Devon

Paignton boat builder had to remove patio door to launch vessel

Steve Goodchild with his boat in the patio
Image caption Steve Goodchild had to remove the patio door and its frame to get the vessel out of his house

A man who built a 16-foot sailing dinghy in his house was forced to remove his patio door to get it out.

Ex-land surveyor Steve Goodchild, from Paignton, spent 13 hours a day for the past three months to complete the vessel, he named Barnacle.

Mr Goodchild said had he stuck to his original design it would have sailed through the door without any problem.

Once out, the wooden Stornaway, which he started building in 2017, was put on wheels and taken to Paignton harbour.

It had not made out on to the patio as "being a bit inventive", Mr Goodchild added a deck to it - which meant it got "fatter and wouldn't go through the door frame".

Image caption Mr Goodchild added a deck to the boat, which made it "fatter"

But by taking the door and the frame out, the problem was solved.

"It was a very tight fit but we managed," Mr Goodchild said.

Image caption The 16-foot wooden dinghy sailed "like a bird" when it was finally launched, after building work began in 2017

And, as the government eased lockdown, Barnacle's maiden voyage on Saturday was plain sailing.

"It was blowing probably a force five or six which is a bit much for a sailing dinghy but I was determined to get it out and so I motioned it out of Paignton harbour, I put the sails up and it went like a bird," Mr Goodchild said.

"It was absolutely wonderful, I loved it."

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