Thursday, July 26, 2012

Checking ‘Sandpiper’

I’ve had time to reflect upon ‘Sandpiper’s’ mini cruise. Was there anything that did not work? Could I make any improvements?

Launching and retrieving the boat went quicker and more smoothly than the first time I took her for a sail. I am pleased that no water entered the wheel bearings because I took the precaution of applying insulating tape over the hubcap breathing holes. When winching the boat onto her trailer the winch rope cut into the rubber stopper that secured the bow. I shall have to slice an inch off the top to enable the rope to run freely.

I found that anchoring was easier than before, because I stowed the anchor with the flukes facing forwards. Making everything ready for setting up the mast took more time than I would have liked. The reason for this was that the shrouds were secured to the mast for transportation, and I had to undo the lashings before the mast could be set up. I can’t think of a better way of securing the shrouds when in transit.

Yesterday the wind at its peak hovered around force 2 enabling ‘Sandpiper’ to attain a speed of 3 knots, and in the gusts she manage 4. I was pleased with her overall performance, but I have yet to test her in stronger winds. The centreplate and rudder functioned as they should.

The interior stowage worked well. Everything was to hand when I was sitting on the port bunk. From there I could operate the stove and reach into large plastic bins for items I required. I arranged the stowage in such a way that I could make hot drinks and find snacks without too much effort.

I didn’t think the outboard ran sweetly as it did before; therefore I’ll have to look into the cause – perhaps it was a partial blockage of fuel.

One important thing I discovered was that the trailer’s offside wheel bearings must be replaced. I recently changed the nearside ones, but at the time I didn’t think the offside ones had to be done.

Checking everything before taking the boat further afield was necessary, because I want to minimize the chances of a major problem happening.  In particular, I’m thinking of visiting Poole Harbour, which is a fair way from home. I’m hoping to take ‘Sandpiper’ there for the second week of August.

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