messing about in boats

Progress at last

Posted in Boat Building & Maintenance, Sailing by Joseph Moore on August 2, 2010

Had a cracking day down at Langstone yesterday. Really great.

Got up early enough that the roads were clear and the beaches around Eastney Lake almost deserted as I went for a stroll before knocking on Chris’ door.

It was a 4pm tide and Chris’ clinker dinghy I use to get out to my boat wouldn’t be afloat until after lunch, so we spent the morning tinkering on his Matilda, 4Jays. The plan originally was to give her a bit of a shakedown sail and take her over to Nervous Tension, but a couple of days earlier while rigging the sails on the mooring in a bit of a blow he’d put the rudder down in the cockpit and somehow the flogging sheets had tossed it overboard. Murphy’s law strikes again, as Chris said “He’s got a lot to answer for, that bloke…” – so a new rudder’s being cobbled together this week.

I’m still having engine issues, in that none of them work at the moment. Well, the Seagull 102 would work if I put some time and effort into servicing it but I’m relatively busy at the moment so it’s kind of easier to just resign myself to throwing a chunk of cash at a decent engine and rebuild the others when I come across some cheap spares.

Nervous Tension’s now happily sat on her mooring in Sinah Lake. Access is a bit rubbish at spring lows, but the tide flows very slowly there – in stark contrast to the deep main channel where it must run at easily 7 knots. It’s also a damn long way in a laden boat with a Seagull Forty Plus chattering away. Anyone locally with a powerboat who’d like to ferry me to my yacht could be my new best friend.

Repairs are going nicely. The stem’s now braced back to the first bulkhead on one side. The saw I’d picked up was so blunt it was quite hard going so we didn’t get the other side done before it became a little uncomfortably lumpy when the tide turned and the wind picked up.

The electrics need a good going over as well. Took the battery aboard but nothing was working – might just be the corrosion on the terminals. Either way it’s a job for a calmer day. There’s nothing like sitting in the bottom of a boat focusing on some work in a short steep chop to make you want to be back on the shore.

I’m also working on a plan to get her back home over the winter for a serious tidy up. So she’s getting there, slowly…

Home Straight (Maybe)

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on July 9, 2010

I must admit I’ve neglected this blog lately, what with being busy at work and no real sailing taking place.

My Johnson 8hp’s been in the shop at Ron Hale Marine. Turns out the exhaust trumpet is rotten and needs replacing but the part alone is over £300. I guess I’ll be looking out for another one on ebay to scavenge for parts.

The Archimedes Penta’s poorly too. I had a really nice afternoon just rowing about in Eastney Lake with Sarah after we set off for Nervous Tension and the screw holding the carburettor float bowl on shook itself loose and fell in the sea. Oops. Sarah’s now pretty convinced she’s as cursed with boats as she is with cars.

Still, I’m heading down there tomorrow with Stu to do the last serious repairs to the bow and who knows, maybe we’ll get some canvas up if only a jib flapping on the mooring.

When It’s A Strong Northerly…

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on May 4, 2010

…it’s pretty hopeless to try and get to a deep water buoy in Langstone Harbour without getting utterly soaked. Massive thanks to Stu and Ross for getting soaked on the way out to the boat. Unfortunately the outboard also got soaked, so the chances of moving her to somewhere more sheltered to finish the repairs were zilch. Still, the heavy motor’s on the boat and Chris has offered use of his fleet of hard dinghies to save lugging the inflatable down there in the Land Rover so there’s a good chance that real progress can be made next time.

It wasn’t a bad day in the end. The sun came out for a while, Sarah read a large portion of her book from the shelter of the Land Rover and I actually remembered the binoculars for once. The windsurfers were out in force, blasting across the harbour fairway and Eastney Lake. One poor chap in a Freelander had driven down the loose shingle on the end of the peninsula and beached himself with two wheels off the ground and the chassis on the floor. Not much room to drag him off backwards but a falling tide meant there was enough room lower down on the beach to get the Land Rover in and tow him forwards with Stu, Ross and a bunch of passers-by bouncing off his rear bumper to help with traction.

Stopped off and delivered the last parts of the Fireball to Charles in Bursledon on the way home and had a quick look at his floating work in progress – Deneb K.

Made a bit of a rookie error and completely forgot to take any photos for the whole day. Maybe next time I’ll remember…

A Fish (Well, Yacht) Out Of Water

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on April 7, 2010

Thanks to Chris for donating a couple more photos of Nervous Tension when she went aground on his beach this winter. Judging by the damaged bow which has been tacked back on, this was the second time she made a bid for dry land.

"Nervous Tension" aground on the west shore of Eastney Lake, winter 2010

"Nervous Tension" aground on the west shore of Eastney Lake, winter 2010

"Nervous Tension" aground on the west shore of Eastney Lake, winter 2010

"Nervous Tension" aground on the west shore of Eastney Lake, winter 2010

A Boaty Bank Holiday

Posted in Everything Else, Sailing by Joseph Moore on April 6, 2010

Sarah and I took my old Fireball down to some friends in Bursledon yesterday. It was good to have a catch up and a chinwag over some excellent grub at The Old Ship just a short walk from the boatyard where they live on board a 37′ gaff ketch named Deneb K. Incidentally, Charles pointed out Mutineer on the hard, waiting for someone to buy her.

Good job we’re heading back down there to go on holiday in a few weeks time anyway, as I managed to leave the boom, cover and rudder at home. Oops…

The plan was then to head down to Langstone Harbour and refit the bow roller to Nervous Tension. The sun was out by the time we arrived, but full of lunch and with white horses racing across the water I decided that rowing the mile out to the mooring could wait for another day and we opted for a wander around Eastney peninsula and a peer through the fence at Fort Cumberland.

Eastney Lake

Eastney Lake

Sarah messing with her camera

Sarah messing with her camera

Drunken boat - her leg's collapsed since last time I was there

Drunken boat - her leg's collapsed since last time I was there

Eastney Lake

Eastney Lake

Eastney Lake - Ironicly "Suffs Folly" doesn't look like she's been sailed in a while...

Eastney Lake - Ironicly "Suffs Folly" doesn't look like she's been sailed in a while...