Monthly Archives: May 2017

First Sail Away

Wed 18 May

The windlass that failed the check on our last trip is now with the scrap metal dealers as it’s proper bust! There’s no chance for getting it repaired, so the holes have now been filled with sealant.

We’ve loaded the boat with all our stuff for the trip (in 2 journeys from home) and today everything is now ready to go. Our friends D & A invited us along for lunch, only to find that we were gate-crashing E’s birthday with M & H as well. Many thanks for the lovely lunch and for keeping our car safe. I’m sure the swallows will be nice to us in the barn!

Back on board after lunch, we now think everything is in the right place, but time will tell to depart Cargreen around 10.

Thu 19 May

Clearly, we’ve got soft, ‘cos it was cold last night and we were wearing loadsa bedclothes! We managed to get everything done and ready to depart for 09:30 (perhaps 30 mins early!)

The forecast was W 3-4 occasionally 5 and showers; well the showers was correct but the wind never got above F3 and most of the way it was F2 or less! At least the sea was smooth to slight. Everything worked until we got to Fowey when we decided to moor alongside the upper pontoon. Once we were settled, the mooring officers advised us that a Salcombe group had booked the pontoon but the previous shift who watched us come alongside but did nothing. We moved up-river to the Gridiron pontoon, which is even quieter, especially when the forecast F5 – F6 arrive in the next day or so, which it didn’t!

Next to us was Valerie, a Rival 32. We invited N & S for tea and later joined them for some wine after dinner. We had most enjoyable conversations.

Fri 21 May

The wind was due to be SW veering SE Force 3-4 occasionally 5. We took the opportunity to sail to Falmouth, actually in company with Valerie, leaving around 09:30. The Boss nipped ashore for a quick bit of shopping (milk & bread) before an enjoyable sail full and bye (just off being closed-hauled). At times, our speed through the water exceeded 6 knots, not bad for a 34ft yacht. The new sails are brilliant! We decided to go close to Dodman Point as the sea was not as bad as we thought and got to the Falmouth Yacht Haven in just under 4½ hours. We’re tied up alongside next to some sail training yachts for sea cadets.

The Boss enjoying the sail but not the Skipper taking photos

Looking forward to fish and chips and the UK’s best fish and chip shop – Harbour Lights, a shower and a good walk, but not necessarily in that order!

Valerie under sail off Falmouth

Went Sailing and Broke a Bit!

Monday, a fine day, saw us on the boat, casting off and motoring down the river for a test sail.

It was decidely cold but a reasonable wind from W or SW. We hoisted the mainsail just after we crossed the Bridge by Drake’s Island; it’s lovely and new and set very well. Next up was the genoa, also brand new, and set very well. This new sail is cut much higher off the deck, so forward visibility is better, but the genoa cars need to be moved with every reef. Job for later is to mark on the deck where the block needs to be for the reefed sail. The main was checked with one and two reefs in, and set well.

We sailed into Cawsand bay to anchor for lunch, only to have the wind get up and colder!

At Anchor in Cawsand Bay The boat behind dragged onto us!

The windlass sounded a bit odd when I let the chain out, however, raising  the anchor jammed it up completely. Job No 1!

We sailed back up the river to just above the bridges and motored the rest of the way to our mooring. We packed up and loaded our new (to us) dinghy and the Skipper rowed the Boss back to shore; this dinghy rows very well ‘cos it has a keel.

The Skipper returned to the boat a few days later and removed the windlass and tested the installation of an emergency bilge pump. The pump is fixed to the step with 3 bolts and secured with wing nuts, and as the operator is standing the pump is easy to operate without tiring. V V useful with a saloon full of water!

Emergency Pump installation

This idea is courtesy of Viv Cox, a Sadler 34 owner and regular contributor to the Sadler Owners Forum. See

The Skipper took the windlass apart at home and discovered the ceramic magnets stuck to the side of the motor housing were broken and the bits had seized the motor completely. The windlass is a 25+year old Vetus unit, now well past its sell-by date. We may fit a new one next winter … I went back to the boat to put a permament seal on the holes into the forepeak from the removal of the windlass and discovered job No 2. The Starboard aft window leaked quite badly in the recent rain and managed to partially fill the chart table and cabin bilges with water. In addition, the saloon hatch also leaked. Instead of a quick hour on board ended up with several hours of bailing out and drying  everything. I fixed the window with larger screws and a dose of silicon sealant as a temporary measure. The permament solution will be to remove the window, clean all sealant off, fill all the screw holes with epoxy, drill new pilot holes and refix with fresh mastic. (An autumn job)

Another unscheduled visit to the boat today; I removed the saloon hatch, scraped and cleaned off the mastic, re-applied mastic and screwed down the hatch again. I hope this works; I think I may have been running out of mastic when we refurbished the deck in 2015 and was too stingy so it didn’t have a good all round seal. It had better B*&^%y seal this time!