After my sloop “Anna” was completed my requests for “what is coming up next?” met with some ideas he had for another schooner, but one quite different than the Irene. Somehow I got going on it based on an outline of what he had in mind which in the end turned to be useful for him and invaluable for me.  By the time Tessa got on the water, Gary was ready to offer the plans etc such as he had for the other two.

Tessa was never going to be as per plans since at the time there were not any, but she looked like the real deal and although I did some things a bit differently she was, and still is, definitely an Annie at heart.

Ask me which I prefer and it’s like asking me which grandchild I like better, love ’em both.

Each are visually distinct yet the sailing of either is much the same. As for being “fast” ? even Gary says “a little” and that is how we feel with few we have between us.

So happy I was with Tessa and keen to get to with something else, mainly to attempt to do things better in all respects I queried Gary on the feasibility of building another, but 110% larger overall. Gary said it was fine so long as it didn’t go over 10% as that would alter some critical design parameters making the craft possibly less than a great sailer.  As well as that I decided to make it Cutter rigged twin Gaff rig sails.

So after enlarging the printing of the patterns (we all print on A4 sheets and tile them together with sticky tape) I got into it. Part the way through at, about 3 months and slow going, Co-vid19 reared its ugly head and instead of 6 months build time it was drawn out to 18 months!. But part of the lag was Gary’s release of the British Pilot Cutter FLYER.  Just had to get into that! (as have my two Amigo mates. 😋😎 )

Only recently did Diana maiden and even then the handling of the cutter-rigged foresails got me down for some reason so I decided to revert to the single winch system with conventional jib only (although larger in the area) and topsails over the mainsails.

So far she has shown a noticeable set of legs and is capable of staying out front from others, but only in stronger conditions. It will be interesting to see how she goes when sailing in company with the other standard pilot  cutters in moderate to strong breezes.

The offshoot of Diana being such a joy to sail that Tessa has been left high and dry. Right now, at the time of writing, she is going into early retirement and in her place, using the hull and keel/rudder only, a bit of a, well, hybrid.  More on that as it transpires, but she’ll be back, in spirit anyway,  but renamed Pharlane.

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