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.)

Friday, 11 May 2018

Completed job list - winter layover 2017/18

So one of the worst winters for maintenance in my history of boat ownership (and this is the 9th year so where did that time go?)... rain, after cold, after rain, after snow, after wind, and repeat....  all in all I found it particularly stressing, as I had stuff to do, a rapidly advancing launch date, and the weather wasn't playing ball...  but hey ho, them's the breaks, and as a mate of mine said, "that's life on the water for you".. 

So what did I get done..?  Not too much, but more than was expected in the time allowed (couple of sessions)
  1. Fit electrics:
    • fit fixed VHF (which I have) - fitted - just need to wire it in - which I'll do on a quiet day while on the water


    • Tiller pilot and electrics -dri plug fitted for power (just need to wire it in - which I'll also do on a quiet day while on the water) - no time to fit the actual pilot.. it'll have to wait for next winter, I may be able to jimmy rig a temporary fitting, we'll see




  2. Fit recently obtained boarding ladder (a #1 priority after this little event [clicky])



  3. All done, and very happy with the end result -t he one modification |I've made after floating is to fit a strop to leave the ladder in a half raised position - at rest, and unloaded the ladder is well clear of the water - when on starboard tack it touches the water and causes drag - leaving it up fixes that issue

  4. Handrails - completed, but not without (more) incident... touch wood the quarter berths have remained dry - so this is a qualified "good"
  5. Windex - source and fit and this time get a permanent solution! Clang...  resounding fail...


    Was hugely pleased with this one, and then a series of errors on mast raise day [clicky] saw yet another of my windex's hurtle in to the briney..  this was the third one..  maybe I need to accept that it just ain't meant to be....

    It has however potentially raised something I need to check next winter - I had assumed the polyethylene (chopping board) material I used would be good for years as it has an almost oily texture - the fact it cracked so easily may mean it is more susceptible to UV than I thought.. I'll replace it next winter with aluminium sheet...  and I may then just fit a flag halyard and buy a burgee!!
  6. Reinforce outboard pad and surrounding area - replaced pad


  7. Rub down and coat of paint on cockpit locker lids / wash boards (as needed)
    • the cockpit locker lids got a coat of paint mid last season and I refitted the padlock hasps and they look pretty good (but I would also like to trim the edges for a better fit)..
    • The wash boards needed doing - especially the bottom one - I'm going to have to replace them at some time but they'll do for now...
  8. Rub down and coat of wood preservative on rubbing strakes / cockpit board / outboard pad / hand rails (as needed) - the outboard pad was done as part of the renewal, I also had some areas of raised/bubbly preservative on the rubbing strakes - rubbed back and patched these but I think a more complete job will be needed next winter....
  9. Antifoul - done - hideous job...
  10. Service outboard - also done - new engineer this year, and the price was up (£123)
  11. Service Life Jackets - done..

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

First sail.. Marker and back...

Hottest early May Bank Holiday on record according to the weather gonks in the national press, and it certainly felt like it, but as is usual on this weekend the tide gods were not with us...  There was the option of an all day/double-tide'r (go out on one, come back with the next), but the same hot weather high, had also brought in the typically windless days so I opted for a late afternoon sail, hoping for some sea breeze... if I'd been out all day I'd have roasted slowly while going nowhere...!

Arrived four hours before high tide as my new magnet had arrived in the post, spent a fruitless half hour rowing around trying to find the windex..  no joy...  time to try the mini-grapnel and then give up... 

For a first sail of the year I'm late this year - last year I'd been sailing almost three weeks by now, but seemingly the weather was better earlier last year - this year two weeks to get the mast up, and then another two weeks to get some decent sailing weather starts to chew up the time...

Either way - for a shake down sail there were none better - perhaps a little more breeze, but the sun and warmth were splendid..  real shorts and tshirt weather and we played the traditional (delightful!) game of fighting the tide to Marker in light winds...  which was done just as the breeze began to drop....

Marker ahead..

...so we turned, rolled the genoa away, and ran all the way back to the mooring in a dying breeze, but on the last legs of the flow'ing tide..

...could be the Med...  end of the Emsworth channel....
...beautiful day, lovely first sail, summer's coming....   bring it on!

Log:


Distance: 7.04 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: Both ends of a F3 dropping to a F2 - SWxS / SSW
Sail Plan: Full main and 75% genoa
Speed: 3.4/2.2 (knots - max/average)