The well-worn white hull of a standard Etchells 22 went into Bill Trafford's shed near Skenakilla Crossroads in March last year. And this week, the gorgeous dark blue cruising sloop Guapa (it’s Spanish for beautiful) emerged. See our April progress report here.
Next Wednesday she’ll be arriving in Crosshaven for her mast to be stepped and new sails fitted from Des McWilliam. But the boat is so utterly transformed, with judiciously-raised topsides and an extremely elegant Scandinavian-style coachroof and comfortable accommodation within, that Bill naturally wondered if his calculations as to the new location of the waterline were accurate.
Indeed, like every boat-transformer, he wondered if she’d float. So rather than give her a totally-untested debut at Crosshaven, Guapa was quietly towed up the road to Doneraile, where the equipe stopped outside the Townhouse Tea Room for some sustenance, as Bill’s wife works there (and it’s Georgina Campbell-recommended).
Then it was on up the road to Adare and down to Askeaton off the Shannon Estuary, where Cyril Ryan at his boatyard had the crane ready, and Guapa had her first splash in complete privacy. No leaks. And she floated perfectly on her marks. All being well, next Wednesday in Crosshaven, you’re in for a treat.