Wednesday, December 21, 2016

____________________________ 'SLIPSTREAM' __________________________

There she was peeping out from the bottom of the boat rack at the Worser Bay Boating Club in Wellington. She is the Zephyr Class sailing dinghy 'Slipstream' which I have just purchased; thus finally settling the choice of a bigger sailing dinghy which has been occupying my thoughts for some time.

The round bilge Zephyr Class is the big sister of my current hard chine Starling sailing dinghy. Both were designed by the talented New Zealand yacht designer Des Townson. There are fleets of Zephyrs all over New Zealand providing plenty of competition. The Zephyr class has become a very popular choice for older sailors, being big enough to provide challenging and exciting sailing, but not so big that older sailors find them exhausting.

The 2018 NZ Zephyr nationals will be held at Worser Bay Boating Club which is a great venue for sailing - I will definitely be a starter. 

'Slipstream' has the Zephyr class emblem painted on her bows. 

'Slipstream' is a basic no frills example and will require quite a bit of work to get her up to the standard I would like. I will sail and race her this summer and do the required restoration work over winter.

It was a nice trip south to pick up the boat, being one of those journeys where everything goes right. I managed to drive an uneventful 12 hours non stop to Wellington and stayed with friends in the Stokes Valley just out of Wellington city. The weather was sunny and agreeable and the road dry and safe. I did the drive back to Whangarei over a two day period, completing a round trip of 1600km.

The seller of 'Slipstream' was an affable and engaging semi retired airline pilot. After we had loaded the boat onto my road trailer we did the business over lunch at his house five minutes from the yacht club. With the wheels off the beach trolley everything fitted and tied down well. A slight shortening of the beach trolley wheel base will see the whole outfit fitting well.

I thought the name 'Slipstream' with its aero and hydrodynamic connotations was an appropriately named yacht for an airline pilot and I myself have a nice coincidence with my new boat. 'Slipstreams' sail number is 195. This is the same sail number as my little 'P' Class yacht 'Elusive' that I raced in the National 'P' Class Championships in Wellington in 1968. When I do the Zephyr Nationals in Wellington in 2018 it will be a span of 50 years!

Zephyr 195 - 'Slipstream'

P Class 195 - 'Elusive' 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

______________________ MARINERS DINGHY ? (12) ______________________

I have finished the inside of the dinghy with a 'two pot' marine paint system and it is now almost complete. I may install a couple of inspection ports in the the stern and bow buoyancy chambers which will allow access so that I can bolt on rudder gudgeons and mast support blocks. I will also be able to remove whatever clunks around in both chambers whenever the boat is turned 180 degrees.

It's only when I see a photograph such as this (above) that I realise how much progress has been made.

By installing a centre board and a sail I am transforming the dinghy from a simple yacht tender to a small boat in her own right. Should she continue to be called 'Mariners Dinghy' ? or should I give her a name ? ....... which reminds me; I have a list of names for the restored Starling dinghy, but to date I haven't given her a name - ye salt laden sea gods, that's almost as unlucky as sailing on Friday the 13th or forgetting to give the crew their rum ration!!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

___________________________ GEZELLIGHEID ______________________

Onze vrienden Ben en Renee reisden een lange weg van Nederland naar Nieuw-Zeeland om ons te zien. We hadden goede tijden samen. Goed eten, goede wijn en een goed gesprek. Gezellig. Heb een veilige reis naar huis. Wij hopen dat ze snel terug komen.