Saturday I was privileged to sail on a grand old lady. The Charm III is a lovely, creaky, sleek Dame. Her owners, Richard and Maryse West, clearly love her and the crew, 12 and 13 year old lads from the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club, think she is wonderful.
Built in 1928 in Sweden, she was rebuilt here on Anguilla when her timbers rotted and her frames rusted. Richard, no trained carpenter, faced and met the challenge of completely fitting out the interior by modeling all in cardboard first, to see if what he wanted to put in would fit. The result, in polished teak and mahogany, is beautiful in its gleaming perfection.
The masts, the coach windows and the keel are all original. The hull is now made of Iroco wood from Africa, which marine boring worms find toxic.
The refit took sixteen years to complete. The dedication of this couple, he English, she French, is extraordinary. How many people would spend such a period of time on the project? It truly was a labour of love.