New Member | General Discussion | Forum

Forum Scope


Forum Options

Min search length: 3 characters / Max search length: 84 characters
Forum Login
Lost password?
New Member
Andy Ralph
8 Posts
17th October 2021 - 11:19 pm

I’d like to introduce myself as a new member of the TCA. I am the latest custodian of the good ship CORKSCREW, an all GRP Twister built by JW & A Uphams in 1971. She currently has the MkIIa sailplan, with the addition of a detachable inner-forestay (I assume from the outset). As far as I am aware, she has the original spars (as well as some original sails). Corkscrew has very few mod-cons, but is a lovely boat and has had some great adventures over her life, particularly under the ownership of Trevor Leek, as some of you may know.


I’ve been sailing on and off since I was at school in 1972. It’s hard to believe that Corkscrew was already one year old back then. This is my third boat, having sold my last one some 15 years ago. Corkscrew will be based on the east coast, probably on the River Crouch in Essex. Currently, she’s ashore awaiting what is proving to be an ever-growing catalogue of work. 


I bought Corkscrew back in 2019. At the time she was based in Plymouth . After a bit of preparation, I’d anticipated sailing her back to Essex with a couple of sailing companions. Unfortunately the survey highlighted a number of issues that needed addressing before the insurers would confirm cover. Without insurance, the marina insisted she’d have to be either sailed away or taken ashore. But without insurance, it would have been negligent to sail her.


Not surprisingly, one of the items that the insurers demanded was a new set of standing rigging (though looking good, could have been up to 18yrs old). All the riggers were busy; it was obviously going to be some weeks before any of them could get the job done. There were several other things that needed to be done and, with no prospect of taking any significant leave at the time, I reluctantly decided to have the boat hauled back to Essex by road. 


By a strange coincidence, it was at this point that Peter and his wife spotted Corkscrew doing 50 knots on the M25 near Heathrow - on the back of a low-loader.  (Peter posted the photo his wife took on the forum).


Prior to her arrival in Essex, I just had enough time to construct a yard cradle and get the base galvanized. It is designed so that it could be dismantled and carried in my Ford Connect van. 


Going back to the surveys, I was very impressed by both the boat surveyor (and the detail in his report) and also the specialist riggers survey. However, both raised various items that demanded attention: standing rigging - replace; spars - various repairs or replace; engine/gearbox (1980 raw-water cooled Volvo Penta MD7A) -  repair/overhaul or replace; fuel tank (mild steel and leaking) - replace; prop shaft bearing - replace; rusty anchor chain (all 23 metres of it!!) - replace with one coated in zinc, while I’m at it, acquire a couple of decent anchors; cap rail - replace; cockpit draincocks - replace; bilge pumps - service/replace (none of the three on board worked); upgrade wiring. The list goes on….


On the plus side, underneath it all is a sound vessel, with no major structural problems and in many respects she is something of a blank canvas. It’s turning into more of a project than I’d hoped, but it’ll eventually be worth the effort. There are several topics that I would like to get advice on, some I’ve outlined above, and I will address them separately in the forum in due course. 


My thanks to Peter for his warm welcome to the TCA. It’s a great website, and I’ve spent some time dipping into it - seems like an active group, with lots of encouragement and advice on offer. I look forward to participating in topics on the forum and, when the time comes, meeting members in person.




John MacMullen and Ann Musgrave
152 Posts
18th October 2021 - 6:42 pm

Welcome aboard Andy!

It's good to see that Corkscrew has an appreciative new owner and will enjoy a 'rebirth'. If it's any consolation we bought Crionna back in 1988. Back then we had a good look at her and naively imagined we'd get everything sorted in the first year ... no chance! Sure we did the real 'nasties' but once we'd done them we noticed their smaller brothers and so on. Never mind we now have a boat that we are proud of and we know every inch of. Enjoy, and we hope that you get as much pleasure as we have.

Best Wishes, John and Ann

Andy Ralph
8 Posts
18th October 2021 - 9:37 pm

Thanks John and Ann,

I'm sure I'll enjoy getting the work done - not sure I've fully grasped the magnitude of it all, even now. Sadly, I hadn't budgeted for all the work, so hope I can spread the load a bit. Great fun!

Thanks again,


Stephen Moorey
260 Posts
19th October 2021 - 11:51 am

Hi Andy,

Welcome. Do what you can, when you can, and if and when you can afford it.  Its fair to say one can spend so much more than the purchase price of the boat in the first year alone.  does not always work for everyone that.  Personally I kept mine on the water and have spread the work and expenditure over a few years.  It does not stop, the more you do and spend the more the bar goes up and up.  Quite surprising what one adds to the shopping list for a few days on the water.!!! Still good fun.  Oh and post some pics of work your doing.

Best Wishes.


HelixIMG_3915-2.JPGImage Enlarger

Andy Ralph
8 Posts
22nd October 2021 - 12:57 am

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your welcome and comments on jobs to be done. My first concern is that of the spars. I hope to be able to get good repairs done to make them serviceable for the next 10 yrs - the expected lifespan of the next set of standing rigging. If that’s not possible, then it’s a complete new rig. I’ll be posting a topic relating to this on the technical forum. I note your Helix has an interesting rig (and history).

Best wishes,


Crispin Bonham Carter
87 Posts
5th November 2021 - 7:13 am

Welcome aboard, Andy! Don't like the sound of your surveyor though... 


Marnier 2 (Bob)


Andy Ralph
8 Posts
6th November 2021 - 10:08 am

Thanks Crispin,

To be fair, I was very happy with my surveyor and think he did a great job - good advice on both problems and solutions. 

Best wishes,


Forum Timezone: Europe/London
Show Stats
Administrators: Peter Mulville, Alex Hooley
Top Posters:
Stephen Moorey: 260
John Tetlow: 202
John MacMullen and Ann Musgrave: 152
David Hopkins: 149
Justin Butler: 145
Crispin Bonham Carter: 87
Marcelo Affonso: 44
Philip Collcutt: 42
Mathew Small: 38
Allan Beswick: 38
Newest Members:
Tymon Kiepe
Robert McDermott
Mihaly Ferenc Varga
Peter Westwood
Craig Dalgliesh
Mike Cassidy
Shaun Norris
Forum Stats:
Groups: 2
Forums: 4
Topics: 308
Posts: 2012


Member Stats:
Guest Posters: 14
Members: 253
Moderators: 0
Admins: 2

Most Users Ever Online
Currently Online
Currently Browsing this Page

1 Guest(s)