Monday, 26 September 2016

Verner vidi vici...

Moons and stars aligned to allow a swift trip out to the boat yesterday.. Even up to the last minute a sail was a bit doubtful, but when eldest turned round and told me I was not required for Granddad duties it seemed a shame to waste the opportunity..   wonders will never cease!

We're in a boom period period on the weather front currently - in the last post I mentioned it was either boom or bust with regard to wind all summer, and this weekend was definitely boom..  force 5 gusting 6 was forecast, but with a 20:00 high tide and sunset at 1830/1900'ish it was only ever going to be a short burst charge up the creek and back..

As it turned out it was significantly better than that..

So four hours before high water and the tide could be seen so I launched anyway as I had the broom with me for a quick end of season scrub at the water line - 20 minutes with my tried and trusted [clicky] saw festoons of weed and antifoul cloud disapearing off down tide, but we had a much cleaner bottom, and when she comes out I'll have less antifoul to pressure wash off..

Once on board I could see she wasn't quite afloat so I took the opportunity to fit the new genoa sheets I got at the Boat Show..  not a massive chance to test them today (only did one tack) but its clear that they are running more smoothly, and they are less stiff then the old ones so I'm going to chalk up a "success" for the choice of line..

Wacked in a mahoosive reef on the main (biggest I can do is to the first batten), fired up the donk, took my life in my hands (it was blowing nicely! ) and dropped the mooring...

Brilliant sail - only had two hours but a fast run down the channel on main saw 3.5's/4's over the ground against tide - turned at the end of the Emsworth Channel and cracked a bit of genoa and she started to shift even against tide (I reckon 2 knots against??) - fairly constant four all the way down harbour..  passed Verner, the first Pilsey mark, but saw sense when I got to the second Pilsey buoy as the sun was beginning to drop so I tacked and rode the tide home...

As I tacked a fellow Hurley 20 came into view - "Big Easy" - she's fairly famous, as she was the subject of an extensive refit a few years ago, and may even, for a while, have been owned by the same guy I bought Sparrow off of...  either way she was going well - and there were precious few other boats out and about and enjoying the "breeze", so "Go Hurley"!

Shame about the foresail - looks like halyard has come loose...




All in all an absolute blast - quite literally - when I checked Cambermet afterwards, my perception had been right - we had both ends of Force 6 for the sail - only dropping to both ends of F5 for the end...  and "Sparrow" went at it like a youngster...

Cold at the end though, full oilies donned, summer is over...  also, although I got on to the mooring in the dusk, this was the first time I've ever packed up in the dark - thank goodness for the head torch - cabin lighting has gone up my priority list this winter...

One last sailing session to go, I think - I've got Rod and Dave down for a mast drop on the 9th, and she comes out on the 16th, so fingers crossed for decent weather this weekend....

Log:



Distance: 8.43 miles in just less than 2 hours (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: Solid F6 going F5 / WSW
Sail Plan: Reefed main and genoa
Speed: Maximum 5.7 / average 3.8

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Southampton Boat Show 2016 and other stuff..

Bit of an involuntary hiatus in the season has been hit ... 
  • third week in a row now of either duff tides (very early/0700'ish and correspondingly late) or,
  • weather...  We seem to have hit a period of it either blowing old boots, or flat as a flat thing...  
  • Google also tells me it's the first day of Autumn today so the other issue for this time of the year is earlier evenings..  beginning to come on for dusk from 1900'ish so that rules out post work sailing..
...  what is increasingly frustrating though is that mid-week conditions have been superb at times... while I've been at work...

..all of which means that as much as I'd like to - not much sailing has been done but it doesn't mean stuff hasn't been happening..

Got out to Sparrow last weekend to check her out - some rain as usual but otherwise good... I did take the opportunity to put a whipping on some new line I picked up cheap at Homebase (of all places) and replaced the thinner cord I was using on the kicker - looks good - time will tell if this is just a cheap piece of old tat and can stand up to the wear and tear...

I have also obtained a "pre-used" (so much nicer than "second hand" ) stainless steel boarding ladder for a decent price, so that's been added to the winter job list... I've also started ordering bits and pieces I know I'll need for other jobs - neoprene tape for the replacement hatches is on it's way..

Other than that, on Sunday the current Mrs Steve The Wargamer and I made the yearly pilgrimage to that temple of all things boaty'ness, the Southampton Boat Show, and had a cracking day - we were joined by my sister and bro-in-law which made it even better..

I thought it was a good year this year with some definite signs of improvement in the area of small boats....  very refreshing in these days of 40 footers as "introductory" boats...

In a conversation with one of the boat builders on the pontoon he mentioned that 80-90%+ of all new fibreglass boats built in Europe come from either Poland or Portugal these days - no idea if this is true, but as a small boat sailor I have an interest in sub 30' boats and all the ones I saw today were built in Poland....

So first off - the Sedna 21 (which is marketed by Legend yachts in the UK) - forgot my camera by the way so apologies for phone pictures...  apparently this is a top seller in the UK..   Polish boat builder...

Nothing too fancy or clever on deck... the back rests come off for sailing (that's clever)..  lovely clean lines, good deck hardware, nice open cockpit...



Lifting keel housed within the table - note also compression post..


Despite size, spacious down below - "galley" and electrics


..but this is clever - full width double bunk under the cockpit sole... and behind me was an enclosed heads with chemical loo...



No idea how much she costs as there doesn't seem to be any mention on line of this model - but I seem to remember a sticky on the side of the boat saying £21K + vat

They make a 24 [clicky] as well, which I would like to have had a look at but the crowds round it were something to behold - think they did a review a few months ago in PBO so may be that caused the interest..

So a wonder round the myriad traders in the halls - so much stuff you never knew you needed - a pint of Guinness (£5! ouch) and down on to the pontoons past the dramatic looking Artemis [clicky]


..and on to Artemis - where we watched the Royal Navy sky diving display


...shame we couldn't actually see her sailing - she's a beautiful boat with an interesting history...


...and then on to see some more boats...  first off - among a veritable tsunami, an ocean, of white plastic this one leapt out like an oasis to a parched man in the desert...  French (naturellement ) and an absolute, stripped out, no nonsense, speed machine....  but so beautiful...  model is "Code 0 Spirit" and made by "Black Pepper" [clicky] the racier version of their cruiser of the same name


Bro in law and I had a look below and there really was nothing except a single bench seat...  notice the single winch on a pedestal in the centre of the cockpit? All lines feed to it via the hole behind it...


Notice the rudder? Twin rudders single tiller - not seen that before...  Scrumptious....

So on to the next which was a surprise to me in that I like it so much - even more so when the current Mrs Steve the Wargamer said she'd come sailing if I had one of these ==>


A Haber 620 [clicky] (mtr's - so about 19' ish) another Polish builder - so good to see new small boats on the market - and I really really liked this - quirky - put me in mind of a marine version of a Morris Minor..  loved it..  Gunter rig, single lift keel

Would have liked to have had a look below but it didn't seem to be on offer so the following from various web pages/sites..


Seats/table convert to bunk ==>


So much light! 1.8m standing head room apparently!


..plus enclosed heads (chemical) - really liked this little boat...  review here [clicky] and more detail here [clicky]..  US review quotes estimate of $30K sail away - so much the same as the Sedna

So mooched on and admired as ever the boats on the Spirit Yachts pontoon - this is the new Spirit 47CR - the first of a new cruising line and currently up for the European Yacht of the Year award


Simply beautiful - but so impractical as far as yours truly is concerned...  I'd go potty maintaining all that varnish....  oh, and she really is traditional - she's cold moulded in wood rather than GRP


...and that was largely it...  wandered back to the entrance to have a chat with Jelly Bean Phil [clicky], who had bought Ciao Bella to the show as part of the Practical Boat Owner "Cheap Sailing" initiative, where he was sharing a stand with Dave Selby [clicky] and doing a sterling job demo'ing Silky cleaning stuff .. couldn't believe how good Ciao looked on the side away from the crowd, Phil ..

One last boat that I didn't get chance to go on - peeps were knackered - next year I think as she looked quite nice..  and yes, another Polish builder - bravo!



Very successful day - replaced my grab bag (new waterproof 10L bag for a tenner), bought myself a new sail bag (old one was always just a little too small), but I also got 17mtrs of 8mm braid on braid, shiny this time, to replace the genoa sheets 0 bargain for £15..  interested to see if they make tacking faster...

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Post work wind down

Been a long while since that last drift ..  week and a half as last Sunday was dreich to say the least...  I must admit I was beginning to champ at the bit, so last night I dipped out of work early for a little water based therapy..


Nothing untoward then - just a pleasant couple of hours, in an unusual wind direction, with a small diversion half way to check out a channel that I have never ever to my knowledge sailed in.. 


...it was an hour after high so it wasn't what you would call a full Magellan/Frobisher like survey...

The weed is beginning to build - if the tail end of Hurricane Hermine plays ball this weekend (she's due to touch down on Friday/Saturday I think) I'll take the scrubbing brush out and give the underneath some attention this weekend...  the weather is remarkably warm, it was 22'+ last night, which bodes well for the rest of the season..

The sharp eyed among you will have noted the arrival of the countdown counter..  yep...  that time of the year again..

Log:


Distance: 5.36 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: Both ends of a F3; wind direction SExE going ESE, but basically just south of full east...

Sail Plan: Full main and full and reefed genoa (she tacks/beats more easily with a few rolls in the genoa)
Speed: 4.4 / 2.7

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Northney drift...

...that'd be right then...

Early'ish tide on Monday which was a public holiday in England (and a few others of the home nations, but not Scotland) so I opted to get out to the boat for an early session before having to resume grandson sitting duties for eldest who was working..

F3 gusting F4 north westerly's was what was forecast - perfect - what we got was sub F1, very very occasional F2, but they did at least get the direction right....

So an enjoyable 3 hours going almost nowhere at about a half to three quarters of a knot...  but it was better than working, I had a flask of coffee, and the sun came out....

I did spot this boat which I thought was quite interesting - it's a Romilly [clicky]; free standing (carbon) masts - she looks almost Middle Eastern...


..the mizzen can be used as a main in the tender available from the same builder which I think is a clever idea....

After elegantly pirouetting through 360' as the tide washed me gently this way and that under no control whatsoever, I decided enough was enough, and returned to the mooring under motor for a cup of tea...!
   
Log:


Distance: 4.12 (year to date in the mileage page above)
Wind:  F1 and NW'ly (local weather station shows 0's for speed and direction for almost all the time I was out!)
Sail Plan: Full main, full genoa; engine for getting back to the mooring when I gave up
Speed: Maximum was 4.9 knots (under engine almost certainly) average speed 1.5 knots