27 April 2010

Cockpit storage

Not the prettiest picture, but it shows the cockpit storage bag I have installed. It holds all the bits and pieces: sail ties, bungy cords, handle for teh bilge pump, spare camping gaz bottles etc. It needs to be right at teh back around the engine well because it get stepped on anywhere further forward. This type of bag costs about £30 from a chandlers. I bought it from Lidls for about £7. That's the difference between "cockpit storage" and "Car boot tidy bag"
You can also just about seee the cleat for the rudder blade uphaul line on the starboard side of the tiller.

25 April 2010

Second sail of the year, 22.5nm (34.3nm total)

Another sunny but cool weekend, so down for another outing after work on Friday. I was brave and sailed off from my mooring under sail, although the engine was on in neutral just in case. I only bumped one other boat, very lightly... The trick was to pull the mizzen right up on one side so that it is nearly at right angles to the centre line of the boat. It then pulls the boat backwards from the mooring. My mistake was to break out the jib too soon, which swung the bow round for that slight bump. But it was quite rewarding to then sail off down the lines of moored boats. I shall try it again next time the wind is in the right direction, and leave the jib to much later.
Sailed around the harbour and anchored off Brownsea Island for the night. Still, quiet and very cold. Several other boats there, I think everyone is starting the season early, to get over the long dark winter. In the morning my daughter came down to join me for a day just sailing round the islands in the harbour.

I have rigged 2:1 tackles on the rudder and centre board and they really work well. I wondered how they would work as and when I hit the bottom. Things were fine. The automatic releasing cleats worked even through the tackle. I need to cut the lines to length once I am happy with the setup. Quite a number of cheek blocks are needed to guide all the control lines under the spray hood, but now they all seem to work. Every line now comes back into the cockpit. I can't get the rudder blade down without the tackle, and I can't get it down at all if the boat is moving forward. The leverage on the long blade is just too great.

18 April 2010

2010 season: 11.8nm 11.8nm total

Back on the water at last.
I have been away on holiday in North East India for three weeks (Assam, Nagaland and West Bengal), where I saw some of the most beautiful boats I have ever seen on the Ganges Delta. The canoe on the left is a typical small one. I have yet to edit the photos and to add them to my pages on Indian Boats ( http://www.jegsweb.co.uk/boats/Assam2009/brahmaputra_boats.htm )
I have moved to a new marina in Poole Harbour and launched Daisy G. from the public slipway at Baiter last Friday. I was a bit concerned because the gradient of the slip is notoriously gentle and people have to disconnect their trailers to launch deep hulled powerboats. I reversed until the car tyres were in the water, and that proved deep enough. I couldn't push her off the trailer with my weak arms, but I found I could push her bow up in the air, and then the weight of the boat slid her off.

The new rudder is a joy, once I sorted out the downhaul line. It is so bouyant that the lever-arm on the downhaul couldn't get it right down (my puny arms again) and when I had a trial sail it was realy heavy on the helm. Then I rigged the downhaul as a 2:1 tackle and a good heave got it right down. Now the helm is light as a feather and we really stormed along. I have rigged uphauls and downhauls on the rudder and the centre board as 2:1 purchases, and it really helps a sailor as feeble as me.

I have rigged the Ensign to a flag halyard on the mizzen, so I look much better dressed out on the water

The Chinese yuloh is a total failure. It needs to be at least a metre longer and there just isn't room in the boat to store that. There also didn't seem to be enough swinging room for it. I am back to trying a paddle.