Tag Archives: Wooden Boat Restoration

Fame for Flamingo

You may have noticed a dearth of activity from the orchard boatyard…. My enthusiasm isn’t waning but even though the days are lengthening there just never seems enough time. Last weekend was no different and despite the glorious sunshine all I managed to do was pop up to the field and note the tarpaulin is just about surviving, poke my head down the companionway to check we weren’t filling with water and that was it!

One bit of news though, I’ve been published! OK so its only the letters page of Classic Boat and they called me Jonathan Weir for some bizarre reason, but still…. Flamingo is in print. Last month’s magazine included an article about a Windfall Yacht from Kiel also called Flamingo which prompted me to write this letter.


Looking forward to lubricating the work with a drop of Old Pulteney!

Delivery Day!

Finally the delivery day is here and I am ridiculously excited. Excited and nervous. I know she has made it as far as Maidstone, Jason the driver text me to tell me that much. The sun is shining the ground is dry, I’m as prepared as I can be with tools, timber, my home made yacht legs, but still I’m worried I’ve missed some vital element.

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Toby is at Reading Festival, Joe is in France with a friend, so it is down to the A team of Luke, Tilly, Tracy and me, and frankly some of us are a bit bored.

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The road is disappointingly empty


But wait! What’s this?


The Squirrel Marine truck, inching its way down the hill, and riding high and dry on her trailer is a dream I have been chasing for more years than I can remember.

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After some very skilful manoeuvrings, The Flamingo has Landed.



With the assistance of Jim Brett and Jason Lengden of Squirrel Marine, the boat was safely propped and leveled. I had overestimated the length of prop needed so Jim has very kindly taken away 4 of them to cut down to size in his workshop, saving me hours of sweaty hacksaw and drilling. Definitely a good contact to have, with 30 plus years experience owning a boatyard and the designer of the rig Flamingo was delivered on. I’m looking forward to visiting his yard on Sheppey when I go to pick up the props.

I cant say enough good things about Squirrel Marine, (http://www.squirrelmarine.com/) if you need an expert in getting boats into tight spaces, you can’t get much better. The trailer is backed into position then a scaffold rig built over the boat which is then winched up allowing the trailer to be towed out from under it. You then place your cradle or base under the boat and lower, (we don’t like to use the word drop, Jason tells me) her gently down onto it. Not only were Jason and Jim, calm, professional and willing to spend time getting Flamingo sitting just right in her new home but they were also the cheapest.

The day ended with Tracy having a tour of my dream…. suffice to say it’s not her dream boat yet but I’m hopeful a few more sundowners in the cockpit may convince her…