Raising onto the platform & removing trailer

O.K here is the concrete block and railway sleeper platform, this worked really well.

It helps to have someone else with you,

1. for safety should it go pear shaped

2. to keep an extra eye whilst going through the Jacking process.

Here is the jacking taking place, slowly bit by bit no rush and avoid point loading, use flat bits of plywood.

Here is the jacking taking place, slowly bit by bit no rush and avoid point loading, use flat bits of plywood. Jacking UNDER the railway sleeper left side then right 100mm (4″) at a time, simple.

As the boat was on the trailer I only had to jack it up around 200mm, just enough to add concrete blocks to the piles left and right and position the railway sleepers as needed.

Make sure your block piers are staggered, as you can see here dry stacked (i.e no mortar) but level, the sleeper will rest nicely and spread load.

Make sure your blocks on the piers are staggered, as you can see here, dry stacked (i.e no mortar) but level, the sleeper will rest nicely on a plywood shim/packer across blocks and spread load.

Once level, on all four piers it is just a matter of carefully driving out the trailer, (had just a couple of inches spare either side)

Once level, on all four piers it is just a matter of carefully driving out the trailer, (had just a couple of inches spare either side)


And here she is below now suspended so that I can get all underneath and all around the Bilge keels to blast them, epoxy fill, primer and paint them. Once I have finished with the Bilge keels I will put her  sitting on her bilge keels on the two block piles directly under the bilge keels in the photo below. Then it is a matter of reversing this process to get her on the trailer before painting the hull. Meanwhile the trailer will be out of the way giving good access.


Suspended nicely with plenty of access underneath

Suspended nicely with plenty of access underneath.


The uneventful journey home,,,,,or so we thought!

I wasn’t going to bore everyone with the detail below, but you’ll see why at the end.

When we were going to bring her home, and because I had not finished some work needed on an excavator trailer that  I have. I ended up taking a twin axle Ifor williams plant trailer I have instead, I use this trailer regularly so it could not stay on there.

Below is a rough drawing (with a similar boat) of the platform it will rest on, the boat only weighs around 1300-1500kg so it can easily be jacked up with a couple of hydraulic jacks and timber props. it will rest on two concrete block piles in my garden, and then I can drive the trailer out from underneath; or reverse it in if needed, this will only happen once a year if its not kept down the harbour on a mooring, which is only around £200/year and in winter it can go on the hard standing there or bring it home (3 miles) to sit on this platform to work on. Image

So having run out of time I took my other trailer on what I hoped would be an uneventful journey or so I thought!

So me and my dad travel 300 miles to Plymouth having made the decision last minute to take my other trailer, will it fit was the the big question? the measurements say it will fit, but will it in practice?

well we are going anyway!

So off we go, tired before we even get there,,, I had a couple of hrs dozing and my dad drove.

We get there lunchtime, all good but very tired.

Here she is on the slip first time I see her.

Don’t look toooo bad.



 we pressure washed off the mussels and growth with the boat yards washer before they stepped down the mast, picked her up and loading her onto the trailer.


Its a bit grubby, but lots of rigging there!Image

plenty of rigging, first time I seen all this as I bought her on Ebay without seeing her.


Mast head light, Vhf Ariel  and wind indicator up there, that’s all good.


Here the marina guys lift her off the slip to my trailer.


So here she is ready for the journey home, and it fits, oh yeeah!


She is lashed on well, I made a wooden block for the bow to rest in, all fits quite well.


So now for the journey home, approx 300 miles, heavy, not towed it before, butterflies in stomach, now lets get them flying in formation for the journey home.


We leave at 7p.m, I get home after a long night, with a couple of service station stops for rest and food, steady 50 m.p.h all the way, not a hiccup, no punctures, no snaking, no redoing the straps, no shifting on trailer, all good,,,,,,,,,,or SO I THOUGHT!!!!!

Two days later, this arrived in the post:!!!

You have got to be kidding me, Image

I don’t believe it a £60 fine!, we followed the sat nav, 10 minutes after we left from picking the boat up and it took us up a narrow residential street in Plymouth, it brought us out by the Tamar Bridge, the road going up a very long hill crammed with parked cars ended in a Bus/taxi lane! So for safety sake and no other option there was no way but to drive through the lane as it was impossible to turn around or do a 3 point turn on a hill with a heavy trailer with anti reverse braking, never mind a boat on it also! So I will contest that ticket, and hopefully someone in Plymouth council will see sense and waive it……..yeh right.

 So thats the end of it, yes,,,,,,errr no! have you ever heard of the film groundhog day, sure you have?

Two days later this arrived in the post!!!!


Now you have really got to be kidding me!! there was a storm on the way home and it was very windy, so driving was o.k but tense, we went in the services, WELCOME BREAK, Gordano, had something to eat in the restaurant and used the toilet and for safety sake had a sleep in the car for a few hrs, in the middle of the night! in the wide open car park that can take hundreds of cars and there was about 6 in there, if that! apparently (and I swear I seen no signs in the dark car park) you can stay only for a couple of hours or you have to pay, never in my life have I come across that in a UK motorway service station before, and since the government highways department rightly suggest taking decent breaks from driving to remain safe, no doubt some clever penny pincher decided lets now put tariffs in motorway car parks and catch as many unsuspecting motorists as possible.

And we were a paying customer in the restaurant!!! I tell you what if they don’t waive that one I’ll never set foot in a WELCOME BREAK service station again as long as I Live!!!

So the journey did have some events, but I didn’t find out until a week after I got home!


Plymouth Council wrote me a nice letter lecturing me how I should obey the (their) rules. Even after appealing on the uncatergorized circumstance grounds and explain in great detail with maps and photos how I had no choice and how there was no indication the road was closed to normal traffic until you get up a very long steep hill (couple of miles?)

It seems the uncatergorized circumstance grounds means that when you give a sensible reason for the sake of safety some bored civil servant sits there and says, ‘umph he got a boat, book him Danno!’ So I paid!

The Welcome Break ticket, they wrote again (parking eye company who run welcome break car parks), I did not pay, Instead I wrote direct to welcome break and complained, haven’t heard anything since, they would have to pull my finger nails out before I paid that one!!

Restoration of Velella (ex Cornish Lady, sail no:154), a Kingfisher K20 twin bilge keel yacht from Plymouth UK

Here is ‘Velella’, she used to be called ‘Cornish Lady’ and before that in 1990 she was called ‘Puffin’.

You’ll see why we called her Velella later on.

She is sail number 154 on the KYOA website fleet number list.

Velella is a 20ft Kingfisher K20 twin cast iron bilge keel family cruiser, built between 1959 and 1967. I will add a more accurate date when I get more information from the KYOA (Kingfisher Yacht Owners Association). KYOA can be found here:





So why name her Velella?

Well a few years ago after a storm I found a load of these little sea creatures on a place called Newgale beach in Pembrokeshire West Wales UK, I had spent yrs working at Sea, lived by the Sea all my life and never had come across these before, and they were stunning to look at!

This is what they look like, but most importantly they are commonly called ‘By the wind Sailors’!!

velella 1

Well because we are going to paint our Kingfisher K20 blue and because it also is a ‘By The Wind Sailor’,

Velella it is!

Oh and I must add this bit so I don’t take the credit, it was my wife’s idea!

Actually she said call it ‘by the wind sailor’ to which I replied, ‘that’s too long to paint on her’, but the text book name might be o.k?

Velella Velella

The following on posts will be of her restoration and then sailing her!