Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Marker and back...

First sail of the year and according to my old records this is the earliest I've sailed in the year since that Baltic delivery trip [clicky] back in 2013... not quite as cold today, and certainly not as windy, but as a shake-down cruise it certainly hit every single one of the right buttons... 

Just a short outing then - wind wasn't up to much and it was also a late tide (16:30'ish) and neap'ish (only 4 mtr) but a much needed opportunity to slope off the the sloathful'ness and mild anxiety (that always presages the first sail of the year!) and actually get out and do what the boat is meant for....

So a trip down the cut (how many times have I done that) with much of the same but plenty of new to be seen, and then sails up (main) and out (genoa), outside Northney marina, and bear away for the end of the Emsworth channel....   did that two or three times and decided to head for Marker - wind dropping all the time, but rather than having to beat back, the wind, which was changeable all afternoon, went round almost 180' so I had a run down to Marker, and a run back - most unusual....

Cold though - northerly's most of the afternoon - layers going on all afternoon... but oh my, a boat, a breeze, and the Classic FM Hall of Fame [clicky] countdown (my top three came in at #'s 39, 135, and 224 by the way)..  does it get any better?????

Playing with the new selfy stick...

Log:


Distance: 7.36 miles  (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: All over the place in speed and direction...  F2 mainly (climbing F3 for last hour), gusting F3 mainly (F4 for last hour) . NExE going SWxS for last hour..  at about 1600'ish Cambermet shows the wind going through 140'!
Sail Plan: Full main and 90% genoa..
Speed: Max 5.8 (under motor) / average 2.9

Sunday, 16 April 2017

A cautionary tale...

.. first off Happy Easter to everyone...

...second off, an advisory tale... I was out on Sparrow on the mooring yesterday afternoon (lovely and sunny but a chuffing freezing wind direction!) finishing off some last minute paint jobs as I'm hoping to get out for the first sail of the season on Monday (stay tuned as they say), when I was disturbed in my endeavours, by a muffled shout... looking up, I could see that the chap on the boat next to my mooring had fallen in while trying to get from his (new to him) boat to his (new to him) tender... thankfully he had a life jacket on, and also thankfully he had a boarding ladder as there was a strong'ish current through the moorings, and I was 50 yards away, and it's April...

...he was fine, cold, very wet, but OK.. lost his handheld GPS, and now has a long session getting the outboard going (which was attached to the flipped tender), but I suspect he considers that to be a fair exchange... I'm not the RNLI (so it ain't my job to lecture or advise ), but clearly the lifejacket he was wearing helped, he was also lucky one of the club rescue boats was also around, as he didn't have oars for the now righted tender (and he was cursing himself roundly for it)...

... there but for the grace of God go I, but for me the lessons I took away were
  1. I'm going to put a change of clothes in a bag somewhere on the boat, and
  2. get that boarding ladder fitted soon as I can
I read somewhere that most sailors drown transitioning from big boat to little and vice versa, so the LJ is already worn every time I go...

...oh, and if you're relying on a donk on the tender don't forget your oars... 

Had to laugh - windex is still up there..  but spot the problem...  and no it's not the leaning tower of Pisa effect..  LOL...  I'm really not safe with a set of tools...

Sunday, 9 April 2017

W'em ready...

...and the sun shone, and the waves lapped, and three old men gathered together yet again for the annual wrestle of the pole into an upright position, whilst not killing themselves, any passing wildlife, or damaging anything on the boat..

A remarkably stress free and relaxed event in the end - we have been doing this for a few years now though so we tend to know what we're up to...

The drilling out of the lower hole on the tabernacle was a limited success...  better than if we hadn't but still not 100%...  what we actually need is almost a slot to allow for the movement of the bolt...  I will give it thought over the summer and next winter..

Another change I plan for this summer is to modify the crutch the mast sits in...  one the legs are too long as the mast sits way up in the air...  a foot of the bottom, cut at 45' to sit flat on the deck when deployed will help - and two, the arms are too long, as it is a right palaver to lift the mast spreaders over the arms when inching it back to position the foot in the tabernacle..  what I plan is to leave the arms as they are, but put in a hinge and peg so that you can drop them when not required...

...either way... mission accomplished with the minimum of fuss...  and the beers were cracked open and the pork pies eaten in the sunshine which was superb... they are good mates!

Having said good bye to the work party, I then pushed on and put the sails and boom on...

...oh, and check what's still present on the top of the mast!
..no excuses.. four day weekend coming up... better go sailing then..

Monday, 3 April 2017

All done...

All done indeed... me especially... 

After an exhausting week or two she's finally afloat, and not leaking...  took some effort to get there though...

So starting with the list of things I wanted to get done...

1/. Another coat of paint on the hatches - then fit to the boat

What a pain in the nether regions this one turned out to be - so having applied two coats of epoxy, then rubbed down, sugar soaped and painted (Dulux "Once" - as it is self priming, oil based and gloss for hard wearing), you could imagine how delighted I was to find that patches on one of the boards were still tacky 4 days later..  😒


What I couldn't understand was that one of them was unaffected - either way - it was a cool/cold shaded garage so I went ahead and fitted them to the boat thinking some warm weather and UV might help

...you'll note the finger marks between the hinges
Still no good - and tacky to the point where paint was transferring to fingers and clothes so I bit the bullet, and rubbed down the offending board with a white spirit soaked rag, and then gave it a coat of the paint I use on the washboards - water based, exterior, silk white so not so hard wearing, but easier to use - and it dried OK (yee haa!)...  gave it another coat, and then fitted again..  I'll keep an eye on it and give it another coat mid season if I have to - I've chucked the "Once" in the bin - crap stuff...

..on the right the new treated board, on the left the original

I'll paint the other board to match at some point this summer....

2/. Windex - attach to mast head - done - but despite it being a Hawk, a cheaper and shoddier bit of plastic I think it would be hard to find - disappointing...  I'll be amazed if this makes it to the end of the year...  all I can say is that it was still there when I left the boat... 

3/. Tabernacle - drill out lower bolt holes, and Hammerite - done - and fairly straight forward...



4/. Another coat of paint on the washboards and 5/. another coat of wood treatment on the outboard pad - also trouble free and completed....

So that took 3 hours on the Friday, on Saturday I was rostered to work on the launch working party for the club - tiring day (you spend the whole day walking the length of the club yard escorting ne boat after another down to the water) and at the end of it I spent another few hours working on that damned hatch cover....

Sunday morning I was there bright and early'ish (10:30) ready for a 16:00'ish high tide..  I gave her a much needed wash down (last access to fresh water until October), loaded the soft furnishings that I'd stored at home, strapped on the outboard, loaded the pile of detritus from under the boat into the boot of the car, and it was tine for the job that signals the end of the maintenance... phewww....

All done!!!!


As a bilge keeler I usually get plonked on the mud and shingle right at the bottom of the club slip and left to it, but this year because of my position in the yard, they had to move a couple of other boats to get to me so I was eventually lifted in after a lunchtime pint...

Going....


...going - Windex still there? Check..


...going...  yard getting empty as the cruisers lift in - this was last but one day of the lift in...


....going - blimey - Windex still there? Check....


..main slip is behind me from where the picture was taken - this is one of the side slips... - got a lift to the boat from one of the club carriers - and waited for a little more water to come in - 4.5M tide so lots of it.....  once the water was a foot in front of the of of the keel started the engine and left it idling in reverse.... quarter of an hour after that she started gently lifting and rocking, and then five minutes after that she started off in reverse..  lovely, gentle launch...


...gone - back on the mooring!


So good to be back on the water...  mast raising next weekend, and if that doesn't catapult the Windex into the middle of next week nothing will....