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 Restorations: Watershed to Concours d'Elegance
 Omega 828 "Aruna"
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Edward Vallins
Powder Monkey

United Kingdom
25 Posts

Posted - 11 March 2019 :  23:03:13  Show Profile
Late last year I became a member of the Fairey Owners Club and attended the Western Ports Laying Up Supper in December with my wife. This was a very enjoyable event and I spoke to many other members including Jonathan Turner, Grant Peet, Mark Stevens, David Grose and Charles Lawrence about all things boats.

I've admired Fairey boats since I was a teenager after I first spotted Super Swordsman "Apollyon" berthed at Mayflower Marina in the late 1990s and have perused the Fairey Owners Club website regularly for many years.

Although I haven't realised the dream of owning a Fairey I have been lucky enough for the past three years to own a powerboat of a similar style and vintage - a 21' Tolcraft Shark called "Moneypenny". I understand that only a handful of these boats were built in the early 70's and that one of them competed in the 1970 Cowes-Torquay race.

I am also very pleased to say that I have recently become the owner of another Fairey contemporary, a Trident Marine Omega 828 named "Aruna".

Prior to my purchase she was based in Dartmouth for many years and fell into a state of disrepair, it would have been a familiar sight to members of the club using the river Dart. Aruna is now ashore with me near Plymouth and will be subject of a comprehensive refit/rebuilt ready for the 2020 season. The shed/shelter is being completed this weekend and then I can really get going with the work.

Aruna is fitted with twin Ford Mermaid Maine diesel engines. These are 595-ENT-INT type “Dorset” engines. As part of the re-build I was always going to take the engines and gearboxes out of Aruna and, with the help of a friend who is a very experienced marine engineer, rebuild them. I am now keen on the idea of changing them for something a bit newer and more powerful (possibly more refined) so if anyone knows or hears of some suitable engines please let me know.

Thanks

Edward

nicky
Commander

United Kingdom
551 Posts

Posted - 12 March 2019 :  07:27:17  Show Profile
Hi Edward
I well remember your Omega sadly neglected on the pontoon at Dartmouth. I am very pleased to hear that the boat has been bought and will be restored. I would love to come and see it and as you can see from my experience with Firefly may be able to give some modest advice.
Regards David Johnson
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mps
Powder Monkey

United Kingdom
43 Posts

Posted - 12 March 2019 :  13:41:39  Show Profile
Hi Edward
Congratulations for getting your new boat....
Before I purchased my first Fairey Spearfish I too found myself an Omega 828 and purchased it from a chap in Poole. The boat was "Benguela da Ibiza" and as the name intimates, she had been used out in the Balearics for some time prior to my purchase, although I believe it was in Formentera.
Benguela had two sabre 180hps on shafts.
She was the 29th hull and that was surprising as I had been told only 28 were made! Another Omega I saw some years ago in Jersey had outdrives. That one was sat next to Blue Haloo the H28 in St Aubins.

My Omega was eventually purchased by Don Wood of Aim Aviation who had some large Swan racing yachts. He used it as a crew boat for ferrying his guys out for races from Lymington I understand.

Ive copied my original Omega 828 brochure, and a motor boat and yachting appraisal from 1974, and have put the link in here. I hope you can download it if wanted.

The Omega was marginally faster than a Spearfish with the same size engines (in my case anyway) but you do need trim tabs as it will chine ride otherwise when a cross wind is experienced.

Mark

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bioajq206v74usk/Omega%20828.pdf?dl=0

Edited by - mps on 12 March 2019 17:29:16
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Folly Reach
Captain

United Kingdom
308 Posts

Posted - 12 March 2019 :  20:50:16  Show Profile
Aruna was I think based in Christchurch from the mid 1980s.A guy called Brian owned her I cannot recall his surname but he owned a small garage called Nortoft Motors. He specialised (don't laugh) in Reliant Robins.. She smoked well. He always left his mooring on one engine and started the other one halfway down the harbour.

Edited by - Folly Reach on 12 March 2019 20:52:26
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CharlesL
Captain

United Kingdom
491 Posts

Posted - 12 March 2019 :  21:29:31  Show Profile  Visit CharlesL's Homepage
Thanks Mark, had no idea that the Omega was reborn as the Talisman Trident.
As a rival to the Spearfish, I keep a note of boat names and have Aruna / Blue Panther (hull 7) / Bois sans soif (outdrive) / Fenix / Floating Pound / Halmatic Police Boat / Honeypot / Little Xtra / Private Dancer / Privateer / Red Omega / Seafury / Shikar (outdrive) / Thunderbird / White Fury, conveniently 14 of the alleged 28 hulls, but there are also a couple of anonymous ones, and some in the Maldives.
The odd one out is a photo captioned 'Halmatic Police boat' as the curious thing is the very nature of the Omega, being moulded by Trident Marine using their much modified Levi Corsair hull mould.

Information and photos of other Omegas - especially hull numbers - would be appreciated...
thanks
Charles
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Folly Reach
Captain

United Kingdom
308 Posts

Posted - 12 March 2019 :  22:33:49  Show Profile
Little Extra was also based in Christchurch in the 80s and 90s
Owned by a guy called Bill Gaisford who owned a small Boatyard.
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nicky
Commander

United Kingdom
551 Posts

Posted - 12 March 2019 :  22:36:18  Show Profile
I have the sales particulars of one called Supertramp. The same name as one of the Spearfish. Is there a link.
The interiors where as was said much nicer than Spearfish and the broad teak decks look good.
David
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CharlesL
Captain

United Kingdom
491 Posts

Posted - 13 March 2019 :  07:38:36  Show Profile  Visit CharlesL's Homepage
Like the hull, the interior was carried over (in principle, if not detail) from the Corsair.
The dinette was considered 'snug' and the heads 'tight'.
My personal criticism is with the windscreen, which looks a little small...

Charles
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Phil62
Rigger

United Kingdom
51 Posts

Posted - 13 March 2019 :  08:40:28  Show Profile
Was at Darthaven with a friend the other day, and spotted a pair of Sabres under a sheet outside the Volvo Penta engineers by the travel hoist.
Not sure what year / model or whether they are for sale or not, but might be worth a look.

P
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Ben
Administrator

1269 Posts

Posted - 13 March 2019 :  09:59:30  Show Profile
Surely the most interesting question about the Omega is the origin of the design?

Of course its look like a work of Sonny Levi, but is it?
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Huw Prothero
Midshipman

United Kingdom
174 Posts

Posted - 13 March 2019 :  16:37:25  Show Profile
Ian, you are quite correct. Bill owned her and she was at Christchurch. I bought her from him in June 1993. She was a fantastic Solent boat and we had loads of fun with her. She had 180 Sabres and smoked like hell! The Omega 828 called Supertramp belonged to a friend of mine and was named by him. No connection with the Spearfish of the same name but after his favourite band at the time. She lived in France at Port La Napoule as the family had a flat nearby.
Supertramp came back to England and I have seen her on the south coast. I think Benguela is now called Red Omega and is for sale in the Brighton area. Little Extra has had an interesting life since I sold her and she re appears from time to time. She was re engined by Gordon Curry with Cummins 210'S. She was last seen in Guernsey.

The reason I bought the 828 at the time was she had better accommodation than the Spearfish and I couldn't afford the Spearfish. At the time the Fairey boat was almost twice the price.

She would run all day at 26 knots and flat out at 33 knots. Many happy memories.
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CharlesL
Captain

United Kingdom
491 Posts

Posted - 13 March 2019 :  21:21:19  Show Profile  Visit CharlesL's Homepage
In reply to Ben:

Viking Marine produced the Corsair.
For whatever reason - perhaps they hadn't sold one for a while - Trident Marine acquired the mould, but without any reference to Sonny they added the bow flare to the mould, completely changing the appearance of the boat. Sonny's philosophy was to keep windage to the minimum, and he was rather put out. it was not as if his boats were poor performers.

We had Omega 'Blue Panther' and 'Blue Corsair' moored alongside each other at one of the rallies in Cowes a few years back, and some photos were taken: I'll try and dig them out.

Both hulls are the same below the chine, but look very different because the Corsair's very pronounced chine is a separate section of mahogany. It would be very interesting to do some comparative wetness tests.

Amazingly, as 'Inertia' the wooden prototype was built for Don Shead's father to race in the 1962, it is still possible to buy a new Corsair, updated technically on every front, and beautifully built near Venice.

Only last month a new 'Corsair Sport' high performance model was advertised in Classic Boat, with a new, lower deck moulding. But if you have to ask the price you can't afford it!

Charles
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Edward Vallins
Powder Monkey

United Kingdom
25 Posts

Posted - 13 March 2019 :  21:39:47  Show Profile
Thanks for all the comments, very interesting.

Yes I would be happy for advice in the future and for people to come and see Aruna. I am pretty competent and confident with most aspects of working on boats. I’ve done quite a bit of GRP and woodwork on various boats in the past, fitted new widows, through hull fittings, basic electrics and the like – although not on anything quite as big as Aruna. New ideas or experience from someone who has tackled similar projects would be most welcome. Luckily I have a marine engineer for all the complicated mechanical bits.

Having spoken to Steven from Mermaid Marine I understand I need Ford Sabre 225L engines or Ford Mermaid 2726 based engines such as the Mistral if I was going to go for more modern/powerful Fords – Omega’s seem quite difficult to re-engine! I could always soldier on with the Dorset’s for a while, especially if they both run well. I could always get block heaters to help with the smoke?!

Can’t wait to get going properly with it and get her back on the water. This boat is an absolute dream for me; I still can’t believe I’ve got her! After lusting after a Spearfish for years I stumbled across Aruna – very similar, with better accommodation below!
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nicky
Commander

United Kingdom
551 Posts

Posted - 13 March 2019 :  22:39:02  Show Profile
There was one lying around here somewhere, an unfinished hull and superstructure with an aft cabin moulding. I think it might have been at Noss. Disappeared now.
Rather odd.
David
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CharlesL
Captain

United Kingdom
491 Posts

Posted - 14 March 2019 :  07:24:34  Show Profile  Visit CharlesL's Homepage
Yes David - there was one at Noss in 2013, stripped out hull and deck mouldings and ply bulkheads all under a white tarp. i did wonder if it was a new, never completed hull.

Yours is the first suggestion of an aft cabin...

I was in the process of a search for 'Naria', h28 hull no 1, which was rumoured to be back hidden in a boatyard on the Dart... Most interesting boat I came across was the Ray Hunt designed Souter built 'Grasshopper'...

Charles
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Ben
Administrator

1269 Posts

Posted - 14 March 2019 :  10:47:27  Show Profile
Edward

As I said in my email, I'd run the old Ford Dorsets for a bit and see what comes along.

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