"Helene", Fairey Marine Atalanta 26 Lying Essex
We bought this boat for its shallow draft with keels up (18ins) and its classic character.
We have sailed her extensively in the East Coast Rivers and we have always been able to reach the parts that others couldn't.
The cockpit is large and comfortable, and a centre cockpit in a boat this size is probably unique to the class.
Helene has not been used now for over a year and is presented in end of season condition, in need of her paintwork freshened up.
Your first cruise in an Atalanta will be a voyage of discovery. Utterly trustworthy on the open sea—even in Force 8 winds—the Atalanta can also penetrate into fascinating inland water-ways that are quite beyond the reach of the ordinary sea-going cruiser. With her keels up—a girl can easily raise them—Atalanta floats in 18 inches of water, and can be beached on any reasonable surface ; when you find a good place to go ashore, you go ashore.
This wonderful "go-anywhere" quality of the Atalanta is further increased by her ability to travel by trailer. In this way you can extend your cruising range by using the roads to cut down your time "going and coming" '—and you can live in Atalanta as a caravan while ashore.
As you would expect from her Fairey heritage of bred-in seaworthiness, Atalanta is a first-rate sea boat, behaving well even in gale conditions. She handles with the ease and precision of a dinghy, and her sailing ability, especially to wind-ward and in strong winds, has won the highest praise of expert sailors ; it also proves most reassuring to the less experienced. All sail-handling can be carried out from cockpit or fore-hatch, making it unnecessary to go on deck at all.
As well as a fine ship to sail, an Atalanta is a good place to live. There is really first-class accommodation—four full size berths and two quarter berths under the cockpit benches. There is a generous galley ; a toilet can be installed either under the fore-hatch or amidships. A tent with large plastic windows, rigs over the boom to make a deck saloon for use at moorings or on the trailer. She's a snug ship for the night, yet with adequate space for entertaining aboard.
From any point of view, she opens up a new and exciting world of sailing, and of pleasure afloat and ashore—a world that is waiting for you to discover it in your own Atalanta.
RETRACTABLE TWIN KEELS
The retractable twin keels (easily worked by a girl) are of high aspect ratio and, with a total weight of just under 1,000 lb., provide ample stability to well over 90 deg. of heel, contributing to Atalanta's exceptional self-righting characteristics.
Clamping gear at the main attachment points prevents them from moving or working at sea, and retains them in any position unless they strike an underwater obstacle. In such a case, as in going aground, no damage results, and it is simple to get off again. Atalanta can be safely beached on any reasonable surface and the keels protrude enough to hold her upright on a hard slipway.
A really adequate cockpit with room for six without crowding. Protection in bad weather is excellent and the self-draining area can easily handle any water shipped. The side benches are watertight and are part of the structure, preventing flooding of the accommodation if ever Atalanta was thrown on her beam ends. All working gear is immediately accessible. The crew have no reason to go on deck or leave the cockpit, apart from stowing a headsail, which is best carried out through the fore-hatch.
The keel hoists are easily reached on the main bulkhead under the cabin hatch. Sheet winches are provided for the headsails and the halyard winches are on the mast heel beside the roller reefing gear for the mainsail. The cleats for the mainsheet and headsheets, and the engine controls are within reach of the helmsman. The whipstaff vertical tiller is a delightful feature, folding forward for convenience and to give access to the after cabin. The mainsheet track-type horse converts to a boom crutch at the right height for the cockpit tent.
Atalanta's possibilities as a caravan open up unlimited new cruising grounds. The special trailer can be towed on the road by any large car and is used as well for launching—the wheel hearings are sealed and the torsion suspension is unaffected by salt water. Arrangements are made to wash the brake drums after submerging in salt water. If you plan to visit the more remote cruising grounds, a Landrover or similar 4-wheel-drive vehicle will enable you to launch your Atalanta from any practicable surface. Driving with Atalanta astern is easier than with a large caravan. Launching and Hauling out are simple with the cunning equipment provided.
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