"Manta Ray" Fri 27 May 2011 11:23:32
Carolyn and I have been married for forty years and have always had a lot of fun with boats of various sizes. Our first holiday was camping with a sailing dinghy on the Norfolk Broads. The tent leaked, the mast split and we had great fun sailing the dinghy to a new place each day and walking back to the campsite at Ludham bridge, reversing the trip the next day. Luckily this did not put Carolyn off either boating or me and we have been boating ever since, often with our two sons, John and Paul.
I am Michael, and I learnt to sail in Norfolk a long time ago. Since then I have lived on boats, served in ships and spent many happy days messing around in motor boats, yachts and dinghies.
Like most boat people we have been looking for the ideal boat to serve our needs and capabilities. She does not exist of course but our latest acquisition "Manta Ray" ticks most of the boxes and matches the type of boat that has given us most pleasure in the past.
About "Manta Ray"
"Manta Ray" is a Manta 19, Sail No. 252, built by Johann Schoechl in Salzburg in 1974. She has spent most of her life in Austria and Germany and was towed to the UK from Germany two years ago by the previous owner. She has been sailed mainly on freshwater lakes and seems to be in very good condition for her years. She sits on a purpose built Harbeck trailer which is in immaculate condition. Her sails are in good order, including two jibs, one of which has a deep foot and a clear window which will be of comfort to Carolyn when I am tacking through moorings!
The Rotostay is of the type fitted to Austrian built boats, with the jib hanked to the wire forestay and attached to the drum at the tack. We also have the continental style zip up cover for the jib, instead of a UV strip.
Otherwise "Manta Ray" seems to be a standard layout with no special frills below.
Spotted a Manta 19 on eBay and pestered the owner with questions about her. Answers satisfactory so dragged Carolyn off to Amersham to inspect her on April 17th. Boat and trailer seemed to be in good order, although covered with leaves from being stored too close to a hedge in a horsebox park for over a year. Got home with half an hour to spare for a last minute bid and won her for £1,576.25. Decided to leave her where she is until May as we were about to go to Norfolk for a ten day holiday.
Sunday 15th: Drove to Amersham to collect "Manta Ray".
No problems hitching up or towing. Trailer behaves beautifully. Parked in drive for cleaning, checking gear, arranging insurance and learning what goes where.
Sunday 22nd: Towed to Stoke Lock on River Wey to try launching and retrieval. Slip not steep enough for a direct launch from the car and not enough time to mess around with ropes. Stern far enough in to start outboard but it was reluctant to go after 2 year unused. Home again with useful lessons learned.
Arranged service for outboard, bought longer anchor line for use on coast and echo sounder with fitting kit. Trying to work out how continental type Rotostay works. Luckily the pictures by Marcell Schliehe in the Old Messages section show a similar rig and I may be able to work it out from them.
Joy! The club we belong to on Thorney Island in Chichester Harbour has a mooring available for five weeks from the beginning of June as somebody is going on a cruise. We will hope to launch sometime in the first week.