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Search engines seem to track our entire lives. Some also trawl the web for images. Here are some that Google found on 14th March 2015. Click the mosaic for today's update - there are lots to explore.
Formed in 1979 at the Southampton Boat Show by a group of junk rig enthusiasts, the JRA (Junk Rig Association) is for its members and about their boats and their rigs. We aim to: promote the use of the junk rig by encouraging members to organise 'rallies' and 'junkets' (see About Us) and via our tri-annual Magazine and this site; encourage the development of junk and related rigs, the building or conversion of boats to the junk rig, and the use of vessels with the rig or its derivatives; create an international community of people who've already 'junked' their boat, are thinking of doing so, or are just interested in learning what it's all about.
Summing that up, our main job is to get the rig talked about. Former Chairman David Tyler certainly helped there: the Ocean Cruising Club recently awarded him their Rose Medal "for the most meritorious short-handed ...and exceptional voyage on board Tystie [from the UK to New Zealand]. You will have inspired many others, some of whom may well adopt a junk rig." David's follow-up voyage to and around Alaska was tracked here. Tystie and David are now in Canada.
We were formed in the UK, and although our 'office' address and banking remains in the UK we are run by an increasingly international Committee via the Internet. A number of posts become vacant every year, at the AGM, so if you choose to join you could also put your name forward to help run the 'club'. It doesn't run itself. Our membership is now more than 50% outside the UK. Click the chart for detail.
April 2015 - Shirley Carter's Speedwell of Hong Kong
This month we feature Shirley Carter's boat, Speedwell of Hong Kong, a Laurent Giles designed Vertue, No. 44. Built in Hong Kong in 1952 by the Wing-on-Shing shipyard, she is 25ft long, with solid teak planking on camphor frames and a cast-iron keel. She was sailed from Singapore to England in 1953 by Cmdr. Peter Hamilton. Shirley bought her in South Africa in 1998, restored her, and gave her her current rig.
When I first became her proud owner, in December 1998, she was Bermudian rigged with roller furling jib. In 2000, I moved her to Port Owen on the Western Cape coast and spent over a year refitting her for ocean cruising, getting invaluable help and encouragement from Pete and Annie Hill, who were building China Moon at that time.
My first ocean crossing in 2002, from South Africa to Brazil, was a wet trip. Something had to be done and when I found myself in Trinidad in 2004, sitting out the hurricane season, I used the time to completely encapsulate the hull with fibreglass and epoxy. 10 years on, and against all received wisdom, the work has been a total success. Having experienced some sailing on China Moon, I was thoroughly convinced of the advantages of junk rig and when I had finished the work on the hull, Pete helped me to do the conversion, making the new mast in Cape Town and shipping it across to Chaguaramas on the deck of the peripatetic China Moon. The mast is made of salvaged Honduras mahogany and is tapered, hollow and square-sectioned. It stands in a tabernacle which is firmly planted on the keel and it can be lowered and raised without the need for a crane.
The sail is fan-shaped as per the Vincent Reddish design and has gone from straight battens, to jointed, to straight-with-baggy-panels, and is now happily back to the simplest arrangement possible with a flat sail and rigid battens. Self-steering is effected with a Navik windvane; Speedwell’s long keel makes her easy to keep on track and she is also very docile when hove-to.
Below decks I have kept things pretty basic. The only through-hull fitting is for the engine cooling water. I have no refrigeration and use a single-burner Primus stove for cooking. All-LED lights keep the energy requirements really low. The diesel engine is a 13HP Vetus which I got as a bargain while in Argentina. When I am not cruising in the tropics, I keep warm with a Force 10 Kozy Cabin kerosene heater.
A wonderful seaworthy little ship. In the words of Eric Hiscock, ‘…one of the finest of small cruisers.’
Shirley's blog of her adventures with Speedwell can be found here.
Our Boat of the Month Archive is here.