"Mintaka" Waterwitch Class Sloop Lying Portsmouth Harbour, Hampshire
Mintakawas built in Rhodesia in the mid-sixties by a wealthy farmer, and spent the first seven years of her life in the Indian Ocean. She was shipped to Scotland and then headed south to the river Dart where she was based for many years and was lived aboard by one owner for several of these. When sold on in 1995 she was in poor condition and underwent a major rebuild and restoration at huge expense between 1995 and August 1998 when she was relaunched, having had all rotten woodwork replaced and many watertraps removed.
New sections included the whole transom, chine logs, self-draining cockpit, main bulkhead, beam shelf, bridgedeck structure, port and for'd cabin trunk, foredeck beams and much more. Hull and decks were completely stripped of old Cascover sheathing and professionally resheathed with West System epoxy. All steelwork was regalvanised and inaccessible items replaced with stainless. All records and receipts for professional work have been kept, as well as many photographs of the restoration work.
On completion of the renovation, the previous owner found his health deteriorating to the extent that he could no longer sail the boat, so reluctantly put her up for sail. The present owner purchased purchased her in November 2003 and she returned to the West Coast of Scotland as a floating home for 18 months. She then returned to the south coast during the 2005 season to her present home in Gosport.
Since then she has cruised the English Channel and in particular the parts of the Channel Islands other boats cannot reach. She is a solid, dependable boat, comfortable for one or two people to live on board and enjoyable to sail. She is as happy in light airs as in a strong breeze and has comfortably crossed the Channel in a force 6-7. Her performance under engine, although not particularly fast, is steady and manoeuvring is surprisingly easy for a heavy traditional boat. You can even steer her astern.
The present owner is selling her so he can commit himself to a boatbuilding project.