Monday 25 January 2016

Might as well watch some nice weather. This is not an exciting video

Salt bay skiff

My high-light of the season had to be the Salt bay skiff I built in the Spring, Its sitting in the shed gathering (I would say dust, but given the climate its more of a damp grime) and awaiting a new season and I'm really looking forward to getting out in it again.
When the Spring arrives I might get a chance to make the rig for it which will give it a whole lot more scope.
Ken is keen to build another one or perhaps make me build one for him and as long as he will do the coats of epoxy I enjoyed doing the rest, so two could be quite a bit of fun.
I reckon it was great value for money and proved a nice stable boat, Even when put to the test by a very enthusiastic Frenchman :)

Monday 4 January 2016


So despite being looked at like I've lost the plot, I have left the rig up this Winter, but not without some rhyme or reason. First of all I was so busy in the lead up to Christmas and trying to get the house done that I didn't want to spend days packing it all up and bringing it all home, It all has good varnish on and the standing rigging spent all last Winter in a bucket of linseed oil so its well protected. 
Next reason is we still don't have a sail cover and this is a good opportunity to get one made. I also want to get the topsail rigging sorted and do something to simplify the setting of the running back stays which is probably one of the toughest parts of sailing the boat and takes all the attention of the helmsman during a tack ( not to mention a gybe ). The main issue is that they have to be cleated off at the right tension before throwing the highfield lever while holding the mainsheet in tight and making sure she tacks through the wind and thats before dealing with the headsails. The saving grace is that once the helm is put over she carries way very well and rarely misses a tack unless there is a heavy sea to compound things. The levers alone don't give enough slack to allow her to sail so if the main sits on the leeward runner it simply knocks her on her ear until you get the other end uncleated. 
The thing is that they will always be set back the same length so a loop in the rope and a strong hook instead of a cleat would be one solution. another idea that was mentioned was a open cheek deck roller instead of the closed one and let the wire out. What ever the solution is it needs to be something I'm very sure of when the load is on it.
As if that wasn't enough reason I would like to have a sailmaker look at the staysail and see if it can be improved on before making a new one because it never sits very well on the shrouds.

This shows the running back stay fittings, The wire is permanently attached to the highfield lever then goes back through the roller and up through a block about half way to the mast head, then is spliced to a rope which comes back down to the cleat on the back deck,