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

Monday, 14 March 2016

A Good Weekend.

Had a pretty good weekend on the boat this weekend. Obviously Friday was cleaning, Saturday was spent sorting stuff out: messing about with the sails: getting the mainsail back on and messing about with different tensions, fitting tell-tales, reproofing the sail cover (pound shop re-proofer) and then fitting it. There is some dodgy stitching on the main and it needs some repairs, but the jib is looking extremely tatty and needs quite a bit of work. A job for this Spring unfortunately.

Friday and Saturday were great: Sunny, with little wind. Sunday on the other hand, was pretty windy and colder.

Jim came out with me for a shakedown run just using the engine. I won't trust the sails until I've done the repairs. I don't want to damage them, they're all I've got.

We went out into Langstone harbour just as the wind picked up a bit more. From the North East, the worst direction for Langstone. The Northern end of the harbour was fine, sheltered from the wind by the land. The dinghy sailors came out to play just as we turned back South..

The Northern end was sheltered, but the wind direction sets up a swell by the time it's blown the length of the harbour. Near the harbour entrance it was getting up to 3ft and to be honest half an hour of that was enough. It reminded me of the trip along Hayling seafront bringing Sprite back to Langstone. No pictures, it was just too lumpy! By the time we got back on the mooring it had set up a swell there too. The wierd thing is the swell was at almost 90 degrees to the wind. Trying to pack everything up was a mission!

The engine worked well: the engine cover has kept it in decent nick over the winter and it fired up after two pulls. Not bad after a couple of months. I can definitely recommend using a cover. The difference is amazing compared to previous years where I've had to use almost a can of carb cleaner to get the thing to run properly.

I noticed this weekend that one of the boats at Eastney called Charlita has loose standing rigging and the mast is bouncing all over the place. The forestay, backstays and the sidestays are all very loose. It won't be long before it loses the mast as the masthead fittings will either shear or wear through, or the turnbuckles will undo completely.

I've put a shout out on Solent Sailors to see if anyone can contact the owners and let them know.


  1. It's always a problem coming across other peoples boats with loose lines, halyards, rigging dancing in the wind etc. I have in the past climbed on board and sorted stuff - but I don't recommend it. If something goes badly wrong and someone has seen you on board it could all get a bit difficult I guess - but I find it difficult to just row past.

    1. I know the owners of all the sailboats on my dock. Many live out of town, so I often adjust their dock lines, and fix other issues. Sometimes people will do the same for me, when I can't get to the marina. I suppose there are people who wouldn't appreciate it. How do you let the boat get to the point where the mast is about to fall?

    2. In all other respects Charlita is in really good condition. But the owners don't seem to be able to get down to her often, which is why the rigging has had time to come undone. I've wired all the rigging on Sprite 2 to prevent this sort of thing.

  2. I'm of the same mind as Alden. For people that I know and know me, it's relatively easy to contact them and either get permission to hop aboard and sort things out or let them know and let them sort things out themselves.
    I'd never climb aboard a boat when I don't know the owner and don't have permission to get aboard. Not unless the boat was in danger.

    But I also find it difficult to pass by and not do something. Especially when the boat is well looked after in all other respects.

    The Solent Sailors Facebook group that Ben set up has saved at least two boats so far. Hopefully Charlita will be the third.