Showing posts from 2019

Barts Bash 2019

15 Sept 2019 Sunny and very warm for mid September and Morgan was keen to come sailing again. With my friend Jonathan also aboard we set out at 1100 for the annual charity race.  There was a strong incoming flood tide as we left the river and we had the engine on full power for 15 minutes or so to get us out but it ran just fine. Once out at sea there was a light SW wind and sunshine. We motored all the way to the start line east of the harbour setting the mainsail and genoa as we went along, keen to get up-tide of the line in case the wind dropped further. A lot of boats were out including a few from our neighbouring club AYAC coming to join the fun. About 20 dinghies and 10 cruisers racing together. The dinghies started first at 1200 with our start 5 mins later. We got nicely lined up on starboard approaching the line at one minute to go but we were a little late and almost last across the line to start the race. Despite being a lovely day we didn't seem to get Bay Leaf into

Bay Leaf update and then the pursuit race

1st Sept 2019 Since the last trip, when the engine stopped, we've spent ages (myself and several friends at the club) trying to work out what was wrong. Initally I thought I was just out of diesel so I got 20 litres from Tescos and poured it in. Wouldn't start. Then we thought there was an airlock or blocked filter so spent a week or two pumping and bleeding and opening the diesel injectors and trying over and over. No good. Eventually it became clear the the very old diesel in the 45 year old steel tank had gone off or got dirty and blocked the pipe as it exits the tank. So my friend John spent a morning manually pumping the diesel back out into a plastic drum and tried various ways to unblock the pipes but again no good. So there I sat with a big drum full of dodgy diesel and nothing working. The idea eventually came to simply abandon that metal tank for now and I went and got a 12 litre portable plastic tank. Plenty of room under the cockpit floor so I lashed it down, co

First race with Bay Leaf

21 July 2019 Big day at the yacht club as we hold the annual Dobson Memorial combined dinghy / cruiser race. Morgan came down, we also had my friend Janet, and a new member Roger appeared just as we were getting ready to leave. So we had four aboard. A decent steady F3-4 from the West and bright skies. The engine seems fine after we sorted out the thermostat and freshwater cooling, I knew the genoa sheets were a bit poor but worth going to sea. Hoping to keep up with the other Centaur, Free n Easy. Crew in good spirits. We got off the berth about 1.15pm and got the mainsail up then drove her out to sea amongst a crowd of other cruisers and several dinghies being towed out against the current by the club RIB. We tightened the main halyard as it was drooping as bit but once that was done the main set perfectly for the rest of the day. She's difficult to sail under main alone due to lack of drive so we unrolled 3/4 of the genoa and tacked up and down around the start area. Dingh

Bay Leaf

23 June 2019 I completed my purchase of Bay Leaf on 11 June. She is a Westerly Centaur with a bronze green hull, Watermota 4 cyl diesel engine and red sail covers and dodgers. I have often admired her on the moorings at the club so when the owners, who now mostly live in Spain, advertised her for sale I was quick to make an offer. Eric and Angie didn't sail her much the last few years but he has rebuilt the engine and rewired the electrics, and I took advice from other Westerly owners on how to check the keel stubs and bolts. Knowing the hull and engine were good I decided to just go ahead and buy her knowing there might be more work to do on the sails and rig. Eric and Angie spent the best part of an evening showing me all the various bits and demonstrating how to run the engine and they handed me a whole load of paperwork going right back to her original build in 1976. There's also some useful equipment aboard including a new tillerpilot and boxes of engine spares. Lo

Elsa - For Sale

No longer for sale – ELSA – Seal 22 NOW SOLD in September 2019 Seal 22 mk.II lifting keel cruiser built in the mid 1970s, GRP, white with blue deck, sloop rigged with new outboard engine fed by external tank. 4 berths. Small bottled gas camping style cooker. Plumbed in flushing sea toilet. Littlehampton Harbour dues paid to March 2020. Ready to sail. This boat won the Pennant Rose Bowl trophy in 2015 and won the Owers Race in 2017! Fun and easy to sail, uncomplicated, no inboard engine, no electrics, an ideal first cruiser for a sailor used to a dinghy and wishing to go larger. Use your own handheld VHF and GPS. 350kg iron keel lifts into the saloon table via a manual winding mechanism. With the keel raised she can take the ground and sit on her keel stub. She also has beaching legs. Keel last painted Spring 2015. Hull last jet washed and antifouled spring 2018. Mainsail by Hyde Sails new in 2017. Older mainsail age unknown but serviceable as a spare. Roller furling genoa unknow

First sail of 2019

7th April 2019 I left Elsa in the water over the winter and took the engine home, and painted the rudder blade. In March I put her back together and Georgia helped me put the sails back on. I knew she was pretty much ready to sail so I went along ready for the first race of the season. Sunday was quite sunny and bright but the forecast was for light and variable winds backing from E round to S at about F2. After I got the boat ready, and being on my own, I hung around the clubhouse and found a couple of guys keen to go sailing. Steve I know slightly and Jonathan was there for his first time. I was not going to stay out for long and Steve had put his dog in his car so the plan was to do the race start then retire and come back in.  With three of us aboard we set off about 1145 and motored out into the sunshine with the main up. There was a big ship due out later and we listened to the radio as the race officer deliberated on where to set the start line, away from the harbour, and ta