Thursday, 15 August 2019


Tavolara is the name of the spectacular island that dominates the bay where we usually sail when we are in Sardinia. It's a massive slab of rock , 600m high and 4 km long planted in the sea in an east/west orientation. It's height and morphology are such that the island dictates how the winds behave in the whole bay, that has been a marine protected area since about 20 years. It has also a beautiful sandy beach that gradually morphs into a white rocky mountain in the sea . It's a great destination for us also to go on land and explore by foot.

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Sardinia season kickoff

Our three weeks holiday in Sardinia kicked off today with the launch of "Astrid" at a small cove next to my family's house. It is just a narrow beach , accessible by car early in the morning or late afternoon.
Launching was a little but more complicated than usual due to the thick layer of dead posidonia stacked on the beach. Locals say that winter winds and storms dictate the dynamics of posidonia stacking on the beach. Some years I've found the cove completely clear, some others the opposite. I think it is going to be tough to get the boat out at the end of the season!

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Winter sailing

Our winter sailing is mostly enjoyed on our Goat Island Skiff "Joy Spring". It is light and quick to rig, we can cart it and launch it by hand on the slipway that is a few steps from our house. That allows us to catch every opportunity to go out for a sail whenever work, house works, family commitments, children activities and weather are all positively aligned.
Out with company ...

.. or just alone with "Joy Spring"

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

A new Pathfinder .... (but not for me)

Here are a couple of pictures of a brand new Pathfinder to be. I had been contacted by S. H. a fellow former John Welsford design builder who was interested in the CNC kit I propose.
Under condition that the person is entitled to build a Pathfinder (i.e. has proof of purchase of the plans supplied by John via the well known distributors) I am able to supply a water jet precision cut kit which includes most of the ply components of the hull. .

The kit includes for instance the frames and the actual hull strakes which are cut to exact size, including the clinker overlap as per John's design. Puzzle joints are used to join the three sections that compose each strake. A few extra bits include the full rudder, centerboard case, and ply tools including supports to build a birdsmouth main mast and a router jig to cut NACA profiles on the rudder and centerboard. 
What is not included in the kit is decks, coaming and seat tops which by experience are best spiled and fitted to the actual hull

The kit is the same I made myself for my own Pathfinder "Astrid"; I integrated square plywood hatches (with door and sill elements) in the seat fronts and in bulkhead #1. In my boat I use stainless steel hinges and turn knob to operate the hatches that have proven to be well watertight using self adhesive neoprene rubber strips on the sills.

The kit I prepared for S. H. is cut out of marine grade all okoume 9mm and 12mm ply; nesting the components on the CAD software allow to save considerable amount of ply.
I look forward to meet S. this weekend to hand over the kit. 
After a couple of weeks' work to prepare the strongback, join the bottom plank with its puzzle joint and assemble the CB case, he'll be able to start the actual "making it 3D" process!! 

Monday, 30 July 2018

First sail Sardinia

Here we are, finally!
Sailing single handed to transfer the boat from the bay I normally launch her to the one where our mooring is. Family awaiting at the destination, I indulge in a slightly more offshore track line to enjoy the perfect north-Easter ("grecale" down here) .

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!

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).