Page updated: 14 February 2021

Back in 2001-2002 I did experiment with a share in a narrowboat. Unlike the sales pitch for such schemes, it felt much more like being an investor in someone else's hire boat than owning your own. On Easter Day 2004 I bought "Imagination", SeaHawk #267. Owning 100% of your own boat feels rather different.

See also the Broads section which includes exploits in my father's SeaHawk during the 1970s.

Go to Top 2004

2004 Arrival of
		Imagination

The Purchase and initial tidy-up of Imagination - 2004

I refuse to bid in an eBay auction, but buy the boat afterwards when it goes unsold.

2004 Launch of Imagination

The Launch of Imagination - 2004

Trying to launch a boat for the first time causes problems. The second attempt goes OK!

Go to Top 2006

2006 Three Rivers Race

The Three Rivers Race - 2006

Brother Mike and I make an attempt on the Three Rivers Race - a 24 hour marathon.

2006 Waxham New Cut

A Cruise up Waxham New Cut - 2006

I manage to reach the head of navigation on this most northern tributary of the River Thurne.

Go to Top 2008

The Three Rivers Race - 2008

I find a fellow SeaHawk owner from Scotland to make my second attempt on the Three Rivers Race.

Go to Top 2009

Ian Ruston at the helm in Horning

The Three Rivers Race - 2009

For my third attempt at the race I finally find a Norfolk-based boat builder to act as crew.

Go to Top 2010

Greg Chapman sailing a
		Tideway 10

September - The Norfolk Tideway Dinghy Meet - 2010

I cruise to Barton Broad to meet Bryn Weightman and try out his Tideway Dinghy. Back in the 1950s he used to skipper a working Thames Sailing Barge.

Repaint of Imagination Begins

October - Preparing Imagination for a Repaint

Imagination is brought home. A strip down is executed before she is moved to a local boatyard.

The plan is to rub her back to the original gel coat, before a full repaint with two-pack paint is executed.

Go to Top 2011

Repaint of Imagination Begins

February - Imagination's Repaint Preparation Continues

Having moved Imagination to the boatyard a break is taken over December and January.

It's still chilly and the process of stripping the old paint off Imagination for her repaint begins. It's not straight forward! Interruptions, include a lack of hot water at home and sander breakdown.

The Repaint Continues

March - Imagination's Repaint Preparation Continues

Having completed sanding the port side of the hull by the end of February sanding continues with the starboard side.

Sander issues continue and on a couple of occasions I have to spend some time baling out the boat.

The Repaint Continues

April - Imagination's Repaint Preparation Continues

By the end of March both hull sides had been sanded down to the gel coat and the cockpit benches and cabin roof was done.

This month work starts on the foredeck.

The Repaint Continues

May - Imagination's Repaint Preparation Continues

This month sees the completion of sanding back the old paint to the gel coat.

It's not the end of the job however. There's lots of small holes and blemishes to fill and sand before painting can start.

The Repaint Continues

June - Imagination's Repaint Preparation is Completed!

After the completion of sanding last month it takes me another month to fill and sand all the little nicks and blemishes in the gel coat.

July will see her in the paint shop!

The Repaint Continues

July - Imagination is in the Paint Shed at Last!

I begin to consider part of the refit as the repaint begins. Should I have a wooden strake along the gunwales or rubber? The need for a repair to the bottom half of cabin door is discovered.

And nothing much seems to happen while we are away in Germany!

The Repaint Continues

August - Finally, Imagination's Repaint is Done!

In spite of appearing nearly done at the end of July, it is the middle of the month before Just 17 comes home.

Now the refit can begin!

The Refit Begins

August - Just 17's Refit Begins!

Following a decision taken while in Germany, the refit begins with plans for the new name.

The Broads registration number is refitted, the new name applied and work begins on the cockpit.

The Refit Continues

September - Just 17's Refit Continues!

There are problems getting the cabin door catches to fit. Various bits of electrical conduit are successfully refitted. Externally, the anti-slip pads are cut to shape and applied, the remaining steelwork is back in place, as are the rubbing strakes. The toll plaques adorn the bows.

Just 17 is Launched

September - Just 17's Launch and Refit Completed!

Just 17 is launched and takes up her mooring close to the front door of the Pleasure Boat Inn. However, there is a various bits of further work are undertaken inside the cabin, such as varnishing the woodwork, gluing in place an additional support under the galley floorboard and fitting the electrical control panel.

2011 Just 17 wins Trophy 18 September 2011 - Just 17 Wins First Trophy

I was not intimidated! For Just 17's shakedown cruise, the first after her repaint, I warned Diana that I panned to compete in the Hickling Passage Race. Somewhat ill-prepared, we arrived just 30 minutes before the race briefing was due to be given. In spite of that we ended the day with a trophy!

2011 New Battery 21 September 2011 - Changing the Battery on Just 17

I suppose it's part of the refit continuing although in my report on 15 September I claimed it was complete. However it is classified there was no doubt the boat needed a new battery to drive the outboard.

2011 Crusing with Friends 24-25 September 2011 - A Weekend of Work and Fun on Just 17

There was more refitting to be done, this time the solar panel!

But after the work was done on the Saturday Diana and I had the fun of a short sail around the Broad, and on Sunday, a long cruise and picnic with friends aboard.

2011 Cruise in Company 28 September 2011 - A Swoop of Seahawks

John and Hugh plan a cruise in company and invite me along for what turns out to be a perfect day for a mid-week cruise. I invent a new collective noun for SeaHawks cruising in company. It's different from the collective noun I coined for a set of neighbouring SeaHawk moorings.

2011 Pollington Cruise 9 October 2011 - Testing Seahawk Capabilities

It's blowing a Force Five when Simon Pollington visits to see if a SeaHawk would suit his needs. In one dramatic moment I am confronted with a wall of flame. I also describe some rather special Broads sailing techniques which I don't believe are used elsewhere.

2011 Pollington Cruise 16 October 2011 - A Cruise around Hickling

It's the most glorious weather and Diana and I take a cruise around Hickling Broad, encountering a SeaHawk adrift and hear the woes of a boat owner on one of the Broad's swinging moorings. There's even time for a sing song or two!

Go to Top