Saturday, August 01, 2015

Had an Excellent Sail with ‘Pike’ – Part 2

Lunch Break at the Rice and Cole mooring

Back at the slipway

At home, nicely cleaned

Tucked in bed

I have recovered from my excursions of yesterday when I took ‘Pike’ for a trial sail at Burnham-on-Crouch.

Conditions couldn’t have been more perfect.

Unlike my other boats, ‘Pike’ is light enough to have a combination trailer with a piggyback launching trolley. Being able to launch and retrieve her on a trolley is a big advantage, because the business of reversing down a slipway is eliminated and she can be taken to slipways that are unsuitable for road trailers, or launched from a beach.

Launching and retrieving her at Burnham Yacht Harbour was relatively easy without the need for getting my feet wet.

I rowed her to the entrance of the marina, and made sail. I found that she rowed well. Because the sail was brailed up, all I had to do to make sail was to free off the brail and sheet in. Immediately she came to life, and I took her on the wind towards the Burnham moorings. A strong spring tide and a headwind made getting to windward a challenge, but I was pleased to find she did magnificently, while making about ten degrees of leeway. Her unique, hinged rudder worked as it should, with a bungee keeping the lower half submerged. The deep daggerboard showed no signs of lifting. She never failed a tack. I preferred not to use the tiller extension because I could sit far enough forward without it. The shipped oars happily remained in their rowlocks with the blades protruding slightly over her gunnels. Thus stowed, they were ready for instant use.

After two hours beating two and fro between the moorings ‘Pike’ arrived at Rice and Cole where I picked up a mooring for a rest and to have lunch. There I removed the sprit and rolled the sail around the mast to stop it from flapping and making a noise.

By the time I had finished eating, it was coming up to high water, and the wind had freshened. I therefore reefed the sail and got underway. Five minutes later, the toggle line that held the throat of the sail to the mast gave way. I could have continued sailing, but the sail was creased and extra strain was being placed on the next toggle line. I decided to take the sail down and to row back to the Yacht Harbour. By then the ebb was running swiftly in the opposite direction to which I wanted to go.

I found I could power the boat faster than the current because she slipped through the water with little resistance and I had a helping hand from the wind. The hardest sections of the row were when going past the outer ends of floating pontoons – all three of them - that extended into the river. By rowing close to the shore wherever I could, I was able to avoid the worst of the ebb.

Apart from the throat toggle rope giving way, there were no other incidents, but back at home I discovered there was a little quantity of water in the forward, so-called watertight locker. A close inspection in the region of the foot of the stem post revealed that there were thin cracks between it and the hull panels on both sides. Sealing them should not be difficult.

A noticeable outcome of yesterday's excellent sail became apparent this morning when I sat down for breakfast; I discovered that my gluteus maximus muscles were somewhat tender!


Gluteus Maximus Muscle


Friday, July 31, 2015

Had an Excellent Sail with ‘Pike’

It has been a very full day which couldn’t have been better. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll do a write-up. At the moment I’m very tired, and it’s far too late for thinking straight.

Goodnight, and thank you for your interest.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

‘Pike’ Ready to Go

Preparing 'Pike'

Ready to go

The time has come for a trial sail with ‘Pike’. Tomorrow’s forecast looks good, and high water at Burnham-on-Crouch should be at 13.18. There couldn’t be a better opportunity; therefore I’m planning a fairly early start for having several hours on the water before returning home.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to report back tomorrow evening with an account of how things went.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Keter Borneo Storage Box

There are still a number of things that require doing before everything in the garden is in order. One job that was on the list was ticked off this morning after I assembled a Keter Borneo Storage Box that arrived yesterday, courtesy of Amazon, only one day after ordering it!

I was amazed how well the components were manufactured. All the main parts precisely slotted together to form the box, and the lid was attached with two self-assisting piston operated hinges to aid its opening and closing. Forty-five minutes after removing bits and pieces from the packaging, the box was assembled. The only tool required for doing it was a Phillips screwdriver.

I can recommend the box for watertight storage, as enthusiastic Amazon reviewers confirm that items within their Borneo Boxes have remained dry and well aired. A few reviewers say that care should be taken when opening the lid after a heavy downpour, because water can lodge in crevices on the top of the lid, and it may trickle into the box as the lid is opened.

After assembling the box I was able to do three more jobs, and there are no pressing ones to be done. The forecast for the next few days is looking good. Therefore, I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to take ‘Pike’ for a sail - most likely on Friday, when high water at Burnham-on-Crouch will be at 13.18.



Keter Outdoor Storage Boxes

Borneo Storage Box

Phillips Screwdriver

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Finishing Touches to the Patio

I finished building the patio a few days ago. Today, my wife and I gave it the finishing touches by adding six solar lights, a candle lantern, a hanging basket, a cordyline plant and a dwarf palm tree.

The solar lights were designed with short supports that could be stuck in the ground, but I mounted them on metal rods that I attached to the patio wall. This makes them more visible, and dare I say it, more attractive. At night, the light they emit gradually changes, simulating the colours of a rainbow, i.e., red, orange, green, blue, indigo and violet.

I made their supports from chromium plated hanger rods - the sort you find in wardrobes - and I fixed them to the wall with homemade aluminium brackets. My wife arranged the hanging basket, and she planted the cordyline and dwarf palm tree in large, square-topped pots. She also put a decorated candle in the lantern.


Cole and Bright (Manufacturers of the Solar Ice Orb Light)

Solar Ice Orb Light – Black Nickel

Monday, July 27, 2015

Crewsaver Buoyancy Bag

Before I can take ‘Pike’ for a sail I must check that her stern buoyancy bag does not leak. When I bought her I found that the bag was deflated, and I presumed it leaked. It is a 1998 Crewsaver 27 kilogram (60 lbs), 760 mm x 230 mm polyurethane nylon, pillow-shaped bag that is held in place by two straps.

The cheapest new replacement would cost £33.50 from, including free delivery.  Altogether I looked at nine online chandlers, and I thought that Seamark Nunn would be the cheapest, but when I added the delivery charge of £4.99 it worked out at £35.90. The most expensive was CrewSafe at £38.45.

I tested the bag for leaks by submerging it in a bath of water and I couldn’t find any escaping air. Over the next few days I’ll monitor the situation to see if it gradually deflates.


Sunday, July 26, 2015


I’ve just purchased the ‘Ship Finder’ AIS App for my iPhone which works a treat. There’s a Dutch yacht named ‘Cine Mara’ in which I have an interest. She’s currently stormbound at Alderney awaiting better weather, and with the App I shall be able to track her, know her speed and course, her exact location and destination if programmed by her skipper, along with her ETA. All of this information is updated every 3 minutes. At just under £3 for the advertisement free iOS App, I think this is good value for money. The free version has limited information, and it is spoiled by intrusive advertisements.

An advertisement free live chart showing the positions and movements of vessels may be had by visiting the Live Ships Map – AIS on a computer. (See Link below)

Note: All photos are of ‘Cine Mara’.**


Live Ships Map - AIS



Automatic Identification System

**'Cine Mara' - The Galway hooker: Dutch and Irish connections