Posts Tagged: sailing

Taking up

Lift out at Larkmans

Checking her seams at Larkmans

After the launch, the bilge pumps were set and timed regularly – it all seemed to be going OK so we went sailing with James on ‘Kestrel’ with the East Coast OGA, setting out from Waldringfield for the August Cruise to Brightlingsea on 11 August. Andy agreed to keep a watchful eye on the bilge pumps, so Steve didn’t need to worry (much!) and could enjoy the sailing and a bit of relaxation for a week away . . .

On our return, the priority was to be the mast, but the bilge pumps were still running rather too frequently. Reluctantly, it was agreed this was more than just ‘taking up’, despite all the old tricks of sawdust under the hull . . . she needed to come out for a better look below the waterline. We could have had her lifted at the Tidemill, but a better option seemed to be the short motor up river to Larkmans, where James could have a look at her seams and do any work while she was left in the slings for 24 hours. The tides were just right, with high water around midday, so Steve motored up river on 23 August.

Finishing the caulking and wrapping up for another winter

DSC04722July 7, 2014 finds Steve and Simon in Suffolk, preparing Cachalot for caulking. Before he leaves for Berlin, Simon makes a perfect job of putting more coats of primer on the hull, and we engage Paul to start work on 22 July while we go to Berlin to visit Julia and Simon.

At the end of July, determined to join in with the Dutch OGA Cross Country Tour, Bev took her bike to the Netherlands on the ferry, joining the fleet in Haarlem to ride and sail with them to Den Helder, returning mid-August after helping Claudia to move Else. But that’s all another story . . .

DSC04746Paul and Steve made excellent progress with caulking and starting with the interior and we return to Derbyshire for a couple of weeks at the end of August. After an epic furniture removal trip to help Kate and Simon (Chesterfield – Barnsley – Matlock – Birmingham – Southampton – Chesterfield in 36 hours) we return to Woodbridge as the weather looks set fair until October.

On 26 September another milestone is reached as Paul completes the caulking and ‘paying up’. We spend another week tidying up and preparing the tent for another winter, concerned as to whether it will actually survive. This really must be the last winter Cachalot spends under her tent! We head for home on 4 October.

Ready for fairing, and some summer sailing, 2013

Bungs and glue

Although all the planks and frames are done, there's still lots to do before the hull's finished. Thousands of bungs, carefully made over the winter, have been counted out into coffee tins. These need glueing carefully over the fastenings, with the grain going the right way, of course. Beverley's banned from this task, as she just can’t get the grain going right! There's a bit of repair work here and there, as well as checking over knots and glueing bungs to replace them if necessary. The excess putty needs cleaning from the seams at all the butt blocks. Beverley's role in all of this is to keep everything shipshape, get the provisions in, maintain the archive, keep the business going, do all the cooking and a few of the less skilled work on the boat itself.

Derbyshire, Dublin and back to Woodbridge

With the weather still cold, we stay in Derbyshire, catching up with work in the office. There’s a trip to Dublin in May, to meet the OGA Round Britain fleet on passage, so it’s June before we get back to the boat. Beverley stays in Derbyshire, as her Mum’s in hospital, and Steve makes a good start on fairing the hull. Despite the back-breaking nature of the work, he’s not suffering too many aches and pains either!

After ten days sailing with James on ‘Kestrel’, in the OGA Jubilee Cruise from Ipswich to Brightlingsea, we return to Woodbridge in beautiful sunny weather, at last. As its set fair, we can open up the tent to work in the fresh air and Steve gets into the swing of fairing the starboard side.

Jubilee Cruise: July 2013

Good progress with fairing the hull

After a couple of weeks in the sunshine, with the tent opened up, Steve’s pretty well finished fairing the hull, another important milestone! There’s been more visitors than usual to keep us chatting, locals as well as yachtsmen from further afield. They’re attracted by seeing what’s beginning to look like the hull of a beautiful boat in the furthest corner of the Tidemill. It's known to some as ‘death row’, as we’re very close to the bonfire and the neglected boats ashore gathering rainwater in their cockpits.

Some sailing and hammering roves

At last, she’s taking shape again: Autumn 2011

Returning to Suffolk in August 2011, to join in with the OGA August Classics Cruise, we peep into the tent to see how Paul’s been doing. He’s been making great progress! The hull is beginning to take shape again, with the planks in place to the top on port and starboard, right back to the stern. There’s plenty of work for this week though, in between opportunities to sail and socialise with the Old Gaffers.

Beverley took two days out sailing, on ‘Cygnet’ and ‘Kelpie II’, and we both enjoyed a day out on ‘Cormorant’ in the East Coast OGA President’s Race. We also joined in all the usual social jollity of the August Classics Cruise!

In between all this, Steve got on well with a couple more new planks, repairs to the ones above the garboards and made finishing touches to the garboards themselves, now snugly fitting on port and starboard. Now more of an expert than when he started, Steve keeps finding things that aren’t quite up to scratch, and removed a couple more frames and floors as patterns to make new ones back in Derbyshire! With all the new planks, there was lots to do with the ‘dolly’ though!

Inside the hull, Steve had difficulty finding a stance that didn’t result in more holes in his jeans . . . while Beverley had to borrow the ear defenders to shield herself from the deafening resonance of the hammer on roves. By the end of August, another box of roves was gone and a hundred or so new nails are holding the planks in place.

Starting to sail with ‘Cachalot’

Summer 2005

Having seen her for sale on eBay in early summer, 2005, Steve discovered that the sale had fallen through, and the seller was prepared to consider his offer (subject, of course, to survey). So what should we do? As we drove to Suffolk Yacht Harbour, Levington, Kate phoned and implored her Dad ‘not to do anything rash’, but he fell in love with the boat and our story of ‘Cachalot’ unfolds from there! With help from Mike, as skipper, Dick, Glyn and Beverley sailed her from Levington to the Tidemill Yacht Harbour, Woodbridge, Suffolk, at the head of the River Deben where we'd secured a berth for her. We first heard about the OGA when staying overnight with East Coast members, Jo and Paul.

Maintenance plan and getting started with sailing

We drew up a maintenance plan based on advice in the surveyor’s report, intending to do it in stages working with Paul, a local boatbuilder. A Day Skipper ‘ticket’ was required in order to satisfy the requirements of the insurers to take ‘Cachalot’ out of the Marina, so we signed up for that. We also needed a means of getting ashore, but what would be the best option? The first choice was certainly not suitable, a pretty little clinker dinghy that looked the part, fitted neatly on the cockpit roof but was much too ‘tippy’. The Seagull outboard also looked the part, but was hardly reliable, even with Jim’s expert advice. In the end, a flubber and outboard seemed to be the best solution.

Sailing in the Deben, summer 2006

After an excellent week on our RYA Day Skipper course with Rob, just after Easter, 2006, we needed to get plenty of practice in handling 'Cachalot' before going out of the river. We started by carefully manoeuvering her in and out of the Tidemill YH, over the sill, taking care to check the tides so that we could return later! Sailing (or motoring) up and down the Deben to moor at Felixtowe Ferry or Ramsholt gave us plenty of opportunities to begin to learn about pilotage and how to sail - to get it right and, of course, to get it wrong at times! Like everyone else has done at least once, we did spend six hours aground, when Kate came out for a sail with us.