Hi, We kept Constance in Ireland for two years and sailed on Lough Derg and up the Shannon a little way. I can thoroughly recommend sailing on Lough Derg. The little harbours are great fun, free and many with good facilities. Nearly always a a few great pubs nearby often with trad music.
This is photographed at Benfleet on the Thames estuary. I know the boat well. In fact I might be the old grey haired geezer in the third photograph. There is a class of Winkle Brig on Mersea Island which is very similar. Basically a fisherman's boat. This one is fibreglass and cutter rigged but I do believe the traditional Winkle Briggs were sloops. This boat was sold on by a friend of mine some years ago.
I am taking 65k of lead down to Constance tomorrow as I have found with just me on board there is not enough weight. In gusty winds it is very difficult to get the balance of reefing right I always seem to have to little or too much sail. I am hoping the lead forward on the cabin floor will make an improvement.
Lough Derg is a great place to sail. Free or very cheap marinas and harbours. Lots to do and see especially if you have a base and use a car. Its part of the River Shannon navigable waterway so you can go as far as you like. Stunning countryside all round the Lough. Great live trad music sessions in lots of places. Take your fiddle or whatever you will be welcome to join in or sing a song. We had a great night with a crowns of Irish motorboat's in a pub in Terryglass. Started about 11.00pm and went on into the early hours.
Good facilities in many places provided by Irish Waterways and accessed by keycard. Toilets are free but you pay for showers and clothes washing facilities. All the boaters, mostly motorboats, are very friendly. If you are into trout or Pike fishing there is quite a bit of that.
The hull shape certainly looks the same and its interesting that the cabin is similar to a Memory which although not designed by Eric Berquist I understand some were built by him. I got this information from the Old Gaffers mag.
Just a quick response on names even though I guess the thread is dead. I recently restored our Winkle brig and since purchase had been thinking of changing her name Of 'Constance' to something that had a little more meaning for me. I also was saturated since boyhood with all the bad luck stuff of changing a boats name. However I discovered while attending to a deep clean and polish of the gel coat another name underneath. 'Molly B' rather than easing my dilemma I then began to think I should change her name back again to Molly B. But no I decided to stay with Constance as much as I couldn't make my mind up as anything else and she has become Constance to us and she is a constant little boat. So there we are.
This is encouraging. I will try out next time we are on board. I do have the extra sheet of ply. We tend to, immediately we are on board fill the peak up with all our luggage. Which to be honest make the boat look very untidy and has prevented us giving the forward berth a proper chance. As you know, if you have seen the article in PBO, that we trailed back from Lough Derg and the Shannon a fantastic cruising area for Winkle brigs.....perhaps I should write it up on the forum.
7 consecutive nights this summer about 10 last year . All on lough Derg in Ireland and the Shannon . Very comfy for myself and wife and even had our grandson with us a couple of times. But has anyone sorted a double berth?
Winkle brigs do not feature much in the boating press these days but having towed Constance to maldon from our summer sailing ground we found we had entered a sailing regatta and won a prize for driving. So if you are looking in PBO you will see a winkle brig on page 7. The tow from the west of Ireland was behind a Fiat doblo 1.9. The journey went well and fortunately my clutch burning on the slip when pulling her out does not seem to have done too much damage. But only time will tell.