I was spring cleaning A89 Colchide yesterday, when I was approached by a gentleman.

“Is that an Atalanta”

“Oh, I had a passenger ride in an Atalanta, aged 9, in the early 1960s, in the River Blackwater and that started my interest in sailing.”

“Do you remember the boat name or number or the owners name?”

“I think the owner was called Payne, Eric Payne and I think the boat had a 6 and a 1 in the number”.

I didn’t have access to the online register, so I phoned Nick Phillips who confirmed that the Payne family – son JS Payne and father Eric Payne used to keep A166 Hullabaloo at Blackwater Sailing Club. I passed this info on to the gentleman. I went on to tell him that A166 was currently for sale at Clarke’s Boatworks, Portland, and they are asking £400 which includes lifting onto transport. 

“Oh, that’s interesting, my brother lives near Portland and he might be interested”.

I finished off by asking him if he is still sailing.

“Oh yes, my wife and I sailed down to Portugal, then the Azores in late 2019, then across to the West Indies, where we were going to stay for Christmas and spring, but as soon as the pandemic started, we decided to sail home.”


    One thought on “A passenger ride in an Atalanta aged 9 started me sailing

    1. It is amazing that wherever you are in an Atalanta you will be accosted by someone who used to own one, who sailed on one or has always admired them.
      Instantly recognisable they usually engender warm feelings in these respondents.

      Although Jim was accosted on A124 in the Orwell Yacht Club yard by a son of the ex-owner of A179 Emma Duck. His thoughts – ‘you can keep your wooden boats, I would much rather have my plastic one.’ (or words to that effect!).

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