Progress continues on Nancy Blackett’s new mast. Making it began in January at specialist spar-makers Collars, while it is now at Robertsons and in the process of being prepared to drop into the hole on Nancy’s deck.

The new mast, necessitated after two cracks and a visible distortion to the (very) old one, is slightly thicker, with a channel for cables running up its centre. The standing rigging, also very old, is also to be replaced.

Where the Appeal funds go

The cost, about £8,000, will be met from our 20th Anniversary Appeal, now around £14,000, including two generous donations of £3,000 from Trinity House and £1,000 from the Adnams Community Trust. Our members and other individual donors have also generously contributed to the Appeal, whether by cheque, bank transfer or our own donation page (hosted by Virgin Money Giving), often accompanied by encouraging messages such as this one:

“Just a small way to say a massive thank you to Arthur Ransome for the huge amount of pleasure and inspiration that he has given to me and many others. Thank you so much Arthur.”

The Appeal will also help to replenish our reserves, especially following last year’s £9,000 yard bill, which included a lot of the work that was recommended in our 2015 survey.

Our work continues

Winter maintenance this year continues to work those recommendations. Resealing the coachroof sides should cure those drips on sleeping crew members, and Nancy Blackett’s hull will be repainted. New equipment includes man-overboard gear, replacement of the TacTic instrument displays and a new Automatic Identification System unit with a larger screen, the better to help us spot and avoid ships at sea.

And finally, the old mast

As for Nancy Blackett’s old mast, after some discussion we decided to offer it to our friend and neighbours at Woolverstone, the Neptune Sailing Centre, for use as a flagpole. We hope it will be erected by our AGM on 3rd June.

There are also some sections from previous repairs which we are offering as souvenirs to raise funds. Some bids have already come in, but, if you’d like a piece, please contact our Chairman, Roger Sturge.


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