Sunday, June 28, 2020

__________________________ WINTER SERIES _________________________

All rigged up at the Onerahi Yacht Club today and ready for the second set of 3 races in the combined Whangarei yachts clubs winter sailing series. When sailing last week at the Parua Bay Yacht Club my placings were a fourth and two first places. Today I scored two first placings and a second - these results have me leading the winter series by one point. I am encouraged by these results because the winning margins were a lot bigger than when I previously (pre-renovation) had the odd win and also it means the last twelve months spent doing a restoration on the boat has been time well spent.
The crucial factors that have contributed to better performance are:

- The boat now weighs 59kgs down from 64kgs - a weight saving of 5kgs. A light boat is a fast boat.

- New carbon fibre foils are half the weight (3kgs) of the old wooden foils (6kgs) and are a very accurate commercially produced aerofoil shape. The boat steers better, points much closer into the wind and the feel on the helm is light and balanced. The small bucket I felt we were always towing has vanished.

- The hull has been repaired and faired, capturing the true shape of the hull minus any corrugations and imperfections.

- An adjustable mast step allows various raking angles to suit various wind conditions.

- I am now using a 'TacTic' digital compass which makes the detection of wind shifts a doddle. I should have had one years ago. The tactical usefulness of such a compass cannot be emphasized enough.

- Adjustable hiking straps makes fine adjustments during or between races very easy ensuring more comfortable hiking positions.

There are a few more tweaks that I will do to squeeze out a bit more boat speed. Overall I am pretty pleased with the performance. I haven't produced a super yacht, rather I have produced a level playing field. Slipstream is now as up to date as any of the other 'flash Harry' Zephyrs racing. The winning difference will now depend on the nut holding the tiller, time on the water and a fair old wodge of luck.

The next race in the series is in a fortnights time at the Marsden Yacht Club - I'll be there.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

________________________ TIME TO GO SAILING ________________________

 This is how the boat looked at the time of purchase.

This is how she looked half way through the renovation process.
 This is how she looks now, all dressed up and ready to rock and roll.

Yesterday the lowest Covid 19 emergency level (Level 1 of the 1 to 4 levels) came into action in New Zealand. This pretty much means that life goes back to normal except that the borders are still closed. Any special entry exceptions have to go into isolation for 14 days before fully entering the country.

I have spent a good amount of the Covid 19 lock down time finishing my Zephyr sailing dinghy 'Slipstream'. The last job has been setting up the sail controls and adjusting the rigging. Today I rigged the boat and checked everything - it's now time to go sailing.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

_________________ THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT TREES ________________

Pohutukawa tree at Onerahi North Island New Zealand

...........  And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye, and ear,—both what they half create,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.

From 'Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting 
the Banks of the Wye during a Tour - July 13, 1798 - By WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

Ancient Pohutakawa tree at Algies Bay North Island New Zealand

Monday, June 1, 2020

__________________ A LESSON IN PAYING ATTENTION _________________

Note the bucket floating like a blue duck on 'Scout Lake' and the water cascading from 'Scout Waterfall' in the foreground.

Well shipmates, it happened like this. Just before a large low pressure system dropped billions of tons of water on Northland I removed the cover on Scout, took the bung out of the back, drained a small amount of water out and left the cover off to air the boat. Later the deluge began. Rather than run out and put the cover back on I thought that I would just leave things as they were and let the rain give 'Scout' a good clean AND yes shipmates you have guessed it already. After draining the boat I REPLACED THE BUNG. Well, today, after a week of continuous rain I went out to take a look behind the shed and put the cover back on and the rest, as they say in all the small dramatic stories is history. It did make me smile to see the blue bucket floating around and hear 'Scout' say to me "Pull the bloody bung out you dickhead and try and be a bit more aware in the future". "Sorry Scout old mate" I muttered, "I just wasn't thinking". It doesn't pay to wander around on autopilot.