President: Ian Anderson M.R.I.N.A.
Affiliated to the RYA



What a start to the UK season, not sure when I take to the water whether I should be wearing summer cottons or winter woollens! But was it not ever so in this Green and Pleasant Land of ours.

Much to report in this newsletter. First a very warm welcome to all our new members - 32 since the March edition went out. As a Directory is enclosed with this I am not putting a list here.

If you get the N/L but no Directory it means I have not received your sub. On that subject a big thank you to those members who have taken out a standing order. Have one S/O payment I cannot relate to a boat - Sandra Griffiths if you read this please let me know whom I should credit. Incidentally if you are making out a S/O for the future (please) make sure to mark it as an annual payment.

Below are four reports on Meets/Rallies held. Do support the planned meets if you can, the aim is to get to know each other and exchange knowledge and ideas.

If Ireland is a possible destination you may be interested in the following extract in a letter from Dave Harris who lives in Dunmore East, County Waterford:

" I have been a lifeboat man for quite some time but retired recently. Dunmore East is on the SE coast of Ireland and we have some lovely cruising waters but unfortunately no marina yet. We would love for some of your members to come and visit our little fishing village for a stop over and maybe a pint!! We have a Café/Restaurant overlooking the harbour. I am sure we can find room somewhere for anyone who calls in."

One other request. Last year we started a series "Where I Sail" with articles by Ray Winter -"The River Exe", Roger Kynaston -" The River Dart" and one by me on the "Medway". Can I ask for contributions, particularly from those areas not covered so often in the sailing magazines and especially from our overseas members.

Rallies - 2006

East Coast
Medway, May 2006

The rally was planned for the weekend May 27th/28th but it was hoped that some boats would be able to meet up on Friday, 27th and maybe stay until Monday, 30th. Of the seven boats based in the area three planned to meet up at Queenborough on Friday then move on to Hoo on Saturday where the fourth would join.

Unfortunately the weather conspired against us. The preceding week was cold wet and very windy with a like forecast for the weekend. So sailing was abandoned but we agreed to meet at the Hoo Ness YC for lunch on Saturday. This was a good opportunity to get to know one another, exchange information and discuss plans for the future.

Our thanks to Graham Hersey and the Hoo Ness YC who looked after so well. Those who could make it were Jean White and Graham Jackson, "Revival", Kevin and Lin Sturla, "Escala", Terry and Val Swinburne,"Miss Cressida", Graham Hersey, "Ignis"(22) and Mike Sheridan, "Symphony"(22).

Mike Sheridan

Solent, Marchwood, June 2006

"Kione" (22) Nick Grogan, "Mi Solite" (24) Mike Carter, "Curlew of Bosham" (24) Jeff Moody, "Strider" (22) Tim Sharman and ""Merlin"" (27) David Lemon.

Having owned a boat for only twelve months (for most of that time Kione was on dry land reflecting my lack of knowledge about how the boating industry really works) and with my sailing experience limited to trapeze dinghies (a long time ago) with an occasional bit of crewing on somebody else's large yacht I wasn't too sure how my crew and I would handle taking part in an Association rally. As we bounced through the Portsmouth entrance feeling not quite in total control we were both slightly apprehensive about sailing up to a pontoon populated by a group of strangers waiting to see how we handled the cross wind and the flood tide.

Our anxieties were ill-founded. I have found my way into numerous sailing and yacht clubs in the past and cannot remember going to one where the welcome was so warm. The pontoons at Marchwood were easily accessible and the duty officer not only told us where to tie up, but also helped us do it. He then gave us an escorted tour around the club, provided us with keys to the showers and explained the important bits about bar opening times and eating arrangements.

After a while a few other Hurley's drifted up (the winds being very light) and it became increasingly reassuring to meet other owners who seemed to simply want to enjoy using their boats and who were very happy to share their knowledge on such matters as how best to manage "the outboard in the well problem". We shared a few beers in the very hot sun with the locals before moving off to the clubhouse. During dinner Nick Vass showed us some ancient photographs of Hurleys - I was hugely impressed to discover my cosmetically challenged boat might be older than most but leaks a lot less (fingers crossed). Much more importantly, we persuaded the chef to come back in the morning and cook us what turned out to be a memorable and unbelievably cheap breakfast.

Setting off home the next morning the wind could have been a little stronger. We had to use the engine all the way down Southampton Water and when we could sail experienced an odd situation of running goose-winged downwind heading directly towards a racing fleet who were flying spinnakers and also on a dead run. Eventually we all stopped, sailed in circles for a bit and then restarted engines. The wind only picked up about an hour later just as we needed to pick up our mooring in Gosport.

We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend - even though the wind was very light. The rally provided a good excuse to go somewhere I doubt we would ever have planned to visit. Marchwood Yacht Club was extremely hospitable and I was able to check out several issues about H22's from other people who have "been there and done that". Tim Sharman deserves a lot of thanks for a fun weekend although I did feel he could have had the good grace to at least let me keep up with him when beating home !

Nick Grogan

South West
Plymouth, July 2006

This summer's South West rally had something of the characteristics of a pilgrimage! I had not visited the Plymouth area for many years, having lived in the area in the 80s and served in Plymouth based ships and establishments. My 'crew' for the weekend - Jez Johnson - had studied for his degree in Plymouth and lived in the Barbican and so was excited by the prospect of berthing in Queen Anne's Battery marina, which is just opposite the Barbican, enabling him to visit some old haunts from his student days - and some even older ones from his RN days!

In addition, I was intrigued to be visiting the home of the Hurley, but was not prepared for the number of connections we made over the weekend. Our rally was planned to be integrated with the Silhouette Owners Association (Silhouettes were built by Hurley), with its 'centre of gravity' in the Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club, which has a fantastic location - effectively in the Battery sea wall - directly over-looking Plymouth Sound and the River Plym.

I had been forced to cancel my leave due to work constraints - so was unable to sail Strider down from Gosport, and thus Jez and I drove down to Plymouth on Friday. We met Nick Vass, with Omega, along with his crew for the weekend - Anthony and Jaspar (veterans of last years rally to Weymouth). Also in the marina was Bruce Carter with 'Gala' (22) and, berthed in Sutton Harbour, adjacent to Queen Anne's was Brian Mermagen with Mistral (22). In addition we had a couple of local Silhouettes and Brian from York (a Silhouette owner - but this time with his Catch 22). Brian kindly allowed Jez and I to 'berth' in Mistral over Friday and Saturday nights - which was hugely convenient for our 'run ashore' in Barbican - allowing a last pint and a Capn Jaspars burger to be easily obtained before crashing-out within metres of the Mayflower Steps (of Pilgrim Fathers fame). We also met Howard Pierce - a new H20 owner("Windseeker") and John Sinclair a Plymouth based H22 owner.

On Friday evening we were given a hearty welcome by Mike Bolton, Commodore of the RPCYC, who promoted both Nick and I to some form of Commodore and Vice Commodore - and expressed his great delight in forming a link between the Silhouette owners and the HOA. We enjoyed a tasty pasty supper plus some fine ales and Nick thrilled the Silhouettes/Corinthians with his archive of Hurley photos from the 50s and 60s. One long serving member was taken by surprise when Nick showed a photograph of a young woman posing for a brochure shot inside a Hurley - who was quickly identified as his wife! We met numbers of people who had known George Hurley personally and Nick was able to fill in many areas of his not inconsiderable knowledge of the Hurley History.

On a blistering hot Saturday we had a great time joining in the RPCYC/Silhouette races - quickly learning the names of the buoys in the Sound - plus how variable a fluky wind can be as it bounces off the cliffs around the Sound. We were also joined overland by Phil Kirby of Xeitosa (22) who was unable to sail her round from Torquay, but who wanted to take advantage of the Hurley gathering. We saw lots of Hurleys that day - especially in and around the Plym.

On Sunday, some again joined in the races, whilst Omega's crew, with myself and Jez, went Hurley spotting in the Plym - delivering membership forms to about 15 Hurleys we found moored there. We also 'eyed-up' the Mountbatten Centre as a possible venue for next year - which may be a little more sympathetic to an association gathering.

Overall, we enjoyed a great deal of simple friendship, relaxation, had some good sailing and met a whole group of new sailing friends - with their own tales to tell. In addition I feel we have made a significant link with Silhouettes and also verified that Hurleys remain amongst the most popular and long lasting boats currently sailed in UK.

Tim Sharman


We were annoyed to miss the Solent Rally but there was some compensation when an ad hoc Hurley 27 Owners Rally took place in Yarmouth IoW on 1st - 2nd of July, when "Gandalf" moored in front of Dave Lemon "Merlin" between piles 11 and 12. (there seems to be a wizards theme here!) I think it was the first time that either of us had encountered another 27. Once we had sorted out our mooring lines we introduced ourselves and Dave came aboard "Gandalf" for a beer and a chat. I was able to sing the praises of our new rig (Z-spars mast with in-mast roller reefing) and our new engine (20hp Beta with fresh water cooling). We both agreed that although Hurley 27s have many good properties but going astern is not one of them!

On Sunday morning Donia and I went aboard "Merlin" and met Dave's delightful daughters and (equally delightful dog) and had a look at all the work that he's done since buying "Merlin" (then known as Rhiannon) as a virtual wreck three years ago. He's kept the basic H27 layout but has made a lot of changes - most noticeably in replacing the loo with a chemical toilet in the fore cabin and building lockers in the old toilet compartment and a vanity unit into the hanging locker - all very interesting. He'd also built a gas bottle stowage into the deck behind the cockpit which made me think deeply about "Gandalf"'s rather awful gas bottle installation.

We parted company towards the end of Sunday morning; a spectacularly good weekend having been improved by a chance meeting.

Rod Coomber

Isles of Scilly
30th July - 5th August 2006.

Day 1 Sunday 30th July: Rendezvous at Falmouth and passage around The Lizard to Penzance.
Day 2 Monday 31st: Passage from Penzance to Scilly.
Days 3, 4, & 5: Messing about around the islands and observing island culture, perhaps in the Mermaid pub on St Marys or the New Inn on Tresco.
Day 6 Friday 4th: Passage to Penzance
Day 7 Saturday 5th: Passage to Falmouth and points east.

Generally speaking, the waters around Scilly are fairly shallow between the islands. Bilge keelers should have little trouble anchoring and taking the ground, but fin keelers will need legs or deeper water and tenders will be essential for going ashore. Quays are few and far between and generally very busy with inter-island launches and other commercial traffic.

Contact - Phil Biggs

Black Velvet
(Hurley 24/70)

In 1973 Jonathan Mason was the managing director of Hurley's in Plymouth. He was a friend of mine and suggested that Hurley built the smallest boat acceptable for the two handed round Britain race and the single-handed transatlantic race. In those days it was 24 feet.
Black Velvet was built and exhibited at the London boat show in January1974. She had no engine and extra weight in the keel was made up of heavy chain which could be removed. I regret I cannot remember the weight. I had one large sweep on board with which I could scull her at about 1 ½ knots - that was all that was needed although in extremis I did have a small dinghy and an even smaller outboard which I could lash alongside and which give us about two knots . I had the fore hatch sealed shut when she was built to ensure that the fore cabin was the one dry place in the boat in bad weather. Not always the case with small boat hatches of that era.

During spring of that year Hurley was taken over by an asset stripper and rumour reached my wife whilst I was in the Mediterranean that they would be taking her back and selling her as an asset. My wife paid a Plymouth crane driver (Millbay Docks) a fiver and had her lifted out onto a Royal Marine lorry (she had chatted up the duty officer) and she was quickly driven into the nearby barracks and hidden until I returned from the Med.

When I did return the asset strippers complained that they couldn't find the boat but as the race was due to start shortly agreed to let her go if we knew where we could find her. So I sailed in the smallest and only engineless boat in the 1974 two handed Round Britain Race.

As expected we were last into Cork where, because of the IRA threat, all service boats had to anchor off with no crew allowed ashore. Damn silly, as it only marked us out. During this time Clare Francis filled my water tank with Guinness. In fact we did not discover this until after we had sailed for Barra. My crew at this stage had proved totally unsuitable and agreed (it was his idea) that I would do all the sailing during the legs and when ashore he would clean and do all the chores during the compulsory stops. This even meant cooking and washing up every meal and at one stage I was enjoying a drink on another yacht when he rode across, collected me, rowed me back to Back Velvet and then after supper rowed me back to the party. One other competitor was heard to remark that it was nice to see officers still taking their batmen with them to sea!

Off the north-west coast of Ireland we hit a series of northerly gales and my crew had a total, emotional collapse. I decided to turn direct for Plymouth, from where I sailed, sometimes single-handedly, to meet the fleet at Lowestoft.

There we met up with one of two others who had retired or had gone through the Caledonian Canal and we invented (with the Royal Western yacht clubs permission) the round South Britain race. Two of us set off but the other retired somewhere along the south coast and I came on single-handed to Plymouth. In the end I had sailed nearly as many miles as if I had gone round the top. We had a spot of bother with the Royal Yacht off Cowes at 0300 when my crew (for about 20 miles) fired a starting cannon at her.

After all that was over Black Velvet was badly damaged whilst on her mooring by a runaway barge in a gale. Also at that time I received a call from the then, I think, accountant suggesting that if I appeared at a certain pub with £2000 in notes in my pocket then she would be mine. As I had not been allowed to move her, despite warning the receiver, he agreed for the damage to be repaired. It was during that arrangement that this offer was made. I was not sure that it was legal so I telephoned Sir Kenneth Cork (of Cork Gully) himself over the weekend. He was not amused but in the end offered the boat to me for the same amount. As this was a bargain I took it.

I then sailed her extensively around the south coast and out into the Atlantic achieving many more than the average miles for a comparable boat of her size. During the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1977 we entered and won the West Country division of the Royal Thames yacht club Silver Jubilee race. We were the smallest boat nationwide and in Plymouth sailed over 100 miles in the 24 hours of non-stop gales while others (everyone larger and some even Royal Navy training vessels) sheltered within Plymouth Sound. We received a very fine engraved decanter.

In about 1980 I had an engine fitted (a Vire of almost a minus amount of horsepower) and then sold her to one of my Sergeants at Poole. Almost immediately after the sale she broke her moorings and ended up stranded on the beach at the top end of Poole Harbour. She had not been damaged other
them a few minor superficial scratches.

After that I'm afraid I lost touch but did see her for sale at Poole (Cobbs Quay) one or two years ago. I believe the present owner is up for membership of the Royal Yacht Squadron: which will make it the second time she has appeared on their lists under two different owners.

And that's about it - except to say that in all the gales that I have weathered at sea I was as happy in Black Velvet as I have been in many much larger vessels; the motion was often uncomfortable of course but we never seemed to be in any danger as she simple rode over everything. She was a cracking little boat in which both my children sailed within days of being born and in which they cut their first nautical teeth.

I am afraid this is slightly in note form but gives the main essence of my time with her. I was sad to see her go but life had to move on as the family grew.

Ewen Southby-Tailyour


I've been on a night hours and mileage gathering trip aboard "Moonshine" with David Musgrove as companion and crew. Dave Musgrove is Chairman of the new Disabled Sailing Association here in the Torbay area of South Devon. It is a registered charity and exists to give the sailing experience to as many disabled folk as we can at a price they can afford. Most of our members are visually impaired, and either unemployed or on state pensions and so cannot afford the current commercial rates demanded by other associations in the area. There are twenty plus of us registered members now and applications are coming in.

I shared Moonshine with a colleague, Christopher Waldock, who sadly died of cancer last June leaving me his share of the boat. He was interested in the formation of DSA and so my wife and I sold his share to DSA in the sum of one new penny to get the group off the ground and onto the water as a sort of farewell and rememberance thing. We have since been quite active taking out members as much as four or five times a week. Keeps me busy as I'm the only fully sighted member at the moment.

We planned on a night trip to Falmouth but only got as far as Plymouth. Weather, tide and the cold beat us on the way West. It took from 1605 to 0600hrs to get docked at Plymouth as at times we could only make a half knot over the ground. Coming home was quicker (0600 to 2000hrs) as the wind and sea were behind us. Somewhat exhilarating at times what with a roaring swell coming up too frequently for comfort. Almost 12 knots over the ground at times. We were delighted with the boat. She performed magnificently and took not a drop of water, although the sea threw a bucketful into my face once. Must have thought I needed a wash to wake me up. It was a great learning experience. Last Friday we went for a run up the river Dart and tried out a new fangled bleeping compass that is intended to assist the visually disabled to helm at sea. We did not have a great deal of success as we were not too familiar with the workings, but it promises to be a great help once we get the knack. Health wise I've pulled a lumbar muscle again and had a couple of days rest in consequence. Don't think much of the discomfort but the work avoidance was great. I caught up with a lot of reading. Jenny is fine and doing great things with the garden.

Jenny and I are taking the RYA skippering courses. I've got the full Day Skipper and three parts of the Coastal Skipper; she has the Start Yachting and first part of Day Skipper. We both have Radio and First Aid tickets. Will do more when the Autumn evening classes begin. Next Month we go on a five day cruise to gain our Yachtmasters practical ticket (got the theory). We're hoping for some proper fine Summer weather. Cross your fingers for us.

Michael Harrison


Most Hurley 22 owners don't need to be told that they own one of the best boats ever made but they'll be pleased to have their opinion endorsed by one of the better yachting magazines. "Yachting Monthly" celebrated its 100th Anniversary this year. As part of their celebrations the June edition included a free "100 Best Boats" centenary special magazine and there at 24th position was the Hurley 22, described as "one of the toughest and most seaworthy of the small cruisers from the 1960s". Some months before this was published their deputy editor e-mailed me asking if I could let them have some photos and I was able to let them have some pictures of Tim Sharman's "Strider" taken in the Solent during last years Not the Cherbourg Rally. The picture reproduced really well and both Tim and Jez can easily be recognised.

Rod Coomber

Hurley 22 in "die yacht"1968

Hartmut Dietrich, a member in Germany, forwarded a copy of a review of the Hurley 22 published in the German sailing magazine Die Yacht in 1968. There is a PBO review published at the same time which is available from their copy service. The main difference is that the Die Yacht paper contains more technical information. The review is on our web site but if anyone who does not have access to the net would like a copy please ask.

Chairman Tim Sharman 02392 580437
Vice Chairman Nick Vass 01722 790173
Honorary Secretary Audrey Kynaston 0208 405 3951
Membership Secretary
Newsletter Editor
Mike Sheridan 01732 453069
Webmaster Rod Coomber 01275 843900


Copy welcome any time to:
Mike Sheridan, 152 Chesterfield Drive, Sevenoaks TN13 2EH
Tel: 01732 453069, E-mail: