Tuesday, September 18, 2018

____________________ THE LAUNCHING OF 'SCOUT' ____________________

After a concentrated period of work involving spar making and the fitting of numerous bits of crucial hardware I was able to grab a good weather window between periods of roaring gales and rivers of rain to launch 'Scout' and try out the lugs'l rig for the first time. It was a pleasant and enjoyable occasion.

'Scouts' sail has been made from an old mains'l that was given to me by my father many, many years ago. A qualified upholsterer he was more at home in a sail loft than an upholstery shop. He worked for Lloyds Sails and Saddlery here in Whangarei and rescued an old tan bark coloured mains'l from the rubbish bin. Cut down from its original shape it has made a great little sail for 'Scout'.

There were only a couple of teething problem; the dagger board jambed part way down - I am working on the fix for that at the moment and the main sheet jamb cleats are too small - which I will replace with a couple of big old cam cleats I purchased years ago.

I was pleased with the sailing performance. She sails well both on and off the wind and the sail area is just right for the type of sailing that is intended for 'Scout'. I was able to sit down low and comfortable on the floorboard slats and when the wind picked up I was just as comfortable on the side seats. This is the kind of sailing I am looking for in this type of boat - sitting comfortably inboard and below deck level without the need to hike out to keep the boat on an even keel, but with enough sail area so that performance is not compromised too much. A great little boat for exploring bays, inlets, rivers and islands.

With her simple un-stayed mast she is quick and easy to rig and un-rig, making the whole experience hassle free.

As I type this it is raining hard and blowing half a gale. As soon as there is a break in the weather (which includes a good sailing breeze) I will be off scouting around in my diminutive little cruising boat.

Friday, July 6, 2018

- John Fitzsimmons

Old boat I have used you
grown dry and checked,
heavy on your timber cradle,
tired of all the bullshit
and messing.
Ripping the glass cloth
they laid on your keel
I felt the power
of a labored birth;
the stagnant smell of years
of damp-rot
and patchwork.
Neither am I proud
of your plywood deck, knowing
too well I wasn’t built
for ease of maintenance.
We repair each other
to our barest hulls,
and strengthened
work from there.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

_____________________ The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn _________________

I wish to spend as much time as possible at or on the sea, sailing, living quietly, independently, and according to a value system in which not economics but Simplicity, Openness, Curiosity, Meditation and Time are important. To honour this while being committed to and surrounded by the ones I love is my calling.