I called on Annie last week, she'd sent me the email and pics below, and I had other reasons to go north to Whangarei where she is at the moment. She's taken over my friend Marcus Raimons shed, and is busy building a replacement for the deep keeled junk rigged conversion of a Raven 26 production yacht thats been her home for some years now.
She has enjoyed that little ship, there is much to like about it but as she says, for her lifestyle there is a lot of prime water in New Zealand that is shallow. That plus being able to run her up the beach for a bottom scrub or maintenance is a saving, and Annie is very good at "saving", she can live comfortably on less money than anyone I know.
Her new build is really interesting, Designed by David Tyler, ( I know the first name is right but might have to correct the surname, apologies David if I"ve not got it right.) with a lot of input from Annie its her dreamboat, the one that she wants to spend the rest of her life sailing and living on.
It's to be 26 ft long, she says thats the "magic number". Has a big slab of steel under the centerline, that will add immensely to the strength of the boat as well as being ballast, has two housed bilgeboards which double as legs when the boats grounded, junk rig of course, an outboard mounted in between the twin rudders, those with their skegs being strong enough to act as supports when the boats aground, and an interior scaled to suit Annies small frame.
For scale note the Barbie doll and her comments.
By the way, I impressed upon her that her fans would be expecting a book out of this.
So without further ado, here's her email and the pics. Way to go Annie!
My inbox is overflowing --
and I undoubtedly owe you a reply to a letter you wrote me ages ago. The trouble is, that it's probably going to be quite some time until I get round to sending you that reply. I do, however, have an excellent excuse: I've started building myself a boat! I have been assured by one who presumably knows me well, that I could reasonably be described as having lost my mind, but that's what happens when you turn 60!
I love Fantail, of course, but North Island is an area with lots of shallow water, and I want a boat that can take advantage of this. In addition, Fantail is now 30 years old and I don't really want to be maintaining a boat of this era in another 15 years. So I've decided to build my perfect boat, which, hopefully, will see me out. Below is an impression of the finished boat (although mine will be painted in different colours) and a photograph of the model that my friend, David, who designed the boat, and I made. The blonde lady represents me: she is the right height in her high heels and including the topknot, but the rest of the proportions are a bit iffy!) David is helping me in the early stages, before sailing off over the horizon leaving me to carry on alone. But I have heaps of supportive friends, here, so feel fairly confident that when I need a second pair of hands, there will be someone I can call on.
So please forgive my not being in touch, and forgive the fact that I probably won't be much of a correspondent for another year or so. But once my little boat is launched, I promise I'll try and catch up again.
All the best