I am a member of the Sparkman & Stephens Association – Koala is an example of a ‘Freya 44’, S&S design No. 1939. A couple of days ago, the 2016 yearbook arrived in the post. I had forgotten that last year, I wrote an article, so I was pleasantly surprised to come across it, as I leafed through the pages. The yearbook is a great resource and hopefully I will be able to get in touch with owners of similar S&S designs, such as the old Swans and other Freyas.
In the Koala shaped part of my own little world there is a lot happening and plans are being made for the future. I have had the winter to empty a 43 year old, classic S&S hull and explore places that have probably not seen the light of day for decades. I have found hammer and spanner shaped lumps of rust in the anchor locker, a Djibouti 1000 franc note, 2006 editions of ‘La Republica’, the Italian daily, amongst a host of other bits an pieces. They all hint at a the past of a well traveled lady. Cushions and curtains, pots and pans, cutlery and crockery have all been removed, cockpit locker and lazarette emptied and tens of metres of redundant wiring extracted.
However, I have also discovered a veritable cats cradle of wiring behind the switch board, moss and ferns growing from under the binnacle support and dampness in a few places (usually above berths). The more work I do, the more I find to do. – I think that will be par for the course for the foreseeable future. With launch day approaching, there is still a huge amount of work to be done, however most of this will be for comfort rather than sea worthiness. I hope to add a page to this website, with a ‘to-do list’ and ‘progress plan’ combined. I started this ‘to-do list’ today and was gob smacked by size of the list that I made, without any serious amount of thought going into it. I will keep track of expenditure and hours put into the project too (that will be really scary).
Someday however, Koala will look after me on the open oceans……..perhaps I will retrace my steps back to the Caribbean. Maybe it will be to new destinations – Iceland, the Faroe Island and Greenland would be good. This summer I want to see if its feasible to carry sea kayaks on deck – maybe on a trip to the Isle of Man.
I will let you know as the plans solidify!