GiGiGoGo 7 – Weighbridge

Start Mileage 479 – End Mileage 494

As we are heading off to Devon and Cornwall once lock down opens up a bit in July, I thought I should check out where we are on the weight front. I’m sure we are well inside but as later on we will be thinking about towing one of our little boats, need to get an idea if we need to up-rate the rear suspension or not.

GiGi was loaded up with a lot of the cooking / chairs / tables / BBQ / sailing gear and various general gubbins

John at Veolia Lymington public weighbridge was super helpful, although he couldn’t understand why they only take cheques for payment either!

Results came in as follows:

3200kg overall

1500kg front – max allowed (I think) is 1850kg

1700kg rear – max allowed (I think) is 2000kg

20kg margin of error on the weighbridge apparently

So what are the main factors to take into account?

  • Full fresh water and no waste water – ok
  • 2/3rds diesel – perhaps add 30kg?
  • No Lesley – add 56kg (rounded up to 60kg) – up front
  • Have pizza oven to add at rear??
  • Food and drink in middle/rear?? 30kg?? a lot of beer, wine and gin…
  • More clothes and other tat 10kg?
  • Possible removable awning – this could be 30-45kg at rear depending on what we get exactly
  • Security stuff and solar panel from VanBitz – picking it up when we head of to Devon 4th July? 30kg?
  • Tow bar – possibly 40kg??
  • 2 x computer gear and ebooks etc 10kg?

All of that comes to approx 1895 on the rear leaving 105kg or so for the nose weight of the boat – it won’t be anywhere near that!

I’m building the boat myself and the trailer as well so I can balance it as perfectly as we need and just have say 25kg of nose weight to help keep it down. Perhaps we won’t need the suspension upgrade?

However as the weight of a lot of the additional kit is a reasonable distance behind the rear wheel, the leverage effect might mean we are closer than we think to the 2000kg rear limit.

We will check it properly again once we have the van fully kitted out as we head off on a bigger trip another time – it is going to be pretty close for towing!

We of course might shed some unwarranted weight once we are settled down though and properly know what we need to take with us – also if towing the boat, we can always put the sailing gear in the trailer taking weight off the rear axle.


GiGiGoGo 6 – 2020-06-20. Wanderings

Start Mileage 240 – End Mileage 479

Getting closer to going away properly early July if the Government relaxes the covid rules as expected (hoped for at least).

Loaded up and wandered up to Aldershot to call past work briefly.

We’ve got the fuel pecker card through the caravan club so as we need to fill up used the PetrolPrices app to find a nearby Esso or Shell.

Happy days, one just down the road – slightly different to use it as the card is swiped not PIN protected it seems and then you sign. I signed it without being checked – has Lesley’s signature on the card anyway.

Turns out the receipt also doesn’t show the actual price paid – we’ll see when the cost gets taken from the bank in a few days.

Brimmed the tank and mileage shows as 240 and the trip computer is saying around 24 mpg – this has slowly gone up from  22 mpg when we got her so the engine is loosening up a little I expect.

We’ll brim it again after a while and see what we are really getting. I’m also not sure of the tank size – I think they might be the smaller 60 litres option in the motorhome conversions to help keep the weight down? Usually 90 litres I think? We will find out.

52.54 litres – normall price around 111p/litre, so we should save 4p a litre I think so a couple of pounds off hopefully.

Lovey trip to see friends based outside High Wycombe, it really is easy to drive.

Had a few too many beers to drive back so for safety stayed there before heading off to Woodstock to meet with sister in law and husband for a walk and catch up.

The bed is amazing – incredibly comfortable. It has sprung slats with a memory foam mattress and is honestly as good as any bed you would have at home. This is coming from someone with long term neck and back problems – seriously a fantastic bed.

The whole leaving it made up and dropping it from the roof is simply a joy. Press 2 buttons and there it is.

Hammered down with rain overnight so noisy but with the blinds keeping the light out very well, a super nights sleep. Beer might have helped…

Away trips are going to be a breeze.

Lovely walk around the edge of Blenheim Palace using the AllTrails app – this is proving really handy and will get a lot of use I am sure.

We came across a field with a number of massive teasal plants in them – around 6ft or 1.8m tall!

teasel - dispacus fullonum

Managed to avoid the rain showers and had some tea and cake an tested the new chairs again – Kampa Skipper reclining chairs with detachable foot stools are the business.

As soon as we headed back and it hammered down intermittently but still, driving is easy and it was clear by the time we got back…


GiGiGoGo 5 – 2020-06-14 Landford Walk

Start Mileage 198 - End Mileage 

Lovely day and starting to feel less than totally crap and able to breath again, so we decided to head out for a short walk.

Loaded up G4 and headed to Landford – a little village in the north of Hampshire after we found a walk in the AllTrails app – this looks really useful and can’t believe we have never come across this before.

The new Rhino security post across the drive entrance is working very well – it hides away nicely in the ground and is clearly built like a brick shithouse – that is really not going anywhere.

We had the fridge/freezer on overnight plugged in to the mains – I have to say it is amazingly good. We will have no worries keeping frozen food in there (mainly ice for G&T of course) and it is massive. Along with all the other storage in G4 we will never have any problems keeping supplies stocked up.

Captains Log GiGiGoGo

GiGiGoGo 3 2020-05-24 Lymington Sailing Chop

Start Mileage 156 – End Mileage 169 – Trip 13 miles

A lovely day although the wind looks a bit dodgy – gusty and shifty.

Spent a couple of hours starting to lash up an extra dolly cradle for Pork Chop from a left over old section of square ally box section.

Getting him out last time was a bit tricky and the thought was an extra set of wheel so he is properly stable and add a pulling rope and we should be able to concentrate on pulling / pushing him with less wasted effort controlling up and down. The ramp is quite long and steep especially at low tide and when coming back in quite knackered it’s not ideal having to then battle our way back up!

My thinking – whack a dinghy trolley jockey wheel in the middle and stick a couple of little fixed wheel for some lateral support and see if it will work. The length of section I had left over was 220 cm so barely long enough but hopefully it will do the job. I quickly rivetted some chopping board on the top and bolted the jockey wheel (rusted solid unfortunately) in place to try it.

Got to Lymington and more people around but still not a lot!

Quick prep ready to go out and the wind was all over the place – S/SW round to N/NE. After several false starts when the wind shifted horribly we managed to push him out and and go straight out into the river instead of our usual paddling out backwards then downwind down the river.
Felt like a nice blow and we were just getting out of the river when it died then came back 90 degrees off. Had a few blasts up and down the end of the river then it changed again so we went out towards the starting platform in the main channel – lovely, nice blow. tacked round to blast back up and doing our normal 16-17 knots we suddenly just stopped dead – I thought we had somehow snagged a lobster pot and swung round 90 degrees. The wind had shifted 180 degrees with equal strength.

As we had arrived late we had missed going out before high tide so having not really enjoyed the shifty wind so much, we thought we would head back in as the tide was going out pretty quickly.

Dear god. Stop, start, tack every 30 seconds max, stop, start.


Anyway we got back t the ramp and heading in quite nicely and carefully when the wind shifted and took us straight back out! Spun him around and headed back with the wind behind us, got the port rudder and daggerboard up and swung across the ramp whereupon Lesley hopped out and caught us happy days!

Heading back in like that sometimes is a bit rough if it gusts as we barrel in quite quickly as we really can’t de-power…

Using the single dolly but with Lesley pulling the rope attached to that made the trip a lot easier.

We then tested the new dolly contraption for fit across Chop – hmm not quite. If I lift the main support pads about an inch it might just work but may need to add a little width extension on somehow. However, the basic plan will work! We can attach the new dolly to the long handle from the main dolly almost perfectly by the look of it so a bit more bodging then hopefully we can get it functional.

We need to make this as easy as we can for sure.

Back to G4 for a hot shower again – bloody marvellous!

Another great little trip out getting used to her.

Get home to find we hadn’t started the Velocitek Speed Puck and I’d knocked the head camera so we had 1 second of video. Also forgot the GPS watch so clearly the Plank Award for Divotness beyond the call of duty is firmly mine. Probably for perpetuity….


GiGiGoGo 4 – 2020-05-25 Mudeford Kayaking

Start Mileage 169 – End Mileage 187

What a beautiful day, got up got ready and loaded up some food in GiGi and headed off down to Mudeford about 9:45.

We put the fridge / freezer for the first time on the electric plug in on the drive for half an hour to see how good it is.

As we entered it looked like quite a few people were already there but luckily found a great spot by the dinghy park with loads of room and easy access in and out.

We got the inflatable kayaks out and realised that the electric inflater doesn’t quite fit the Boston valves but it saved quite a bit of work anyway. Need to put some electrical tape around it and it should be good to go.

Had a wonderful hour and a half paddling over to the beach huts then along to the Hengistbury Head Outdoor Centre – there must have been hundreds of swans – lockdown is clearly working out well for them!

Loads of motor boat traffic going in and out up the channel – most wearing no safety equipment and clearly speeding….

Over on the other side we saw a herd of mares and their new foals by the waters edge.



We pootled back round along the houses and saw some dogs being taken out for paddle boarding – awesome!

Got back to the van and had a fantastic lunch on the shore – we need to get a new table and our new chairs should arrive shortly which will be good. The Brunner Axia table is completely out of stock everywhere though so no idea when that will turn up.

Bit of a read by the beach and job done – what a lovely day!

Before heading off we checked the fridge and freezer – wow. Icicles! Totally amazing running on gas. Bodes well for when we can get out on some longer trips and we’ll be able to take some frozen food with us no problem.

We got back home and one of the storage  boxes had moved meaning we couldn’t open the offside garage door – luckily we have easy access from inside GiGi and from other side meant we could clear it quite easily but must get something to stop it moving into the wrong place. Moving the kayak bag there will be the best bet as it is quite heavy to drag out anyway.

Once again, a cracking trip in 4G – we could not have made a better choice of van!

Captains Log Uncategorised

2019-06-14 Lymington: Captain Crappy strikes again!

After several months of careful planning (we emailed each twice about it), we managed to meet up in Lymington to try and get back out on Pork Chop as last time round the Captain had unfortunately broken him by concentrating his vast bulk through the small are of his knee which resulted in the sort of concentrated force previously only wielded by The Avengers being focused on trampoline which of course immediately gave up against the relentless assault.

After only approx 8 hours of hand stitching, the trampoline looked utterly rubbish but appeared strong enough to cope. It had after all dealt fine with me and Lesley on a few fairly hard trips so here’s hoping our needlecraft is up to dealign with The Crap.

What was meant to have been a lovely day with moderate wind was now not looking so great. The wind was well over 20 knots gusting 25 in the morning but we went down to the dinghy park anyway and did some practice drills as the Captain had not been out on Pork Chop before. The tramp took everything he could give it – well gently pressing into it resulted in some creaks and groans but it was holding together. Those might have been my bones and muscles of course.

The extra couple of pounds Captain had managed to stack on since the previous attempt were apparently all “in a quest to give us the biggest righting moment possible as part of the overall safety process” and were nothing to do with him  being a hopeless greedy bastard who can’t control his eating. He can of course control his exercising very well, showing some evidence of a steely (not lardy) inner core.

But alas no.

Fitness down, weight up. Fiasco beckoning.

It would be interesting to see the difference in handling (or indeed if we would just sink) as he is about 50kg+ heavier than my usual more familiar and erstwhile crew Lesley.

So, clipping on the harness a few times, rolling across the trampoline like a deranged and floundering Starsky (or Hutch – I forget which) we appeared to have covered all potential issues and our over confidence hit new highs.

The wind then appeared to lessen a little as we finished our “safety briefing” over a pint in the bar so we went and collected our gear and headed down to the ramp as soon as we could.

Lymington 2019-06-14 Weatherfile

It appeared to be quite a gentle breeze sheltered at the bottom of the ramp and we had our usual farce of reversing out into the river as we don’t have enough space to turn when the wind is coming down the ramp.

We both need to be close to the front beam to keep the stern out of the water while the wind blows us gently out and we paddle to keep us straight.

Anyway, let the video run and see what hopeless clods we were.

A rip-roaring success by anyone’s standards.

Well ours at least!

You can see here our GPS record from our SpeedPuck which is fantastic piece of kit:

5 bests’ average = 30.31km/h [16.37Knots]

Best Speed n°1 = 30.53km/h [16.49Knots] (8.5 meters in 1.0 sec.)
Best Speed n°2 = 30.43km/h [16.43Knots] (8.5 meters in 1.0 sec.)
Best Speed n°3 = 30.4km/h [16.42Knots] (8.4 meters in 1.0 sec.)
Best Speed n°4 = 30.13km/h [16.27Knots] (8.4 meters in 1.0 sec.)
Best Speed n°5 = 30.05km/h [16.23Knots] (8.3 meters in 1.0 sec.)
Best Speed n°6 = 29.91km/h [16.15Knots] (8.3 meters in 1.0 sec.)
Best Speed n°7 = 29.91km/h [16.15Knots] (8.3 meters in 1.0 sec.)
Best Speed n°8 = 29.9km/h [16.14Knots] (8.3 meters in 1.0 sec.)
Best Speed n°9 = 29.85km/h [16.12Knots] (8.3 meters in 1.0 sec.)
Best Speed n°10 = 29.81km/h [16.1Knots] (8.3 meters in 1.0 sec.)

5 best 50 meter (at least) average = 29.41km/h [15.88Knots]

50 meter run n°1 = 30.13km/h [16.27Knots] (50.2 m. in 6.0 s.)
50 meter run n°2 = 29.24km/h [15.79Knots] (56.9 m. in 7.0 s.)
50 meter run n°3 = 29.24km/h [15.79Knots] (56.9 m. in 7.0 s.)
50 meter run n°4 = 29.24km/h [15.79Knots] (56.9 m. in 7.0 s.)
50 meter run n°5 = 29.22km/h [15.78Knots] (56.8 m. in 7.0 s.)

5 best 100 meter (at least) average = 28.68km/h [15.49Knots]

100 meter run n°1 = 29.65km/h [16.01Knots] (107.1 m. in 13.0 s.)
100 meter run n°2 = 29.25km/h [15.8Knots] (105.6 m. in 13.0 s.)
100 meter run n°3 = 28.63km/h [15.46Knots] (103.4 m. in 13.0 s.)
100 meter run n°4 = 28.07km/h [15.16Knots] (101.4 m. in 13.0 s.)
100 meter run n°5 = 27.8km/h [15.01Knots] (100.4 m. in 13.0 s.)

5 best 200 meter (at least) average = 27.96km/h [15.1Knots]

200 meter run n°1 = 28.89km/h [15.6Knots] (200.6 m. in 25.0 s.)
200 meter run n°2 = 28.3km/h [15.28Knots] (204.4 m. in 26.0 s.)
200 meter run n°3 = 28.05km/h [15.14Knots] (202.6 m. in 26.0 s.)
200 meter run n°4 = 27.48km/h [14.84Knots] (206.1 m. in 27.0 s.)
200 meter run n°5 = 27.09km/h [14.63Knots] (203.2 m. in 27.0 s.)

5 best 250 meter (at least) average = 27.5km/h [14.85Knots]

250 meter run n°1 = 28.59km/h [15.44Knots] (254.2 m. in 32.0 s.)
250 meter run n°2 = 27.77km/h [14.99Knots] (254.6 m. in 33.0 s.)
250 meter run n°3 = 27.37km/h [14.78Knots] (250.9 m. in 33.0 s.)
250 meter run n°4 = 26.98km/h [14.57Knots] (254.8 m. in 34.0 s.)
250 meter run n°5 = 26.79km/h [14.47Knots] (253.0 m. in 34.0 s.)

5 best 500 meter (at least) average = 23.75km/h [12.83Knots]

500 meter run n°1 = 27.31km/h [14.75Knots] (500.7 m. in 66.0 s.)
500 meter run n°2 = 23.15km/h [12.5Knots] (501.7 m. in 78.0 s.)
500 meter run n°3 = 23.05km/h [12.45Knots] (505.8 m. in 79.0 s.)
500 meter run n°4 = 22.71km/h [12.26Knots] (504.6 m. in 80.0 s.)
500 meter run n°5 = 22.54km/h [12.17Knots] (501.0 m. in 80.0 s.)

5 best 1000 meter (at least) average = 22.65km/h [12.23Knots]

1000 meter run n°1 = 26.4km/h [14.25Knots] (1,004.6 m. in 137.0 s.)
1000 meter run n°2 = 22.55km/h [12.18Knots] (1,002.4 m. in 160.0 s.)
1000 meter run n°3 = 21.7km/h [11.72Knots] (1,006.6 m. in 167.0 s.)
1000 meter run n°4 = 21.63km/h [11.68Knots] (1,003.3 m. in 167.0 s.)
1000 meter run n°5 = 20.99km/h [11.33Knots] (1,002.7 m. in 172.0 s.)

5 best 2 second (at least) average = 30.01km/h [16.21Knots]

2 second run n°1 = 30.29km/h [16.36Knots] (16.8 m. in 2.0 s.)
2 second run n°2 = 30.16km/h [16.28Knots] (16.8 m. in 2.0 s.)
2 second run n°3 = 29.93km/h [16.16Knots] (16.6 m. in 2.0 s.)
2 second run n°4 = 29.85km/h [16.12Knots] (16.6 m. in 2.0 s.)
2 second run n°5 = 29.83km/h [16.11Knots] (16.6 m. in 2.0 s.)

5 best 5 second (at least) average = 29.58km/h [15.97Knots]

5 second run n°1 = 30.17km/h [16.29Knots] (41.9 m. in 5.0 s.)
5 second run n°2 = 29.54km/h [15.95Knots] (41.0 m. in 5.0 s.)
5 second run n°3 = 29.47km/h [15.91Knots] (40.9 m. in 5.0 s.)
5 second run n°4 = 29.43km/h [15.89Knots] (40.9 m. in 5.0 s.)
5 second run n°5 = 29.28km/h [15.81Knots] (40.7 m. in 5.0 s.)

5 best 10 second (at least) average = 28.92km/h [15.61Knots]

10 second run n°1 = 29.75km/h [16.06Knots] (82.6 m. in 10.0 s.)
10 second run n°2 = 29.11km/h [15.72Knots] (80.9 m. in 10.0 s.)
10 second run n°3 = 28.92km/h [15.61Knots] (80.3 m. in 10.0 s.)
10 second run n°4 = 28.46km/h [15.37Knots] (79.1 m. in 10.0 s.)
10 second run n°5 = 28.35km/h [15.31Knots] (78.7 m. in 10.0 s.)

5 best 20 second (at least) average = 28.26km/h [15.26Knots]

20 second run n°1 = 29.16km/h [15.74Knots] (162.0 m. in 20.0 s.)
20 second run n°2 = 28.89km/h [15.6Knots] (160.5 m. in 20.0 s.)
20 second run n°3 = 28.37km/h [15.32Knots] (157.6 m. in 20.0 s.)
20 second run n°4 = 27.89km/h [15.06Knots] (154.9 m. in 20.0 s.)
20 second run n°5 = 26.98km/h [14.57Knots] (149.9 m. in 20.0 s.)

5 best 60 second (at least) average = 25.46km/h [13.75Knots]

60 second run n°1 = 27.44km/h [14.81Knots] (457.3 m. in 60.0 s.)
60 second run n°2 = 25.53km/h [13.78Knots] (425.5 m. in 60.0 s.)
60 second run n°3 = 25.1km/h [13.55Knots] (418.3 m. in 60.0 s.)
60 second run n°4 = 25.09km/h [13.55Knots] (418.2 m. in 60.0 s.)
60 second run n°5 = 24.17km/h [13.05Knots] (402.9 m. in 60.0 s.)

So considering how powered down we were the whole time that is not bad.

I’ve also posted the track to and it can be seen here.


2017-07-02 Madam your chariot awaits

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.


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?