May Weather

May 3, 2015 at 8:01 am

The house is sold, all my possessions are in storage in Bristol, I’ve been to Ireland for a week, then back to Plymouth where I’ve been working on Duet in the yard for a couple of weeks now.

Just dropped the dog off for her summer vacation in Norfolk and I’m back in Plymouth hoping to launch on Tuesday.

Of course, as it’s a bank holiday weekend the weather is atrocious. I slept aboard last night for the first time this year and the rain hammered the deck and the wind shook her on her chocks. But I have a new memory foam mattress, and it was far warmer than the van… Squished in the forepeak with the sail bags.

But by the looks of it I won’t be going far next week… This is WindGuru for Plymouth Sound:


Simon Keeling isn’t optimistic about the next couple of weeks either…

Lots of time for writing blog posts by the looks of it… I’ve got lots to write up though.

More coming soon.

Back in August…

March 16, 2015 at 8:09 pm

Remember that day back in August when my friends joined me in their rib, with their GoPro?

Here’s the result:


The Navik Has Arrived…

March 2, 2015 at 2:59 pm

Last month’s eBay purchase has arrived… Well it arrived a while ago, but I’ve been in Ireland… It’s a big box of tubes and bolts that should come back together to form a Navik Windvane, my new crew mate who will hopefully take on the responsibility for much of the steering and free me up for other things, like sail trim and navigation and making tea, and maybe even shooting more video. All without using any electrical power, just the wind and a vane and a pendulum and a paddle. Fingers crossed.


It looks in great condition and I’m really pleased with it. I’m going to give it a little polish with some oxalic acid to remove the rust stains and I got some great advice at the Hurley Owners Association AGM in Poole on Saturday so I’ve got a good heads up on how to fit it to Duet’s stern. It’s looking like it should be quite straighforward, I need to mount it on brackets on 2 blocks of teak on the deck just behind the lazarette locker to lift it up (unless anyone has any better ideas?)

I’m now busy trying to find someone to fabricate me some new brackets, and I’m going to beef up the side supports to 1″ tubing as it may need to replace my existing boarding ladder on the stern.  We will see.

In the meantime, he’s definitely going to need a name. As a kid, the powered autohelm was always called George, and he did a sterling job (apart from one near calamitous incident in the Kiel Canal when unfortunately the VERY close proximity of a VERY large steel ship confused his sense of direction and he found it rather, er, attractive). I have considered continuing this tradition, but George is a straightforward name for a simple electric device and I have the sense that this windvane is alot more nuanced and sophisticated.  Also, he’s clearly French (made by Plastimo) and should perhaps have a French name. I’d love to hear your suggestions.

Talking of Frenchmen though, he came packed with the original instruction manual and I was surprised to find it filled with somewhat gratuitous photos of scantily clad frenchmen in tight shorts, which to be honest, makes a rather nice change from the usual scantily clad blonde women in tight shorts… I know that single handed sailing has a huge cult following in France, but I love that they must have had a marketing meeting and decided they’d rather have a Bernard Moitessier lookalike in the documentation. And in the 1970s too!

Maybe he should be called Bernard, but it would have to be pronounced the English way.

Plastimo Navik Manual


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