Saturday 30 May 2015


Well the June bank holiday weekend is certainly not turning out very June like. The forecast on Thursday was giving 20kt Westerlies for the day, calming slightly on Friday and building throughout the weekend to finally bring South Westerly gusts in excess of 60kts for Monday and most of Tuesday. As I had a charter for Friday and had the weather allowed for the weekend as well, we opted to try and get Teal out of Baltimore on Thursday evening.
After failing to row from Churchstrand we carried the dinghy to the beach alongside the lifeboat station and I managed to row out from there. That was 20kts of wind hence why I didn't want to leave her there with the possibility of 60kts.
Once I had grabbed Ken from the pier we sailed out under staysail and mizzen. Once out of the harbour and heading downwind it was much more pleasant and we put up the full mainsail.
We had a lovely broad reach out to about 3 miles South of the Stags before Gybing and sailing all the way in on the other tack.
We were pretty much becalmed quarter of a mile from the mooring so motored in and picked it up 4 hours after dropping the mooring in Baltimore. By far our quickest trip round.
We were a lot happier leaving her in a flat calm harbour. Thankfully the forecast has eased a little now but it will still be likely gusting to 50kts. Thankfully there is little room for fetch from the South West in Union Hall so hopefully she will be a lot more comfortable there.

Crap picture but I might start to remember to bring my camera sailing sometime soon.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

2015 Wooden boat festival

I had a another great weekend at the Baltimore wooden boat festival this year. Unfortunately I completely neglected to take any photos of anything and now I'm regretting it.
I went to Baltimore Friday night to see a small Bluegrass gig in the Glebe gardens which was brilliant then headed back down first thing on Saturday morning.
First job was to launch the skiff and take her on her maiden voyage around the pier head to sign up for the weekend. Very very pleased with it. Its very light and very stable. I can stand in the bow or sit to one side or on the back seat without any problem, this is were the apple pie suffers as it has to be treated more like a kayak. With two on board, one sat on the back seat I was able to row from the front seat which is quite a nice high rowing position and helped reduce the slamming in a good chop, something which it certainly does with one on board. It is quite confidence insiring and it will work a treat for carrying the family about. Great value for money really as I reckon it cost me about 250 euros. If someone wanted to build a really slap dash one it could be done for half that but as the end result is surprizing nice its worth making a nice job of it. 

Next was to get the new mainsail bent on on Teal, Took me a while but got it sorted. I put the cords on the side panel doors as well so it was great to finally be able to put food and bit and pieces away in the cupboards and have a nice little work top to make sandwiches and cups of coffee etc. It means a lot to have a place for everything on a small boat.

The sailing went great. A few friends made a spur of the moment trip from Galway and made up my crew for Saturday. The wind was perfect giving us just about the limit of full sail including the big jib so we had a great blast around the course for the first sail of the season . Sunday the conditions started lighter and variable but we had some great racing and after a confusing start which we almost missed we were 3rd round the first mark. As it progressed the bigger boats over took us and we concentrated on picking on people our own size. We had a great finish and on the beat across the line managed to regain two places on a Galway hooker and a Lobster boat which had overtaken us on the previous run. 
We came away with a 2nd place. I think in cruising boat class ( I missed most of the prize giving and just walked in as they were calling out Teal's name and position) I think we were 3rd or 4th in the group we started with, Hard to tell which boats were in which category. Either way I was very pleased to come home with one this years hand painted plaques. 

Thursday 21 May 2015

As good as ready

I got down to Teal today and did a few bits and pieces. She was sitting broadside wind against tide so I put the new mizzen sail up to point her up while I got a few things done. Its very nice and white, don't know how I'll keep it that way. It was still far too windy to go putting on the mainsail but I did manage to patch up the paint on the side and finally fit the cords on the side panel doors in the cabin so they can be used as work tops. I changed the deal step on the engine cover to the iroko one and gave the lid a lick of paint as well.

The skiff is all painted up now and ready for the weekend, The epoxy primer I used didn't set properly for some reason, Probably used the wrong hardener as I have a load of different types in the shed, which means it is very easy to scratch the paint through to the epoxy. Maybe it will all harden up after its out in the sun and stuff for a while, even the varnish on the seats is taking two days to dry at the moment so I've only managed to get two on. That will have to do for now.

I wanted a name that was fitting to the month of May so she is simply called 'Bluebell' In Irish

Can't wait to see her afloat and try her out.

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Nearly there, Time is getting short now. Going to pay Teal some attention tomorrow and get the new mainsail bent on. Should be able to turn the skiff over tomorrow and get the twarts, back seat and rowlock brackets fitted then its on to the trailer with it.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Run up to the weekend

I took Teal down the river to Baltimore yesterday, It was a bloody cold motor into a 20kt headwind but I got to put up the small jib and run down the harbour at a good 4kts to finish it off. The paint on one side got badly rubbed while alongside at the yard so now I need to try and touch it up whenever the wind lets up and gives me a chance. On the plus side I collected the spanking new Mainsail and Mizzen so I'm looking forward to seeing them in place.
The skiff is now all epoxied and ready to paint so should have it as my runabout for the weekend.

If anyone is around and interested I have no crew for the harbour race on Saturday so 1 or 2 people would be a great help. Its nothing too complicated just need extra hands.

Thursday 14 May 2015

Launch day

Been a busy day, tired now. Teal is rigged and back afloat. No issues really, she started quite easily and is taking very little, if any water. The new water line looks much better.
Rigged and launched her in the rain then left her tied up in glorious sunshine.

The new shelf over the engine, I've made an iroko step to replace the deal one on the engine cover as well. Still a few unfinished corners to be sorted but we're a step closer anyway.

Put my 1914 silver coin in place too.

Sunday 10 May 2015

Belay pins

Finally a year later I got around to making some proper belay pins, I had been meaning to go up and use my father-in-law's lathe with ages so what better to do on a wet miserable Sunday. These will replace the broom handle ones we had last year and should lessen my chances of going over the side when swigging  the halyards.

Saturday 9 May 2015


I just put the second coat of epoxy on the out side of the hull of the skiff. I probably should have let the first coat cure completely and sanded it before the second because its a bit course. I wanted to epoxy it with the wet on wet mentod to avoid sanding and dealing with blush. I will coat the inside of the hull next and if I have enough epoxy left I will flat down the outside better and do a third coat. Either way once primed and painted it will hardly matter. I'm enjoying building it and I'm very pleased with the boat which has resulted from such an easy build. If there is one part I don't enjoy its messing with bloody epoxy.
I have all the twarts and rear seat ready to fit so once its epoxied and painted it'll be good to go. O and it needs its skeg and false stem too but I can't get timber until Monday.

Teal is pretty much waiting for the weather now. I have been making shelves and bits and pieces for inside which never got finished last year. The mast is rigged and ready to step and I have a 1914 silver coin in my pocket which I forgot to take with me the day we stood the mast last year. A 2 euro coin had to surffice.

Monday 4 May 2015

Boats boats boats

Teal is painted, anti-fouled and most of the varnishing is done. I painted the name back on today and gave the mast a fresh coat of varnish too. Going to get the rigging back on the mast tomorrow. The plan is to relaunch her early next week.
The skiff now has its breasthook, quarter knees and twart supports. The twarts are ready to fix in place too. I have also planed the gunnels and chine logs smooth and cleaned off all the excess glue. The back seat is now the only thing left to do inside before sanding and epoxy, The keel, skeg and false stem need fitting on the outside but none of it takes that long.