Monday, 8 June 2015 bleeding last...

...three weeks since the last (cold) sail, so I was more than ready for a swift trip out when yesterday came..

...1600 HT, sunny, but little wind forecast - I almost didn't go as there wasn't a breath at home, but I'm glad I made the decision to go, as the breeze soon made an appearance once I got to the boat.

Not a very exciting afternoon, but I can say that I enjoyed it very much (more than a number of recent trips) as there was an "OK" breeze, I got to practice my beating*, and I made it past Marker under my own steam rather than having to turn the engine on..

* I've been playing around with main track position based on an article in (last months?) Practical Boat Owner about using the track to position the boom angle to the boat rather than solely relying on the main sheet....  so, on a beat, sheet in hard, but then move the track up to windward to bring the end of the boom more central to the boat..  according to the article you can also do this on a run or beat (move the track in the opposite direction) so as to shorten the amount of main sheet for the same effect/angle - it can also make a gybe less potentially damaging...  yesterday it was mostly beating but I can confirm just shifting the track 6" does seem to make a difference...  Speed and beating angle were good yesterday - I was pointing as well as most, speed not quite as good as the bigger boats (I put that down to topping lift, and a main that can only be described as having a shape like a used Tesco shopping bag.. )

What I do need to do just as soon as possible is get the main halyard, and especially the topping lift, routed back to the cockpit - wanted to adjust the topping lift yesterday, but couldn't - too damn busy in the fairway and couldn't leave the tiller..  very frustrating...  other than that it was a pleasing afternoon, the tacking angles look narrow but that's what happens when you're trying to stem 2 or 3 knots of adverse tide....  just as an experiment, once I'd got the main up I turned to head back the way I'd come and hit 5.5 almost immediately, so yes - plenty of water being pushed about..

So past Marker and toyed with the idea of carrying on across Pilsea sands to North Head but the wind was beginning to drop so I turned for home and had a long 3 knot run back to Northney Marina where I dropped the main, and then proceeded back to the mooring.

I tried some engine speed trials on the way back - almost dead water - opened her up and got 6.5 knots, be interesting to see how long the tank would last at that speed..

Brilliant afternoon - went home, tired, slightly burnt, and slightly salty..  nothing like it...

Nagging thoughts that the genoa may be too big - I invariably put a couple of rolls in but that doesn't give it the optimal shape, and the track isn't long enough for optimal sheeting angle...  more thought required before I go that route, methinks...


Distance: 8.98 miles (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Force 3 gusting Force 4.. between SSW and SWW all afternoon.
Sail Plan: Full main and genoa, few rolls in the genoa helped on the beats - engine to manoeuvre...
Speed: GPS track says the max speed was 5.4 knots (which would have been under sail or motor) - average speed 2.7 knots


  1. Great stuff Steve. The genoa on CB is pretty big and tends to be reefed in anything more then a 3... Unless big John is on the boat then we've got plenty of ballast to keep us upright :) However it comes into it's own on a run. I pole it out with the spinnaker pole and she flies.
    Having a weekend in Cowes next week if you want to meet up?

  2. Hello matey... Will be thinking more on the genoa... It's brill on a light wind day... not had too many of them this summer! Sorry... No can do this weekend... busy :-(