28 May 2013

Bank holiday sailing (44.3nm trip, 88.7nm annual total)

Daisy G anchored off Shipstal
Two nights on board at anchor this weekend. Both nights at Shipstal Point, as it offered the best shelter, although it dropped to a flat calm each night. I do like sleeping on board, but it is still so cold for late May.

There are many empty moorings around the harbour, I think there has been a big drop in the number of boats. I asked our marina manager if he really had more boats than usual for sale. He said he did. It wasn't a sign of the economy, it was just more and more people giving up on boating because of our continually bad summer weather. They are selling their boats and going on hot holidays elsewhere. Very sad.

The Yards area of Handfast Point
Sunday was the best day, and temperatures rose to about 17C in the early afternoon. Sailed out to the Yards, which is a point on Standfast point where deeper water reaches right into the shore.  With the wind as it was, I didn't go too close as I would have driven right onto the cliff. There have been a number of big cliff falls over the winter. I anchored and walked over to the Little Sea in the middle of Studland peninsula, then headed back to Poole.

Studland Heath with Little Sea in distance
Strong wind back into harbour, so I furled the mizzen, which is best for a down wind run. Very powerful ebb tide in the harbour mouth, with strong wind over tide shenanigans. It was the roughest I have ever seen it in that area. One of the big tourist ferries started out of the harbour, but suddenly executed a complete U turn and went back in. Never seen that before. With strong driving wind and engine on full power, I was only making 1kt over the ground. Very glad to get in to smooth water.

Cabin lamp is a comfortable sight
I dropped anchor off Brownsea North shore, just to tidy things up, and realised that my centreboard and rudder were touching the bottom, and the really powerful ebb tide was holding me sideways against them Impossible to pull them up and I thought I would be semi-capsized as the tide ran out. I could still get the engine down, so I gunned it full speed ahead, even though the anchor was down, and that pushed me forward and kicked up both foils. I then had to reduce power, run forward and wrench up the anchor before I was swept back onto some moored yachts. All went well, but I had half a ton of Poole Harbour mud, plus anchor and chain on my foredeck. Played it safe by motoring back to my marina pontoon before the tide fell too far, and cleaned everything up. Sailed back to Shipstal to anchor for the night as it was very crowded on the pontoon, with powerboats all coming back just before low tide.

Poole Harbour from Parkstone Station footbrisge
Joined by one son and his girl friend for a very blowy sail round the harbour on Monday. Centreboard jammed with sand after we beached. Happens every time off Arne Peninsula. Managed to work the stones out with a sail batten, which is an odd manoeuvre to watch. I need to buy a batten just for that job. Fast mizzen-furled sail around Brownsea to end the weekend.

25 May 2013

May bank holiday weekend

Lovely sunny day, but still so cold for May. Anchored off Shipstal point which is very peaceful, but I hope my sleeping bag is warm enough. Summer seems to be a myth these days.

12 May 2013

Final varnishing done, ready for the water (3 hours total build time about 37 hours)

She will be ready to float as soon as the inner varnish has dried. I still need a paddle and some warm weather, but I hope to get her on the water in the next couple of weeks at the most.
At a rough count it has taken 37 hours to build. Quite a lot of that time spent pondering. So quite a quick project. It would have gone much faster if I had been working in a warm time of the year. The resin as slow to spread because it was so cold. But I have still to see if she is water tight. And I still need that proverbial paddle before I risk going up any creeks.

6 May 2013

Good sailing day but so much fog (15.6nm. 44.4nm total))

Fog blowing in over Brownsea Island
 Lovely sailing day down at Poole, but so much fog about. The sea is still so cold that fog is just forming over it. Brownsea Island was invisible from 100m away, and then suddenly it was clear and bathed in sun. I set out for Old Harry rocks and Studland, but half a mile out of the harbour, I couldn't see the entrance behind me. Well out of my comfort zone, so I turned around and followed my GPS track back. By the afternoon it was glorious, but I think fog will carry on being a problem until the  sea warms.

Spent some time sailing just jib and mizzen, just for the peace and quiet. The motor well blanking plate does work, but it is such a fiddle to get it in place I think I will revert to the plastic strips again next year. Spent the last hour tacking against wind and tide. Made steady progress, but you can't risk missing a single tack, you are right back where yo started if you do.

5 May 2013

Save for the varnishing, she is finished (2 hours)

I have fitted the spray decks at each end, which was tricky. The linen is very difficult to cut, particularly on the bias. The resin clogs blades very quickly. I was also at the very end of my resin, so one deck will be largely treated with varnish, but that should do. I was over generous with resin on the outside of the hull, so I think the right amount was included. Softwood gunwales screwed on and the first coat of Tonkinoise varnish applied to the outside. I want three coats on the outside and two on the inside I think, if the varnish goes far enough. After that I just need to get a paddle and find a small, warm pond...

4 May 2013

Getting near the end on the canoe (3 hours)

Fully fixed the keel and bilge rubbing strips. Carefully screwing through the skin, with a layer of sealant around each screw hole. Left for a few hours before final tightening of the screws, so the sealant didn't get squished out. Then applied a thin layer of resin on the inside, which cured quickly in the sunlight.

Outside I cut and fitted the supports for one end deck and then cut and stapled some linen over the end. Applied one coat of resin, of which I have very little left. Trimmed the cloth around the stem, but very hard to cut it neatly. I just need to complete the other deck, screw on the gunwale strips and the building is finished. But quite a lot of varnishing then needed inside and out to protect the resin and hopefully make it fully watertight.

2 May 2013

Keel and bilge rubbing strips cut to length and drilled (1/2 hr)

As always, it is the little fiddly bits which take so much unexpected time. The canoe hull has three rubbing strips fitted underneath to give some abrasion resistance. These need to be carefully drilled, with countersinks both sides, before they can be fitted. The screws will go through the fabric into the timbers underneath, and the holes are waterproofed with Sikaflex mastic. The countersinks underneath are there to allow a full grommet of mastic to form around each screw hole. The keel also needs to be bent slightly into place. The instructions recommend bending and holding, but I have used a heat gun to put a little permanent bend in, to relieve any strain on the fixings. Need a clear period to do the drilling and screwing, so not just now. Gave a final coat of resin around each stem, which needs to be sunned still.

The resin has set very hard. I have used too much in some areas, where the weave is completely filled and there are a few dribble marks. But it should be water tight, I hope...

1 May 2013

Second resin coat on canoe (1/2 hour)

I brushed on the second coat of resin to the outside of the canoe. Quick to do but hard to see where you have been. if you over brush, the resin foams up a bit and starts running, so you need to be gentle. Still need to cure this and then I can start on the inside details. Not sure I have enough resin left to do the spray decks, but the designer said he could let me have more. This is still very much a prototype build and quantities are a bit unknown.