Sunday, 2 November 2014

Went to Wales looking for a centaur....

....appear to have found a griffin


Kathy Kilbey said...

Well Bill, ur obviously now into Ed Dubious instead of Maurice Griffiths - Both estimable designers of great repute.
Have a read of the stuff below from the Westerly Owners site.

" By 1979, Westerly were casting around for a change of image, and felt that a great leap forward had to be taken.

This soul searching resulted in Ed Dubois being asked to produce two new designs. These were to be fast, easily handled and even roomier than the Laurent Giles boats, and yet still cruising yachts, rather than toned down racers.

The first of the new Dubois boats was to be the bravest step the company ever took, a Centaur replacement, no less. While the Griffon was undoubtedly a superior craft in almost every respect (faster, roomier, easier to handle and with all-wood interior), no-one had reckoned with the fierce loyalty that the Centaur had accumulated. As a result, the company was practically forced to build an extra fifty Centaurs, after the planned change-over at the 1979 Southampton Boat Show. The Centaur was finally laid to rest in August 1980, and by the end of that year 248 Griffons had been built.

In all the excitement an interesting design fault had slipped past Dubois, Lloyds and Westerly's own in-house team. In the Spring of 1981 a Griffon which had been moored in deep mud all her life failed to rise with the incoming tide. The problem lay in the fact that the Griffon's keels were much narrower than the Centaur's, so that more leverage was applied by the keels to the keel-stubs, as they sank into the glutinous Welsh mud. Since the bracing of the Griffon's keel-stub was much the same as her predecessor's, the strain proved too much and cracks appeared at the front end of the stubs. If unnoticed, these would eventually widen until the inevitable happened.

I believe that the last Griffon without fortified stubs was sail number 281. Sadly the Warranty work involved in correcting the problem was one of many factors that made Westerly Marine Construction sink as well. About 20 boats were brought back and modified before the demise of W.M.C. in October 1981. The good news is that, once identified, the problem is easily rectified with some additional stiffening 'floors' bonded across the stubs. It is unlikely that there are many unmodified Griffons around nowadays, but this is not a job for the amateur.

As the excitement of the Griffon 1 keels died down, it was decided that she should be uprated and a number of improvements were put in hand. From about July 1981, the Sapele finish was changed to teak, a fixed table was mounted in the saloon and fancier joinery was designed. It was also decided to fit the 20hp Bukh diesel that was already fitted to the Konsort and Fulmar."

tatali0n said...

Cheers Kathy. I've emailed you; hoping you'll be able to survey her for us, make sure her keels aren't going to fall off unexpectedly!