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.