29 July 2013

Short day's sail and the sunny spell has ended fairly convincingly

I popped down to Poole (if a two hour drive constitutes popping) with the hopes that the weather would prove better than forecast. It did and didn't. The morning was good and sailing fun, but very strange looking clouds blew up from the west. If I had been in the American plains, I would have been worried about tornadoes. I was near the marina, so I motored in and hung on my mooring and watched what was happening. The heavens opened and looked to stay that way, so I packed up and came home.

I have been trying out navigation with an Android tablet computer I have bought. Generally good. I have been using a cheap set of Admiralty charts, which in unsophisticated compared to the full blown chart plotter maps, but actually all the easier to use because of that. Keeping the tablet in the cabin protects it and makes it easier to read as it is out of the sun. The only concern was that the battery seemed to discharge even when plugged in, so I don't know quite how long it would run for in practise. But I shall persevere  with it.

Before sailing, I had fitted a length of Tee track to the end of the boom, which will allow me to adjust sail tension more effectively. I still need the slider, which is remarkably expensive. I also added another span to my lazy jacks, to hold up the end of the stack pack more. Seems to work OK, but not all the lengths of string match, which offends me. Hope the summer comes back for August.


  1. Hi Julian, I was just reading through some of your earlier blogs (15th & 8th July) and was interested in you comments about the water ballast not making a lot of difference to the performance of Daisy Grace. It was actually one of the aspects of Matt's design's that I was attracted to - not so much for handling ashore but the improved performance in light winds on the water. From your comments it would seem as if you have tried it before without much success. Do you feel any difference from a stability point of view?

  2. Oh yes, she is noticeably more stable with the ballast in. A few times when I have sailed her unballasted she has lent over, not very far, but enough to remind me that when she is ballasted she really doesn't lean much at all and has never been near a capsize even in up to F7 winds. The point I have made is that for me, any slight gain in speed from having her unballasted is not worth it for the sheer gain in comfort and security of just leaving the ballast in. But I usually sail single handed. I think quite a number of people sail Bayraiders with several crew unballasted in strong winds. Then they keep upright with gymnastic crew members jumping all over the place. Not my type of sailing!