We recently helped Vanessa Ward to sell her Snapdragon 24, “Sandel.”

Vanessa has been interested in sailing since she was a teenager, which makes it about 30 years.

“My Dad built a Miracle dinghy (next size up from a Mirror), which came in kit form, in our garage and we used to sail from Stone round Osea Island etc. In fact my parents are still into boating but they’re on the Inland Waterways now, on a narrowboat, so it’s in the blood.

The first yacht I bought was a 21 foot cruiser, plywood construction with a large hole in the side where water had penetrated underneath a chain plate. I repaired this and spent many happy days sailing around Chichester Harbour and in the Solent.

Last August I bought Harlequin (also through Boatshed Essex). I love her to bits, she sails very nicely. I recently had heating installed, a hot water system with radiators. There is a bit of work to do internally, at the moment I am refitting the head, but sailing wise she is pretty together. I have a wish list of additions of course... including a windlass.”

How long were you looking for a boat before you found your current boat?

“I was looking for two or three months and saw a number of different types of yacht; originally I had in mind a 30 to 35 foot yacht. It was love at first sight when I saw Harlie (29 ft). She has a very large and clear cockpit, as most of her sail control lines are traced to the area either side of the hatch and she is similar to a Tardis (more room inside than out it seems). You should not discard some boats just because they don't fit a certain criteria on your list.”

What do you like about sailing?

“I love to be out on the water in any boat, however I must admit a sailing boat is my preference. It’s fantastic when you pull the sails up/out, get underway, and can turn that noisy smelly diesel off!”

Where are the best places to go sailing in Essex?

“I must admit I haven't done too much round here yet, just sailing down the Crouch and Roach both in Harlie and crewing friends yachts - the river is always changing with the tides, wind and weather. Last September whilst out sailing, the muddy river Crouch looked bright blue due to the reflection of the sky... beautiful, especially with the songs of Skylarks in the background (which the motorboaters would have missed of course! So peaceful...

I am fed up with this weather and want to get back out there but it’s so cold at the moment that after an hour or so you want to get back and get warmed up. The greater part of my sailing has been in the Solent.”

How did you hear about Boatshed Essex?

“By doing an online search, I was looking to purchase a boat and keep it on the Crouch so it made sense to try and find one that was already there, the Snapdragon was at Burnham and on Boatshed Essex.”

What made you choose Boatshed for your brokerage?

“The Boatshed Essex office is located in a yard on the Crouch, Steve was very helpful when I purchased the Snapdragon and I decided to stick with him for the sale. Steve and Catherine are great, they do their best to help their clients, even occasionally assisting with the moving/shipping of a boat..... going the extra mile.

My Snapdragon was sold in March. Happily she was bought by a local and will be up at Brandy Hole so I should see her out on the river.”

Do you have any advice for someone thinking of selling their boat?

“My advice would be to make sure that you visit the boat regularly, just because you are selling you should not abandon it. Ensure it is kept as clean (give it a wash over every month or two) and dry or aired as possible, and cover with a tarpaulin if you are able.”

If you have a boating or sailing story to tell contact us: we’d be happy to share it on our blog.


You may also like:
Free ebook: Boating in Essex / Thinking about selling your boat? / Sailing – The Antidote to Stress / A slideshow of our Alan Buchanan Wooden Yawl (reduced). / More news articles and stories.

New here? Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to hear of new listings, our boat of the moment and regular boating and sailing news.

Get free updates from this blog: subscribe by email.