The Boat

Katla is a 26ft Wooden Gaff Cutter built by Martin Lund in 2006 of the Wynfall design by Mark Smaalders.

She is
Carvel built of Mahogany planks over sawn Pine frames. The planks are fastened with Stainless Steel (316) screws and the frames are glued and fastened using wooden pegs and Galvanised bolts. Before painting, all wood was treated with a mixture of Turpentine, Pine Oil and Cuprinol.

The deck is Marine Plywood epoxy laminated and covered with chopped strand mat in epoxy resin. The Spar is of Siberian Larch. The rudder is transom hung on Stainless Steel (316) pintles.

The ballast keel is a Stainless Steel (316) box of 6mm sides and bottom, which has lead ingots in it. The lead is then laid in poliester resin inside. Five Stainless Steel (316) tubes are welded inside vertically through the keel box, where the keel bolts go through, meaning the box is completely sealed from seawater. There are 5 Stainless Steel (316) keelbolts to carry 1.5 tonnes. It is a massively strong construction.

There are no through hull fittings and a water tight bulkhead under the cockpit.

The broker described her as: 'A sturdy and salty little lady. Which will appeal to traditionalists on a budget'.

There is no inboard engine, no toilet, no electronics, and traditional (Block & Tackle) rigging (no winches).

LOA: 26' - 5"
LWL: 23' - 10"
BEAM: 8' - 10"
DRAFT: 3' - 10"
DISP: 9500 lbs
BALLAST: 3300 lbs
D/L: 343
SAIL AREA: 466 sq. ft.

The Trip

View Katla

Monday, 27 June 2011

Azores - UK Preparation.

After arriving at Horta in the Azores (from Antigua in the Caribbean) on the 14th June after 32 days at sea (my longest ever passage), its time to think about the final leg home to the UK.

After making landfall in Falmouth, Cornwall, (1250nm from Horta in the Azores), I intend on keeping the boat in Brighton on the south coast, another 210nm further East from Falmouth.

Jobs done so far:
Mainsail leech UV wear and damage from reefing - repaired.
Forestay & Jib Halyard - refitted after the (10mm! stainless Steel) shackle failed mid Atlantic leaving me without a jib for almost 2 weeks. Good job she's a Cutter! I also replaced the Peak and Throat mast shackles just incase they were also corroded. A gaffer without a mainsail may as well be dismasted!

The mast has been sanded and oiled (thanks to my girlfriend) after wear from the boom & Gaff.

I ran out of Vaseline and ended up using Non-melt Margarine from the Caribbean - it kind of worked and was better than nothing! I also made a new leather and canvas strop to replace the Parrel beads that 'saw' into the mast.

The boom jaws need re-leathering but I have simply fitted leather around the mast where the boom sits when sailing. In the future I would like to fit a gooseneck and gaff saddle as I think they both perform better, cause less mast wear and require less work to maintain.

All woodwork (bowsprit, cleats and blocks) has been sanded and oiled with Linseed oil. Whisker pole and other bits & bobs have been repainted where worn.

Monitor Self steering lines and the mainsail luff lacing have been adjusted to move the wear points. I always leave things slightly longer than required to get double life out of the ropes - Hey I'm a Sea Pikey!

The stairs have been refitted and the big bed will be stowed for this next passage. I think using the sea berths will keep my bedding dryer, now I'm further north I expect it to be a lot colder and wetter.

Still to do ...
Relocate the small AIS aerial outside the boat for increased detection range which is currently only about 2nm! Coax cable and fittings have already been acquired.

Food shopping and top up with water. I only used about 50 litres from the Caribbean so 100 litres will be ample. the extra 10 gallon plastic bottles previously aboard have been thrown away.

Once again I will be posting position updates on Google maps.
Stay tuned for my leave date...

Boo & Katla.


  1. You are very welcome XXX Stop faffing about and come home now!

  2. Impressive job list ~ nice work! Fairest of winds and dryest of bunks to you on your last leg to Falmouth (And onward to Brighton, my old home from art student days ~ fab town always!) Love to you and Katla x


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