second half of 1997 but the log book shows we have done better than some. I took her out of the water on 07 February, 1998 but hope, as in 1997, to get her back on her mooring for the Easter Holidays, 1998.
I am delighted with the boat and she is now named "BETH" after my late Grandmother and with my mother and sister all having Elizabeth in their names.
Beth was in regular use, sailing out of St. Andrews, when time & tide permitted until the end of 2000. For the 2001 season I was able to secure a pontoon berth at Anstruther and now Beth can be seen berthed in the inner basin of Anstruther harbour (see photo).
Since the abovementioned work was carried out I have additionally...
Beth still sails well and has been in commission throughout the year, though work, tides and weather seem to conspire against me spending more time afloat. If you are in the Anstruther area and fancy a sail, drop me an e-mail and I'll see if I am free.
Please have a look at the Anstruther Sailing Club for further mooring details.
"Retiral" in September 05 was supposed to bring me more free time - ha ha! But that time was quickly used up by the IAM (see my bike pages) driving the truck occasionally and teaching dinghy sailing again at St. Andrews.
Summer 06 saw me on the water quite a lot but mainly on the West Coast of Scotland with my friends Alan & Ann on their Catalina 42 and off St. Andrews. In between times I did get Beth out a few times then rounded off the "season" with 2-weeks sailing a Beneteau 331 around the Greek Islands in the Ionian Sea - warm sailing... how different from my norm.
However there were a few good sails in Beth and the picture to the right shows Beth moored to and anchored off the May Island one afternoon at the end of August.
She is due to come out of the water as soon as I have my trailer work completed then she will be scrubbed and rubbed down for fresh paint and anti-fouling in the hope that the 2007 season will see her getting more use.
2007 - 2015 UpdateWell time and tide wait for no man, as the saying goes, but basically trying to get free time; weather; tides to coincide has been a challenge meaning Beth had little use. Nevertheless there has been regular maintenance and it is a fine escape to get down to the boat to tinker and fettle, when sailing is not an option. I must confess I leave the outboard inside the cabin for protesction from the elements, accidental damage etc., whilst some folk leave their outboard on the transom bracket 24/7/365. The cracking wee 4HP Yamaha peforms very well and starts virtually first pull every time, but dangling the engine over the transom with one had to fit and remove each time I go sailing, is becoming harder - a sign that I should get my bus-pass in January 2016. Raising and lowering the keel is a hassle I could do without, but being able to float in 10" of water with the keel up does give the boat a lot of versatility and means east coast sailing with its associated drying out harbours, is not problem. She sails like a large dinghy, is very responsive to the controls and still has a fair turn of speed in the right conditions. What fantastic value for money the E-Boat is... just have a look at the new cost for the equivalent trailer-sailer these days!
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