Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Where's the fleet?

A local mystery, on a recent Saturday morning the trolley park was full, trailers for Optimist dinghies or similar by the look of things.

But there was no sign of anyone sailing anywhere.

Maybe the Royal Lymington just ran out of space on the dinghy pontoon, or brought all the trolleys ashore as protection against the gales during the week.

Sunday, 25 January 2015


The new owner of  our First 21 Matilda Emilie  (now renamed Valkyre) sent me some pictures of her first race from her new base in Scarborough.

In Roger's own words "It was b****y cold", not exactly a surprise racing out in the North Sea during January, all credit to him and his and crew.

Apart from the temperature the conditions look good for some nice sailing and she looks to be sailing well.

Locally the Royal Southampton YC run a Frostbite Series of races starting in January, with Scarborough being located about 300 miles to the north I wonder if they call it "the Brass Monkey Series"?

Saturday, 24 January 2015


Having a picnic lunch back in summer and watching the racing at Dell Quay we spotted this dinghy, the rig with the DB insignia clearly coming from a Yachting World Day Boat, which coincidentally is one of my favorite dinghies.

Instead of the DB's lovely clinker hull there is very hard chine which sweeps up to meet the sheer well astern of the stem. It's an unusual configuration and one I've seen before but just can't remember where and on what boat.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Fort Victoria

I couldn't get very close so the pictures of Fort Victoria don't really do her justice.

She's a heavy duty single engine launch, length somewhere around 30 feet or so, strongly constructed and by the look of her an ex military vessel. Who knows  perhaps she has a connection to the RFA Fort Victoria aboard which daughter Katy served out in the Gulf and Indian Ocean.

I hadn't noticed the name nor made the connection when I saw her, I was thinking that she would make an interesting conversion as a motor boat for the Solent.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Winter Calm

In contrast to the howling gales that passed through during the week Saturday morning brought a flat calm winter's day.

Near the town quay in Lymington the water was like a mirror, a good day to go out and check on the boat on it's mooring, even run the engine and charge the batteries if you have left the boat afloat.

Further down river all the boats are gone, presumably ashore and the moorings  have been completely removed giving an unusual and uninterrupted view across the saltings. Better make the most of it, no doubt the boats will soon be back.

While the water was still and tranquil the same could not be said of the sky, with fast moving moody clouds and the odd shower coming in fast, fortunately disappearing quite quickly too, giving just enough time to duck into a coffee shop to watch the rain in comfort.

It was a great day to be out.

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Keyhaven gaffers

In the depth of winter it's nice to recall sunny days of summer. With a midday high water and a fine settled day we took the opportunity to explore Keyhaven and the channel going down to Hurst Castle in the kayaks. The route winds through the moorings and revealed some interesting boats which aren't visible from the shore.

First up above a lovely gaff sloop, I think grey topsides and varnished coach roof is such a great combination.

Not a classic below , but Dudley Dix designed Cape Cutter is a really good looking and high performance little gaffer. I remember reading in Wooden Boat Magazine where the design was compared to a Mini Transat, well maybe not, but from a friend who had one I hear they are fast and fun to sail.

Rare on this side of the Atlantic Phil Bolder designed Chebacco probably in spirit a design close to our Drascombe Coaster. Ideal for exploring the creeks and shallows.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Winter Sailing

Sailing  from the comfort of the yacht club balcony seems very sensible during the recent cold spell.

There was some close racing and I guess the skippers were pretty close to the bar once they had crossed the line. Nice way to race.