All rigged and ready to go.
The proud skipper doing a reasonable impersonation of a beached blue whale.
Sailing at last. It was very, very, very good to be out on the water again in my own center board yacht - its been far too long coming.
I was pleased with the boat performance although it is pretty evident I am too heavy (90kgs + ) when the maximum recommended weight for the Starling is 60kgs. As we were sailing back to the yacht club I asked some of the teenagers in the other Starlings what their weights were - "45kgs", "40kgs" were a couple of answers received - so at twice the weight of some of the other sailors I am going to be out sailed in light winds. We will see how I fare in heavy winds when being a heavy weight may be an advantage.......... but! I didn't do the restoration simply to go racing - just getting out on the harbour for a sail was, and is, the most important consideration.
Congratulations on the launch and the restoration, looks great.
Thanks Max. It's been a real labour of love.
With summer on the way and a very big job to do on my yacht 'Mariners' diesel engine, sailing the Starling now becomes my 'safety valve' when I need some 'time out'.
Looks really great Alden. You have done a great job.
Might have to start on repairing our kids Starling which is hanging int he shed with a FLying Ant that needs a new bottom......I prefer to be out on the water like you.
Thanks Don. Yes she does look great, which is compensation for a couple of low moments when I stood next to a yacht skeleton and all its rotten plywood that I had ripped off lying on the carport floor - I wondered at that point exactly what had I got myself into LOL !
Having said all that - I would still encourage you to restore all your boats when you have got the time to do so and go sailing!
Brilliant - another classic boat saved, and you get to sail her.. win win!
Beautiful job! Smart little centerboard boat. And easy on the eyes. You've done a wonderful restoration.
I've always enjoyed sailing centerboard boats more than keel boats because they're so much more responsive and fun to sail.
I guess I'm slow. I thought the Starling was named after the little birds that fly in big flocks. (And, frankly, I was puzzled why anyone would name a boat after that bird.)
As soon as I saw the star insignia on the sail I understood the name of your boat's class. The Starling is a darling little Star sailboat, like the original Olympic keel yacht.
It'll take a strong wind to keep up with your youthful competitors. But racing is, as you say, only one facet of sailing. Just being out there is the main thing.
Alden: I hope that you'll post a close up photo or two of the double ended sail shape controls (to go with the one showing the turning blocks and the holes for the various lines through the splash boards in an earlier post). I'm always interested in seeing how other people rig things. She looks great in the photo posted above!
The Starling looks beautiful.
It was a great job you did and very instructive for me.
Next project, to turn the impressive beached blue whale into a lean shark?
Thank you Ben, It has been a bit of a long and winding road but I got there in the end.
Does being instructive for you mean you might do your own small boat restoration? : > )
The beached blue whale is now in a bit of a dilemma. If he stays with seriously racing the Starling he will need to become a Lean Shark / Norwegian racing sardine / Kiwi Beanpole LOL .... But if he decides to restore or purchase an OK dinghy he will need to continue to stays friends with Billy Bunter from the Tuck Shop!
Thanks George - Yes I will post some photos about the sail controls. For placement of the whole setup I worked off a couple of photographs I took of a Starling at the last Auckland Boat Show. Interestingly I hadn't even purchased my own Starling at this point (I also took photos of an OK Dinghy, so that's a bit of a worry LOL ). I was most particular with this control setup because it is crucial when making adjustments easily when sailing (as you will know). It seems to work really well at the moment, but I haven't tried it out in a big wind as yet.
Thanks Steve - you are right, it's win-win. New Zealand has a growing fleet of absolute bargains in terms of restorations for the home handyman / enthusiast. There is a continual stream of yachts (especially keel boats) that would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to have built professionally - being sold for a song - absolutely amazing.
Thanks for your comments Dan. You are correct, there is something to be said about small boat responsiveness and being really close to the water. For myself, I think I love all of the different sizes - 'Mariner' at 30 feet is a very good size in terms of coastal sailing; sailing on 'Lion NZ' in the Coastal Classic was an impressive and memorable experience and sailing this little Starling is an absolute delight. I think all boats are the golden threads in that big marine tapestry.
I don't think you are slow, it only dawned on me recently that the name Starling, was a play on the word 'Star' and could be seen as a distant cousin of the Olympic Star Class.
As for the weight, I should really lose a bit for health reasons - but as I have already commented - what if I restore an OK Dinghy or an old Olympic Finn? LOL!
Always good to see someone finish a boat project. I've got several dinghy projects scattered about in various states of repair/disrepair - even a new build - much to my wife's chagrin. They say it's all about the journey, not the destination, but it warms my heart to see someone get to the launching day.
Thank you Rod for your comments. Like you I have a few projects waiting in the wings and another few in my head (out of chagrins way). Personally I think it is the journey and the destination - and ya won't run out of destinations if you always have a journey percolating away somewhere! A new build? now there's a thought! What design is it? And by the way - I really, really like that Red Boat on your Blog Header page - what a simply great little ship she is!
Alden, The red boat is the SS class out of Long Island New York. I'll have more on this class in a later post.
Rod, I did a google search and found some interesting photographs here: http://www.27east.com/photo-gallery/article.cfm/430762#47712 ------ Which included photos of the red SS you have featured on your blog - I look forward to your posting on the SS Class.
The long and winding road....with a pot of gold at the end!
Congratulations on a wonderful project and thanks for sharing your path.
Thanks Paul. It has been a bit of a winding road, but I have enjoyed doing the restoration immensely. Sharing it on the Blog has been a good way of keeping a tangible record of the rebuild, a reminder to keep the work going and a source of encouragement as people have commented on the various postings, something I have appreciated.
Had to Google who “Billy Bunter from the Tuck Shop” is. I remember him as Billie Turf or Billie Blunder. As long as you don’t make any blunders, can’t see any harm. I Think chances are high that you will start a restoration of an OK dinghy. A nice step up.
"Billy Bunter from the Tuck Shop" is a 'saying' or an 'idiom'? that is not really used very often now. I used it not knowing where it actually comes from - I thought that Billy Bunter was a character from an old childrens book by Tom Hughs called 'Tom Browns Schooldays' written in 1857, but in fact Billy Bunter comes from a 1950s English TV series about 'Greyfriars' an English 'Public' School.
You are pretty much 'On the money' regarding an OK Dinghy, but I think I will probably just purchase a reasonably competitive new boat that's already set up and ready to go - I can't put off the work that needs to be done on 'Mariner' any longer.
Looks very smart Alden, good job!!
Thank you Ben - I am looking forward to a lot of summer sailing including racing with the local yacht club.
Hey Dad, the starling looks great! You are 90kgs of pure talent! It would have been lovely to watch you launch the starling and especially great to have seen you in your beached blue whale costume! I am so pleased that you have time to get out and do what you love. When I am back in NZ make sure you take me with you... would I fit? Im 53 kgs that would total 143!!! :)
Thank you Charlotte. I am enjoying sailing the Starling very much, especially when there is plenty of wind. You hit the nail on the head! it's very important to do the things you love - it would be stupid to spend your life doing things you don't like doing, but sometimes it takes us all a while to work that one out.
You can come sailing any time! :> ) XXXX
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