Monday, 24 September 2012

Southampton Boat Show 2012..

Saturday was the Boat Show in Southampton - briliant day out with the bro in law mooching around all the stands - I don't think we missed very much - certainly had the sore feet at the end of the day!


This beauty was sailing past the pontoons in the afternoon - there were all sorts of boats, including "Independence of the Seas" which headed off to Gibraltar mid-way through the show....


This one was out as well - despite all the gleaming plastic and luxurious interiors it's funny how these older boats catch the eye....


This was the Bordeaux 60 and she was just exquisite - of the luxury boats I went on (Hanse 575, Dufour, Halberg Rassy) she was my favourite - I came to the conclusion that despite the fact that this was an exercise in imagination (lottery win!) the others were just too big....


This however was the boat I fell in love with - she's a Yarmouth 22 and eminently within my capabilities, if not my wallet unfortunately...


Just loved her...  22 foot long, long keel (but with a bilge keel add-on option).. if you buy her in the stripped down version only £39K..  almost as much imagination required as that for the Bordeaux 60!

An excellent show - busy busy busy - couple of pints of Guinness, load of blarney with the bro in law, lots of boats, gadgets - it doesn't get any better....  roll on next year.


Got Friday off - need to go sailing....!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Delivery Trip... Redux!

...I should have called this post "what goes round comes round"... or even "I'm sure I've seen that castle before"...

Rod and I bought his boat Ami-Ly back round from Port Solent to Northney, this weekend just gone, to finish the repair job that he was half way through when we took her round to Port Solent a couple of weeks ago...

Not as pleasant a sail as last time by any measure - summer is coming to a close, and it was grey and overcast, and when not on the run, not a little chilly...

Either way, at 0830 Rod picked me up from  Northney where I was to leave my car, and 45 minutes later we were on Ami-Ly waiting to lock out of Port Solent...   she's beginning to feel like a second home...

Light winds dominated, but this did give us an option to fly the cruising chute - mucking huge, but a visible increase in speed while we flew it - you need to prepare for flying it though and there's al;ways a lingering sense of dread that all is going to go to rat sh*t any minute! I would love one for Pap if I could find the right sized sail second hand, I have a backstay to support the mast so could fly it from the mast head if I wanted to. Having said that, both Rod and I think that Ami-Ly's sail (which was also second hand/off the shelf) is probably a cut down spinnaker rather than a proper asymmetric cruising chute...

We ended the trip with a lovely tight reach up the harbour, before dropping the washing and mooring up on the overnight pontoon in the Emsworth Channel - this is my first time there (second first of the day), but this was also Rod's first time since they replaced the pontoons - they're very smart - no power/water, but an all water mooring, and cheap...  the surface of the pontoon is rough though, high friction....

Emsworth waiting pontoon - Emsworth Channel

We then transferred me to Northney via Rod's little rib - far cheaper on the waiting pontoon than putting her in Northney for the night....  



Scores on the doors:

  • 18.96  miles (overall mileage in the page at the top)
  • Average 3.4  knots
  • Max speed 5.4knots (but both Rod and I saw 6 a few times - especially on the close reach up the harbour to the pontoon)
  • 4 hour 52 mins door to pontoon
  • Force 2, gusting 3 - SW - full rig, including cruising chute...
So what was going on here then.... answer next post if I remember.. 

Monday, 17 September 2012

Mast raising experiments...

Saturday saw me on the boat to put the mast up... I had a few idea's I wanted to try out as despite the A frame making life immeasurably simpler, there is still an issue with my style of mast foot where the mast can swing side to side if it is not braced by a third party...given I do a lot of the mast raising and lowering by myself, this is a risk I would prefer to eradicate...

I had an idea based on a mast bridle [click here] which was to use an additional piece of lumber, the same cross section as the stuff I'm using for the A frame. This would lay sideways across the boat, just in front of the mast, with an eye bolt at each end, and a line from the mast to each eye-bolt - this would stop the side ways swing of the mast, and because it was in line with the mast foot, would not tighten or loosen as the mast is raised/lowered, but would maintain a steady pressure to keep the mast central...

I soon discounted this idea, as the beam would interfere with the free movement of the A frame... I'd have to have a beam that would fit within the spread of the A frame....

What I ended up with...  mast crutch at the back - A frame in the foreground - line from the mast head can be seen going to the top of the A frame - the two mooring lines are connected to the D ring on the front of the mast, and tied off at the mid section cleats....  the two lines top left are the 4:1 purchase I use to raise the mast - it's my main sheet...
Back to square one then, as a trial lift soon showed the mast swinging side to side...

My mast has the typical spinnaker pole attachment/D ring, but above that - almost at spreader height and way above reach - I have another identical fitting. Using two mooring ropes I threaded them through, and tied off at the mid-cleat (same cleat I use for the A frame feet) on each side - this time when I lifted, the mast stayed central and I continued to heave away, but at 45' the mast would go no further, and thinking that the issue was with lifting the mast from the masthead, I dropped the mast, and attached a rope to the same D ring to use as my lift...

Re-tightening the mooring ropes (and that really should have been a clue.... ) I then had another bash - same issue...  and then I noticed that the mooring ropes were rigid....  doh....  I knew that the issue with not having a proper bridle was that the stays would loosen and tighten, after all that 's what happens to the real one's, but I hadn't realised by how much.... I tied off the lifting rope (I use my main sheet so it has a cam cleat to hold the rope) eased off the mooring rope/"bridles", went back and hauled again and before you know it the mast was up and I had bolted the fore-stay... job done....


I'm now wondering about how I get round this issue next time - OK, the stop half way, loosen off, and go back to finish worked, but it's not elegant....  My geometry is rubbish - I wonder if attaching the ropes being used as bridles, to the actual A frame would work? Longer term the solution in the article above is the way forward, but with Pap going for sale this winter, then for the next time the mast comes down I'll use the same approach as this time but get a mate along to slowly adjust the bridles as the mast comes down.....

Fascinating problem.... and clear proof I need to get out more!   Fun afternoon....though quite tiring...  boats are like giant Meccano sets really - the stuff we do on them goes back hundreds of years - Nelson's sailors did exactly the same things with A frames, blocks, ropes and muscle power - they just did it better than me....

Makes you think....

Friday, 14 September 2012

She's in....

...and 24 hours later - leak free - phew!! 

Rod the Mod gave me a hand - she's easy enough to launch from the trailer, but a bit*h to get back on if we needed to - it needs two people.

As it turned out no pull out was required - forecast on the day was exactly right; light winds & sunshine but it was a whole lot warmer than I expected despite the northerly's..

Tide was at 10:30 but was only 4 mtrs - so not optimal as it was a bit early, and a bit neap'y, needs must though as the time is drifting away towards lift out in 6 weeks time...

So it was that I found myself at the club at 7.30, Rod joined me shortly after...  outboard was loaded, chocks removed and we moved Pap down to the bottom of the slipway in a far more controlled manner than usual....

After that the plan was to unload as much from her as I could so that I could get a clear view of as much of the inside of the hull as possible, but in the end the sheer quantity defeated me and I settled for having the floor boards up so I could see the bilge...

Then we waited for her to float - to make life easier I'd come up with a cunning plan to leave her strapped to the trailer until I could confirm there was no no water coming - it looked a bit "funny" but she's big enough to float the whole lot if she had to... 

Half an hour after floating later no sign of water..  Good news so I released the straps and she floated free - took her over to the pontoon and we loaded in the last of the gubbins, before motoring over to the new buoy. 

Ten minutes later and Rod had lassoe'd the buoy, and I'd recovered the mooring chain and all was secure (no pick up buoy hence the lasso - I've replaced it now).

Went out for a quick trip this morning just to do a final check - still leak free so she's definitively "fixed"...

This weekend she gets a top to toe clean (she's filthy - she was parked next to a blackberry bush that the local flock of starlings had taken a liking to - from what I can tell they would stuff themselves stupid on blackberries and themn come and sit on my boat to empty themselves from the throat down, before for the next feed!). I also need to put the mast up, and boom on...

..and then we can go sailing!!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Just waiting for a weather window...

so... first off the hole repair is now complete...

From this:


To this:





To this:



Superb job...  I got this done through the chandlery in Emsworth Marina [click here] - £150 which considering he had to make three trips I thought was pretty good...  OK, so it was more than just replacing the fitting, but it's one less thing to worry about...

The re-launch was scheduled for last Thursday, but on the Wednesday night I went out in the dinghy at the end of the tide to see what state the mooring was in - last thing I wanted was to have any new problems. Unfortunately I found that the concrete sinker has slipped sideways, with one edge of the concrete sitting proud of the mud by about 9" - not good; cancelled the launch and went to seek out alternative accomodation...

This is now sorted, but Sod's Law the weather in the UK has now broken - looks like a bit of a wet and windy week - definitely not launching weather....  I'll keep an eye open for a window but at the moment all is on hold.

In fact, with lift out in a mere 6 weekends time I'm beginning to wonder if I'll bother...  I've been thinking about it for some time, but have finally decided to sell "Papillon" this winter, after four years of fantastic fun I've decided I need something a little bigger. Other than the need to confirm she's water-tight again, the last thing I need is any damage...

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Delivery trip...

Rod the mod (erstwhile skipper of Ami-Ly of Round the Island fame), gave me a shout yesterday morning. Ami-Ly (a Legend 290) was in Northney having some glass fibre work done, now finished for the time being, so he was going to take her back round to Port Solent that afternoon and did I fancy doing the trip with him?

Ami-Ly - ignore the rubbing strake - that's where the glass fibre work was being done...

Wellllllllll.,what do you think.....! 

So it was that just after 1400 yesterday afternoon, we would have been found sitting on the dock in Northney Marina having a beer...  the sun shone and there wasn't a breath (except that is for the exhausted gasps of the boat crew that had just rowed in after a 12 mile practice run in the harbour in preparation for a cross channel attempt in a few weeks...  yee gods they were hot and sweaty...  I was almost overcome enough to offer them some of my beer, but happily came to my senses... )



Not expecting much in the sailing vein, we cast off at half past and headed for the entrance to the Harbour for the run to Portsmouth...

While we'd motored down the Emsworth Channel we were delighted to see that the wind was filling in..  and not a bad direction either...  I reckon just south of south west, which would be ideal for a sail to Portsmouth...  a beat, but not a harsh one....

Just short of the entrance we had a fly over by the Battle of Britain flight on their way to Bournemouth - brilliant - but better was still to come as in the distance we saw the Vulcan bomber banking over Seaview on the Isle of Wight...

By the time we got to the West Pole  we were getting a nice solid 15 or 16 knots (occasional gust to 19), full rig, no reefs, and we turned to sail for Portsmouth doing a nice solid 4 or 5 knots across the ground...  and so it was...  one beat at the entrance to Langstone where we tacked to make some ground for the approach to the middle entrance of the submarine barrier (nice lift from the tide coming out of Langstone!) was not quite enough so a second little jink got us lined up, as the tide was fairly pouring through the gap..

Once through, one last tack to line up for the harbour entrance, and we then steamed into the harbour through some very choppy and confused sea's (ebb was well under way)


Spotted a seal as we approached Port Solent - first time in Portsmouth harbour though we've seen plenty in Chichester..

Portchester Castle - coming up to the entrance to Port Solent - not much water - depth metre showed only 0.1 of a metre...!
...and with just enough water to oooch into the lock at the marina that was the end of the trip..

..also spotted these guys..  they were in for a long wait!

Superb days sailing - quite possibly one of the best this year after that run to Portsmouth I did earlier this year

Scores on the doors..
  • 19.88 miles (overall mileage in the page at the top)
  • Avg 4.5 knots
  • Max. 6 knots (I reckon that was the tack we did off Langstone where we got some tidal assist)
  • 3 hours 50 minutes door to door!
  • Force 4, gusting 5 - SSW/SW - full rig and not pushed at all...