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  • #15764

    I received a very nice email from a person with positive comments about our website. He had been reading it in support of moving towards buying an Atalanta. The email included a number of questions which I thought I would post here to perhaps attract opinions on the answers other than my own. This is one of the great merits of the AOA and the website – the ability to draw on the enormous spectrum of experiences of members.
    (I did also recommend joining the AOA and getting access to our archive of bulletins and papers….)

    Anyway, the questions are in bold below and my replies indented. Please comment, disagree and expand as you see fit.

    Surely the bottom of the boat must be of a construction heavier than the rest of the hull?

    The hull is made of 4 layers of veneers throughout – no extra layers on the bottom. The boats are strong as a result the construction with two strong bulkheads and the keel boxes where the boats ground amidships. Beaching of Atalantas is very common

    Could she be used on a drying mooring, settling on sand?

    Many people have used drying moorings with their Atalanta, on mud and sand, without mishap. The risk to the hull is from rocks / other obstructions but if the sand is smooth their should not be a problem in normal conditions. The boats sit on the central keel and blocks fitted around the keel box openings. Of course if there is a possibility of large waves building up any boat will take shock loads during the grounding and re-floating process. The Atalanta frames,hog, sand-keel (outer wood of the keel) and stringers are fixed with glue and screws; if original the screws are now 60 years old, and extensive pounding could cause issues. Would owners who use drying moorings like to comment?

    How do you antifoul her in winter storage?

    This is not really an issue. The standard design of trailer has transverse hull supports in three places – under the galley/chart table area and right up forward. Most trailers allow reasonable access to the hull for antifouling with just the areas under the supports needing to be addressed during a crane launch. Lifting the Atalanta off the trailer is also a very common job and there is plenty of guidance on how to do this. It is surprisingly easy with the right gear.

    I have tried to work out the ‘poundage’ in tons, I get 1.1 imperial tons. I need to determine this , mainly just for a storage/launch trailer purchase.

    The Atalanta weighs just over 2 tons – the actual weight depends on the amount of cruising gear / extra fit out inside. Trailers for the road need to be rated over 3 tonnes for safe towing. For yard / launching purposes many have simple ‘A’ frame style trailers. If you are going to launch / recover on the trailer again this is well trodden path with lots of experience amongst the membership

    I have repaired holes in fibreglass hulls, but the Atalanta would appear to require a whole different set of skills?

    Most repairs on an Atalanta can be time-consuming but do not require advanced woodworking skills – they are well within the capabilities of the average owner. Provided you are methodical and follow the very well established principles for repairs it relatively easy to keep things in good order. The major exception to this is repairs to the keel boxes. Many owner had carried out repairs and indeed replaced the boxes completely, but it does require a higher level of carpentry skills than other areas of the boat. The owners’ friends in all of this are epoxy glue and Agba veneers. Repairs are well documented in the Bulletins, Drawings and technical papers – after 60 years there aren’t really any repairs that haven’t been done many times before. Other owners are always willing to advise and often help.

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    • #15773
      Dominic Dobson

      Anti fouling

      lifting the boat is not an issue and can be done with a bottle jack and supports. Better still buy a boat that has been copper coated so you don’t need to antifoul each year, I’m reluctantly considering putting my boat A90 up for sale due to impending purchase of larger craft copper coated and on a trailer.

      • #15787
        Doug Odgers

        Hi Dominic,

        I suspect you’ll sell way before I am ready,  i.e. until after I have sold my Frances 26.

        Would of course be interested to know how much she goes for so I can use her as a benchmark.




    • #15788
      Dominic Dobson


      as I cannot work out how to private message you I’ve asked Nick to pass on my contact details if you’d like to get in touch we may be able to work out something re A90 as I’m in no rush to sell and would rather her go to someone who is going to use her.


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