Wednesday, 30 July 2014

New motive power for Sparrow..

When I first bought Sparrow I was planning to use the elderly and venerable Yamaha 2 stroke I'd been using on Papillon, but just before launch [clicky] I suddenly realised that it wouldn't do as Pap had a lowered outboard well so the venerable Yam was a short shaft and I'd need a long shaft for the transom mount on the Hurley .. cue much running about at short notice looking for a suitable power plant in far too short a time....

Happily, Bill at Home Marine [clicky] in Emsworth happened to have a reconditioned Suzuki that fitted the bill (ugh... pun unintended), a long shaft, 2 stroke, 4HP that looked old but in good condition - I part'exed the venerable Yam (which he'd serviced every year anyway so knew fairly well) and with that I got the Suzuki for about £300 I think...

The Suzuki has done all right - there's nothing fundamentally wrong with it, it's only failed once in two years (spark plug was shot), and it starts well (full choke/half throttle, push the choke in the moment it fires); the only issues are the traditional 2 stroke ones (ie. noisy and thirsty), and also it's age (it is quite old, I think it's a 1991 from the serial number)

The other day though, Giblets, skipper of the good ship "Boobalena" (a Leisure 17 known to us cognoscenti as 'the Boobster'), happened to mention he was selling up so that he could crew full time on his mates 30 footer, and he had an outboard to sell..

Over a few emails (with me getting more interested with each one), we ascertained it was a long shaft (tick), and that it was a sail pro (a high thrust propeller - tick), Tohatsu (a well considered make, so another tick), 4 stroke (so not as thirsty, tick), and 6 HP (more power, tick). She was being sold with an external 12L fuel tank and line, she also had a charging point (12V/60W/5A) and the attached wiring was available, and finally a trolley - full service history, three years old (bought June '11), and Giblets reckons she has no more than 20 hours on the clock... superb!


Arranged to meet on Tuesday, fired her up in the tank at the club (and she started first time after 6 months), carried her around a bit so I could get an idea of the weight (a little more than the Suzi..  perhaps a couple of kilo's more?) and money changed hands yesterday - she's now mine....



Need to get the insurance sorted but I'm absolutely made up, can't wait to get her on the back of Sparrow and see what the new experience is like!

More detail here... http://www.tohatsu.com/outboards/6_4st.html

Monday, 28 July 2014

Sunny Sunday drifting..


It was too nice an afternoon to miss out on a sail, but in the event the weather was more pleasant than the breeze, which was pretty much non-existent....  little more than a training run then.

We've seen this one before - this is Terror- the last surviving Emsworth oyster boat - out for a drift..

So pretty much BAU..  swift motor down the channel against a strong'ish tide.. sails up off Northney, and then the next few hours watching the world go by slowly... spotted my third (fourth?) seal of the year as I turned for home.. just a  head watching what was going on.. cracking...

..and talking of cracking, I'm getting a split in the tiller where I keep levering it up - I need a make do and mend session so I may take half a day to fix things this week..  tiller's fine, I just need to drill it and through bolt it with a couple of penny washers - I'll also fit a wedge underneath so it sits higher.

I'll also replace the old screws I used to hold the hatch slider rails..  they're beginning to rust

Stay tuned for interesting news on motive power for Sparrow..

Log:



Distance: 6.57 miles (cumulative total in the 2014 mileage tab at the top of the page) and that took me 3 hours!
Wind: NNW Force 1 and less..
Sail Plan: Full main/genoa - engine to get down to Northney at the beginning of the day, and back at the end of the trip....
Speed: GPS track says max speed was 4 knots (that was under motor, best I saw under sail was a 3.2 in a gust) - average speed 1.7

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Bembridge bumble...

So rather than Sunday as I'd hoped, it was Monday, and another one of those crafty days off...

Tides were at 0730 and 2000, and were a bit neapy to be honest, but I was hoping for 3 hours either side of high tide, so I eventually left at about 0930, with hopes I could get back on the mooring by 1700'ish in the evening...

I had no passage plan - quelle horeure - I had a day to play with and a well set up boat, and to be blunt I'd go wherever the wind provided a reach to...

So - a decent breeze when I got to the boat, I almost put in a reef as I thought it was bound to be windier outside in the Solent (it usually is) but in the end I decided not to  - the wind was northerly, always easier over powered and I could always take some in later..

So a fast run down to the harbour entrance - I think I reached the West Pole in about an hour, and that was sailing as I switched the engine off when I found it was only really adding a knot or two to speed - Chi is a big old harbour and it all drains out of two places - bit like being sucked out of a plughole so it was worth at least a couple of knots..

Lovely and sunny but where's the breeze..
By the time I'd got to the West Pole - and it was mostly a drift there as the tide was running faster than the wind - it looked like the wind was going round to the forecast NW..  and it slowly started to fill in giving some nice close reaching over to the IoW...  aha I thought, Seaview or Bembridge.... by the time I got to the main shipping channel it was round to NWW and I was getting edged to the south of the island, so Bembridge it was...

No, I insist, after you...  (this guy was coming out of Southampton Water when I first spotted him and had got to here by the time I'd crossed the shipping lane...  he didn't seem to be shifting from the bow wave, but he sure was...)
So Bembridge it was - I'd always had a yen to have a closer look at St Helen's Fort anyway - couple of small tacks to take me up wind a little  and I was there...

St Helen's Fort ahead.. channel to the harbour is to the right..
Fort and harbour... chartlet courtesy Visit My Harbour website
I toyed with the idea of going north (past Seaview towards Ryde) or south (past Bembridge) but in the end I could sense the wind was dropping so I turned for home...

Seaview..  just up the coast looking right from the fort...
One last close up of the fort... more info here [clicky]

Close up...
The trip back was slow with the wind dropping all the time (Chimet reported 0 from 1500, with just a breath, and then no wind from 1545 to 1630) it was also effectively a run - utter purgatory... What I should have done of course was take the run south to give me a better angle, but hey, there still would have been no wind...

Engine went on just shy of the West Pole, went off for a while in a fitful breeze, and then went on again at the Bar Beacon - I stowed away while I took a very slow motor up the harbour, and managed to get on to the mooring about 1645 (3.25 hours before high water on a low tide.. amazing)

Good day... no breakages, no one died..  have added the cockpit locker lids to the job list - over the summer they have started to flake and on one the beading edge is coming away.. I've also identified them as a major source of rain leakage...

Log:


Distance: 28.41 miles (cumulative total in the 2014 mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Everything between nothing and a top end Force 3 with a few wibbles into Force 4.. started N/NE, went wound to NNW, then W and SW by end of the afternoon (sea breeze).
Sail Plan: Full main/genoa - engine to get down to the end of the Northney channel at the beginning of the day, and back from the Bar Beacon at the end of the trip when the wind had all but disappeared....
Speed: GPS track says max speed was 5.2 knots (and that was under sail as I saw a 5.3 at one point just after I turned for home off Bembridge) - average speed 3.2

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Not dead...

...just resting....  

Just back from 2 weeks in the Vendee, and the weekends before that were either poor weather or useless tides...  needless to say I'm gagging for some sailing as the only time on the boat since the Bosham jaunt has been to check she's OK just before and after the holiday (she is)...

This weekend the tides are big (big) at almost 5mtrs, but they're also very early (and late) so I'm hoping that if the weather gods smile Sunday will be an all'dayer (leave on one tide, come back on another); I have no idea where I'll go, I'll decide nearer the time...

Trip out last Sunday to check also involved a wash down of the deck, and a run of the engine.. all is fine, just need some time to get out!