Madam your chariot awaits… 2nd July 2017

Testing new electric boat mover

Having just had a fantastic sail out in the solent in a lovely, strong breeze we came back in quite knackered and glad to have the boat mover ready to go.

Yes of course, another adapted electric scooter, slightly more powerful than the last but more importantly it has wider, gripper tyres to help get some grip on the slippery ramp.

The ramp was very busy coming back in with 2 half witted speedboat boat bods taking up all the space and taking an age to attach the boats with a single piece of strapping – what could possibly take so long?

Nigel from LTSC had just helped a couple of members get out on their new fireball dinghy that we saw going out as we came in and he rather kindly brought over our dolly while we stood around like lemons waiting for the divots to finally move.

I brought the scooter down the ramp, Lesley got Nemesis onto the dolly, we hitched it up to the scooter and pressed go!

We crawled away, with only barely enough power to pull it from a standing start on the steep slope but I stepped off and then walked up the ramp with it and we sped up nicely while Nigel took a picture sniggering away. As soon as we reached the summit I hopped back on and we were away. Within moments we were flying along (6mph…) and I was back at the park within no time while Lesley wandered along behind.

Once she caught up we took some quick video which gives a good idea of the new camera mounting and shows us scooting along quite merrily.

We put the boat away and both jumped on the chariot back to the car and I couldn’t resist a little stunt riding – “checking out the balance of the beast” as I claimed to Lesley. Valuable scientific data for those interested in tipping point data of electric vehicles I should imagine.

The standing around in the water at the ramp had left Lesley dithering from the cold even though the sun was out and scorching and you can see the comedy shake in the video as I wheelied along.

A couple of kids wandering through the car park were pissing themselves laughing as I wheelied past them only mildly out of control…

Anyway, I will hopefully get some decent video up of the sailing as well as the new camera mounting and the remote control worked really well.

Lymington Town 12th June 2017 with Captain Crappy

Captain Crappy arrived in town just in time to beta test the new outboard bracket and the GoPro mount.

New Bodging

The weekend was really blowy (various Transat boats sunk out in the Atlantic and scuttled etc) and it was not really a great idea for us to go out as I have still not finished the reefing points in the sail. Instead we botched up the new outboard bracket as the first one was a bit too high and too far out to port, resulting in some cavitation and manoeuverability being a bit suspect….. Minor, nit picky quibbles or a total disaster waiting to happen when we get caught out in bad weather and just need the bastard to work. Work!! God damn it!!

So, to avoid my losing what little cool I have, it was the usual lash it up as I go bodgerama. I rivetted some ally box section to the main frame crossbeams, rested it on an upturned piece of box section (very left over with lots of holes in it) and fabricated a little bracket on top from 25mm small box section inside a thick L shaped bracket. I glued a thin piece of ally sheet onto the hull to stop it wearing (hopefully) and it looked about right….. Close enough. Absolute tat but this is all testing I keep telling myself.

outboard mount 4
outboard mount 4

Here you can see the thick angle section which is rivetted onto the horizontal box section, and then mutiple bits of scrap smaller box section rivetted to that. Some small thin strips of flat ally are then rivetted to act as retaining points to prevent the motor simply sliding off the bracket. I tried to anti-Crapster it…. And yes there is a lanyard point on the main frame to attach to the motor.

outboard mount 2
outboard mount 2

Now, from this rather exciting angle you can see the empty rivet hole as I realised that would prevent the outrigger crossbeams locating all the way in… A bit of extra ventilation can’t hurt??

Looking at this exquisite piece of craftmanship and quite exhilarating photography, you might never have thought that this boat was not designed with an outboard in mind?

GoPro Mount

The GoPro has been mounted on my swede generally so I can’t see when it randomly stops which has been mildly annoying. Perhaps I’m catching it as I barely duck under the boom? So, I decided to get a remote control for it and a super life battery – apparently it will work for 4-6 hours but sticks out the back rather so no longer room on me noggin. The remote should help hugely as I can see if it is actually running and pick and choose the shots a bit better and alo take stills etc.

Marvellous! Another bodging apportunity. So I rivetted some spare pieces of 30mm right angled ally section on to the back of the outrigger frame and then down on to the float itself. As the angle and bouyancy on the float isn’t quite right at the moment I knew it would likely drag when it gets swamped at speed, but hopefully shouldn’t be too bad….

Not sure what view we will get – it appears to cover the width of the boat but it might be too low for a good view. I’m also not sure if it will capture Lesley hanging off the side as she is so wont to do. That is what bodging and testing is for.

go pro mount 1
go pro mount 1

As you can see it was carefully engineered, with much thought and calculation to ensure structural integrity. It was definitely not simply based on the lengths of scrap ally angle I could find.

So Let’s Get the Disasters out of the way…

Captain’s propensity for destroying anything electronic continues unabated, however this time it was only the GoPro case that died – before we got out amazingly! I snapped the case closed with the new super life battery attached and I was just about to mount it on the spanking new bracket when it kind of just opened back up. Upon further investigation, the clip had decided with the powers of crappys paranormal electrofuckwitedness and general somethinghastobreakwheneveriseehimness to simply fall apart…. Normally that would have happened out on the water and broken the camera but lo! A miracle. Saved the camera, just need a new clip. Ordered another crappy plastic one now but also an aluminium one that will hopefully last the course.

So, yet again no video evidence of actually doing something. Balls. Still having a minor disaster on land is preferable to a major one at sea, so hopefully that was it out of the way.

Crapster jumped on and managed to get the dagerboard both the right way round and up and then in so we were really on a roll.

Or not.

Having checked the jib furling line was running free – as previously it has stuck a few times – it somehow managed to get completely off the drum and caught underneath, meaning it would only unfurl about 80% of the way. Crappie stike aagin. Not so great really as we were going to have to tack right into wind to get out in the main channel. I eased off the main to slow us down a little and Crappo eased gracefully forward (lumbered really but why use one word to make him look bad when I can use three to talk him up somehwat to lift him out of his ordinary existence) – a slight difference with his 100kg bulk oaffing around up front compared to Lesley’s lithe 50 odd kilos wafting around. We were amusingly bow down with water pissing through the bowsprit hole. Interesting.

Anyway, his dextrous fingers soon had us in more trouble but he did get it cleared with seconds to spare before we needed to tack to avoid the rocks. We popped round to starboard and crossed over to the other side of the river and then headed straight out. Seemples.

After a few minutes it was clear it was picking up quite a bit – a much larger sailboat ahead of us was all over the place with the big gusts and quickly took its main sail down and turned round to motor back in. Once we were a little way further out it was getting reasonably choppy, nothing like the fiasco trip a few weeks ago with Lesley when we motored back in (that was blowing well over 35 knots) but a bit iffy especially as everything Crappy touches turns to shit. Adding in the fact that he knows less about what to do than I do, it’s not really a talented line up I guess – more One Direction than the Rolling Stones. And I think that One Direction was probably down.

Well we scooted up and down a few times but as El Crapstero is quite sizeable, the trapeze harness wouldn’t fit so he couldn’t hang off the side so we simply ploughed through the water quite heavily. The readout below shows a low top end speed but we had some great acceleration and it gave him agood idea of the boat having only been out previously in almost no wind.

We decided that as the weather was getting dodgier by the minute, that discretion was the better of valour – so instead of calling him a useless twat to his face I simply wrote it here. And also decided that heading in was probably sensible – I had after all promised Lesley that I wouldn’t die in some dreadful fiasco of Crappy’s making. So we waited for a ferry to depart then nailed it into the harbour all good to go with room to get things wrong without being mowed down by the car carrying behemoth.

We pulled over to the pontoon before the ramp and tested the new Moorfast telscopic grabber doodah which is excellent. Good old Force4 in Lymington – they put up with my inane questions very well before relieving me of some more of my hard earned most weeks. Well done them! Clip it through any loop, hoop, thingy or whatsit then pull it back and your mooring line is instantly attached. It became clear omething like this was required when Lesley was holding onto the buoy a couple of weeks ago while I got the outboard fitted and going when the wind died coming back in – her little arms valiantly clung on until we motored away but it wasn’t really ideal..

Unlike that occasion, the engine is now more centrally mounted and lower in the water with the cavitation plates firmly below the surface. I fired him up and we scooted round to the ramp looking quite composed – not the mindless turips we actually are. The engine appeared much more powerful and stearing was hugely improved. 4hp for £200 seems quite a bargain.

We came back in and helpfully and wholly unexpectedly I misjudged the depth for Crappy to leap manfully overboard at the ramp to guide us in. As mentioned earlier, he is 6′ 4″ so when I suggested it should only be knee deep he was somewhat disappointed to find it nearer his chest. Anyway, I didn’t get wet which was most important so all’s well that ends well!

Well, All’s well but not the end

Finally, a good suggestion from the Crap. Actually have a proper scoot about with the engine while it was quiet he said – I guess he was wet already so had nothing to lose. So we fired up again, turned around and had a little scoot about – I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of the wrath of the more experienced locals by creating too much wash but the extra power was very evident and easy steering means I feel confident we can get back without any huge problems in the conditions we are likely to be out in.

After a while of mainly avoiding an oil spill response boat dithering around in the main river, we headed back to the ramp and Crappy exhibiting that keen memory and logical processing ability of his remembered that the water was deeper than it looked and waited until the last minute to hop over. That powerful, restless mind of his never stops seeking the thrill of learning not believe a word I say.

All in all a success and some useful further info – I just need the GoPro case / clip sorted so we can test the mount. It might end up attached to the boom but that appears quite risky, we will have to see what works best.

The new outboard mount is great so I can take off the old one no problem.

The only thing that was quite odd, was that the swarf from the drilling/rivetting was still firmly in the boat. Sticks like shit to a woolly jumper apparently and wasn’t washed out as expected. I may actually have to sweep it out. Does my owrk ever end?

Total distance: 8051 m

Blowy sail ending with 1st Outboard Test 14th May 2017

I’ve been thinking about and looking around at outboard options for a little while now as I want to ensure we have some extra margin of safety for getting home/in and out of harbours if either conditions change or I have any back/neck/hand issues that make sailing a problem.

Outboard Options

We have an electric trolling motor that moves Nemesis but won’t give us any real oomph against tide and wind – it is more suitable for Puff, the Kaymaran although I still need to shorten the shaft to make it lighter and easier to move around.

So I started looking around at options – first things first the power needed? My eighbour Tony has a 2.5hp on his tender and most small dinghies seem to go for that sort of size, but Nemsis is a little bigger and heavier with more windage so perhaps anything upto 5hp?

Looking around at comments on forums etc, people always bitch about the unreliability of outboards – they are seldom used and often fail when actually needed due to crappy modern fuel gumming up the carbs etc.

So I started looking at Lehr gas powered engines – no gumming up possible, can use a propane bottle tht we could use then for cooking if camping etc. So I thought I’d take a look and contacted several local retailers by telephone and email in Lymington and on the Isle of Wight to see if they had stock. No-one replied. I emailed and called again. No response.

I would simply like to engage in that age old system of bartering some ready cash for a product but to no avail.

I hope the engines are more reliable than their sales outlets.

They must be seeling so many that one extra little sale is not worth the bother.

So, giving up on that I started investigating options – there is some really old stuff around on ebay etc which seems to get good reviews but getting spares etc? Hmm. Kept a look out for a while and nothing really grabbing my attention and then last weekend driving down through Sway to Lymington I saw an outboard advertised for £225. I couldn’t quite see what it was but called back past later and it was an Evinrude 4hp long shaft. Wasn’t quite sure how it would fit on, but bought it on the proviso I could bring it back if not suitable sizewise.

Popped down to LTSC and tried it – good stuff, should be ideal.

I thought I would locate it quite far out to port as I thought it was quick to bodge on and would mean it is easy to reach when on the tramp, keeping all the weight on that side so if in heavy conditions, the float will be givng all the stability and safety we would need.

I shaped a bit of left over oak to give the clamps something thicker to grip, got out the trusty rivet gun and presto. Another quality aftermarket product that noone would suspect was made from left over crap in the shed.

The engine seemed to fire up nice and easily so gave it a good blat in the wheelie bin to make sure it was running ok and all looked good.

1st Outboard Bracket
1st Outboard Bracket

1st Trip with Outboard

So we decided to try and pop out for a quick spin today, a bit breezy at home so it was likely to to be a bit blowy but we headed down to take a look. It was certainly on the upper end of good…. but I was desperate to get out having had another utterly shitty week at work so we loaded up the motor which fits just nicely in front of the spaceframe on the port side away from the spinnaker chute. I attached a halyard around the spaceframe to the motor in case of tipping out at see and we were almost ready. This keeps weight on the trampoline side of the boat for extra safety.

Putting the motor on the boat obviously changes the weight distibution massively on the trolley as well and it becomes becomes very tippy backwards and rests on the skeg.

We plopped into the water, hopped aboard and went out down the river all looking quite good. It was force 4-5 in the river but perfectly flat and fine and there was nothing around pretty much so it looked quite straight forward. Tacking was a bit tricky as went out of the breakwater as the wind was getting quite strong but 2 tacks and we were out. The wind out in the solent was obviously pretty powerful and we saw a stream of boats coming back in that would of course, to anyone with a brain been a sign, an omen even.

So bollocks to that, we powered up a bit and started crashing through the chop. Oh dear. It was really starting to whip up and it was obvious Lesley wasn’t comfortable. We currently still have no way of reefing so we have quite a lot of sail aloft and looking around, there were no other sailboats out, only motor boats…… Hmm.

We stayed out of the main channel and turned round into wind, sails flogging away and tried to lower the mainsail. Lesley sat out on the tramp to keep us flat and I fumbled around releasing the boom and downhaul and couldn’t free the halyard for a while. It was pretty hairy stuff frankly but finaly I managed to lower the main sail and boom into the cockpit.

I went forward and grabbed the new motor, clipped the safety line at the back and dropped it onto the new bracket and after a few pulls got it going and we started back in.

Lesley managed to get the jib under control after quite a batlle and we joined the line of much bigger boats heading back in. Unfortunately, once again no GoPro – it would have been fun to see the conditions.

Anyway, we moved closer to a large motor cruiser who watched us with some mirth – but none of the usual comments about “You’re missing a bit!!” – and sitting right back to keep the nose up as it came close to burying a few times, we surfed back in on their bow wave catching them up fully in seconds and using that keep is in some nice predicatable water.

We came round the channel and with just the jib and the motor ticking over skidded past them and headed back to the ramp.

From the tracker below, it is quite funny to see how slow we were actually going with such a breeze – we were literally crashing through the steep chop, hugely heeled over and burying the float. Also not having the trapeze harness we really were in all sorts of bother.

Well, we got back safely, the engine thoroughly tested but that is an experience not to be repeated.

Looking at the weather when we got back in it was gusting 35-40 knots, we simply should not have been out there.

From this little trip though, I could see though the engine mounting is a bit high with quite a bit of cavitation from the prop and also with it being so far out to port, it made the steering less effective than it could have been. I will update it, move it lower and closer to the rudder but this will be a bit more effort to make as we will need to make some sort of projecting bracket from the rear crossbeam but not sure how I will really secure it.

As you can see, pretty well just straight out and back in.

Total distance: 4945 m

Proa testing Sunday 7th May Lymington

It looked like there was no wind at all when were at home 10 minutes away working in the garden and the forecast looked very low indeed but we headed down anyway as I wanted to try fitting a tiller extension for the starboard side and remove the central short one which was being painful. I also wanted to get some measurements to make up some little pockets to store drinks and so on.

I had also just put three large holes in the outrigger and fitted water tight hatches and wanted to see if they worked ok. The bulkheads are every 50cm with holes in to allow unrestricted airflow and each free space has plastic bottles and foam for safety bouyancy. However, a few holes where I had moved the mounting plates for the frame hadn’t sealed and in the last run there was small cup of water sloshing around.

I thought it would be best to open them to let air around anyway but then seal 2 bulkheads so it is divided into thirds with 2 compartments with safety bouyancy still. I sealed the bulkhead holes with fibreglass tape and epoxy which had set fine. The small screw hoes from the test mounting plates I drilled out with a countersink bit and filled with more epoxy.

Would they keep the water out?

Another lovely day

Well it was fantastic, light wind W / SW, a bit variable with a couple of systems converging over us and the tide was completely out. We had some major hassle getting the main sail up, just kept sticking for no reason. After some pain and help from a fellow club member we got ready to pop out.

We had actually remembered the GoPro and had the phone set up in the battery box to record it this time. I was using the head harness for ease but we will need to use the extension off the boom ongoing I think.

We headed out into the channel sedately then headed down the river and gain could easily get the jib roller free which was irritating – we need to review this going forward and work out what is stopping it. Lesley had to go forward and manually start it then it was fine. There is a knot underneath that might be catching but I thought I had sorted that….

Anyway, as we got towards the main breakwater we could see a lot of traffic was coming in so we kept left as we thought it would give us more room but as we were about to turn right into the next section we were too far out the main channel and we dragged the daggerboard close to one of the large channel marker posts. We depowered and managed to get it free but had lost memntum and timing and ended up being stuck on the left.

As we then headed round another cruiser coming in two abreast helpfully gave us no room and with shallows right there we were head to wind and not happy. We then cut across to get a little bit of room and did a further tack as a cruiser coming in turned around to mess with his sail again leaving us with not a huge amount of space.

We avoided him then picked up some speed as the ferry started coming into the final approach. We had seen it and had loads of room so tacked away as it gave us a loud toot on its horn. We then came back round and finally started to move along nicely, the wind giving us a really nice drive as we went past the ferry with a number of people looking at us quite confused.

As usual we had the “aren’t you missing a bit” comments of course from our beloved sailing fraternity. As we speeded up we saw the Lymington Lifeboat coming back in with a large cruiser attached and we scooted past them while they watched on. Several pounds worth of botched together lash up whizzing past many, many thousand of pounds worth of loveliness. Gave us a chuckle – we might be on a piece of old tat but at least we were powering ourselves.

The short chop was splashing up loads – just as I asked Lesley how she was doing when were on the port tack, a huge splash went up and over her going straight down her neck. This appeared to cheer her up no end I think, but I am not good at interpreting facial expressions and she assured me afterwards that that was not her “cheered up face”…… This was caught by the GoPro luckily and shows how much she enjoyed it.

We didn’t have a lot of time free so we simply aimed for one of the larger bouys out in the solent and then turned around and headed back in.

A steady stream of traffic was heading in and we caught up a couple of motor cruisers and then followed them back in. Interesting with one where we were surfing their wake and we had sit well back to stop the front dipping in and having the leading edge of their wave go over the front of the boat.

I will be putting a simple piece of decking over the top at the front to reduce the water flowing and splashing over. It also did show again that we have a bit too much weight forward with the outrigger positioned as it is. I will move the outrigger frame back 50cm for now by adding on some new attachment plates further forward on the outrigger and probably remove the smallest rear 50cm bulkhead and then refibreglass and reinforce the transom.

The next outrigger iteration for the otherside then will be 4.25m long with more bouyancy aft as well as with a wider flat underside at the rear to exhance the ability to sort of plane or at least reduce the heeling. This will also help keep the nose up a little while still giving loads of bouyancy up front to satisfy our safety concerns.

When I replace the main hull, the front cross beam will be further forward to make the weight distribution of the outriggers better, giving a bit more trampoline space and then enable me to fair the crossbeams in and make the frame folding as well.

The journey back in then was very nice and as we turned left in towards the main brekawater we accelerated past he motor cruisers back up into the main river while they went off into the first marina on the left.

We sped away from the other boats behind us to give us plenty of room to cross over and come in nice and safely to the launching/landing area which worked out really well with Lesley getting the jib furled and hopping over the front into waist deep water while I dropped the main and that was it: job done.

We were surpised there were so few other sailing boats out and about – perhaps they thought the wind was going to be too low as the weather forecast were predicting 4mph gusting to 12 but it was another almost perfect day for us as we learn both sailing and the boat.

Hopefully next week if I can find the time I can get on a longer trip with the LTSC dinghy cruising group – Lesley possibly won’t have time but I might be able to get a random person to crew for me, or possibly sail and I will crew.

The following weekend then might be a cruise to Newtown Creek with the DCA if I can get the reefing sorted in time and the weather looks VERY good.

The only downer was to find the GoPro just stopped randomly as we sent past the ferry so we have no footage of the trip back in which was great.

GoPpro Footage

Map and GPS data

Thanks to the phone and battery box update actually working, we got full GPS data for a change and didn’t drown a phone….

Total distance: 6515 m

RaceQS View of sail

The .gpx file can also be uploaded to RaceQS .com to give a cool 3d view RaceQS

of our short potter about.

Lymington Town Sailing Club Solent potter Saturday 29th April 2017

Perfect day: light south, south-easterly, lovely sunny day as the cloud broke completely while we were setting up.

Getting Ready to sail

We arrived to find chaos at the ramp with boats in and out and cars loading up trailers etc, so we tooled around getting the dolly wheel attached to the trailer to make the drag to and from the dinghy park easier. It worked well and made moving the boat much easier as no weight to carry just a drag. I need to cut down the bracket a little as we managed to smack the prow when coming back so we need some minor repairs.

I also put a small motorbike battery in a plastic box attached to the spaceframe and wired in a USB charger for my old Samsung/Android phone. I got a water proof bag, cut a small hole for the lead, used a roofing tape to seal it and then further sealed it fom the inside with strong waterproof silicone. The opening enables the phone to pop in, get sealed again and remain safe inside the box under full charge to record .gpx files howeer long we are out. We are using GeoTracker and can export files in .gpx format for RaceQS as well.

Helpfully, like the mildly brain damaged half wit that I am, I fogot the GoPro yet again, leaving in the garage after I took the float out to put on the car. Or so I thought. When we got back I realised it was actually in the car hidden under on of the tool bags – what a cretin. Would have been wonderful video as it turned out.

Finally, we got out sailing

After waiting a while for the ramp to clear, we got the sail up nice and easily, hopped on and pottered out at about 3:20pm – the tide was coming in still and we were head to wind down the river. The roller furler on the jib kept getting snagged so our first few tacks were dismal and we were having to keep a close eye out as the river was busy with lots of sailing and motor craft going in and out. Being rank amateurs it still amazes me how things can happen so quickly even when you are only doing 5 mph….

Anyway, we eventually got close to the breakwater by the big yacht park on the right, freed the jib, got some room and carefully accelerated away towards the channel opening.

Tacking round to starboard we went through the entry posts and we were then on a nice starboard tack in pretty flat waters. Lots of small dinghies scooting around and it was lovely to see all the sails and different boats about. The smal white caps indicated a shallow area sticking so we carefllu skirted around that and passed a small dinghy who were cruising along looking pretty cool.

We settled in and just did some practice tacks getting a feel for the boat and getting our processes and sequences sorted – keeping everything tidy and clean while we headed towards Hurst Castle. The hiking strap is now perfectly positioned and just needs tightening and clamping better and Lesley was very happiy hanging off the side, trimming the jib and loving it.

Scooting about

After a while we were out in the middle of the Solent and the water had developed a short chop and swirled around quite madly but we pressed on really nicely.

We definitley need to get some triangular splash guards sorted across the front of the tramps to main hull to reduce the amount of water hitting Lesley in the face – as amusing as it is for me apparently it is less than ideal. We also need to get some waer bottle holders sorted as we again were not drinking enough – too wrapped up in the enjoyment. The front of the tramps worked nicely to store the dry bag so going forward we know we can load up gear for longer trips. I will add a few clips for attaching things with straps to make it easier.

We had lovely views of Hurst Castle and the Isle of Wight as e scooted about and then we thought we had better turn around as we have limited time at the moment.

Heading back in

We gybed around and started heading back to base, down wind on a lovely roll, surfing at times with the boat and the float working perfectly together inspiring complete confidence.

We came back in towards the harbour entrance with a ferry leaving and the return ferry coming back from Yarmouth along with a large number of large sail and motor cruisers milling about. A fleet of smaller local boats were coming back in with their spinnakers up looking really cool (I think it was the X One Design fleet) and we whizzed in going past the cruisers. We were being very careful (as we really have no idea what we are doing) and we wanted to keep out of everyones way, so we kept to the right and then followed one of these X boats through the narrow breakwater and then cut up ahead of a large motor cruiser in the main channel. Another dinghy was aiming to head back in to the ramp but capsized just by the entrance to the club so we cut over, turned into wind and jumped out without making complete fools of ourselves. This time.

Result. Our best days sailing this year and it really showed this project has some potential but most importantly suits us and our lack of skills perfectly. Lesley said her confidence had been boosted massively – we get out so infrequently that our improvements disappear in between sails unfortunately – we simply need more regular time on the water.

I also hope to get out for single handed test sail shortly and see how that goes, but first we will do a short hop over to the Isle of Wight possibly to Newtown Creek with a neighbour who has a 26ft Van der Stadt or perhaps Yarmouth. We need to get some reefing points put in the sail before then – chatting with a friend in the morning who actually knows what he is doing indicated my ideas are ok so we will crack into that shortly. We also have to test the anchor some more having only used it once in Mudeford to make sure we are used to it and are happy with the process.

Map and GPS data

Thanks to the phone and battery update actually working, we got full GPS data for a change and didn’t drown a phone….

Total distance: 11277 m

RaceQS View of sail

The .gpx file can also be uploaded to RaceQS .com to give a cool 3d view RaceQS

of our potter about which I think is quite cool.

Lymington 1st Sail Proa Sunday 9th April 2017

Back off hols and keen to try out the new welded up frame and have our first sail from Lymington Town Sailing Club now that we have finally moved from Mudeford and are finally members.

Low wind and only had a short amount of time so let’s get going.

We got the boat ready and looked at the new set up: the rmap was quite steep out of the carpark and down to the water – very different from the shallow launching at Mudeford.

Then suddenly it hit us: wow the ramp is really narrow here as well. We seemed to take up most of width of the ramp even though we only have one side attached….

Luckily it was quite quiet so we plopped the boat in the water and made sure we were going to be on the right side of the boat when we pushed off. Ready to go.


Lesley wanted to hold the boat ready to go and then as she pushed off, she slipped on the ramp and off I popped leaving her bobbing around in the shallows. Oopsy!

The good members of the Royal Lymington Yacht Club next door who had shown some level of amusement at our partial boat, (“Oi there’s something missing mate”!) were rolling around laughing while I tried to circle back to the ramp to collect her. However straight into the low wind was a bit of a chuff so I wandered over to the pontoon to wait for Lesley to walk round.

She finally rocked up, hopped aboard and we headed out. Ongoing, I’ll push off with her onboard as I am taller….

Scooting about

We didn’t have long and had managed to forget the GoPro but we scuttled out quite happily. There are a couple of dog legs to make rounding the breakwater and following the channel round to the right before heading out into the Solent itself but all quite easy. Only oddity for us is heading into the generally South Westerly wind on the way out so takes a bit of planning especially with the traffic here which is much higher than around Mudeford.

We tacked and gybed a few times nice and easily and felt the acceleration even in these very low conditions and the new welded frame and trampoline set up worked really well – it makes for a really comfy platform. Quite a few tweaks to make to improve things such as extra cleats on the edge of the tramp frame etc but fantastic overall. Hopefully many more longer trips as we get things sorted out.

Total distance: 9468 m

Mudeford Proa Testing Sunday 15th January 2017

Horribly Wrong

Oh dear. A quick test that went horribly wrong.

Another very cold day but started off clear.

For some reason we had to faff about to get things ready and it took quite a while to get out.

The water depth was particularly low and we struggled with only being able to have the daggerboard down a very small amount. By the time we go to the main channel a few minutes later, the wind was ripping in and we were struggling to tack, the spray was fierce and it was not nice.

We did 2 tacks and realised we needed to get in as we had no reefing capabilities. We headed back trying to manage the speed as much as we could but it was pretty difficult navigating between all of the parked boats as we came into the very shallow launching/recovery beach where the boat is stored.

As we came in, it was all a bit frantic and as Lesley started going forward to raise the daggerboard we hit a sand bar at quite some speed. It stopped us dead in our tracks, pivotting the boat around and sending Lesley head first forward into the spaceframe and knee first into the square outrigger frame.

She was in obvious distress as her mouth wasn’t working properly and she actually started sobbing which is mad as she is tough as anything. I had to take control quickly as the wind was getting worse and Lesley unbelievably got moving to furl the jib while I released the main and jumped overboard to hold the boat.

We walked/swam it back in, got the sail down and managed to drag the boat back out and packed away with Lesley only on one leg.

It turned out she had slit her knee hugely again and had blood pouring out but more importantly her jaw was black and blue from hitting the spaceframe and she could barley talk and couldn’t move her jaw properly. We manipulated it so it was working again but it took about a week before she could eat properly again.

Mad how quickly things can change even in protected waters like Mudeford. Brought home that we really need to get reefing points in somehow and move the boat away from Mudeford as the waters there are too shallow and almost unusable now for this project. Cerainly no fun when tacking approximately every 10 seconds to keep in the channel.

Looking to move to either Calshott or Lymington so we can get out at any stage of the tide instead of being so limited in Mudeford.

The conditions were awful, I checked the wind meter when back on shore before heading off and it was showing 30knots sutained and gusts 35+Knot so ridiculous. Lucky nothing more serious happened really.

No GPS or GoPro unfortunately….. but I will try and find a photo of Lesley’s jaw.

Mudeford Monday 2nd January 2017

First sail of the year!

Dear god it was cold.

We broke about an inch of ice off the dinghy cover and looked ot head out wearing our new neoprene jackets to see how the ridiculous rivetted frame would work. If it would work at all…..

Anyway, the float had been moved back 50cm as I was a bit concerned about too much weight being too far forward – plan is to extend the outer beam forward beyond the cross beam and move it back into place. This should help plant the front of the float better into the water and balance it back up.

Mudeford is very shallow and there is only a short window of opportunity to get out so we got out as quickly as possible. Cloudy dull day but lovely wind.

The depth needed by Nemesis compared to puff (the seakayakmaran) is hugely different and we quickly discovered we had to lift the daggerboard until we got into the main channel.

This then gave us issues as the channel is so narrow we were struggling to keep in it without grounding out.

Anyway, we had a great blast up and down and saw a few other brave (foolhardy) souls out which was nice.

Lesley is not a fan of the cold, especially when wet so we didn’t stay out long but it was really useful as we confirmed we need to extend the vertical beams a little moe to get the dihedral sorted.

Here is a video we took with the GoPro which shows things as we scooted about.

Lots of changes and updates to make from this so really useful. Main one bing we need to put some protection on the square crossbeams as when we were coming back in we managed to hit the bottom while going quite quickly cataoulting Lelsey knee first into it cutting her knee quite badly through her wetsuit…. She didn’t realise until she took her suit off and saw what a mess I/we had made of her leg.

Anyway, a really good test and the rivets held. A miracle.