Saturday, 30 January 2010
The red boat, belongs to my friend Mark and is an Oyster Lightwave which has been converted into a fast cruising boat. Mark worked with local yacht designer Stephen Jones to modify the rig and make it easily managed by a crew of two. Below Mark and partner Amanda have installed a practical and comfortable interior. They returned to the Hamble last summer after a year long cruise of the eastern Atlantic including the Canary Islands and the Azores.
And that old gaffer, well gaffer certainly but perhaps not so old. I don't know the background but I recall the hull being finished in a local yard a couple of years ago. The give away though are those black carbon spars!
Thursday, 28 January 2010
On my morning run, early Saturday I spotted a boat leaving its mooring in Bursledon. There was a perfect, if chilly northerly wind, as the small yacht rounded Lands End Hard they set the genoa to sail off down river. It was before 8 o’clock, the river was peaceful with only the curlews and oyster catchers breaking the silence - perfect winter sailing.
I resisted the temptation to take the dinghy out sailing and knuckled down to some work down at the boat yard. Within a couple of hours I had the rudder off, the prop shaft and cutlass bearing out and ready for a replacement, one of the bigger jobs I planned this winter.
Sunday was busy, I started the day with a slight hangover, then I had to go to Portsmouth to pick up my daughter who had just got back from a ski trip. I think she must have had a bob sleigh in her luggage - it was huge! After that, and making lunch, I managed to get the hull polished and if I say so myself, looking pretty smart. Then it was back home in time to take Joe to the swings in the park.
Anyway there was no wind, but the sun did come out for a while and very nice it was too.
Pictures are of Greta last summer by Eddie Mays
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
These rocket ships were assembled in July, I guess waiting for start of the Fastnet race.
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
One of the petty annoyances for those living in Bursledon is the lack of local shops. Of course we do have a huge Tesco superstore, built on the site of the old Windhover Manor, which sells pretty much everything. They are open 24 hours most days, plus there’s a convenience store in Lowford for bread, milk and fish fingers etc - so what’s the problem?
Well the problem is I like to shop for fresh, local food, at local shops, where I know people. Sadly the nearest local shops are at Park Gate, more than a couple of miles away, which means getting in the car and driving. But at least they have a butcher, a greengrocer and a bakery (which makes especially good sausage rolls!!).
Having said all that, down beside Bursledon Bridge we do have Bradley’s fish mongers. Tucked away behind the Cabin Boatyard, they have a great selection of fresh fish and shell fish.
Erica and I dropped by just before closing time on Saturday to pick up some mussels for tea.
Stuart, Alec and Tristan (from right to left) were getting ready to shut up shop, but there was still plenty to choose from and it was delicious!!
Sunday, 17 January 2010
Back in 1960 the editors of yachting world sought ideas for the design of a new keel boat. The requirements were that it be reasonably priced, yet have high performance suitable for national and international racing. The details of how he became involved are not clear, but Jack Holt a dinghy designer more famous for his GP 14, Cadet, Enterprise and Mirror dinghy, used his small boat experience to create a revolutionary 9 meter plywood keel boat - which some describe as a dinghy with a keel.
The Yachting World Keel Boat was first shown at the 1961 boat show to great interest, and one went on to win the 250 boat strong open class in a race around the Isle of Wight in that year.
The boat was launched in Australia on Pittwater in 1962 and has a strong following right up to the present day under the Yachting World Diamond Association of Australia, the name being changed to Diamond in 1967. Since the 1980's the boats have also been made in fibreglass.
Plans are available for the Australian Association and the boat can be home built within the class rules. Although I don't especially want to build one, I was interested to understand the hull form and learn more about this fasinating boat.
Imagine my surprise the other day, I was looking through my collection of old sailing books when I found these lines plans in a volume "Make Sail" by Peter Heaton.
Saturday, 16 January 2010
Before we forget the snow, here are a few pictures across the Solent from last week. The first is Ryde.
Even with the snow laying thick on the ground a few brave souls were out on the water .
Thursday, 14 January 2010
Both were designed with the "four plank" hull which gave something between multi-chine and clinker built boat. Each had an early lifting keel, which raised more or less vertically and had a bulb at the lower end, a seaworthy design which was able to explore shallow creeks and rivers.
One of the better known yachts of the type and era was the Debutante, with the less well known sister ship the Escapade, both were designed by Robert Tucker and built by Blanks Boatyard in Hertfordshire. Although very similar in hull form the Debutante at 21' was a bilge keel sloop, whereas the larger Escapade at 25'9" sported a fin keel and double head sail cutter rig.
In 1964 you could buy a Debutante for £650.
I have never seen one, but this Robert Tucker designed Mystic looks like a very practical and sweet design. The raised coach roof is a good way to create interior volume on a small yacht and does so without the reverse sheer which was popular at the time, but which to some people can look unsightly.
Also from Robert Tucker was the 18'6" Caprice, built by "Nobby" Clark of Cowes, one example "Shrimpy" was famously sailed around the world by Shane Acton. Although generally regarded as a bilge keel cruiser, the Caprice was offered in fin keel form as a JOG (Junior Offshore Group) racer with a larger sail plan.
I admit to a fondness for the Caprice, which was the first yacht I owned. Although mine was a late model Mk V built in fiberglass, you still had to open the fore hatch in order to use the toilet.
You can still find examples of these plywood classics, this is an Escapade getting a coat of antifoul before the summer season last year.
This sloop has the look of an early Robert Tucker Caprice, but is sadly looking a little neglected.
Tuesday, 12 January 2010
Further east, off Wooten Creek this gas tanker was throwing up a bow wave, but other than that things were still pretty calm.
So calm that these Canada Geese were happy floating around off the shingle at Stokes Bay, in the background Ryde on the Isle of Wight.
Sunday, 10 January 2010
Hard to believe then, that this picture of a local 30m class yacht was taken only a week ago while I was out rowing in glorious sunshine.
Or Sunday a week ago sailing with friends off Hill Head.
Friday, 8 January 2010
A snowman down on Swanwick hard is definitely a first, certainly as long as I've lived here. Mind you he does look a little bit drunk, must be all that sea air!
The dingy park looks quite nice, some of the more tired and tatty dinghies look much better with a think covering of snow.
And yes, for those who noticed, that really was a canoe in the background, some people will go out in any weather.
The Jolly Sailor looks really nice with a covering of winter snow, on occasion I've been known to fall over on my way home and that's without all the ice and snow!
Right across the river everything is black and white and cold, looking like the heart of winter.
Thursday, 7 January 2010
Annabel J is a local boat, based on the Hamble, she was constructed some 15 years ago to the lines of Marguerita T, a famous pilot cutter built in 1893
and sailed by the Bristol pilot Frank Trott.
Tuesday, 5 January 2010
This is the main A27 going up from Swanwick to Sarisbury Green, the snow had fallen so fast and so quickly that cars were getting stuck trying to get up the hill. More than one driver made things worse by spinning their wheels in first gear.
Monday, 4 January 2010
To the left of the picture is the east bank of the river, in the distance is Cowes on the Isle of Wight and on the right Calshott Castle and activity centre.
Across Southampton water is the power station at Fawley, closer to the spit is staring to emerge, the slick water indicates some of the local currents and eddies.
Sunday, 3 January 2010
She was designed by Fred Parker of Warsash in the late 1960's or early 70's and the original boats were built locally on the river up at Botley. This one was built much later in the 90's and is a great example of a displacement motorboat, stable and seaworthy, she's ideal for the Solent.
Greg tells me she slips along at 6.5 knots using less than a gallon an hour, so she will got to most places in about the same time as it takes to sail. Just the thing for a nipping over to Cowes, a spot of fishing or just taking it easy in Newton Creek.
I have a thing about transom's and I think Mr Parker drew an especially nice one here, my advice to Greg, ditch the ladder and write her name in big, bold, gold letters.
Saturday, 2 January 2010
And of course, when your boat is ashore, why would you bother checking on tide times?
A couple of nights before I was too busy drinking and not thinking, when we had gone out to admire the spectacular full moon. A big spring tide normally occurs a couple of days after full moon and so it was that the boat yard was completely flooded.