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

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

The Mooring (2)

Well the boat is now moored!

It took a bit of work to get it all together. Went to the Portsmouth Boat Jumble on Sunday and got 10 metres of chunky 12mm chain for £40 and then stopped off at B&Q for a couple of bags of cement. Luckily the ballast I got for free. So Sunday afternoon was spent mixing concrete and pouring it into the truck wheel. I remembered there was an old tyre left outside work, so I nabbed that on my way to the boat (its only 5 mins from work) and used that as a former for an extra layer of cement.

I spent Sunday night on the boat on the beach making sure no-one nabbed my block and chain. I remembered that the keels make the bow higher than the stern, so faced down the beach and the boat stayed level.

Bit of a disaster Monday morning as I rolled the completed block down the beach to the bow of the boat: the top tyre separated from the bottom wheel. Must be a bad concrete mix. I hastily drove to the local B&Q and got another bag of cement. I placed the block under the bow and refilled the tyre on top, so it was back to 2 layers.

High tide was due about 4pm so Jim came down about 1 after a nightmare in traffic and we had a couple of brews while we waited for the tide. I though we'd never get off the ground and the ropes I was securing the block to the bow with were stretching under the weight. I pulled the chain taught and used my junior hacksaw as a pin to lock the chain in the bow roller. Within 5 minutes we were floating and pootled out to where we were  dropping the mooring.

Then another disaster as the hacksaw got jammed on the bow roller, stopping the weight from dropping. I started whacking it with a hammer, then the head flew off and hit Jim! I dropped the anchor to hold us in position while Jim rowed the dingy over to his boat for a crowbar. Just as Jim got to his boat, the weight of the block got the better of the hacksaw and pulled it out of the bow roller. Typical! The hacksaw disappearing into the briny is a small price to pay

I dumped the mooring buoy complete with pick up buoy over the side and hooked the loop of chain at the end of the rode onto my samson post. Then pulled the anchor up and stowed it away. Finally I was moored.

We stayed on the boat for an hour or so having celebratory brews and due to the weight of the chain the boat doesn't move much at all. We went for a quick pootle out of Eastney pond and then back in again, to get my bearings on coming into the pond and picking up the mooring. Its quite easy to pick up the small buoy, pull up the loop of chain and whack it over the samson post, then bind the pick up rope over the post as well. But the good thing is its all chain. At some point in the next month or so I need to fit a swivel just under the mooring buoy. I didn't fit one as there weren't any at the boat jumble. Ebay will have to supply that one.

But now I ache. But at least I've used the last Bank Holiday of the year productively and if the traffic reports on the radio were anything to go by, we were better off where we were.

Today at lunchtime I nipped down to the boat and it was sat at its usual angle (stern down) on the mud. Interestingly it wasn't that far away from the weight, so it looks like the chunky chain is doing its job and stopping it moving about too much.

But now I'm happy, I can move on to other jobs, once I've fitted the swivel of course.

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