Monday, 4 June 2018

Scraping the bottom of the barrel.. err, knee..

After a day spent fettling last weekend, this time I was definitely going sailing..

So it was that just shy of 1400 I was seen throwing off the mooring chain for a pootle down the harbour.. the outboard was where I'd left it, the new cover for the engine head worked a treat, and I can confirm that not having to manhandle the beast across the cockpit saves an inordinate amount of time...

Winds were southerly, which are a complete and total b*tch for getting anywhere, so I knew it was going to be a motor day, as I was damned if i was going to spend the time beating against tide to get past Marker.. 

Cracked out the genoa to get me to the end of the Emsworth Channel (which gave me a knot or two against tide), then rolled it in as I turned south to head for the mouth of the harbour...

Motored until I got to Verner, put the rags up, and then bore away and headed south east across the sands towards Hill Head and Itchenor Reach...

..this is fellow club member, and Hurley owner, Chris, in his immaculate Silhouette Mk.3



..not what you'd call a fast sail - I averaged four all the way I think, and I was continually being headed so had to slip in a couple of tacks to stop me going too shallow, but finally arrived at the channel, shot across, weaved between the myriad of anchored yachts and motor cruisers, rounded Snowhill, and then close reached towards HISC (the sailing club at the entrance to the harbour)

East Head in the sun - popular attraction as you can see!
Broad reached to the bottom of the main channel just off the sailing club, and then turned for a goose wing run in a dying breeze, before putting the engine back on just south of Marker for a quick trip back to the mooring before the water disappeared..

Fellow club member Julian out for the same as me - noticed both he and Chris had reefs in - apparently the forecast was for considerably more than we actually got..
Good trip on the whole...  glorious weather....

..had the VHF on and was pleased to hear a fair quantity of legible traffic on Ch 16 and 67, not perfect, but OK..  I was even picking up traffic from QHM Portsmouth..  I'll carry on with the plan to replace the plug and we'll see if that improves the situation - it's more likely that the VHF set is 'getting on a bit' to be honest...

..picked the mooring up first time, tripped on the edge of the fore hatch, fell over, landed on the foredeck, scraped knee, but happily didn't go over board...  every now and again we are taught lessons about not taking boats lightly... and I was mightily pleased I'd fitted the boarding ladder.... 


  Log:


Distance: 11.27   (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: Both ends of a F3; S going SWxS (sea breeze filling in)
Sail Plan: Full main / most of the genoa...
Speed: 4.9 knots max. / 3 knots avg

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Fixed VHF.. err, fixed..

UK has just had another long bank holiday weekend, but despite good weather, the sailing was not optimal..  F6's and F7's on the Saturday, and then nothing on the Sunday/Monday... fairly typical of my luck...

So it was that Monday found me on the boat to do some more fettling - I mentioned on the winter job round up I had a couple of jobs to finish and with the weather roasting, and the harbour flat as a flat thing, today was the day...

Two jobs I wanted to do today, but the one I was looking forward to was the completion of the connectivity for the fixed VHF I physically fitted over the winter but never had time to wire in...  pleased to say that was completed, and I also took the time to start tidying up some of the wiring to the switch panel...  as I thought I'd have to [clicky]
as I put more elements into the switch panel I was running out of free switches, so first I daisy chained the USB charger and voltmeter to a single positive/switch to free up one of the two auxillary's using one of these left over from the cabin lighting job, and then used the now spare aux switch for the VHF - come the winter I'll fit some ducting I think to tidy the wiring but for not it's neat enough and runs down the back of the port hole curtain...  spare sticker and the aux switch becomes "VHF radio" and switching it one delivers the usual burst of static...


I have some further checks to do as reception is not what you'd call brilliant..

The VHF was acquired second hand three or four years ago and is old, pre-DSC in fact; the aerial is new but I have my doubts about the quality of the fitting for the (PL59) plug, so first step is to clean and resolder that..  something of a first, I have a butane soldering iron on the way as I'll need to do it away from the mains...

Once I've done that I'll also test on the hand held and see if there's a difference - if there is, then the fixed VHF is almost certainly past its sell by date, if there isn't then the aerial may be faulty and I can check that...

Swings and roundabouts - that's life on the water on a budget... 

Second job was something I've been thinking about doing for some time which is to secure the outboard to the back of the boat so as not have to keep lifting it on and off, and knacker'ing my back in the process.. the engine is fairly heavy, I can lift it, but it's not easily manoeuvrable and with the back board on the stern, and the recessed well it's a little worrying as at one point the engine hangs 80% off the back with just one of my hands holding it while I let go and swing the other hand over the board to re-grab it..

All done, and to insurance company requirements - I also have a new outboard top cover as taking some advise, I'm storing the engine cowl separately as another deterrent...

As in all things - none of it will stop someone who wants it - hell, one of the guys in the club had his engine chainsawed off the transom of his boat over the winter - but what I'm looking to do is keep the insurance happy that I've done more than the minimum, while putting off an opportunistic thief, but also whilst also not making it too 'difficult' to steal if they're absolutely certain they want it - I don't want to have to spend months repairing, when I could be sailing with a replacement engine...

..and on that happy note - time to look for some sailing time!

PS. Two weeks to the 2018 Jolly Boys Cruise..  can't wait...

Monday, 21 May 2018

..bird poo kind of a day...

...which sums it up nicely really..

Massive tide today - well into springs - and although sunny the wind was cold, but more disappointingly was well south of south west which meant it was directly on the nose.. not exactly conducive for a trip to the bottom of the harbour unless I ran the engine all the way, and I couldn't be bothered...

Brisk breeze though which allowed me to see how the stays were set (port side lower rear needed tightening) some decent speeds over ground when I turned with the tide...  but a busy old harbour today, I spent a lot of time dodging and tacking and dodging...  on the runs and reaches it was sublime, on the beats it was just cold...

Turned and headed for home and did a damn good clean of the boat which was disgusting when I got on board, damn shite hawks have clearly been living on a diet of seafood curry of the hottest type... 

...."clam vindaloo, sir?".. "I don't mind if I do"...
So in between wheeling a mop manfully, I also spent time tightening down the shrouds and then securing them with some mousing wire (though I have an alternative idea about that), also tidied up the forestay fitting, and cranked on an extra half inch of back stay...

...disgusterous beasts...
So all in all - a lovely day to be on the water, and while I didn't exactly set the world alight, I accomplished a bit, but definitely had a good day on the water... 

Log:


Distance: 6.33  (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: F3 gust F4, going to F3; SE going SW through the session
Sail Plan: Full main, usual 75% genoa
Speed: 5.0/2.7 (though I saw some 5.3's and 5.4's when running with the tide on occasion)

Monday, 14 May 2018

An "ish" day...

Not the most exciting of days but boy did it de-stress....  a sunny (ish), warm (ish), gentle breeze, type of a day and with the winds from an interesting direction..  mid day high tide, all the omens were good, and it was a cracking day to be out on the water...  didn't quite manage to hit the "outstanding", but definitely hit the "good"...


The seals were also enjoying it... 


...and this was just beautiful...


...a remarkably low key kind of day for such a cracker..?

...talking of beautiful - I've had this as a desktop for ages


...and yesterday I saw Freyja (the one in the middle) in the flesh - an Emsworth boat, and I can confirm she is definitely beautiful...

...quick motor back to the mooring for a beer, cigar, and watching the world go by as I waited for the tide to drop a bit, which it did, but still no joy on the windex..  water too cloudy and too deep still... 

Log:



Distance: 10.24 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: Both ends of a F3; WNW going SWxS (sea breeze)
Sail Plan: Full main; full/partial genoa
Speed: 4.4/2.9 knots (max./avg.)