Eileen of Avoca’s refit

Yarmouth Marine Services on the Isle of Wight

Yarmouth Marine Services is currently working on making Eileen of Avoca ready for her Atlantic crossing. The to-do list is ambitious, but I’ve the know-how of the people who originally built Eileen on hand, so I am confident the work will be of the highest standard. I guess I’m betting my life on it… hmmm… looking it it that way, I vow to haunt anyone responsible for cutting corners or shoddy workmanship if it leads to my untimely demise… 😉

How’s that for an incentive?

The job list goes something like this:

  • Fit new 13.5HP Beta engine and ancillary equipment.
  • New rigging
  • Deck and mast fittings acid dipped and re-galvanised
  • Stanchions removed and re-mounted to prevent leaks
  • Mast and teak areas varnished / painted to handle tropical heat
  • Inner linings waterproofed
  • Companionway washboards strengthened
  • Hatch locking mechanism reworked
  • Companionway step reinforced
  • Pushpit lockers waterproofed
  • Fiberglass stress points reinforced
  • Seacocks and cockpit drainage pipes replaced where necessary
  • Second (internal) bilge pump fitted
  • Second VHF aerial added
  • VHF radio tested and repaired
  • Solar panel mounted
  • AIS receiver fitted
  • Life raft serviced
  • Tillerpilot to vane gear fitting in addition to the existing mount.
  • Anodes replaced
  • 3 coats of antifoul
  • Dodgers made
  • Foresails serviced
  • Non slip decking material re-painted
  • Jackstays replaced
  • and more…

If I have any money left over I’ll buy a new EPRIB and some extra anchor rode / chain… ha! big if…
This list will be updated as it changes, and as soon as I get back to the boat I’ll take photos to show everyone how the work is progressing.


Yarmouth 23s at YOGAFF

For two fabulous days Eileen of Avoca rafted up with three other Yarmouth23s and a couple of ring-ins to enjoy YOGAFF. (The annual Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival). Despite looking a little weather beaten, dressed in her flags, Eileen still made a pretty picture especially with her smartly dressed siblings tied nearby.

My swimming instructor 😛

Helen and Miranda were closest on Hecate, which became the de-facto gathering place (despite the characteristic Y23 push-pit flooding) for evening drinks. Then there was Geoff and Jaye on Tarka, and finally Peter on Jabiru at the opposite end of our six boat raft.

I was delighted to be offered a tour of Eileen’s sisters and was truly fascinated by the many small differences that (besides colour) made each Yarmouth23 unique.

All bronze fittings (Eileen uses galvanised steel) and bilge keels on Jabiru, mast hoops (vs. laced sails) or angled winches on Tarka, and additional reefing lines led through jammers (for easy reefing) on Hecate.

I didn’t get to do any real sailing (too busy window shopping about town), but I did meet with Graham from Yarmouth Marine Services to discuss Eileen’s impending refit over a deliciously cool beer at the yacht club.

Old Gaffers racing in Yarmouth for the festival

Winning the great race was left up to Peter, who BTW was nowhere to be found when I motored out to take photos of the competition. I’m still curious as to how he fared and regret not having taken part.

If looks could kill...

All too soon it was time to return to Belgium and leave Eileen of Avoca behind. Any last minute excuses to stay longer were mercilessly countered by my diminutive but highly temperamental guest and I’d already seen that insisting on having things my way invariably lead to unfortunate accidents, such as a fully clothed swim in the harbor.

So, for health an safety reasons, expressions of dissent on my part were strictly limited to sub-vocal grumblings and growls.

Mind you, if looks could kill, there might have been a massacre at this years YOGAFF. 🙂