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I’m happy to report that my brother and I are purchasing Volantis, a 1979 Derek Kelsall Tango 34’ trimaran built in Yealm, England by Keith Burrage, owner, designer and builder of Skateaway. 

Keith sold the boat in the early 90’s after he built Skateaway and it has gone through 5 other owners since. I know the first owner who keeps his Gemini Cat in storage near my Sloop. He sold it because his wife wasn’t comfortable moving a lot of mass in up and down the companionway.

It then went through several owners and wound up in Connecticut for the past 12 years where the owner decided to reconfigure just about everything on the boat from the traveler position to the interior fitout. Time took its toll on the project as he tried to do too much at one time and lost his vision of how to finish the work.

At about the same time the owner was looking for new blood, Wess posted a thread on Keith’s absolutely stunning Skateaway, which I had seen both on the hard during it’s repaint and at the dock when working on boats. I mentioned on the thread that I was local and would go take. Few pics from the water and Keith invited me through PM to visit and take a tour of Skateaway. I was psyched and my brother and I headed over to check it out and meet the venerable and knowledgeable Keith.  

We discussed the build, the history and specifics of the build mandate, the cost and time to build a duplicate and alternatives to Skateaway as a way to get out multihulling. That’s when Keith mentioned Volantis and that it was available at a more affordable price He was under the impression that the boat had been picked up by a motivated sailor who was going to bring this boat into the 21st century with a complete refit. He had spoken with the owner several times about the rebuild.

The only problem was that whatever they discussed was not done and, in fact, none of what they discussed occurred. The owner just gutted the interior and began a refit that left no room for accommodation in the main cabin and had altered the cockpit by installing an instrument cluster across the cabin top and companionway and then built a raised seating area with diesel controls in it to see over the contraption. He had also removed the traveler, which ran around the cockpit seat back and built (but didn’t install!) and large arch to house the traveler, a radar and a antennae.

At this point I think he gave up-probably 6 years ago. Since then , the boat has languished at the Essex Marina in CT with little cover and many wasp nests below. 

Keith and I drove up to see the boat in early February and got the tour and story from the owner. We then went to his storage area where there was a ton of gear for the boat covering his next project- a little British Morgan +4. We were surprised and shocked at the overall condition of the boat and the mods that were effected.

The project seemed daunting. All of the paint was cracking and peeling from the exterior surfaces and the interior was partially ground clean of paint. There was a hole in the side of the hull where there was to be a full oven and stove. It’s just that the stove wouldn’t fit, so the hole was cut, stove inserted and the realization that it was still too big to fit. 

All in all, it is going to be a great project for me since I’m all hands and tools when it comes time to make nicely and with Keith around for guidance, I hope to be out racing next year with a new rig, sails and gutted interior with an outboard in the wing.

Selling a few leaner boats to cover the expense of this job. I’ll post pics today and tomorrow as I have time. I shave plenty of interior pics as well.

Hopefully Keith isn’t too busy with his St. Francis catamaran to take a few minutes to discuss the history and racing accomplishments of this great boat and how lucky me and twinbro are to be getting the chance to get out racing with it.

 

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Looking forward to watching the restoration. I am sure that you and twinbro will do a bang up job.

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1 hour ago, Sail4beer said:

I’m happy to report that my brother and I are purchasing Volantis, a 1979 Derek Kelsall Tango 34’ trimaran built in Yealm, England by Keith Burrage, owner, designer and builder of Skateaway. 

Keith sold the boat in the early 90’s after he built Skateaway and it has gone through 5 other owners since. I know the first owner who keeps his Gemini Cat in storage near my Sloop. He sold it because his wife wasn’t comfortable moving a lot of mass in up and down the companionway.

It then went through several owners and wound up in Connecticut for the past 12 years where the owner decided to reconfigure just about everything on the boat from the traveler position to the interior fitout. Time took its toll on the project as he tried to do too much at one time and lost his vision of how to finish the work.

At about the same time the owner was looking for new blood, Wess posted a thread on Keith’s absolutely stunning Skateaway, which I had seen both on the hard during it’s repaint and at the dock when working on boats. I mentioned on the thread that I was local and would go take. Few pics from the water and Keith invited me through PM to visit and take a tour of Skateaway. I was psyched and my brother and I headed over to check it out and meet the venerable and knowledgeable Keith.  

We discussed the build, the history and specifics of the build mandate, the cost and time to build a duplicate and alternatives to Skateaway as a way to get out multihulling. That’s when Keith mentioned Volantis and that it was available at a more affordable price He was under the impression that the boat had been picked up by a motivated sailor who was going to bring this boat into the 21st century with a complete refit. He had spoken with the owner several times about the rebuild.

The only problem was that whatever they discussed was not done and, in fact, none of what they discussed occurred. The owner just gutted the interior and began a refit that left no room for accommodation in the main cabin and had altered the cockpit by installing an instrument cluster across the cabin top and companionway and then built a raised seating area with diesel controls in it to see over the contraption. He had also removed the traveler, which ran around the cockpit seat back and built (but didn’t install!) and large arch to house the traveler, a radar and a antennae.

At this point I think he gave up-probably 6 years ago. Since then , the boat has languished at the Essex Marina in CT with little cover and many wasp nests below. 

Keith and I drove up to see the boat in early February and got the tour and story from the owner. We then went to his storage area where there was a ton of gear for the boat covering his next project- a little British Morgan +4. We were surprised and shocked at the overall condition of the boat and the mods that were effected.

The project seemed daunting. All of the paint was cracking and peeling from the exterior surfaces and the interior was partially ground clean of paint. There was a hole in the side of the hull where there was to be a full oven and stove. It’s just that the stove wouldn’t fit, so the hole was cut, stove inserted and the realization that it was still too big to fit. 

All in all, it is going to be a great project for me since I’m all hands and tools when it comes time to make nicely and with Keith around for guidance, I hope to be out racing next year with a new rig, sails and gutted interior with an outboard in the wing.

Selling a few leaner boats to cover the expense of this job. I’ll post pics today and tomorrow as I have time. I shave plenty of interior pics as well.

Hopefully Keith isn’t too busy with his St. Francis catamaran to take a few minutes to discuss the history and racing accomplishments of this great boat and how lucky me and twinbro are to be getting the chance to get out racing with it.

 

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64047860-70CA-4D4B-808B-4315F5159BB3.jpeg


 

 
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First off CONGRATULATIONS!!!!   Looks to be a cool project and boat.  We just took on a Corsair C36 purchase and major refit (stage 1 just completed and re-splashed).  The good news about something like this undertaking is you end up with a new boat that you know well.  Its just long and painful to get there.

I have a million questions but will start with... is she still in CT and do you plan to do all the work there, or get her down to you in NJ?  If I can help I will.  Have a large trailer for the C36 and means to tow if she can be disassembled.  Plus that would give me a chance to meet Keith and see Skatewaway LOL which he kindly offered but I couldn't do as the Corsair C36 was consuming all my time.  I guess once a Jersey boy, always a Jersey boy.  God I do miss and fondly recall Barnegat Bay.

I assume you know who I am in real life, so reach out.  If not, just drop me a PM here with your contact info and I will revert with same.

Best of luck!!!

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2 hours ago, Rasputin22 said:

Congrats! I think... What a jerk to have done those things to a nice boat. How did you keep Keith from kicking the guys ass? Make it right, I know you are just the guy for the job.

Keith was obviously upset but you couldnt tell until we got back in the Tesla and he started going...

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Wess, the boat is still in Connecticut. The owner is on vacation until the 27th. We discussed cutting the boat and transporting it on my Fareast28R trailer until I decided to take it on it’s bottom. There is a Cassete rudder that I will attach(Ian Farrier deigned it for the boat) and take a couple of outboard motors and get down the sound and the next day over to Sandy Hook if I can’t make the rest of the run. We’re strapping the rig to the deck and getting  out of there in May if all goes according to plan. A lot of prep and a weekend before to get it rest for launch. 

Keith could really tell us how it could go and will be on here eventually!

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Good job. I agree with rasputin that you and the twinbro are what this boat needs.

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Get back to the woodie. Don’t her feeling jealous of the new cat.

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It’s feeling the love. 

New aft starboard hatch that fits perfectly and needs cosmetics and a fresh coat of gloss. Three more to go. 

Next is stripping the cockpit seats and bridge deck for refinishing. 

Summer is coming and I want to be ready!

Here are some old pics of Volantis 

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12 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

I’m happy to report that my brother and I are purchasing Volantis, a 1979 Derek Kelsall Tango 34’ trimaran built in Yealm, England by Keith Burrage, owner, designer and builder of Skateaway. 

Keith sold the boat in the early 90’s after he built Skateaway and it has gone through 5 other owners since. I know the first owner who keeps his Gemini Cat in storage near my Sloop. He sold it because his wife wasn’t comfortable moving a lot of mass in up and down the companionway.

It then went through several owners and wound up in Connecticut for the past 12 years where the owner decided to reconfigure just about everything on the boat from the traveler position to the interior fitout. Time took its toll on the project as he tried to do too much at one time and lost his vision of how to finish the work.

SNIP

Do you know how it crossed the Atlantic?  It would have been a fairly sporty challenge to sail across, but shipping doesn't seem worth it.

Probably an interesting story there.

Enjoy your rebuild.

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      Really Happy that Kevin and his Bro are rescuing Volantis.

      Hard for me to wrap my head around the misguided and almost vandalistic demolition of what was an elegant and effective world cruiser for two. I guess that’s what happens when you unleash a mono hull owner onto a trimaran - revenge!!!

      Fortunately she was built like a brick shithouse and the majority of the decay is skin deep on a structure that will only benefit from some aggressive fairing. Judging from the small amount of Kevin’s work I have seen and feeling his enthusiasm Volantis has a bright future, no reason she could not be way faster and every bit as seaworthy and safe as ever.

      It’s gonna be fun, thank goodness all the dots connected before the breakers arrived.

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17 hours ago, Sail4beer said:

Wess, the boat is still in Connecticut. The owner is on vacation until the 27th. We discussed cutting the boat and transporting it on my Fareast28R trailer until I decided to take it on it’s bottom. There is a Cassete rudder that I will attach(Ian Farrier deigned it for the boat) and take a couple of outboard motors and get down the sound and the next day over to Sandy Hook if I can’t make the rest of the run. We’re strapping the rig to the deck and getting  out of there in May if all goes according to plan. A lot of prep and a weekend before to get it rest for launch. 

Keith could really tell us how it could go and will be on here eventually!

Having just done (a sketchy) one with mine, that's a delivery I will skip LOL.  Good plan to leave the rig on the deck.  Good luck.

PS - @boardhead, Is that German Butcher shop on Lacey still any good?

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Keith and his wife Val launched Volantis and set out during the same time as the catastrophic 1979 Fastnet Race. He told me about Sailing the Bay of Biscay in horrific conditions. They then sailed it through the Med and over to America where he was offered work.

The boat was then modified due to necessity and re-launched the day Bob Marley died...the boat was the nicest in that marina in a long time and the owner couldn’t understand why Keith immediately cut it up and carted the amas off to Pennsylvania. I bet he was impressed on launch day when the boat gained 2 feet of main hull and 3 feet and reversed sterns on the amas and an offset centerboard in the main hull!

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Thanks Radii, we are up to the task and excited to bring this project to race ready form sooner than it will take!

Derek Kelsall designed a very wonderful boat long ago and I am glad to do what it takes to sail again-lighter and faster. I’m sure he would like it to happen and I have a great mentor in Boardhead, one great guy!

 

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If anyone is up to the task it’s you and twinbro. Sending good energy your way.

Jim

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Good on you for taking the resto on.  Looks like there are a lot of sanding pads in the future, but it will be lighter and stronger as the reward.

i am on the road a great deal with work but if the planets align I will be glad to help bring the boat back to NJ.  I am near Morristown, and can help.

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On 3/22/2019 at 6:15 PM, Sail4beer said:

Centerboard trunk shot on bottom

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Centerboard; not dagger?  Interesting.  And looks to be offset too.  Was not expecting that. You gonna stick with that approach or look to do daggerboard.  Centerboard might work nicely in your area with all those shoals.  Can it be partially deployed or is it an all or nothing kinda thing?  Buoyant?  

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Thanks for the offer Cannon, it may be an easy trip or a catastrophe so I’m taking my twin brother and going to do it in a couple of days. I’d hate to put anyone else in potential harm:)

 

Wess,

Keith sailed it over with small bilge keels on the amas and ditched them and installed a hollow two piece stainless steel centerboard and offset it into the starboard longitudinal counter face for added stiffness and to keep the salon open with the exception of the 2” stainless mast support. 

He centerboard was scrapped and a new buoyant foam ‘glass boats is ready to be faired, painted and installed for the ride. I like it better than a daggerboard because it’s designed with a cam clear to kick up if it hits a info, sandbar, etc. Pretty easy to operate for any draft and the boat tracks much better with it vs the old bilge keels according to Keith. 

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Volantis was launched with foil section, low aspect keels on the amas. They worked sort of OK in light air, flat water, good enough to correct second in the four hundred odd mile 1980 Chrystal Trophy which had a very high end entry as it served as a warm up/feeder for the OSTAR that year.Sanscara a 40 Crowther Buccaneer won with Lock himself aboard.

Later that year we sailed over to Spain and got whacked with a full gale en-route, the boat did fine but the leeway in some pretty huge waves was unacceptable so I decided there and then that the boat needed a deeper bite in the water.

Like the majority of boats on the river Yealm back then Volantis was moored on a fore and aft, drying mooring, she floated maybe four hours every twelve and a centerline exiting foil is typically a pain in the ass with grit laden mud tending to jam up a decent board/case fit. Also having a case from deck to keel right in the best part of the accommodation is a tough sell to the lady who agreed to go blue water cruising hence the offset centerboard. Minimal intrusion and an exit well off the keel line with no sediment jam up issues. 

The original board was a hollow wing with vertical ribs made of 14G, 316 stainless steel, it just floated so only needed a gentle tug to lift or lower it, I guess it was a casualty of the lack of even minimal maintenance the boat suffered before the current owner bought it. He built a much lighter board that looked decent when I checked the boat out with Sail4beer so that’s a blessing.

Port vs Starboard performance difference? Never really noticed and but she was faster and tracked better on all points. As Beer points out there is a reprofiled Offshore Instruments clam cleat on the downhaul line that trips when the board strikes something, the whole setup was very trouble free.

Volantis was craned out on a Saturday, the slot was cut, case glassed in along with all the head reinforcing and the box/tube for the up/downhaul, board inserted and lines rigged and she was put back in the water the following Saturday, the day that 36 year old Bob Marley succumbed to cancer, the radio played “No Woman No Cry” as I drove to the yard in Plymouth - off subject - sorry!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey @Sail4beer - How about an update?  Come on man.  No fair getting us hooked into this resurrection story and then leaving us hanging.  Where is your Easter spirit?!  Seriously, I hope its going well.  Wess

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Sorry about the lack of news. The owner is back from his vacation but hasn’t gotten back to me yet and I am up to my eyeballs in boat work for others. Plus, my old shop property was just sold and I need to move several big boats and a tractor trailer full of teak and tools by May 1st. 

My brother and I talk daily about a timeframe and schedule to get up there, assess all the work to be done to get the bottoms and topsides into shape and painted before launch. The dirty work of gutting and cleaning the interior can happen on the trip down with a small generator and my tools. 

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13 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

Sorry about the lack of news. The owner is back from his vacation but hasn’t gotten back to me yet and I am up to my eyeballs in boat work for others. Plus, my old shop property was just sold and I need to move several big boats and a tractor trailer full of teak and tools by May 1st. 

My brother and I talk daily about a timeframe and schedule to get up there, assess all the work to be done to get the bottoms and topsides into shape and painted before launch. The dirty work of gutting and cleaning the interior can happen on the trip down with a small generator and my tools. 

Tool and teak you say?!  NJ you say.  Not that I would know that area or how to hot wire a truck or anything...  :P  If its missing it wasn't me; I swear.  Good luck.

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Lol! And the German Butcher is still there on Lacy Rd. I stayed over on my wooden cutter last Saturday and passed the place on my way to the Lacy Diner. I would have taken a pic but there were Girl Scouts selling cookies out front and I didn’t want to look like a perv...

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51 minutes ago, Sail4beer said:

Lol! And the German Butcher is still there on Lacy Rd. I stayed over on my wooden cutter last Saturday and passed the place on my way to the Lacy Diner. I would have taken a pic but there were Girl Scouts selling cookies out front and I didn’t want to look like a perv...

LOL, good call!  That diner was good!

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/20/2019 at 1:25 PM, Sail4beer said:

Wess, the boat is still in Connecticut. The owner is on vacation until the 27th. We discussed cutting the boat and transporting it on my Fareast28R trailer until I decided to take it on it’s bottom. There is a Cassete rudder that I will attach(Ian Farrier deigned it for the boat) and take a couple of outboard motors and get down the sound and the next day over to Sandy Hook if I can’t make the rest of the run. We’re strapping the rig to the deck and getting  out of there in May if all goes according to plan. A lot of prep and a weekend before to get it rest for launch. 

Keith could really tell us how it could go and will be on here eventually!

Yo Mon. It’s June. How goes this project? 

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Oh yeah.

I just got an email back from the owner wondering when I was going to come up. Been so busy and with my daughter’s hospitalization and rehab and my mom’s passing, I’m suffering a bit of PTSD and have avoided thinking too much ahead lately.

I’ll probably go up in the next 2 weeks since my summer launching projects are winding down. I’ll post when I’m going up and keep all informed.

On a positive note, Boardhead came to the wooden Sloop on Monday and measured it for a new mainsail and Genoa. I’m really indebted to home for his help and assistance. He really knows his stuff and is a encyclopedia of nautical knowledge. I’ll be getting a main for now and have a staysail in good condition to cruise the Barnegat Bay this summer. 

EF00F848-2A78-4F89-98BA-90F283898A03.jpeg

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  • 4 weeks later...

I will! I’ve been sooo busy with work that my head is spinning. I just took some time this afternoon to do some personal things and calling Peter is on the list. I just spoke to twinbro and he can take a ride up next week. 

 

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  • 5 months later...
  • 1 year later...

I guess covid sidelined Sail4beer's involvement in the restoration. Peter, the long time owner called earlier this year and said his recent retirement would allow him to restore Volantis to her original spec and he would abandon his efforts to make her more "yachty".

Peter emailed me today stating he would either sell her as is or break her up which, as you can imagine, I find rather heartbreaking.

Volantis is still fundamentally sound, a project I would have given my back teeth for when I was a kid. I imagine the purchase price would be little more than a handshake. I would gladly advise and guide a new owner in her rescue and the work involved is a fraction of that in the "Triple Jack FU Irma" project.

Any Takers?

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7 hours ago, boardhead said:

I guess covid sidelined Sail4beer's involvement in the restoration. Peter, the long time owner called earlier this year and said his recent retirement would allow him to restore Volantis to her original spec and he would abandon his efforts to make her more "yachty".

Peter emailed me today stating he would either sell her as is or break her up which, as you can imagine, I find rather heartbreaking.

Volantis is still fundamentally sound, a project I would have given my back teeth for when I was a kid. I imagine the purchase price would be little more than a handshake. I would gladly advise and guide a new owner in her rescue and the work involved is a fraction of that in the "Triple Jack FU Irma" project.

Any Takers?

Not something I want to take on but really sorry to read this.  Watching a boat you owned and cared for die sucks and I am truly sorry you have to go through that.  I know the feeling having sold our last tri to someone who unfortunately flipped her and then caused catastrophic damage in a botched righting effort.  The remains of that boat were hauled at the very marina we kept our new boat.  Walking past every time we went sailing broke my and my wife's heart.  

Easy for me to say - and Lord knows I couldn't - but let her go and stop asking or taking the calls. 

Really sorry Keith.

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Thanks Wess, your experience and thoughts are appreciated and well taken. Sounds like your experience was really awful.

Peter has advertised on Craigs list and had a couple calls. This boat is a little different from the F27 being much heavier, a mini blue water cruiser which would probably have survived your new owners barbaric abuse.

In spite of the shocking pictures  seen here her condition is still structurally robust and a spirited facelift after the application of some foam cored patches to restore the ill conceived mods would yield a super cheap adventure for an enthusiastic couple. Her kick up centerboard and rudder was just the ticket for the Bahamas. The asking price is low and negotiable, the mast, boom and sails have been properly stored and are OK.

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Yep, this boat definitely needs saving.

A walk in the park compared to 'Triple Jack'.

They were built in the same year, 1979, and I can see oodles of airex cored panels which are basically inert and indestructible!

The 'look' is SO Kelsall, the bow on view is pretty much a mini Triple Jack.

Fingers crossed for this old girl, keep the name! 

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Volantis is all Airex cored with unidirectional, correctly oriented, external skins on the outside and CSM inside. Bulkheads, floors and much of the internal structure - Airex _ materials today would cost a bunch. Originally demountable she is easily cut into three sections for trucking to a workshop for the rebuild and I will be available to advise if a new owner requests - at no charge.

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The TJ team is happy to help out too.

If you need to know if you are cut out for this sort of thing we offer a free evaluation.

Get yourself down to the BVI's and join us for a couple of Sundays, we will let you have a free and honest evaluation of your chances.

The serious side to this is trying to make sure that this gem ends up in the right hands!

Here's the ad on Craigslist.

34’ Trimaran. Project boat - boats - by owner - marine sale (craigslist.org)

 

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