Model                       :                   Norman  23

Cockpit                    :                   Rear

Year                           :                  1978

Engine & Fuel         :                  Mariner outboard petrol

Capacity                   :                 15 hp

Fridge                        :                 Camping 12v/230v

Shower                      :                Yes

Toilet                         :                  Portapotti




Have recently bought the boat and am now involved in refurbishing, which is not easy as "Cypriana" is in the UK.. and I live in Spain. Am considering converting to tiller steering, any comments welcome.

I first became interested in sailing and building boats at the age of six after being taken for my first sail by my father. Needless to say my early attempts at boatbuilding using any available timber etc. invariably ended in failure one way or another. However with the advent, after the war, of Marine Ply and water resistant glue coupled with the publication of boatbuilding plans by people like Percy Blandford, Maurice Griffiths, etc. my expertise improved and I went on to bigger and better vessels, dinghies to offshore cruisers (all sailboats) so that I always had a boat to play with. Finally came “ THE BIG ONE”, a forty-two foot staysail ketch called Pipe Dream of Asland which took ten years to complete from scratch. I was lucky in that when she was almost finished I was offered early retirement, which I accepted, and in the summer of 1988 my wife and I left the u.k. aboard her, bound for the Mediterranean, where we cruised for twelve fantastic years. The foregoing is the subject of my book which was published this year and is available on line from Amazon book sales. There are a few copies on sale at the chandlery at Sawley Marina. Title  MY PIPE DREAM. Publisher authorhouse.

My wife refused to cross the Bay of Biscay and insisted we go via the French Inland Waterways, to which I strongly objected, but it was the waterways or no go, so I had to give in and must admit I enjoyed my first experience of “ditch crawling”.

After twelve years of living aboard, and setting off to cross the Atlantic, my wife decided she had had enough of the water gipsy life so we sold Pipe Dream and settled down in Spain, where I now live. Unfortunately my wife passed away almost four years ago and up to this year I found it very difficult to come to terms with life in general. I decided what I needed was another boat, but what and where? As I am now 77 it would be irresponsible to go to sea again, but there are no inland sailing waters in Spain. In the end I considered the U.K. canals, I discovered I could get a cheap flight from Alicante to East Midlands and a local bus to Sawley Marina which I did and so bought Cypriana. The result has been that I am back to life again now I have an interest and have been over to Sawley four times this summer to start the refurbishment and alterations. Although I could have left her as she is, bog standard, I am sure, with my experience, I can improve her. The main work so far has been the stopping of the window leaks and the always troublesome Houdini hatch. Other work carried out has been the replacement of the steering system and the complete fit out of the totally inadequate toilet/shower compartment which now contains toilet, shower and washbasin.

What is unknown at present is the future plans, I was under the impression that I would be able to cruise the canals on my own but I am repeatedly being told I would be unable to manage the locks at my age although I am fit and healthy (well almost). So I am looking into the prospect of having Cypriana trailed to France, where the locks are automatic, semi-automatic or manned, (any information on delivery to France would be very welcome).Just two more points to finish – I was delighted to discover the Norman website, it adds a tremendous amount to the pleasure of owning a Norman and, secondly, not being a fan of g.r.p. construction I was tremendously impressed by the condition of the lay up of the Norman after over thirty years life.   

 Derek B. Phillips