Thursday, 30 December 2010

Quick visit & Christmas presents...

Went down to see "Papillon" yesterday, I usually go and see her at least two or three times a week as it's only a short detour on the cycle from my usual route to work... the difference this time was that I actually went aboard to check everything was OK down below as well. I'd spotted that one of the solar panels had come loose so it seemed like a good excuse...

Everything was well - a bit of water in the bilges (from condensation and dripping windows I guess), but 10 seconds with the electric bilge pump cleared that.

Kind of itching to get working on her - at the very least I need to start sourcing some foam for the cushions soon, if I'm going to get those done this winter!

On the plus side I have two or three days off next week and I have the promise of a loan pressure washer; this time next week I hope to have her bottom scraped & cleaned (ready for the anti-foul *), and I also hope to have replaced the topping lift - the new one is sitting in the car waiting. I also still need to do some day-skipper revision!

Later dudes...

* Top notch Christmas present this year from my sister by the way - a big tin of two part anti-foul, enough for this year and next!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

It's still cold...!

Bl**dy freezing in fact, so all possibility of doing any work on "Papillon" is out of the window for the time being... temperatures here in the UK have tumbled recently, and one newspaper article I read the other day mentioned that the cold weather was going to be with us until February!

Still, I have other things to focus on - this winter I'm doing my RYA Day Skipper Theory course, which was a way of keeping in touch with things boaty throughout the winter. I think it fair to say that I'm not going to set the world of chart navigation on fire with any new discoveries (and if that last lesson was anything to go by neither were any of the rest of my co-sufferers!) but I am quite enjoying it - the problems are a little like a three dimensional cross word - figure out where you are, how fast you're going, where to, what the tides doing, what the winds doing, and at the end churn out a triangle with a dot in it (to those of us in the known, that's an "EP" or estimated position )

Now if I could just get to grips with plotting magnetic courses I'd be a sure bet, but it looks like Christmas will involve some revision at least as the last thing the instructor told me before he told us not to bother coming back until the 4th January, was that we'd have the exam on the 4th January... yeah, and Happy Christmas to you as well, mate! smiley emoticons

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

It's cold!!

It's hard to believe that only 7 weeks separates this, which was the last major sail of the year,in (t)shirt sleeves...

..from this..

..and this, which was taken this morning when the temperature was still -2' C!

The UK is going through an unseasonal cold patch - we don't normally get this kind of weather until January or February which had lead me to think of contents of "Papillon's" bar.. yes, she does have one..

Sub-zero temperatures do nasty things to pressurised cans of beer, and not wanting to have a major clean-up on my hands I decided to go and empty the bar on my way to work..

This was what I came away with....

.. what can I say - it was a hot, dry summer..

Thursday, 25 November 2010

A nice Fantasie on eBay part 2...

Cycled past her mooring this morning on the way to work, so stopped and got some more shots of "Siva" for the Fantasie 19 owners site...

Nice looking boat on a very crisp morning...



Thursday, 18 November 2010

A nice Fantasie 19 on eBay..

This looks like a nice example that Phil Brook has just found on eBay...

Just down the road from me, so I'll see if I can get a bigger picture for the register on the owners website..

It's also the first Fantasie I've seen with a spray hood - very plush!

Only £1300 as well, which I think is reasonable - the last one I saw on eBay went for more than this...

Very clean cabin... (I'd have to change the lino though... free smileys)

Monday, 15 November 2010

Job Update #2

Two new items added to the job list... not major but they need doing:

13. Replace bolts holding tiller - not stainless steel and beginning to rust..

14. Replace nuts & bolts for the sliding hatch with s/s; currently galvanised and beginning to rust

Monday, 8 November 2010

Job update... #1

First jobs completed... loads more to do..
  1. My mother-in-law has offered to sew me up some new cushions for the cabin to replace the current one's which I think must be original...having slept on the boat on at least two occasions I can confirm you may as well lie on newspaper!
    1. Find the material - needs to be waterproof but sew-able - apparently my wife knows just the stuff
    2. Find the foam - a quick glance at the web would indicate this stuff is priced like gold dust.. more research is required!
  2. New s/s shackle for where the bottom of the cunningham (down-haul to us unrepentant windsurfing types!) connects to the bottom of the mast - currently a nasty galvanised job
  3. New s/s shackle for the top of the jib where it connects to the roller furling foil - currently a very small shackle with split pin - not up to the job
  4. Small plastic eye to whip into the end of the new topping lift
  5. Replace/renew topping lift
  6. Replace/renew jib halyard

    Here you can see why.. very worn by the eye - with a roller reefing jib the sail stays up all season. with the halyard under pressure - so basically it's worn where it sits over the pulley...

    Sew the end of the old one to the end of the nice new one, butting them together... loads of stitches - you do not want to lose the end in side the mast...

    Old eye whipped into the end of the new halyard - rubbish picture of a right proper job...

  7. Rip out old cabin lining below the shelving - take back to GRP, prime and paint - extend the paint into the quarter berths, and forward as required.
  8. Investigate cabin lining forward to see if I can make an interim repair that's neater than fourteen strips of gaffer tape!
  9. Re-splice rope to anchor for main anchor - looking worn and slightly frayed..
  10. Finish off the electrical connections for masthead and deck light that I put back together earlier in the summer but haven't tested - need to confirm positive..
  11. Rub back and refresh the varnish down below, and on the washboards - do this after the painting
  12. Build "A" frame for easier mast lowering and raising - two bits of three by three, hinged with an eye bolt, and with a big lump of pulley and tackle should make raising and lowering the mast a whole lot easier - and may mean I can take advantage of the club lift in rather than having to trundle the trailer along the road.. this is not a high priority item - the advantage is it can be built at home in spare time.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Yikes...

Yikes!! Glad I'm ashore... (click for a bigger view) this is the Metcheck forecast for my area tomorrow...

Monday, 1 November 2010

Soo that was 2010....

Just a review in brief of my 2010 the format of which I have shamelessly ripped off from Julian's Daisy Grace website... (hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right??! smiley emoticons)

Like a spider dipped in blue ink and left to wander all over Google Earth - here's where Papillon went this year - click and then click again for a far bigger view of the pictures in this post:

...so many times up and down the harbour I'm amazed there aren't tracks in the water!:

Number of visits down to the boat: 18 - but if you count all the times I visited in the mornings/evenings while she was on shore, and the days I worked on her pre-season - easily triple that...smiley emoticons

Total distance sailed: 154.23 miles (GPS is a wonderful thing for calculating distances!) compared with 125 miles in 2009... amazing when you consider she was out of the water for two months right at the start of the season..

Nights on board: 2 - I have plans to make her more comfortable for 2011 (new cabin cushions etc.) which will see this increase next year hopefully..

Crew on occasion: 2 daughters - long may it continue - they're good company...

Cruising range: Seaview in the west, Printead/Thorney in the East & the west Pole beacon to the south... my mooring is as far north as I can go..

Biggest Cruise: Seaview on the Isle of Wight (30 miles in a day - ace!) and then returning right through the middle of the Laser Worlds racing - cue race officer "I say..."

Best Cruise: So hard as 2010 was brilliant - but probably down to a choice of two Seaview was monumental for me (there'll be others out there laughing at this, but it was a big deal for me!), but also the picture session where I happened to meet up with Rod - for me that day was what it was all about, just the right amount of breeze, some sunshine, and good company...

Worst cruise: Dismasting no competition... free smileys

Oddest cruise: Up the Prinstead Channel - run aground on mud but managed to get off...

Best anchorages: None... didn't anchor this year...

Best mooring: Vistors buoy Hayling Island sailing Club - brilliant place to watch the world go by..

Best Marinas: None..

Worst mooring: None... they're all good when you need a cup of tea!

Plans for next year? The Nab Tower!! Grr.. wanted to do it this year... Overnighter at Bembridge and/or Cowes - it would be good to meet up with Phil and Jelly Bean

2010 sailing mileage...

  • 4th April : 3.4 miles (Year to date 3.4 miles) - force 4 gusting 5
  • 12th April : 12.65 miles (16.05 miles) - force 3 gusting 5 - dis-masted!
  • 27th June : 13.6 miles (29.65 miles) - force 2, later 3 - long beat up the harbour to CamberMet pole.
  • 4th July : 18.24 miles (47.89 miles) - force 4, later 6 - double tider...
  • 11th July : 10.67 miles (58.56 miles) - force 4 gusting 5...
  • 17th July : 5.03 miles (63.59 miles) - force 5 gusting 6...
  • 9th August : 1 mile (64.59 miles) - force 3 gusting 4 - mooring practice under sail...
  • 20th August : 10.62 miles (75.21 miles) - force 4 gusting 5 - interrupted breakfast and first time back to Eastoke Point...
  • 28th August : 13.86 miles (89.07 miles) - force 4 gusting 5 - WNW for a change - West Pole Beacon trip
  • 30th August : 8.31 miles (97.38 miles) - force 2 gusting 3 or 4 - NNW - goose winged down the harbour
  • 3rd September : 30.99 miles (128.37 miles) - force 4 gusting 5 - ESE - Priory Potter - IoW
  • 18th September : 9.98 miles (138.35 miles) - top end force 3 - NNW/NW - three seals doing aerobics
  • 6th October : 15.88 miles (154.23 miles) - force 4 - SW (northerly and easterly for weeks and just when I don't need it, it goes back to "prevailing"!) - Round Hayling

Friday, 22 October 2010

Jobs to do... winter 2010/2011

I suspect this post will become a bit of a moving feast as I add and complete various items.. but here's my starter for ten....

  1. My mother-in-law has offered to sew me up some new cushions for the cabin to replace the current one's which I think must be original...having slept on the boat on at least two occasions I can confirm you may as well lie on newspaper!
    1. Find the material - needs to be waterproof but sew-able - apparently my wife knows just the stuff
    2. Find the foam - a quick glance at the web would indicate this stuff is priced like gold dust.. more research is required!
  2. New s/s shackle for where the bottom of the cunningham (down-haul to us unrepentant windsurfing types!) connects to the bottom of the mast - currently a nasty galvanised job
  3. New s/s shackle for the top of the jib where it connects to the roller furling foil - currently a very small shackle with split pin - not up to the job
  4. Small plastic eye to whip into the end of the new topping lift
  5. Replace/renew topping lift
  6. Replace/renew jib halyard
  7. Rip out old cabin lining below the shelving - take back to GRP, prime and paint - extend the paint into the quarter berths, and forward as required.
  8. Investigate cabin lining forward to see if I can make an interim repair that's neater than fourteen strips of gaffer tape!
  9. Re-splice rope to anchor for main anchor - looking worn and slightly frayed..
  10. Finish off the electrical connections for masthead and deck light that I put back together earlier in the summer but haven't tested - need to confirm positive..
  11. Rub back and refresh the varnish down below, and on the washboards - do this after the painting
  12. Build "A" frame for easier mast lowering and raising - two bits of three by three, hinged with an eye bolt, and with a big lump of pulley and tackle should make raising and lowering the mast a whole lot easier - and may mean I can take advantage of the club lift in rather than having to trundle the trailer along the road.. this is not a high priority item - the advantage is it can be built at home in spare time.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Chichester Harbour...

As you probably know my boat is moored in Chichester Harbour. The organisation that looks after all the administration of running the harbour (collecting dues, looking after moorings etc etc) is is known as the Chichester Harbour Conservancy [click here], and they've just released a couple of films dealing with why the harbour is special, and the work they do to keep the harbour the way it is..

The harbour is designated as an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" which gives it certain rights within law, the following is one of the two films and gives you an idea of why:

....now you know why I like sailing here as much as I do....!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Lift out...

...and so the 2010 season comes to an end as "Papillon" was lifted out last Sunday...


Fun day, no pictures I'm afraid, but certainly action packed - and a long one for the guys who man the tractor and hoist... the boats started coming out just before lunchtime and the last one was moved at about 6.. and this was the third solid day of boat movements! Never had any idea just how many there are in our club..

In my case I'd arranged for my lift out a couple of weeks ago, but true to form when I got there on the day there was no mention of me on the list of boats!

Not a problem though - I had nothing else scheduled so just asked to be tagged on the end which they were happy to do...

Despite concerns about massive lows and high winds, in the end we had a hot warm and sunny day (amazing for October, I actually went home sun burned), with a pretty solid force 4 (gusting 5 at times) easterly - again - perfect for our set up as the slip is sheltered from an easterly by the embankment carrying the road and bridge...

With a lot of time on my hands I had a pint and watched everyone working hard (they had plenty of people so I would just have got in the way) until the guy who had the mooring behind me mentioned he still needed to get his mast down - he owns a Westerly Jouster (that's one of them just above) so I volunteered.. we got it down, but I can't say it was the most controlled mast lowering I've seen!!

Happily no lasting damage done (he'll need to pop rivet one of the spreaders) - I liked his boat though - I'm used to the boat tipping when I walk down the side deck on Papillon, but despite only being a couple of feet longer the Jouster hardly twitched.. this guys also had the most amazing outboard - Tohatsu 8Hp two stoke - it started first pull and was SO quiet you could hardly hear it... sigh.... I could spend thousands if I had the cash!

...and that was largely it - a lift out to my boat was nice, and when I got the outboard started with no issues (an amazement given the hard time I gave it on the round Hayling) and I just took her in and grounded her on the slipway with the last of the ebb, before being lifted straight on to my trailer. Luxury!!

Lift in next year is the weekend of March 12th and 13th (and that's early), so only four and a half months to get the jobs done... next post will be on those, I've also started Day Skipper Theory (third week in) so a post on that - so despite the fact we're out of the water there's still plenty going on!

Friday, 8 October 2010

Round Hayling...

Those of you who have read from the beginning of this years blog are aware that I had a slight contretemps with my mast...

Not surprisingly I now have a mental block about taking it down, so this year, having also decided that the club can lift me out, I also decided to sail round to the slipway rather than take down the aforementioned "stick" and sail under the bridge like my other club compatriots do...

Slight overkill, but it was also a last opportunity to go out on the boat this season, even if most of it would be on motor...

So - having moved the boat to a deeper mooring the previous Sunday, I managed to get off the mooring to start the trip at 8 in the morning, high tide was at 11 but was a big one (almost 5 mtrs) - I planned on 3 to 4 hours to get round, but with the early start and the big tide that gave me 6 hours for safety - plenty of time!

Weather started wet and rainy (new waterproofs were aired in anger for the first time) but had cleared to sunshine and a steady force 4 by the time I got to the entrance of Chichester Harbour...

Started up the engine and it then ran for four and half hours - I'd need it - I'd be against the tide almost the entire way round, and with all that water, they were not inconsiderable!

Either way - the second in an occasional series - this is Langstone Fairway, which used to be a buoy and is now a pole (click on any picture for a pleasingly bigger view by the way)..

Port hand side of the Langstone entrance (as I came in) - that's the lifeboat station with the red roof..

Starboard side - that's the Ferryboat Inn (from where all the jet skiers launch in the summer! )



Last of all the track - which made my mate, Jellybean Phil laugh...

Yep - that's 15.88 miles to travel 50 yards as the crow flies!

Trip took four and a half hours - maximum speed was was just a tad over 5 knots (though I did see 6 very, very, briefly) and an average speed of just over 3 - pleased to see my passage plan was pretty much spot on.

No main - I wanted to get away from the mooring quickly, so didn't hang around getting sail covers off - I did have the jib though for additional forward oomph (which was very much needed with the tide being what it was). Lowest speed was about 1 knot when I turned into the wind and tide outside Chichester... my little outboard donk really wasn't up to it, and sounded distinctly wheezy by the time I got to my new mooring...

Next trip will be to bring her out on Sunday - just as they're forecasting an Indian summer weekend here in the UK - wouldn't you believe it!

PS. We'll gloss over the five attempts it took me to pick up the mooring - I can only blame it on the current - we don't get anything like that on my normal mooring!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

It's not all plain sailing..

..as a matter if fact, there's been no sailing at all since the trip when I saw the seals..!

My plan as the season draws to a close (and I know there are some that sail throughout the year - but it's just too damn cold for me!) was to get as much sailing in as possible, but it seems that a windy summer is turning into an even windier autumn... When I got to the boat last Sunday it was blowing a solid 6 gusting 7, and that just isn't fun... so once I got to the boat I put the kettle on and got down to doing something that I had originally planned for the winter lay up - replacing some running rigging..

Happily my mast is nowhere near as complicated as that one pictured - with no spinnaker I have just mainsail and jib halyards, and a topping lift running through the mast, seemples... Mainsail was the worst, so I started with that..

~ using the longer of the two hanks of rope I picked up at the Southampton Boatshow I first of all sewed (normal needle and thread) the new rope to the end of the old rope so that the ends were butted together - all you do is a simple blanket type stitch from one rope into the other... at the end you have what looks like a single length of rope, ends butted together so there's nothing to catch..

~ at the head of the mainsail I undid the shackle holding the other end of the mainsail halyard, slipped the eye of the halyard off, and reattached the shackle to the sail (not for any nautical reason other than so I didn't lose it!)

~ you can then start pulling the new rope through from the 'mainsail end' - keep pulling and the new rope will follow the old rope, up through the mast slot, up the mast, until it eventually gets to the pulley at the top of the mast - mine came through trouble free - at which point I then had both ends of the new rope in my hand, threaded through the mast... you can heave a huge sigh at this point as if it comes undone before now your faced with the possibilities of having to get mast down to try and get rope out etcetcetc

~ I then retreated to the cabin, pulling it all in after me, for another slurp of tea while I cut the plastic eye out of the end of the old halyard, and whipped it into the end of the new rope - I then reattached it to the shackle and the top of the sail - took on the tension to tighten everything up, and tied it off...

Job done... took about an hour but I wasn't rushing... I'll keep an eye on the whipping for the time being to make sure it doesn't come undone, but I'm happy it'll last.

Jib halyard will definitely wait - I have roller furling so it involves unfurling the jib to get it down so I can get to the halyard at the head of the sail - and as it's up and not giving me problems it can wait for a week or two...

The topping lift is OK, but given I have a length of new rope I may well do that at the same time...

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Three seals...

The season seems to be coming to an end quickly here in the UK; the evenings are getting darker earlier, and we have dew in the mornings. Last night was the coldest so far this autumn, which isn't saying a lot when compared to the sub-freezing we had last winter, but it was definitely on the "cool" side... so what better time is there to make a rash decision to spend the night on the boat so that I can take advantage of the (very) early tide???

Unlike last time I had enough blankets this time - lovely and toasty, just couldn't get comfortable! Still two pints of Summer Lightning and some grill steaks - I was living high off the fat of the land... I also moved the boat over to one of the other club moorings in deeper water so I could get away quicker..

The sail itself was very quiet - forgot the camera so no pics - wind was very very light right up to about a couple of hours into the sail when it then came up quite quickly as a northerly force 3 (high end)..

Highlight was watching three seals on a mud bank doing what looked like callisthenics! Made me laugh - wish I'd got the camera... this isn't them but they're a damn close fit!

So - a brisk/short sail - just shy of 10 miles, wind NNW/NW'ly, force 3'ish...

Monday, 13 September 2010

SIBS

No sailing this weekend - beginning to miss it badly! - reason being that I was in Newbury for the day on Saturday, and at the Southampton Boat Show on Sunday

..usually we get to the show on the second weekend when it has tended to calm down a little, this year we were there on the first weekend and it was absolutely packed... me, my brother in law (thanks for the tickets, sis!) and the two spuds had a great day... we must have walked miles as my feet ached like crazy by the end of it, but it was an absolute cracker of a day - the sun shone with a bit of a breeze to take the edge off..

Having parked in West Quay as usual (though I think I picked the wrong bit as it was very expensive!), we headed into the show..

Highlights... of the boats we went on, this was my favourite boat... also the most expensive... free smileys

..and yours [click here] for a mere £3,234,295... worth every penny.. ashamed smileys







...slightly more achievable was my second favourite of the day - this was only half a mil (sterling, natch..) - Beneteau Oceanis 58 World of difference between this one and the next size down in the range - build quality was good - excellent looking boat...



Who am I kidding - it would take a lottery win to own a bot like this, and two lottery wins to own the previous one - oh and another lottery win to pay for ongoing maintenance!

Brilliant day out - pint of Guinness at lunchtime, good company, loads of boats, a trip round this one (click on the picture to be taken to the details):



..and on top of that I got new running rigging for Papillon for only £15, and a bargain new kettle (current one too small)... ace! free smileys

So - back in the land of the living - I have some sailing on the cards this weekend, and two major events to plan for before the end of the season - hopefully a meet-up with Phil & Jelly Bean at Cowes at the end of the month, and a delivery trip to take Papillon round Hayling in time for my clubs lift out weekend on the 9th/10th October....