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!
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!
This idea is courtesy of Viv Cox, a Sadler 34 owner and regular contributor to the Sadler Owners Forum. See https://coxengineering.sharepoint.com/Pages/default.aspx.
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!