Boat Launch

A FARMER is about to launch a yacht that has taken him more than 20 years to complete.

Iain Tolhurst, of Hardwick Estate, Whitchurch, started building Naida in 1999 but his preparations date back more than 20 years.

The 36ft Pinky Ketch is based on those that came from the east coast of America in the early 19th century.

The craft was built entirely from either reclaimed or indigenous timber from the estate, where Mr Tolhurst runs an organic farm.

He started collecting fallen trees after the hurricanes of 1987 and 1990 and used a mobile band saw to mill them on site. The wood was then stacked to dry in a basic shed.

Mr Tolhurst, 57, said: “I have used no plywood, not even in the deck. The main deck is topped with reclaimed pitch pine, which is the only non-local timber and came from the demolition of the Huntley & Palmers biscuit factory in Reading.” He made both of the boat’s masts and some of the brass fittings while the 700sq ft sails were handmade by an artisan sails-maker.

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