Lets start at the beginning, Ian is my name but Hurley isn’t. My first taste for bigger boats came when I was 16 in the 1960’s and a friend of mine got us regular access to his fathers 20′ Hurley yacht which was moored off the Pandora Inn at Restronget near Falmouth. Neither of us were very experienced, me with canoes and Enterprise dingy, he as a passenger on the yacht. We took it out to sea on a regular basis and always returned unscathed. We were both obviously barking mad.
The next years I had little to do with sail except two holidays on the Norfolk broads, one with Marthams Javelin and the other with a 27′ power boat, and another hiring a brand new Westerly Centaur in Scotland. I did a little windsurfing as well until my wet suit shrank.
Then came the great mistake – I bought a Hurley off ebay.
Not too bad on the outside? Sold as a 1978 Hurley 20. George Hurley went into liquidation in 1974 but some of the moulds went to others like Russell Marine so it was a possibility. I checked – it was a 1964 Hurley Felicity. It had a number of structural issues, all of which I could sort in due course. I decided to take it out of the water for repair and decided to motor from Wroxham to Wayford Bridge where it would be lifted out. A disaster of a trip. The Yamaha outbord ran well for a while but then it would stop suddenly. I would restart and after a shorter time would stop. It was also losing power. At Irstead it gave up completly. I got the paddle out that came with the boat to paddle to the side. The blade fell off and floated away! I was now up a creek and without a paddle!
I decided that this must be some sort of omen and sold the boat. (The new owner did nothing to it, sailed it for a season, and sold it for three times the price he gave me,)
I decided I would still like a boat but the Hurley had given me a taste of boat costs, £150 licence, £400 mooring fees, insurance, maintainance etc. That is when i started looking for a boat.
The Hurley had given me an idea of the new boats specification. It had to be able to be put on a trailer and launched easily by one person. I wanted a stable boat. It would have to have accomodation for two although not luxury, just enough for an overnight and somewhere out of the rain. After my experiences in Cornwall I also wanted a bilge keel configuration so it could dry out on a tidal mooring. Eventually that led me to Paul Fishers Lynx 14 as a basis.
I bought the plans and started sourcing materials. Gosh isn’t marine ply and epoxy expensive? I sold my classic Citroen Deux Chevaux that I had restored some years before to finance the start of the boat – and that also gave me the name for the boat. (I will add a page sometime about the cars restoration in the future.)