Adventures of a small yacht

Boatyards

The Wooden Boat Gathering on Lake Windermere

7th and 8th May 2022 – Lake Windermere The journey from my boat in Oban to London is rather long and tedious so I often take a break halfway. It just happened that I had finished working on the boat a few days early and there was a “Wooden Boat Gathering” taking place over the weekend on Lake Windermere. It was organised by the Wooden Boatbuilders Trade Association. Luckily, I am still on the mailing list since my days of running the Arthur Beale Yacht Chandler and they let me, and my partner attend as “Wooden Boat Enthusiasts”. Loads of

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Gear - Yachting and Boating

Down Below on a Vertue Yacht

11th May 2022 – Rotherhithe 32 days to go before the Scoresby Sund Expedition starts I often have people asking me what it is like sailing on such a small yacht. They are intrigued how everything fits in. Yachts seem to have grown in size a bit like cars, just look at the original Mini against the new monsters. When I started yachting, the suggested ideal round-the-world yacht would have been around 36 foot long, those for crossing the channel were much smaller. Now I imagine if you asked the question most people would suggest a 46 foot yacht for

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Gear - Yachting and Boating

MOB Scramble Net – Part Three

13th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage It’s the first time I have tried the gizmo on the boat and it definitely needs to have the loops shortened by 6″. I’ll reserve judgement on the rest of it until I can try it out when the boat is in the water in a few weeks. It is hard to make things for the boat when the boat is 500 miles away! 4th May 2022 – Dunstaffnage 39 Days to go before the Scoresby Sund Expedition starts Well here we go, time to test it in the water.

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Boat Maintenance

Bleeding Engines – Gosh I could do with a breather!

3rd May 2022 – Dunstaffnage 40 Days to go before the Scoresby Sund Expedition starts Warning: This is a very boring technical post It was raining so I decided to work on the engine. I had changed the oil at the end of last season but I decided to leave changing all the filters and the rest of the chores until the boat was back in the water. I was a bit concerned that if I changed the fuel filters ashore there may be a little air bubble in the system and the poor donker would be starved of fuel

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Boat Maintenance

Sumara is afloat!

30th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage 42 days to go before the Scoresby Sund Expedition starts! That was certainly a very good move to ask for my planned launch to be brought forward by a few days. I was really lucky that the yard staff were up for it as they get pretty busy at this time of the year. I had a bit of a sleepless night before the launch. In order to launch early I had decided to abandon trying to gold leaf the cove line and instead I used a matt gold tape which I confess I really

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Boat Maintenance

I’m ahead of schedule!

28th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage 44 days to go before the Scoresby Sund Expedition starts! I’m ahead of schedule..and you don’t hear that often in boatyards! It has been an up and down week. The downside has been that I have been suffering excruciating toothache for the last week. This was eventually cured by a visit to the excellent Oban dentist who pulled the offending tooth out. I feel so much better now! Whilst in Oban I went to see my new rifle so I could measure it up so that I can make some securing devices. I had to

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Boat Maintenance

Boatyards

Dunstaffnage 22nd April 2022 50 days to go before the Scoresby Sund Expedition Starts! It happened a few days later than planned, but Sumara went smoothly into the shed yesterday afternoon, so I am now busy varnishing. I managed to prep virtually everything whilst she was outside occasionally in the rain so no time has been lost. Ironically, now Sumara is indoors, there has been wall to wall sunshine outside, but sadly the yard is too dusty to varnish with any success, unless a non-slip finish is required. There is something very pleasant about hanging about in boatyards. They tend

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Boat Maintenance

Everything I know about antifouling!

17th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage Compared to the complexities of varnishing, antifouling is a simple and manageable task. Nevertheless, there is plenty of scope to cock it up. So here are a few random musings which may be of some minor help to those who may be new to boat ownership and who can’t afford to issue forth the command “Antifoul her and put her on my berth, I’ll be sailing on Sunday” First things first, what brand of antifouling should I use? God knows! It is a dark and magic science but you can’t go far wrong by asking

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Boat Maintenance

The Preparation Continues

12th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage It’s day two of the annual maintenance. I’ve allowed a whole month this year to do all the painting and varnishing and have the boat launched. Maybe I can squeeze in a wee test sail too. Last year was pretty stressful trying to get everything complete in just three weeks. While the boat is outside I am at the mercy of the weather but its surprising what can be achieved even with rain forecast. It was a lovely day today but it is raining quite heavily right now as I sit in the campervan for

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Boat Maintenance

The Preparation Begins!

11th April 2022 – Dunstaffnage I’ve arrived at the boat ready for a month’s solid work to get her expedition ready for the big Greenland trip. It was 20:00 by the time I got here after a very pleasant stop over at Ray and Jackie’s farmhouse in Yorkshire. I managed to find just enough space in the campervan amongst all the “stuff” to sit down and break open a beer before going to sleep. In the morning I rolled back the boat’s cover and lent my ladder against the pushpit ready to load on the mainsail. Then I thought: “Should

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