6 June 2010

Short trip and rudder removal 3.9nm (108.5nm total)

Lovely hot weekend. Went down to Poole Friday evening. Only a minimal sail planned as I needed to get the rudder blade off to be sorted out. It is jambing in its support and needs to be corrected, so I am leaving it with Matt Newland of SwallowBoats at the Beale Park Boat show on Saturday to sort out.

I sailed off the mooring successfully. I still don't have the nerve to do it with the engine raised, but probably will one day as it works very easily. Backing the mizzen allows you to "reverse out", being pulled by the wind. Then unfurling and backing the jib swings you across the wind, where you can pull in the main and sail off. The only near hit I had was when I was raising the engine, not having used it, and not watching where I was sailing whilst I raised it. Having the engine stowed in the first place would in fact make it easier.

I sailed across to Brownsea Island. There were over twenty boats anchored off the western end, so I sailed around to the southern side and anchored in shallow water on my own. Near neap tides so practically no current. I never pulled my anchor chain straight all night, let alone pulled on the anchor. Made a small plywood cutlery holder, which I have wanted to do for some time.

In the morning I climbed overboard and went for a swim. The cold side of refreshing. The very cold side in fact. I then tested whether I could get the ladder deployed from the water. Yes, but not easily. I had to haul myself up by the coaming to reach it and flip it over. Not easy if weighed down by wet clothing. Yanking on a rope tied to the ladder didn't do anything at all.

At one stage in the morning a curious band of dust and debris drifted past the boat. Just sand, dirt and probably some of the notorious volcanic ash. It was so still it didn't sink, and a very gentle breeze was blowing it across the harbour from west to east, accumulating bands of detritus as it moved along.

Motored back to the mooring and unbolted the rudder blade, which came off easily. Not sure how easy it will be to get it back on. I'll probably need to beach her to do it. Over to Matt now.

I had a quick look around the Beale Park Show and saw the new Bayraider 17 hull. I think it will be a really succesful boat. Very simple and clean lined. A perfect upgrade to my old and much loved Drascombe Dabber, but much more stable due to the water ballast. It should fly in a good wind. I hope to see it on the water at the English Raid in July.

There was a gorgeous Nigel Irens designed Dutch Raid boat there, the BJ17. Twin lug sails on carbon fibre spars. No ballast, so pretty hairy in a wind I should think.

Beale Park is getting stale. It was just like last year and the year before. They need to rejuvenate it.

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