Saturday, 29 March 2008

29 March 2008

5 nautical miles

Windguru forecast didn't look good for the morning but we went down to the club anyhow. The waves looked better than last week, but James was not going to sail his Optimist and his parents were toing and froing about whether to sail. Since they are more experienced than me I would follow their decision, but the wind and waves looked interesting.

While we were waiting we looked at the tracks for the genoa sheets. They are very old and really we cannot move the cars at all - the locking nuts are made of brass and over the years have worn so that to tighten them enough to stop the car sliding its too tight to release and move the cars forward for broad reaches. We'll have to think about this.

They eventually decided on a quick hour round the bay (which turned into two). The conditions were good once you got past the surf and made for great sailing. No pix.

Good fun with the waves and wind. Got some pretty good tows off the waves. Daniel wondered if we could ride waves like surfers do... I'm not sure I would like to try those big Australian waves. A tow than surfed us up to 7 knots was pretty good fun.

The boat was sailing really well. She is so nice to sail this year. Last year she was heavy, now light and really fun.

Daniel wants us to put some of the grip tape that skate-boarders use on the middle thwart. The seat is painted and you slide on it. No problem if you are sitting on it and sliding back and forth, but he tends to sit on the side desk and likes to put his foot there. And then it slides. Obviously if we're hiking out his feet are under the toe strap, but for normal cruising this is un-necessary and so anti-slip on the thwart will be a help.

We haven't solved the water leak. I have no idea really where the water is coming from. Somewhere related to the centreboard case. My only guess is that there is a part of the case near the back of the cockpit which appears to have a double skin and that it might be between the two skins.

However, the self bailers are working very well this year. They empty the water pretty quickly and efficiently. One of my favourite sounds now is to hear the self-bailers sucking air out. The gurling reassures me we have taken out all the water. And they are relatively easy to open and close now. Closing is easier than opening.

But... coming in to the club at the end of the sail, when we brought the main sail down the boom caught in the centreboard uphaul. When I released it to release the boom I forgot to bring the centreboard right up again. Hmmm... and... the launching tolley caught a wheel on the ramp and we had problems with that. Didn't notice the centreboard down and it got a bit chewed up by the concrete ramp. Extra work before we can sail again.

So we had to take out the floorboards... well, shift them somewhat, taking them out would have necessitated taking out the seats and we didn't have the tools for that. Then take out the centreboard pin, and all the ropes for the uphaul/downhaul.

Friday, 28 March 2008

28 March 2008

13 nautical miles

Tuesday was a public holiday in Cyprus, but I was working so took Friday off instead.

Daniel and I sailed off from the club at about 10:00 - nobody about at all. Daniel was helming this time.

As we past a small tanker unloading fuel, we saw a couple of 'deckies' leaning over the rail. Daniel remarked that had been him in the past - looking out at sailing boats passing and wishing he were in one of them!

We stay well clear - their mooring lines are big and heavy and they are flying a red danger flag to warn other boats they are handling dangerous fuels. But there is no fast deploy lifeboat, so I would guess they have heavy fuel on board, not something highly volatile.

We sailed round the port and marina arriving at the end of Finikoudes by the old fort by about 12:30 where we stopped for lunch. We were cold so ate in the lea of the water sports centre. No water sports this early in the season.

Then after a quick lunch we sailed off for a while. We were picking Neil up at that same location at about 14:00. This time I was helming and forgot to check the kicking strap. We flew off the beach with the sail billowing and developing lots of power. So stopped and sorted out the kicking strap and then went down to look at the airport.

Sailed back with the wind, really gentle and then picked up Neil at about 14:00 and sailed back to the club. Arrived there about 16:00. A total of 13.5 nautical miles.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

15 March 2008

5 nautical miles

This time my crew is my older son Daniel - Daniel was a senior lifeboat cox on a big ship so he knows and loves boats like I do.

OK, I can't resist it - the photo is too good - here is Daniel coxing the lifeboat!

Daniel has been busy making many wippings and helping with the maintenance.

I had hoped he would come back later in the year, but I really appreciated all his help with the boat.

Actually I'm not sure I would have finally got everything ready in time for Green Monday if Daniel had not been back to help. So I am very grateful for his help and his expertise.

Looking up we can see how much better the sail sets than last year. No more back-winding on the main like last season. We'll take the sail home and clean it so it looks even more 'Bristol fashion'.

If you look carefully at the photo you will see at the top of the mast a new Secumar masthead buoyancy unit. Seems to make no difference to the way she sails, but gives us confidence she is less likely to turn turtle like Blue did last season.

The main sheet and rudder are much more responsive. She is much more enjoyable to sail. The rudder is lighter and with the sails set correctly she sails herself - no more weather helm problems.

We hear an announcement on channel 16 for a weather forecast on channel 67. But I have locked the radio so it doesn't get knocked to a wrong channel accidentally (we use channel 10 for normal sailing communication and monitor channel 16).

Monday, 10 March 2008

10 March 2008

Green Monday - first sail of the new year

9 nautical miles
Well... the boat is back at the club and Green Monday (start of Lent for the Orthodox) sounds a good day for a first sail.

But... look at the weather. Still as a mill pond. and slightly misty.

But eventually we get a little bit of wind.

So we launch the boat and go out for a very gentle sail around the bay.

I suppose first sail of the season is best to be very gentle.

We have made so many changes to the boat over the winter... she is almost a different boat from last season.

Amongst other things we have replaced the main halyard with rope rather than wire, and the sheave at the top of the mast - so it runs much easier... and comes down amazingly fast. Now it runs down, last season we had to pull the sail down!

We have also put control lines for the uphaul/downhaul on the centreboard, with cleats. One reason for this is that when Blue turned turtle the centerboard dropped into the case so Neil and Paula could not use it to right the boat. With a centreboard downhaul cleated the centreboard will stay fixed even if she does turn turtle.

Even with little wind, its good to be back out on the water.

James decides to come out with us too rather than with his parents.

As we drift around in this calm we do a photo-shoot with Blue.

From the photos I can see the sails are setting much better, pity there is not more wind to fill them and have something that looks more like sailing pictures.

Anyway, its good to be back out on the water again.

There is only one trouble with the work we have done...

...the blue paint on the floorboards has not really set and is still tacky even 4-5 days later.

I end up with blue knees.

Daniel ends up with blue knees

James ends up with blue wet suit.

Monday, 3 March 2008

3 March 2008

Winter Maintenance

One of the problems I had was water coming into the boat.

When I remove the floor boards I find that there had been a repair made to the joint between the centreboard case and the hull.

It is coming away easily, too easily... so I assume that is where the water is coming in.

I start to remove the old repair... and underneath it I find...

... another repair!

So I chisel that away as it too is coming off...

And underneath it I find...

... another repair.

So I take off all the old repairs and then make a new fibreglass joint between the hull and centerboard case. It appears that they never roughened the surface, indeed the original repair had been over the paint on the hull, so it was not surprising that it had not taken.

This time I also wrap some wood in cling-film and wedge that against the joint so that as it hardens the new joint will be pressed against the original hull and centreboard... an idea suggested by Neil.

One of the problems with the water coming in was that it was difficult to get rid of it. The Andersen self bailers had no maintenance for some years and the rubber washers were solid.

So they came out and I sent for repair kits. I was worried about this. Should I try a repair or replace the bailers totally. I opted for the cheaper repair kit.

When they arrived I found replacing the seals easy, but replacing the copper rivets difficult. I didn't have the correct tool so had to hammer them with a G-clamp holding the two parts in place. The nuts and bolts holding the bailers to the hull would hold them anyhow, but I did get the rivets to work eventually.

I had told Sue (my wife) it would only take a couple of weeks... how wrong I was. The boat ended up in our drive way for nearly 3 months.

Eventually however she is finished and ready to return to the club for sailing this year.