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

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Bow Roller Sorted.

As the title says, I'm still on the boat after spending an hour tightening the mounting bolts for the bow roller.

I'm not sure how nyloc nuts can come undone, but they have.

When I  started the bow roller plate was 5mm clear of the deck. Now it's  flush again. In fact its a lot tighter than before because 2 screw holes in the side of the bow roller now match up with holes on the side of the deck that I've  not seen before!

I expect below the sealant will be two sheared screws. Something I'll  have a look at next weekend. I plan to put Sprite on the beach for new locker tops and a hull scrub. Not sure if I can get an anti-foul done between tides but if I  scrub the hull off it'll  be quicker when I  do come to slap on some paint later in the year.


Looks like Bank Holiday Monday is the day for Beaching, as I'm booked up Saturday and Sunday moving my daughter to Brighton.

So those days will "just" be painting and fitting the locker tops and maybe sailing then... :-)

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Dear Paint

I want to paint the new locker tops grey to match the hull colour, rather than wood stain and varnish them like last time.. Last week I checked out the price of marine paint at Marine Superstore and was put off a bit by the prices. As always, the word marine adds a premium to the price, or so I thought.

So.... mid-week I trundled over to B&Q and had a look at the price of gloss paint and primer.... and had a bit of a shock. Not only was it just as expensive as marine paint, the choice of colours of exterior gloss are pretty limited too.

The same thing with the trade places like Toolstation. Very limited options. White, Red, Black and maybe Blue if you're lucky. I know you have the option of getting your colour mixed at large places like B&Q, but if standard paint is just as expensive as marine paint, why bother?

It looks like the rise of UPVC windows has severely affected the market for decent exterior gloss paint.

So earlier today I traipsed back to Marine Superstore and got paint and primer/undercoat. Obviously the weather was rubbish for painting, so instead I had my "chill" day of the weekend on Saturday.

Tomorrow is a different matter. I want to paint the locker tops and visit the boat, the wife wants to visit a car boot in the morning. At some point we're looking after one of the Grandkids too.

Looks like an Early start for me in the morning then and a full day afterwards. Early to bed then....

Friday, 13 May 2016


I had a little half hour sail.

First I had to sort the burst stitches on the boat. This is where the speedy stitcher really comes into its own: stitching in-situ.

This is the stitching that burst. I needed to make sure the seam was closed up before putting any strain on the sail otherwise the burst might have extended.

So, out with the speedy stitcher and overlay some stitches with new thread over a short length of the old...

Then 20 minutes of stitching later the gap is closed...

I just ran half a dozen new stitches back over the end and then on the final stitch, pusher the needle through and the pulled some thread through so both threads were on the same side. I then tied the ends together, job done.

Looking at the pictures reminded me I fitted new grommets on the sail too, a few weeks ago. The old brass ones had corroded badly.

Once done, I went sailing!

Free Halcyon 23 anyone?....

This popped up on the Chichester Freecycle group last night and this morning:

I'm updating this with more detail as we had a lot of interest and want to be clear that this boat will require an extensive overhaul. And whilst is seaworthy.....just...... There is a reason that we are giving it away for free. It will need time and money spent getting her back to her former glory (she hasn't be sailed for 5 years) but with some hard graft is a great opportunity.

We have a boat going for free, without a mooring......

She is in need of some TLC and repair. but could be a fantastic boat if someone wanted
a boat to renovate, the repairs are largely cosmetic but it is in a bit of a state. She is currently moored at Dell Quay however the boat
needs to be moved by the end of the month, and would need an outboard or a flatbed to move it.

Boat make - Halcyon 23

Recent additions:-

Standing rigging

Inner forestay

Mast tabernacle with welded fixing rings

Pulpit and pushpit complete with gate

Other gear:-

Spray hood

Target Echo
Teak rudder and tiller

There is also a brand new cockpit tent , never used to go with the boat if
it is taken away.

Sea toilet

Check out the Chichester Freecycle Group for more details...

Sunday, 8 May 2016

New Jobs, Old Jobs

I had 5 hours on the boat in the Sunshine today, the longest I've been on board in months.

I got the jib properly installed and also re-rigged the main. The jib looks good:

The first bit of bad news is as soon as I started tightening the foot of the main some more of the original stitching burst, so I'll have to re-stitch it. With any luck I can do it in situ with the speedy stitcher as it's only a small length of stitching.

A new job that has cropped up is the bow roller plate. I noticed while checking the forestay over that it's coming adrift from the bow, it's lifted up by about 5mm. The plate appears bent upwards, which I've no idea how it could happen. Unless the bow encountered one of the loose boats during the winter storms. But it's a new lob to add to the list.

Anyway, after sorting the sails I did a few jobs. Ran the outboard, took the spray hood off and brought the hood material back home for re-stitching.

Raising the voltage the solar charge controller stops charging the battery a while ago seems to have worked. I raised the voltage to 14.1 instead of 13.8 and it seems to have charged the batteries to a deeper level. They held 13.8 all day aided by the solar panel, where normally they would drop to 12.4 as soon as I drew current from them before.

Last week I ground the plates for the locker top hinges down and on the boat today they look like they'll fit fine now. So the next job on the locker tops is to paint them prior to taking them on board and installing them.

So some jobs done, some more new ones appear. It's like the Forth bridge!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


I dropped the wife off at work on Monday morning in Southsea and then nipped to the seafront, where I saw this chap sailing along the seafront.:

It looked like a Fox Cub, Prelude or something very similar. Running with the wind it wasn't hanging around either.

Although it must have been a pretty chilly sail, and far from smooth, as the little yacht almost disappeared from view in the wave troughs.

It takes a special kind of enthusiasm for sailing to be out in such a small boat in less than perfect conditions.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Jib Now in Place

I sneaked on the boat while the Mrs took some of the Grandkids down the arcades on the seafront, to put the jib sail on Sprite. There it is all furled up, snug in the new UV protection layer.

Less than an hour was enough, the fickle weekend weather had turned from this mornings balm, to pretty chilly. Then off to the arcades to pick the gang up.