Wednesday 28 December 2022

That was the year that was.. 2022

Solo sailor in 2022 - everything to hand..   πŸ˜€

Wall to wall sunshine...
Yee gods, it's the end of 2022 already..  and with New Year fast approaching that must mean it's time for my traditional look back at the sailing year..! 😁, the big event for me this year was retirement, which eventually happened at the end of August - it was a shame that it couldn't have been earlier, but thems the breaks. 

Despite (one) the late start to retirement and (two) having also broken my thumb and (three) also succumbed finally to COVID, I had a brilliant seasons sailing in what has been measured as being one of Britain's hottest in years (if not ever)...

This is my tenth year as owner of Sparrow and apart from the amazement at where those years have gone (it only seems like yesterday that I first drove into the car park in Bosham, saw her at the back, and just knew she was the one I was going to buy 😍)

 I still have absolutely no interest in parting with her - she does everything I want in spades... so the following is some happy memories of good times, bad times (few or none of those to be honest), warm weather, sunshine glinting on the water, and fair weather sailing in shorts and t-shirt...

So many expectations at the beginning of the season, as they came to lift her in..

I always enjoy putting this together, it's a good excuse to read all the old posts, and look at the videos (one this year, and riveting it is!) and pictures from this years logs....

Result of a small contretemps with the ground when I came off Gertrude, my electric bike.. easy she came off considerably better than I did.
. πŸ˜€

As of this moment work has not really started on the winter jobs list, but as usual she is scraped and cleaned, and to all intents and purposes is ready to go back in the water except for a coat of anti-foul (which is already purchased). There are perhaps one or two essential jobs this winter which makes a nice change, none of them are mission critical though, and other than the aforesaid antifoul she could go back in the water tomorrow if I wanted..
  • the washboards which were showing signs of water ingress have remained good despite the bodged repair a couple of years back and there is still currently no need to replace them - they'll need a coat of paint though..
  • the curtains, after eight years of UV are beyond the pale, in fact they are very pale (πŸ˜€), and could still do with being replaced..  if I could get my hands on a sewing machine I'd do my own..
  • I was looking at the cabin wiring the other day and while it all works, and is mostly tucked away, neat it isn't - some ducting perhaps, and I need to label it better in the switch box..
  • the gelcoat is beginning to get thin in places - not surprising after almost 55 years of exposure to the elements - the easiest solution is probably to colour match some paint, I am not painting the whole boat, that way lies madness, so patch repairs only where needed.
  • first major is to give the antifoul another good abrading - it's stuck well so the issue is not flaking, but despite being soft/ablative there is build up over the years that has lead to a lumpy and cratered surface..  what I want to do is flatten it off..  I got a sanding pole and mesh lst year and it worked well, but the mesh was not coarse enough, so I have got some new mesh and will do it again this year...
  • I am toying with plans this winter to install bilge pumps - I have a manual one but perhaps something electric this time. The complication for me is the Hurley 20 under water profile which has two half depth bilge keels, meaning two pumps are needed...
  • the other major is the outboard which has an oil leak that definitely needs finding and fixing

I would say that it was an "Good" year; not the best season I've had either in 'Sparrow' (or 'Papillon' for that matter) but it definitely was way better than the last 3 or 4 years... looking back there were three main reasons for that - one as mentioned was the weather, I love hot and dry and we got it in spades. Two, my perception (backed up by the logs) was we had a lot of easterly's which are a good direction for me, they were also strong - the majority of the trips I recorded were F4 or more. Three, I had a huge (compared too previous years) number of trips out with the Jolly Boys - always good fun, and always longer trips, we're all retired now so I look forward to that continuing... 

Hurst Castle on this years Jolly Boys trip - sun glinting on water, lovely..

 Twenty one trips this year (c/w 10 last year) of which six were in the Solent either on 'AmiLy' (Rod's boat) or 'Kings Ransom' (t'other Dave's boat) so not included in my totals. The Jolly Boys Cruise was as usual immensely and stupidly enjoyable, but it rained like a bastard on the third day, and we also had to squeeze all 5 of us on to AmiLy as our usual ride (Ocean Waves) was in for repairs after a particularly bad, storm based, bashing.. 

...note swivel mounting arm...

Of last winters jobs the one that worked beyond compare well, was the depth instruments - a NASA Target 2 depth sounder - such a cheap and simple thing, but it worked perfectly, and was a huge help on a number of occasions.. For the kind of sailing I do depth instruments aren't really necessary, but it was a fun project, and it has definitely helped my sailing, as I can now tack much deeper angles knowing exactly how much water is under the keel.. I am also stupidly pleased with the hinged mounting arm which works uncommonly well...

The cockpit locker lids - which must be about the third iteration, are at the moment, touch wood (see what I did there? 😏), behaving...  the epoxy primer undercoat spray is the dogs nuts, and one of them is perfect, but the other one has a slight split of the layers on one corner - I've taken them off the boat for the winter and put the old ones covered in plastic bags in their place. Once it's dried out I'll inject some epoxy into the split and clamp, and then give them a good coating of paint again ready for the new season..

New ships clock, left...., along with a new battery installed, the aforementioned smooth off of the anitfoul, and a titivate of the tender and trolley, plus the new ships clock courtesy of the brother in law, I would say it was a good year for maintenance and projects - go on then, 7/10....  😁

Like a spider dipped in blue ink and left to wander all over Google Earth - here's where Sparrow went this year.. yeah, not enough Solent venturing....    

  ...but the following in "AmiLy" and "Kings Ransom" this summer...

...and then there was the Jolly Boys trip πŸ˜€


Number of visits down to the boat (ie. actually on it): Difficult to say, but about 25...  best of all though, 15 sailing trips c/w 6 last year, sometimes even sitting on your boat on the mooring (and I did that few times - usually flat calm), or even in the car park come to that, is preferable to not being on your boat at all...  sometimes you just miss that "boat smell" 
Total distance sailed:  Just shy of 125 miles , the best seasons distance since 2018!

More downhaul on the main needed, but one of a number of goosewing runs up the harbour this year

Nights on board: On Sparrow, none - nada - 'nuff'ing.. I've done it before and it's usually cold and uncomfortable.. 😏

Crew on occasion: None...the whole year was solo...  I don't mind, I'm good company.. if I start talking to the tiller pilot (who I love by the way) I know I've got a problem.. 😜

You can take your Sydney's and New York's, I reckon Pompey is one of the loveliest harbour entrances in the known world...

Cruising range: West Winner to the south, Thorney Channel to the east, let's move on.. 

Biggest Cruise: This one was easy - the cruise on the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend [clicky] was brilliant and also the longest single tide cruise I've had since this epic sail [clicky] in May 2016 (!) Also apropos of absolutely nothing, it just goes to show what you can do when the wind direction is Easterly...  this was me on the way back...

Best Cruise: A few to choose from this year, but probably the first trip out after I caught COVID and also broke my thumb - I went to Snowhill, and the weather was lovely and I was so pleased to be back on the water..

Worst cruise: Well "worst" is a stretch, but the day of the recurring errors was a bit "interesting"... 

Oddest cruise: The day I lost my fishing rod [clicky].. every wind direction with an E in it you could think of and a slingshot'ed fishing rod to finish off..  mad..  😁
Best anchorages: None - all moorings and pontoons this year..
Best mooring:  ...the waiting pontoon at the sailing club [clicky] while I waited for my lift out - so warm, and a lovely opportunity to catch up with a lot of members I hadn't seen all season..

Worst mooring: Easy..  kissing the putty [clicky] - while not necessarily "moored" we did come to a halt in an arrested manner..  😁

Plans for next year:  
  • The Jolly Boys cruise..   
  • I am looking forward to be able to sail on more occasions next season... 
Riveting video award:

No review of the weeds on the bottom this year as I removed them too quickly... so you'll have to make do with this one.. 😏

2022: (Click on the date to go to the log entry post)

NB.* Means mileage not counted in year total... probably because I'm on someone else's boat, or it was all on engine...

Date Distance: Wind: Direction Sail
Speed (knots):
7th May 6.3 F3 gusting F4 SE/SSE Full main and genoa 6 3 Shakedown sail - autopilot power failure
12th May 5.5
F2 W Full main and genoa 3.8 3 Second shakedown following pilot repair - Marker glorious in the sun...
13th to 16th May
Various Various Various 9.4 4.5 The Jolly Boys Cruise of 2022
21st May 9.62
F4 gusting F5 SW Reefed main and genoa 5 1.6 Marker tacking on a sunny day - blew a fuse it was so good... πŸ˜€
3rd June 13.93
F3 gusting F4 E/S/SE Full main and genoa 5.5 3 Thorney channel on a Jubilee weekend - fist seal sighting and plenty of flags! (4 litres of fuel added)
12th June 9.85
F4 W Full main and genoa 5.3 3.1 A sniff of the Solent...
15th June
F2 gusting F3 SSE Full main (no genoa)
9.4 3.9 Kings Ransom delivery trip LSC to Port Solent
16th July 11.58
F3 gusting F4 SWxS Full main and genoa 4.9 3.1 First trip out post COVID and thumb break; Snowhill
17th July 9.09
F3 gusting F4 SExE/
Full main and 90% genoa 5.7 3 Second sail in one weekend - HISC and back - an unusual trip for the number of minor issues!
6th August 5.12
F4 SW Full main and genoa 5.2 3.1 Evening sail
10th August 26.65*(70.99) NE going SSE Full main /genoa/asymmetric 8.1 2.5 Jolly Boys fly the Blue Meany on the way to Cowes
13th August 5.69 (76.68) F3/4 going F4 SExE going SSE Full main and full/90% genoa 3.7 3.1 Short sail after the sea breeze kicked in, racing with a 420 dinghy
28th August 7.94 (84.62) F3/4 going 2 E going SSE Full main and 90% genoa 4.9 2.7 Lost fishing rod!
F3 gusting top F4 ENE Reefed main and reefed genoa 5.2 2.8 New rod deployed and mackerel caught
2nd Sept 27.39*(93.93) F2 NNE going SWxS Main and asymmetric 6.9 2.8 The big blue meany flies again...
4th Sept 6.74 (100.67) Both ends F4 SxE Reefed main and reefed genoa 4.4 2.8 Kissing the brown 😏
17th Sept 8.66 (109.33) Both ends F4 NWxN through N Full main and 90% genoa 4.1 2.7 Sunbeams and swimmers...
25th Sept 8.2 (117.53)
Both ends F4 NNE Genoa, then reefed main and 60% genoa 4.5 2.3 Downwind genoa run
1st Oct 7.19 (124.72) F5 W Reefed main and 75% genoa 5.9 3.2 Blustery soldiers wind...  last sail
9th Oct 6.1* (124.72) . . All motor . . AmiLy delivery to winter mooring
12th Oct 14.79* (124.72) F3 just gusting F4 SWxS Full main and genoa 6.5 3.5 King's Ransom delivery

Year total : 124.72 miles

Neat as a pin...

2022 total (in Sparrow): 124.72 miles
2021 total (in Sparrow): 44.5 miles 
2020 total (in Sparrow): 0 miles (COVID)
2019 total (in Sparrow): 77.59 miles 
2018 total (in Sparrow): 151.12 miles
2017 total (in Sparrow): 141.91 miles
2016 total (in Sparrow): 138.29 miles
2015 total (in Sparrow): 141.29 miles
2014 total (in Sparrow): 137.98 miles
2013 total (in Sparrow): 113.73 miles
2012 total (in Papillon): 173.29 miles
2011 total (in Papillon): 193.41 miles
2010 total (in Papillon): 154.23 miles
2009 total (in Papillon): 125 miles

Sunday 27 November 2022


2.5 litres Hempel Cruising Performer...  just over 50 quid, bargain...

Job 11 done - "Centre mast support needs trimming"..   an inch of the bottom and then drilled holes either side of the original hole...

...which I then joined them up with the jig saw as that will allow for adjustment in future years...

Have also bought the cockpit hatches home to keep dry - have used the old one's in place (covered in bin bags) to keep the rain out.  Toyed with the idea of a cockpit tarp but decided it was overkill, and too windy where the boat is...  it wouldn't last longer than a month...  😏

Wednesday 2 November 2022

Slowing down - first jobs and deliveries

So, after that frenetic burst of activity a couple of weeks ago, time to slow down into the off season (curse you, Alden, and your Kiwi summer about to start! πŸ˜€) but stuff is happening, stuff is being bought, and projects are being formulated/designed/cogitated...

By way of a digest then...


The boat has been pressure washed - she is clean again - weed removed, all remaining barnacles gone - to all intents and purposes, another coat of antifoul notwithstanding, she would be ready to go back in...


Mooring pick up chain, shackle/swivel and pick up buoy pressure washed, all weed removed, all checked, after drying sprayed with WD40/white grease and stored in the boat - 
  • main shackle (mooring buoy to swivel) is good, 
  • swivel was new 2016 and so 7 years old next season, but given one year was missed (COVID) and one was very short (same), I think it looks OK for another season 
  • minor shackle (the one between swivel and pick up chain) is old and needs replacing - I'll take the opportunity to end for end the chain (bought 2016) at the same time (new job #11)

Job #6 (smooth off of the antifoul) is still on the list from last year - last year I did it, and definitely saw an improvement, but I was using 120 grit mesh, classed as medium, which for this function is way too fine - I am of the opinion that the coarser the better, so I have some 60 grit on order - I'm not looking to go back to hull, but it does need smoothing out..


Rodders ('captain, my captain') contacted the Jolly Boys the other day to let us know that the litany of bad luck associated with Ocean Waves (our ride for the annual Jolly Boys Cruise) has continued, and she's suffered yet more damage this week, this time due to Storm Claudio rather than us...  πŸ˜•πŸ˜”

After the damage in February (Storm Deirdre) which resulted in her not being available for our cruise =>

"ouch"...  so in the severe weather the waves pitched high enough to force the fenders out..  the boat then smashed into the wooden surround of the pontoon breaking it off, but leaving the retaining bolts, that then did what you see...

This time Claudio did for her - apparently a bow line parted, and as a result the stern ended up bashing repeatedly into the pontoon - by the time she was found she was holed as seen, and flooded to the level of the cockpit sole => 

She has no luck - or they seriously need to consider changing her berthing position which is on one of the outside pontoons...

Last of all for this update - I have decided that my winter project this year will be bilge pump(s) - job #4. 

Time to start deciding what and where I want...  initial thoughts -
  1. electric or manual or both? thinking electric at this stage
  2. How many and where? Sparrow is a bilge keeler with substantial recesses at the top of each keel - cockpit sole is much higher so I'm thinking a suction point in each keel will do (lowest points)
  3. Where do I vent the water?? I dislike "through hulls" so I want to use any I already have, if possible, and that means utilising the 3 cockpit drains - vent water into the cockpit???
Time to start doing some research..

Sunday 16 October 2022

King's Ransom Delivery

Water and boat time was coming thick and fast, as no sooner had we delivered AmiLy, and bought Sparrow out than it seemed to be time to bring t'other Dave's boat round, "Kings Ransom"...

Dave keeps his boat at Port Solent but over winter keeps her in the same yard I do, so this would be a delivery from Port Solent to Langstone...  crew for the day me and Smithy, plus both of Smithy's loin fruit (or I think that's what he said 😁), Rodders and Dave were otherwise occupied but missed... a bit...

Nothing to extraordinary - not as much wind as we would have liked, but a god trip in warm'ish weather nonetheless.  

Left Port Solent at 09:30, locked out without incident, and departed harbour entrance roughly an hour later, out submarine barrier by approx. 11:15 and we were coming though Langstone harbour entrance an hour after that...  huge help from the tide as wind was up and down, but a quick trip...

Not immediately apparent but clicking on this for a bigger view will show the tide rip in shore at the entrance to Langstone...

Glorious day - this is looking up harbour from the entrance towards Portsdown Hill... ==>

Arrived at the club about 13:00 and plonked ourselves on the waiting pontoon to await the lifting crew and lift, and 15 minutes later she was out - half an hour later we were in the pub sinking pints as we watched the tide slowly disappear and the mud return...  that's it - all boats ashore and the winter can now start.

Thanks for the lift, Dave...


....and Dave's plot...  πŸ˜€

Distance: 14.79 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction):   F3 gusting F4 (occasionally) ; either side of SWxS
Sail Plan:  Full main and genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots):  6.5 / 3.5

Thursday 13 October 2022

Mast down, boat out, Ami-Ly delivery

Phew time for a catch up - October is always busy, busy, busy... 😡

So chronologically...
  • 2nd October - after that slightly abrupt and bad tempered (the wind - not meπŸ˜€) sail on the Saturday I was down on the boat the next morning in conditions that can only be described as 180' the opposite of the day before...! It was scorching hot and almost windless...  genoa off first before any wind turned up, and deposited in the dinghy for more careful folding away when on shore, I then moved to the boom and as usual just remove the whole lot, boom, sail, kicker with claw and the sail cover to wrap the whole lot together I left the reef in, so I will need to take that out sometime this winter when I have more time to unroll it and flake the sail more tidily..  That done there was only one thing to be done on a day like this ==>

    Days like this will feature long in the memory over the next cold damp miserable months

  • 3rd October - chatting to Rodders the next day while sorting out dates for the mast drop, he mentioned he was off down to Ami-Ly (his boat - the scene and host of this years Jolly Boys Riot) to do the same as I had done on Sparrow the day before - with nothing else on the horizon that day I casually asked, 'do you want a hand to do it?'  After I managed to get my arm back with only light bite marks, I found myself down on the Whale Island pontoons. Bigger boat of course but pretty much the same rigmarole as Sparrow the day before, except Rod leaves the boom on. 

    Glorious day watching the various comings and goings...  two mahoosive cruise liners were in on the opposite side of the creek, and then the car ferry from France arrived and reversed parked between the two - fantastic bit of seamanship...

    Not small!

  • 6th October - the day of the mast drop, and after a truly atrocious day weatherwise the day before yet another 180' turn - not a breath of wind when I first arrived, clear open skies with more than a hint of warmth - SO lucky...

    No Dave this year (he was on holiday) so we drafted in the "young" apprentice and thus it was me Rodders and Smiffy in the crew this year...  I arrived early, shot out to the boat and started to get stuff ready. Crutch roped into place, forward and rear lower stays undone, A frame locked into the forward lower chain plates, genoa halyard to the top of the frame with this year the main halyard as a secondary safety line, main sheet to provide the grunt and we were ready to go once the boys arrived. There then ensured the comedy that only the Jolly Boys together seem able to produce.

    I think it safe to say that I had suffered sleep issues on two counts this year - one was the mast drop itself, which despite having done it numerous times still causes a slight frisson of concern (all joking aside it's a big mast, things can go wrong, damage can be done, and worst-case, injury can ensue) but the other was how the hell I was going to get these two to the boat given that normally we rely on Dave, who has access to another (bigger) dinghy?!

    Anyhoo...  we had to rely on my tender which is small, and has a low freeboard - I will only say that it was a good job there was no swell or wind as I reckon we had no more than 2 or 3 inches of freeboard at times and that was with only two of us at a time in it... πŸ˜‚ ==>

    The young apprentice gets a good work out, and an occasional grope, giving Rodders a lift back to shore after the main event...

    The drop itself was perfection, Smiffy in the cockpit, Rod on the roof, both to guide and keep the mast straight as it came down, me on the foredeck to play out the main sheet so as to allow a controlled drop - perfection, and a cup of tea and a biccie later and we were ready to disconnect the back stay and the uppers, the A frame was removed, halyards tidied away and we were ready to slide the mast forward so as to rest on the pulpit and crutch before finally tying it all down...

    I'd made some modifications to the mast crutch for this drop and have to say I think they worked 100% - one of the issues we always had before was that the arms of the crutch extended to the point where lifting the spreaders up and over them when moving the mast forward after the drop was a major PITA. This year I sawed them off shorter, but to allow for the crutch still to act as a crutch ie. for the arms of the crutch still to guide the mast, had put on new swivelling/swinging arms held in place by a bolt at the swivel end and a peg at the other end. Once the mast was dropped and the arms had done their job, you could then just slip the pegs out and swivel the arms down allowing for a much smaller arm to lift the spreaders over - and it worked exactly as designed, SO chuffed - in fact it prompted another idea (cheers, Rod!) to lock the mast in the crutch which I'll investigate further - either way, job done and off to the pub for beer and smuggled in pork pies! Big thanks to the Jolly Boys once again...

  • 9th October - time to start moving boats for their respective lift outs, first on the list was to move Ami-Ly round from her home mooring on Whale Island to Port Solent where she was due to have a lift out first thing Monday morning - just over 6 miles - all under motor (as we'd taken the sails off already as above) and after a little sightseeing down harbour (Rodders had his son and grandson with him for this one, in addition to Smithy and I) we were up to Port Solent, locked through, moored up, and in the pub within a couple of hours - lovely afternoon out

  • 17th October - not only Rod's lift out but mine as well - and as trouble free a lift as I think I've had. Got there early, cadged a lift to the boat on the club's workboat (to save getting the tender out and having to recover it later) and once on board got the tools out to see if I could get the top gear (ie. shackle/swivel/pick up chain and buoy) off my mooring - don't like leaving it on, as all that happens is that it gets trashed in the winter storms; it may as well live in my garage under a coat of oil for the winter as sit on the mooring rusting...  once again, the spray of white grease on the threads for the pin for the shackle holding it all together did the trick and one grunt and it loosened off (bloody brilliant - hacksawing them off is a major pain). Fired up the donk, and for one last time this year motored over the pool and then under the bridge before putting her on the clubs waiting pontoon ready for my turn.


    Sat in the cockpit in the sun, chatting with the other club members doing the boat moves, Rod joined me for a chat and to pick up a bag he'd left in my car the day before - most pleasant. Then after the big one's had gone in, it was my turn, three crew on board with me, motored over to the hoist, didn't cock up the entry, secured, engine off, lifted and 15 minutes later I was ashore and, on my blocks, the 2022 season is over...  😏
  1. Centre mast support needs trimming - slightly too long for the current configuration
  2. Pressure wash her bottom - no weed video this year as I started clearing the barnacles before I thought to do the video - but she is covered in a fine growth of sea weed, and the barnacles (I thought) were far more prevalent this year - the insides of the keels were covered with them, plus the forward part of the hull where she sits in the mud. Just need to wait for lift out to finish so I can get down there and give her a good going over..  this weekend hopefully.

Sunday 2 October 2022

Last sail of the season... soldiers wind!

Last sail of the season...  

The weather fronts are marching in off the Atlantic and up the Channel like a metronome - a cycle of westerly based (sometimes with some south, sometimes with some north) over the next week in varying degrees of strength, and with varying degrees of "dampness", mean that I have had to pick and choose carefully to get the last sails of the season in, and I reckon today was it...  

I have two windows left and they are allocated - one to take the sails off (tomorrow/Monday as I write) and one to drop the mast (Smithy and Rodders are rocking up Thursday morning), and then she comes out a week today...  the summer is over...  

Jumping ahead of myself though - looking at forecasts my best bet was Saturday for a sail, but even that was 50:50, as the forecasts looked a little 'brutal' for a 20-foot day cruiser (apropos of evidence, the club dinghy racing the same day had 5 DNF's out of 9, and by all accounts was a bit "full on" 😁). 

Winds were top end 4 gusting 5 all morning according to the weather station at the bottom of the harbour, but the clincher/decider for me was the westerly, as that brought with it the last warmth of the season, and it would be back to shorts/tshirt for this sail.

On the boat by 13:00, 16:00 HT and a big one, so once again there was a lot of water slopping about - winds were as per the beacon, so the reefs from the last sail were left in (and I toyed with the idea of putting some more in the main but didn't). Pausing only to top up the fuel, I dropped the mooring and headed for the ditch, putting the main up early, by the bridge as it was an almost dead westerly, straight down the ditch.

Something wicked this way comes...

I'd learnt my lessons - engine was on so it made sense to do the main then, rather than worry about getting it up later in a blow when the engine is off, and the genoa is rattling round your ears. Cracked 75% of the genoa as I bore up at the end of the Emsworth channel, and then tracked the starboard channel markers close reaching towards the bottom of the harbour, spilling the gusts as and when they came through..

...and then buggers off 10 minutes later!

The wind was pretty full on and was building the closer I got to the bottom of the harbour, looking over my shoulder I could see ominous black, and showers of rain running over the Downs, happily they all passed without dumping, but it was getting colder, and in the end enough was enough, and I headed back to the mooring,,. saw no more than half a dozen cruisers all day - surprising considering the forecast today!

Back on the mooring there was an interesting swell running - pretty rare and I put it down to wind over tide, both of which were high side..  fingers crossed there's none of that nonsense on Thursday when the mast comes down πŸ˜€
  • oil checked and topped up (need to get that fixed before next season)
  • 2.5 litres fuel added

Distance: 7.19 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction):  F5; W
Sail Plan: Reefed main, 75% genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots):   5.9 (and that was under sail!) / 3.2

Wednesday 28 September 2022

Folk boats and genoa runs..

Fresh from the Boatshow and time to get out on Sparrow as the end of the season is fast approaching - my lift out is the 9th October, which is just the weekend after next, but add in some time to drop the mast, and also time to get the sails/boom off her, and I have a little over a week of available sailing time.

Weird old trip, in a weird old wind direction, but needs must...  😏

The strange wind directions continue, this time NE'ly, and as ever with winds with east in the direction, it was fractious and slightly bad tempered...   the temperatures are dropping as well - suspect the final trip(s) will now all be long trousers, and ..  intake of breath... socks...  πŸ˜•

Remembering the last trip, I decided to do a genoa run down harbour - a northerly is almost dead downwind for a trip to the harbour so a main sail will always shadow the foresail rendering it useless...  I think in hindsight it wasn't the best decision, but that's sailing and learning...

So - engine on, warps off, and down the ditch again - I shall miss it over the winter, but I've done it dozens of times now... autopilot on while I sorted out ropes and halyards, and singled up the sail ties on the main ready for when I'd need it...

Just past Northney I rolled out almost all the genoa, and gradually edged further off the wind as I progressed - tracking the starboard channel markers. Main still down and stayed down until I eventually got to the bottom of the harbour. A long old run, in the sun, coffee in hand, fishing rod deployed, chatting with other boats as they passed.. lovely.

What a beauty - passed me as I was running down wind on just headsail..

All good things come to an end though - and as I've said before, for every downhill there's an uphill, and the wind was freshening (local weather beacon saw it edging into a F5), and undoubtedly I would need reefs in main and genoa for the beat up the harbour. 

Rolled in some genoa, engine on, turned into the wind, pilot on to keep her head to, main up, reefs rolled in, and then bear away slightly for the first beat... sounds simple, it wasn't...😁 

Few lessons learned, next time I'd roll all the genoa away - it easy enough to roll in or out, and means it's not flapping like a banshee, while heading into the wind and you're focussing on reefing. I also didn't have enough rev's on the motor to keep her head to wind properly - a few more would have helped, and when I later dropped the main to head home, proved to be the case. 

Cracking beat up harbour - tide was running so they were quite flat, but every tack was good for 200 or so metres towards the goal - four tacks, and we roared past Marker, spray over the deck, few more tacks and I was at the end of the channel for Northney and rather than drop sails in a confined space I headed into the wind and took everything in..

My mate Julian was out on his boat and got the following, which is always very nice...

Clean bottom apparently...

Neat as a pin...

Back on the mooring and the aforesaid Julian came past on his tender - club bar was still open - seemed rude not to!!  πŸ˜€
  • Oil levels checked - mid line..
  • Couple of litres left in the tank - will need a top up


Distance: 8.2 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction):  Both ends of a F4; NNE
Sail Plan:  Genoa down, reefed main and 60% genoa back
Speed (Max/average in knots):  4.5 / 2.3

Monday 26 September 2022

Southampton Boat show

Slightly overdue but have just been to yet another totally awesome Boatshow in Southampton...  

Accompanied this time by just the brother-in-law, as my sister who was also coming had gone down with some lurgy...  Bro in law had a load of suppliers to talk technical with (he works for Clipper) so I got to mooch the stands and marvel at all the things I never knew I needed, while he talked the aforementioned technicals, and then meeting up every now and again to browse some more...

General observations were that it was back to its pre-COVID levels of business - we went mid-week and it was still heaving, and for all the nay sayers who say every year it's "getting smaller" and is "less relevant" - based on what I saw and overhead, it is still a major force - there was a lot of money being spent, and the boat business looked to be in rude health.  "Hot topics" this year - SUP's/inflatables, and electric power/engines, were everywhere...

Just inside the entrance I spotted this one ==> 

I've probably mentioned before that I generally accept that my almost lifetime interest in sailing was sparked by Arthur Ransome and the "Swallows and Amazons" series of books he wrote - still read them now on occasion - well this is "Swallow" that featured in the 1974 film (not the later remake) ... just lovely...

Pausing only to watch a fascinating live demo on the English Braids stand on how to splice an eye into a cored rope (seriously - it was very good! πŸ˜€) I then went and did my sole shopping of the day - three sets of 6mm braid on braid destined to replace the original, and now manky/green, topping lift, main halyard, and genoa halyard on Sparrow.. three 20mtr hanks from the remainder bin came to just over 45 quid - which I reckon was a bargain, as the quality is excellent - not your usual soft mush....

On the pontoons - this one caught my eye ==>

Think I'd have to beef up that bowsprit anchor point though...  😁

Jeanneau Sun Fast F3300 - scow bows on production boats - who'd have thought it?! Super fast, and as I am currently following "Team RockIt" which comprises Shirley Robertson and Dee Caffari on YouTube (WELL worth watching) racing the same class of boat, I was interested to see it in the flesh...  beauty is in the eye of the beholder with scow bows I suspect, but I love them - very purposeful. 

Bit of a first - my first million pound plus production yacht - I don't doubt there were others round before, but that's the first time I've seen it on a price tag on a boat...  happily, it includes VAT...  😏

This one is the one I'm trying to persuade Rodders to get the Royal Marines to replace "Ocean Waves" with..  πŸ˜‚

You can see why we would never be allowed to take it out even if they did actually buy one!

Picture courtesy Hallberg Rassy

Then last of all - loved the look of this one*, Cornish Crabbers biggest boat, I think. Yellow looks good on a boat...πŸ‘πŸ‘Œ

* but not all the woodwork that would need looking after! 

Few pints in the 'Dancing Man' and off home - bloody brilliant day out...