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Boat History and Modifications
Golant Gaffer G52, named “Just Right”, SSR 127932, was built in the back garden of our home in Kenilworth (Warwickshire) in 18 months leading up to launch at Brest 2000 (July 2000). From the outset, there was an eventual goal of a transatlantic crossing. This was taken into account when sizing materials and fittings.
The boat was built and operated for few years much in line with the original design. The main difference being the fitting of dual 65 Ah batteries and Sterling Rapid charger so that a laptop could be operated for software development purposes while onboard and the batteries would get a virtually full recharge in the hour it takes to motor from the berth to the Solent. Instrumentation was limited to a Garmin GPS 126 (big display to read without glasses), a depth sounder and a Navico TP3100 tiller pilot.
In 2001 an innovative cockpit tent and sprayhood was added for comfort and protection in the cockpit when offshore. In 2007 the flush deck was changed to have a raised coach roof and the internal layout of the Norfolk Gypsey was used as inspiration for a new layout. A stainless steel mast support with rotating table was fitted.
With the change to the accommodation, the boat proved to be quite comfortable for longer trips so it was decided that the Transatlantic trade wind crossing should be carried out 2009/2010 with crew of two. Work related circumstances prevented this taking place so the Jester Challenge was chosen as a suitable vehicle to achieve this goal.
A series of experiments and practical trials were undertaken since 2007 to harden the boat, equipment and prepare for the big crossing. These included fitting a Windpilot Pacific Light, cockpit fitted life raft, fitting stanchions and guard wires, a deck harness webbing safety line, undergoing Sea Survival training, procuring a reefing staysail, trysail and storm jib; and deliberately undertaking several channel crossings in adverse conditions.
A NASA stand alone AIS “radar” receiver was added to track merchant shipping of over 600 tonne and proved valuable in detecting potential collisions. The aerial was originally fitted to a boom gallows fitted at the same time to eliminate the scissor legs used to support the boom when not under sail. An Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) was fitted and registered in 2007 and replaced with a newer unit in December 2008.
The boat was registered with voluntary CG66 with the MCA and this registration is maintained to reflect latest safety equipment.
Refit in preparation for JC2010
A major refit was undertaken in 2008/2009 with the boat stored at Chase Lane Farm in Kenilworth in a large hangar-like building which has hard standing, power and lighting. The refit included removing the original rub rails and capping the deck and hull join with 100mm x 10mm Douglas Fir bonded on with Sikaflex to eliminate leaks from both rain or when the boat was pushed hard.
During this refit attention was given to creating effective sea berths with boards, padding “contact points to reduce bumps and bruises in rough conditions and fitting several internal hand holds. The gas stove was replaced with an Origo spirit stove.
The final major modification was carried out in 2009 when the spray hood was removed and the main hatchway altered to reduce the opening size. A new main hatch was made up of curved laminated plywood and fitted with 8mm Perspex windows to provide a sheltered potion with all round visibility and standing headroom for a 5’ 6” person. A Perspex washboard with opening section replaced the original wooden washboard.
If you have any questions about the Just Right Project, please contact us.
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© Angus Davidson and Macmillan Cancer Support 2009
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