UK-Cherub Class

Get Your Heart Racing

These are some construction shots of my Italian Bistro, which was completed from a professionally build vacuum bagged shell and false floor. The shell was made in a female mould flopped off Norwegian Blue (Dave Roe's Italian Bistro). Wiz has now moved on, but was then one of the top high tech boatbuilders, having been involved in several major projects, inclusing Tony Bullimore's “Spirit of Apricot” and the first of the Nigal Irens ILAN motor trimarans, which took the round Britain powerboat record.

The shell is biaxial glass over foam with local carbon reinforcement, the foredeck 3mm Marine ply and the side decks 4mm. Dick Jarrett, who'd been building high quality wood Cherubs a few years previously, has some good quality marine ply stored away, which I gratefully purchased. These days such materials are prohibitively expensive…

  • Collecting the shell from Wiz Deas (then) yard at Pill near Bristol. Amongst other well known projects the wing mast for “Spirit of Apricot” was built there.


  • The shell as collected. Its biaxial glass over Termanto foam. I've never quite understood why Wiz put the carbon in the floor, but its certainly stood up to all sorts of abuse over the years.


  • Decking the boat in the front room. Note that there is no deck level beam from the prodder to the bow. This was a mistake - the boat bent slightly under rig loads.


  • Although the shell is foam sandwich I decked the boat in wood, as I didn't yet feel comfortable with foam. Thus we have a typical wood boat decking arrangement, with stringers and little ply bulkheads to support the decks. Alistair Cope helped - well pretty much built - the tank sides, which were my first experience of foam sandwich.


  • Completed boat fresh out of the front room in 1990. The two tone paint job was sprayed by Wiz. The front room as a building workshop is fairly normal for Cherubs, but was rather frowned upon by my Landlords when they found out!


  • Fairly minimalist internal layout. The ports visible in the sidetanks forward are for the spinnaker sheets, which run through the topsides to vertically mounted cam cleats just inside the deck. The spinnaker chute comes back into the port sidetank.


  • And a view from the upstairs window. I suppose its worth noting that the boat is complete and fully fitted out in these pictures, and also that the boat predates asymmetric spinnakers and bowsprits. Since the initial bowsprit conversion it no longer has a sealed bowtank and spinnaker chute, and doesn't look so tidy either.


Pictures 1 & 2, © Alison Wilde, remaining © Jim Champ.

Oh yes, spinnaker chutes. Commercially available ones were too large and too heavy. I decided to make my own. Big mistake - it was more trouble than any other five components of the boat put together. If you're ever tempted to build a spinnaker chute take my advice and don't.

The other thing I wouldn't do again is deck the boat in wood. Foam sandwich is (much to my surprise) so much easier to work with. The passing of time has seen the boat change, like all Cherubs. It's recently acquired a a second significant modification.

This page is dedicated to the memory of my friend Steve Dyer (1956-1999). If he hadn't inspired me to get off my backside and make a major career change - or even start - I would never have been in a financial or domestic position to build the boat at all.

Jim Champ


tech/2641build.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/25 15:55 (external edit)