Sunday, 15 July 2018

Been busy and something different

Been busy lately organising a small boat cruise/raid in the nearby bay of Hyeres and Porquerolles archipelago. Good turnout is expected, the fleet should count 8 boats!

http://miravarvoile.blogspot.com/

Also I've recently purchased a nice example of a GIS, or Goat Island Skiff, a nice little boat designed by Michael Storer and built by a friend.



She is light and lively and quite different from the roomier, more sturdy and stable Pathfinder. I chose it as it allows me to take it to the water by foot from our house on a custom built launch trolley (built using bits of my sons' bicycles and skateboards).

The GIS allows me to squeeze in a quick couple of hours' sailing in a hectic schedule centered around work/family/house-renovation-works.

Of course Pathfinder Astrid will keep on sailing: we are taking her to Sardinia for our three week annual sail holiday. Astrid will also feature in the mini raid (see above) I'm organising.

Friday, 1 June 2018

Pics from Venice

Heading north, away from Venice after the rain had just stopped (photo courtesy S. Zulian).

The leaning church tower in Burano ....(photo courtesy S. Zulian).

Not much wind today ...... (photo courtesy S. Zulian).

On the way to Valle Zappa (photo courtesy S. Zulian).
(photo courtesy S. Zulian).

Monday, 14 May 2018

Great weekend

A nice picture from last weekend, getting the boat ready for this year's edition of Velaraid


Sunday, 13 May 2018

At last :)

First sail of the season!
We've taken full advantage of a couple of bank holidays to do some maintenance work on the boat , mostly repairs leftover from the last sailing season. 

After months working on planning, building and finishing our new house it was a great feeling to take the boat cover off for the first time in ages and get on with some long awaited maintenance works.
These included improving the cb pivot fixing and seals, adding Teflon pads to reduce cb play in case, adding a cb slot gasket, light sanding and two coat of clear varnish , gaff repairs, adding licker drains where needed, replacing the electric bilge pump  and servicing the motor.

I also had to validate the procedure of getting the boat out of our (new) garden using an electric cable winch I installed for the purpose.

We had two days sailing both alone and with up to 4 kids onboard. Ideal conditions with nice steady winds around 15 knots. The boat sailed like a dream, I have to say that having produced a constant stream of little improvements to the ergonomics, the rig and storage areas is really starting to show in terms of ease of use and sailing pleasure.

We feel the boat is ready for the upcoming adventure: one week sailing and camping in the Venice lagoon. We are becoming regular participants of the "velaraid" sail gathering which is organised every two year by a phenomenal bunch of people from a sail club in Venice.
Astrid was christened and launched there two years ago.... I realise now how much of a gamble it had been back then to take a brand new, home built, untested boat to a venue such like that one. Velaraid provides great sailing environment and experience , but conditions can be tricky (traffic, shallows, currents, local knowledge) and it is better handled with a tested and trusted boat.

Really looking forward to take the boat there with wife and the two boys.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

1st .... and 3rd

The return trip to France has started. Our Pathfinder Astrid will also serve as a carrier to transport our Stornoway 9 foot dinghy back to France.
The St 9 was our first build, a stitch and tape hull with nice lines and 5 strikes per side right out of a Selway Fisher stock design.
We built it as a small outboard dinghy for motoring around our well known bays here in Sardinia in the off season or as a utility tender to my dads boat, which shares its the same color scheme. We actually built it as a gift to my parents back in 2002. It had very little use, mostly because in 2005 I added  an aluminium outboard skiff to the family fleet, proving to be more roomy and powerful for off season use, and able to take a 15HP outboard.
The St9 spent the last fifteen years upturned under a tarp in my parents garden. It is still in perfect shape, bar the varnished transom flaking quite a lot . It will be now ferried back to France to be converted to a lugsail sailing dinghy for my boys Emilio and Filippo to learn how to sail straight from our new house on the waterfront. I will build a sailing rig using an existing gaff mainsail from a previous project,  daggerboard case, rudder, tiller and watertight side benches.
A new life for our 1st build , carried back home inside our 3rd ...
It wil also get a new paint job, possibly a little more striking and wild than the existing to match it's new owners/users eagerness to learn how to sail.