Tag Archives: plans

Jester Ipswich Challenge

Poor Tammy Norie has been sitting in the mud at Woodbridge for a few weeks since the North Sea crossing back from the Netherlands.  Suddenly I have a lot of work requests from clients and very little time to sail. I’m having something of a three bus problem at work.

This Saturday night there’ll be a dinner for Jester Challengers at Fox’s Marina in Ipswich. There’s a big morning high tide at Woodbridge on Saturday, pleasant weather and a fair wind, so it looks good to get off the mud at about 10:30, sail down the Deben, around the corner at Felixstowe, and up to Fox’s.

Sunday is not quite so convenient. There’s a very high (4.4m) tide at Woodbridge at 00:44 on Monday, so I should be able to get back on to the dock at about 23:15, then head back to Cambridge in the morning.

As usual, do let me know if you’d like to meet up or join in!

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Setting off for the Netherlands

I’m setting off this Sunday morning for my Netherlands cruise.

High tide at Fareham is at 07:06, so I can be out of Portmouth on the ebb by around 08:15.  The tidal streams will be helpful for most of the day.

The winds don’t look so great.  PassageWeather.com shows light westerlies until Tuesday, veering into northerlies and then westerlies later in the week.  I may get stuck in a few days time, but there’s nothing I can do about that except get off the boat and enjoy wherever I am.

On Saturday I’ll be making last-minute preparations:

  1. gluing together the trunk of the Hebridean self steering gear
  2. mounting the antenna of my new VHF so that I can get AIS warnings of approaching ships
  3. buying food

I’m not going to be able to make detailed posts with photos or video until I get back, since these are all edited on my desktop computer, but I hope to make short posts and show you the occasional photo.

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Netherlands Cruise

With the self steering almost complete, it’s time to plan my summer cruise — to the Netherlands.  I have plenty of reasons to go there — several sets of friends, islands, inland waterways, lovely people, and cheese — but also, Antoine Maartens (often seen commenting on this blog) is stepping the past of his Coromandel Siksin this weekend.  Siskin and Tammy Norie will meet.  Sister ships and birds together.

I’m hoping to make about 45 nautical miles per day on the prevailing westerlies, with overnight stops in ports. I was making 40 to 50 NM days last summer without too much difficulty. Of course it will all depend on conditions. I might get ambitious and try a longer leg while sleeping on self steering, but I’m not keen to do that in the English Channel, still the worlds busiest seaway with over 500 ships per day.

Here’s my outline passage plan:

  1. Fareham to Brighton
  2. Brighton to Rye
  3. Rye to Calais
  4. Calais to Ostend
  5. Ostend to the Rhine delta

At this point I’m in the Netherlands.  Since the coast between Rotterdam and IJmuiden looks quite boring, I’m interested in trying the inland waterways to get to Amsterdam via Leiden.  Then it’s around the corner to Edam to meet Antoine on Siskin, and off across the inland Markermeer and IJsselmeer to the Waddenzee, and the islands of Frisia, with no fixed plan.

I need to be back at work before the beginning of September, when my Swedish clients kick off their new work year. My plans for returning are not fixed, but roughly in order of preference, they are:

  1. Passage from Den Helder to Ipswich (140NM) or Lowestoft (115NM).
  2. Leave Tammy Norie in the Netherlands.
  3. Sail back to Fareham.

The long passage, done solo, would be a good warm-up for the Jester Azores Challenge 2016.

I’ll set out this coming weekend, as soon as conditions are favourable.

If you’d like to join me for any part of the journey, or meet me somewhere, please let me know!

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Building the Hebridean wind vane self-steering

I studied the plans I received for the Hebridean wind vane self-steering gear carefully. I really wanted to build the whole thing from scratch, but I realised that I don’t really have the time, especially if I’m to get used to sailing with it before next spring. So I ordered a kit.

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The kit still doesn’t allow me to just bolt together the Hebridean. It contains all the fastenings, some tricky-to-source bits, and stainless steel joints cut to length, but not to shape. I’m getting some American white oak for the frame and pendulum from Bamptons in Southampton.

John Fleming, designer of the Hebridean, said it could be built in a week or two if “you’re good at that sort of thing”. Well, I don’t know that I’m good, but I’ve taken a week off work from 2015-07-20 to get as far as I can. My goal is to have the self-steering gear working before August.

Progress will be interrupted on 2014-07-23/24 by a meeting of the Small Sailboat Club at Ashlett Creek.  I plan to sail Tammy Norie there from Fareham.  That’s a bit awkward as I have to both leave Fareham and arrive there near high tide.  I’m sure I’ll figure something out.

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Filed under Constructing the Hebridean, Equipment, Plans, Repairs and Modifications, self steering

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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Plans for wind vane self-steering

If I’m to solo sail Tammy Norie any great distance I’ll need self-steering gear. I already have an electrical tiller pilot (a Raymarine Autohelm 1000 Micro Tiller) but it uses quite a bit of power and is quite noisy. Also, it’s a good idea to have backup.

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Wind vane self-steering is common on long-distance boats and especially junk rigged boats. It uses the direction of the wind and the forward motion of the boat to steer, keeping you going at a constant angle to the wind.

There aren’t many self-steering systems that will work on a boat as small as Tammy Norie. Roger Taylor uses the Pacific Windpilot Lite and swears by it. That was my plan too until I saw the Hebridean in an article in Practical Boat Owner. It’s a cunningly simple design that I can build myself at a fraction of the cost.

This appeals to me because I’ll learn a great deal by making it, and I’ll be able to maintain it myself. Saving half the cost of the boat is also important!

After quite a long correspondence with John Fleming I ordered a copy of the plans and they arrived today.

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Very exciting!

I’ll be documenting my progress with building and using the wind vane here on the blog.

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Filed under autopilot, Constructing the Hebridean, Equipment, self steering