Monday, 20 April 2015


No pictures I'm afraid...   bit too busy....but the good news is that Sparrow is back in the water, so the summer can now officially start.. 

Busy, busy, weekend for the guys at the club who coordinate the lift-in's, all volunteers (we're a self help club) but I think it safe to say they were enjoying themselves. Sunny weather all weekend, but they were contending with F5's most of Friday and Saturday (gusting considerably more), but by Sunday when I was launching it had moderated but was still a fairly solid F4, and being SE'ly was damn cold (straight off of Siberia)...

Got to the club about half eight (for a 12:30 HT) thinking I'd be in plenty of time, but they'd already started so I missed the early slots..  normally I get dropped at the far end of the slip - first to float off, this time I was the top....  having made sure she was safely parked, I had an hour or so to go before I needed to worry about her floating so I slipped off to the tender and went out to my mooring to put my mooring chain on...  that done, I rowed back to the club (with a big tide under me - it was really flowing all day) and the keels were already wet to half way..

At this point my old mate Dave turned up, one of trusty (rusty? ) crew  for the day as I was planning to launch and lift the mast on the same tide..  as it looked like I might float before some of the bigger ones behind me we rigged a slip to one of the pilings to stop me drifting out of control.... with the water now well up we transferred to Sparrow (not before Dave almost threw himself in - tricky things, tenders...) Few minutes later the last of my crew, Rod the Mod - erstwhile skipper of Ami-Ly [clicky] - turned up and we were quorate.. a bare 15 or so minutes after that and we were afloat which was unfortunate as some of the bigger boats behind were not, but the slip was holding so no harm done - fended off for a moment and then one of the club safety boats came in and dragged me out sideways to clear water... 

Swift trip under the bridge and 5 minutes later we were on the mooring at which point it was almost a virtual copy of the event last year [clicky] albeit even smoother - I even remembered this time to check the furler was on the right way round... no issues at all really, back stay needed smoothing out half way up, but all under control...

The new mast bolts that I'd got to avoid the issue of not being able to get the bottom mast bolt in were still not big enough - I'll get next size up this summer for next year.. in the meanwhile the big screwdriver was wielded again...

Having tightened up all the rigging, we withdrew to the cockpit for beer and chat in the sunshine - libations were offered to Neptune, the boat, and the crew, and all in all it was a remarkably stress free event..

Hour or so later I dispatched the crew via one of the club safety boats to shore, and I tidied up; then unscrewed the flag pole holder, turned it round, and screwed it back on the right way round (); fitted the boom, fed in the mainsail, and attached halyard; packed up and rowed ashore just as the water was beginning to disappear..  a good day!

Thoughts now turn to first sail, but not before I put the genoa on - tides are good this weekend for an afternoon sail so I may slink off for a crafty afternoon on the water...


  1. Hoorah! a successful operation. I shall have a celebratory drink for you :)

  2. Well done Steve. Here's hoping for some decent weather. It's always a good launch if no one sinks or drowns.

  3. Thanks Peter... too true... I'd add "and also gets to drink beer"... :o)

  4. Well done. A boat that can float, is a boat that can be sailed!!