Repair and Maintenance of a Drascombe Lugger

How we acquired our Lugger

After owning and sailing a number of boats we decided that a Drascombe Lugger was our ideal for safe family sailing. Not being able to afford a new one, we had been looking for a second-hand Lugger for some time and, after some near misses, finally got the opportunity to purchase in July 2001.

Sospiri (Bilidowcar) as she appeared for sale

Drascombe Lugger Bilidowcar (Cormorant), as she appeared for sale on a wet afternoon in West Wales, 21 July 2001. We did not think the original name suited her & eventually decided on Sospiri (Italian for sigh).

(Click on image for larger view)

The precise age of the boat was not known. All the owner could tell us was that she was built by Honnor Marine and acquired by Cardiff University Sailing club in about 1980. There was no number stamped on the bronze stemhead (the usual way to determine the age).

The late Stewart Brown (formerly the Owner of Churchouse Boats), was an authority on all things Drascombe and, from my description of the boat's features, he kindly supplied the following information:

"Your Mk2 Lugger would have been made between 1977 & 1982. The SBBNF [The Ship & Boat Builders National Federation] plate is a type approval - same number on all boats so no help in dating. If, in addition to the Mk1 rig it also had a different style of stemhead with a roller in it then it is a cuspel Mk2. The first few Mk2 boats were sold with the last of the Mk1 rigging sets. This would make it 1977. The mainsheet set up was evolutionary. First was a rope sheethorse, then a wire sheethorse, then a rod sheethorse, then aft deck blocks & a double ended mainsheet arrangement. Further evolutions followed."

Alas, the stemhead has no roller but the general age range suggested by Stewart fits well with the vendor's information of "early 1980's". The vendor admitted that she was in need of a lot of 'tender loving care', and so she was!.