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post #1 of 19 Old 10-25-2009 Thread Starter
tdw
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The People One Meets

We ran into a young bloke last weekend who with his partner were anchored close by to the Womboat.

They were in a 25' Primrose and Illingworth designed Top Hat sloop. We had a bit of chat over beached dinghys then later on they dropped by for a short chat before the rain set in and we made a run for it.

I had no idea who he was and it was only in passing that he mentioned that he'd sailed to Africa and South America.

Turns out he is Jamie Mitchell who ten years ago set off from Australia in "Possibilities" and ended up going all the way round. Sometimes alone, sometimes not. Nothing flash about him or the boat but the crew of the "Possibilities" struck me as good people with a seaworthy craft and much accomplished. I hope we run into them again sometime.

Here are a couple of links to an interview and a magazine article, also a pic of a Top Hat.

Top Hat Yachts

A Top Hat (not Possibilities) see Top Hat Yachts


Andrew B

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― Terry Pratchett, Nation

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Last edited by tdw; 10-26-2009 at 04:57 PM.
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-25-2009
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Very cool.

It's always nice when you meet someone who has earned the right to be full of themselves, but they turn out to be just regular folk.

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post #3 of 19 Old 10-26-2009
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Originally Posted by flyingwelshman View Post
Very cool.

It's always nice when you meet someone who has earned the right to be full of themselves, but they turn out to be just regular folk.
Very, very true! Well said

Ron

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post #4 of 19 Old 10-26-2009
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They sound like interesting folks. They probably didn't realize either that they had bumped into the internationally renowned Wombat/Womboat of Sailnet fame.

Neat boats too. I like the TH 25 Mark I best of the various models.


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post #5 of 19 Old 10-26-2009
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Isn't it amazing some of the people you meet!!??? ha tis why I love sailing and cruising. We met soooo many awesome people of many nationalities. It was always very pleasant conversations. We never talked jobs or careers or politics. We talked weather, good places to sail, anchoring, etc. Your life before cruising is non-existent. What else I loved was the general openess without any barries. You like someone for who they are, or you don't (and we liked pretty much everyone we ever met!). It is a great view of life without nationalities. Just a group of people with a common interest... and very down to earth.

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post #6 of 19 Old 10-26-2009
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We love it too... last week we got to sit down with Nigel Calder for a little bit at the Annapolis boat show. My wife was starstruck and kept telling him how much help his books have been. He was a very normal, down to earth kind of guy and didn't like the attention as much as the conversation.

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post #7 of 19 Old 10-26-2009 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
They sound like interesting folks. They probably didn't realize either that they had bumped into the internationally renowned Wombat/Womboat of Sailnet fame.

Neat boats too. I like the TH 25 Mark I best of the various models.
The Mk1 had what was needed in a sensible package. Two bunks that you can comfortably lie on to read but double nicely as sea berths. Galley somewhat restricted but then it is only 25' long. Simple enclosed head. they were/are damn fine little craft. When you look at the interior, note how the designer resisted the temptation to push the v-berth right up into the bow. They have more tootsie room than our VDS34.

Later versions seemed to do away with what was needed and instead offered what people supposedly wanted. Over complicated the poor thing.

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post #8 of 19 Old 11-30-2009
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So he did the circumnavigation in the tophat???
Wow.

'Life is either a daring adventure or nothing' - Helen Keller



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post #9 of 19 Old 11-30-2009 Thread Starter
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So he did the circumnavigation in the tophat???
Wow.
Sure did....impressive, but it's amazing just how seaworthy small boats can be. I did the top of Australia in a 26' Roberts (crew not my boat) and while that was not something I'd like to repeat it was an experience I'll never forget. Despites a couple of moderate sized squalls at no time did I feel threatened. I had/have only one concern and that was available space. Partly stowage space but more irksome for me was the lack of 'stretch out room'. I spent most of the trip, when not out in the cockpit, in the quarter berth.

Mind you the Top Hat is a better layout than most of her size.

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post #10 of 19 Old 11-30-2009
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Unfortunately I think being honest, we would struggle to cruise long term on something like a Top Hat, and that is a statement much more about us than the boat......

Sadly though if we were willing to do it in something like a Top Hat we would probably be out there now...

I have never sailed on or seen a Top Hat up close, they do seem like very capable boats, but a circumnavigation is really something.

How long ago did you you do the Top end TD??

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