By Ian Dawes, Boatshed Port Solent

It started with a call from Ross at Boatshed Chichester “Hello Boatshed Port Solent, Boatshed Chichester here!” We tend to call each other by our office names, makes life easier. The long and the short of it was that Ross was looking for likely boats to undergo the Used Boat Test for the well known magazine - Sailing Today. I like ST, as it is known, a no-nonsense and interesting monthly that seems to understand what I, the reader, want to be kept abreast of in the nautical world.

Of course I was delighted, nothing like getting a professionally written review to add to the weight of marketing we all do at Boatshed to pro-actively manage and sell our clients boats. There’s much more to running a successful Boatshed Office then sticking up an advert and waiting for someone to ring! You only have to read our blogs to see that we are all a pretty busy lot.

When the day came for the review the weather beat us, and sadly I couldn’t attend on the actual trial, I’d like to have seen the process and spoken to the writer (in this case Jake Frith), about the technical aspects of his profession. I got chapter and verse from the owner of the Etap though, and it seems he had a great morning. The yacht is based at Southsea, now part of the Boatshed Port Solent area of responsibility, and we have a number of boats for sale in and around Langstone Harbour. If you’d like to see more detail on the Etap 26i, just follow the link below:

Apparently the photographer was delighted with one particular shot, a stunning view towards the Spinnaker Tower, with the Etap 26i in the foreground, reaching away from camera, the shapes of the sail and the tower coinciding beautifully. I have seen the shot in the May edition of ST, and it is a cracker. Go and buy a copy and you’ll see what I mean!

Jake’s article was well balanced and gave the boat a good rating, and although he was “brutally honest” about a few little points, I get the impression that the fit and finish, the build quality and the ease of handling met with approval! If you’d like to read the piece in full, the May 2011 Sailing Today is on sale now.

If you go to you can subscribe online and save yourself some drinking vouchers!