We have a 36' Hartley Queenslander triple bilge
(Which is a stretched version of the Hartley Tahitian 33).
She is brilliant. We bought her derelict about 5 years ago, after she had been stood on the hard
for 6 years and she was completely trashed. The previous owners had been in the middle of an extensive refit
when the husband had suddenly died- very sad. The wife couldnt even set foot in her again.
So she really was a complete mess inside. We spent 8 months fixing her up on land and I confess I spent the entire time moaning, sulking and generally being convinced that we were spending a fortune on a concrete brick which was never going to float when she finally got in the water
, and if she did float, she'd definitely never sail! You should have seen my face when she did.
Since then, we've sailed her through the Menai straits, down the irish sea, round Lands End and along the English Channel
and she has been fantastic. 4 refits later, we've fixed most of the mistakes
we made the first time around and also made her 2 tons lighter! (No really, we dont know how either!
I would never ever go back to a fibreglass boat. The amount of things we have hit on our voyages has been ridiculous- floating trees, a couple of barrels, a basking shark, a few rocks (they assured me the harbour had enough water
for us- it didnt!) And yet we've come through it all with barely a scratch. I might consider steel
, but its noisy. Ferro is heavy, and safe and doesn't rock so much and is warm in winter and cool in summer and I am a complete convert. (Just dont tell Mr M- he likes to gloat about my lack of faith.)
My only advice to anyone to anyone looking at buying
one is to either get one which has been professionally built, or do it yourself and take great care over it. There are a lot of badly built ferro boats out there- just like there are a lot of badly built wood and fibreglass and steel
boats out there.
Our girl's not perfect- Id love her to be another 10ft longer with an aft cabin- but she's not half bad!