Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Monday, 5 August 2013

Got There!

We finally got to Langstone Harbour yesterday. A relatively early start of 8am got us out of Chi harbour as the last of the tide was coming in. Quite a flotilla exiting the harbour and we were by far the smallest (and slowest) boat heading out.

It would have made an impressive picture showing all the boats lined up on the way out of the harbour but even at that time it was a bit lumpy on the way out for such a small boat. Once we'd beaten the tide the trip across Hayling seafront went well even though we were side-on to the waves. Sprite II handled things quite well. She really is quite a stable boat for something so small. We risked opening the jib a bit to give us some  stability and to help the engine along, which I really didn't want to do on an unchecked rig, but it was fine.

Anyway by lunchtime we were safely in Langstone harbour having virtually surfed on the swell coming into the harbour, timing it just right for the tide to be slack. Even the Langstone ferry was having a lumpy time of it on the swell when I crossed over to cycle back to Sparkes Marina to pick my car up. Then back to Portsmouth to pick my son up as he's down from Oxford for the week.

Not much in the way of photos at the mo as yesterday I met my son's girlfriend and family for the first time, so I've been very busy.

Today I promised my son a cycle ride, so we bunged the bikes in the car, headed down to Eastney to see the boat, did an inspection and made up the to-do list and then had a cycle down the seafront to Southsea for tea.

A couple of things stand out: the windows really do need sealing as a priority. The main halyard needed a shackle fitting on a pulley and also its too short to reach to the cockpit, so needs replacing. Some 10mm braided polyester will do nicely. In fact if I can use the same for most lines so I might see if I can get a bulk buy. :-)

Jim's outboard played up coming out of Chi harbour on Sunday, failing to go into reverse. I had a look at it today and the plastic shaft of the gear selector has snapped, either through lack of lubrication or from lying the outboard on that side with all the weight on the plastic handle. Looks as though I'll be making a trip to Ron Hale's tomorrow.

On a better note outboard-wise, I thought the engine that came with the boat needed a new impeller. It seems not and was only a bit of grease that was blocking the tell-tale. I've also fathomed out where the charging circuit (its a sail power model) should connect. I could only find one wire and obviously a charging circuit needs two. I had a good look today and found that a wire had corroded and fallen off the fuseholder in the engine. A quick prod with a volt meter confirmed that the loose wire and the corroded stub sticking out of the fuseholder were in fact the two wires of the charging circuit. So I need to sort out the wire to the fuseholder and then I can pop the engine back on the boat complete with charging circuit.

The boat keeps surprising me. The spray hood that I thought was missing a bracket did indeed have the end bracket, but the plug bit had pulled out of the end of the pole. A couple of wraps with insulating tape and a few taps with a heavy object to knock the plug back in and hey presto! I have a working spray hood. It needs a little tlc but thats not a problem. We have a sewing machine.

So that was today. My youngest son came along with me and likes the boat a lot.

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