Monday, 19 June 2017

Season opener

This weekend we finally kicked off the new sailing season in grand splendour.
It has been a long time coming due to work and family commitments and the new and time consuming project of moving to a new house.
Winter and spring went away quickly with house refurbishment works having to be designed, planned, authorised and finally kicked off. That took all of our spare time.
The rationale behind the future move is that the house is located in close proximity to the water, about 50m, and it shares a private slip with the other neighbouring houses.

Launching this weekend was an eagerly awaited exercise since testing the slip (which is quite steep) was a long time priority as it ties with the overall idea of buying the house in the first place.
(thank you Laurent for the photo and the help! Thanks dad and Mike for the help too!!)

Launch and recovery went without issues. How nice it is to rig the boat right in front of one's house. I also took a nice picture from our future bedroom window.... where Astrid is seen at anchor in the bay ... while the "real" Astrid and the kids await to walk down for a sail.

The season is officially open!!

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Season preparation

Season preparation is starting. So far I've only begun hacking at the to-do list that I wrote while lazying on the sofa during the winter.... improving hatches, improving onboard flexible mounts, clean up and treating the teak floors.... most importantly I'd like to find a solution for a better positioning of the jib sheet fairleads.
The notable achievement so far is that I have fixed the centerboard pivot that had the tendency to come unseated to expose the sealing o-ring leading to leaks. Now it is secured by a bolt holding it into place....

Before: with the retaining latch gone missing the cb pivot has crept out of its intended seating position exposing the o-ring thus leading to leaks

After: the cb pivot secured in place with a M6 bolt

Monday, 29 August 2016

Nice weekend sailing in Sanary bay

We spent a great weekend sailing in our local waters, the bay of Sanary-sur-mer. Launched saturday morning and recovered sunday evening.
On launch day,  door-to-water took about 1.5 hours (including 15 minutes drive). Recovery on sunday took around 2 hours including a stop on the way home to have the boat and trailer rinsed at a local jetwash.

Sailing was great, nice south westerlies 5 to 15 knots. 

We sailed, picnic'ed and enjoy snorkeling in fantastic clear waters.

Along the way we enjoyed a stop at one of the local ports for an ice-cream. That sure set the crew running!

I also spent some time looking at the boat's upwind performance. The GPS tracks from this summer's Sardinia sailing seem to indicate a tacking angle of 125° to 135° when reaching. For what I know the boat should be able to point higher and I finally realised that perhaps I made a mistake positioning the jib sheet fairlead. When fully pulled in the jib angle is not as tight towards the center of the boat  as it could be and that is because I routed the sheet to run outwards of the shrouds. 
A quick check on other pathfinder bloggers site showed that they rather had the sheet running inside of the shroud, allowing a much closer sheeting angle for the jib.
I'll have to ask confirmation in the yahoo group ...

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Sardinia sailing

Just a short post to show what we've been up to.... Astrid and it's crew is currently sailing around the northeastern coast of Sardinia, taking each chance to go explore on land

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Beautiful Burano

New friends Olle and Barbro from Sweden who were sailing along with us during VeLa raid sent me this nice picture of "Astrid" close to the shores of the island of Burano.... such nice memories of those beautiful places!

Lagoon concert....

Thursday, 2 June 2016

A few pics from Venice

Here are a few pics from Venice, more to come.
Most pictures were taken by new friends Pierre and Katia sailing their Pirmil "Thema" , a beautiful and versatile little boat.
The launch!

No water coming in, just glasses of champagne!

 First official meal onboard

First sail!

 How about that as a skyline?

And that?
Friends Felix and Giuseppe sailing by Pellestrina Island

Running with full sail, GPS was reading 6.5 knots over ground

Windless and beautifully calm

Group lunch

Overall it's been a fantastic adventure, I am totally in love with sailing in those waters...

Wednesday, 25 May 2016


After weeks of frantic activity aimed at finishing the boat in time, "Astrid" was eventually launched on monday 16th May, roughly 3 years after the build started.
The boat was launched in the waters of the Venice lagoon in Italy and the following day it participated to this year's VeLa raid a 5 days' sail around the famous lagoon.

Great satisfaction, lots of fine tuning, a few minor technical setbacks. All in all the boat performed up to the highest of expectations.
I am particularly pleased with its stability, sea keeping ability and shelter offered to its crew. On the first day of VelaRaid, we sailed a 22 mile stretch with our three and six year old sons in full safety and comfort.

More to come soon ....