Monday, 25 September 2017

Southampton Boat Show 2017

Let joy be unconfined - it's that time of the year again, and I love the Southampton Boat Show... ..clearly someone else does as well as we were also blessed with unseasonal warmth, good breezes, and the rain when it finally arrived was after we'd left..  good result! My sis and I attended this year...

This is the three master Kaskelot [clicky], which despite her aged appearance was only built in 1948 - she's Danish and one of the largest wooden three masters still afloat.. somewhat surprisingly she's also privately owned (not a charity), and she isn't a sail training vessel..  used mostly for private charter and film work... and beautiful - major refit in 2014 and it shows..  clean and shiny as a new penny...



....those of you who check my other blog will know I have an interest in things historical and military so straight from Kaskelot to this one which was moored just behind and caught my eye...  I originally thought this was WWII era, but it's actually Cold War era instead, the last Rhine patrol boat of the US navy.. one of 17 built by a German shipbuilder just after the war, and handed back to the German navy at the end of her commission..


She's also a film star and appeared in the recent "Dunkirk"... unusually again, she is also privately owned (not a charity of heritage lottery funded)


Put me in mind me of the boat in "Apocalypse Now"


So on to the real boats...  at the show I have two things I look for - the big sailing boats for bling, and anything my boat's size to see what's coming along....  I would say it was an OK year, but nothing as good this year as the Haber 620 [clicky] we saw last year...

This one was rather nice though...  lovely clean lines - day sailor - this one was electric driven...  not sure about the transom though - wasted space??




Next - this was an X-Yachts X6 [clicky] boat on the outer pontoon - no way I was going to be able to get on her, but what caught my eye was those hard top bimini's - look like carbon fibre??  Seem to have a rebated drop down blind on the side...  either way, ugly as sin, but on a beautiful boat... 


Just for fun - and because the Jolly Boys cruise is on a 342 - I thought I'd have a closer look down below at the Halberg Rassy 40 (next) - a quantum difference in space is the answer... a whole extra cabin between saloon and fore cabin.... that would solve the "problem"..  ! Build is the same though (excellent) but they've also raised the head room on the rear cabin so it's no longer a crawl in double coffin...


...and looks sensational of course...


So we were chatting to the salesman and I mentioned we chartered a 342 and he said, "oh, you need to go and have a look at the latest version of that hull size" .. and as she was next door it seemed foolish not to....

First main difference -drop down swim platform/transom...  second main difference wheel not tiller, in fact two wheels, on a 30 footer...?!  HR weren't the only ones to do this - yacht'y equivalent of go faster stripes??? 



Track still in the middle of the cockpit - just not on a bar between the two seats...

 Instruments same place, windscreen same, opening struts same....


Spectacular difference on lay out below though (next) - kitchen is on the opposite side, and on the 342 there's a heads there with the nav station in front of it..  note the big windows above and in the hull - much lighter! Aft cabin is bigger - main cabin is ooch'ed backwards making room for the heads to shift forward and alongside the mast..  on the whole it's better than the 342 - the aft cabin is bigger, the main cabin is lighter...



More "small one's" (next) - another Dutch boat builder - elegant lines - a day sailor - not sure I fancy trying to get into that cuddy though! 6.5Mtr [clicky] so she's about the same size as Sparrow..  self tacking jib (that would make life easier when short taking in the narrow Emsworth channel!) small size of which compensated by a big main... oh, and you can also fly an asymmetric...  no good for me..  fin keel though...


..another one with electric drive - diesel also available... but nowhere to put an outboard... asymmetric flies from a small bowsprit that's retracted on this one...  lovely lines..


..bigger hull, 8Mtr (26 foot) same basic design, but a different layout...  weekender style this time..  if I had the cash this is the one I'd go for...  good review from PBO here [clicky] again though - fin keel and inboard only...



..and the last one from the same boat builder - this was mad (in a kind of good way) - all that orange and brown was like stepping back into the late seventies.. She was certainly something else - looked super fast - a 33 foot day sailor [clicky] - would love to have a go!!



...onwards an upwards - last big boat of the day - this one took my prize for the most luxurious - Swan 50...  details details...  forecabin - leather handles on drawers - light woods throughout, and how nice not to have the universal brown with thin white stripe flooring...


Second cabin..  this was bunks on the HR40.. 


Lovely flat unencumbered deck going on and on for ever....


Not much to hold on to forward though...


...and cockpit - twin wheels each with mahoosive plotters... Harken throughout (naturally )..  if you have to ask you can't afford her....


Fantastic..  by this time it was Guinness o'clock so we duly partook, and then had a long wander round the halls to look at all the stuff you didn't know you needed (12v individual aircon units was my "blimey moment"!) before heading over the road to the Woolhouse [clicky] for a couple of pints of (excellent) "Bone Dry" [clicky] and wending our way home...

So what did I buy? Other than the Guinness and a new sweatshirt, nothing.. I was looking for idea's this year - want to improve my taking speed and I think the answer is stand up blocks for the genoa sheets..  I reckon it's a couple of these I need...  "stand up single block"...

...the search starts here..  

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Mackerel summer...

...  so with a free day before I went back to work after a few days away (Paris) I was idly checking the weather forecast on my phone on the train when I happened to note that after a long period of grey and wet, the next day - my free day - was looking very pleasant..  force 2's were forecast, some cloud but mostly sunshine...  aha, I thought 

With a mid-day high tide it began to look even better, and so it was that when I got up in the morning I was more than chuffed to see that the sunshine was there as promised - but unfortunately the wind wasn't... 'go to the boat anyway', said the current Mrs Steve-the-Wargamer, "you can sit and have a coffee'..  job done...

On the way I picked up 5 litres of fresh fuel as one of the jobs I had in mind was to change the outboard fuel (which had been in the tank at least two months)..   my outboard engineer - who I trust implicitly (30+ years in the business, and regularly consulted by the UK agents for the main brands on technical queries/issues) - once told me that the new fuel constituents (ethanol and the like) are contributing to a shorter and shorter shelf life, he reckoned you're better off changing any old fuel every couple of months rather than risk it causing a problem to the engine - he also advised buying cheap fuel (from supermarkets and the like) better to buy from a branded petrol station.. so I've followed that advice ever since - any old fuel I chuck in the car where it's mixed with 20+ litres of fresh and isn't going to cause a problem - in this case it was four litres of fresh replacing two or litres of old, and all good, and suffice to say the outboard started first pull despite having lain int he bottom of the boat for the last two weeks...

Fuel swapped it was time to scrub the waterline - she's growing some weed but two transits of the boat with the stiff bristle broom braced against the dinghy thwart and sawed backwards and forwards saw streams of weed and clouds of blue anti-foul drifting off down tide..  she's now much cleaner and  there's less anti-foul to get off when she comes out...

Climbing back on board I was contemplating a coffee when I noticed a very slight breeze had come up while I was busy..  north-westerly/westerly..  sod it quoth I, lets go for a drift...  it was an hour after HT so I was only planning to go to the end of the ditch and back...  got everything ready, raided the bar for a beer, got the fishing rod out as I thought it might be an opportunity, dropped the mooring and headed for the channel...  pulled the main up by the bridge (or rather did after I noticed there was still a sail tie on at the mainsheet end! ) and gently motored off down the cut while I got the rod ready..  engine off and up by Northney and then gently sailed with tide as I trolled with the rod over the side, when bugger me if I didn't get a bite.... most unusual - a nice 10" mackerel which was returned to the briny after it's photo opportunity...


..a most excellent day - the sun shone, the rain stayed off, the beer was good, and I caught a fish...

Back ashore and I found that the lift out schedule is published - Sparrow comes out of the water for the winter on the 21st., I'm on lift out duty on the 22nd...  looks like we need a countdown counter to concentrate the mind.... never mind, Southampton Boat Show this weekend!

Log:


Distance: 4.83 (cumulative total in the mileage tab at the top)
Wind: Both ends of a F2, occasionally bottom F3; SW going W
Sail Plan: Full main
Speed: Max 4.7 average 2.2

Monday, 11 September 2017

Where did the summer..

... go????

You could be forgiven for thinking that all was dead and moribund here, and you'd mostly be right - no sailing now since the 13th August, and with the Atlantic lows rolling in, and weekend commitments, seemingly (in both cases!) one after another, I don't see it changing for a while...

It's been a succession of no tide/not feeling well/no wind, weekends - I did manage to get out to Sparrow the Saturday before last but it was as flat as a flat thing - not a breath - and the next day, Sunday, was howling ('natch), weekend before that I wasn't feeling well (man flu ) and the weekend before that the tides had been wrong...  ah well..  I managed to get some paint on the washboards while sitting in the sun on the flat day, and on one of the other days I managed to get some paint on the cockpit locker lids, so all has not been totally wasted... she's also in urgent need of some bottom scrubbing, no movement equals ideal growing conditions....

..not a breath, and as hot as Hades...
This weekend I'm away, the weekend after that is the Southampton Boat Show, the mast comes down October 14th/15th weekend, the boat comes out October 21st (Trafalgar Day!) so I reckon I've got two or three more sailing days at most - unless I slip in a cheeky day off... c'mon weather, start playing ball...!

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Corr...

Look what I got to go on yesterday.. 

...if you Google "Suhaili" [clicky] you'll know why this was an amazement and an honour...  and she was looking superb, and there's no way I would have gone round the world in her.. hats off...