Saturday, 10 November 2012

That was the boat that was... "Papillon"

Now that Papillon is sold; what could be more natural than a summary of the period of my ownership..

So...  it all started when I bought Papillon in March 2009 from Wilson's Boatyard on Hayling Island [clicky]. I remember distinctly offering the asking price immediately...  I'd been looking for a boat for some weeks by then and had missed out a few times by being too late, or delaying, so when I saw Pap, I knew she was right, & I moved quickly to avoid losing her! As it turned out  Wilson's were a very nice bunch of people who allowed me to keep her in the yard until I was ready to launch, so my first few months of ownership involved long commutes down the length of Hayling to clean/paint and generally titivate....happy days...!

So first off, and with much interest, I loaded every GPS track I had for the four years into GoogleEarth for a view on where I'd been spending my time...  so once again, like a spider dipped in blue ink and left to wander all over Google Earth - here's where Papillon went under my ownership - click again for slightly bigger views of the pictures in this post:

2010 - 2012 trips - no 2009 data as I didn't have a GPS then..

Mostly in the main Chichester channel it would seem, if the above is anything to go by....smiley emoticons

...and that's the big view including the Solent trips... two to the Nab, one to Cowes, one to Seaview, and one "Round Hayling"..


Number of sailing trips/visits: 61 in four years; 18 in '09, 13 in 2010, 18 in 2011 but only 12 this year (hideous weather, but I was also getting the sink hole fixed!). If you count all the times I visited in the mornings/evenings while she was on shore though (usually two to three times a week), and the days I worked on her pre-season, and the cups of tea visits (and pot noodle visits!) - easily triple, or even quadruple, that...

Total distance sailed: 646 miles; 125 in '09, 154 in 2010, 193 in 2011 & 173 odd this year - that's no mean feat when you consider there's no tiller pilot involved - I hand steered all of that! smiley emoticons

Nights on board: Surprisingly I can only find 3 - one was on the Cowes raid, this year and then a couple of times in 2010; one of these was, memorably, the night before I dis-masted..!

Crew on occasion: 2 daughters - both of them are good company. Youngest was crew more than eldest (as she got a job and a boyfriend) Youngest is turning into a confidant helm... Both of them tell me sailing is "boring" and look at me in a pitying way when I talk about Pap... smiley emoticons  Oh, and Jellybean Phil and I took her for a motor up to Emsworth one very wet & gusty evening!

Cruising range: Emsworth to the north, Bosham/Itchenor in the East and the Folly (up the Medina River from Cowes) to the west and the Nab to the south..  superb!

Biggest Cruise: Cowes raid day one  this year (32 miles) shortly followed by the day sail to Seaview in 2010 (31 miles)

Best Cruise: So hard as it comes down to a choice of four, the Cowes raid this year (which proves adventure is available to everyone), the trip to Portsmouth Harbour entrance also this year, the trip to Seaview in 2010, and also the trip to the Nab last year (the one where I finally got there).....

I'm going to go for Seaview as it was my first major cruise out of the harbour, it was sunny, it was windy, and I learnt that the boat wasn't going to let me down, and I wasn't going to let the boat down...

Seaview, ahoy....  overall best cruise..... and that was back in 2010..
Worst cruise: Choice of two..  the trip when I dis-masted, or the outbound trip to Cowes where the weather was hideous; cold, wet, miserable, windy, and on the nose! (Thank goodness the pub was open when we got there... smiley emoticons)

One of the three bad lucks
that afternoon
Dis-masting takes it I think, as it was a very low point in my burgeoning sailing career....

Oddest cruise: Bad luck comes in three's without a doubt!! I look back now and I can chuckle, but blimey what an afternoon....!

Best anchorages: None... didn't anchor her on the main anchor in all the four years I had her! I have moored up on the small kedge a couple of times, and the spot I enjoyed most is just at the top of the main Emsworth Channel where it turns towards Northney....  I've stopped there a couple of times for a fish, or just a relax, when the wind isn't blowing....

Best mooring: Ignoring my home moorings for the time being I have a choice of three that I use on a regular basis....  one at the mouth of the Thorney Channel, one in the line of visitors buoys at HISC, and one at the end of the Emsworth Channel - and of the three I especially like the HISC one - purely because there's so much to see at that end of the harbour.... you have to be quick though...  they have a tendency to demand money for stopping - who'd have thought it! That aside this is the spot for a freshly cooked sausage sandwich and a mug of tea.....

My favourite mooring other than "home" - this is looking towards HISC and the harbour entrance
On the home front my first mooring was mostly mud, but my new one is a cracker (once we get the sinker re-buried) water 3+ hours either side of high tide...  the temporary one I got put on at the end of this year has even more water but is a bit of a long slog out on oars! Looking forward to getting back on mine with a new boat next summer... smiley emoticons

Worst mooring: None... they're all good when you need a cup of tea and a break!

Plans for next year: New boat!!


Papillon is a 41 year old boat (she was built in June 1971)... my period of ownership (or better, guardianship??) has  represented less than 10% of her life to date..  talking to her new owner he already has plans for her next stage...  we only get to look after them, we never own them.....
As is the way of these things this will be the last but one post in this ships log - a new boat calls for a new log, so the last post will be to announce the new address, but for now this chapter has come to a close.... 


  1. and with a tear in his eye he signs off. You will have to find a stunning boat to eclipse Pap.. I still think back to my time with Jelly Bean and think "What a great boat".
    So easy to sail and will look after you when it turns to worms. Fantasies are so much boat for such a small outlay and great fun.
    Here's to Papillon :)

  2. Go on then - what boat do you fancy next? or do you have one sorted already!

    1. Sent you a message via your blog... walls have ears.... :o))