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The Final Post

Over the past few years, we’ve had less and less time available to go sailing. Very sadly, we put the boat up for sale with Boatshed Plymouth ( Surprisingly quickly, the boat was sold and this is the last entry on this blog.

However, we are going to be downsizing back to a dinghy. The Skipper will be building a plywood lapstrake gaff rigged cutter around 15 to 16 ft long from the designer Francois Vivier (, the favoured boat is an Ebihen 16 (

I started a new blog ( that will describe the build.

Many thanks to the many people who have helped with the refurbishment of the Sadler, in particular, Vyv Cox ( who owns a Sadler 34 himself and is very knowledgable.

Fair winds and tides


Jersey Another Way

We were fed up with waiting for satisfactory sailing conditions that we left Brixham, went home and caught the Condor ferry from Poole to Jersey via Guernsey (in 4½ hours instead of 19 hours over 2 days).

Old Harry Rocks off Poole with an opportune break in the clouds
Our yacht never creates a rooster tail like this
La Corbiere Lighthouse at the SW corner of Jersey

We really enjoyed our time there visiting relatives M & V.

Back home, we set off for a local sail in the hope of better sailing. Once out in the Plymouth Sound, up went the sails, off went the engine and we sailed about half the way towards Fowey (again).

The next day, we had a superb sail to Falmouth, mostly on a beam reach, all the way into Carrick Roads in Falmouth Harbour. The last bit was close-hauled and involved several tacks. This was probably the best day’s sail that we’ve had for over 2 years! We planned to moor in the Visitors Haven Marina, but we were going to be rafted and the boats both in the Haven and the outside on the moorings were pitching and appeared very uncomfortable. We decided to visit the Penryn marina (after 20 years!) where it was very quiet and peaceful.

A couple of days later, we returned to Fowey to hide from the forecast strong easterlies. This was a good sail from Falmouth entrance to a few miles past Dodman Point when the wind died; the hoped for sea breezes materialised only as we arrived at the entrance to Fowey! We found our perfectly sheltered berth on the inside of the top pontoon. We didn’t feel any easterlies. The wind in the mornings and evenings blew up or down the river and the wind generator kept our batteries nicely topped up.

A very popular walk in Fowey is the Hall Walk; we joined plenty of others catching the upper ferry from Fowey to Boddinick along the walk and return via the Polruan ferry. We hoped for a cream tea in the Garden Room but they were closed following a burst pipe. Honour was very satisfied in the Well House!

Who can’t not like Fowey
The view from the Hall Walk over Pont Pill towards Dodman Point
Our Lunch Stop

The following day was wet, so we sheltered in our cockpit enclosure whilst others had to hide inside their boats with hatches closed.

We’ve had our good sail, so the return trip back home was another motor all the way! We needed to prepare for a birthday or two and a family get-together.

Still No Plan

We spent 5 days in Dartmouth waiting for the weather. It was either Force 6 or so in the Channel and when that abated it was foggy in the Channel Is. We got fed up waiting, so we went to Brixham.

Dartmouth to Brixham was a good sail, even if we did have Force 6 in Torbay, but with the 2nd reef in, it was fine. This was the first time we had the 2nd reef in for a reason. After a few hours, we moored alongside the MDL Events pontoon. The alternative was the town pontoon, but the shower block was about ½mile away as opposed to 100m.

We planned to stay 2 nights and leave 1st thing on the 3rd morning when it was forecast to be fair across the Channel and Guernsey no longer had 100+ French boats taking part in a race!

Years ago in our Westerly Centaur we stopped at Brixham and walked to Berry Head, it was a very pleasant walk away from the very busy tourist resort with loadsa children (and adults) crabbing from the sea wall. We didn’t remember all the fortifications that were on Berry Head.

A surprise on the way to Berry Head along the coast path

Brixham has a Rockfish! Friday supper was fish and chips in the restaurant above the fish market and a superb view over the harbour and beyond.

Brixham Breakwater is ½ mile long
Sunset over Brixham

By this time we had got really, really fed up with the weather as the C.I. were covered in fog. We don’t have radar on this boat and although we have AIS which tells us where the bigger boats and some of the smaller boats are, there are enough others who would be a hazard in fog. We decided to go back home and get to Jersey on the Condor ferry to see the Skipper’s brother and family!

We caught the tide from Berry Head all the way to the Mewstone outside Plymouth Sound.

Berry Head – Now you see it
Berry Head – and now you don’t (see it)

The wind was mostly S.E. and we managed to sail most of the way until 2 miles short of Warren Point East of Plymouth Sound. We got back to our mooring and packed up the stuff we needed for the next few weeks and went ashore the following morning whilst the tide was high enough. Friends D & A in Cargreen, fed us coffee and roast lamb! We definitely didn’t deserve that, but many thanks, it was lovely!

Next stop Jersey, via Home and Poole. We get back later in time for a sail along the Devon & Cornwall coast, return for a 1st birthday party, a family gathering, a tour around England seeing friends and a 80th birthday party. Hopefully, we get some more sailing later in July.

Plan A? No A Plan.

We hoped that after a couple of nights at Dartmouth Darthaven marina we would be ready to set off towards Guernsey. We were, but the weather wasn’t. The forecast was Force 6 in the Channel, fog patches both in the channel and around the Channel Is. We do not have radar on this boat and we have a couple of weeks in which to make the crossing, we have decided to wait until the weather improves.

We’ve been coming to Dartmouth for 20 years or so and we have never been on the Paignton to Dartmouth railway. Sun 26 May 19 was the day we did. Diesel powered to Paignton; a 4 mile walk to Churston and a steam engine back.

The diesel took us to Paignton and the steam engine brought us back

The steam engine appeared to be American.

The steam engine had USA on the coal and water wagon.

We’ll be staying in Dartmouth until the weather improves sufficiently for us to have a pleasant, if long, trip to St Peter Port in Guernsey.

We’re off towards Dartmouth via R. Yealm

There have been lots of family stuff, visits etc and by Mon 20 May, we’re now ready to set off for a month or so in the Channel Is and France. Loading day was Mon; Tue saw us back on the boat to set off on Wed.

Mon 20 May – Wed 22 May

Whenever we go away, we always seem to take loadsa stuff. The Skipper made two journeys to load up with clothes, walking gear and stuff. On Tue afternoon, we took mostly food and the few things that we had forgotten the previous day and then we packed it away in places that we would forget; the Skipper would the Boss doesn’t! On Wed morning, the tide was ebbing and it took us down river at a reasonable speed to Mayflower marina to fill up with some fuel, but mostly water which was empty. After a mug of tea we set out into Plymouth Sound, where we managed to sail for about 2 hours – a first this season. We finished the day on a visitor’s mooring in the R. Yealm.

Thu 23 May

After a few exchanges of texts with J & E, they came across from Cawsand and joined us for an hour or so before they went back home. It was great seeing them after quite some time.

We did a bit of tidying and cleaning, and went for a walk from the ferry steps on the Wembury side to Clitters Wood. The Yealm is always a pleasant spot.

R. Yealm looking South from Clitters Wood

Cuchulainn on a visitors mooring inthe R. Yealm

Fri 24 May

Time and tide wait for no sailors, we were therefore up in good time to catch the tide around Start Point towards Dartmouth with a forecast of W or NW 3-4 occasionally 5. My usual rant: what did we get 1 – 2 – 3 W or SW, later it became all over the place. We mostly motor-sailed with an hour or so of engine-less sailing.

We pre-booked a berth at Darthaven marina in a good place to escape on Sun when we head off towards Guernsey.

Apologies for the Lack of Posts

I’m about to put that right!

We had Cuchulainn lifted out at Weir Quay again as they are very convenient for us, no more than 20 mins away.

The view from Weir Quay in Nov 18.

The winter work of varnishing the interior was completed, thanks to the very mild and dry Feb. The foredeck was ground back to fair glass or filler and filled and faired with epoxy filler and finally painted with serveral coats of 2-pack polyeurethane white paint.We managed to polish the hull this year as well! Plus the usual cleaning and antifouling.

However, an unplanned job was to rework the skeg and hopefully, third time lucky, it is now fixed. Many thanks to Saul and Max (?) at Weir Quay for removing duff insides and refilling, fairing and painting.

The mess of a skeg in need of repair.

We were launched on 8 Apr 19 ready to sail except for a couple of jobs up the mast. The Skipper installed a new VHF aerial and windex, destroyed by the rooks, crows, jackdaws and Mr T Cobley. He also re-threaded the lazyjacks and the flag halyards.

Skipper up mast fixing flag halyards

On Fri 19 Apr, we set off towards our favourite port – Fowey for a pleasant shake-down sail. Well, we motored all the way from the breakwater to Fowey. We had motored down from our sailing club to give the engine a good run after 6 months silence. We did manage to sail from Drakes Is to Penlee Point.

The Boss and Skipper having lunch in Fowey

Fowey Harbour from the Fort

And then we motored all the way back without any sails ‘cos there was no wind! The joys of a yottie.

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