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Gainsborough Girl - My Thoughts


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For the three years prior to this, we have hired Grand Girl 1 from Summercraft, as our son, daughter-in-law and latterly, grandson have accompanied us.  This year, they came to France with us in June instead, so we were able to choose a different style of boat.  In the past we’ve been on Grenada Girl and Grecian Girl from the same yard, as well as various other styles and designs prior to that.

We have never been on a dual steer, or fly bridge before, so had a quick look over Gainsborough Girl at the end of our holiday last year, liked it so booked it.

My wife had some degree of trepidation over the height of the freeboard and it looked high when we arrived at the boatyard at the start of our holiday, moored in the boatyard.  

During the week of our holiday, in reality this didn’t really present a problem when moored side on, but generally high water levels did exacerbate it at a couple of places.  Stern on was different, as the deck height rises towards the back making it even higher.  Climbing aboard wasn’t a problem for us, but the wife was nervous jumping off when mooring stern on and we had to help the dog on and off, especially following the injury to her paw. 

Once aboard, there were a few steep steps to descend into the saloon, but once there, the boat was very comfortable with ample seating to both sides with drawers beneath. There was a sizeable cupboard under the inner helm seat and one to the left of the steps leading to the aft cabin with a larger that average LCD TV on top.  Further storage for drinking glasses in a cupboard with a lift-up lid could be found under the radio and the table was accommodated under the steps.  Although the windows were tinted all round, the space was light and airy, aided by two opening lights in the roof.

The aft cabin was well appointed, with a double bed under the upper helm position with drawers under, which in reality had plenty of headroom when seated on the bed and was in no way claustrophobic.  There was a dressing table at the stern end, with more drawers and a large wardrobe.  The door to the starboard side led into the en-suite heads and shower compartment – not particularly spacious, but fine for us.

Returning through the saloon to the front of the boat, there were a couple more steps down to the galley, with a four burner cooker with grill and oven, sink, microwave and fridge.  There wasn’t a great deal of worktop, with some occupied by the microwave, but it suited our needs and as not segregated from the living area, you didn’t feel isolated when preparing food.  As usual from Summercraft, the galley was comprehensively equipped with good quality utensils, crockery and cutlery.

The forward heads were off the galley to the port side and were slightly smaller than the ones aft.  We didn’t use them for showering and they might be a squeeze for anyone of a larger stature to use comfortably.

The fore cabin had the usual arrangement of V berths, both with drawers under and a cupboard to each side, one of which configured as hanging space and the other with several shelves.

The wife helmed a couple of times from the inner helm, both for relatively short periods, but sitting in the seat, visibility looked to be okay, certainly no worse than any centre cockpit style cruiser we’ve hired before and with the usual comprehensive instrumentation.  The digital thermostat for the powerful heating was mounted to the side of the helm position and warmed the boat quickly on the couple of occasions we used it.

The only issue we found was that the hot water did not stay hot overnight, perhaps because the tank was small.  The fact that it only took about half an hour with the engine running to produce hot water may confirm that.

I didn’t take any photos of the upper helm, but there was basic instrumentation, under a Perspex cover and aside from a recalcitrant throttle, that seemed to nothing for much of its travel before increasing the revs, everything worked as it should.  The visibility was fantastic, affording views across the surrounding marshlands that would otherwise remain hidden from a lower position.

Stern mooring was a breeze, even without a bow thruster and the pushpit rails that surrounded the stern deck, extending along the sides and the pulpit rail at the bow were a good safety feature. 

As ever with Summercraft, the boat was in stunning condition, especially considering we hired her towards the end of the season and immaculately presented inside and out.  She drew some positive, admiring comments from people we had moored near to on more than one occasion. 

If we were in the market to hire again, I would certainly consider Gainsborough Girl, as long as our mobility wasn’t impaired and affect our ability to get on and off and to tackle the steep steps to the saloon.  

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Glad you had a good trip on Gainsborough Girl Mouldy and blogged your trip.

I'm away soon on Moonlight as you know, partly with the kids and then a spot of solo helming once again, and I normally bore everyone with my ramblings and photos taken on my mobile phone which don't compare to the ones you've taken :default_biggrin:

If you notice anything on my blog about the boat which you'd like to know (or just in general), just let me know and I'll try and answer any issues for you best I can before your first trip in November :default_smile:

Happy Cruising 


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15 minutes ago, Jayfire said:

 . . . . . . . . . . .If you notice anything on my blog about the boat which you'd like to know (or just in general), just let me know and I'll try and answer any issues for you best I can before your first trip in November :default_smile:

Happy Cruising 


Thanks JF.  Appreciate that.  Always read and enjoy your ramblings and photos, although I will miss the banter with Gracie?.  As you can imagine, we are looking forward to our first trip on MS - don't even know whether the keys fit yet!!

Enjoy your trip and look after yourselves (and Moonlight, too).


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No worries M, appreciate you taking the time to read my utter nonsense, there is a whole forum of lovely people who tolerate my nonsense :default_biggrin:

Yeah it's a shame my old sea hag won't be around, unless she decides to drop in one night for a surprise glass of wine, which is always ready for pouring :default_smiley-angelic002:

You'll love Moonlight almost as much as I do I'm sure. Welcome to the crew once again, and enjoy your break in a few weeks.

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Great photos to show the boat. I think getting on and off would be an issue for me .... but we try to remember to take a step stool with us these days! Lol! Certainly does look a very well turned out and comfortable boat inside and out. And that inside helm does look as if it would give quite reasonable vision.

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Thanks for the review and excellent photos Malcom. The exterior looks superb as Summercraft always do. The interior has changed little since I hired her in 2010 and it looks very much up together. The only thing which has changed for the negative in my view is the covers for the base of the sofas which now unfortunately don't match the backs. 

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