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Boat of the Month

April 2024    Boudicca (Ex Edmond Dantes)

By Ketil Greve

Looking for a somewhat more liveable boat, I had the following criteria: plenty of headroom in the saloon, a half decent toilet, aft cabin, less than 10 meters in length, less than 3000kg displacement.

I found a Kelt 8.5 without mast and rigging, no squabs, poor interior condition, everything hanging from walls and ceiling. Leaks from the anchor points for the chain plates, barely see-through windows, leaky hatches. A lot of work to be done, but a low price.

I had to motor from Oslo to Stavanger. 5 days in beautiful, windless weather. The 12hp Yanmar twin took me home without a hitch. I put the boat on the hard and started tearing down the upholstery, kitchen top, and everything else needing attention. All clutter from the bermuda rig was removed: genoa rails, winches, blocks and whatnots. In the meantime, Arne was waving his magic wand, and he supplied me with drawings for mast placement and sail plan.

Arne advocated 70 degrees yard angle, but I went for 60 degrees. That gives more sail area ahead of the mast, and makes it easier to balance the sail for weather helm. He also supplied a detailed drawing of the sail, and offered me the loan of his thrusted Pfaff.

I opted to use my wife’s Husquarna sewing machine, which is the same age as Arne’s, all metal and sturdy construction. Sewing the sail went very well. Using Arne’s on-line instructions, the sail turned out to be very nice.

Looking at the structure of the boat, I could see that it was built for a Bermuda rig.

Strong keel construction, all forces from the rig directed to the thick bottom area. However, the deck was found to be too weak for Junk rig. I bonded it to all bulkheads, and added a top section across the main bulkhead making it able to take the forces from the mast. This limited access to the fore cabin. The height of the cabin was deemed too low anyway, and it turned out to be a good stowage area. I Insulated and clad the walls and deck head, and changed the windows and hatches. I made new squabs, and used old curtains for upholstery. The cutlass bearing was replaced and I added a new drive shaft and new folding propeller. The mast partner was made in the usual way: a flange fitting (“bottomless bucket”) made of stainless steel, bonded to the deck. The mast step is made of plywood, 10 cm deep, bonded to the bottom, placed in a grid of plywood, and bonded to the main bulkhead and seat support. Over-kill of the worst kind. Spartite compound was used in the partner and wedges in the step, to make it easy to lift the mast. The flange fitting at the partners is not perfectly round, which helps prevent the mast from twisting.

Rigging and hoisting sail, 35 sqm, is done by hand. I have a self-tailing 28 winch to help if I become too weak in my old age. The yard hauling parrel and sheet are the only controls to the sail. Being Arne’s pupil, I sport Hong Kong parrels, and find no need to over clutter the rig. The boat sails like a true bathtub, coming to life in winds over 8-10 knots. Definitely not a racer, but sturdy, quite sea-kindly and dry -  the very opposite of my previous boat Marie G

(an X-99). I had to rearrange the "bath" room. The head was fitted along the center line, VERY cramped, making usage a challenge.

I removed the hand basin, and created room for the necessary orchestral movements. In addition: 3 shelves for towels etc.

All in all, Boudicca is a nice boat for sailing the Ryfylke fjords, perhaps nipping over to the Bømlo area, which is absolutely littered with islands and anchoring possibilities.



Our "Boat of the Month" Archive is here, and the forum discussion for comments and candidate suggestions is here

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