Monday, June 30, 2008

Roach moves onto her new mooring!

Roach ready to get warped around so I can get out of the marina - Roach does not go astern in straight line!

The lovely walk along the riverside path from Pin Mill to RHYC

Last weekend can’t really be described as a sailing weekend. The boat needed to be moved from Pin Mill to her new mooring closer to the Orwell Bridge. The reason I have not put the boat on the mooring until now is that the mooring has not been used for two years and therefore needed servicing. And servicing it did need, I can assure you of that. The chain was perilously thin in places, maybe down to 4mm and the swivel at the bottom had a very small calibre shackle on it. The whole lot was replaced with new 14mm chain from EYE and oversized shackles. It should be OK for a couple of years!

Well on arrival I found that there was a lot of water in the bilges, the weeping bolt under the engine really giving me grief. There is not much I can do except deal with the problem and this means a haul-out which would be a pain. This would really mean no more sailing this season, so I have decided to go down the bilge pump and solar panel route. I hope that can sort it. Next weekend I will dive under the boat and put some lead putty in the bolt recess. It is clear I will have a lot of work to do in the Autumn though.

I did managed to get a few jobs done though. Some skirting board has gone in along the bunk sides, and the cabin sole has been shaped to fit. All this done alongside at RHYC where I was put in quite a challenging spot to get out of. And I needed to get out of there fast on Saturday AM as there where 45 Albin Vegas coming in for a rally. Anyway, I warped Roach around herself, and this the first time I have warped her. I reckon that next time, given longer lines, I can do all myself onboard. It makes me feel happier being onboard when doing these things – you never know what could go wrong!

Anyway, all went well and I managed to put Roach on her new mooring and motored back to Pin Mill. I then had the pleasure of the lovely walk from Pin Mill to RHYC to collect the car - Wow, I really like England on a Summer's day like that.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Roach goes to check-out Royal Harwich

These photos are courtesy of PyroJames who we went past - thanks as there was not that much time as we were creaming along.
Next year I will have the wooden pram restored. That flubber spoils the picture.
Reaching at 7 knots here - we were with the ebb admitedly - not bad though considering I have a 20%wrap on the jib!
You may not notice - but we were having freshly brewed El Salvadorian Coffee at the time with home made summer pudding!

The Tall ship "Stavros" through the rigging of "Croix de Gardes" Roach nestled in at the Roayl Harwich Yacht Club
A West Solent One Design beating up the Orwell - nicely colour matched tender. I hope to do the same!

Well this weekend was dedicated to checking out the Royal Harwich Yacht Club. On Friday I made a very nasty single-handed beat down to the Orwell from the Deben. It was the first time I did the bar on the ebb, and even with the relatively shallow draft of 4ft, I was considerably nervous as I rushed into breakers doing 8knots over ground with 2 metres reading on the depth! The passage was very slow and tedious and I arrived at Harwich almost 7 hours later!

Friday night was spend getting the cabin shipshape again – I still need many more fiddle rails and storage ideas to stop things jumping shelves. Small boats move about A LOT, and I have decided that the only way forward is to make dedicated stowage for everything. I have already made a log book holder, but what she really needs is a bookcase. I quite enjoy having a glass of wine in the cabin whilst thinking of future improvements.

Although I slept well I was awoken by a very eager race crew next door to me at 6am! They were bending on some laminate sails and dropping the anchor and chain in order to loose weight. All to keen for my liking. The day was meant to be spent varnishing the cockpit, but constant drizzle put paid to that – so the day was spent in the cabin fitting cupboard latches and knobs and making a cable run for the solar panel. In the evening I was invited over to Criox de Gardes, a lovely 1947 French Cutter which a friend owns. It was really very nice having a meal on a boat at a table! I have not done that in yonks, and have decided that Roach really needs a table now. One is in the design phase, I just need some time!

Sunday was spend tidying up ready to take my sister and boyfriend sailing. They are very novice sailors, so when we started reaching down the Orwell at 7knots, they got quite frightened! Roach really likes a good blow and on the way back we were beating very well, with the decks awash! First time ever. The new roller furling requires some attention, and so do the sheeting angles. It was too windy for the working jib though and we should have changes down to the number 2 jib, but nobody was in a fit state to go forward in that wind.

Roll on weekend after next!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sailing at Last

Roach nestled in between two West Solent One Designs - Roach had more headroom that those!
Roach looking resplendent in Ipswich Haven. Notice all the oil lamps are on in order to avoid the varnish blooming with the dropping temperature.

Isn't it strange that when I type in "sailing" on my mobile phone, the predictive texting interprets "raining"; when I type "varnishing" it selects "tarnishing" - well tarnished was what the varnished looked like, and raining it was all week so there was nothing I could about it. Luckily on Sunday the rain clouds scudded away I motored Roach down to Ipswich from Woodbridge. This trip was mainly to give my non-saily sister a flavour of the rivers, but I had an alterior motive; get a coat of varnish on - and for this I needed a marina and a power point.

My first time to Ipswich Yacht Haven through the wet lock. I have to say that it was a very painless experience and we were lucky with the pontoons at the marina, as we had a vacant spot either side of us; allowing us to work on each side of the topsides by warping her across and back again. Monday morning was a scorcher and by 4pm we had a coat of varnish on. We had started work at 9am and there were two of us; wooden boats are hard work. I still have the cockpit to do too, but as it is in use all the time I really don't know when it will ever be done. We had a week deserved beer in the SaltHouse Hotel afterwards and I cooked Chorizo and Lentil caserol for dinner on board.
Next day it was my Birthday, so we set off down the Orwell to Levighton were we put in for a few hours to have a lovely dinner at the Ship Inn there. What a lovely pub - and the food is truly excellent. Then we zoomed off afterwards to get a head start on the tide. A very bumby night at half-penny pier (I think I will anchor at Shotley next time I wait for the tide). At dawn Roach was under full sail romping up the East Coast at 6 knots on a cloud of foam - what great sailing. Even though I was tired, this was the best sailing Roach has seen in my ownership. With the sails trimmed I managed to get her sailing herself and I just stood in the companionway watching the tankers go by whilst I made coffee.
All in all a great weekend's sailing. There are still many jobs to be done though. The new roller furling plays up and needs attention. The cockpit looks terrible. The hatches need attention. Also in the interior, the backrests need another sand and a coat of varnish. She also needs a bookcase as the books jump the shelves when well heeled - Oh well, atleast I she is sailing, so I suspect many jobs wwill be delayed till the winter!


Thursday, June 05, 2008


Well Roach was very well behaved during launch – mast was stepped in record time, much to the boatyard’s surprise. The launch itself was fine too. Stern gland needed a couple of turns, but then we were off. I would like to thanks the team at Everson’s that are always ever so helpful, and never at all judgemental. They sorted my shaft issues after a I ran into a net last Summer – in the end this quite a lot more work than I had expected and I needed to hand it over to the pros. Then I managed to fit some new teak cabin sole in the forepeak which I am quite proud of – and even though the list of improvements for this season is endless, I still am a bit annoyed she looks so grubby and that there is not more to show for the amount of work I have put in. Remaining projects afloat will be anew galley, varnishing the new cabinet work, new mast cleats, some interior paint, and some mahogany trim on the stern. We will see how far I get – I just want to go sailing now, however grubby she is.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Blimmin Drizzle!

Although the work shcedule is going pretty much to plan - even though some late nights have been needed to keep on-track, I seem to be ambushed by the weather everytime I want to launch. All the varnish work needs urgent attention, and it is simply impossible in drizzle. This is a really quite a pain as it is a difficult job to do afloat - I have taken the hatches home in order to try and get them done in the warmth of the kitchen.

Apart from that the new backrests are almost complete. It was a challenge making them fit exactly and also adding fiddel rails to the tops, that also double as hand rails. The time taken to do this has meant that the galley has been left behind, but I might be able to get the initial workings on this done this evening. Hopefully we will have a working galley by the weekend.

Lots of other mini little jobs have been completed, including sanding of the mast and two coats of epifanes. The mast is starting to look good. Next is the boom if I get a chance!

Launch tomorrow at HW 14:18 - and a couple of days in the marina loading the cushions, gear and sails - and possibly a bit of varnish!