Saturday, June 30, 2012

Testing 'Sandpiper' - Part 3

Thursday, 28th June 2012

I had every intention of spending another day on the water with ‘Sandpiper’, but the early forecast indicated there would be rain for much of the morning and the possibility of a thunderstorm in the afternoon. With that unpromising prospect I decided to put the boat on her trailer and head for home.

Moored at Pontoon

Early high water was at 0715. I had three-quarters of an hour before the ebb was due to commence. I skipped breakfast, fired up the engine and cast off from the pontoon. Two minutes later the prop fouled the line for raising the rudder, causing the engine to stop. With my makeshift paddle I took her to a nearby pontoon. The only way I could unsnarl the line was by cutting it free. I tied the ends together and proceeded to the slipway.

Unlike when launching the boat, I was able to keep the wheel bearings out of the water, because the winch was powerful enough to haul ‘Sandpiper’ onto her trailer. However, the operation was not trouble free, as the winch rope jammed against the side of the drum causing it to be almost severed.

From there on, everything went according to the book. I took my time; then I had breakfast before setting off for home. There was no rain in the morning, nor was there a thunderstorm in the afternoon - so much for the weather forecast!


‘Sandpiper’ requires only a few minor modifications before she will be ready for a short cruise. All I want is a satisfactory forecast for a spell of fine sunny weather.

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