17 April 2011

Back in the water, but nearly didn't make it ( 0.75nm total, not a long trip from the slipway to he mooring.)

Back from India on Thursday and took Daisy G down to Poole on Saturday. although I nealry didn't make it. All towing smoothly and I pulled into Sutton Scotney services for a coffee. Just looked round the trailer to see all was well, and it wasn't. The bearing cap was burned off the left wheel and a horrible looking castellated nut was sticking out and it was red hot. I had stoppped and checked the bearings after about 15 miles and they were fine. There had been no indication of any problem. I rang the AA, who were brilliant. A chap arrived within 20 minutes. He jacked up the wheel, and it simply fell off. My good fairy must have been watching over me. Only she would know what had kept the wheel on. The AA man then proceeded to phone round to see if anyone had a spare suspension unit and went to fetch one. They only sold them in pairs, so he got both and said he may as well fit both so I knew both sides were brand new. What could have been a real disaster ended up as just a three hour delay and two brand new suspension units fitted for free. I love the AA.

After that nasty shock, the rest of the journey was easy, but I had missed the tide and had to wait an hour for it to rise enough to launch (I don't need much water, but I need some.) Then I motored over to the marina, where they kept me on a pontoon and said they would tow Daisy out to her mooring on Monday. I loaded with fresh water and sorted out the sails. The ballast tanks have only partly filled. I need to move forward through the water fairly fast to force enough water in to fill both stern and fore tanks. If I just open the inlet on a mooring, the stern tank fills first, which tilts her down at the back so that the fore tank doesn't fill properly. Motoring forward seems to force the water into both tanks. The alternative strategy is to sit a gorrilla on the fore deck whilst ballasting, but I didn't have one handy.

The winter modifications have generally worked so far. The boom cradle carried the stowed mast fine, but it is a bit flimsy. There was also an unexpected design fault with it. Because it is set far enough forward to support the boom, when the mast is slid back on it to fit its heel in the  tabernacle, the cradle is forward of the mast's centre of gravity, so I nearly lost it over the back of the boat. I'll have to think about that. But it works very well as a boom support. That means the boom does not swing about on the mooring and it is much easier to stow the sail neatly. The sail stowing bungee system has worked really well, but I will have to see if all the hooks get in the way when sailing.

Nick Savage's Baycruiser Swallow of the Sea (written in Welsh which I can't remember) is now on her mooring and I hope that I will be moored nearby. She is a lovely boat. Fitted out far more lavishly than mine, with timber decks, fully battened sail, asymmetric spinnaker and all sorts of refinements. This is the biggest fleet of Baycruisers at any one location at the moment.
Hope to get out sailing properly over Easter.


  1. They never fail to worry us... one way or the other.... :o)

    I'm remaking my mast cradle this winter as well as I have the same "flimsy problem" you do, but I don't have the balance issue as I rest mine on the rear deck area... could you use some kind of halyard arrangement from your mizzen mast to overcome the mast balance issue??? Piee of line from the top of the mizzen with a loop to rest the mast in??? Just a thought...

  2. I'm thinking of a more sternwards postion for the crutch for supporting the mast in transit mode. It might also be easier to brace it there as well. Something to ponder over during hot sunny, windless days...

  3. ..the only comment (not advice!) I can offer is that the further back the better - even with mine on the stern deck the mast still hangs way over the back of the boat when I shift it back to attach it to the mast foot... I had to have a mate keep it balanced downwards.... on the other hand the balance on your fancy carbon fibre jobby may be different.. :o))

  4. We saw a green Baycruiser heading west on the M27 Saturday and guessed it was you -

    Had a similar experience years ago but the wheel did fall off, the AA were equally good picked up boat and trailer on a special truck for broken down lorry's and took us all the way to our destination. I drive at a steady 45mph when towing ever since!

  5. I spoke to my insurance company, just to see if they would pay for the new suspension units. They said no, it was wear and tear and they would only pay out if I had been splattered all across the motorway. But they also said that that happens about half a dozen times every summer weekend! I shall be stopping and checking every coupld of miles from now on.