Triple Jack (TJ) is a one-off Kelsall 47 built in 1979. Now long-time residents, Richard Wooldridge and Steve Davis sailed her across the Atlantic to the BVI in 1997 and never left!
Throughout her Caribbean life, TJ (to her friends) was a constant sight on the Caribbean racing scene, giving many younger and more modern multihulls a run for their money. That was until September 6, 2017; a day to be forgotten.
After the passing of Irma, TJ, weighing in at 9,120lbs (4137kg), just over four imperial tons, or four Volkswagen beetles), was found upside down on the bridge to the outer marina, rigging lost, coach roof crushed, hatches ripped off, and sponsons hanging on by a thread.
Remarkably the main hull was hole-free at waterline, and since that fateful day, Richard, Steve, and host of helpers, have worked in their spare time to repair this venerable 44-year-old trimaran. In a five-year labour of love, TJ sat out on the outer marina at Nanny Cay where 1000s of man-hours were spent chopping, grinding, filling, fibreglassing, epoxying, fairing, and painting.
With such a major rebuild project required Richard and Steve took the opportunity to make numerous upgrades to the boat. A carbon fibre mast has replaced the old aluminium one while stainless standing rigging has been replaced with 21st Century Colligo Dux for the shrouds and “regular” Dyneema for the rest. Antal low friction rings with Dyneema lashing lines make tension adjustments easier around the new chainplates built into the hull; Colligo and Antal fittings adorn the new mast.
TJ now even has an engine making it easier for the owners to dock and pick up moorings short-handed and take their families sailing. An engine also means that TJ will be compliant with the race rules for the 2024 edition of the Caribbean 600.
Triple Jack now weighs in at 9,488lbs (4304)kg.
“We’re pretty happy with that knowing how many gallons of epoxy have gone into her, along with the Yanmar 30!” Wooldridge remarked. “We’re heavier but not ridiculously so.”
The new iteration of TJ will make its maiden voyage on Tuesday when it competes in the Round Tortola race for the Nanny Cay Cup.
“We are a rebuilt oldie but are not going to be satisfied with the London to Brighton run once a year, we want to take on the Ferraris on a level playground – my daughter has made some Gunboat stickers that we will slap on the side every time we overtake one!” Wooldridge smiled. – Alastair Abrehart