The SYH Blog
John and Margaret under the new cockpit canopy on Blakeney Seal
John Wiltshier is celebrating the completion of an extensive refit on Blakeney Seal, a Parker 325 which he chose for its lifting keel – “the ability to sit upright on Scilly Island and Brittany Sand.”
He bought the 20-year-old boat via Clarke and Carter in August last year.
“I wanted to convert her to a boat that was suitable for an 80-year-old to sail very short-handed,” he explained. And he was able to achieve just what he wanted thanks to the way all the specialist companies at Suffolk Yacht Harbour work together.
Onesails and Rig Magic provided the rig and sail changes he specified:
“The boat had lots of sails but they were 20 years old. I ordered a new triple-reefed mainsail, furling genoa and asymmetric spinnaker. I particularly wanted to have the ability not only to reef the genoa but also to set an asymmetric as well, all from the cockpit.”
He also had a new windlass fitted below deck, to enable the anchor to be controlled from the cockpit, too. Bowthruster and holding tank were also fitted, and the hull given the Coppercoat treatment below the waterline.
“Some quite complicated fibreglass work was expertly carried out by SYH workshop.
We needed a new chartplotter and forward-facing echo sounder. They were fitted by R and J Marine Electronics,” said Mr Wiltshier.
“I purchased a new dinghy, and Josh Major went to the Boat Show to discuss how we were going to put it in davits. New davits were fitted at the stern of the boat by Mr Stainless. Mr Stainless with Onesails also supplied a new cockpit canopy and pram hood, which means four people can dine in the cockpit under cover and watch the sun go down in shelter.
“Onesails also renewed the upholstery in the saloon, which was a bit tired. The overall
result has lifted a rather tired 20-year-old boat into something which hopefully will give me another 20 years of enjoyment,” said Mr Wiltshier, who will base the boat near his home in Kent.
“I have had work done on boats by Suffolk Yacht Harbour over the past 30 years. It is good to see the new generation of management maintaining the excellent standard of service we have enjoyed all these years.”