Page updated: 18 March 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

11 April 2004 - The Purchase of "Imagination"

I refuse to bid in an eBay auction, but buy the boat afterwards when it goes unsold. Here I also report on my first efforts at tidying up the boat.

2004 Launch of Imagination

15 May 2004 - The Launch of Imagination

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

Go to Top 2006

2006 Three Rivers Race

3-4 June 2006 - The Three Rivers Race

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

2006 Waxham New Cut

27 August 2006 - A Cruise up Waxham New Cut

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

Go to Top 2008

31 May - 1 June 2008 - The Three Rivers Race

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

30-31 May 2009 - The Three Rivers Race

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

Deep Go Dyke

27 September 2009 - Hickling Passage Race

The Hickling Passage Race takes place in September each year. Here I report on my first attempt at the event.

It's not the world's most competitive event, more an excuse to meet with friends and have a sail in close company.

Go to Top 2010

Greg Chapman sailing a
		Tideway 10

4 September 2010 - The Norfolk Tideway Dinghy Meet

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

11 October - 25 November 2010 - 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

9-27 February 2011 - 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

2-31 March 2011 - 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

1-19 April 2011 - 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

5-31 May 2011 - 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

15-29 June 2011 - 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

7-22 July 2011 - 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

10-16 August 2011 - 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

12-25 August 2011 - 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

4-8 September 2011 - 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

13 September 2011 - 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 October 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 2012

2012 Preparations January 9 January 2012 - Preparing Just 17 for the Season

It's January and I find a reason to visit Just 17 in order to help out a neighbour with a blocked loo.

While I'm there I pick up as much of the contents of the cabin as possible so it can be cleaned ready to be returned to the boat.

2012 Preparations
		February 9-18 February 2012 - Preparing Just 17 for the Season

February has come and so has the snow. It's freezing as I remove the contents of the cockpit lockers so I can bring the hatches home and get them ready for a coat of stain. The other wooden fittings get an oiling.

The cabin's carpet tiles get their annual shampoo and are returned to the boat and re-fitted.

2012 Preparations
		March 1 -22 March 2012 - Preparing Just 17 for the Season

Spring is here. I finally get round to measuring up the keel handle so I can get some rubber to use as a seal. Friend, Ian, is able to supply some pond liner material that's just right for the job.

Work continues on the new quay heading around the dyke at the Pleasure Boat Inn and the ducks are enjoying the mating season.

2012 First Cruise 8 April 2012 - First Cruise of 2012

It's Easter! On the Saturday there were still things to do to get Just 17 ready for the season. I record some thoughts on the storage space needed aboard now that Diana can be expected to be overnighting on her.

However, Diana and I had promised ourselves a short cruise so on the Sunday, in spite of the poor weather, we found ourselves aboard again.

Diamond Jubilee 2012 3 June 2012 - Celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee

It's a holiday weekend. On Saturday night the Muddy Broad Blues Band plays at the Pleasure Boat Inn and on the Sunday Glenn, the landlord, has organised various boating activities. The only thing he failed to get sorted was the weather!

Just 17 is dressed for the occasion and takes part in a cruise in company as do the crews of many other boats that turn out for the day.

Go to Top 2018

Just 17 Sold 8 September 2018 - The Sale of Just 17

After almost five year ashore outside our house the decision was taken to sell Just 17. Here I reproduce the advertisement that was originally published on the forum of the SeaHawk web site, after it occurred to me that I really ought to add the end of the story to the GregAfloat site..

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