Monday 24 June 2024

Tack, tack, tack... Marker..

Thirty to be precise, but again I jump ahead of myself...  😏

After another period of naff weather, duff tides, and some time away, at last an opportunity to get out on Sparrow again..  beautiful sunny day, warm, bit of a breeze, but from a direction that is always going to be hard work from where I am moored..

HT was 13:19 and at 4.43mtrs Spring'ish and I was on board by half 10. Took out the reefs from the last sail, warmed u the engine, hoisted the "Hurley Owners" burgee, and then dropped the mooring about quarter past 11 to see what was going on in the harbour..

"Lots" as it turns out, wind was consistent though, but as mentioned SWxS - basically bang on the nose for any trip to the bottom of the harbour. 

Motored to Sweare Deep, and raised the main under motor as apparent wind was from ahead..  bore away, cranked in on the main sheet, rolled out the genoa (rolled a bit in two tacks later), engine off and tilted up, and then started tacking. 30 tacks later (they look flat but that was because of a couple of knots of adverse tide) I was just coming up to Marker, but not before being rudely interrupted by fellow "Jolly Boy" Smithy on his kayak...  snuck up on me from just off the quarter and yelled "starboard!" just as I was contemplating a tack.. scared the living daylights out of me! πŸ˜€
Fellow club boat..  a Devon Yawl..  going up wind on rails, bone between her teeth and looking good..

Brief chat later and he headed off (he had a Sunday paper and lunch in a bag on the back) and I carried on..  tacking on the 1.5 mtr contours either side of the channel, and everyone having their own private little race with the boat closest (Cornish Shrimper in my case) before I turned for home just after Marker, and just after HT.

Dead downwind run, rolled the genoa away as it was doing nothing, deployed the fishing rod (nothing but weed caught), engine put on just shy of Northney and then dropped the main as I was going down the ditch. 

Was joined again by Smithy on the mooring and felt duty bound to offer him a beer.. 😏

Brilliant day out - not sure I'll get out again this week on Sparrow, but next week is the Jolly Boys Annual Cruise on AmiLy, and they're muttering about "Poole"..


Distance: 8.42 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): Top F3 / SWxS
Sail Plan: Full main/90% genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots): 4.5 / 2.7

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Completed job list '23/'24 lay up..

By way of record keeping, and to remind me in the future - here's the completed job list from the winter layover...  all in all I would say it was a good one, mostly because without a shadow of a doubt it was a VERY good idea to bring the tender home - it kept me occupied most of the long dark winter, whenever I got bored I went out and did a few more bits on it..  😏

Completed list...

1/. Titivate the tender - from this.. this..

Most gratifying..  the full list of what was done is here [clicky] and here [clicky] but in essence, washed down, rubbed down (both bottom and inside), all thwarts cut out and replaced with epoxy encased piping covered in three layers of cloth, rubbed down some more, sacrificial strips screwed and epoxied to keel, rear seat removed and strengthened, before sealing both front and rear seat - then painted..  inside with garage floor paint, outside with an off the shelf back oil based house paint, seats used the same stuff I use on the cockpit locker ids and washboards..  I don't have a picture (must get one) but I then permanently attached six fenders I got at a boat jumble over the winter with oversized tie clips. Done...  this winter I think I'll do the central seat, it needs a bit of strengthening.

2/. Jib halyard has worn at the eye strap for the diverter - cut out a foot and then rewhipped in the hard eye 

3/. Outboard well inner and outer pads replaced - for the outer edge I went with (rot free) plastic chopping board - a double thickness of high-density polyethylene chopping board - for the inner edge I used some aluminium plate I had knocking about

Oxalic removed the stain from the old pad at each end..

4/. New Windex sourced, and fitted (as I waited for the tide to come in πŸ˜€)

5/. Tiller got a much needed does of love with a rub down and re-coat...  

After...  nine (maybe 10 😏) coats of varnish later..

Regular/annual items:
  • Locker lids rubbed down, minor crack on one repaired, followed by two coats paint
  • Wash boards - two coats paint
  • Tiller pilot support - two coats paint
  • Tiller pilot clip rest two coats paint
  • Rub down and coat of wood preservative cockpit board - gave it two coats
  • Antifouled - Hempel Cruising Performer this year
  • Serviced outboard - ouch...  I'm not paying that again next year 😨
  • Serviced the Life Jackets
  • Pick up chain - new shackle between chain and swivel, a new swivel, and a new shackle for swivel to mooring buoy connection
  • Pressure wash, pre launch wash, and Oxalic

Monday 10 June 2024


Short old trip out - on paper the forecast had looked good but as so often happens it was not what we got.. 

NW'ly breeze, and there was definitely some bite in it, both strength and temperature'wise - Cambermet was showing similar at the bottom of the harbour..  Pondered while I topped up the fuel tank, and ended up putting in a small reef on the main as the problem was the gusts rather than the general strength..

Dropped the mooring and headed for the ditch, rolling out some genoa as I went down it - wind was on my left shoulder so no need to turn down some extra assist..  even so, on minimal rev's and against tide we were seeing 4.5 SOG. Went past Northney and turned back on myself to raise the main. before bearing away for a goosewing run to Sweare Deep.

The wind was being  bit..  "spicy"...  basically NW'ly, but in the gusts it was swinging 10' either side of that so the downwind run was err...  interesting! 😏

Bearing away as we went past the Beacon the wind came round more on our shoulder again, but in the lee of Hayling dropped, before building again as we approached Marker. Time to decide what we were going to do with the day..  I didn't fancy the bottom of the harbour after a long run/reach as it would be a beat all the way home, but the direction was interesting and warranted an attempt at the channel up to Emsworth (Fishermans on the track picture below marks the northern end of it). I thought it could possibly be done on a single tack

Turned and headed back, at which point the apparent wind honked up a whole force, and the swing in direction from the gusts became even more problematic. I didn't fancy being up that constricted channel, on a tack, with gin palaces either side suddenly being headed, oh, while the tide was still running..

"Sod it", quoth I..  it was grey, I was getting cold, I wasn't enjoying the sailing, so sails came down and I motored back.

Short trip - hour and a half'ish - blew the cobwebs out, but it was enough..

Interesting problem when I got back in to the tender to come back to shore - one of my rowlocks had gone missing! I reckon it had got caught on the tenders mooring rope and just pinged out as the tender moved around..  happily, I had a spare in the bottom of the tender, but otherwise I'm sure I could have lashed something up with some spare line..


** 2 litres added to the fuel tank **

Distance: 5.1 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): Both ends of a F4 ; NW
Sail Plan: Reefed main and genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots):  5.3 / 3.5

Friday 7 June 2024

Westwinnr and back..

Well that marks the furthest south so far this year..  but I am ahead of myself again.. 😏

A period of inclement weather and low tides had resulted in it being far too long since I was last out on Sparrow, and with the Jolly Boys all busy (being Jolly one assumes πŸ˜€) there were no rides on Kings Ransom or AmiLy on offer so I was more than ready to get out on Sparrow when the one good (ish) weather window made itself known..

We're in Springs so it was a humongous tide (4.5 mtrs compared with a meter less on the last sail) -  there was going to be a lot of water sloshing around and not much of a stand. It was a 12:17 HT so I planned to be on the boat about 3 hours before, and then see what it was like as the forecasts were saying light winds..

As it turned out I was on Sparrow by about quarter to 10 (bit of a mud/weed walk with the tender as the tide was still very low), but it was like a millpond, very quiet wind'wise. Got on with some jobs (swapped the genoa sheets back to the lightweight one's, new battery in the clock) but when I popped my head out again, the wind had picked up. "Sod it", quoth I, "if it's crap we can pick up a mooring down the harbour and watch the world go by"..

Engine on, sail covers off, and I eventually dropped the mooring at about 20 past 10.

"Terror" one of the last surviving Emsworth oyster boats - she was curated/reconstructed/renovated with lottery money, but she is gorgeous, and she is surprisingly fast in any kind of a breeze..

Turned out to be a lovely sail - the wind kept building as we went past Northney, where I turned and put the main up (with the direction we had I should have done it by the bridge, it would have been easier!), but then I bore away for Sweare Deep rolling out all the genoa as we went - auto pilot clicking away quietly in the background.. very broad reach...

Tightened up as we went past Sweare Deep, admired Terror as she was putting her gaff main up in the main channel, and realised that it was entirely possible I might get all the way to the bottom of the harbour on a single tack, it headed every now and again, but I was making my west'ing in the gusts, and roared past Marker (well...   3 knots SOG..  but I reckon there was at least 1 or 2 knots of tide against 😏)

The sun shone, the boat was moving well, and the sun hat was on..  slipped past HISC in some very whirly water, I'm guessing it was just shy of high, but there was so much in a fairly small area it was swirling around...  you could even feel it on the rudder.. very pleasant though, and so un-busy, I carried on before eventually deciding the wind was just not strong enough, and the tide too strong, and tacked and headed back up harbour..

The sun went in, it got colder, jumpers were hunted out, the tiller pilot was engaged, and I sat on the perching pad keeping warm, while occasionally having a chat with a guy on a Hunter Ranger 245 [clicky] who was going the same way I was - turns out he had had a Hurley 22 up until the end of last season, but had upgraded.. nice boat..

Rolled the genoa away as we rounded the corner by Sweare Deep, the wind was dead on the nose..  engine on, main down, and headed back to the mooring for what was probably my best pick up this year, unbelievable..  😁

Chat with t'other Dave on 'Kings Ransom' as I went past, and it turned out he had some Tanglefoot on offer - well...  it would have been churlish not to..  🍺🍺

Brilliant day out and a beer in the sun with a mate to end it.. doesn't get much better


Distance: 9.94 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind (Speed; Direction): F4 going F3 ; WxS going SWxW
Sail Plan: Full main and genoa
Speed (Max/average in knots): 5.2 / 2.9