Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Friend’s and Soft Furnishings

Friend’s and Soft Furnishings

Well it looks like Roach has a launch date set. 3rd May at a Woodbridge yard. Yet to find a mooring though,

Last weekend was terrible for boat work. Squalls and showers, with a very persistent chest infection precluded me from doing any hard manual labour. Instead I managed to do some basic wiring and add to my ever growing list of things to do. Except this time the nature of the list is changing from essentials to comforts.

Yes, I have guests coming to see me and they all need to be cared for. I need berth cushions, covers, cutlery and crockery – the list is becoming endless again.

My guests are Nick, who lives in Berlin is coming for the launch on the 3rd May and shake-up cruise afterwards. I suspect it will be good learning ground for his Contessa 26’s launch in July – you can read about his plans for his voyage to Melbourne later this year. I presume he is used to berth cushions. There is also Henry coming over from Cork. Proud owner of a Van de Stadt Trintella and I think it will be his first time on a classic. The plan is to attend the Dallimore 75 anniversary of the one design in Burnham-on-Crouch in June. Then there is Simon, who lives in Jakarta and is sorting out my teak washboards and saloon table (thanks mate!) which gives me back a few days!

So I presume all these young men will all want some creature comforts – and I have now started on ordering the berth cushions, a pipe-cot (for me – or does the skipper get the best berth?) and most importantly a deviding curtain for the fo’c’sle where the heads are. The berth cushion all being made by a Suffolk housewife in the finest Navy blue Cord-du-Rey so I hope my guests will appreciate my Royal efforts. After many a wrestling match with standard sheets on boats (and to protect my new investment) I have also gone for fitted berth sheets!

I bought a 3 litre pump-style stainless thermos from e-bay that will lash next to the sink – a tip nicked from Mirelle – and that will be my source of hot water.

My Laura Ashley moment – I must admit, is a bit of an indulgence, as there are FAR more important things to do. The decks need Coelaning, the topsides sanded and painted and antifouling ofcourse. Not least the main source of propulsion needs connecting-up – yes I meant a new mainsail, but the Beta qualifies in that too! Last but not least I have Roachito to restore; an orginal 1950’s pram tender! So friends, that’s it – you get a comfy berth, 3 litres of hot water for tea and a shave, fitted sheets, but in return I will hand you a paint kettle and brush!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sailing on the Deben inspires a new tiller

Well last weekend I was invited by the kind owner of Mirelle - a lovely Blake designed gaff cutter - for a sail on the Deben! It was a real eye opener. Her sumptious interior, a coal stove, and all that string. More importantly, it re-affirmed the reasons why I have gone to so much expense and effort in giving Roach a second life. Although it was freezing it was simply a wonderful weekend. I got to know the River a bit and realised that it is quicker going to the pub by boat than it is by car!

Anyway, on Sunday night I had enough time to ponder all the jobs that need to be done on Roach and decided to make her a new tiller from some seasoned Ash I had found from a chap in Felixstowe. I already have the original Oak tiller, but it is very long as Roach was designed as a single-hander. I decided I need to shorter one that I can attach a dinghy style tiller extension to. This would allow more room in the cockpit when friends are sailing with me. The original one has been re-varnished and will be used , as a treat, for when I sail single-handed. It's always good to have a back-up emergency tiller too.

Below is the new tiller which I am quite proud of.