Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Misty Emsworth...

Just beautiful...


Taken on my cycle ride to work yesterday morning (22nd)...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

I've finished! Transat Jacques Vabre...

...well....... in the virtual race anyway....
 

14,345th out of 40,000+ entries...

....it's curiously addictive - I've been playing for almost 3 weeks now so it's not surprising I suppose... 

For this race I was sailing a virtual IMOCA 60 monohull (you had the option for the multi-hull classes if you wanted) and even in "virtuality" the speeds are quite exciting - I exited the channel doing 20 knots plus...! Just as well though as I lost two days at the beginning of the race as I forgot it had started, and when I logged on I found out I was in Dartmouth!!

All in all I picked up just over 10,000 places between then and the end so I'm more than happy...

Whole track, that's me in pink - the red line is the direct route, the orange track is one of the real boats (Safran).. the red dots are other boats still finishing...


..good fun - recommended even if it doesn't beat real sailing...!

Monday, 14 November 2011

Tender.....

With the weather still not slowing down on the sun and warmth front, I thought I'd take the opportunity to get the first coat of paint in the tender this weekend... the instructions on the paint said it would only dry if it was over 10'C and it isn't going to be like that for very much longer, and I really couldn't be fagged to put my back out getting it on top of the car in order to paint it at home...

She looks a right state at the moment - partially on purpose - I take the view that the tattier she looks the more unlikely she is to be purloined, but I draw the line at raw GRP as it needs to be protected..

Having taken advice I decided to go with garage floor paint for the inner surfaces - it's known to be very hard wearing , and it's also resistant to water, oil and all the other nasty's that have a tendency to be tramped through the dinghy during the summer..

Told you she looked a bit rough!


First coat is now on... still wet, hence the shine, second coat hopefully this weekend...


Progress is always good... separately, I've ordered a 12v stereo amplifier this weekend...

...which will form the basis of a more permanent stereo system for Papillon - the battery powered speakers are OK but they're a bit tiny/weak, and they chew up AAA's...



I love music when sailing so this will be the basis of a more powerful system (and no it doesn't mean drum and bass in Chichester Harbour on a Sunday afternoon!) - I'll post further at fitting time, but they sell these for motorbikes and the like, and she's costing less than £10 (and that includes postage from Hong Kong!) so it has to be a worthwhile experiment...

...I'm also hopeful that I may be on to a tiller extension - time will tell....

Jobs update:

2. Repaint inside of tender.. First coat on - one more to go..
6. Amplifier/speakers to play the MP3 player through Amplifier ordered...
8. Tiller extension On to something - fingers crossed...

Monday, 7 November 2011

Keels & moorings....

Last year [click here], in an effort to delay the inevitable effects of seawater on metal I had given the bilge keels (which are made of uncoated/non-encapsulated steel plate) a coating of Hammerite (other rust inhibitors are undoubtedly available, but I haven't used them so no idea if they work or not.. ). Either way I'd read somewhere that providing the coating is re-applied the effect could be very beneficial...

You can see the "after" pictures in the post I referenced above, but having taken her out this year I was more than interested to see what the effects would be - overall I would have to say that I was very happy with the benefits...  these are the original keels, so they're forty plus years old - pretty good condition I'd say, and the "nibllings" at the bottom will have been from various groundings over those years - if you settled into Chichester mud twice a day for 7 months of the year you'd look a bit nibbled as well!

So, before shots first...


Port side:

Better of the two sides as this is the "light" side - no not Darth Vader - just that this side is opposite to the one I normally store the outboard on, so it settles last .....


Starboard:

Dark side, no, heavy side...  Pap has her galley on this side with sink etc. - it's also handy as the side for laying the outboard on when it's not in the well so she usually lists to this side, and as a result settles first on this side... even so - the Hammerite has stood up well..  only the very bottom worn away....


This weekend just gone - with the whole of the winters weather ahead, and having just washed her off I was keen to get another coat on pronto..  happily, the weather was sunny and I did just that - so here are the new after shots..





Much better...  I covered practically the whole of the keel on the inside as I couldn't see the point of not using the whole pot!

Separately I also had an interesting 30 minutes recovering the mooring from "my" buoy...  I replaced the shackles earlier this summer (about a month ago??) after a bit of a scare when one of the other boats managed to break free of its mooring - so the shackle holding swivel to buoy came away fairly easily after a bit of swearing at it... but I'd left the original there as it was rusted solid - yesterday I hacksawed it off (after having to return to shore to get new hacksaw blade.... ) ready for next season when I can renew all component parts (though the current one's look OK). Chain and pick up buoy are currently hanging in the garage having been pressure washed and WD40'd within an inch of their lives...  either way - even without sails it was a lovely morning to be afloat for half an hour or so...

Good progress....

Job list update (see tab at top of page for full list):


18. Recover mooring Completed
19. Re-Hammerite keels Completed

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Lift out completed - first jobs done..

"Papillon" is safely out and sitting on her trailer in the club yard...

Went OK - went very OK if I'm to be honest... I have a 'thing' about raising and lowering the mast, especially since the dis-masting [click here] but with the discovery of the A frame [click here] last season many of these fears have been put to bed - though I'll admit to a slightly disturbed sleep on Saturday night as I knew I had to both drop it and raise it  on Sunday to get under Hayling bridge...

Either way, as I say it all went really well - really, really, well. Rod came down to give me a hand, I'd already taken the boom/mainsail and jib off and set up the A frame the day before so nothing needed to be done other than to fire up the outboard to check it would run, and check the lashings for the A frame were all good... we then engaged the A frame...

Lessons learnt this year -

  1. I again used the mainsheet as my lifting/dropping mechanism (which gives me 3:1, and a cam cleat for easy locking off in the event I need to stop) but this time I used a carabine to attach the mainsheet to the bow roller - quick to undo if I need to, which came in useful later..
  2. I used the jib halyard as the fixed part of the lever and found that if I deployed the A frame at about 10 or 15 degrees - about a foot of main halyard let out - I could then use the main halyard to crank on pressure so I could un-clip the roller reefing... genius!
  3. This time round I also undid the rear stay before taking the mast down - just bungeed it to the mast to keep it out of the way...  much better than having it drift about the place....
Either way - after a little shove to get her going, the mast came down a treat and was soon sat in the crutch - time for lunch while we waited for the tide to drop enough to allow us under the bridge (5 metre tide!)

Sure enough - while we were sat there we were soon getting hassle to move as the tractor team were saying we were last and they wanted to go home - against my better judgement we had a go at going under the bridge, and just managed to squeeze under at the cost of a slightly bent aerial bracket, and some quick work by Rod to unclip the A frame to lay it flat... we could have done with another 30 minutes...

Ten minutes later we were in the hoist, and ten minutes after that we were on the trailer and safely stashed away - good news, I have the same spot as last year, so handy for water/power and bar...

While the mast was down in the yard I took the opportunity to put the windex back up (item 5. from the worklist already completed then!), but after I put the mast up I noticed that the aerial bracket had bent enough that the aerial now interferes with the windex (gah!) so the mast'll have to come down again at some point - no worries though, I feel comfortable enough to do it on my own now and I have some other stuff I'd like to do while the mast is down....how does it go? One step forward, and two back...

One other good thing - very pleased with the condition of the keels, the hammerite/"decorative garden project" [click here] that I tried last winter has been a success on the whole, and the bottom of the bilge keels look pretty good - so much so I plan to re-hammerite them this weekend so they don't sit rusting for the whole of the winter...

Job list update (see tab at top of page for full list):

2/. Repaint inside of tender.. Now pressure washed - need to get some paint..
4/. New mast crutch - modelled on the old one but using a thicker timber..For lift out I modified the old one by drilling a new hole lower down - this moves the cross point down, and effectively makes the crutch stiffer - I think the old one is now fine as it is...
5/. Replace windex Completed on lift out...