3 May 2010

Very windy day (too windy for me) 6.8nm (41.1nm total)

Holiday today but not holiday weather. I went down to Poole for a day sail (4 1/2 hours driving there and back, how's that for dedication). We were promised "cool breezes with prolonged sunny intervals". It was freezing and gusted to F7 in squalls. The prolonged sunny spells started just around sunset...

I only sailed out to Brownsea Island and anchored in the lee and went ashore for a walk. The photo shows Dasiy G at anchor with Furzey Island behind. That's where BP pumps oil out of the biggest oil field in the UK. You wouldn't know. Sailed out with a double reef and was way over-canvassed. Shot back behind the island and came out again just jib and mizzen. Still overpowered in gusts, but I could tack if necessary.  My dinghy flipped over and the seat washed out. I managed to tack back and pick it up before it sank, which impressed me, but there was no audience. It wasn't fun, so I stowed the jib and turned the motor on. Pleased to find I could motor directly into the wind at 4kts, so was back to my new mooring in 20 minutes. Cabin lamp swinging round like mad and chipping the paint on the compression post. I need to stow it when sailing. Packed in sailing and went for a bike ride along the sea front to Poole Quay. Brompton folding bikes are one of the World's  great inventions.

I have tinkered in the cabin. I have filled in the opening to the water tank with some T&G boarding. This looks better and stops the flexible tank squeezing out when it is full. don't know why it was left open. Now I can fit my cool box down between the galley unit and the centreboard case, so I no longer take up the end of the short berth with it. It also forms a useful worktop and is low enough for the cabin table to unfold over.

One interesting point to note with the rudder blade. When fully down it angles forward very slightly. This makes it wonderfully light in use, but you have to be careful in shallow water. I anchored with it just touching soft mud. When trying to pull it up, I found it almost impossible. It has to swing through the vertical first, which means it digs slightly deeper into the mud. The lever arm on the uphaul is nothing like that of the mud's on the blade tip, so it is practically impossible, even if the resistance is minimal. A point to watch, especially on a falling tide. You could end up with the blade stuck down.


  1. Hi
    Great blog, been following it since last year and I must say I am jealous. I'm looking to move over to sailing from Power boating and would love my own "Daisy Grace" however since she is a new design the price of a new one is out of my range(at the moment!). Can you advise me on something I could get second hand that would be in the mould of Daisy and suitable for 2 adults + 1 11 YO.
    Sorry to ask but your sailing ethic is right up my street and I would value you're advice.


    Andy (andy.yates@eastfieldelectrical.co.uk)

  2. Hi Andy,
    There really isn't anything else quite like the Swallowboats. That's why they are casuing so much interest and no one with one will sell it! The usual comparatives are the Drascombes, but if you like the traditional look I think I would look at the Character Boats first. I've seen several in Poole harbour and I really like them. If you want a Drascombe, I still rate the Dabber as the best, but it is small. I have never liked the larger Drascombes much because of their rudder design. Sticking a rudder blade through the bottom of a shoal draft boat is just a bad idea. It offers no advantages that I can see and endless problems. Most of the other 20ft-ish cabin boats tend to be heavy, which makes them more of a challenge as trailer sailers.