Tag Archives: plan

Flopper stopper

Sarabande on the YBW forums posted a link to a device called a “flopper stopper” in a thread about wobbly boats.

This thing strongly resembles the Coromandel anchor locker lid. Mine makes ominous creaking noises when I step on it and I’ve been thinking about making it stronger. I bet I can make it do double duty as a flopper stopper when I do.

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No sailing this weekend

This is a short post to say that sailing to Brighton this weekend is cancelled. PassageWeather.com predicts easterlies tomorrow and then westerlies on Sunday, exactly the opposite of what I need to get there in reasonable time. But I still plan to visit Jake and his Coromandel Sinobee, as well as the Brighton Kite Festival. I’ll just go by train.

The good news is that this will give me some time to write up some recent sailing adventures and edit some video. Quite a few people have been asking how recent trips went, and I have some fun footage of being in the middle of the Round the Island Race.

Watch this space!

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Poole to Warsash dash

Last Monday (2015-06-29) I left Tammy at Redhorn Lake in Poole Harbour in the company of Tim McCloy aboard China Blue, because the winds had turned easterly and prevented me from returning to Fareham. But I plan to reach the JRSRC rally in Warsash on Saturday (2015-07-04).  It looks a little tricky so I thought I’d make a note about it.

PassageWeather.com predicts that the winds will still be easterly for most of Friday, turning briefly southerly at 03:00 Saturday and then westerly by 06:00.  A further complication is the formidable West Solent tidal gate at  Hurst Point. I know from experience that I can’t fight my way in or out of the Solent against it. High tide at Portsmouth will be at 01:20 so the stream there will turn from west to east around 06:20. It’s about 15 nautical miles from Poole Harbour entrance to Hurst Point in a straight line, so that’s three hours in ideal conditions, but I suspect the wind will be quite light, so it could take as much as five.

On the other hand, the tidal stream will be good for reaching Warsash until about midday, and it’s only about 12 nautical miles from Hurst Point to the Hamble, so I have about three hours of slop in the plan.  So if the wind prediction is off by a few hours I’ll still be able to make it by 12:00, the start of the rally, though I won’t be as well rested.

So my plan is to go to Tammy on Friday evening, move her outside Poole Harbour, then set off east as soon as the wind allows me. I’m expecting a warm and pleasant night. It should be very nice out on the water!

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Boats and Tanks

It’s Tankfest this weekend at the Tank Museum in Bovington, in the very lovely Isle of Purbeck. My brother and kids are likely to be going on Sunday.

I can’t quite sail to Bovington, but I can sail to Wareham nearby. Wareham is upriver from the west end of Poole Harbour, and the journey from the Solent to Poole is well known.

The plan would be to catch the morning ebb tide from Fareham at 06:45, sail through the Solent, across Christchurch Bay, into Poole Harbour, and up to Wareham. There are lots of possible stops and sights along the way — Cowes, Newtown Creek, Yarmouth, Beaulieu, Lymington, Mudeford, Christchurch. If things go really well I might sail further to remarkable Lulworth Cove.

PassageWeather predicts fairly light south and south-easterlies, so it ought to be very pleasant. The prevailing winds are westerly, which would make it an uphill slog. I’ll need to look at the weather systems and make my own prediction too.

But it could be a very nice long weekend trip!

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Summer sailing plans

Tammy Norie’s summer is coming together.

2015-07-04/05 is the Junk Rig Summer Rally at Warsash.  Last year I kicked off my east coast adventures at the East Coast Rally and some Cambridge friends came along for the ride. It’ll be great to meet the south coast folks. Various members of my family including my nephews and niece are coming along too.

2015-07-10/13 I plan to sail Tammy Norie to meet her sister Sinobee, recently bought and being restored by Jake McLewee in Brighton. Jake came along to Tammy’s launch and a day sail and is learning rapidly about Coromandels and junk rigs. That is also the weekend of the Brighton Kite Festival. I’ll have to pack and bring my collection of fighter kites!

2015-07-23/24 is a meeting of the Small Sailboat Club at Ashlett Creek in the Solent. I’m looking forward to meeting James Hall in his Paradox Microcruiser.  The Paradox and Enigma are fascinating designs, and I think they’re just crying out for a junk rig.  James has been thinking along these lines and I’ll be discussing it with him.

2015-08 has no specific dates yet, but CUYC will likely be sailing Puffin to Bruges. I’d like to rendezvous with Puffin, then take Tammy Norie to meet her sister Siskind at Edam and explore the Netherlands. Siskind is being restored by Antoine Maartens who you’ll find commenting quite often on this blog. I think that will be my big trip and main holiday this summer. It’s a chance for some passagemaking and coastal exploration in good company!

As always, let me know if you’d like to meet or join in with any of this!

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Launching for the summer

I plan to launch Tammy Norie this Sunday (tomorrow) at the public hard next to the Fareham Sailing and Motor Boat Club in the early afternoon. We’ll tow her down in the morning, get some lunch at the club, then get her afloat and on to her new mooring. High tide is at about 15:15. There should be some time for some messing about in Portsmouth Harbour. Let me know if you fancy coming along.

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Autumn plans

The summer was fantastic. I have gained so many experiences in the past few months that it surprises me to look back on them. Did I really do all that?

And now everything must seem very quiet to regular followers of this blog. This is something of an illusion. Two things are happening. I’m having to get on with some work. But also I’m quietly planning all the things I want to do with Tammy Norie before spring.

The next goal on my long term plan is the Jester Baltimore Challenge 2015: solo sailing from Plymouth to Baltimore in June. While not yet a true ocean crossing, it’s a significant bit of offshore solo sailing, and I need to prepare.

The most important item on the list is mechanical self-steering gear. Tammy Norie’s electronic tiller pilot has done well over the summer, but it sometimes plays up, fails to keep a course in some conditions, and I’ve managed to break it once already. I want a reliable wind vane, and I’ll keep the tiller pilot as backup.

I plan to build a Hebridean. Building my own self-steering will not only be interesting, it’ll give me a thorough understanding, and a much better chance of being able to repair or adapt the gear. It’s also a cheap option. If the Hebridean doesn’t work out, I will have lost only a little money and learned a great deal.

The second item on my list is to either make Tammy Norie unsinkable or repair the liferaft. My plans for making her unsinkable involve lining her with foam and that includes fixing up the headlining, so it might be a good move in any case.

I would like to have a Jordan series drogue ready. I’ve had various opinions on this. Most people think I’m unlikely to need one for the Baltimore challenge, but several have also said that I really should have one in general, given Tammy’s small size. So I’m going to see if I can get this done too.

I would also like to build a new sail, so that I have more flexibility in adverse conditions. This is quite a big job, probably involving re-engineering the mast step, so it may not get done this winter. The current sail is good enough, and it’s not a safety issue.

There are, of course, various bits of kit I need: a simple reliable GPS, an SSB radio receiver, a distress beacon (though I may just rent an EPIRB for the Baltimore challenge). I have a much longer list of things I’d like to have, but those are the only ones I think I ought to have before going offshore.

And of course, sailing! I’ll get Tammy on a mooring in Portsmouth Harbour as soon as I can for some autumn and winter sailing.

I’ll be writing about each of these projects in time, so watch this space!

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Plans for Cambridge

Part of my early summer plan was to get Tammy Norie in a position to reach my home town of Cambridge. I live quite close to the river, and with a bit of care I might be able to get my boat and house into the same photograph! The visitor moorings in Cambridge are right next to the Fort Saint George pub, where the Cambridge University Yacht Club hold “socials”, so with a bit of care Tammy could be right there for everyone to visit.

Map of Anglian river system

It turns out I won’t need a Boat Safety Scheme certificate issued by an inspector if I’m just a visitor to the river system. I do have to check that I comply with the scheme, but I’m allowed to self-certify. That will save quite a bit of time and expense. I’ve read the checking procedures carefully and the only significant thing is Tammy Norie’s gas locker, which does not currently drain overboard and is made of wood.  I can fit a drain from the locker and reinforce it with fibre glass to comply. That could be a job for this weekend. Most of the rest of the issues concern sticking up labels indicating where things like fire extinguishers and gas shut-off valves are.

I’ve spoken with the Environment Agency on the phone and they told me I can just buy a visitors licence at the first lock on the river and the process would only take a couple of hours. So no need for me to fill in forms, post cheques, and wait a week. I can just go. I had an email conversation some time ago about whether Tammy Norie would have to pay power boat charges, and they concluded that she was a sailing boat, so a seven day visitor licence is only £8.94. The licence for the river Cam is an extra 5% of an annual licence, so that’s £2.46. So it looks like the cost of visiting is quite trivial.

The Environment Agency has a lot of information to help boaters, including lists of bridge heights. They say there are a lot of free moorings with 48-hour stays on an excellent map and guide to the Great Ouse.

So, the first step will be to return to Tammy Norie at Wells-next-the-sea, fix up the gas locker, label a bunch of things, and sail her at least as far as Kings Lynn, thought the Environment Agency river system starts at the Heron Pub at Stowbridge, which also has moorings. Most of the towns on the route are also on the Cambridge to Kings Lynn railway line, so I should be able to be pretty flexible about how I move her to Cambridge while getting some work done, though I shall consult my friend Gareth about taking my bike on board and cycling to and from stations.

Quite different from dashing around Norfolk to avoid a gale on the nose!

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Plans for Blakeney

Tammy Norie is currently berthed at Lowestoft Cruising Club. My goal is to reach Blakeney before Saturday and meet friends who are on holiday in Sheringham.

PassageWeather is showing light south and south-easterly winds until Sunday, then on Monday a big low appears on the North Sea and there’ll be some nasty onshore winds, making entry to Blakeney very hazardous.  I should be OK, though, if I go in the next few days.

High tides at Blakeney Bar are in the late afternoon for the next few days. I need to get into Blakeney around high tide, so I should plan to arrive in the early afternoon. If I fail to get in to Blakeney my back-up plan will be Wells-next-the-Sea.

Several people have mentioned that it’s possible to stop behind the wave breaks at Sea Palling. Nathan Whitworth stopped there over night between part 9 and part 10 of his attempt to sail around Britain in a Corribee. It’s pretty much the only plausible place to stop between Lowestoft and Blakeney. Sea Palling is about 20 miles from Lowestoft, whereas Blakeney is 50. If I conservatively estimate my average speed at 3.5kn it will be 14 hours from Lowestoft to Blakeney, so I’d have to set off around midnight on Thursday to get there by Friday’s afternoon high tide. With tidal streams against me for half the journey, it’s tempting to break it into two parts, especially given the fairly light winds.

So plan A will be to set off from Lowestoft around 08:30 on Thursday, ride the tide and wind to Sea Palling, arriving early afternoon. Then anchor up until 06:00 Friday and ride round to Blakeney, arriving mid afternoon. Plan B will be to set off from Lowestoft at 00:00 on Friday and do it in one go, perhaps taking a nap at Sea Palling around sunrise.

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Fan-tailed Tammy Norie?

I made this post on the Junk Rig Association technical forums. I’m quoting it here for the record, and so that anyone interested can follow the discussion.

I’m inexperienced with junk rig but (I hope) learning fast. So far I find the flat-sailed HR rig on Tammy Norie lacking drive below F4 and unable to make progress to windward in light airs in a chop. This may just be poor technique on my part, but when I bought her I was definitely thinking about making a more up-to-date sail. I have offshore ambitions. The fantail rig just looks right.

I admit that I have not done any homework yet, but I made this crude overlay by matching the waterlines of Tammy Norie and this fantail, just to get an idea if it’s at all feasible.

It quickly raises one question: does the mast position of the Coromandel rule out the fantail (at least, the standard one). If so, what can be done? But also, what homework should I be doing?

Coromandel on fantail overlay

Coromandel on fantail overlay

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