Saturday, 27 May 2017

The new season begins and a family engagement

It seems so long since I was last out on the water, apart from a quick motor when Dick P was having his trailer serviced, I haven't been out since last October.

The bank holiday in May is always the start of the sailing season with our Drascombe group, where they head of for several days usually to the IOW.

As Dick was going to join them a day later, I was able to go out for just over an hour and practice some tacking, the weather was a bit blowy, along with some rain, but in the right weather gear it doesn't bother me.

Howard had just come back in from the IOW, and said it was quite a crossing, at least he had God on his side.

Dick put a reef in (past experiences) and soon we were sailing, I really have come to appreciate the beauty of sailing, being out on the water and seeing where you end up.

Sadly it was soon time for me to depart the boat, and for Dick to sail over to join the others at Shepards Wharf.

I headed off to join Glenys for a bite to eat, as Ian was part of the sailing group.

Monday sees us enjoying a day off, only to have a phone call from my daughter Lauren to say that she had just got engaged, wow things do happen quickly in our house, the week before, Lauren and Jamie had picked up the keys to their house they are buying, now an engagement.

I am so pleased for these two, Jamie has worked for us for nearly a year, he has joined us at the boat shows, as well as learning a new trade.

Now there is the next generation for Churchouse Boats to continue, my little Grandson Kyle, is already a regular at boat shows, and is a real little charmer.

Congratulations Lauren and Jamie, also not forgetting the third person in this new family, Kyle


As I started this post a few weeks ago, I have now just got back from Chichester, having joined the group last night for the usual meal in the clubhouse.

Some new faces amongst the group, along with some familiar ones too.

Now back to work and catch up on emails, from the 1st June we shall be fully functional at our new office and workshop, more details to follow along with photographs.


Thursday, 30 March 2017

Churchouse Boats Trophy and Drascombe Association AGM 2017

Churchouse Boats Trophy 2017

February is the start of the season for many, as we attend the Drascombe Supper at Chichester Yacht Club.

Joining the usual gang in "Spoons" before hand, we soon arrive at CYC saying hello to old friends and catching up from the last couple of months.

Tonight after the meal and details of all events which are taking place throughout the year, I take to the floor to present the "Churchouse Boats Trophy".

This year, there were two people who I felt deserved the award, so they get to share it for 6 months each.

First was a person who not only was rescued once by the RNLI, but twice within several months. Both times did not stop this person from getting back on his boat, and joining in with the events. It could only be the lovely Tony Wood.

The second person is certainly well known within the Drascombe world, and there would be a few who have known him longer than me. Last year was a difficult year health wise for this person, and was not able to join in with the events throughout the year as he normally would. We were very lucky that this person was able to join us at Drascamp, and even go out for a couple of days sailing. So I was very pleased to announce Stewart Brown (my father in law) as the second person to share this award.

Stewart Brown & Tony Wood receiving the CBL Trophy from me

Ending the evening, a few of us ventured back to "Spoons" for a few more drinks, here's to a good sailing season.

Drascombe Association AGM 2017

Saturday 25th March saw Hannah (my 19 year old daughter) and me catch an early flight to Belfast for the DA AGM.

Not too keen on flying, Hannah had much fun teasing me at how small the plane was, and it was good that the propellers were going around, don't you just love children.

On the flight

Arriving early, we caught a taxi to our hotel for the night, and then took the short walk into the city centre. Walking around the city was like any other, however some of the buildings were very beautiful. We had a quick snack and then headed to the Belfast City Hall, which was the venue for this event.

Walking through the gates, it was a very impressive building.

Belfast City Hall

Walking up the stairs to the drinks reception we were met by Sandy Parfitt along with her husband John. I was proud to be introducing Hannah to many Drascombe owners who I knew there, I met up with John Stanage, and said what a beautiful building he had chosen for the venue.

Soon it was time to head into the AGM, the usual details given of the past year, talking about membership numbers, accounts and the rallies which had taken place throughout 2016, one which was mentioned was the Drascamp 2016 which had been sponsored by Churchouse Boats.

At the end of the meeting I spoke of the Churchouse Boats Trophy and who it had been awarded to at Chichester the previous month, along with details of changes which are going on at CBL.

The AGM finished with Doug Elliott giving a very impressive account of his days of building wooden Drascombes along with his brother John.

Following on from the AGM, Hannah and I chatted for a while to some more Drascombe owners, and then ventured back to our hotel, after a short rest, we headed back out to visit a charming pub The Crown and had to have a G&T to start the evening off.

We headed to the Jurys Inn  for the evening meal, and it was lovely to sit with friends.

During the meal, Doug Elliott cut the celebration cake which was then handed around to everyone.

Doug Elliott and John Stanage

The Cake
Back to the hotel ready for the flight home the next day, Belfast was lovely and I certainly plan to visit again, hopefully in warmer weather and I can have a sail in a Drascombe.

I am not back home, and looking out of my office window, the sun is out. As off today I have had over 12,000 page views in two years.

Well my sailing partner looks like he has quite a busy few months, so it looks like my plans will change, come back to see what my next venture is going to be.

Enjoy the sunny weather, and enjoy lots of sailing

Sharon x

Saturday, 21 January 2017

London Boat Show 2017 and Chicago Boat Show 2017

Wow, where do I begin, apart from Happy New Year to you all. It is hard to believe that two weeks ago we were at London Boat Show, and here I am now catching up on emails, sending out quotes, but also updating my blog so you can all see what I have been up to.

It starts for us on Thursday 5th January, when Dick P arrives to collect one of the two boats going to the show.

With Dick and Hannah in one car, Simon and I travel up in the second one, once at Excel it is time to queue for the access to the hall, this was nearly as long as the journey for one of us. Once in the hall it is time to move the second boat in and get the stand looking good.

After Lauren, Kyle Jamie and Stewart arrived on the Thursday afternoon, it was off to the pub to start the celebrations.

Friday was an early start for me (Hannah come along to keep me company), as I had been asked to be interviewed by Radio 5 - Wake up to breakfast, well to me, it was who will be awake to hear this, well I was pleasantly surprised by messages I had from people who I did not know, wishing me well at the show - people are so kind.

Next was waiting to be called for BBC Breakfast, I was live at 7.49am, this was interesting as I was unsure of what I was going to be asked, however it turned out that the interest was women in the marine industry, apparently there are few women in owner/director positions, so I felt honoured to have been asked from the few there are.
BBC One Breakfast Live

Following on after the interview, it was then time to get the stand ready for the 10am opening, at 1.20pm we were having a media event, where Stewart Brown done the speech of the history of Drascombe, and the future.
This was well attended by the media, old friends as well as three very special Guests, we were honoured to have with us Anna and Emma who are the two daughters of John Watkinson, along with Charlie who is one of John W's Grandsons.
I felt very honoured to have been able to have the chance to meet them, I have met James (Johns youngest son) on several occasions, and along with Kate we have a great relationship.
Stewart's speech was about the past, present and future of Drascombe, he gave details of boats which had been designed by John, along with how we found Katharine Mary and refurbished her ready for the 50th Anniversary this year, this followed onto the future and how Peter Thomas has come on board at Churchouse Boats, and the moulds are now being produced at Cornish Crabbers in Cornwall, a working partnership, which can only mean bigger and better things for us all.
Kyle is enjoying getting the sheets in a tangle, just to make DP smile
The owners of Katharine Mary (Lauren and Hannah( cutting the cake)
Hannah and Kyle enjoying some quiet time together.

Above is a selection of photos from the day.
Following on from being on such a high, my family all had to leave to go back home, Simon headed back too as he was flying out to Chicago on the Monday, this left just Dick P and myself for the duration.
The week started to go quickly, with visits from fellow Drascombers old and new, everyone we spoke to was complimentary of the work undertaken on Katherine Mary, I even had offers to buy her. Ian and Glenys arrived on Sunday to help us for a couple of days, it is always great to have owners on the stand, as they give reasons why they decided to buy a Drascombe, rather than listen to the hard sales talk - anyone can do that !!
On Wednesday at 8pm our time, Simon was at Chicago Boat Show for the opening, Mark the owner was very pleased with his purchase, and enjoyed collecting her from customs and delivering her to the show with Simon.
During the course of our week, I met Steve McFadden (Phil Mitchel from Eastenders), Robin K-J come along to say hello, I had my usual chat with Sam Llewellyn and met the lovely Chris Eakin (even buying his book).
One absolute highlight for me, was when one of my customers gave me a present of a 3D printed model of a Drascombe Lugger, WOW, one of a few times I have been speechless, Thank you Andrew I will treasure this, but will be talking to you about making some more.

Sadly, the week was coming to an end all too quickly. We have spoke to many interested parties, given out quotes for several new boats, enjoyed the attention for Drascombe being 50, but most of all, we SOLD a new Drascombe Longboat, well done to team Drascombe.

Thanks really have to go to Peter Thomas from Cornish Crabbers for all of his help and support, but most of all to Dick P for being part of the team for the duration of the show, his many hours of putting the presentation together about the history of Drascombe, setting up, packing away, keeping me sane, encouraging me to drink a few more G&T's, lots of laughs, but most of all great company.

Peter Thomas and myself

Dick P and me

That's the boat show over with for the next year, however we do have the Drascombe Golden Jubilee in July to look forward too, for more information email

Drascombe Golden Jubilee - 6th - 9th July 2017
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Accademy


We have a Twitter account -

Also, Facebook

Back to work for me, hopefully some sailing soon, I am looking forward to more adventures this year.

Sharon xx

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Highlights of my year 2016

It is hard to believe that another year has gone by.

We started of in January with London Boat Show and Simon flying out to Atlanta boat show at the same time, with a Lugger sold at London we started the year well.

I had to wait until May for my first time on the water, where I joined the May 1st rally at Porchester an managed to have an hours sail, although it was very hairy.

At the last bank holiday in May I was lucky to have a lovely day sail at Chichester with the usual group.

Kyle at Ashlett Sailing Club in August
We were then looking forward to the Drascamp event which was held in August, with lots of planning going on behind the scenes, Brad, Bob, Tony, Dick and I were all pleased when the day finally arrived for us to arrive and set up camp.

With a perfect location, a few lovely days of great sailing weather, this was just what we were expecting from the event. Evening entertainment in the form of camp fire singing, communal bbq, along with horse racing for children and adults, over the course of the event, we had 105 people attending and 32 boats, what an achievement for a first event. The plan will be to hold another Drascamp in 2018, look out for further details.

During Drascamp, Dick P and I visited Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy to  view the facilities for the Drascombe Golden Jubilee to be held.

With this all booked, all we have to do now is promote the event and hope for a good turnout.

I was lucky enough to have to overnight trips to the Isle of Wight, the first one was probably one of the best days sailing I have experienced in two years, while the other one had to have been the one with the most laughs.

With Southampton Boat Show in September, we had an enjoyable ten days, then back to work to work on the very first Drascombe Lugger "Katharine Mary" as our aim is to have her on display at London Boat Show.
With one last sailing trip to the Island in October, it was then time to pack away my sailing gear for another year.
One big highlight for me, was my eldest daughter turning 21 in August, this was a day of celebration with many family members attending.
Finally, Kyle the two year old grandson continues to be the apple of my eye, he enjoys visits to the boat yard, happily wears his life jacket, and next year will be joining me for some sailing.
Wishing you all a happy and healthy new year, here's to a good sailing season next year.
My next update will be during London Boat Show if time permits, with photos of how Katharine Mary has turned out.
Bye for now
Sharon xx

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Drascombe Supper at Chichester Yacht Club - November 2016

As we get near the end of another year, one of the last events of the Drascombe social calendar is the November supper at Chichester Yacht Club. I have become to really enjoy the two very informal suppers, one in February, and one in November.

Meeting the usual suspects at 'Spoons', it is good to catch up with Brad, Bob, Stewart, Tony, Jenny and Dick to find out what they have been up to since Drascamp. Simon has gone to Bristol tonight, I know I am in safe hands with these Drascombers.

Although after sharing a bottle of Prosecco with Jenny I do wonder if I will make the evening without falling asleep.

Sharing a bottle with a lovely friend
Heading to CYC, I meet with the usual crowd, luckily with the internet and Facebook, I do keep in contact with some of them, however, it is as always a pleasure to see them and have a good catch up, usually most people ask me how my Grandson Kyle is, and yes I am a very proud Nanny, as well as being very proud of my two daughters Lauren and Hannah.

After a lovely meal (yes I did have my usual lasagne) Richard G says a few words, and then hands over to Dick P, a general round up of the rallies which had taken place, along with a complete run down of Drascamp which had taken place in August, and one which we will run again in 2018.

John B talking about Morbihan 2017

After the run through of events, Dick had a few prizes and gifts to hand out.

Brad and I were given a canvas print of a photo taken during Drascamp 2016, the photo was taken by Andy Cooper and summed up what Drascamp stood for. Family fun, great location, and sailing. What more you could you want from one event.

This is the canvas picture presented to Brad and I

Tony W received the award for being rescued twice by the RNLI within weeks, and was given a collection box to be passed around at every Drascombe event Tony attends next year, what a great way to support a very worthy cause.

Tony Wood Award

Tony W and Bob B were both given sail bags for their help at Drascamp

Brad, who was the man who was brave enough to suggest Drascamp, was given an engraved pewter tankard as my appreciation for what his hard work.

Finally I presented to Dick P a wooden sign with Daislebee engraved on, for him to mark his boat space at Ashlett Sailing Club, Dick has once again suffered with me sailing Daislebee around the Solent, and two fun trips to the IOW, one which was a very hairy trip, but we both lived to sail another day.

Leaving the Sailing Club and heading back to the Premier Inn, a few stop of at Spoons for a last drink of the evening, a double G&T to round of my day with great friends was certainly needed.

Breakfast at the Premier Inn was full of chatter, and I remembered to present to Stewart his trophy for being one half of the duo to win the Harbour Quiz (or Treasure Hunt as I have been calling it) Jims trophy will be posted onto him.

Leaving Chichester, I head to Bucklers Hard with Dick P, as we have a boat to collect for winter work, Dick kindly volunteered to help with this collection as Simon has recently been off work, and it was one less task for Simon to do.

'Grace' all snug down for her journey back to CBL

 Delivering Grace back to CBL, it is time to head back home to see my family.

All in all a lovely couple of days, catching up with Drascombe owners, good food, great company, but more important, being with people who I very much value their friendship, and know when things are tough, they can be relied upon to be there for me.

Here's to the next Drascombe Supper in February 2017

See you soon x

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Last sail of the year

Receiving a phone call to say "I have two days off, and was thinking of sailing to the Isle of Wight, would you like one last sail of the year?" Well it didn't take too long to decide,

With my B&B booked, two days booked off work (only because I worked hard to catch up with all of my emails before I went) I get my bag ready for my last sail of the year.

Monday morning arrives and I head down to Ashlett Sailing Club, ready to meet with Dick. En route I get a call from Dick to say the traffic is slow on the M4, so I have time to sort lunch out. The next call comes through to say that there has been an accident on the M3, and he was being diverted, luckily I was able to guide him with a short cut and miss the M3 by going along the main roads.

I manage to get into ASC, only to find that it is lifting out day of many of the boats, which means the slip way can not be used, the day is getting worse. I call DP to give him the info, however he is not far away, so we will wait and see what happens.

Once DP arrives, it starts to rain, oh dear, it looks like we will be no sailing after all.  When it stops raining, we meet with Glenys, Ian and Nick who have come down to pack their boats away for winter. Then DP comes over and says all go, we can go sailing, well I have to say I have not seen a boat move so quickly to get onto the water, bags onboard, and launched in the water, one small problem, the water is further on than the pontoon, so off comes the socks and shoes and I wade across, great start!

Next we are off, reversing from the pontoon and heading out of Ashlett towards Calshot. The weather was fine, sunny with a good breeze, the sails went up as we were heading to Calshot, with a reef in
(just in case) I was at the helm and enjoying the sail, then past Calshot it got just a wee bit rougher,
with the boat heeling, I am sure Ian and Glenys heard me scream that I didn't like it, as they were stood watching from Calshot.

That was just the start, I actually felt very nervous of the sail over, and I just couldn't master holding the tiller and the main sheet (in case I had to let out the main sheet) I was more worried about falling overboard.

Although it was only an hour and a half sail, it somehow seemed longer, trying to keep my bearings, without hitting the buoys,

We head towards Shepherds Wharf, and I moor up (with two more attempts to ensure I make a good
job of it)

Once moored up, I head to my B&B and arrange to meet with DP in the bar of a local pub. We head off to an Indian Restaurant for a lovely meal. Soon the fresh air had beat me, so I headed off to my bed for a good sleep, leaving DP to head back to his boat with his heated blanket.
Monday evening

Tuesday morning

My favourite shop, I love those calendars

Time for a selfie

Tuesday morning we meet for breakfast in a local cafe, however we both seem full from the night before, so tea and toast for both of us.

Heading back down to the boat, Dick is more practical and puts his jacket on, me not feeling the cold keeps my jumper on. So off we go, out of Shepards and I am allowed to put the main sail up, this is actually harder work than you think, pulling ropes and trying not too fall in takes great skill for me.

Today I let Dick take the helm, and I wanted to enjoy a leisurely sail back, however it didn't seem to go like that, not as rough as the day before, with the boat heeling, I leave it to the expert who can
multi task. At one point, I said "at least we are dry today" with that a wave come up and we were wet,
lots of laughing from me today, gone was the nervousness, and I was really enjoying myself, although   my fingers must have left an imprint on the gunwale where I was gripping so much.

With a couple of tacks, and me looking confused as to where we were, before too long we had arrived  at Ashlett, and I was allowed to take the helm again back to the pontoon.

Once out of the water, time to unpack the boat of cushions and bedding, as winter will soon be drawing in.

Again, another great sail, good company, lots of laughs, and a few more hours sailing added up.

It is quite sad to think this is my last sail, however I am very grateful for the times I have been out
this year.

Back to the office for me, let's see what awaits me when I get back.

Keep safe, and happy sailing xx

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Drascamp 2016

Sorry that this is long over due, getting back from Drascamp and then getting ready for Southampton Boat Show, meant that I neglected my blog.

Time to get more organised, as I really enjoy letting you all know what is going on.

Here goes anyway......

Well the time had come to pack the car up with everything for a weeks camping, and what was needed for Drascamp, I can not believe how quickly it has come around.

Monday - After finally clearing up from Lauren's 21st birthday, the car is packed, double checked, and doors shut to ensure I get on the road to Cleavel Point. It seems strange going away on my own, but I knew I would survive.

Upon arriving at Burnbake   I go to say hello to Zoe who has been looking after the booking for me. I get my directions and head to meet a few of the others, ahhh I seem to have driven around the whole of the site before I finally find the place. WOW, what a view it is, I can see why Brad chose this location.

Meeting with the other few who had already arrived by boat, next is to put my tent up, haha, what seemed like hours later, and no instructions, my tent is up

Monday evening is a visit to the pub, and a final run through.

Tuesday - After breakfast with Brad, Bob and Dick, I head off to shower at Burnbake before Dick and I go into Wareham shopping, heading back to the site we see some of the attendees have started arriving, and are putting tents up, the site soon starts to fill up and look more like a friendly group gathering of Drascombe owners.

The cheese and wine evening, courtesy of Churchouse Boats went down really well, people were soon mixing and chatting with each other about their boats.

Wednesday - Day sailing, to start with it was the quick dinghy trip to get to Dicks boat, I have to say me and dinghies to not get on very well, as my last adventure saw me falling out, but hey ho!, something's you just have to do.

Time to ensure the dinghy is fully inflated

Once safely onboard of Daislebee, someone realises that he has left the keys to the boat on shore, but then we realise that the dinghy which was anchored up is not close enough to reach, so a quick shout to Marcus who comes to our rescue, it is a quick row a shore and back again for Dick.

Once back on the boat we head off, soon the sails were up and sailing gets under way, with so many tan sails out there, we start spotting and trying to name the boats. While the others were taking part in the treasure hunt which had been prepared by Bob, we set of for a lesson in tacking and jybing, I have to say a few days in the fresh air and I am feeling very sleepy. We anchor for lunch and enjoy the surroundings.

Back on track and heading round to the old base for the August Poole rally, we also sail around to where our friends the Hobie boys are at Rockley Park.

Getting back to dry land took a while, as we had to wait for more water to come in (someone turn the tap on more ) but soon we were back on dry land, and heading off to meet with the others and talk of some great sailing.

The usual communal BBQ with everyone else in the evening, followed by talking and drinking with the lads.

Thursday morning and Dick and I head of to Weymouth for a meeting with Peter from Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, this is the venue we have chosen for the Drascombe Golden Jubilee in 2017. Looking around the whole venue it is most impressive, plenty of moorings, along with showers, car and trailer parking, lots of water, and very welcoming, so we went ahead and made the booking, for more details please email and information and booking form will be sent when available.

Leaving the sailing centre, we head to Portland Bill, once place that I have never been too, so it was lovely to have a cup of tea and reflect on the talk with Peter regarding the event.

Our next stop is Cove House Inn which has the most spectacular views over Portland. This was a belated birthday meal for me from Dick, a lovely treat, great views, wonderful food and the company wasn't too bad either!

After lunch we walked along the sea front, what an amazing place this is, one where I will be coming back to at some point.

Heading back to the site, we stopped to buy some food for the evenings BBQ as tonight some of my family were going to be coming down to visit. Lauren and Jamie with Kyle along with their friends Sophia and Daryl drove down to join us for the evening, how I missed my little man, Kyle was full of beans and enjoying running around having fun. This showed what a great family event Drascamp is, I just wish they could have stayed longer.

While Dick and I were looking at the venue for next year, a group of the children and adults went to have fun on the high ropes at Brenscombe Outdoor Centre lots of fun was had by them all, and we are very grateful to Matt and his team for the opportunity given to the children.

The horse racing evening proved very popular, with the children enjoying showing the adults how to play the game, we even had a vet on site just to make sure the horses were behaving, when it come to the adults, it was funny how no one wanted to take a horse from a child :-)

Once the game was over, the musicians soon started playing, and one lovely little girl sang a solo, how very brave in front of all those people.

Tonight with all the visitors and everyone who had attended Drascamp, this gave us a total of 102 people and 32 boats, consisting of nine different Drascombes on site, what a great achievement.

Friday we woke up to rain and windy weather, some were brave to go out, but sadly this was the weather for the next two days, at this point some of the families decided to pull out, I have to say, with young children the last thing you want to do is try and entertain them in a tent, while it is raining, of all of those who left during the next two days, everyone of them had been complimentary of the event, and would be coming back again. No pressure on us !!

Saturday the weather was the same again, with the rain stopping, it was just very windy, my poor tent went from left to right and back again.

A few of us who were sat around talking, had the pleasure of experiencing a Tea Ceremony by Tony from Deeper Understanding of Tea  it was very interesting to be able to experience this, Tony is very knowledgeable. We shall certainly be getting more people involved at the next Drascamp.

Tony, along with David attended with a couple of older scouts, this was great to know that not only individuals and families attended, but that the 38th & 40th Strood Sea Scouts felt they also wanted to join in.

I had to leave part way through, as we had arranged a fish and chip supper on the Saturday evening, fish and chips for 32 was quite easy, all ordered in advance from Long Johns Fish and Chips the food service was fantastic, food was kept hot, and a welcome last meal together.

Sunday come around all to quickly, in a way I felt sad to be going home as I was enjoying some much needed 'me' time, something I do not get very often.  

The real thanks must go to Brad who was absolutely amazing at all of the organising, obtaining equipment, and setting the base up along with a finger pontoon for some of the boats to moor alongside.

With toilet facilities on site, and showers available at Burnbake Camp Site, we could not have wanted for more.

Dates for the diary

Drascombe Golden Jubilee - Thursday 6th July - Sunday 9th July 2017

Drascamp 2018 - Tuesday 14th August - Sunday 19th August 2018

Now back to my day job xx