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Hardy 20 Family Pilot "Adele"

Photographs taken 2012 to 2013

These pages are aimed mainly at those who have an interest in Hardy boats, built previously by Hardy Marine of North Walsham in Norfolk (now a part of Cockwells Modern & Classic Boatbuilding Ltd of Mylor Bridge in Cornwall), and in particular, the Hardy 20 Family Pilot, in carrying out any projects and maintenance on their boats. There is of course a read-across for some jobs to other makes of boat.

See also Modifications (sea toilet, battery management & hatch), Modifications 2 (outboard bracket & trim tabs),
Making a New Wooden Navigation Mast (a photo guide to making your own mast),
and Adele 2021 as she was when we sold her.

For much more detailed information on owning any of the Hardy family of boats, there is a wealth of knowledge
on the Hardy Owners Club website and Forum. If you have a Hardy, or want a Hardy, then join the HOC!

We have now sold Adele to her proud new owners in Fowey who are happy for these pages to remain live to help document her story, and to whom we wish the very best of times sailing with her to continue that story. But to go back to when we found her ourselves (as now her previous owners!), we first found Adele in a compound in the old military base on the top of the Isle of Portland, in late October 2012. Not the most likely of places, given the location of the sea at the bottom of Portland of course, but that's where she was! But she was a Hardy Family Pilot, and it was one of these that we were looking for, not too distant from our home in Cornwall. She was also in the kind of condition that we wanted, in that she was sound, clean, had a decent engine, but a bare enough canvas that we could develop her the way we wanted to. She was also called Adele. And we love her music!

Adele Hardy Family Pilot Portland
Adele when we viewed her on the top of Portland

As it transpired, Adele had been renamed from "Bluebelle", and previously to this, "Emejay", and had not yet been back in the water. This meant that she could not enter the realm of King Neptune without due ceremony and dedication. This was not an onerous task, but was necessarily built in to the Schedule of Works before she could get anywhere past being tied up to a mooring. Once all was prepared, and she was borne on salt water, the sacred Dedication and Supplication was made, due libation imbibed, and Adele's new name submitted for entering in the Ledger of the Deep.

Adele Hardy Family Pilot Mixtow
Adele finally afloat at Mixtow on the River Fowey in 2013 (with Penmarlam Boatyard slipway beyond),
before taking her round to her mooring and necessary ceremonies!

Adele even has her own little mascot! Found on eBay, "Adele" the Penguin, was a mis-spelt Adelie penguin clearly lost and looking for a new home. Adele the Adelie Penguin now lives on a boat, a long way from Antarctica, but by the sea.

Adele and Adelie Penguin
Adele the Adelie Penguin

A Schedule of Works

However, before Adele went back in the water, we had a few jobs that we wanted to do. As a start, this included looking at the lockers themselves, as we wanted to do something a little prettier with them, that would eventually replace the plastic coated metal sheeting that currently covers the lockers in the cockpit. As this was not going to be achieved in the first year, for the 2013 season we settled for just renovating the slightly grubby locker lids, throughout the cockpit and cabin. For this we decided to add some new bearers to the undersides, thoroughly rub them down, and then use Bondaglass G4 Primer and Sealer to coat them. This is a product I have used before on my previous sailing day-boat, and it gives a good strong finish and gives the wood a nice deeper colour. It is aimed mainly at areas that are out of direct UV sunlight, but I have successfully used it on external boat wooden gunwales, benches and thwarts without problems. Apart from the teak grab rails, it is good for use on other wood on a Family Pilot. And it seems less finicky than traditional yacht varnish.

Locker Lids
Renovating and refreshing the locker lids using Bondaglass G4

The overall condition of cockpit lockers at first sight seemed good, with the outer locker ply panels having been covered by the white plastic coated aluminium sheeting, plus plastic screw caps. The cockpit cushions seemed in new condition, so it was more important to organise the practicalities of the cockpit, and stowage of fuel, batteries and bilge pumps etc...

The cockpit as we found Adele with the plastic coated aluminium sheets over the lockers

The make-over consisted of the addition of an outboard well cover, a fuel tank rack for the main engine, and stowage of the table and leg. The table now stows away neatly in front of the galley, and doubles as the cabin double berth base. There were two tables that came with Adele, one for the cockpit and one for the cabin, but for now we have settled for just using one, as it is unlikely that we would need to use two at once. The fuel rack was made to fit under the outboard well, over the Tridata sensors and bilge pump, which accommodates two "Hulk" 30 litre tanks. There is a separate tank for the auxiliary engine and reserve fuel in the port locker, and battery stowage is in the starboard locker.

The cockpit arrangement as now

For bilge pumps an automatic Whale Supersub Smart 650 has been fitted to the base of the fuel tank well, under the rack, to cover eventualities for when Adele is left alone, and a manual Whale Gusher Urchin has also been fitted behind the helm seat, with enough pipe (with non return valve on the end) to reach any bilge compartment or cabin area for manual backup, should there be any need. We also carry a Panic Bucket. And lifejackets. But we remain optimistic!

Bilge Pump
Bilge pump arrangement

The outboard well cover has not only been a necessity for safety, to ensure our Ship's Dog stays safely aboard, but also provides an additional surface for a cuppa while aboard. It can also keep some of the weather out. When Adele is left on a mooring, the centre hinges up to allow the engine to tilt right up, and the whole is kept in place by elasticated loops (two haven't been put on yet in the photo). The outboard well cover pictured below was our first one which proved a little flimsy, so a beefier version has since been made out of thicker 15mm ply, but principle and method remained the same.

Outboard Well Cover
Outboard well cover - allows outboard to tilt up

One of those extra little mods that often become necessary when you start getting to grips with a boat, became necessary when we found a bit of a tight fit between the main engine cable routing and rubber gaiters, and the engine hydraulic steering rods, that seemed worse during engine tilting. I suspect a smaller engine and/or steering arrangement was in place at one time, and when Adele was re-engined, the proximity of these little details grew a little more intimate! Whatever the case "less close" seemed a good idea, so a little local surgery on the outboard well side was required to move the cables.

Outboard Cables
The cable gaiters in the position they were originally - apparently already shifted across a bit!

As the main cable gaiter needed to move more than the cable entry hole would allow, careful cutting of the side wall was required (and with cables and fuel line still routed through, extra care was needed!). Luckily, the jig-saw just about fitted where it needed to fit, from the opposite side, to give an elongated lozenge hole. Prudent "design" of the hole allowed the cut out piece to be turned around the opposite way...

Outboard Cables
Cut-out for the re-arranged main outboard fuel line and control cables

...and epoxied and glassed back in, thus effectively moving the hole position forward. This can be seen below, prior to further tidying up of the outer surface. The gaiters had to be cut slightly to fit where they came together, but now the steering mechanism was completely clear. As it happened, after the first season, we also found that the engine tilt had become a problem, which we had thought previously had been down to an old battery, which we had replaced. The real problem turned out to be a corroded tilt tube inside the engine mounting, that had also caused the steering rod to move during tilt, and this needed to be replaced when the engine was serviced No amount of lubrication would have helped, so it turned out to be a bit of a costly service that one! Fortunately all is now sorted, and all can be properly lubricated!

Outboard Cables
Rubber gaiters back in place in new position, before bulkhead tidied up

Once out on the water during the first season of 2013, it became apparent that the propeller was not the ideal size. Adele seemed to be needing more power to get up to any speed in the "teens" knots range, and rev counts were going high. After a lot of research, not least of which was on the Hardy Forum where there has been a large number of posts on the propeller subject, we settled on buying a new propeller of which seemed universally accepted as the recommended size for a Family Pilot. This is the 3 x 13.75” x 13” (blades x diameter x pitch) size. This was a replacement for the 3 x 13” x 19” propeller that was already fitted, that had too long a pitch and is aimed at a lighter planing boat, without the working punch of a shorter pitch, that is better suited to a heavier semi-displacement boat like the Family Pilot. We fitted this new propeller out on the mooring, which is one of the advantages of an outboard engine over an inboard of course, as long as you tie a decent tarpaulin underneath the outboard leg while you are working, to save consigning anything valuable to the deep!

Propeller Change
Changing the propeller out on the mooring - plus tarp!

The wheelhouse control panel had the same plastic and metal sheet covering when we first saw Adele, and this has so far remained unchanged, while other jobs have gone on around it, not least of which has been the tidying and re-routing of some of the electrics and wiring behind this panel, to my satisfaction. What is now switchable on the switch panel in terms of navigation, sonar and accessories was updated, and new 12V sockets for a cool-box and portable GPS and/or phone charging were added. The galley area has also had some changes, and will be seeing some more in the future.

The wheelhouse as we first saw Adele

The helm seat is a handy configuration, given that it hinges and folds down, with the removal of the seat legs. However, it was quite tight up to the engine control box, making it a tightish sitting position for not entirely slightly built Skippers! This was modified by adding a 2.5" thick piece of timber bolted through to the wheelhouse side, thus moving the seat out to a more comfortable position. One other job that was near top of the list, was a new helm seat foot rest. Three seasons down the line, and this is still being designed! Folding or non-folding? What about cabin door folding back? We do still at times use Adele with the seat down - it makes boat handling a little easier, and certainly makes communication with the fore-deck easier with no sliding open window at the helm position. Oh yes. Sliding window. That's another job on the list!

The wheelhouse on Adele once we had made a few comfort adjustments!

As for the galley, a new tap accompanied the new freshwater tank installation (see Modifications page), and a new cooker unit replaced the what turned out to be a rather service-worn old one. We replaced it with a very reasonably priced Spinflo Nelson Grill and Hob from Force 4. I always prefer to have some kind of fiddle rail on a hob, and after research, found spare rails made for this size of hob at Midland Chandlers for £10.50. Deal! During 2015 the galley has also had a seat added over the sink and hob cover (not shown in the photo above). An extra varnished board has been "velcro"ed over the hob cover, and a hinged matching lid added over the sink, which is also useful as a surface during cooking. The tap has been changed for a Whale rotating pump tap that now rotates neatly out of the way, and a suitably sized cockpit cushion fits over the whole. More photos of the completed galley seat conversion will be added during 2016.

Cabin Style
The cabin as it was originally on Adele - all in pretty good condition

The cabin interior was in very good condition, though the curtains looked a little pale and basic, but we were fortunate in that we did not need to do much by way of fundamental changes. The cushions were certainly in no need of attention.

Cabin Style
A cabin makeover with new curtains and the cushions also neatly hide the freshwater fill pipe

Given the level of engineering works carried out on the rest of the boat over the first three seasons though, the cabin decor was not neglected! Most importantly, the First Mate and Chief Purser has used her skills to make Adele into a delightful floating sanctuary to retreat to overnight or for a few days. Ship's Dog also delights in her own berth and dog toy!

Overnight on the mooring, and all quiet!

Was it just fate? Was it written somewhere we would end up with a Hardy Family Pilot??? It seems that it was...

Winnow and Optimist Too
Written in the waters... this is our previous sailing boat "Winnow" at Mixtow
...with Hardy Family Pilot "Optimist Too" moored directly behind her, though we did not realise at the time.

It was Optimist Too that we saw one day while reclining on a friend's boat out on the moorings, and we were trying to describe exactly what kind of boat that we might just possibly change to. Looking round, I had said... "that kind of thing!"

For further details of modifications carried out to Hardy Family Pilot Adele,
see Modifications (sea toilet, battery management & hatch), Modifications: 2 (outboard bracket & trim tabs)
and Making a New Wooden Navigation Mast (to make your own),
and Adele 2021 as she was when we sold her.

See Adele out on the water on Motor Boating in Fowey

Pugwash the Viking

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