Little Ship, Big Story


Dr. Rodney Pell -

Maura Pell -


0 At last Summer is here

  • Main
  • by Rodney Pell
  • 30-05-2019

Well, for the past few weeks we have been dodging between winds. showers and occasional fair weather.


I have hot-gunned all the old failed and peeling varnish from the main-mast and the halyards have been laundered and look like new. Six coats of International Woodskin varnish have been applied as recommended by Skipper Ian Ruffles. The mast looks good. It was an amazingly quick and easy exercise to haul it upright again using a 3/1 tackle and the anchor winch.

Much work remains to be done. The spars - main boom, main gaff, square yard, mizzen boom and gaff still need attention. They're not too bad due to their being mostly covered by sails and sail covers so IO have to choose between just sanding off the patches of varnish failure and re-varnishing,or face up to hot-gunning of all the varnish and re-varnishing with 'Woodskin'.  I guess that I'll strip one spar and 'Woodskin' varnish then just touch up the others with standard varnish, then later, as opportunity comes, strip the others one at a time and re-finish with 'Woodskin'.


This afternoon while I was lying on my side in an undignified posture dealing with deck issues, a very smart yacht tender was motored past Sheemaun and the skipper called across to say that he had read the book, thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a great read and could he bring his copy for me to sign!

Wow, that was a  great transaction, quite spontaneous and unexpected. Maybe now that the book has been nominated for the prestigious Mountbatten Literary Award I can take that as a good omen.

I must confess that having to do so much in the way of re-fitting and restoring, does impact negatively on the opportunities to sail off to Festivals and just potter around or go ditch-crawling etc, but then Sheemaun is not a modern GRP sailing boat such that after a quick wash down and polish is ready at the beginning of the season, she is an elderly classic wooden boat and needs constant attention and maintenance .... but oh, what a splendid, unique and fascinating history she has!

Now where did I leave that scarper?

Cheers all.

Your skipper.




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