Tag Archives: other boats

Across the Channel! Portsmouth to North Holland, Summer 2019

It was a real pleasure to act as a pilot for Emmelène from Portsmouth to Lauwersoog in the north east Netherlands this summer. Chris was very accommodating and understanding of my disability — you’ll see plenty of references to me sleeping.

Emmelène performed admirably and her split junk rig sail was a joy to handle in the conditions.

Here’s his account.

Emmelène Voyages

262. Across the Channel! - summer 2019 title shot

Summary: In 2019, Emmelène had an excellent summer cruise from Portsmouth to Northern Holland, sailing approximately 400 nautical miles, or 735 km, in thirteen days, including two days of stops.  The boat sailed perfectly throughout, helmed, for much of the time, by “Edna,” the Hebridean windvane.

263. Across the Channel!  Title shot 2

“Sailing yacht Emmelène, you may leave from the east harbour entrance,” crackled the voice from Dover port control.  The little Honda outboard pushed us past the car ferries that were manoeuvring into their berths.  Emmelène nosed through the harbour mouth, which looks quite different from the cockpit of a 20’ Coromandel than it does from the towering deck of a ferry; and we were gone.  Above us, the white cliffs of Dover; in our wake, the line of ships stretched south, across the English Channel.  We had already been cruising for several days, but it felt as if the voyage was beginning for real.

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To the Netherlands aboard Emmelène

I plan to sail to the Netherlands again this summer.

Last summer I enjoyed some relaxed sailing around the Solent in tandem with Chris Boxer aboard Emmelène, his split-rigged Coromandel. My health was (and still is) very limited by Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and I spent what little energy I had on sailing rather than recording all my adventures and blogging. Sorry about that!

IMGA0061

Chris explained that he’d very much like to sail Emmelène to the Netherlands, as I did in 2015, and asked if I’d be able to sail in tandem with Tammy Norie. I had to decline: I have to spend an average of 16 hours per day asleep, keeping me from making solo voyages. However, I felt I could go along with Chris aboard Emmelène as mate, to keep an eye on him and help him with any trouble. And so we hatched a plan.

Unfortunately, the summer of 2018 was almost windless.

But we’ve revived the plan for this year. If there’s any wind at all, we’ll be sailing from the Solent to the Netherlands between 2019-07-15 and 2019-07-28. Our goal is to deliver Emmelène to Lauwersoog, home of Marco and his Wharram catermaran Stern with whom I sailed on my last trip. Emmelène will stay there until next year, when perhaps Chris will take her in to the Baltic.

Maybe by then I’ll be able to catch her up in Tammy Norie, or set off in an entirely different direction. We’ll have to wait and see.

I’m hoping to visit a number of old friends along the way. Let us know if you’d like to meet up!

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Join the family

I’ve been well enough to actually go sailing for a few days. It’s not much, but you can expect a real blog post or two soon.

In the meantime, a Coromandel has popped up on eBay. Fancy joining the family?

Furthermore, if you’d like me to take a look at her with you, I could combine the trip with a visit to the historic dockyard at Chatham. I’m especially interested in the ropery.

A comment here is enough for me to get in touch with you by email.

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My next boat

While I was working on the new mast step I got chatting to a fellow member of the Fareham Sailing and Motor Boat Club who had restored a traditional wooden Folkboat. He took a look at Tammy Norie and said “What’s your next boat?”

It took me a few seconds to think about this question. I’m not planning to move on from Tammy Norie any time soon — there’s still too much to learn. So I said “Oh, I’ll build one.”

I can now reveal the design of my next boat.

Narwhal

If that doesn’t make you smile I’m not sure what to do with you. The thing is, it’s only half a joke.

At the Southampton Boat Show I picked up issue 15 of Classic Sailor magazine, mainly because of the retrospective of the Folkboat. Inside I found a review of a wonderful boat, the Fairey Atalanta. It’s a fascinating design by Uffa Fox, resembling a submarine or aircraft fuselage as much as a boat. It has double cast-iron swing keels and is self-righting. It’s steered by a whipstaff, and can plane downwind. I recommend reading about it.

Another inspiration of mine is John Riding’s Sea Egg. Another fascinating boat design, about which very little is available online.

But what’s really got me thinking recently is David Raison’s Magnum Mini, winner of the 2011 Mini Transat. Take a look at this revolutionary hull shape. This is a shallow draft scow designed to form an efficient shape when heeled, quite different from the sharp-bowed design of the typical racing yacht.

Matt Layden’s Paradox, Elusion, and Enigma are also fascinating designs, especially because of their shoal draft, chine runners, and lugsails. I was lucky enough to have a close look at a Paradox named Faith at Ashlett Creek.

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And finally, there’s my dad’s favourite, the Thames Barge. Dad led the restoration of a Thames Barge at Pin Mill when he was in his 20s, and he’s very fond of them. He strongly believes in the capabilities of the boxy barge shape and its lee boards.

Honorable mentions also go to the Wadder and the Southerly shoal draft cruisers.

I have many many sketches of boats, including this one I made (very rapidly) for Annie Hill’s Sib-Lim challenge (very sensibly ignored too).

http://www.junkrigassociation.org/technical_forum/3144241?mlpg=24#3384275

I think perhaps you can see a theme here.

Edit: It looks like Yrvind has been thinking along the same lines. He seems to have lee boards and metal sheet ballast (like the Southerly), as I intended in my Sib-Lib sketch above. Time to brush up my Swedish!

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Emmelène’s first voyage

Chris Boxer has written an account of our tandem sail to Poole and back, where we met Amiina and many others. I’m very pleased to have helped him gain experience and confidence. The more junk sailors the better!

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Tammy, Emmelène, and Amiina

I sailed Tammy Norie from Portsmouth to Poole Harbour for the August bank holiday, in tandem with Chris Boxer aboard Emmelène. It was a weekend of many meetings, but this video shows Tammy, Emmelène, and Edward Hooper’s Amiina.

Amiina has Edward’s latest version of the split junk rig, and Emmelène is using his previous version. Tammy Norie has her original flat Hasler-McLeod rig from 1983, and so this was a rare opportunity to compare rigs on two boats of the same hull.  Unfortunately we only had very light winds, and Emmelène’s sail is significantly larger than Tammy’s, so it’s by no means a thorough comparison.

Can Emmelène point higher than Tammy Norie? Not really. Tammy Norie can go very close to the wind, but gets slower and slower. The sail never seems to stop completely. Emmelène, like a Bermudan, seems to have a definite highest angle “groove”. She’s faster than Tammy up to that groove, but stalls and stops above it. This was noticeable when manoeuvering into Portsmouth Harbour entrance in a northerly F5. I wouldn’t say this is a particularly amazing advantage for Tammy, except when manoeuvering under sail.

Is Emmelène faster to windward than Tammy Norie? Definitely in light wind (up to force 4) and probably in general. Emmelène with one panel reefed was about ⅓kt faster over several hours to windward in a F3 crossing Christchurch bay. Emmelène had to drop two panels to stay with Tammy in a F4 from Beaulieu to Lee-on-Solent at about 80° off.

Is Emmelène faster downwind that Tammy Norie? Again, definitely in light wind. Since both sails are in drag mode, this is probably just due to Emmelène’s larger sail area, as seen towards the end of the video.

What is clear is that Edward literally sailed rings around Tammy in Amiina!

All this makes some sort of split more likely in a future rig for Tammy Norie, though I’m likely to go for some sort of compromise or hybrid approach. What I mainly plan to do is experiment, and you’ll read about it here on the blog.

There’s also a photo album of the weekend on Flickr. A more general account of the trip will follow.

Edit: More photos by Edward Hooper, including pictures of Tammy (which are hard to take when you’re sailing her).

Edit 2: Amiina (with the sail that’s currently on Emmelène) was featured in a side-by-side comparison of the junk and bermudan rigs in Practical Boat Owner, 2014-11-05.

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2017-09-04 · 14:14

To Purbeck with Emmelène

I’m planning to sail from the Solent to Purbeck and Poole next weekend in company with Chris Boxer aboard Tammy’s sister Emmelène. This should be a fun outing. I’ll be meeting family there, but more interesting for my readers, this will be a good chance to compare my flat Hasler-McLeod rig with Emmelène’s split rig under a variety of conditions.

Here’s the plan:

  • Thursday around 13:00: Tammy and Emmelène rendezvous in the eastern Solent and ride the current to the west. Most likely overnight at Yarmouth, Lymington, or Keyhaven.
  • Friday 13:00: Pass through west Solent tide race at slack water and ride the current to Studland Bay.
  • Monday 04:00: Catch the tide change to sail back to the west Solent channel before it becomes impassable at around 11:00.

As always, if anyone wants to meet up please get on touch. (My nephew and niece get priority as crew on Tammy Norie, but have not yet confirmed.)

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