Lift Out 2023

Friday 17th November 2023

I finally got the boat out of the water for winter. Never been this late, but Storm CiarĂ¡n delayed things on the planned lift out day then we had to consider tides for the run up to Treluggan.

I popped down to the boat on afternoon of 15/11/2023 and rowed the dinghy out to the boat. Did all the usual daily checks and settled down for the evening. I really do need to get the heater installed as at this time of year it really does get cold onboard.

Thursday lunchtime I rowed ashore and drove to Treluggan Boatyard and met up with the boat was going to help me move the boat. We dropped off his car and returned back to Saltash Sailing Club, jumped in the dinghy and rowed back out to the boat. On firing up the engine, it was not happy as air was getting into the fuel system. We took the risk as we knew what was happening and motored over to Mark's boat on the Devon side of the river. Tied up to his boat so he could retrieve some kit and pottered back to the club pontoon. After talking sternly to engine we headed to the pub with the big Union Flag painted on the front! A proper pub with decent beer.

Dinner at the Saltash Sailing Club and an early night.

0500 hrs

The alarm went off and I turned the kettle on. We decided to wait until we had enough light to see as there were a lot of moorings with no boats on them before setting off. I really, really did not want the embarrassment of fouling my prop on somebody's mooring.

0700 hrs

We cast off from the pontoon and headed down the Tamar before a turn to starboard and up the Lynher.

Apart from the engine having an occasional 'grumble' as it ingested some air, full throttle sorted that out, the trip was very pleasant on a cold winter's morning with little movement on the water. Sadly, there were two masts sticking out of the water and I wondered if they had just been left to sink as wrecks or if there had been a reason why they had sunk. Still means that somebody needs to lift them from the sea bed at some point in time.

0830 hrs

Arrived at Treluggan to be met by Tom and Donald making their way down the slope. Turned everything off and collected our kit and headed back to Saltash. I always think it is easier for them to get on with the job of propping the boat up without the owner fussing about in the background.

En Route to the sailing club Mark pulled in at a greasy spoon, KLM Diner on the outskirts of Saltash and a small breakfast and tea purchased later to be consumed outside the club. With cars in all in the right place we all headed for home at the end of a short day.

All times are UTC.

The Numbers:

Underway Distance
Day: 1h 32m 6.80 4.40 6.10 0h 00m
Year: 2h 47m 14.90 5.32 6.10 0h 00m

Crew: Sandy Garrity (Skipper), Mark Rodgers

Sunrise: 0733 hrs Sunset: 1632 hrs

Weather: The shipping forecast issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at 23:30 (UTC) on Thu 16 Nov 2023 for the period 00:00 (UTC) on Fri 17 Nov 2023 to 00:00 (UTC) on Sat 18 Nov 2023.

Wight, Portland, Plymouth

Northwest 4 to 6, backing southwest 3 or 4, then south 4 to 6 later. Moderate or rough in Plymouth, elsewhere slight or moderate. Showers, rain later. Good, occasionally poor

Met Office Synoptic Chart 17/11/2023

© Met Office Synoptic Chart 17/11/2023


Southampton Boat Show

Saturday 23rd September 2023

As I had not been to the Southampton Boat Show for a few years and the dates conveniently coincided with an Ocean Youth Trust voyage that ended in Southampton I found an AirBnB in Southampton and stayed the extra day.

Gosh what a tired looking show it has become!  Tiny in scale when compared with to pre-COVID times.  The usually stall holders were either absent or on stalls a third of the size that I saw on my last visit.

I whizzed round the show, spent some time catching up with old friends on stalls and quickly fought my way through the incoming crowd, yes I really was leaving that early and probably saved a small fortune in lunch.

Following the visit I can't ever see a return one.


OYT MACS Trip Day 7: Brixham

Tuesday 8th August 2023

0700 hrs

Everybody woke and had breakfast. Then a 'super happy hour', a really deep boat clean.

1000 hrs

The voyage wrap up talk and certificates handed out to all of the crew.

1100 hrs

The crew depart and the Sea Staff start Prolific's weekly and monthly checks. The new members of Sea Staff start to arrive and the current ones pack and get ready for departure.

1300 hrs

With the boat safely handed over to the new skipper and crew Andy B suggested we all head into Brixham for coffee and a cake. We found The Chart Room, this is a delightful Cunard themed coffee shop, turns out the owner used to be a steward on ocean going liners.

1430 hrs

Back on Prolific and we collect our kit and had a farwell hug before heading back home.

An amazing trip that left me very humble given the lack of vision that many of the crew had.

All times are UTC.


OYT MACS Trip Day 6: Fowey - Brixham

Monday 7th August 2023

0700 hrs

We were getting well practiced at getting up early.

Cast off from the mooring and motored up river to turn Prolific, giving a good view of the commercial docks. On our return down river a Mexican Wave was performed for Rhona II.

0900 hrs

Out at sea and the sails hoisted, the plan was to take Prolific past Berry Head, over Tor Bay and into Anstey’s Cove. Dinner in the cove then back to Brixham after sunset.

1300 hrs

Crossing Tor Bay and enjoying being in waters that I have sailed before in both Aphrodite and my old boat.

1800 hrs

I was given the helm to get the boat anchored - this could be interesting as I've never helmed at slow speed in an anchorage at slow speed with other boats about – no pressure!

With Prolific safely at anchor we eat supper and chill out for a while waiting for sun set.

2000 hrs

Just as the sun set with the last of the light we raised the anchor and motored across the bay back to Brixham then tied up Prolific in the dark.

2230 hrs

Lights out and sleep before the crew leave in the morning.

All times are UTC.

The Numbers:

Underway Distance Avg
Day: 14h 15m 71 4.90 7.00 2h 00m
Trip: 33h 55m 187 5.66 9.00 2h 00m

Crew: Andy Brown (Skipper), Lauren, Josh, Glyn, Robert L, Jack O, Sandy Garrity and MACS crew.

Sunrise: 0452 hrs Sunset: 1955 hrs

Weather: Issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at 00:15 (UTC+1) on Mon 7 Aug 2023

The shipping forecast issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at 00:15 (UTC+1) on Mon 7 Aug 2023 for the period 01:00 (UTC+1) on Mon 7 Aug 2023 to 01:00 (UTC+1) on Tue 8 Aug 2023.

Dover, Wight, Portland, Plymouth

West or northwest 3 to 5, occasionally 6 in Dover. Slight, occasionally moderate. Fair. Good

image host

© Met Office Synoptic Chart 07/08/2023


OYT MACS Trip Day 5: Falmouth - Fowey

Sunday 6th August 2023

After yesterdays blow everybody woke up to a bright sunny day.

0800 hrs

After a quick cup of tea we slipped our lines from the pontoon and moved over to the fuel pontoon to load up with fuel.

Fuelling Prolific took over an hour, a breakfast of warm croissants and coffee was served on deck as we enjoyed the sunshine.

I as extremely surprised at one boat owner who got rather upset at the length of time we took to fuel up and can only think that the skipper had a tight timescale to reach a tide gate, but to be so unpleasant is beyond words especially as we had a number of young people onboard.

0950 hrs

With over a tonne of fuel added to the tanks we cast off and started the passage east to Fowey.

1015 hrs

Just off St Anthony Lighthouse we headed into wind and raised the mizzen, main, staysail and jib.

A cracking day at sea, the wind from behind the beam, sun in the sky and occasional visits by dolphins, always a delight to see.

The skipper announced he would like to see the mizzen staysail hoisted. Its not a sail I've seen hoisted so left it to the first mate and the staff engineer to sort out the hoist.

Ten minutes of noisy, flapping sail it set and another ½ knot was added to the speed. Hard work but it did look good.

As we arrived at the entrance to Fowey we dropped the sails as there were several yachts, RIBS and small motor cruisers buzzing about so we slowly motored in and looked for one of the large buoys.

1430 hrs

Launched the dinghy and attached to one of the big buoys at Fowey.

Once Prolific was rigged for a night at anchor it was time for some shore leave. The dinghy was again lowered and the crew scrambled down the netting to be run ashore.

I was allocated the first run and waited at the small pier until we all assembled before we made our way to Readymoney Cove where some of the more adventurous crew changed into swimsuits and went for a dip. I had conveniently forgotten my swimming shorts and it was not the sort of beach you would skinny dip.

Following the swim ice creams were purchased and enjoyed as we walked back to be transported back to the boat and dinner.

The dinghy drew alongside with a slight swell and as one of the crew misplaced her step she grabbed me, my life flashed in front of me as I could see that unless very careful I would be having an unplanned swim. Thankfully, I managed to remain on the pier, but left some skin there for all time.

All times are UTC.

The Numbers:

Underway Distance Avg
Day: 4h 25m 24 4.00 8.00 0h 00m
Trip: 19h 40m 116 5.95 9.00 0h 00m

Crew: Andy Brown (Skipper), Lauren, Josh, Glyn, Robert L, Jack O, Hannah B, Sandy and MACS crew.

Sunrise: 0453 hrs Sunset: 2001 hrs

Weather: Forecast valid from: 01:00 (UTC+1) on Sun 6 Aug 2023 until 01:00 (UTC+1) on Mon 7 Aug 2023

Issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at 00:15 (UTC+1) on Sun 6 Aug 2023


Northwest 4 or 5, occasionally 6 at first and 3 later. Rough, becoming slight or moderate. Showers. Good.

© Met Office Synoptic Chart 06/08/2023


OYT MACS Trip Day 4: Storm Antoni

Saturday 5th August 2023

With a F9 in the forecast everybody was quite pleased to be staying in Falmouth, especially after the experience of the passage from Brixham to Plymouth!

The morning was spent cleaning, cooking and doing some sailing theory, as many of the crew were working towards their RYA Competent Crew certification.

We were extremely lucky that somebody who had sailed with OYT South before was serving on RFA Argus tied up at the docks and we were invited onboard for a tour of this 100 bed hospital ship.

RFA Argus from Falmouth Docks

The visit was extremely poignant as my late father served with the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and his first trip docked at Falmouth.

All times are UTC.

Underway Distance Avg
Day: 0h 00m 0 0.00 0.00 0h 00m
Trip: 15h 15m 92 6.03 9.00 0h 00m

Crew: Andy Brown (Skipper), Lauren, Josh, Glyn, Robert L, Jack O, Hannah B, Sandy and MACS crew.

Sunrise: 0453 hrs Sunset: 2001 hrs

Weather: Forecast valid from: 01:00 (UTC+1) on Sat 5 Aug 2023 until 01:00 (UTC+1) on Sun 6 Aug 2023.

Issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at 00:15 (UTC+1) on Sat 5 Aug 2023.

Wight, Portland, Plymouth

Southwest 4 increasing 5 to 7, then veering west or northwest 6 to gale 8, occasionally severe gale 9 except in Wight. Slight or moderate becoming rough, then becoming very rough for a time in Portland and Plymouth. Rain or showers. Good, occasionally poor

© Met Office Synoptic Chart 05/08/2023


OYT MACS Trip Day 3: Cawsands Bay - Falmouth

Friday 4th August 2023

An early departure had been agreed and everybody was up and eating breakfast when there was a knock on the hull, we had visitors from Rona II. The skipper and two of the crew. The two skippers caught up with their news in the shed and the two crew members had a tour of Prolific and appear keen to get involved with hoisting the mizzen. Their skipper hurrying them off to the dinghy, I wonder if he was worried about losing crew as the were impressed with the size of Prolific, especially the accommodation.

While still at anchor I lead a mizzen hoist, one slight issue the downhaul did not flow freely through the cleat, but that was quickly sorted out.

0830 hrs

With the anchor weighed we were underway. While still in Cawsands and sheltered we hoisted the main before motor sailing round Penlee Point and Rame Head.

The passage to Falmouth, which I had previously taken several times, went without incident. The Sea Staff and crew settled into their watches and Prolific efficiently, which always a delight to see happen. With good winds we kept a good speed over the ground.

One quick lesson was learnt, not to say dolphins when you were doing something that needed attention as all work stopped and all eyes would be looking for would be looking for them.

1500 hrs

After passing a large cruise ship anchored in the bay we started a series of tacks to enter Falmouth Harbour. The skipper took us to the west of Black Rock and several sailing boats came in close to take pictures of us.

To our surprise, or rather dismay, one sailing boat under power overtook us on the port side about five metres off before crossing our bow! Had we put a tack in at that point goodness knows what would have happened.

Sails were quickly and efficiently dropped and we motored to Port Pendennis where we tied up alongside on B pontoon.

It was almost a year to the day that I had last berthed here after the trip from Faro in August 2022.

The skipper was paying close attention to the depth of water and trundled off to the marina office and came back with their detailed chart. Asked for the lead line and he and the second mate took a series of soundings round the boat, before consulting the chart again. It had become apparent that we would be sat on the bottom at low water and after consultation with the marina we moved to A pontoon.

The skipper then gathered the sea staff to look at the chart in detail and comment on it. A fascinating 20 minutes looking at their chart and being asked some challenging questions about it.

The forecast for the following day was not good, NW F9 and the decision was taken to stay in Falmouth for two nights.

All times are UTC.

Underway Distance Avg
Day: 7h 15m 52 5.50 9.00 0h 0m
Trip: 15h 15m 92 6.03 9.00 0h 0m

Crew: Andy Brown (Skipper), Lauren, Josh, Glyn, Robert L, Jack O, Hannah B, Sandy and MACS crew.

Sunrise: 0448 hrs Sunset: 2000 hrs

Weather: Forecast valid from: 01:00 (UTC+1) on Fri 4 Aug 2023 until 01:00 (UTC+1) on Sat 5 Aug 2023

Issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at 00:15 (UTC+1) on Fri 4 Aug 2023


Northwest, backing southwest later, 4 to 6. Moderate or rough becoming slight or moderate. Showers. Good, occasionally moderate

© Met Office Synoptic Chart 04/08/2023


OYT MACS Trip Day 2: Brixham - Cawsands Bay

Thursday 3rd August 2023

We agreed an early start and after breakfast got up on deck to slip lines. I was wondering where the promised sailing conditions, bright sunshine and a steady F4 from the SW, had gone as we had heavy rain overnight and visibility was poor.

0840 hrs
Lines slipped from the pontoon and we were off. A few fishing boats maneuvering in the harbour and a Dutch sailing boat departing just before us.

Just out of the harbour the fishing boats roared past us and the Dutch boat was hoisting sails. We then started with winch drills – teaching or reminding everybody to make sure hands did not get jammed and that pinkies not thumbs should be towards the winch!

0940 hrs
Winch training completed we hoisted sails just south of Berry Head and settled into our watches in a good sailing breeze.

1100 hrs
Time for the Man Overboard drill, I hear there is a move afoot to get this changed to 'Person In the Water', Bob was flung into Start Bay and we swung into action, the crew pointing and Sea Staff getting ready to hoist the Bosun overboard to collect Bob.

1130 hrs
Passing inshore of the Skerries Bank we had a close look at Start Point lighthouse and the overfalls gave us a taste of what was to come.

Interestingly, the skipper asked if I would monitor the passage through the narrow channel between Start Point and the bank on the chart.

1200 hrs
As we were now to the west of Start Point the seas had built and the forecast was correct we were experiencing rough seas. An afternoon of passing sick buckets around started as the ride was uncomfortable.

1400 hrs
A 90° course change as we turned to head for Plymouth passing the Eddystone Lighthouse and several fishing boats trawling on our way into harbour.

1630 hrs
Tucked up at anchor in Cawsands Bay in the company of five other sail training vessels: Olga, Johanna Lucretia, Pegasus and Rona II.

Several people went ashore in the dinghy and Josh and Hannah decided to swim back to the boat (madness)!

A cracking day sailing even though many were seasick.

All times are UTC.

Underway Distance Avg
Day: 8h 00m 52 6.50 9.00 0h 0m
Trip: 8h 00m 52 6.50 9.00 0h 0m

Crew: Andy Brown (Skipper), Lauren, Josh, Glyn, Robert L, Jack O, Hannah B, Sandy and MACS crew.

Sunrise: 0445 hrs Sunset: 2003 hrs

Weather: Forecast valid from: 01:00 (UTC+1) on Thu 3 Aug 2023 until 01:00 (UTC+1) on Fri 4 Aug 2023

Issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at 00:15 (UTC+1) on Thu 3 Aug 2023

Portland, Plymouth

West 6 to gale 8, veering northwest 4 to 6. Rough or very rough, becoming moderate or rough. Showers. Moderate or good

© Met Office Synoptic Chart 03/08/2023


OYT MACS Trip Day 1 - Brixham

Wednesday 2ndAugust 2023

0800 hrs

After breakfast we start the long list of tasks before the crew arrived. The usual long list of daily and weekly checks followed by 'the deck walk', where we go through all the systems and refresh our memories on how the boat works and what has changed since we were last onboard.

1100 hrs

The Sainsbury’s van arrived at the marina office with the weekly food delivery, by this time the sky had opened and Torbay was doing its best to be a Scottish summer, with waterproof jackets, shorts and sandals we unloaded the van, moved the food into bags, loaded the trolleys, moved everything to the boat, loaded the bags onto the boat and finally stowed everything in the food lockers, freezer and fridges.

Following all that time for a mug of tea and a quick lunch.

1300 hrs

The crew started to arrive as they were joining from all over the UK arrived at the varying times between 1300 and 1500.

After everybody arrived we sat round the table, introduced ourselves and tried to remember names, something I always struggle with! Most of the crew had sailed together in the past and they were at a distinct advantage.

Following the introductions there is a whirlwind of safety, galley and heads briefings. I was allocated the 'fun event' of handing out waterproofs. Just to finish things off we had a 'dry run' Man Over Board and a evacuation drill. The latter so that everybody could get out to the deck quickly.

Looking at the forecast it was agreed that we would not depart until the morning.

All times are UTC.

Crew: Andy Brown (Skipper), Lauren, Josh, Glyn, Robert L, Jack O, Hannah B, Sandy and MACS crew.

Sunrise: 0445 hrs Sunset: 2003 hrs

Weather: Forecast valid from: 01:00 (UTC+1) on Wed 2 Aug 2023 until 01:00 (UTC+1) on Thu 3 Aug 2023

Issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at 00:15 (UTC+1) on Wed 2 Aug 2023

Portland, Plymouth, Biscay

West or southwest 5 to 7, increasing gale 8 or severe gale 9 for a time. Moderate or rough, becoming rough or very rough in Portland and very rough or high elsewhere. Rain or thundery showers. Good, occasionally poor

© Met Office Synoptic Chart 02/08/2023


OYT MACS Trip - Pre Voyage

Tuesday 1st August 2023

I usually sail with the OYT at the start or end of their season as many of their volunteer sea staff are at university and can only sail in the summer holidays. Usually when I sail with them the weather is a tad more robust. So I was rather looking forward to some lovely was summer sailing after reading the email allocating me to a voyage in August. Warm summer days, balmy evenings with an orange juice in hand watching the sun set. Tee-shirt and shorts sailing.

Joining Prolific 24 hours before the crew allows a good hand the boat over from one sea staff team to another, do any maintenance jobs, enjoy a meal and a beer before the crew arrive.

Arriving in Brixham it was good to bump into Glyn, a member of sea staff I had sailed with before, in the car park as was able to walk down to the boat and catch up with the news before getting onboard.

One of the local lifeboat coxswains, James, joined us for dinner at The Blue Anchor. The craic was good, the beer was good, but the food was disappointing at the prices they were charging. Note to self: Not on my list of fab places to eat in Brixham.


New Mooring at Saltash

Thursday 6th July 2024

After way too long Aphrodite is back on the water!  A busy few days at the yard, Ian the GRP man has done a fantastic job on the P bracket, but kept us waiting right up to the wire.  Leaving Donald very little time to sort out propellers and get the engine running before launch.

Mark offered to assist with taking the boat down to the mooring, having left the cars in at Tamar River Sailing Club and Saltash Sailing Club, we being members of the clubs that look at each other across the Tamar, we jumped in the dinghy and went up the river at low water to take a good look at the channel. Only after setting off did we realise that we had planned a pub meal, but had no means of transport.  Thankfully, a pub was further up river and we were able to arrive by boat on a very high tide. The ride up was like going up a jungle river with the trees touching the water. I must do that trip again.

0815 hrs
Duncan arrived and we set about reconnecting the exhaust pipework. That done filled a bucket full of water and turned the engine.She chugged and coughed, but did not fire up. No fuel getting to where is should be. After what seemed like ages she sparked into life and I could breath again.

0850 hrs
Shaw and Tom arrived with the tractor and boat lifter we were on our way to the slip.  I walked slowly behind, having spent so long ashore it was hard to believe that we were going back in the water.

0910 hrs
Down on the slip I climbed on board and checked that all the through hulls were not leaking started the engine and let things settle - then a heart stopping moment as the engine died, a quick restart and a few extra revs had her going again.  Clearly she had forgotten how to behave at tick over, or was very cold.

Mark tied the dinghy to the transom and the yard team pulled the bow round the end of the pontoon and off we went following the posts marking the route closely and after an hour arrived at the mouth of the Lynher to join the Tamar.

On entering the Tamar the wind was a southerly F4 gusting F5 and a 'bit lively', I was sure the last forecast I had seen said to expect to see a F3.  We headed up to Mike's boat to drop his kit off when he had a lightbulb moment and suggested that we go alongside the Tamar River Sailing Club pontoon as he would not need to come back to his boat.

Kit dropped we untied and had the easiest pontoon departure ever, the wind blew us off, and headed over to the Cornish side to look at the mooring.

I had inspected the mooring the week before, but it was unsafe to do any work on it in the dinghy.  Lines were both tangled and covered in mussels.  Thankfully the lines on the north buoy were usable, but that would mean that when picking up the buoys the bow would need to be pointing north.

With wind over tide and the wind being the strongest force we had to use the south buoy to attach first and given the conditions that was not going to happen.

Plan B was to come alongside at Saltash, but with two boats already on the pontoon that was not possible, so we had a Top Gun 'buzz the tower' moment, racing past the pontoon giving everybody at the club a laugh.

Plan C was to return to TRSC and tie up to their pontoon while we waited for the tide to turn and the wind to drop - we headed back to the Devon side of the river.

On tieing up I spotted a somebody who had his boat near mine at Treluggan and greetings were exchange, Aphrodite was tied up alongside, Mark and I adjourned to the local pub, where I drunk strong tea and had lunch and we worked out a Baldric like cunning plan.

After lunch while waiting for the tide there was a knock on the hull and I spotted Tim grinning from ear to ear, welcomed him onboard and caught up with the gossip.

1415 hrs
We left the pontoon with a cunning plan to get the boat on the mooring.  The wind had dropped to 15 kts and the sea flattened.  I gave the helm to Mark and he motored the bow up to the south buoy as I hung over the bow with rope in hand ready to thread it through a shackle and get the boat attached.  On the second attempt we were on.

The mooring had not been used for about three years and the lines were covered in mussels! Given the weight of mussels the lines had sunk and had tangled themselves up with each other forming a horrible mess.  After a lot of heaving, cutting, knotting, grunting and a few choice swear words Aphrodite was attached to four lines and we had a mass of line, floats and mussels on the deck, but she looked happy to be back on the water.

The view from the cockpit

1545 hrs
After a well earnt cup of tea we sort of tided up, filled the dinghy and headed back for shore.

My next task is to sort out all the minor defects that we spotted with the engine after it had not been used for 18 months, a diesel leak at the primary filter, the water pump is leaking from the back, the water speed wheel is not turning and one section of the exhaust hose replacing with a longer length as the P bracket housing is much bigger.  That should keep me out of mischief for a while.

It was good to see the boat back on the water.

All times are UTC.

Underway Distance Avg
Day: 2h 15m 8.10 3.55 5.00 0h 00m
Year: 2h 15m 8.10 3.55 5.00 0h 00m

Crew: Sandy Garrity (skipper), Mark Rodgers

Sunrise: 0413 hrs Sunset: 2031 hrs

Weather: The shipping forecast issued by the Met Office, on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, at  00:15 (UTC+1) on Thu 6 Jul 2023 for the period  01:00 (UTC+1) on Thu 6 Jul 2023 to  01:00 (UTC+1) on Fri 7 Jul 2023 .


Southwest 3 to 5, backing south 4 to 6 later. Slight or moderate. Mainly fair. Good.

© Met Office Synoptic Chart 06/07/2023


Treluggan Boatyard

Saturday 1st July 2023

The original plan was to be in Treluggan for seven months in which time I would do a major refit.  The most pressing job was to sort out a 'rumble' coming from the drivetrain that I had heard during the summer.

With the boat out of the water you could wiggle the prop shaft at the P bracket, looks like that is the issue. As we dismantled the drive train it became apparent that something had happened at some time in the past and that things were worse that I had feared. Not only could the P bracket be moved when the stuffing box was removed the stern tube end was not straight, but had chunks out of it.  Something had happened at some time in the past, but I was unsure if they were related.

Then came the long hunt for somebody to do the work as this was way beyond my level of GRP work.  One contractor said he was interested, but had not done that type of repair before.  He then disappeared for several months.  I suspect he was not confident and rather than saying, 'Sandy, sorry but I'm not happy doing that job.', just left me waiting.  I frustration I had a chat with the people at the yard to see if they had any contacts in the trade and thankfully they had just found somebody that fitted the bill. 

In June 2023 Ian arrived with his tools dug out the P bracket from the GRP then proceeded to rebuild the structure that held it in place, this time a bit more substantially than the original design.  Once that was completed moved on to replacing the metal stern tube with a spun glass fibre one.  The original metal stuffing box, with a Radice dripless seal to eliminate having to pump out the engine bilge daily.

All Glassed Up

The Finished Job

There had also been a number of other equipment failures that meant things needed replacing.  The fresh water pump being the highest priority, a simple trip to the chandler with the part number of the existing pump.

The most comical item was the hinges for the sea toilet, they do have a habit of routinely breaking.

Water in the Engine Bilge

One of the most satisfying jobs to get done while the boat was ashore was sorting out a mysterious leak that kept filling the engine bilge.

After a heavy downpour I would return to the boat to find water under the engine and backed up to the transom which was puzzling as I was unable to spot where it was coming in from.

On removing the fuel tank I found a pool of water under it and was able to work out that the water was entering the boat via the hole in the deck where the fuel pipe cap was located! 

Unscrewed the fitting, drilled the holes through the deck and replace the screws with three bolts and applied butyl tape round the fitting and tightened up the bolts.  Finally, the leak has stopped.

I really enjoyed my time at Treluggan, the yard are happy for you to work on your boat, get them to do the work or get a contractor in to do the work.  Other yards are very 'protective' and only they can do work on your boat.


Bespoke Log Book

Thursday 1st June 2023

I mentioned on the introduction page that I am the 'world's worst' at keeping a log on passage and one of the impacts of this was when coming to write up this blog, I was missing all sorts of detail that I wanted to include.

As a result I gave the subject some thought, why was I not keeping a good enough log, what could I do to improve my log keeping, what would help me to keep a good log and use it throughout a passage?

Firstly, I am left handed, corrie-fisted as we say in Scotland, and don't have the neatest of handwriting as I spent my working life thumping a keyboard. I've found the spaces in the RYA Log Book are way too small 'a bit tight' to say the least and with their predefined columns rather limited to recording what somebody else thinks they need to record, not what I want to record.

Secondly, there is never enough space to write things in the log as they are usually about A4 size. This has resulted in things being jotted down on different bits of paper, e.g. amount of fuel purchased on the Peterhead ended up on at least three pages of a notebook and I'm still not sure if that covered every jerry can filled.

As a result I decided to design my own. Prolific has a rather nice hardcover bound A3 log as it needs to conform to coding requirements, this sparked the idea of producing the same size A3 book for Aphrodite with two pages for each day. The left hand page for the entry of data for 24 hours and the right hand side for a narrative. Throw in a few extra areas for crew, weather, route and passage stats and it had all the data that I would need on passage and to be able to write up the blog at a later date.

A few days messing with the word processor gave me a couple of early drafts that were printed off and refined. Once satisfied I found a company online that would take a few PDF files, print, bind and add some covers.

Much to my surprise the cost was cheaper than the RYA Log Book, granted it is not as nice looking, but I want a practical document not something that looks good on the shelf. A3 fits on the chart table.

If anybody is interested in a copy please get in contact.

image host Data page - sits on the left

image host Narrative page - sits on the right


OYT Training Weekend


As a member of Ocean Youth Trust Sea Staff I always try to attend their training weekend near Southampton.

Not only does it allow us to do some specific RYA training and specific topics related to the charity and Prolific, but means Sea Staff can meet up socially and remember trips and look forward to the summer season.

After an early start and a three hour drive through thick fog I arrived at the training venue and was able to park the car nearby.

Saturday's excitement was to renew my RYA First Aid at Sea Certificate, something that needs to be done every three years. And given COVID I was interested to see how we were to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Not long after we got started I met the new 'blow up' Resusci Annie, a few giggles went round the classroom.


Resusci Annie

As we ploughed through the material during the afternoon it occurred to me that I have held a first aid certificate, in some form or another, for 50 years!

The second thought that struck me was that the RYA First Aid at Sea book has very little to do with doing first aid at sea! While the content is great it is written for an audience that has easy access to emergency services!


A very different day with a series of lectures and activities on OYT and Prolific specifics.