messing about in boats

About My Blog And I

Briefly, as I much prefer writing about boats than myself; my name is Joe, I’m in my mid-20s, live in St Albans, Hertfordshire and love boats. I’m not really fussy, any boat will do. It’s just good being on and around water. When I’m not boating I work as a web designer. You can read the rantings and ravings of my professional self on my other blog.

Hertfordshire’s nice enough, it just doesn’t have any decent stretches of water. Plenty of small rivers and canals, but nothing you can really sail on, so I head up to Grafham Water most weeks to race my Nacra Inter 18 “Deja Vu” or down to Langstone Harbour to work on my quarter tonner “Nervous Tension”.

Sailing doesn’t end there though and hopefully this blog will capture everything I’ve done and everything I’ve thought about regarding boats, as it’s way too easy to forget even the best adventures.


12 Responses

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  1. Tim Wilson said, on November 17, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Hi Joe, I to am interested in the Buccaneer 24 trimaran. I am located in Sydney Australia and have been trying to obtain some plans to no avail. Can you help?



  2. Turinas said, on February 12, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I totally spaced on sending you a Messing About TShirt. Email me your address again and I will get it done. Sorry. Adam

  3. Mike Webb said, on March 29, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Im not sure if you plan to race her but an article and some URL’s which may interest you as I have just acquired a quarter tonner in need of some TLC myself which i hope to have on the water in time to race the quarter ton cup in June:

    • messingaboutinboats said, on April 3, 2010 at 1:06 pm

      Thanks for that, Mike. The plan (if there is one as such!) is to fit her out as a rather spartan fast cruiser and do the odd race. Might even be there for the Quarter Ton Cup!

  4. LangstoneLayabout said, on June 11, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Nervous Tension – nice boat!

    I spoke with her previous owner and wanted to view her but her seemed really anti and wasn’t interested in selling her to me, even when I offered to take him out to her.

    You’ve plenty of work to do but once its done she’ll fly. (And you really ought to tie her to the mooring more securely!)

    Good sailing.

    • messingaboutinboats said, on June 12, 2010 at 10:49 am

      Hi LangstoneLayabout, thanks for the comments.

      Should be moving her to a more sheltered buoy in Sinah Lake this weekend – she cut her way through a 3/4″ rope in a couple of weeks where whe was previously. Way too exposed, bouncing around too much!

      Come say hello if you see me out on the harbour!

      • LangstoneLayabout said, on June 14, 2010 at 11:48 am

        Yes, the mooring you were on all winter was really exposed. I saw the damage on the bow and side and nearly rang the old owner and made him a silly offer for her – I hadn’t realised he’d sold her to you. (My friend is a boatbuilder you see…)

        Tell me more about Sinah – does the water stay deep enough at MLWS? I see there are a number of GK24s there (And I’ve considered one of those too) and they seem OK in the water there.

        This is probably my last year in my current boat (A lift-keel Mini Tonner) and so am looking around for better moorings. My current is at Langstone SC but dries so is NG for a fin keel boat.

        Will wave on my way by your mooring! (Red & white topsides…)

  5. messingaboutinboats said, on June 14, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    The damage looks much worse than it is, thankfully. Probably one more good weekend in the marina with the angle grinder and she’ll be ready to sail. Making things pretty can wait til the end of the season!

    I wasn’t sure Sinah was deep enough, but Jim assured me it’d be fine for a 5′ draft in the middle and top end, but too shallow near the bottom end at spring lows as there’s a bar that runs across from the mulberry to the pontoon. Quite prepared to not sail on big springs if it means a mooring which is tucked down behind that big sandbank.

    What boat have you got, something like a Limbo 6.6?

  6. LangstoneLayabout said, on June 16, 2010 at 10:08 am


    I sail an E-Boat, an ideal little boat for the locality and drying harbour. I bought one because I wanted a boat bigger than a dinghy but couldn’t bear to buy a ‘tub’ or a bilge-keeler. I’ve been considered a little ‘out there’ as I’ve bought laminated sails (not woven ones as per class rules) and sail with an oversize quarter-tonner spinnaker!

    They’re fun and really are just a big dinghy to sail – my email is on the E-Boat association website if you want.

    As for your Nervous Tension – its a great boat with ‘IOR bumps’ in the right place – if you ever need a crew that isn’t concerned with comfort or safety…


  7. Wesley said, on May 12, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    Hi Joe, I’m the designer and manufacturer of (Expandacraft) “modular multihull boats of all kinds” and I’m looking for connections outside the USA. They sell well enough here but I’m looking to find potential distributors who may be in a market I haven’t broken into yet. Take a look at my website and pass on my contact info if you think someone there might like to be a distributor. My facebook page is actually better than my website but there is a link on my home page for that and youtube. Thanks.

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