Mirage 37 Bilge Keel Ketch, Beguiler - Comments
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Mirage 37 Bilge Keel Ketch - Beguiler - SOLD
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Mirage 37 Bilge Keel Ketch, Beguiler

  “Beguiler” Mirage 37 Ketch – Owners commentary.
I purchased Beguiler in 1986 whilst moored in Vilamoura marina in the Algarve and sailed her back to the UK stopping briefly at Lisbon (Portugal), Bayona (Spain), Lampaul (Ushant), Plymouth, Brighton and finally Brightlingsea after some 1200 miles of generally very rough and windy unseasonable July conditions. The Biscay crossing including 3 days of F7,8 & 9 or more head winds proved beyond doubt that Beguiler was made of sterner stuff than the crew and delivered us all safely home without any damage or gear failures.

Sailing was much, much harder then with only a low profile Perspex screen to provide any weather protection, no dodgers around the cockpit, hanked on headsails of which the storm jib was most frequently used, no autopilot meaning someone at the wheel all of the time in all conditions, not so waterproof waterproofs, no GPS, its forerunner Decca or other navigation systems, mainly out of range VHF forecasts and Radio 4 shipping forecasts, no mobile phones and only dead reckoning and celestial navigation (on the very rare occasion we could see anything in the sky other than cloud and rain) with the 3 sextants we had on board – how things have changed!!!

Mirage 37 Bilge Keel Ketch, Beguiler


Beguiler was initially moored at Brightlingsea then Tollesbury and Walton-on-Naze before returning to Brightlingsea and became a regular weekend and holiday home until the present day visiting east coast ports from Southwold to Cowes and continental ports from Deauville in France to Gouda in Holland and most places in between.

My two daughters sailed in the then fully netted surrounds of the boat from 9 months of age, spending much time sleeping safely in the aft cabin during bad weather on longer trips abroad.  Beguiler was also a home for a 4 month and 2-month period between shore based homes (my favourite times!!). Various upgrades and refits have been undertaken over the years including fitting of a spray hood, headsail furling, GPS, new 43HP engine and increased prop size to replace the original Volvo MD27 35HP, new electrical switch panels, autopilot, replacement of all headlining and upholstery, etc..

We still use Beguiler regularly in our 30th year of ownership. We sailed on Christmas day last year, and have just returned from the almost annual pilgrimage to Oostende in Belgium. Mooring in the Royal North Sea Yacht Club was extremely uncomfortable to say the least with force 7 on shore winds for 3 days producing a very strong swell in the harbour with fog down to 50 meters from around a mile at its best. Shore based commitments meant we eventually had to leave Beguiler and return a week and a half later when the weather had eventually settled down – resulting in almost no wind at all for most of the return journey but still some fog down to 2 miles in the middle.


A brief selection of significant cruises over the last few years (numbers in brackets are numbers on board):
May 2016 – (6) Brightlingsea / Oostende / Brightlingsea – 88 n.miles, 14 hours. Beguiler in Oostende below.


Sept 2015 – (2) Brightlingsea / Aldeburgh / Pin Mill / Brightlingsea     

                
May 2015 – (4) Brightlingsea / Limehouse Basin – 11 ½ hours.
Passing through the Thames barrier below.


Sept 2014 – (2) Brightlingsea / Southwold / Snape / Woodbridge / Brightlingsea
Beguiler at Snape Maltings below, a real ditch crawl.

Beguiler at Felixstowe Ferry on River Deben below.

 July 2014 – (2) Brightlingsea / Oostende / Dunkerque / Brightlingsea

Beguiler in RNSYC Marina in Oostende

Aug 2013 – (4 out /2 return) Brightlingsea / Dover / Brighton / Portsmouth / Bucklers Hard /   Yarmouth I.O.W. / Cowes / Wooton Ferry / Bembridge / Eastbourne /Ramsgate/Brightlingsea.

Photo of Beachy Head on Bembridge to Eastbourne leg.


Beguiler in Gun Wharf Quay marina, Portsmouth harbour, with Spinnaker Tower behind.

Bad weather comes and goes and Beguiler being very heavily built, handles it very well often with some engine assist to get home quicker or closer to the wind.

The return journey from Dunkerque probably being the harshest in recent years having started off with a good breeze in the morning, glorious sunshine & light winds in the afternoon and F7 or more on the nose all the way back from Long Sands Head and down the Wallet at night, arriving in Brightlingsea around 2.00am after a very rough ride.

Most of our sailing including this particular trip is with just skipper and wife and by no means unmanageable. I have no doubt that Beguiler will long continue to look after her crew and get them home.

Handling under full sail takes time to get familiar with just like any other boat but is slightly different being a ketch rig. Sails are lighter and smaller so easier to handle than on an equivalent sloop rig. Having the additional mast and sail allows many options on sail-plans including the traditional mizzen and jib/genoa configurations for heavier weather of just taking it easy in lighter winds, the mizzen is easily handled from the cockpit where all the lines are close to hand. The boom also doubles as a very useful outboard lift crane.

Another point which I will describe as honestly as I can:

Yes, there is osmosis in the hull, it first started to appear as small blisters on the turn of the bilge below the engine area and slowly spread to most areas of the hull. Blisters remained small in general with odd ones being up to a maximum of 8 – 10mm dia.

This was treated by slurry blasting the gel coat up to the waterline, drying out for some 7 months whilst ashore and then a primer coat followed by 5 coats of Blakes epoxy, another primer and two coats of antifoul. After around 5 years a few very small blisters started to reappear over the next 4 or 5 years which was very annoying. They were thinly spread over parts of the hull but smaller than had previously been experienced. Based on published data on this subject, I do not believe this causing or likely to cause any structural weakness or degradation to a point to be concerned with.

July 2016

Builder's Comments

This new sailing cruiser is designed with moderate displacement for a creditable performance under sail with a spacious, imaginative layout for outstanding accommodation.

The powerful ketch rig and stable hull will take you across oceans and back.

The expansive 3 cabins (including owner's cabin with its own toilet suite) and 7 berths are built to standards of comfort and workmanship not easily matched.

Thames Marine

 

 

[ Beguiler ] [ Photos ] [ Sails and Decks ] [ Accommodation ] [ Cockpit ] [ Saloon ] [ Galley ] [ Aft Cabin ] [ Forecabin ] [ Heads ] [ Engine ] [ Specifications ] [ Comments ]