23 July 2014

Dinghy progress

The interior is now largely complete and painted. I am waiting for some longer stainless steel screws to fit the rowlock blocks permanently. I have built up the stern transom to provide a name plate, an outboard position, sculling slots and crucially, a sacrificial edge that I can stand the boat on as I heave it up on a roof rack (haven.t actually tried that yet, so hope it works.

Next I need to turn her over and smooth and paint the outside. Then she should be done, although I need to get some decent oars and then figure out how to secure them inside the dinghy when towing.

Not quite sure why I chose grey, but I am pleased with the colour scheme. Looks sort of dour and professional, unlike the quality of the finish. I was very pleased that the outboard started and ran very easily. It hasn't been used for over a year and I thought it would be fully gummed up with the old fuel in it. The Honda has a centrifugal clutch, which means it engages as you accelerate. Simple, but it makes tricky manoeuvres even trickier, especially when coupled with a lack of reverse...

20 July 2014

To Yarmouth and back (45nm)

The weather was good and the tides were perfect for a weekend trip to Yarmouth. Fair current all the way there from about 10:00am for five hours, and return current the next morning from about 530 to 1030. The wind was almost non existent on Saturday so I had to motor all the way. A poor wind on the way back, so I motor sailed. Each time I did the distance in three and a half hours. I hit 9 kts going through Hurst narrows. The current there is terrifying.

Hurst castle on the way in
I like Yarmouth, but it is getting very expensive. £23 for one night for a 20 ft boat. And I didn't even sleep on board! I phoned some friends on the island to see if they were free for a drink. They said they were having a barbecue and I was fetched to join in. Even drive back to Daisy G at six in the morning.

There and back again

16 July 2014

Quick sail in the sun (18nm)

I grabbed a day off to enjoy the sun afloat. Notting spectacular. Went down in the evening, got in the way of a dinghy race and in avoiding it, went aground near the ferry terminal. I was clearly going to be there for an hour or so, so cooked my dinner there. Wind quite strong from the west, so once afloat, I sailed over teh Shipstal point. Sheltered and only one other boat there, so had a peaceful night.
Absolutely beautiful morning, so I was up with the birds and off sailing by 7:00. Noticed the large ferry from Spain had anchored outside the harbour overnight. Don't know why, but the tides are very big, so maybe they had to wait. Certainly it finally came in as the tide was rising, very slowly and cautiously.

Anchored of Redhorn Quay and rowed ashore to hike around Studland peninsula. Then sailed out into the open sea under reefed main and no mizzen. I had a double reef in at first, but shook one out. I find the boat handles best when reefed if the mizzen is stowed. Otherwise it can be hard to tack. The long low sail plan seems to want to just go in one direction.

12 July 2014

Work on bottom of dinghy largely complete

I have finished the wood working on the bottom  of the dinghy. Keel, skeg and skeg wheel epoxied into place and I have epoxied an aluminium rubbing strip onto the forward part of the keel. Also glued on two rub strips where the chines will rub the ground.

Turned boat over and clamped the external gunwales in place. These will be easier to fit than the internal ones, but will need to be planed thinner at the ends, which will actually look better. Much sanding, fairing an painting to do yet, not to mention the rowlock supports. Need to get some decent oars from somewhere.

10 July 2014

Skeg and skeg wheel build up

I have smeared on the first faring layers of low density epoxy and started building up the skeg with a built in wheel. I want to be able to launch easily single handed, but don't want a trolley  kicking around. I fitted a double wheel on my last dinghy which was OK but wobbled a bit. This time I am going for a single, wider wheel supported on both sides. The axle is an aluminium tube which I think will be robust enough.

Quite a lot of sanding and shaping needed before it is bonded on. The main body of the skeg is a piece of an old mahogany table top that I am gradually working my way through. I shall fit a very thin laminated mahogany keel right along to the stem, using the laminations I cut out for the stem of a canoe that I didn't build last year. That will be quite messy.