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

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Sailing at Last!

On Thursday the weather forecast for the bank holiday weekend was good and with 3 clear days, I had time to do some work on the boat and satisfy family requirements. :-)

So, holiday form for Friday handed in, and plans made:

Friday: scrub the hull and re-fit the sails.

Saturday: Sail the boat.

Well, Friday started well.. up at 2:30 am to get down the boat for a 3:30 high tide. Yeah, that's how desperate i was to get some sailing in. Hard-core dedication!

In the end, it worked out that the pre-dawn twilight was bright enough to see the bottom and avoid concrete mooring blocks an hour after high tide, which was fine. I was on the beach at 4:30.

An hour later the tide had ebbed from the boat and I started scraping two years worth of growth from the boat. The last time I'd scrubbed the hull was the same time in 2017.

No pictures as I've done scrubbing the hull pictures to death on here. This years it was just a quick scrub to remove growth. The plan this year is to at some point get the boat out of the water for a few days in a boatyard and cleaned so that I can get some primer and anti-foul on it. Fingers crossed that I can save the money to do that. I reckon around £400 is needed to get the boat hauled out, pay for a week on the hard and then lifted back in again. I've got the paint to do the anti-foul, but I'd like to replace the windows and the mast beam at the same time and possibly replace the wiring in the mast, so I need probably the same again for parts.

I've already holidayed in Devon, so no holiday on the horizon. The wife is sating her desire for a foreign holiday by going away with her darts team buddies next month, so I have a chance of saving the money up. :-)

Anyway, back on topic:

Boat scrubbed and back on the mooring by 5pm. Off to pick up the wife from work, then dinner and bed to rest my aching muscles. This body of mine is really letting me down in the stamina stakes... must be my age. :-)

The original plan was another early high tide start and a trip into the Solent, but considering I'd just re-fitted the sails and not tested the outboard since I serviced it, a shake down cruise up Langstone harbour and back seemed a more prudent option.

So that's what I did, taking Jim along for the ride. Just a few hours making sure the sails worked correctly (the jib needed adjustment) and the engine was reliable. Ready for the summer season.

So, that's what I've been up to this weekend. today (Sunday) I'm resting. Tomorrow the wife wants a trip out somewhere.

Monday, 6 May 2019

The Third Man (or Buoy)...

So, one of the things I haven't really blogged about on my local moorings is the amount of Piracy.

Not Olde Worlde Piracy, with Beards and Swords, but the odd bit of pilferage. I did report some years back that a few boats had been broken into and at that time I put a strengthening bar in the bar of my washboards, to avoid them being kicked in easily. I bet the knee joint of anyone that tried would come to grief on the teak beam bolted into the middle of them.

Anyway, over the past couple of years when I've been able to afford one, I've fitted a decent mooring buoy. The last (second) buoy was a rather large one. Half of a pair I got on eBay for the ridiculous price of £15. I thought a pair would come in handy if the Pirates struck again.

And they did about a month ago. Buoy number 2 disappeared.  Given the buoy was shackled in place an the shackles were seized to avoid them coming undone. To see the stainless shackle and the buoy missing was a bit depressing.

So, the second twin, the third buoy was fitted to the mooring chain this weekend.

Here's the installation...

Yes, that's a bloody padlock. I don't care if it turns into a ball of rust inside. That's actually better, because no-one will be able to force the lock. They'll have to cut the chain. But this time, no easily-undoo-able shackles, no cuttable rope. Nope, 8mm chain and a padlock. Lets see if that's secure now.

Take that, Mr Pirate....