Monday, 11 July 2011

Outboard Maintenance Course..

A very useful day yesterday spent at Stormforce Coaching at Kemps Quay in Southampton where I had enrolled to do a BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club) Outboard Maintenance Course.

I guess like a number of other people I have very little or no knowledge of what happens under the bonnet of my car, or under the cowl of my outboard - the principle of suck, blow and bang are about as obvious to me as the theory of relativity. My outboard is 20+ years old though, and there's always a fear in the back of your mind that it may well conk out one day when you really need it so the course was an attempt to get to grips with something I really do need to know about it...

Happy to say it fulfilled the requirement more than admirably.. a very knowledgeable instructor, myself, and two other guys had a day of taking outboards apart and doing diagnosis on common faults.. I feel much more comfortable with doing some of the basic jobs/checks now that I've seen it done, tried it myself, and put it back together..

Next job is to get some basic repair items - I've got shear and split pins (propeller), but certainly time to get a spare spark plug and socket. If needs must, and it's really bad, I have enough knowledge to have a go at stripping and cleaning the carb & jets as well..

Money extremely well spent - Stormforce wholly recommended - I could have been sailing I suppose, but this was a good investment in time...

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Lazy Sunday Afternoon...

The weather has really turned around in the UK so I took the opportunity to slip out for a full Sunday afternoon tide... glad I did, though I almost didn't bother as it looked very light wind'wise while I was at home...

What I got was a beautiful sunny afternoon, with consistent top end force 3/low force 4 winds... lovely, and the perfect conditions for "Papillon" compared with recent weekends.

So - SW/southerly winds & a spring tide on the nose mean lots of tacks to get to the bottom of the harbour but I wasn't in a hurry.. just as well really - this is the track (click on this, or any of the other pictures, for a bigger view), you can count them but I tacked 18 times between 'Emsworth Beacon' and 'Marker'! To be fair I wasn't trying very hard though - and boat traffic was heavy so a few of the tacks were very short..

It was getting very busy as I got closer to HISC - this thing (an International Moth dinghy) always amazes me when I see it - so fast in these conditions....

..would love to have a go on one!

Looks like a flock of tropical birds, but it was actually a big race meet over towards Thorney Island (it turns out this was the second day of insurance4dinghies 2011 RS Tera National Championship) - loads of boats though...

Decided to head home for a beer and a cigar once I got to the Pilsey buoys (NW one this time).

Lovely run back, and just for once the bungee self steering held her straight while I legged it up onto the foredeck to start clearing away and putting on the sail cover - always amazing to be standing at the front of your boat while she sails herself...

By the time I got back to the mooring she was pretty much cleared away - time enough to enjoy a "Tanglefoot" and a cigar, along with a good book, before heading for home... perfect.

Distance: 10.52 miles (cumulative total over there to the left, but that takes me over 100 miles year to date)
Wind: SSW to SW - consistent top end Force 3, low Force 4 according to Cambermet
Speed: Max speed was 4.8 knots which was under sail (on the run back up the harbour), average speed was 2.8 knots.

Roll on the next sail - not sure when it will be though as I have an outboard maintenance course next Sunday - looking forward to it!