Saturday 30 June 2012

Needles - Round the Island Race

A breezy start to this year's Round the island Race gusting up to 30 knots down by the Needles.

This was the tail end of the fleet beating out through the Hurst narrows, still with a fair tide around 11.00 this morning, while some of the fast boats had already finished.

Readers who have been following this blog for some time may recall Black Diamond a Jack Holt designed Yachting World Diamond, skipper Greg Dunn and crew trailed Black Diamond down to the Solent for the event to enter the race, play some music along the way and rasie money for the RNLI - see Greg's website Sailing with Accordians - good luck to them today.

Friday 29 June 2012

Internet Profile?

On the basis that I write what I write and if people read it, then so much the better, I tend not to give much though to internet marketing and profiling, another rapidity developing area of specialist expertise which is passing me by, although I do have a professional profile on Linkedin which a few Bursledon blog readers have found. 

Given what I write about here and I guess the majority of my browsing history, there's no surprise that I'm being bombarded by adverts for Thornham Marina, and nice marina that it is, it dries a lot of the time plus it's about 15 miles down the coast rather than 300 yards down the hill. so maybe they need to refine their profiling a  little more.

Recently Erica and I had a slightly drunken evening watching clips of 70's bands on youtube, which is the only reason I can think of for "Mature Dating" to be popping up on my internet searches. Given that we were watching the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Ian Dury and a load of other new wave bands from my Uni days perhaps "Ageing Punk Rocker" might have been a better fit.

While these examples are credible, although annoying marketing efforts what I don't understand is why I keep getting asked if I still need a loft ladder - can anyone explain?

Please rest assured Bursledon blog will remain advert free for the foreseeable future..

Tuesday 26 June 2012

Sunday Surprise

Despite my pessimism, the rain and strong winds of early Sunday morning things did indeed improve so with friend Glenn we launched our catboat Tosh for a sail in the relatively protected river.

As you can see it was still quite lively, fortunately we had a reef in and things nicely under control.

The afternoon just got better and better, we sailed up to the Jolly Sailor and then back to the yacht club to watch the world go by and chat with friends. Almost like a summer's day!

Sunday 24 June 2012

Sailing Today?

Another weekend of summer gales, I know that people do go sailing in this kind of weather.

Question is why would you?

Thursday 21 June 2012

Small World

When I posted about the Tricorn dinghy, I had at the back of my mind that it was an interesting if lttle known day sailor, what a surprise then to find out that Patrick co author on 1001 Boats actually has one in France.

Next I received an interesting email from Paul Mullins in New Zealand with pictures of his Whiting 16 a very similar boat designed by Paul Whiting in the late 1970's.

Paul observes "Strange how pretty much the same concept evolves either end of the world!", but perhaps not so strange, the idea of a stable and well ballasted cruising dinghy, yet with good performance is appealing to many of us. Plus the secure and dry cuddly is a great place to store clothes and equipment.

Paul's boat is called Swift, named  after a Thames Barge owned by his Grandfather. He tells us "She is a delight to sail showing great acceleration and stability helped by a large sailplan and a steel centreboard assisted by some internal ballast either side of the CB case. A flat run aft allows planing in a decent breeze and the cuddy provides two minimalist berths for camping trips."

Thanks to Paul for details of another interesting boat and I have to say that I'm envious of Paul's local cruising ground - below.

Saturday 16 June 2012

Summer gales

The wind's been blowing at over 40 knots since early this morning so after an early breakfast in Lymington we drove over to Keyhaven to see how things were the other side of the Hurst Spit.

Facing south west across Christchurch Bay and out into the open channel the wind and waves come straight in and pile up onto the beach.

Down in Lymington even the salt water swimming pool was kicking up a nasty chop.

Later in the afternoon it hit 60 knots down at Hurst Castle. Maybe we'll go sailing next weekend.

Thursday 14 June 2012


Despite the gloomy weather it was great to see the local XOD boats  heading out of the river on a brisk easterly wind for the start of Sunday's race.

I'm guessing X2 must be one of the older boats.

Relative to X150 and X47

Good enough to make me want to take up racing!

Sunday 10 June 2012

Going Green

Professional boat builders and even talented amateurs should look away now.

I made good use of the Jubilee holiday to put on the last of the seven coats of the bright green paint chosen by Erica (on top of epoxy high build primer and three of green base undercoat) and fit the keel and bilge runners.

The eagle eyed will notice that I have plugged the screws with finest Sikaflex 291, frankly once the boat is in use the only people who are likely to notice will be the fish. Cutting and fitting matching wooden plugs with the grain aligned would have been nice, but the 60 year old Scow was launched around the time of Queen Elizabeth's coronation and it would be nice to get her sailing before the next diamond Jubilee!

Friday 8 June 2012

Emsworth Day Boats

You don't have to travel as far as the west country to see nice day boats, this fine example is moored on the foreshore at Emsworth by the mill pond.

Other than that I don't know much about her, she looks to be gaff or maybe gunter rigged and is well cared for.

For sale, but just too far from the slipway to get a good look, this attractive day sailor looked slightly neglected, but the varnished coamings and presumably chromed brass fitting,s peeking out from under the cover speak of a quality build, hopefully she's still worthy of some tlc and a new owner. If anyone's interested I can just about make out the telephone number when I zoom in.

Descended from the Salcombe Yawl, the GRP Devon Yawl is a long way from home, but popular in the protected waters of Chichester harbour. Last time I was over there Bosham Sailing Club had an active fleet as part of their classic day boat section and I believe West Whittering Sailing Club aslo has a fleet. Ballast and a heavy centre plate contribute to stability and sea keeping as befits a boat which has a history based on the rugged Devon coastline, but make no mistake the Devon Yawl is a performance boat capable of getting up on the plane.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Bursledon Brickwords

In all the years we've lived here and despite the fact that our house is actually made of Bursledon Brick we had somehow never managed to visit the local Bursledon Brickworks Industrial Museam.

 Erica had spotted a poster advertising that the Hampshire Narrow Gauge Trust who operate on the site, were having an open day, so while much of the nation was standing in the rain in London watching the Jublilee flotilla, we walked up to Swanwick to see what we had been missing.

What a really great surprise, the trust operates two railways, one a full size narrow gauge which has an interesting petrol driven engine built in 1926. Joe was taken by the 7.5" gauge railway which was running an electric engine and this lovely live steam tank engine.

The track winds around the brickwork site and the old kilns, the trust members were really friendly and took any excuse to run the trains, even if there were only a couple of passengers. Everything was really relaxed and it was a great place for children (big ones as well).

The South Hants Historic Steam and Engineering Society also share the site with their collection of steam traction engines, road roller and other interesting vehicles and equipment . Bursledon brickworks is very much an open museum and visitors are encouraged to wander around and explore, which we did and in true character were delighted to discover this lovely steam launch in one of the sheds.