Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Job #9 - Cockpit locker lids - started

Chuffing freezing, but needs must, and a distinct worsening in the condition of the cockpit locker lids lifted them to the top of the queue...

This one has actually holed, so it's currently being used while in a bin bag to keep water out of the boat...  I remember distinctly this one cracking.. I caught one of the lines I use for retaining the tiller under the edge of the lid when I sat on it..

Not so bad - but the beading around the edge of the boards is splitting..

Basically my fault..  should have painted them well before now and they would have been good for another season...

So large sheet of 12mm exterior ply was 28 squids.. didn't need that much, but a small (half size) sheet of the same stuff was still £23, so I figured I'd buy the big sheet.. plenty for spare...

I used the old lids as templates for the new one's, and with the use of the trusty jigsaw soon had two lid shaped bits of ply.. 

First fit looked pretty good, edges could have been straighter but I don't have the skill for a panel saw, and I don't own a circular saw; I'm thinking I may fit a batten to the back edge to hide the worst..

These will be painted, so labels and marks will be covered..

Need to smooch a couple of mm's off the edge on this one

Smooth the curve out on this one and she's good to go..

...and just trim a few mm's off that edge and she'll be the same...

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Seasons Greetings

Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year, and here's wishing us "Fair Winds" for 2015.. 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

That was the year that was... 2014

Lest you think I have shuffled off this mortal coil I can confirm that not a lot has been done since lift out - she's scraped and cleaned, and to all intents and purposes is ready to go back in the water except for a coat of anti-foul, but I do have some jobs to do (see list top of page) and I'd like to get some of them done before next season, but the weather has turned wet, windy and cold, and I have a shed load of other stuff to do!

So, I do at least have time for the traditional review of the year past; I've said it before and I'll say it again I really enjoy putting this together as it's a good excuse to read all the old posts, and look at the video and pictures from this years logs....

I would say that it's been a "Good" year, definitely a step up on last year, almost a classic and only missed on that because of time constraints that kept me off the water as much as I'd have liked.... the summer was even better than last year and seemed to go on for months, but despite that it seems to me there weren't enough sailing days mostly because of family commitments.. I simply can't justify pushing off for 2 or 3 days as that puts the work on other people, and given they 'accept' the boat at best, I don't want to cheese them off...   

This was my second year as owner of Sparrow and the learning curve continues (I'll be amazed if it ever stops...) The sailing lark is a complicated one. I did manage to combat my harbour'itis though with a couple of decent days in the Solent, and the boat performed beautifully (except for a few small niggles) all season...

After last winters jobs (and the big job then was the cockpit drains [clicky], which leaked not a drop all summer by the way ) the summers big project was a new Genoa (also known as 'big bastard' [clicky]) a real driver of a sail compared with the old one - as is the nature of these things however, that in turn revealed the niggle I referred to, as the sheets kept slipping which was driving me up the wall.  This has become job #19 [clicky] on the winter job list - and is to replace the old (original I suspect??) cam cleats with new ones...  (I've started on this by the way..)

Interestingly, I've noticed a marked decrease in weather helm in a breeze since I got this sail - I look forward to doing some more practice next season as the new cleats will hold more sail.....

This summer I also replaced the outboard which had done sterling service, but was when push comes to shove fairly old, and probably a little on the small side - no mechanical issues with it this year, and no intention to swap it until a mate from the sailing club mentioned he was selling his four stroke 6HP Tohatsu - a real no brainer and the engine was a joy to use... after swapping the sparkplug...! To be honest, as a mechanical numpty, I was chuffed to have done it myself - I wouldn't have even considered it a few years ago (and I wouldn't have had a spare plug anyway), so I'm coming on... slowly.... 

So all in all that rates as an good year....  8 out of 10.. 

Like a spider dipped in blue ink and left to wander all over Google Earth - here's where Sparrow went this year:

...and the following in "Ocean Waves" this summer on the Jolly Boys Outing [clicky] II

No cross Channel trip (again!) as we'd hoped (another weather casualty) but a brilliant three days - the highlights being my first visit to Yarmouth and Lymington, and Smithy's missus's carrot cake...

Despite the weather turning when we tried to get to France - we had some superb sailing - down to Yarmouth the first day, but especially the leg from Cowes to Lymington - warm sun, big breeze, blue sea - champagne sailing.... it really could have been the Caribbean


Number of visits down to the boat: 19 (about the same as last year funnily enough) but once again if you count all the times I visited in the mornings/evenings while she was on shore (usually two to three times a week), and the days I worked on her pre-season - easily triple that...

Total distance sailed: 137.98 miles, which compares with 113.73 miles last year, and 173.29 miles in 2012... a better year - harbour'itis kicked into touch, but granddad baby sitting duties chomped a bit of time.. rather delightfully I'll admit.. 

Nights on board: None - it will change as I free up a bit more time....

Crew on occasion: None... nada... no-one...  not even a dead parrot.. "Hello I'm Steve, and I am solo sailor, it has been two years since I had a crew.."

Cruising range: Bembridge to the west, Emsworth to the north, Bosham in the East and the Nab Tower to the south..

Biggest Cruise: Bembridge [clicky] on a lovely day off mid-week.... it was just shy of 30 miles in a day not bad considering the wind dropped to nothing at the end... a sunny day that had some good sailing in it.....

Best Cruise: Choices choices...Bembridge, the Nab possibly (for distance), but I'm going to go with the trip to Bosham [clicky] - first time I've been back to Sparrow's home port since that Arctic delivery trip.. I had sunshine and breeze, and an overwhelming remembrance of everyone smiling - a good day.....!

Worst cruise: None - I can't remember a bad one..... 

Oddest cruise: None really - they all went fairly to plan...  that first "sail" of the year on Ami-Ly was odd though [clicky] - I have never, ever, seen the Solent so flat...  it looked like it had been ironed..  Then on the Bembridge trip the wind dropped to almost nothing on the way back and I was assailed by fruit fly things while at least a mile off shore...  super fly guy....

Best anchorages: None... didn't anchor this year again...  really need to do something about that, I've never anchored in all the years I've sailed! Part of the problem of course is that everywhere I sail there are huge numbers of empty moorings so there's little need but I can't help thinking a bit of practice might help... and given I have the anchor hawse pipe to fit there's less and less excuse!

Best mooring:  ...my club mooring It continues to be a delight; water 3.5+ hours either side of high tide...

Happy days.....

Worst mooring: None...  blimey...  I only ever used my own mooring all summer!

Plans for next year: More Solent....   pure and simple......  Cowes... then there was talk of another jolly boys outing but this time just in the Solent as we enjoyed it so much..  I also have a yen to do a weekend in Langstone... as a younger, thinner, fitter bloke I raced windsurfers round the islands in the harbour - I have a yen to anchor up in one of the channels for a night on the hook..


Click on the date to go to the log entry post....

Sail Plan:
Max Speed (knots):
Average Speed (knots):
12th March
N to NW
Mostly engine
An early season motor to Cowes on AmiLy for lunch
4th May 8.21 F3 gusting F4 S Full main and 3 rolls in genoa 4.5 2.6 Shakedown cruise in a very cold breeze..  new jib used first time!
10th May 12* F6 gusting F8 WSW 3 reefs/main only 5.5 8+ Test sail (on the 40 footer we're taking to Cherbourg) on one of the windiest days we've had in some time!
18th May 14.91 F3 S going SE Full main and genoa 5.1 2.7 Down to Prinstead/Thorney Channel and just beyond Camber - motored past Marker.
23rd to 26th May 24.4* F4 gusting F5, F3 gusting F4 end of day S Reefed main/jib to full main/jib 6.3 4.5 The jolly boys outing for 2014 - Day 1: Port Solent to Yarmouth
23rd to 26th May 43.04* F0 to F7 S Reefed main/jib to full main/jib 7.5 3.1 The jolly boys outing for 2014 - Day 2: Yarmouth to Cherbourg (err... Cowes)
23rd to 26th May 26.87* F4 gusting 5 SSW Full main/jib to reefed main/jib 10 5.8 The jolly boys outing for 2014 - Day 3: Cowes to Lymington
23rd to 26th May 26.05* Top end F3 N Full main/jib 7.8 4.5 The jolly boys outing for 2014 - Day 4: Lymington to home (Portsmouth)
13th June 16.97 F1 ending up F3 S going SW Full main/genoa 5.4 3.2 Bosham trip
21st July 28.41 Nothing to top end F3 NE going NW Full main/genoa from full to small reef 5.2 3.2 Bembridge trip
27th July 6.57 F1 and less NNW Full main/genoa 4 1.7 Sunny Sunday afternoon drift
3rd August 9.47 F4/F5 gusting F6 WSW Reefed main and genoa 6.3 3.4 HISC drag race - what a contrast to last time!
20th August 24.98 F3 gusting F4 NW/WNW Reefed/full main and reefed/full genoa 4.8 3.3 Nab Tower run - new engine not running..
3rd September 5.5 F1 to F2 S/SSW Full main and reefed/full genoa 3.9 2.2 Post work pottering - sea trails for the fixed engine
14th September 10.71 F4 (occasional gust F5) NE->SE Reefed/full main and reefed/full genoa 5.3 2.9 HISC to Fishermans, and a seal eating a fish on a breezy day...
28th September 12.25 F3 dropping to F2 SSE/SE Full main and reefed/full genoa 5 2.5 Beat to Bar Beacon - last sail of the season in big tides and fitful wind..

* Not counted in year total...

Year total (to date): 137.98 miles

2013 total (in Sparrow): 113.73 miles
2012 total (in Pap): 173.29
2011 total (in Pap): 193.41
2010 total (in Pap): 154.23
2009 total (in Pap): 125