Please let me know of any errors or suggestions to improve the site
(either email or use the "Contact Us" on the main site).

Main Menu

Buying advice please

Started by John Burton, November 09, 2018, 02:46:53 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

John Burton

Hello and thank you for admitting me to the Forum, this is my first post.
Our family has sailed dinghies for over forty years, mainly on Coniston Water. It was there that we first saw "Hope" WB 107 and immediately loved the look of such a beautiful traditional boat. I see from this Forum that she belongs to David Bone. A month ago we saw Hope under sail and were very impressed, the internet search began!
There are two Winkle Brigs for sail at Apollo Duck, numbers 93 and 103.
No.93 has featured in this forum with much work being done over the years. The boat is being sold as the owner has passed away and his Widow has asked someone to sell it for her, very unfortunate circumstances. The boat is on a Snipe break back trailer.
No 103 has apparently been stood for a couple of years and needs a good clean. This one is on a Indespension trailer.
I appreciate both these boats need some work, but that seems to be reflected in the price and I would find it difficult to stretch to the cost of an immaculate boat. Although used to working on dinghies  I would greatly appreciate advice as to what specifically to check out when viewing a Winkle Brig. I have extensively read through the forum about repairs etc and have gained some very useful knowledge, but any further advice would be most welcome.
Very many thanks in advance.


Hi John.

I haven't looked at the two boats in detail, but in general my advice for a boat being sold for less than £5,000 would be as follows:-

1. Have a good look at the engine and trailer. A new trailer and engine would cost about £4,000, so that dwarfs the value of the boat. Don't forget to look at the tyres. If you need three new ones straight away it would be annoying.
2. Personally I think a 2hp engine is  too small - But it really depends where you are going to sail.
3. For boats of this age the fibreglass colour is likely to be getting cloudy. A professional hull respray will be  expensive so go for the one with the shiniest hull - It will last you longer.
4. Although the fibreglass can easily be repaired/strengthened, look for stress cracks. Around the base of the mast. Rear cockpit lockers. Sagging cockpit seats.
5. Original sails are likely to be quite misshapen by now. Have a good look at them. These are relatively expensive items to replace, but sailing with baggy sails is quite depressing!
6. I wasn't able to check the rig on the two alternatives, but be aware that some have a high peek gaff and some have a topsail. Both have their merits but be aware of what you are buying.

I am sure there is much more than this to look for and others will be able to add to my list.

Good luck. You won't regret being a Winklebrigger.


John Burton

Thanks very much Martin for your advice, very useful and it gives me some good pointers as to what to check.
I had thought at least 4 HP would be necessary having been used to a 4 HP on some dinghies in the past.
I know one trailer needs new tyres, but that is going to be accounted for, both are otherwise apparently sound.
The rig was one of the things I was going to check, I won't ask which is best as I see both alternatives have keen followers!
It's the fibreglass structure that concerns me so thanks for pointing out the places to check.
I will let you know the outcome and I'm sure I will be posting many questions in the future.
Thanks again.

David Bone

Hello John,
From your research on the forum, you will have established that the Winklebrig is a robust, well designed little vessel, with few faults.
As WB93 & 103 are later models, they will benefit from a 2" higher coach roof than earlier ones, also should have externally removable, composite bilge boards and a lighter plywood rudder, both desirable features.
Components used at build, including wooden bulwarks, are of good quality, easily removed for renovation if necessary.
In general, maintenance on a Winklebrig is pleasurable and need not be expensive.
Of the two mainsail options, having used both, I prefer the High Peaked Gaff but as you say, others equally favour a Low Peaked Gaff and Topsail.
Indespension trailers are well made and replacement/upgrade parts readily available.
I wouldn't be too worried about a cloudy hull. Mine, of the same vintage, spends at least 6 months each year on the water and gets its fair share of dings, yet on retrieval, four hours work with T-Cut, restores it to near new appearance.
At the competitive price asked, both boats are well worth a visit.
If I can be of any help, give a call at Tel: 01229 585368.
As Martin says, you won't regret being the Owner of a Winklebrig.
Regards: David


Hi John,
To add my bit to what Martin and David have said, both of these WBs have plywood bilge plates with cast iron shoes.  The plywood can deteriorate/split/warp/rot and the cast iron can rust, both leading to plates getting jammed.  Thoroughly check their condition.  The earlier WBs had grp plates that do not deteriorate.  Baggy sails, we still have the original (now very baggy) sails which still get us around fine, especially down wind. I am a topsail fan, more ropes to have fun playing around with and the topsail makes a WB look so much better, personal opinion.  Although we now have a 4hp 2 stroke Mercury, we have used a 2hp on a couple of occasions, fine if you are not wanting to get somewhere quickly or punching in to waves/wind/current.  Apart from possible impact damage, the only possibly serious grp damage might be , as Martin says, at the foot of the mast, caused by having the rigging too tight and trying to pull the mast through the cabin roof.  Small gelcoat cracks are generally not a problem.  As these are both later WBs, there will not be the problem of delaminating/detatched bilgeplate housings, a big plus point.
I was visiting Roger Parish last week, former owner of Partan.  How he regrets selling her and he was looking at these two and feeling very tempted!!   
Dave Cawston

John Burton

Thank you very much David and Dave. I had no idea of those later features. There is obviously a lot to check out on both these boats. Interestingly both appear to have originally had green hulls. Number 93 when named Liberta is shown in the gallery before having the hull sprayed white, I don't know if 103 is still in the original gel coat or whether that has been painted. 103 with its green hull and tan sails would have a beautiful traditional look rather than a white hull and the white sails of 93. I suppose it will all come down to seeing the boats for real rather than relying on photos. Thank you for the offer of phoning you David, I may well do that having viewed them as I am sure there will be points I need clarifying.
As for maintenance being pleasurable I often feel that's the best bit about boats, just tinkering , modifying, repainting etc. I am currently restoring a Mirror Miracle, but that will now have to go when a Winklebrig comes home.
Thank you once again.

David Bone

Hello John,
I hope the two vessels on your list are yielding positive results.
Provided they are basically sound, which due to their robust construction, they should be, anything else can be fixed with a little patience, hard work and enjoyment. The forum provides 'fixes' for most problems.

John Burton

Hello David, I'm viewing them both tomorrow so the excitement is mounting.
I have bought and read from cover to cover Martin Cartwright's book which is absolutely excellent and a great source of information. I know most of the facts are scattered around the Forum, but to have it all in a logical format in a proper book is invaluable.
I am concerned that the 2.3 hp  Honda on 103 might not be quite powerful enough and I understand they are aircooled and relatively noisy. The Indespension trailer with 103 is however probably better than the Snipe with 93. All will be revealed tomorrow!
I will keep you posted, by this time tomorrow I hope that I will be a proud owner of one or the other.
Thanks again for your help and advice,

John Burton

A successful day, I have bought Winkle Brig no.93. Very unfortunately the previous owner passed away having carried out a great deal of work on the boat and never managed to actually sail it. It is in excellent condition with an almost new outboard, recently serviced. The trailer is also much better than I had expected and 2 new tyres will be fitted.
Obviously very excited about all this and undoubtedly I will be posting all sorts of questions once I get the boat home and get to know all about it.


Congratulations on becomming a Winklebrigger. I wish you 'fair winds and following seas'.
Many thanks for buying the book and for your kind remarks. The book is a bit amateur and subjective, but I hope there isn't too much which is contraversial or wrong! If in doubt, check on this excellent forum - there is a wealth of experience and generosity here.

John Burton

Thank you Martin.
We are collecting the boat next Monday and then taking it the 250 miles up to Yorkshire.
Really looking forward to having a good inspection and getting familiar with all the features.

John Burton

A progress report. Having got the boat home and in the barn I've had a good look around and am delighted, there is some work to do but nearly all cosmetic so a nice winter project in store. I was very pleased to discover the rig is a high peaked gaff which personally I would prefer although I appreciate there are pros and cons of both rigs. The sails are in good condition although cream in colour.
We have been successful in gaining a mooring on Coniston Water or at least an allocation. The old mooring has disappeared so a new one is to be laid.
I've had to do some work on the trailer, a Snipe break back. It came with two new tyres, I've added a new spare wheel and tyre. Unfortunately the handbrake mechanism was missing and several hours on the Internet failed to find a replacement so I have modified and welded on an old Series 1 Land Rover handbrake I had spare. If I ever find the correct replacement it will be easy to fit, nothing irreversible has been done. New bearings and seals in the hubs, now I'm waiting for two stainless steel Bowden cables to arrive.
I've also added side marker lights on detachable brackets so I can take them off for launching. The trailer is 2.0 m wide and apparently any trailer over 1.6 m needs side marker lights apart from boat trailers. An odd regulation but it seems safer to have them.
The interesting bit will be the rigging. It's all off the boat and spars and in bags, there may be some questions ahead!
Finally the name. WB 93 was called Be Bop a Lulu some time ago but I believe has passed through two owners since then and I have no idea if they renamed the boat. As it is out of the water which I understand reduces the risk of catastrophic consequences associated with renaming, we have called her  CRESSY which uses the initials of our 4 grandchildren.

Pat Arnold

Hi John,  I bought "Winkle" from the famed Martin Cartwright in the summer and am similarly getting to grips with being a WB owner.  I first saw a WB at its debut at London Boat Show and should have bought then as she has been in my mind ever since!
Enough flimflam; reason for my post is to ask you for details of the removable trailer side lights.  Although MC has trailed "Winkle" around UK and Europe, I am worried about lack of side
Ights and am wanting to add some.  Been wondering whether there are battery operated led units but not found any so far.
Fair winds,
Pat Arnold.

John Burton

Hi Pat,I think adding side marker lights is a good safety measure, my trailer board lights are 75 cm apart which results in an unlit projection of around 60 cm each side. I bought a pair of LED lights from Amazon for £10.99 and mounted them on the mudguards using a couple of stainless nuts and bolts each side. The bolts are permanently attached and protrude upwards, the lights then slip over these and are attached by wingnuts. If it wasn't a break back trailer they could probably be left permanently attached. I ran a wire from each side forward to a second 7 pin plug. As the 6m lead from the trailer board was not long enough to reach the vehicle, I made up a short extension with two 7 pin sockets, one for the trailer board and one for the side lights. I'll try to add a photo to help illustrate this.
I didn't come across any battery operated lights.
We are thrilled with our WB and greatly looking forward to getting it on the water.
All the best for Christmas and the New Year



this thread seems to become a meeting point for new Wiklebriggers. I bought mine in October from the most friendly and kind Kate and Paul Clarkson. This is my first post.

My Winkle Brig 69 is technically in a good shape, so my winter work is mostly of a cosmetic kind. Nevertheless my wish list for Christmas is full of stuff for the WB.

I towed her to the continent. because I live in Germany. I am sure, the side marker lights are most useful for increasing safety, but as far as I know, they are not required by authorities on the continent.

All the best for Christmas and the New Year for all of you. Safe sailing and fair winds!