messing about in boats

Chilly Sunday Sailing

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on December 15, 2009

Nothing much to report, other than it was fantastic to get out on the water on Sunday. Despite hands and feet that felt like blocks of ice it was definitely worth it, especially when the wind picked up after the racing for that last reach back to the shore, kite up, flying a hull. Good times.


Back On The Water

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on November 9, 2009
Deja Vu's new kite sock

Deja Vu's new kite sock and cover

The weather’s been really bad here the past couple of weekends. Gale force winds aren’t very good for relatively novice sailors in a powerful boat. We had a good sail yesterday though – despite the chaos on the water in the second race. Marks had to be rounded to Starboard, with all the good wind on the port side of the course. Cue a lot of crossovers at either end of the course and a several near misses. We seemed to be permanently plagued by a rather unsporting chap in an RS400, but that wasn’t going to spoil a great day on the water.

Deja Vu is sporting her new kite sock and tramp cover, courtesy of Stu at Alverbank Sails. Top work, the kite slides in and out like a dream.

Deja Vu Spotted

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on November 7, 2009

I was killing some time this afternoon browsing the Boats & Outboards classifieds when I spotted one of the Grafham cat fleet Prindle 15s for sale… with a rather familiar mainsail in the background. None other than my F18 – Deja Vu, pulled up on the beach. At least someone’s taking photos of her, even if I keep forgetting!


Prindle 15 for sale, with a lurking F18

Wet And Windy

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 28, 2009

Don’t think much of the weather for this Sunday – plenty of rain and over 20 knots of wind. Not ideal conditions to make up some ground in the Autumn PM race series. We’re currently leading the AM series by a decent margin, but people seem to actually race in the afternoon and the heavy weather a few weekends ago put the Tornado and other Inter 18 firmly ahead of us.

Fingers crossed the bad weather blows itself out on Saturday and leaves us with a beautiful force 3 and unseasonally warm sunshine on Sunday. Well, one can dream…

A Mixed Bag

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 19, 2009

Yesterday’s racing was a bit of a mixed bag. Not much breeze, but it did fill in and there were a few gusts lurking around – one of which caught us unawares as Rich was hanging off the leeward side of the boat and I was too far forward to get the mainsheet off in a hurry. Over we went, right in front of a very disgruntled Laser fleet who’d been kept back after a general recall. Oops…

The lighter breeze earlier in the day saw some really nice windward legs. There’s a warm sense of satisfaction from watching a bunch of people crouched in the bottom of their boats while you zip along flying a hull. Unfortunately with the absence of a kite sock (Which arrived this morning! Woohoo!) we had a go at bag launching it. Would have been fine, but the bag got ripped off on the first hoist and sank before we could get back to it. Bugger. That was a nice bag.

Mega thanks to Stu at Alverbanks for making us a new sock, we’ll have it on the boat next week so I’ll take some pictures of his handiwork. Apologies as I’m really bad with cameras – I can use them fine, I just forget to take any photos.

Weather Forecasts

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 8, 2009

I’m keeping an eye on Sunday’s weather for the racing. Since we missed the start of the Autumn PM series last week due to catastrophic kite sock failure it’d be good to get a result in this week. We’ll win, of course, unless some other bugger turns up, which they will I hope.

Anyway, the weather. Yesterday it said force 4, today it says force 0. That’s guesswork for you…

Windy Weekend & Deja Vu Goes Racing Again

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 5, 2009

Saturday (carnage)

Had a bit of a sail on Saturday with Stu from Alverbanks in the breezy weather as he had a new cover for Deja Vu and a new jib for one of the National 12 guys. Actually, breezy weather is quite an understatement. It was a force 6 with some savage force 8 gusts – the tannoy announcement said “It’s a lot worse out there than it looks” and they weren’t wrong.

Beating up was ok, almost entertaining trying to keep her pitched nicely in the chop, but it was the inevitable run back down that needed nerves of steel. Enough was enough after having to bear off onto a near dead run with a massive gust and losing the crew round the front of the boat to avoid a couple of windsurfers casually swimming around. Probably best to enjoy this weather from the comfort of the wet bar.

Happily though Deja Vu seemed to be as tough as anything and could put up with the battering which is more than can be said for Dead Cat Bounce who snapped her mast on a particularly bad leeward mark capsize. Oops!

Sunday (racing)

Sunday was far more reserved. A beautiful force 3-4 with some sunshine as we headed for the start line. Had an excellent race in the morning, despite a few mishaps.

The kite sock disintegrated and Rich (my crew) spent the last windward leg clinging to the crossbeam with the kite bundled in his arms.

We aimed for the wrong mark one leg and ended up dropping the kite at the handicap fleet’s wing mark rather than our leeward mark.

I forgot just how wide the cat actually is and posted her between the committee boat and a very disgruntled Flying Fifteen. Wouldn’t have been so bad but we were going full pelt, flying a hull and Rich had to duck to avoid a collision with the flagpole on the committee boat. Needless to say we aimed squarely for the middle of the line nowhere near any slow moving keelboats for the next leg.

Oh, and I forgot to sign on for the race. What a dunce.

We’re really getting into racing at Grafham now, just a shame there aren’t more fast cats actively racing in the fleet.

Autumn’s Here

Posted in Sailing by Joseph Moore on October 2, 2009

This is a screenshot of the weather forecast at Grafham Water tomorrow courtesy of – the chilly temperatures and lovely pink colours in the wind boxes mean autumn is well and truly here. Guess who’s going sailing! Looking at the 35 knot gusts I wonder if the lake’s even going to be open for dinghies. Better dig out a warmer wetsuit and take the windsurfing gear just in case.

Windy weather forecast at Grafham Water

Windy weather forecast at Grafham Water