La Semaine and Bertha I

With La Semaine Du Golfe Bertha will need some taking care of. Sanding and painting the  hul is a good start.

The boat will be left afloat on a mooring during La Semaine and that’s an issue. She will fill up.

Traced the leak ar the rear; The solid oak panel once again not bonding with the ply. The best answer would be be to replace the oak with a ply panel but I like it as it is so I’ll just waterproof it. There is another leak to look for at starboard I haven’t been able to find up to now.

With my compagnon Frans joining me during the raid it’s fair to think the boat will be underpowered. So I have  a jib sail made. It will be ready next weekend, can’t wait.

Ah look it’s there!

Some damage needed to get repared:

And some more pictures from a week later:

Preparing for 2017

Some highlights at the 2017 agenda:

  • La Semaine Du Golfe with Berta: 20 to 28 May
  • Minisail Nationals at Roadford: 15-16 July (not confirmed)
  • Minisail Europeans (de gouden neut)at Wormer Netherlands: weekend of 18 June
  • Minisail gathering at Keyhaven: September (to be explored and confirmed)

Attending the bi-annual event La Semaine du golfe de Mor Bihan in France will be a first for me. On the 5 day raid with a “14 foot sail and row” called Bertha, my old time friend Frans from Holland (a genuine sailor) will join me.

From the U.K. John B. a good Minisail racer will be there with either his Redwing or in a French  wooden dinghy called Arouet . That will be a great encounter.

Let’s see after our first “the Semaine Du Golfe” is a potential Minisail  event in the making.
For this first edition we’ll see how that goes in boats where one sits in opposed to sit on.

To be continued without a doubt.

All is well

Minisail and Merlin Rocket 2482
Not really on a global scale but it’s well in my boating micro-environment, indeed a bit of a nuisance for this blog: not much to report about.
Meson 2287 is now water tight, the centerboard slot gasket is a fine addition, and she goes like the clappers once the wind picks up. Mind she’s a handful to keep upright in shifty conditions. In 4+Bf she sails best with the centerboard half-way down and that’s not a lot to dampen any heel. Add to that the light weight (hardly no inertia moment at all) and the plank acrobatics.
Picture following: Nice run upwind riding the plank 1/2 extended. A wind shift forces to let go the main and slide in gently and rapidly both together. By the time you recover balance the following shift kicks in and blows you over. That had me swimming a few times.
This part of the learning curve now mastered (well a bit) I am confident the little witch has some more tricks to throw me off I need to find out about.

Let’s hope for a not too cold winter so I can get her out plenty before the next season begins.
Some weeks ago the Merlin Rocket 2482 and Minisail 9000 were out together on the pond. With hardly any wind we at least had the time to take a picture.
(MS 9000 had the plank removed for that day and somehow didn’t carry the right sail.)

It’s blue II

With the hull the right way up, the amount of blue surface is pleasingly less prominent. Good, it looks fine now.
Notice the aluminum bumperstrip added. I wasn’t going to at first but after only six or seven days sailing the unprotected bow had taken a good beating. The bumper should take care of that.
The leaks at the transom have been taken care of, some dents and bruises were buffed out, the split sliding seat base is mended (happened when trying to roll over the hull not knowing the seat extended).
She’ll be fine for next weekend.

470 forestay chain plate repair

Some weeks ago two lovely sisters, good sailors and friends of mine, found the forestay chain plate of their old 470 finding it’s way through the deck and asked me if I could take care of it.
Having told them I probably could, but cosmetic surgery aftercare would be for them, they agreed.
Browsing the interweb I found a documented report of a similar repair on the French website
With a good insight of the specific construction I went over to have a second look at the patient and it was obvious I wouldn’t be the first one to get that nose done.
The deck had been lifted before and was sealed shut. No way I would lift it from the hull with a few gentle ticks from the hammer.
Out with the (fantastic) oscillating tool and off went a good part of the front deck.

Found the original GRP square profile gone and the repair GRP-wood combination end-of-life since the (second?) wooden back-up material had dissolved.

I cut away most, if not all repair-GRP.
With some pitch pine wooden stock I made a wedge profile and fitted it snugly in the corner, wel soacked in epoxy and three layers of 280 g/m² over it, re-creating the original GRP profile… Sort of.

That needed curing so hang on, I’ll finish this nose next week.

The Meson at Staunton Harold

All images courtesy R.Baker
At Staunton Herald things are well organised, sailing’s only allowed when the green flag is up. And at about 6 P.M. it went up on Friday evening. For Friday evening clubsailing… How I love this and just cannot imagine this kind of discipline would get installed in clubs in Belgium.
I rigged the boat and got out in the midsummer sun (and a gentle breeze) on the lake to discover it along with some other plankers, the lovely TOY playing along.
Half an hour later I came back in and heard water slashing in the hull when pulling it up a trolley. Quite a lot of water in the hull there.
It didn’t take a drop in Ostend or Wormer.

The 760 km on the trailer between Wormer and Staunton Harold must have shaken the old hull and opened some seams.
And it did fill up really good since I saw the bow submarining on the last race downwind course day two second race. Never had that with a boat before.

Still it was fun to sail and not a big issue, I’ll waterproof the cigarbox. A bit disappointing it sank during a Nationals yes.

Different issue and completely my fault was losing the centerboard all together during race two of day one.
The item freed itsself from the c.b. king-pin (because I didn’ secure it) and slid away trough the c.b.slot happily knocking the hull. I managed to pull it back to into place again after a while, but by then the race had ended.
As also by then the wind was gone, luckily the gentle rescue-people towed me in.

So really the first attempt racing the Meson wasn’t flawless, still I love sailing it, and as usual: room for improvement.

All images courtesy R.Baker