We are a committed group of young sailors. Together, we share the same goal - to restore and sail the classic S&S Swan, Elixir.
Elixir was built in 1970. Over half a century, she has sailed hundreds of thousands of miles. She has completed a circumnavigation, has survived Cape Horn and a Southern Ocean knockdown. Sadly, after her previous owner passed away, she became buried under a blanket of moss and leaves at the back of a boatyard, in need of another restoration to get her sailing again.
It's been almost a year since we started work on Elixir. As those of you who follow us know, the last 11 months have been an incredible journey for the team, testing our resilience, strength and discipline.
After building a shed to protect her from the harsh Cornish winter, we stripped the deck fittings and ground back the gel coat. We repaired damage to the fibreglass and faired the hull and deck. After stripping back the paintwork, we restored her interior with fresh paint and varnish. The decks were resprayed, as was the hull, and all fittings were either restored or replaced. The wooden cleats, toe-rails and handrails were all replaced with new teak. The damaged rudder was rebuilt and the seized sea-cocks were replaced. Another generous Swan owner donated his spare set of winches, to replace the originals which crumbled to pieces as we removed them.
On a cold November evening, we launched Elixir and floated her down Mylor creek.
Over the duration of the Autumn months Elixir has undergone the greatest part of her restoration so far. We have all finished employment and are working seven days a week to get Elixir ready for departure. In the space of two months, we’ve gone from 14 hour days in the shed with what felt like no end in sight, to see her on the water for the first time, and now our departure really feels like a reality. However, having a boat on the water presents a new set of difficulties. Now, we don’t just face the challenges of restoring a stubborn classic boat but are also fighting against endless rain and daylight hours that decrease by the day.
Our final hurdle is the rigging, and like everything, we are trying to do most of the work ourselves. The standing rigging was beginning to fray, and some of the halyards fell apart in our hands. On inspection by the surveyor, we found that both needed to be replaced, as well as the furling gear, which was beyond repair.
With the mast, standing rigging, running rigging and furling gear being the heart of the boat, it’s important that we leave some parts to the professionals. Understandably, to ensure that we have a rig that can withstand everything a circumnavigation throws at it, there comes a significant cost for both parts and labour. It is at this point that we are looking to reach out to our diverse and fascinating network, in order to crowdfund our final stage so with your help Elixir can fill her sails once more.
Every investment in our project however small will be massively appreciated. We hope to give the donor pleasure in knowing they have played an important part of Elixirs restoration, enabling her to cross oceans again. You can be part of our journey, and share our adventures, as we will document our voyage for everyone to see. We’re proud to have put thousand hours into her, and given a forgotten boat a second life. We're asking for donations to return this beautiful classic to her true environment - the ocean.
See more at www.un-tide.com