26 June 2012

Mid week sail (9.4nm 99.0nm total)

Down for a midweek day to do a few jobs and have a short sail. Fitted a cheek block where the main halyard goes under the sprayhood. It had pulled across and broken a seam in the hood when yanking up the main sail. Now the block keeps it off the hood. Restitched the seam.
Lowered the mast to refit the burgee, which had slipped and shredded. The boom gallows really makes it easy to lower and raise the mast. I tied up in front of a motor boat so that the top of the lowered mast stuck over it, and I could clamber on board to get at the burgee. I noticed later that screws in the goose neck mast fitting are loose, and I need to do a proper repair on them. The boom gallows is really successful. Keeps the boom still at anchor, holds the mast when it is lowered. The sheet doesn't foul it at all, but I did have to move the point where it is attached to the boom forward about a foot. It seems very firm and gives a good handhold going round the stern. At some stage I will use it to support the end of a cockpit tent, but with the way things are going this year, I don't know that I would have a need for one.

Sailed slowly to Shipstal Point and anchored for lunch, watching the harbour master's boat going around checking the navigation marks. Watched a huge super yacht moving slowly through the channels, trying not to go aground. It was from Switzerland! Called Gof I think. Very short name for a very long boat.

"Pete the Street's" painting of Daisy Grace in Wareham last year, with yours truly hanging over the bridge parapet. He calls it "Poplars from Wareham Quay" and wants over £6,000 for it! Don't think I shall be buying it, but can't think who else would be interested in it.

18 June 2012

Out of the Harbour to Studland (16.8nm total 89.6nm)

Breezy day with some sunshine, but still not a proper summer. There are not many boats out sailing, the tourist boats are empty and it is all generally depressed. A sad note was that the mizzen sail on the other BayCruiser here had come loose during the gales over the last few days and was badly shredded. I went on board and took it down and left a note for the owner saying where he can get it repaired. I am all to familiar with the problem.

I sailed out of the harbour for the first time thus year and right over to Studland village. I anchored under the cliffs, but it was so cold I only stayed a few minutes and then headed back. Had a wonderful reach all the way back into the harbour and down to the Arne Peninsula. The Tall Ship Lord Nelson was also going in and out, taking people on a day sail. Not a ship I would want to have to handle in Poole Harbour in a strong wind.

I sailed from Arne back to Parkstone with the mizzen firmly stowed and I have to admit, she sailed just as well without it, if not even a little better. I often stow it if I am doing a lot of tacking, but this was a fast run, going well over 5kts most of the way.

What we need now is just a good long spell of warm, sunny, settled weather. Is that really too much to ask in June?

5 June 2012

Second day out over Jubilee weekend (17.4nm 72.8nm total)

Sailing with tiller lashed off Poole Quay

It has been a pretty poor long weekend, weatherwise, but the Monday looked the best so I grabbed it. High cloud but not too bad and a good breeze. I was out with the full sail for the whole day (apart from motoring up and down the Frome to Wareham) The sail works very well. The full length battens make it harder to raise and lower. On the way up they stick in the lazy jacks. On the way down the battens can twist which twists the sliders which jamb in the slot. Tension has to be kept on the halyard.

Wareham was busy and I had to raft up to go ashore for a Guiness. Spent an hour splicing a hard eye for the lazy jacks to go through at the tack of the sail. Now no blocks are used on the sail controls at all, it is all hard eyes and fairleads. The friction is probably higher, but the the lead of the lines is always ideal and it all looks good.

2 June 2012

Back in business with new mainsail (15.2nm trip, 55.4nm total)

Down just for the day to fit and try the new sail. Happily it did fit just perfectly. The only change I had to make was to move the fixing point for the main sheet forward a few inches so that it didn't foul the boom gallows. Hoisting is quite hard work mainly because I am out of practise and my hands have got very soft (no winches on this boat.) It stows as planned on the gallows, and clears them easily when hoisted. I have a concern that the flailing sheet might catch around the end of the gallows in an unplanned gybe. But I did several unplanned gybes during the day without problem.

I started out under full sail, but soon put in a reef as the gusts were strong. The reefing system on Swallow Boats sails now use circular dead eyes instead of cheek blocks, and they work really well. I'll try to photograph them next time. I sailed out and around Brownsea Island and anchored for lunch in the lee, with a flotilla of other boats doing the same. I was convinced my anchor was dragging, but I don't think it was, we were all just too close together.

Then I ran down to Shipstal, with the jib furled, which is always better than trying to goose wing. I just turned around so try beating back up the channel, which worked very well. I have got so used to beating single handed that I don't know what to do with a crew if I have one.

Anchored off Brownsea again to pack away the sails, and then motored back to the marina to give the engine a good run. I still need the sail bag. The maker is ill and so is way behind on orders. Hope to have it in the next couple of weeks.