Pacer UK No. 14

A nice tale from England about a man and his Pacer No.14

We’ve always had sailing dinghies in the family – the first one, some 39 years ago, was a tiny but beautiful little wooden creation called a Curlew,and, as with many families, the various boats we owned varied in size and type to suit the size of the children and their growing expertise but the one which has been our favourite and which we’ve actually owned twice is Pacer No.14.

I first tried to find a Pacer in 1981, after seeing a couple of them on Coniston Water and deciding that their versatility and clever construction were just what was needed but it took another year before I found one for sale.

This was No.14 and had been built in 1969 for a Mr.Dixon and named “Tiddy Oggie” (why do we give boats the names we do?). He kept it for six years and sold it to a Mr.Hill, who lived in Sale in Cheshire, quite near Manchester, but he only really sailed it for a couple of years before his company sent him to work abroad and the boat, now named “Gipsy”, slept peacefully in his mother’s garage for the next five years until I bought it in 1982. I was very lucky to find one in the north of England as the majority of Pacer fleet Clubs are on the south coast. It was in immaculate condition and my wife, our two children and I had stacks of fun with it, sailing it, rowing it, swimming and fishing from it, usually in the Lake District or Scotland, until the children went off to university in 1988 and 1990. For a few years after that my wife and I continued to sail it but work pressures intruded on our spare time and we finally sold it to some friends of ours whose children were much younger than ours and the cycle began again with them.

We tried out various simpler rigged and faster boats but none of them were as enjoyable, so when Pete and Mary found themselves in 2005 in the same position we had been in they offered the boat back to us and we took about a nano-second to accept.

By then, of course, we had two grandchildren and so the boat now delights three generations in the same way as it did us. It’s now based at Redesmere Sailing Club in Cheshire but actually still gets most of its use in the Lake District.

It’s clearly getting on a bit in years now but it gets a full overhaul every winter and manages admirably to cope with whatever it’s asked to do, so who knows how many more generations of our family might enjoy its company ?

Cheers from the UK, Dave Jones