Tiger-Cat was a Spitfire class of boat. These small wooden yachts were designed by Alan Eckford in the 1950’s. In a review of the class written by the ‘Bursledon Blogger’ it is claimed that ‘domesticated dinghy men’ were the target market for this type of dinghy with a cabin. Tiger-Cat had a lifting centre board, not a fixed keel and a self draining cockpit. It was reported to be quite a fast boat as it had a light weight construction.
Brian raced Tiger-Cat at Castle Cove Sailing Club, but also took his very young family on small sailing adventures, sometimes sleeping aboard overnight. Sandy, Brian’s eldest daughter remembers there was a well in the cockpit that a seagull outboard motor could be dropped into to give the boat some additional power. When the well was not in use Brian used it to keep prawns swimming about in, so that he could use them as bait for fishing. Brian and Joan would take their young daughters sailing, wearing small safety harnesses so that they could be clipped on to the boat. Both girls fell in the sea.
Joan, Brian’s wife recalls a night spent at anchor in Mupe, near Lulworth Cove when the wind came up stronger than expected and being frightened as the boat was swinging about on its anchor chain as her babies slept. Brian’s friend, Bill Ludlow, was also anchored in Mupe in his boat called Gnu. He collected Brian in his tender, a Rana boat, and they went to Lulworth Cove for a drink. Joan thought that she was going to be shipwrecked but thankfully this did not happen.
Brain purchased a small wooden folding boat made by Prout and Sons that gave the family a tender to their small cruising boat, that could be stored on the deck. Sandy also remembers exploring the river Wey in this little dinghy with her Dad.
Brain kept Tiger-Cat in his sister’s garden during the winter, so she could be varnished and painted. He sold Tiger-Cat to C.C.S.C. member Ralph Painter in 1971 but sadly she was damaged on the Portland Harbour breakwater when she broke free form her mooring at Castle Cove.