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History 2004

We had discussed what we would do when I retired- cruising around seemed to be the answer. Thinking I was leaving the Navy in early 2005, I looked for a boat that could be ready in summer 2005.

I sold Dilemma, my 1720 racing boat (and still miss the excitement mixed with terror that accompanied winds over Force 5) and looked around. Gillie did not like boats that fell over-or even heeled, really. Dad had a Fisher 25 for some years which had been a steady platform and excellent sea boat although no great sailer. So I looked at a Fisher 36 which had the right mix of size and accommodation to enable us to live on board for months and welcome friends. However, everything was big. Too big for Gillie to lower the main if I had fallen over, for instance. So reluctantly I looked for a motor boat solution.

Lifeboats- too expensive to run and need a lot of modification. Plastic boats all looked the same and were not what I wanted. Then I found Lena III in Emsworth and was instantly smitten. It was known that she required work, she was soggy inside in spite of being prepared for sale and my surveyor was not enthusiastic. But I went ahead anyway.

The photos give some idea of the work involved.

New deck throughout, foredeck beams, some side deck beams and some of the aft end. Side planking- mainly aft. We stripped off the paint to see the extent of the rot and decided that varnish was not an option. The 2002 cabin scuttles/windows did not quite fit the timber openings and this was in fact the main drawback.

Having now experienced the short life of varnish in the sunshine, I am so glad I did not pursue it further.

Work continued although the repairer and I were in disagreement about the size of the bills.

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