by Churchouse Boats
DRASCOMBE DRIFTER 22
Between 1977 & 1986 the Drascombe range included the Drifter, a long keel/bilge plate boat designed by John Watkinson.
We commissioned Paul Fisher of Selway-Fisher to revise John’s design to suit our 21st century evolution of the proven & popular Drascombe tradition & bring it firmly into the trailer-sailer family.
Although our prototype was in wood epoxy, all the production boats are GRP.
She has twin drop keels to achieve both the shallow draft necessary for easy launch & recovery & the clear cockpit & cabin space of the original boat. These keels are located in the cockpit sidebench lockers, extending forward discreetly in front of the galley & storage areas. Each of these weigh 65 kg & are raised & lowered easily using a purpose designed, safe winch.
We have also evolved our brilliant swinging cradle trailer into a twin axle trailer specifically tailored to her so that she can be launched & recovered by one person.
Note the lack of trailer immersion! I am not using a 4X4 to tow her.
The appliance of science was required to raise & lower the mast leading to the birth of the Drifter-Lifter:
Her sail plan is loose footed gunter yawl with Sitka Spruce spars & tan sails. She provides great light airs performance & will hold full sail up into F5 with great stiffness & stability. Reefing main & jib has allowed her to be enjoyed in F7. Her stiffness & stability inspires great confidence. Her balance under jib & mizzen is just what you would expect from a Drascombe.
The drop-plate rudder allows genuine shallow water sailing. With both drop keels & rudder drop plate up, she floats in 16" of water & can crawl up the shallowest of gullies. Auxiliary power is a 6-8 hp outboard motor in a dedicated well positioning the prop in front of the rudder but kicking up to be clear of the water when sailing. We are using a Yamaha 8hp 4stroke twin cylinder with sailpower prop. A lovely smooth engine, easy to start, powerful & reliable. Easy to get rope & plastic bags off the prop, too! No need to even think about inboard diesels or electric starters!
Cabin accommodation provides two comfortable singles or a very large double berth, cooking & toilet facilities.
My boat also has a full 40 litre compressor fridge & a hot shower! A sprayhood is an integral part of the design. A cockpit tent may be added to increase her practicality at anchor.
A season sailing the prototype followed by several seasons in production boats has proved that she has excellent hull stiffness, a well balanced rig & a very safe, sheltered, comfortable cockpit. In addition to the drop keels, she has a heavy lead shoe let into the shallow skeg which contributes greatly to her stiffness. She is more than just a boat that sails well. She is a lifestyle created for those who want the freedom & economy of trailer-sailing plus a comfortable, grown-up cruiser with space, ease of movement & full life support facilities. Her cabin space belies her size & she has been called Tardis!
She has a self-draining cockpit which requires a bulkhead between cockpit & cabin to prevent down-flooding. We have made this to drop down into the cockpit sole when at anchor so that access around the boat is unimpeded.
A boat in traditional style, packed with innovation.
Her statistics are:
For independent views of her get:
If you cannot track them down, I can e.mail copies to you.
Production boats are all custom built to order & can be taken as basic but complete sailaway specification or fully fitted out from a range of identified options. We are also able to incorporate your ideas. If they are good, we will claim the credit & adopt them!!
Each boat is custom built to order. Specification can be tailored to suit customer requirements. We have huge experience of Drascombe sailing & can incorporate additional features you may wish & some that you haven't even thought about!
All sorts of modifications, accessories & gizmos available!
The camping tent. Not the most elegant but it gives full standing headroom in the cockpit.
AN INDEPENDENT VIEW
Henk & Liane de Boer took their Drascombe Drifter 22, Lytse Vilja, to the NKDE Summer Meeting 2011.
Wouter Bijster, who owned an original Drifter for 25 years until he retired from sailing, joined them for a day & sent the following comments:
'All suggestions I would have made to improve the Drifter have been met and more! She is such a joy to sail, easy to handle with much improved manoeuvrability both under power & whilst sailing. The comfort in the sheltered cockpit and in her luxury cabin are second to none and the beautiful lines really takes Drifter 22 into the 21st century. This is a pretty new Drifter, still enjoying all true Drascombe features. Give my sincere congratulations to the people who have developed and who now build her.'
A MORE ARTISTIC VIEW
Ken Duxbury is a very accomplished water colour artist with a long Drascombe history.
To mark the introduction of our Drascombe Drifter 22 in 2007 I asked him to do a pair of paintings for me: Bolitho 7, the wood-epoxy prototype, & Bolitho 8, the first Production boat.
They hang on my office wall & I admire them every day when I get in. So do many of our visitors.
The sharp eyed will spot Ken's artistic 'trade-mark': there are a pair of seagulls in all of his paintings.
For intelligent conversation & help, ring: 01256 896292
The Sail that becomes a Way of Life!