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A Very Short Update

For the other reader of our blog:

The Boss is now much better, however, torn muscle(s) take a long time to heal! We were on the boat on Sun 3 Jun to remove stuff that we are beginning to need. The Skipper will be off for sail very soon, either solo or with friend(s).


Pre-Launch Work

To save my other reader getting bored with minutae, I have decided to skip all the detail and just give the highlights.

Master Blaster was on-site in Feb, so I asked him, through Andy of Weir Quay Boatyard, to grit blast the keel, because the antifoul kept falling off! The next time I came to the boat, it was painted in grey epoxy.

Gritblasted Keel with Anti-rust Epoxy

I’ve filled and faired most of the holes in the keel, sanded off the rust stains that appeared, and put on 3 coats of epoxy paint, followed by a coat of Primacon and now two coats of antifoul are on. The standing water under the boat is a real mess and does not help working conditions!

The holes that I made in the glass-fibre part of the forward bulkhead in the saloon have been filled and faired and are nearing ready to have blanking plugs, but there’s still work to do, not least matching gelcoat colours!

Port Saloon Bulkhead

Stbd Saloon Bulkhead

As we are under the trees at Weir Quay, we kept betting covered with leaves; the worst were eculyptus which stained the deck. Pressure washing the deck helped, but a good hand scrub with a stiff brush and detergent has done the job of a clean deck. The toe rails have been washed and rubbed down and we’ve started brushing on Woodskin which appears to work well, but it does need 3 coats – another work-in-progress job!

The boat is now fully rigged, both sails up, canopy and cockpit enclosure on. The latter is to stop serious downpours the try to fill the engine bilge via the aft cockpit locker lid. The problem is we are tilted down by the stern that causes the rain water to flow back rather than forward over the locker lid (I think)!

I’ve de-winterised the engine, which started very easily and now runs very well; many thanks to Spencer of Weir Quay. I’ve also replaced both anodes, one on the prop shaft and the other is a peardrop shape for the engine and skeg; any ideas what I can do with the 3/4 used anodes?

The fresh water tank is almost full.

The Boss has cleaned the whole of the inside of the boat, except for my mess on the chart table! Many thanks!

We’ve got all our stuff to load in the next few days, retreive the gas bottles that the yard removed for some obscure health & safety reason.

The launch date is Thu 19 Apr…..

Not the Scillies!

Thu 13 Jul

The weather on this trip has been very unstable; wet ‘n windy one day and fine the next. Along with may others in Falmouth, we all though the weather was %$*&! They included CYC Member on Echo, Ninja, who had all our sympathy with a failed alternator, a Colvic Sailor who thought Cuchulainn was Gaelic for “Darling” and despite being told the full story, continued to call us “Darling” whenever he met us, and a number of other Sadlers’ of varying lengths.

Thursday brought out the sun and a fair wind from the NW. Along with many others, we set off towards the Helford River. We were having such a cracking sail that we stayed out for about 4 hours before turning back to Helford after so many other boats had gone in and we thought that there would be no room. We were lucky; one boat left just as we came into the moorings and we picked it up straight away before anyone else got it! Later Echo arrived, but there was no room, so he returned to Falmouth. However, M & M, one of whom came from our village and Weir Quay Sailing Club, moored behind us. The brisk wind caused some chaos near low water because the tide and wind were in opposition, some boats set to the tide and others to the wind (we mostly did the latter) or both; at one stage we were within 3 metres of another boat, but it cleared as the ebb increased.

Fri 14 Jul

After some shopping, we left our dinghy at the Helford River Sailing Club for a walk around the St Anthony peninsular; the last time we did this was about 5 years ago.

Looking West up the Helford river on our walk
We’re the 3rd boat from the right in the nearest row.

We were advised that there would be enough water on their pontoons, there wasn’t! Luckily, the ferry took us back to our boat, for half the price of going to Helford Passage. Later he took us back to the Sailing Club so we could have a shower in the new facilities (only 1/3 male showers working!) and a superb meal. As the tide was now in, we could use our dinghy to get back to Cuchulainn.

We had been watching the longer-term forecast and had decided that we would sit out a week or so of rough weather at home, rather than trying to hide up the River Fal with little or nothing to do, or spend lots of money in a marina.

Sat 15 Jul

We had hoped for a fine sail to Fowey, however, the wind was now West but not nearly as useful as it should have been. The sea was decidedly wobbly so what wind there was just got flopped out of the sails and we lost drive. A whisker-pole would have helped us to control the genoa. Our best speed was “gybing down wind”, which M & M ahead of us were doing. Eventually, we got to Fowey and decided that up-river in Wiseman’s Pool would be best, away from any swell coming in on the wind. It was lovely and quiet, no wind, and just one other visitor – a blue wooden motorboat.

Sun 16 Jul

We had a lazy start, which was disturbed by tenders coming past, one got so close that the Skipper got up to look out of the hatch, to be greeted with “we are only looking at your lovely 34!” We were waiting so that on arrival in Plymouth, the tide would be favourable to Cargreen. Waiting is not good for us, so we left early, again in hope for a pleasant sail downwind. For the result – see Sat 15 Jul! We motored a few times, with the genoa out and sometime in. But motoring does our fridge good as we can turn on the only just working fridge to keep our food cool-ish.

A Sick Fridge getting the wrong bit cold!

D & A were anchored in Cawsand in Eilean and we chatted from nearby, rafting on a much smaller and lighter boat with a rope anchor line was not a good idea for them. Motoring up the river, against some tide, with the Skipper keeping too close to the shore for the Boss’ comfort until the depth gauge stopped working (again; it is going to find out just how deep the water is if it doesn’t behave!)

Mon 17 Jul

Last night and this morning, we packed our stuff up into boxes and bags and the Skipper did 3 journeys with it all back to the car at CYC and then home via Louis Farm Shop on Kit Hill to buy superb pasties for lunch, if a little too large for the Boss so the Skipper eat her half for lunch the next day.

We plan to be off sailing during the following week but are visiting Exmoor (Skipper’s old stamping ground) for the rest of this week.

Maybe The Scillies????

Sat 8 Jul

We loaded the boat up again for another trip planning to return in the 1st week of Aug. We set off from Cargreen with the tide down river and in company with a dozen or so other boats motored towards Fowey, however, across Whitsand Bay we managed to sail very slowly at about 3 knots. Eventually, the wind died again and we managed to motor-sail with both sails up.

The fridge only just works! Most of the gas has leaked out! We now have to ration the power it takes from the batteries.

Sun 9 Jul

The weather was fine, so we set off on a walk towards Lantic Bay. Clearly, we are fitter than we think and extended it and joined the Hall Walk along Pont Pill back to Polruan, in time for an early cream tea. The Boss went Cornish, but the Skipper remained true to his Somerset roots (Devon style!

Mon 10 Jul

Another sail with the tide: the forecast was NW 3 – 4, however, we managed to sail close-hauled all the way to inside Falmouth harbour. However, it chucked it down with rain, which accompanied increases in wind, so both the Skipper, and Boss reefed and shook out reefs a few times. These new sails are really good! We decided to blow the expense and stay at the Falmouth Haven for 3 days until the foul weather blows through.

Tue 11 – Wed 12 Jul

The cockpit enclosure is earning its keep! The Haven was very full with boats hiding from the grotty weather. We did get out in the afternoon.

Looking Out at a VERY Wet Falmouth

What a Difference a Day Makes


Sailing? Wot Sailing?

We launched on 25 May, and here we are on 28 Jun and the boat has gone to the Yacht Haven once to meet up with friends, get some chandlery and fill up with water. Since then, nothing! There are very good reasons, the Skipper needed some hospital-based maintenance and recovery time. During the trip back from the marina, the bolt holding the alternator onto the engine block broke. I don’t have the necessary to undo the stud. This is a job for Weir Quay boatyard.

Now we are almost ready to go sailing, it just adds insult to injury as this must be one of the worse Junes for weather. What with a few friends who have come back form the Scillies saying that the weather was wonderful. Thanks Guys! Although, they decided yesterday not to go to St Malo today because the weather is *&%£.

We haven’t neglected Cuchulainn, we’ve been down three times and have finished off jobs left over from the refit at Boating World including putting waterproof connector boxes for the bow and stern lights, hooks for the mooring lines in the cockpit locker and other little bits, moved stuff around the cabin a couple of times, &c.


AFLOAT at Last!

We’ve escaped from ashore to afloat at last; about 8 months in a shed and Cuchulainn is looking good! See the new image.

The mast was put up on Mon 23 May by Robin & Dan; Robin showed me how to tune it on Tue.

Boating World About to Step the Mast

Boating World About to Step the Mast

On Thu 26 May, we were launched:

Cuchulainn Getting Wet Again

Cuchulainn Getting Wet Again

One slight panic: I discovered fresh water under the galley sink – it turned out to be a leak from the hot water to the galley sink. I tightened that up on Fri.

Many thanks to Dan at Boating World for reminding me to “burp” to Volvo stern gland. If I hadn’t it would have been an expensive replacement job!

Many thanks to Ken, Robin and Dan at Boating World for their help over the last 8 months, to Roy for the new toe rails and to Emma for her superb cakes and lunches at her caff.

It was a very pleasant, if a little cold at 08:30, motoring down the River Lynher and the St Germains to the Tamar and then North up to Cargreen. Where our very clean looking (new) mooring buoy was waiting with the (old) strops that I put out on Wed.

On CYC Mooring

On CYC Mooring

The Boss met the Skipper at Cargreen in the company of A who brought a flask of tea for her! I had to make my own! The 1st cup of tea in the morning took a long time to boil ‘cos it was so cold the butane in Camping Gaz didn’t work!

The Skipper briefly went to the boat on Fri morning to check the leaks (after a heavy rain storm) – there were none! I cured the galley leak very quickly; sorted out the reefing lines; re-labelled the clutches; had a cup of tea and took some photos.

On CYC Mooring

On CYC Mooring

Now I’m having a rest! Beer and Bangers festival at the Mary Tavy Inn tonight, Boat Jumble in Newton Abbot on Sat.

Sailing soon …..


Out of the Shed!

After nearly 8 months in the shed, Cuchulainn has escaped!

We've left the Shed!

We’ve left the Shed!

The painting was finished a couple of weeks ago, although, I didn’t get the thinning of the final coat right so it doesn’t look nearly as good as I would like. It is much, much better that it was. The old cockpit:

The Old Cockpit Seating

The Old Cockpit Seating

It’s a bit better now!

The New Cockpit

The New Cockpit

Almost everything has been put back onto the deck; there’s a few pins for the canopy and cockpit enclosure to put on. The Boss came down a few times so that we could tighten up bolts that went through the deck, particularily, for the chainplates for the rigging.

On the Move in the Hoist

On the Move in the Hoist

To here:

Now Waiting for a mast and Launch

Now Waiting for a mast and Launch

The mast will be stepped on Monday around 12:00ish and we launch on Thu 26 May around 08:00. At last!

Stop Press, Sat 21 May: We have three leaks! I think I had left a hole for a eye bolt in the foredeck which is dripping quite badly; the windlass will need to be reseated as a cable is partially trapped and the aft bolt is weeping slightly.; finally, the new vent over the galley has a drip once every 15 mins or so. They will be cured on the 1st dry day – possibly Mon.

Painting Finished!

It’s taken a VERY long time but we’ve now finished the painting of the deck.

Between us, we’ve put 3 coats of Epifanes Epoxy paint, followed by 4 coats of Epifanes 2-pack Polyurethane paint. For the final coat of non-slip grit, we masked up the deck to keep the fittings clear of non-slip and we painted that today, Thu 28 Apr.

Coachroof painting finished with non-slip

Coachroof painting finished with non-slip

We had to remove the masking tape before the paint set, otherwise it would be so well stuck down that it would probably rip the paint away. That was easy for the coachroof as we painted that first and could remove the tape from the deck. The side decks were done last and the tape removed from a ladder!

Side Deck Painted

Side Deck Painted

Today we also finished “T-Cutting” the hull topsides, followed by a good polish. They look good but no different in a photo taken inside our shed. While I was polishing, several boats outside were doing the same but they had to stop in the very heavy rain/hail. The hull is ready for its antifoul and the Boss will be doing that on Sunday. She always comes down on Sunday becasue Emma Caf is open and she does cakes to die for!

I was hoping to remove the tarpaulins in the next day or so, but the swallows have come back from their winter holidays in Africa and have taken up residence. I was warned that they will decorate the boat with a very pretty line of $#1@. I had to turn up the radio to drown out their chatter. It was amusing to see them sheltering in the heavy rain in the top of the roof!

Next – Putting everything back!

Boring Filling and Fairing

I haven’t given up with the deck renovation, it’s just that it’s been all the same, fill – wait till it hardens –  fair off the lumps and bumps – back to fill, and so on. Not worth writing about.

Now, we’ve done with the fill & fair, we’ve started painting the whole deck with Epifanes Epoxy paint, two layers on so far.

Epoxy onto all the corners and edges

Epoxy onto all the corners and edges

Halfway with the 1st Coat of Epoxy

Halfway with the 1st Coat of Epoxy

1st Coat of Epoxy on Deck

1st Coat of Epoxy on Deck

Foredack with its 2nd coat of Epoxy

Foredack with its 2nd coat of Epoxy

One more coat of Epoxy to go, that’s Sunday’s job; with a few places needing some filler, that’s tomorrow’s job (Wed). This will be followed by 3 coats of Epifanes 2-pack polyeurethane paint and a final coat with non-slip grit onto the deck. The trouble is that we have to wait for dry weather (relative humidity less than 75%) which is not easy around here! Finally, put the boat back together again!

More of the same …

Since my last post on 17 Nov, it would appear from my blog that we have been doing nothing. It’s just that we are doing more of the same and it not worth posting. However,

The sanding/scraping of the old paint of the coachroof continues, albeit slowly. I’m scraping paint off because sanding takes the paint off but as it’s very hard, it wears out the sanding discs/belts very quickly. The other issue is that it’s very easy to remove too much and it wears throughthe gelcoat and, in places, I’ve gone through to the fibreglass underneath. Ooops! But I will put a extra or two coat of epoxy on them later.

At home, I’ve been able to fully clean up the two locker lids, and I’ve levelled the top of the main cockpit lid. It takes much more resin to level the lids than I thought, I’m up to 4Kg of the stuff but almost finished the aft cockpit locker. I’m also cleaning up the anchor locker lid, main hatch and its garage.

Also, I’ve made up the first panel of synthetic teak. There are several errors but it will work fine. It needs a bit more sanding with very coarse grit to get rid of the spilt bits of glue.

1st attempt with making up the panels of synthetic teak

1st attempt with making up the panels of synthetic teak