Thursday, January 29, 2009

Check your Mooring warps!

Well, a bit off topic, but I thought I would warn of the danger of not having a safety line on one’s mooring. This particular boat was swept up on the beach in Jervis Bay on Christmas day . A nasty Nor’Easter sprung up and this chaps nylon warp chaffed through at the buoy. She was very lucky not to hit any other boats on the way to the beach. Anyway, it is a lesson: I will be making sure I keep a safety line attached to a different part of the boat and buoy in future.

In the end the boat was very lucky and she suffered no damage even though she was pounded by the surf. It took 2 days to get the coast guard to tow her off – basically a brute force operation!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The New Tomato Jib arrives!

Well the Jeckells tan spitfire sail arrived. Tan is not exactly red, so I wonder whether i can get away with calling it a Tomato Jib!
I am very happy with the heavy material and excellent build quality though – all made in Norfolk. I asked for a wire luff and hanks but asked them not to rope it all the way around to save on money. The only things that slightly worries me is that it is only single stitched. That said the zig-zags each have three stitches per leg on them whereas my mainsail, made in Hong Kong, sports triple stitching but only one stitch per zigzag – worth noting if you are ordering a new sail. I am not too worried though, as I can always make improvements on the sail myself and add stitching in my own time. For the price, I really can’t complain: The great thing is that I have eventually got a spitfire sail and if the Summer is going to be like last summer, it will be used !

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Any adventures for 2009?

leaving Woolvertsone Fuel Berth Augsut 2008

Well this is my first proper New Year’s Post. Roach has been in the water for two seasons now and I still have not made any adventures in her – and look at the title of this blog. Adventure – I want adventure!

Well to be honest the 2007 season was a massive shake-down. When launching a classic boat there are always things that will go wrong and need improvements- specially with the rig systems.

I had high expectations for adventure in 2008, but those plans were scuppered, mainly due to the ghastly weather.

The plan this season is to take Roach to Amsterdam. A good friend has made a New Year’s resolution to have more dinners at home 9as he is so busy in his work) so I decided my New Year’s resolution will be to take Roach to Amsterdam and accept his offer of dinner! It seems a long way to sail for dinner, but hey - its an incentive. It also fulfils an ambition of sailing a runnaway yacht to Flushing retracing the steps of the voyage of Goblin in Ransome’s "We did not mean to go to sea!" So there we go – those are the plans!

Before I do this there is quite a large list of improvements, or even repairs that need to be made. The first one is that the alternator seized last year. Luckily I don’t use the engine much, as I was never aware last season that the engine was not charging at all! So I have to replace it with a new alternator.

The second most important thing that needs to be done is that the engine needs to come out altogether so I can access two deadwood bolts that need replacing as they weep. It is silly that I did not replace these during the restoration, but I was being slack. So I will let you know how I get on with that as it is a big job.

There are several other things that are not as important but nevertheless I would like to get done. Let’s see how we get along as the list is long.

1. Get the Taylor’s stove working (re-siting the paraffin tank lower in the bilge to make more galley space)
1. Add a Hand rail all around the raised deck area (those deck can be slippy)
2. Re-organise sheet leads for a new genoa, chute and furler.
3. New heavy duty cockpit grate (old one broke under my weight)
4. Make some dedicated chart stowage
5. Make a new folding saloon table.
6. Beaching legs
7. Make a boarding ladder

Apart from this there is the yearly varnishing and painting and quite a few little repair jobs that all really add up.

Watch this space to see if I get them all done.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New Sails for 2009!

Well it is about time for a New Year’s Post. When I look back on 2008, I have to say it was not the best season for Roach. The weather was really the main enemy, especially on a boat that needs re-varnishing each season. Although lunched in mid May, I could only get the varnish on early June, one fine weekend. Hopefully I will get better varnishing weather this year, as I would like her to be launched so that I can have a cruise at Easter.

Me sanding Roach at Ipswich Haven last June

Several things came up from last year’s experiences.

The first is that in light winds, I really don’t have any useful sails. So I have ordered a lilac cruising chute from Lonton and Gray in Burnham-on-Crouch. They do a lot of sails for the Royal Burnham One Designs (also designed by Dallimore) so I think I am in good hands. I chose Lilac as Athena , Roach's cousin ship, looks very good under a lilac spinnaker.

Saying that I also have managed to get a second-hand Genoa and a spinnaker. The spinnaker is from a friend’s Stella, but it seems to fit Roach OK. So I have to make a few modifications in order to get the spinnaker to work. This includes a new spinnaker pole, some aft quarter blocks, a topping lift and an extra spinnaker halyard. Not a small amount to consider, and certainly a lot more string on the mast.

As well as more light wind sails, it is clear that I need a smaller headsail for stormy conditions. I was caught out in a F7 last summer going to the Walton Backwaters, and it was clear that small jib was needed. So I have ordered a Spitfire Jib from Jeckells which should be ready soon. I asked for it to me made in tan material, mainly as that is harder wearing material for a sail that will be at the bottom of the sail locker much of the time, but also because I rather like the idea of calling it the “Tomato Jib” as Adlard Coles did on “Cooee”

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A few of my links

Seeing as my computer crashed last year, and I lost all my boating web links, I thought I would upload all my links here. That way, I have them if I ever drop my laptop again and also people might find them useful.

Boats for Sale

Engine and Electrical

Traditional Chandlery

Other Equipment




Clubs and Associations


Articles and Miscellaneous

Friday, January 02, 2009

Classic Boat Restoration Awards

It was very nice to see that Roach was a contender in the restoration awards in this month’s Classic Boat. Not because I feel her restoration should be mentioned, as I don’t; I am just an amateur who has taken a few years and a modest budget to get Roach waterborne. I welcome the mention as I feel that Norman Dallimore was one of Britain’s most talented yacht designers of the time but is sadly very under-rated today. Having him mentioned in the yachting press now and again is a good thing.

There are a couple of things that I need to correct from the entry in Classic Boat though. The first is that the yard which has helped me tremendously is Everson’s and not Roberston’s. There have been too many people that have helped to accredit here but I will mention Jerry Hearle (ex Robo’s) and John Krazja (ex Whisstocks) have both helped out enormously on the boatbuilding front.

Roach is unusual in the sense that she is a modified Burnham Sloop design. The original Burnham Sloops being designed in 1938. She was re-drawn by Dallimore in 1948 for Priors of Burnham. Dallimore changed the lines to widen the beam to 7ft from 6’8”, deepen the draft from 3.9ft to 4ft, and increase the length by 1ft to 22ft overall but leaving L.W.L the same at 18ft. “Roach” was built over the Winter of 1952/3 by Stebbings of Burnham and not Priors as originally intended. The sail plan was also reduced from 265sq ft to 225sq ft. Suggesting that the original Dallimore design was too tender. I am glad of this modification as the original plans sport a long overhanging boom with runners. The modified design sports a permanent backstay on a mini offset bumpkin, which suits my single-handed sailing much better.

I can say that she is now a very stiff boat for a 22fter and really a pleasure to sail in a blow. She really likes to be driven. In under a F4 she does tend to be a bit sluggish, but a few new light air sails this season, I think, might help with light wind river sailing. More soon on my sailing and maintenance plans for 2009!