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

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Another Free Winter Project For Somoene

Spotted today on  Chichester Freecycle:

OFFER: Day sailor project (Silhouette)
2 Berth day sailor with road and launch trailer.

Mast and sails all included.

This is a project I no longer have time for

See.... free boats do crop up!

Sunday, 20 November 2016

First Windy Weekend of the Winter.

The first "Nameable" storm of the winter arrived this weekend. Angus hit the South Coast overnight.

I'd already paid a visit down at Eastney yesterday to check on things, including Meagles. Nicky turned up as I was checking Meagles was ok and we had a bit of a chat. Not for long though as it was a bit too cold to be hanging around.

I arrived this morning to check out if anything had happened. Luckily Sprite was sat happily on the mud. Jim's boat was ok too and Meagles was fine.

There was what I think is a Corribee out past Sprite with a partially unfurled jib. Looks like the wind got hold of it last night. I've posted it up on the Solent Sailors Facebook group so hopefully someone will see it and inform the owner if the owner doesn't see it directly.

I had another tour of the beach and a small yacht that has been on the beach for ages has bent it's rudder post:

I might add fixed rudders without skegs to the list of things not to have on a cheap sailing boat. 

Not much else was awry, except all the boats on the beach that use anchors on their stern lines had all dragged them. Without exception. So if you have a boat down at Eastney secured just by an anchor, get down there and sort it out. Better still, get a proper mud anchor or a block of concrete organised, or your boat won't last the winter.

One boat, "Follow the Dream" had lost all it's stern lines, they look like they've just rotted away:

So far the deep water moored boats seem to be fine. The Harbourmaster's tug that got stuck under the Hayling Island bridge last year has two mooring strops on it this year I noticed, so it should be okay. No boats were up on any of the beaches around Langstone Harbour as far as I could see so that's all good.

So, Bye Bye Angus, thanks for the warning, hopefully the owners of the affected boats will be sufficiently chastened to sort their mooring arrangements out.

Friday, 18 November 2016

New Cheap Boat Market Phenomenon

Even though I've got a boat, I habitually cruise eBay, Gumtree and the other sites keeping an eye out for bargains.

I've been watching for at least 6 years, as I started looking way before I got Sprite 2. Over the years you get a feel for the market and new trends.

The trend for 2016 has been the non-selling boat. I can say there have been at least a dozen boats this year that have been listed 5 times or more on eBay and continue to pop up time after time. Either having been bid on, falling through and relisted, not bid on and relisted or just plain asking too much for the boat.

The other factor regarding yard sale boats is hidden cost. For instance nearly £200 for a lift onto road transport or into the water (reeeeally?).  You'd think they'd offer a free lift just to get rid of the thing, or charge 200 quid for the lift and give the boat away free.

In previous years these boats would have been bought and not seen again, the new owner taking ownership and restoring it, but this year the "never selling boat" has been a striking new phenomenon.

It's interesting to look at the boats to see why they keep coming back. There are the boats that are too big to restore. Big fin keel yachts over 25ft in length where the expense of storing it on land or on water whilst restoring it are not insignificant. You'd need a big wallet to take on such a project. far simpler to buy a yacht already up together and in the water for less money that the project boat would eventually cost you.

In this category I've seen a couple of recurring Tankards on eBay that have been listed at least three times as far as I can remember, along with another big yacht that seems to be covered in green slime and embedded in a bush.

Maybe they should be filed mentally under "biting off more than you can chew" or "can quite easily bankrupt you".

At the other end of the scale there are a few small boats that keep popping up. A few sub-25ft ones in yards where I assume the hidden costs put buyers off.

There are some small boats out there that are way too far gone of course: missing masts, sails, interiors and fittings, or all the above (i.e. bare shells).

Some are single keel boats, making them more expensive to support and therefore less attractive for a small yacht (cradle hire, deep water moorings, etc.)

There are some apparently "doable" projects, it just seem strange that no-one has jumped on them.

Friday, 4 November 2016

Busy Weekend Last Weekend

Last weekend was a bit busy.

Saturday was "spend time with Wifey" day as she was working on Sunday. So, a relaxed morning with breakfast at Port Solent was the first thing we did. Then a walk round the Marina to walk it off a bit.

Even the Mrs likes the boats at Port Solent. However the sort of boats she prefers are way out of my price range. Mooring up at Port Solent is way out of my price range, regardless of boat size.

As we walked round the still and calm Marina, I took a picture of the Sunsail yachts all rafted up and being prepped for the winter. Note the sail bags on top of the cabins, I assume ready to be removed for winter storage.

We watched a few boats go through the lock, as well as quite a few mullet travelling into and out of the Marina.

Saturday afternoon was lazy, just a bit of shopping and relaxing. Then later picking one of the grandkids up for a sleep-over. But not before a stop-over at the Barley Mow for a carvery (his favourite meal apparently) and Asda for sweets and toys.

On Sunday the wife was working, so me and Bailey watched DVDs and prepped his Pumkin for Halloween.

Once that lot was out of the way, we had a trip down to the boat. He was happy to be the first Grandkid to get on the boat actually on the water. We had a brew, watched the other boats go in and out of the harbor and I answered a million "what does this do?" questions. :-)

Bless him, he even washed up for me after the brew. I think he just wanted to see how you washed up without a hot water tap.

His dad picked him up down the boat, so we had a row back to the beach to drop him off.

I spent another couple of hours on the boat putting the spray dodgers I'd re-stitched back on.

Then back home for tea and a rest while watching the Grand Prix.