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Test for the ketch
One of the requirements for the process of "coding" the ketch is to
assemble and forward to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MECAL) the
measurements of the hull, the rigging and the sails. This should have been
a straight forward "copy and paste" exercise drawn for the various
historical documents that are on file. However, certain measurements
require a degree of climbing, diving or at least leaning over the side of
the thirty six foot long hull that is about eight feet above a very sticky
Researching on the internet for other Biscay 36's which happen to be
for sale produced conflicting information but by chance one of the yacht
brokers had recently spoken to the designer of the Biscay 36 and a more
focused enquiry found the office of Alan F Hill. Talking with Alan was
made even more
interesting by the range of yachts and other vessels that have been
conceived by this fascinating gentleman.
Alan is in his eighties and appeared to be delighted to discuss one of
his designs even to hinting that the very first ketch produced was
actually evolved from an initial sloop (one mast). Little bells began to ring and the
story of how our Biscay 36 Ketch was first delivered to Jersey began to
stir,but that is another story altogether, what Alan was able to provide
were all the lengths, beam, draft and sail measurements that were needed
to complete the form for the "stability" test.
The stability test form was duly dispatched and within seven days a
reply was received that our Biscay 36 Ketch was well within the prescribed
parameters for recommended stability.
...did we ever doubt that it would be?
What this stability test means is that when sailing in a really good
wind the yacht can lean ( heel over) as far as to allow the gunwhale (
deck edge ) to
dip below the surface of the water without the fear of a capsize. From
that point, at least, she will come upright due to the weight of the keel
against the pressure of the wind on the sails. Very reassuring!!