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OGA60: Ramsgate, April 2023

Skippers and crews have been working hard to prepare their vessels for the ‘Grand depart’ and have been making final preparations this week: bending on sails, filling up with fuel, buying those last few ‘essential items’, checking and re-checking all the lists . . . In Ramsgate, the organisers have also been working hard to make everyone welcome, planning a cruise to Sandwich, plenty of fun ashore and a party to see the fleet off on Monday 1 May, 2023. Your Editor understands the first boat is expected into Ramsgate today, having crossed from the Netherlands.

The photos used in this post are from previous events with the cover image taken by Barbara Runnalls, ‘Moonriver’ at OGA50, Ramsgate, 2013. She’ll be joining the fleet again as they pass the south west coast.

Participating boats in OGA60 represent all types of ‘gaffer’ ranging in age from ‘Bonita’, built 1888 and celebrating her 135th anniversary to ‘Lahloo’, barely a teenager, built in 2012 and ‘Peggy’, only launched in 2022, joining the fleet when it reaches South Wales. Their size, rigs and construction are also representative of the OGA’s diverse membership. Most are gaff rigged sailing vessels but there’s also a few Bermudans and one ex-lifeboat joining from the Netherlands which is a motor boat. Rigs include yawl, ketch, sloop and cutter with construction of wood, ferro, steel and GRP.

Boats gathering in Ramsgate:
‘Agapanthus’, built 2009, 28′ gaff cutter, GRP, home port Upnor
‘Barbarossa’, built 1976, 49’ gaff ketch, ferro, home port Benfleet
‘Bonita’, built 1888, 35’ gaff yawl, wood, home port Harty Ferry 
‘Cygnet of London’, built 1906, 40’ gaff yawl, wood, home port Fambridge
‘Hilda’, built 1922, 51′ motor ex. lifeboat, steel, home port Andijk
‘Lahloo’, built 2012, 26’ gaff cutter, GRP, home port West Mersea
‘Mutual Friend’, built 1983, 36′ gaff cutter, GRP, home port Woolverstone
‘Onward of Ito’, built 1923, 25′, gaff cutter, wood, home port Greenwich
‘Recipe’, built 1995, 25′, gaff cutter, GRP, home port Goese Sas
‘Zephon’, built 1950, 22′, Bermudan sloop, wood, home port Enkhuizen