23 August 2009

Swanage and new engine 27.5nm (187.5)

Short video of the cliffs of Handfast Point
between Poole and Swanage
Old Harry Rocks

I finally plumped for a new Tohatsu outboard. I chose the 6HP as it is the same weight as the 4HP, so I thought I may as well have the extra power. It only just fits, so I would say that it is the biggest engine the BayCruiser will take. The tiller clears it, but when it is tilted up, it has to be turned on its side so that the stainless steel rudder stock can clear it. I have been delighted with it. The power, when you need, it is great. Having reverse is a God-send, particularly getting onto a loading pontoon which is in the middle of a strong, along-pontoon current. It is also the lightest engine to start I have ever had. I just pulled the cord a couple of times to turn it over before giving it the usual heave, when I realised it was running. Note the basic auto pilot. A knotted rope with a bungy on one end, and an open cleat under the tiller. You can jamb the tiller in any knot position whilst you pour coffee, nip in the cabin for your hat, or just sit back and admire the view if you are on a close reach.

I ran it in by motoring, the next day, down the coast to Swanage. But first I anchored overnight off Cleavel Point in Poole Harbour. A delightful spot, which I shared with a Cornish Shrimper and hundreds of water birds. Terns perched on the navigation marks and wagtails ran around on my spray hood. Anchorages like this are what sailing is all about for me.

Motoring to Swanage was very straight forward. I picked up a mooring and cooked soup for lunch. Then sailed back. Or tried to. I realised after an hour that there was a tremendous foul current against me. Made sailing into Poole practically impossible. In the end I started the motor and by this time had to motor through the overfalls off Old Harry rocks, which was decidedly unpleasant. Once through them I motored into Poole harbour and sailed the last three miles to my mooring.

I have modified the centreboard control lines. Originally they came up through the cabin roof to cleats just in front of the sprayhood. I have added a deck organiser and moved the cleats so that the lines now come into the cockpit. The theory is fine, but the friction is much higher. I will try it for a while and see if it is an improvement or if I should go back to the original layout. I have also added an engine room ventilator over the holes where the control lines come out. This stops too much rainwater going straight down the hollow compression post.

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