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

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Americas Cup World Series Comes to Portsmouth Next Year!

As per this article:

The ACWS will run at Portsmouth between 23rd and 26th of July.

And as luck would have it, its during the week I've already got booked off next year. I was going to do some cruising down the South Coast, maybe to Poole, so hopefully I can catch some of the action that week on my travels.

It should be an awesome spectacle watching the catamarans flying down the Solent.

Monday, 17 November 2014

New Tool Shops in Havant

It maybe of interest to boat owners in the Hayling Island/ Emsworth area that two new tool stores have opened up in Havant.

Screwfix opened up a few weeks ago and now my personal favourite Toolstation has opened up right next door.

They're both just past the big (24Hr) Tescos in Havant on Solent Road in the new retail area, so handy to get to.

Havant Motor Factors is next door to them, so you can get stainless fittings, tools, oils, spark plugs, etc. all in one place.

There's even a Jewson yard just a bit further on...

Very, very handy...

Oh and for those people visiting the Langstone/Hayling/Emsworth area in need of medicines there's a 24Hr Boots chemist across the road from that lot.

The number 31 bus takes you from Hayling Seafront and the 700 bus will get you from Bosham/Emsworth into Havant.

Click here to find the nearest bus stop on Google Maps.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Duck Punt on Steroids

Over at Keep Turning Left Dylan often waxes lyrical on the joys of sailing a duck punt. Its something that can be sailed in inches for water due to the fact it relies on the shape of the hull and hard chines to stop sideways slippage.

Well, I've come across a duck punt on steroids: The Bolger Birdwatcher.

Its an amazing 25ft duck punt with an all-Perspex cabin. There's currently one for sale on eBay, it'll be interesting to see how well it sells. They must be pretty rare in the UK.

The design is interesting in that it has a full length slot in the roof and an offset mast to allow you to walk the length of the boat. Most people use a tonneau or make up wooden hatches that eventually cover the whole cabin roof.

Because the windows are all along the cabin sides, there is excellent visibility and you can sail the Birdwatcher under cover when it's raining. The rudder and centre board both fold up so you can sail it in very shallow water. It would be an interesting video to see a 25ft boat meadow sailing like Dylan's duck punt video.

An interesting concept, but whether anyone wants a cruising duck punt is an interesting question. Certainly on the Solent there aren't enough opportunities for shoal-draught sailing, but on the East Coast it could be a popular  and handy boat.


The birdwatcher has been relisted on eBay due to it not attaining the reserve on the first attempt. It only got up to £31! I guess that's indicative of it being a relatively unknown boat, but mainly because it's home made out of plywood and doesn't look it's best on the eBay listing. Maybe if they'd wiped the dust off it to make it look a bit more looked after it might be a bit more appealing. It might get almost £60!

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Fleeting Visit

I spent a couple of hours on Sprite 2 today. The weather was great and I spent the time getting the water out of the cockpit lockers and having a brew and watching the dinghies. No work on the winch bases as the spare parts haven't turned up yet and I haven't been able to dig my dremel out of the garage either.

When I got there it was almost hight tide. It was 5 metres today so the water was up to the transom of my dinghy. I had to hold it on it's side for a few minutes while the water drained from the compartments. Although the tide was high today it had been higher earlier this week, as revealed by the tide mark in the dinghy's interior.

While it was sunny the temperature was around 18 degrees, not bad for November.

I spent a couple of hours on the boat, bailing water from the cockpit lockers and having a coffee.

While I was there a nasty-looking rain squall was moving in from the South West, so I packed up and headed for shore.

The tide was still high so I didn't have far to drag the dinghy up the beach.

It had only receded about 3 feet, so I pulled it up the beach, tied it off and got in the car.

Funnily enough Eastney missed out on the rain, but across Eastney pond, Salterns had copped major rainfall, as I found out when I drove up the Eastern Road on the way back home.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Lack of Boatyness

I've not been on the boat for the past week, the tide times have been all wrong and the weather has been rubbish. Plus my car has decided it's been unappreciated over the past year and has started playing up, so I've been giving it some attention.

I still haven't got my winch spares yet but I did have an email update to say the supplier only had one set in stock (I need two obviously) and they were awaiting delivery of another kit from Barton.

So brownie points to for keeping me up to date. Hopefully it won't take too long to get the spares, but I'm in no hurry as I'm not looking forward to the task of cutting the bolts holding the winch base in place.

Hopefully I can take advantage of this weekend's spring tides and spend some quality time on Sprite sorting things out. I'll know more once the weather forecasts firm up. Currently the forecast looks horrible: rain and 21 knot winds on Saturday, Overcast and lighter winds on Sunday.

I may be waiting a while longer to get on board.