Re­mote con­trol

Yachting World - - Wolfhound -

Liv­ing 12,000 miles away dur­ing the build – first on a re­mote farm in Aus­tralia and then in New Zealand – added to its com­plex­ity, but in Mar­tyn Brake’s MB Yachts in Dorset, Dews found a builder with a like-minded pas­sion for per­fec­tion. Pho­to­graphs and draw­ings mod­i­fied by Dews’s sketch­ing and paint­ing bounced to and fro by email across the world as the yacht took shape.

Even­tu­ally, Steven and Louise Dews got the yacht of their dreams, one well suited to car­ry­ing them in com­fort from the UK to Wolfhound’s moor­ing in the Bay of Is­lands, New Zealand via ex­tended cruis­ing along the eastern seaboard of Amer­ica, the Caribbean and the Pa­cific. The de­liv­ery will last at least ten years.

We were in­vited to spend a day aboard Wolfhound shortly be­fore she left UK wa­ters. Dews, a fit and con­vivial 66-year-old York­shire­man whose fam­ily is steeped in Hum­ber­side sea­far­ing tra­di­tion, has sailed all his life and has now been able to dis­til his thoughts and ideas into one yacht. Louise, also from a yacht­ing back­ground, in­clud­ing be­ing shore man­ager for the J Class yacht Velsheda in the 1990s, has a gift for de­sign. Be­tween them, and with Mar­tyn Brake’s boat­build­ing skill, they have cre­ated a gem.

“Why a schooner?” I asked Dews as we mo­tored west to­wards the Nee­dles in search of wind. “I’ve al­ways looked at the schooner rig and thought it the most beau­ti­ful, the most grace­ful,” he said. But he is also well aware of the schooner’s suit­abil­ity for short-handed sail­ing. “I can hoist all these sails by hand,” he said and duly proved it. Only the sheet winches are pow­ered, with the head­sails on man­ual furlers and the main and fore­sail hal­yards ten­sioned with man­ual mast-mounted winches.

Up­wind per­for­mance wasn’t par­tic­u­larly high on their list of pri­or­i­ties, al­though there are signs that Wolfhound will be no slouch on that point of sail. Her forte will be off the wind, her heav­ily roached, fully bat­tened fore­sail en­hanc­ing what should be a tidy turn of speed.

Tim­ber con­struc­tion was a pre­req­ui­site. Dews was

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.