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Phillip49 21-09-2010 23:04

Alan Wright-Designed 7m Variant
I have just bought one of these pocket Yachts. It is a Bilge Keeler and I will be cruising the North of New Zealand in it. Have not even seen it yet. Does anyone have any experience in them? If so any comments appreciated.

dana-tenacity 22-09-2010 01:17

Yep, we were anchored at kawau in one during Cyclone Bola, which led to the conception of our first daughter - no standing headroom.

Phillip49 22-09-2010 02:08

Thanks for that. That is an angle that I had not considered. Did the boat sail okay as a bonus.

MechMan 22-09-2010 03:13

I bought a Variant hull and deck off Alan Wright and fitted it out in 1972. The interior was made in the basement of the house I was living with my mates. Every time they had a party I had to clean up my workshop.

It was great fun sailing up and down the coast with friends until it was parked in my folks back yard while I did my OE. (overseas experience) The girl I met in UK and later married said the only reason she followed me home was because she liked the look of the yacht picture I carried around in my wallet.

Not the fastest 23 footer around, but can't remember any vices. Have fun..

Steve Pope 22-09-2010 03:37

We used to race one at sandspit in the 1970's (fin keel) it was a fast (for size) little boat often won on handicap. A bilge keeler wont be as fast but you do have the advantage of being able to dry out safely and with shoal draft get closer inshore than the fin keeler if you are into gunkholing. As long as it has been looked after and the sails are anywhere near reasonable you should have a nice boat.

Blue Stocking 22-09-2010 05:09

Wow!!--3 for 3 positive, and the baby to:D Anyone got a photo to post.

dana-tenacity 22-09-2010 16:22

2 Attachment(s)
Sailed OK too. I borrowed it for the weekend as I was boatless having just hit the beach after 8 years cruising. My wife had never been out before. She was a bit nervous as we left about the weather, but I was keen to go.
She was right.
Half way there it turned ugly and I was wondering about giving her the helm so I could get some sail off or hanging in there till we got behind some land and a bit of a lee, that's when the fishing line I had forgotten about started to scream (nice fat kahawai).
We laugh about it now, but I have a soft spot fo rthe boat as it performed very nicely throughout all our silliness.

No photos of the boat, but here's my two daughter's taken more recently.

Phillip49 04-10-2010 22:14

Outboard size
Hey thanks for your reply. further question. I have to find an Outboart to use. Any suggestions as to most practical size. I will be sailing the Bay of Islands and I had in mind a 5 Hp but I am open to suggestion. cheers

Phillip49 04-10-2010 22:16

Hey thanks. Great story. I am itching to get on board and go. Cheers

Steve Pope 04-10-2010 22:56

5hp might be on the small side, as far as I remember the 9.9's were popular, they wern't too heavy yet had enough hp to move right along. As with any transom hung outboard you need to make sure you have a long shaft model, in any sort of sea hobyhorsing will have your prop out of the water with a short shaft.

Phillip49 05-10-2010 00:57

Photo as requested. cheers

Verite 10-11-2010 18:55

Hi, How is the Variant working out?? I have a fin keeler style Variant in Opua, and have been sailing as much as I can in the Bay these last 9 months. Great little boats, and I am enjoying the ability to go solo when I have a free afternoon. I may be able to answer some questions...or you might be the expert by now!!

Phillip49 10-11-2010 20:30

Variant bilge keel
Thanks for your message. As a matter of fact I have disappointed myself as I have done nothing to the Boat or bought the outboard that it needs. It is still sitting in Matauwhi Bay. I am 61 years old and getting a bit ungainly so I have decided to sell or swap the boat and look around for a bigger boat that I can live on comfortably. So if you know anyone. Cheers

Steve Pope 10-11-2010 21:09

Hi Verite, I have a mate who has put his Variant up at Matauwhi, she is called "Ramage" he is hoping to cruise over the summer with "Spruce Goose" also in Matauwhi a Seabird yawl design without the aft stick.

jean-jean 10-11-2013 18:38

Re: Alan Wright-Designed 7m Variant
Hi there.
Has anyone got a spare #2 genoa on hanks for sale for the Variant 23?
Cheers. JF

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