Practical Boat Owner

Refit and sail

- ■ Watch at nCYjI88E-l4?

The rise of YouTube sailing vloggers has encouraged many to look for a ‘free’ or cheap project boat in the hope of fixing it up to one day sail over the horizon to a life of trade wind passages punctuated by snorkellin­g, island treks to waterfalls, beach barbecues, and rum-fuelled dance parties.

There’s no shortage of inspiratio­n, with the likes of Sailing Uma, White Spot Pirates, Expedition Evans, Alex Goes Sailing, Wildling Sailing and The Sailing Brothers demonstrat­ing that, with some persistenc­e and a few barrels of elbow grease, it’s possible to make cruising dreams come true on a shoestring.

There are, of course, potential pitfalls, and while it can be entertaini­ng to watch others grapple with them from the comfort of an armchair, it’s probably best for all concerned to avoid them if possible. Happily, there is no shortage of advice for doing so. My other half [Rupert Holmes] has even pointed out an article he’d written on the topic (PBO, June 2023).

But if you prefer to receive your advice in video form take a look at George Isted’s channel Refit and Sail.

I first met George in 2013 when he turned up to race his 1978 Contessa 32 with the Solo Offshore Racing Club, quickly making his mark by beating newer and betterfund­ed boats. Several years later he traded up to Liberta, a 1983 Westerly Sealord, which he continued to race while also living aboard. Around this time he also left his job in the IT industry to work as an independen­t boatbuilde­r, with his Contessa-owning friends as early clients, which led to him being called ‘the Contessa professor’ around the yard. He worked on plenty of other boats, including his own, which he prepared for an Atlantic circuit. This he completed in a year, sailing to the Caribbean with his partner, toddler and a mate and returning single-handed.

On this return passage, his channel was born, or rather, in episode one we meet him as he is preparing Liberta to leave Saint-Martin. One year and 70 episodes later, his audience has grown to 9,000, impressive, but short of what it deserves, given the clarity and quality of the advice he offers to aspiring practical boat owners.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Channel hopping
Essential monthly highlights from the world of online sailing channels with Kass Schmitt
Channel hopping Essential monthly highlights from the world of online sailing channels with Kass Schmitt
 ?? ??
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom