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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Jib Cleats.

The Paxolin strips that make up then bases for the Jib Sheet cam cleats have been cleaned, glued together, drilled with new fixing holes and painted.

In the end I've painted the Paxolin silver to hide the brown-ness. Silver was paint I had left over from touching up the car. They don't look too bad:

Here they are fitted:

All the prep was a bit last-moment last night as I took a day off today and I wanted to get them fitted back on before sailing.

I used the 12v drill to make the holes larger and drill the two extra holes for the smaller cleat. I thought I might as well go up to a slightly thicker screw size (5mm) as it doesn't hurt to beef things up a bit. The Paxolin is held in place by countersunk screws in the original holes and the two screws for the cleat go through the Paxolin and the deck. Underneath the washers overlap making a greater surface area to prevent the whole lot being pulled out. It was all sealed using the sealing tape I have left over from my caravan many years ago. Good stuff: it comes on a roll of greaseproof paper and you unroll a bit, cut it to size, slap it on and peel the paper off. Then you squidge it all in place and it ooses out and seals round the screws as you tighten them.

Finished fitting them just as the tide turned. I did a short sail up the harbour to make sure they worked ok and then the plan was to sail out into the Solent to have a mooch about until high tide tonight. The Mrs is working late in Southsea today so it would work out just right.

Except the wind over tide effect in the entrance to Langstone had other ideas. I've never seen 5ft swell there before, it reminded me of Chichester Bar when it cuts up rough. A couple of the waves were breaking and others had quite sharp crests, with the bow smashing into the wave and spray coming over the cabin. Pretty exciting in a 19ft boat.  Very strange for a F3 wind, but it was SSE so blowing directly up the harbour entrance against the outgoing tide.

All very exciting and exhilarating..... as long as everything keeps working as it should.

The bad news is in the middle of the swell the outboard gives up. Not sure why, but I suspect the pitching motion dislodged some rubbish in the carb float bowl, blocking a jet.

Now under no control whatsoever, I'm hanging over the pushpit rail trying to restart the engine. In a 5ft swell. From Exciting it's just gone several notches up to borderline Terrifying. It's a good job I'm the one that keeps calm in a crisis! It took what seemed like an age, but maybe only in reality 30 seconds, I got the engine running, but it wouldn't rev, instead dying as I opened the throttle.

So, with only minimal revs to keep steerage (by now I was already side-on to the waves) I turned back into the harbour. I effectively surfed back into the harbour on the back on successive swells. Once a breaking wave came over the stern, luckily not putting much water in the cockpit, just wetting the cockpit cushions.

Of the three boats that went out at the same time (one 22ft, one around 25ft and the other 30ft) I think only the 30 footer made it through, the other two turned round after I did, so I guess it was even rougher further out.

Me and another boat retired to the mooring buoys further inside the harbour entrance. I worked a bit of magic on the outboard and got it revving again with the aid of some carb cleaner. I also stowed away all the gear that had come loose when the boat was side-on to the swell.

Even though it was 1.5 hours after high tide, the tide was high enough that I stilll had water on the mooring, so I retired back to the hook. Enough excitement for one day I think.

So this weekend it looks like the outboard now needs some TLC.

Although I have this:

And I'm meeting this on Sunday:

I'm picking my stepdaughter and her partner up, they're on a weeks cruise from Southampton on the Ventura.

High tide is at 1:30 on Sunday and I'm picking them up around 10, so I should be good to get on the boat on Sunday afternoon and wrangle that pesky outboard back into reliability.

A couple of surreal things happened today. The first is just after I got on the boat and started dropping the outboard into the water, a water vole swims up to the stern of the boat. Definitely a vole with a short tail and not a rat with a long one. Then off it swims towards the shore, diving under water whenever a seagull came close.. I never knew water voles lived in a salt water environment.

Second surreal moment was when sailing up the harbour. There was a collection of gulls on the water. The reason was one of them was trying to swallow an unfeasibly large Fish into it's mouth. So big it couldn't get the whole thing in, so eventually it flew off. I just wonder where it got that from.

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