View Full Version : Converted Etchells

John B
04-11-2010, 06:07 PM
A few snaps for Sam , who is working on his own boat.

This boat was converted a couple of years ago to be an overnighter /cruiser/ classic racer. Doug, who conceived of it and had the work done wanted a boat he could send his grandson and his mates off sailing the Hauraki gulf in. Lucky young fella I always thought.

The boat is on the hardstand so no real detail shots and I have never looked inside to see the interior layout.


Camera held above head shot



04-11-2010, 10:00 PM
I like it.
The challenge with such conversions is not to add too much weight.

04-11-2010, 10:52 PM
The "skerry cruiser" updated. Uffa Fox once sailed a boat very similar to this from England to Sweden, took part in a regatta and sailed home again. His 22 squ.m class boat was probably even more spartan inside than this one.

I'm too old, fat, ungainly and fond of my creature comforts to go for this sort of thing now, but for a bunch of youngfellers she'd be a cracker little (very) fast cruiser.

Often wondered what it'd be like to convert an Etchells. Hope you get a look inside and tell us.

04-12-2010, 07:24 AM
You'd probably expect from me some diatribe about ruining a perfectly good class boat, but not today. It's a nice looking boat, they did a good job, and if the owner enjoys it good on 'im! Etchells are very fast for what they are, and if he is sailing against other 'classics' he's probably doing o.k..



Mickey Lake

Tom Lathrop
04-12-2010, 07:35 AM
Because of the very high ballast ratio on the Etchells, there's no worry about the added weight on deck. For cruising though, I'd want a smaller main than the standard. Etchells never reef when racing so it would need some reef points. The non overlapping jib would be a plus. Sheet loads on the Etchells are pretty high for casual sailing so a couple small winches might be added.

Columbia made a cruising version of a similar racer years ago. I forget which one. Stars have also been converted to single handed daysailers.

04-12-2010, 07:51 AM
Did the same with a glass Shields back in the 80s in the BVI it was fantastic!

04-12-2010, 11:03 AM
Columbia built a version of their fibreglass 5.5 metre with a coach roof, called a 'Sabre'. Fairly popular.

Mickey Lake

obscured by clouds
04-12-2010, 11:41 AM
Some years ago the deck of my 1972 Soling started delaminating, and faced with the prospect of redecking the boat or doing a conversion, I opted for the latter - it was an easy choice, the boat could'nt sail to her handicap anyway.

I chopped out the manky bits and built on a coachroof and self draining cockpit in ply/ceder/epoxy glass.

It made a good weekender and somewhere to store things in the dry or get out of the weather. Not much room though.


no overall weight gain and she sailed very nicely. [oh and if the main looks a bit odd in the photo, it's because I had a floating goosneck and i was playing with the setting just as the photo was taken, the forward end of the boom should be a good foot lower than it's shown]

04-13-2010, 02:37 AM
Hi John,

Thanks very much for those snaps. It's great to see the boat in a little more detail. I think they have done a great job on the cabin form. In the meantime, we've been getting a little work done on the Etchells here...I think I sent you on the blog link, but if not it's...


..it's a long job ahead of us I think! Still, looking forward to getting her on the water late this summer if all goes well.

Thanks again.


04-13-2010, 07:29 AM
Amazing. They are popping up all over.

Mickey Lake

Don Kurylko
04-13-2010, 02:33 PM
Bluenose’s beautiful Shields One Design conversion. :cool:


More here: http://knockaboutsloops.blogspot.com/ (http://knockaboutsloops.blogspot.com/)

Paul Pless
04-13-2010, 02:37 PM
Boston’s beautiful Shields One Design conversion. :cool:
That's just so wrong.

But so well done!!!

04-13-2010, 03:09 PM
I had a converted Highlander for years. Small cuddy cabin and a water tight cockpit. A very nice boat.

Sailed an Etchells in college, very fast and responsive boat.

04-13-2010, 03:09 PM
Just so right, if you ask me. A beautiful boat. Beautiful.

04-13-2010, 08:26 PM
Yeah, I made a fuss about the IOD at the time. Turned out to be a beautiful boat. Nothing negative from me this time. It must be that I am finally seeing the positives in a wholesome daysailor rather than just running about in racing mode (after more than thirty years of the latter).

That Soling conversion looks very much like a Sonar, to my eye. Then again, I have only seen Sonars at St. Pete and not much of them then. Still, there looks to be a resemblence.

Mickey Lake