Heron II Sailing. Credit: Nic Compton
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We did it! Heron II won Restoration of the Year (over 40ft) with Classic Boat magazine. During such difficult times worldwide we are able to really smile about something, thank you to all of you who voted. This is fantastic recognition of all the hard work that went into the project and the dedication to the quality of finish. No big boat yards involved, just a lot of love and hard graft, mainly from Aaron and some close family and friends! Thank you to those wonderful people. We look forward to properly realising the dream when Coronavirus finally sods off. In the meantime, stay safe and try to keep finding things to smile about. 


It’s a very happy day to see Heron II on the front page of Classic Boat magazine, with a good write up inside – 7 pages! Look how proud we are to find her on the shelves at Nice Airport. Grab a copy while you can (not necessarily at Nice Airport), it’s out now (March Issue).


We have been nominated for Classic Boat’s ‘Restored Sailing Vessel over 40ft’ award. And you will see us as the key feature in next month’s Classic Boat magazine. Look out for the March issue (out in February) and please VOTE NOW!


Fame at last! Heron II makes front page of Sailing magazine in the USA and a 10 page spread with loads of pictures.
Sailing magazine was founded in 1966, the oldest continuously published sailing magazine in the US. So happy to see all Aaron’s effort recognised and documented, Heron looks spectacular. Pick up a copy if you can or watch this space for some coverage in UK mags. 


Finally we leave Dartmouth and head to sea. A special day. We got all the sails up – Main, Staysail, Jib and Jib Topsail. And we hit 8.4 knots! Smiles all round.


Everything is wired in and here we are on the AIS. Wow we exist! 


An important feature! The sound system is now wired in, we’ve gone for a Fusion Black Box 100, speakers in the saloon and in the helm box out on deck. The size of the speakers are pretty imposing but the smaller speaker meant dropping the wattage and we are keen to TURN IT UP (when out at sea of course)! We are slightly regretting the position in the saloon, they’re not very subtle – but no time to change it now, maybe next time we get the paint out we will move them and patch up the walls.


Although Aaron would prefer Heron II aesthetically without such things as stanchions, it is a requirement for the charter world. Plus we have our very own pair of little feet to walk the boards and learn the ropes, so alas, safety first and the stanchions are going on. We have had them polished up and they are looking all shiny and new.


Today we came alongside the harbour wall in Dartmouth, from where we currently sit on a pontoon mid river, to load the lead ballasts and trim Heron II. She has approximately a ton of lead blocks in the bow to drop her to the correct waterline. And a little in the stern.


The electrics are under way; it’s been a big task looming as Aaron has decided to continue the tradition of the project by tackling the planning, wiring and connections himself, to then have them signed off by an Electrician. The timescale for this has always been a big question mark.
The conduit is laid and the wires are running throughout, although even this wasn’t plain sailing as the wires refused to run through attached to a pre-threaded rope, so there was lots of opening up the conduit to help ease them through. Aaron has been back in the workshop making housing boxes for the switch board (which sits next to the chart table) and for the plotter (which will sit at the helm). The compass and instruments are in position in the cockpit and inside we have red/white lights throughout and angled reading lamps in the bunks and saloon.