Thalmia & Derek

Thalmia is a Westerly Fulmar with twin keels, a solid but agile 32ft (9.8m) yacht built in 1980. Derek on the other hand is an older and not so agile and maybe not so solid 70 year old. Thalmia was one of the first Fulmars to be built (sail number F25). In keeping with her age she has lots of rich wood finishes inside and the cabin is spacious and comfortable, even for a 6ft man like me, which was one good reason to upgrade from my previous 26ft boat. Fitted out by her previous owners with new cushions and headlining she now has a new calorifier for hot water and a diesel powered hot air heater – but no shower!

Derek started sailing just 14 years ago firstly with a 14ft Wanderer dinghy, then a 26ft Sadler yacht . A shore-based Yachtmaster qualification has been backed up with well over 10,000 nautical miles practical experience, a lot of it single handed, mostly on the south coast from the Solent to the Scillies and across the Channel to the Chanel Islands and the north coast of France.

On deck Thalmia has a new main sail and sail stacking system but an older (and slightly small – non overlapping!) Genoa. We carry a Cruising Chute and a Spinnaker, though the latter has not had a lot of use, and a telescopic pole! With a good spray hood and a full cockpit tent she should keep me sheltered in inclement weather at sea or in harbour.

A rather impressive but seldom used cockpit cover

She already had radar but I had her fitted out with a new chart plotter (for non mariners think sat nav), electronic autohelm (Raymarine EV100), and an AIS transceiver (to send and receive information on my position and that of other boats), all integrated and displayed on the chart plotter to help avoid collisions! I will also use my iPhone & iPad which has smaller but still detailed Navionics charts to help with navigation. So all in all she is part classic cruiser and part high tech wizard. Of course I will also carry all the necessary paper charts and many pilot books.

Trouts Boatyard in Topsham have worked with me over the last 4 years to bring Thalmia up to her current standard and I am grateful for their expertise which has made up for my limited DIY skills.

Thalmia is based in the Exe estuary on a swing mooring at Starcross Yacht Club, where I am a member.

2019 was a good year with trips East to several creeks in the Solent including Keyhaven, Newtown Creek, Wooton Creek and Beaulieu and our usual summer cruise from Exeter to the Isles of Scilly, visiting many of the islands and where again I was joined by my wife Ruth to enjoy a very relaxed sojourn in Green Bay on Bryher.

2020 was a really interesting year! After launch was delayed until the end of May and with tight restrictions still in place on recreational sailing it became evident that the Round Britain trip would have to be deferred. In the end the decision was taken to defer it for a year in the hope that a departure in early 2021 would be possible. I count myself fortunate however that in 2020 I have still managed to sail over 1000 Nautical Miles, entirely singlehanded visiting the Solent and sailing around the Isle of Wight (in one tide and 8 ½ hours), and west as far as Falmouth, where I had the pleasure of my wife’s company (she drove down!).

2021 took my sailing up to another level. Sailing solo around our coastline was a big challenge for the skipper. For the yacht, hopefully, it was a piece of cake. Thank you for following us.

Sailing Fast

Relaxed Sailing

Cruising in style


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