End of an Era

Friday 14th April

This is Bonify's blog so I am sorry to hijack it briefly for another vessel but it's also our personal sailing blog so I am dedicating today's post to Victoria.

Our lovely 21ft wooden gaff cutter, built in 1897 for the Colne River Police, passed into new hands today. Very worthy and capable hands we have to say. Tony Winter has restored and maintained old wooden sailing boats for many more years than I have been sailing, in particular Bristol Channel Pilot Cutters Mascot and Cornubia (aka Hirta) and his dynasty of East Coast Winters (if I can call it that) has an impeccable record for looking after old sailing boats. He has a host of grandchildren of varying ages who we hope will cut their gaffering teeth on Victoria in years to come.

So yesterday we took her winter cover off for the last time and today she is rigged with the help of her new owner.

Cover's off Thursday

Mast rigged as ridge pole for cover - bow

Mast rigged as ridge pole for cover - stern

Mast back in its proper place - tabernacle

Bowsprit going on

Juggling bowsprit

Coffee time - mast ready to raise

Photographer then left them all to it and went back to apply some thinned varnish to Bonify.

All done, rigged and ready to sail

She will be staying in the Walton Yacht Basin for now so all her East Coast gaffer friends will be able to keep an eye on her. For us, the end of a happy era.


  1. Sad day indeed! But always good to know she is going to impeccable, friendly hands - and one who will cherish young gaffers!

  2. wow, so glad we've seen you sailing Victoria gloriously! she'll be fine and hopefully happy ever after....


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