Ships log for the yacht "Sparrow" an Ian Anderson designed
'Hurley 20', sail no. 109, launched 16th November 1967.
This is the day to day stuff involved with owning and sailing a
small boat, so nothing earth shattering but there'll also
hopefully be some adventures along the way..

Monday, 23 August 2021

Pfffft...

...well that was a funny old day and no mistake...

With sunny days few and far between this summer, any day where no rain was forecast, irrespective of temperature or cloud cover, was always going to be a shoe-in for a day on the water, and so it looked for this Sunday..

13:45 HT and I was on the boat by 11:00 as the first order of the day was to replace one of the two cockpit hatches... these have, without a shadow of a doubt been a catalogue of horrors since day one...  the large sheet of "good quality" "exterior" grade ply that I got is utter rubbish..  voids, gaps, and the mere mention of precipitation and the damn stuff is drinking down water like a Foreign Legionnaire after 7 weeks in the desert...

Irrespective of what I have done, and that includes full epoxy coating the boards, with paint, and extra edging as well, they have singularly failed to perform more than two seasons - which is rubbish...

So I replaced the port side lid over the winter, thinking that the starboard side would do, but the summer has been torrential and interspersed with high temperatures..  and the starboard side ended up taking on water... 

Sh*te..  if you'll excuse the French

 Knocked up a new one this week (getting fast as I've had enough practice), drilled and fitted it this weekend...  I have epoxied all the edges, filled gaps/voids with epoxy and micro ballons, two coats of epoxy primer per side with edges done at the same time (so four coats), and two coats of paint...   if it makes it to the end of the season*, I'll be amazed...   😀


Having done that I fired up the outboard (first time on Super, as the base unleaded in the UK has gone E10 - 10% methanol - but super remains E5 for the time being), dropped the mooring and headed down the ditch on a most unusual reach...   

Not a bad mooring at all...  😊

North westerly's are rare round here so the chance to full reach down the channel is rare..  in a south westerly the land mass causes a wind shadow..  even weirder to goosewing to the top of the main channel, and then turn on to a broad reach down it...

Sun came out, shed loads of boats, not much breeze but every now and again a gust would come through to make you pay attention..  have to say that it was idyllic sitting on the new cabin "perching pad" and watching the world go by as we gently perambulated down the harbour (against tide) at 3 and a bit knots..  glorious...

Bottom of the harbour was nose to tail, racing dinghy's, cruisers heading for the Solent, fishermen, foiling and non-foiling windsurfers, everyone was out to play - including this fellow...

Apologies for the quality - he was a bit of a way away...

Turned and then had a lovely beat up the harbour...   every now and again the wind would come a little more westerly and you gained some magic yards on the north'ing, but the sun continued to shine and as I got to the end of the rythe the engine came on for a fast run back to the mooring...

Where it then all turned a bit pear shaped....
Pfffttt...

As I approached the mooring I lowered the revs to make sure I didn't overrun the mooring and 20 yards short the engine died...  "uh oh" I thought, and went to restart it..  sometimes she doesn't like idle on low revs so it wasn't too much of a concern, but the fact that the engine wouldn't restart at all, was... 

No way that engine was going to restart, and given it had been running completely well to that point, my immediate thought was carburettor, blocked perhaps?

Practically teleported to the front of the cabin, threw everything out of the way, finally grabbed the anchor, and headed for the cockpit, tied the end of the anchor chain to the the nearest bit of rope I had (main sheet as it happened), and chucked the anchor over the side, and tied off the rope - anchor held, the Lord be praised..

Next job was to find a lift, the alternative was to swim with a long rope as the mooring was still only 30 yards away, and once I got there I could tie it off and haul myself in, but just as I got my phone and came back in to the cockpit, my boat neighbour turned up... bless him#, 15 minutes later I was back on the mooring, tied up and tidying up...

A check of the engine identified that it has revs in plenty when the throttle on the actual engine was flicked..  but not when the throttle hand grip was twisted...  removed the cable - no issues, but noticed that there was drag where the cable meets the metal elbow at the twist end (see diagram) and there were indications of previous damage...  tide was disappearing fast which stopped any further investigation so I  put it all back together, tidied up as best I could, and headed for home and a beer... 

Postcript:

Went out this morning, completed the tidying, had a little more time to investigate the issue, got nowhere, so with the help of the boom and mainsheet as a crane put the engine in the tender, and have now dropped it at the mechanics for repair and investigation...  worst case two weeks, but if the part is in stock then much shorter...

Bit of a pfffft day, but on balance, given the number of crisis and challenges, I think it was  good result..  I learnt a lot more about the engine, the decision to deploy the anchor was done quickly (I need to get that anchor hawse fitted though), anchor worked, and the boom crane was brilliant, worked far better than I thought...  

* the summer is going fast, she comes out the week of the 17th-24th October
# Chris, many thanks matey, I DEFINITELY owe you a beer...

Log:


Distance: 9.19 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): F3 gusting F4; NWxN
Sail Plan: Full main and jib
Speed (Max/average in knots): 4.7 (motor)/1.8

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Quick trip out..

Hadn't even planned to go but was much taken with the sun, warmth, and general loveliness after what seems like weeks of wet, rain, gales, and duff tides...

Plan was actually to go out on Sunday, but having got down to to do some more first aid on the tender (the thwarts are gravitating to the top of the job list this coming winter) I had planned (with the lateness of the tide) to just have a lounge, read a book, and maybe dangle a line...  but the wind was the clincher, glorious, so I dropped the mooring for an hour and a half of bimbling..

Boat electric power good, I also put 5 litres in the fuel tank (I've changed to super/premium as the basic unleaded has gone to E10 and for the small amounts I use it wasn't worth the saving and the possible "costs" of the increased methanol content in damaged pipes/plastics etc.)

Replaced the downhaul on the genoa so that I could lift it the extra few inches (better visibility) - may have some more playing to do there (want to experiment with tensioning on the genoa luff to see what effects there are on the roller furler), we shall see

So...  three or four transits with and against the tide, beating and reaching, bit of music, decent breeze, unexpected pleasure of a sail, nothing to see here..  move along....😀

Log:


Distance:
5.31 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): Top end F3 gusting F4; SSW
Sail Plan: Full main and genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots): 5.5/3.1 (and those were under sail)