Flamingo has been bought by Steve and Laura Meakin who are working furiously to restore her ready for the coming season. This is their second boat, after their appetite for sailing on the East coast was whetted through ownership of a 1950's Cardenells 18.5' sloop called Osprey; but I'll let Steven tell the story:

"My partner Laura was new to sailing and so when I bought Osprey the intention was to break her in gently and just day sail with the odd weekend trip thrown in for good measure. To my complete surprise, Laura loved sailing and was demanding to push ever further a field ending up with us heading down to Harwich in 4’s gusting 5. After a few more lively sails I decided we needed a bigger boat capable of handling the larger seas Laura wished to sail. Before it got too much and Laura got a fright, I made the decision a Stella was the boat and without question the right one!"

"We are young couple and so unfortunately funds are limited, the 6k+ Stella's that occasionally come up were out of our reach. Flamingo came in at the right price and I knew despite all the work she was a good buy due to a good set of sails excellent rig/engine etc. Unfortunately other than that she is far from good".

"She’s now out of the water with all the paint burnt off and that’s where the problems have really come to light. She’s had some 'interesting' repairs carried out in her past and whilst uncovering these, we also found that the gunwale planks on both sides below the rubbing straight were rotten where rainwater had got in. One of the planks around the chain plates on both port and starboard side has rot right the way through. She leaks frighteningly above the waterline (including decks and coach roof) but I plan on sealing these once she’s been re-fastened. Thankfully below the water line she’s perfect!"

"I now have a shipwright who has come to my rescue and is doing a number of the jobs for me at a very reasonable rate. What’s best is he’s agreed to let me work alongside him in order to learn the tricks of the trade - very useful for future repairs!!"

"Once complete (early this summer) we’re off round the south coast for a bit of cruising and who knows... we may even make it to France".

Steve and Laura are running a tough schedule to get her ready again for the water. For example Steve says:

"To give you an idea, we have been working on her every weekend staying onboard on all but the coldest of nights. Unfortunately we live a two hour drive from Maldon so it's all or nothing which is good for the boats progress but bad for us in terms of comfort."
Flamingo - Sail Number: 8