SAILING enthusiast Chris Ducker has spent months building his dream yacht – The Flying Duckman 13 – in the garage of his Bowness home.

The 17-Feet Class boat, which is actually 25ft long, took Mr Ducker three months to build, and will be officially launched on April 13.

Mr Ducker, 54, who is retired, has been sailing since he was 15 and is a member of the Royal Winderemere Yacht Club.

He said: “I just love being on the water. I enjoy building projects, and thought it would be a challenge to build a boat.

“I like to spend the summer months in Windermere sailing, and so wanted to build a yacht that I could race.”

The avid sailor, of Longlands Road, designed the hull with America’s Cup designer Ian Howlett, and built it with yacht builder Demon Yachts.

“I wanted to create a 17-feet yacht that had a similar hull shape to the most recently launched yachts, but looks more aggressive than the classic yachts, more like a modern sports boat,” said Mr Ducker. “I also wanted it to be easy to handle, even in strong winds, when I’m 80.

“Although I have spent considerable time on the design, look, and fit, of my yacht, the real key to the success of the project is being able to sail in one of the area’s largest competitive fleets.”

Materials, including spruce, glass fibre, and epoxy resins, were used to build the yacht, which Mr Ducker hopes will be long-lasting.

He said: “I hope that in 100 years’ time the Flying Duck-man will become a classic yacht of the future that may be helmed by my great-grandchildren.

“Those who currently sail these great yachts are helping to preserve a piece of local history for future generations,” added the owner of Italian clothing company SLAM in Bowness.

Around 80 Windermere 17-Feet Class yachts have been built since 1908, and 30 still race on Windermere.

“The sleek lines of the classic yachts are much admired, and many would say add to the beauty of the area when seen out on the lake, racing on their regular Saturday slots throughout the summer,” he added.

Mr Ducker, who bought his first boat at the age of 20, but did not learn to swim until he was 30, described the building challenge as ‘fulfilling.’ He has bought an-other boat, which he also plans to put together in his garage and race in the J Boat World Championship, which SLAM is sponsoring, in June