Lena diary - Friday 14th March

Midday - seemed ok in Bristol, hazy sun - Uphill, well maybe Siberia would have been a warmer option. Biting N wind. no sun - and a damp mist, strange with such a strong breeze. Quite simply - bloody freezing !

I did strip off my cockpit slats - at least some of them - kneeled down below the dodgers it was not too bad - gloves on in march !

Got the old screw holes csk and epoxy filled before dark.

Cleared out and sugar soaped the heads area. The vent had been leaking ( fixed and re-bedded ) and evrything was getting black mould - inc my lifejacket and salopettes a bit. Quite like cleaning things - easy to do as its a moulded shower area, so the base catches the water.

The whole boat needs doing sometime - it builds up. condensation and cooking etc.


still cold but clear and some sun today - less wind.

Helped M&s with their mast head. Drilled out the lugs to 8mm. 26' boat. 6mm rigging with 1/4 clevis pins !

The main backstay pin was actually bent. Easier to source short and long pins in 5/16th anyway.

Finished the slats and the last screw holes. I don't remember what I used for these oak slats - some black stuff - but it certainly was not wanting to part company from grp. I had to physically scrape every sq inch with a screwdriver to get it off.

Got the Geonav plotter ( hand held, gift form a old boy who collects scrap. MES, when they shut up shop at Bristol apparently dumped about ten in the skip - no data or svga leads though. I have the 12 v - and could rig up the usb no problem. Nice plotter - well made.

Picked up a 2 year old navionics uk ireleand card from the YBW forum 'for sale' - 65 quid - boxed like new. So thats working well - somewhat differing system to the Garmin 152. Useful for when I have no waypoints placed on the Garmin.

I mostly navgiate on data - so all I want is a destination point - then course, current cog, speed and distance to run etc. But it all helps.

I was in a tizz approaching Ilfracombe well after dusk - just didn't look the same - it was rough weather, and I really was uncertain for moment. My last waypoint I had just dropped half mile offshore - of course I was now well inside of it - so its saying daft things to me as to where ilfracombe is ! Learned a lesson there - if you run some waypoints in to a port stick the last one right on the harbour nose.

Still - its all working - so hand held full colour plotter with uk ireland navionics for 65 quid can't be bad.

Lets just hope it keep working !


Took a plaster cast of the mast track end moulding. I want to make a continuation track so the slugs can run right down to the boom. Don't want to chop the mast moulding really.

Earlier drilling monel rivets and now making plaster casts - should have been a dentist.

( made now - turned out ok. If it fits as planned it will work. )

Rubbed down the cockpit floor and degreased it. Hopefully if dry monday am I can mask it and get a coat of primer on before leaving.


Typical - three days of bitter howling winds and now I'm off home its a balmy warm day. Still - paint the floor - get the tape off - and pack up for home.

PS - have now settled my prefilter choice down to a new spin on m16 x 1.5 head with built in primer - fitted for now with the Fleetguard water separator filter FS19599 ( 7 micron @ 98% - stratopore medium - drain valve at base )

I can keep my existing cav, plus new filter and primer bulb as a complete spare unit. That primer bulb is a few years old now - so could let me down. The new head with bulb was only £11.99. The FS19599 are £6 + vat ( cheapest I found was HGV supplies - quick too ) I can get Mann Hummel 842-2 for this head local at £4 + vat if I'm pennypinching. They are more like the Delphi 496a, Baldwin 5587D or Fleetguard FF5135 @ 16 micron 98%.

The advantage is basically a better head arrangement and bleed screws - spin on, less seals - and a better choice of filter type.

The cav's are ok, but are paper and a bit old hat. I can now choose between options of 7 micron, 16,30 etc.

I have also moved the filter to the left front of the engine - run the fuel line aorund the front bulkhead in marine Lloyds heavy 8mm hose. Its then only about 250mm to the lift pump - n the 7.5mm cotton braided nitrile ( fits the stupid spigot on the yanmar lift pump better - 7mm - nuts ? )

If the track is sucessful - I may change the reefing.

A simple system is to use a single line to pull down the mast cringle - then tension the boom end lines the 'other way' through the jiffy reefing track, back to end of the boom. Thye could just be wound around the boom end and made off to a jam cleat. Easy to do and reach.

At present I have standard jiffy reefing - hooks at the mast - and lines led up to two reefs from the Barton track with sheaves. These tie off fowards to cleats by the mast end of the boom.

I have a spinlock clutch, three way - currently for, Main Halyard - Topping lift - Boom vang.

Of these, only the main halyard needs the coachroof winch. The topping and vang could be just led back to a simple jammer and horned cleat.

If my slugs can drop right to the boom - then the simplest way to pull down the mast end cringles is just as shown - straight down through a boom mounted eye to a deck mounted upstand block. This allows some movement of boom right through the full sweep of the mainsheet set.

I can reach the boom end easy enough. Its less lines runnimg along the boom. The first reef can end at a knot just past the Barton track sheave - or maybe an 'eye' to grab. Pulled tight, wound around the boom end and locked into a jammed cleat.

The mast lines could be a double upstand block - two side by side eyes on the boom. Both reefs would have to be pulled down the same side. If the first pulls to starboard, the flap will set port - then the next will have to be the same.

Essentially all I need to alter it is one double standup block - and maybe a spinlock turning bar ( which are not that expensive for threeway ) I then need to make off the topping ( could just be a horned cleat ) and maybe a jamming device for the vang.

By the time you price even a cam action cleat - you may as well buy a two way spinlock simple lever jammer. They are much cheaper than the 'clutches' - they just lock the rope off.

The main problem would probably be locating the diverter bar - they are pig to fix through double cabin roof mouldings !

I do have a third reef in the main - which can be lashed if needed. I have never used it. If its that bad I just set a jib and use the engine. Different if one is making long passages of weeks duration.

My reasons for doing this is basically - when single handed, one can end up not having main up when one should - and the easier it is to reef, the more use one makes of the main. I've learned a lot recently, especially when sailing with Ian - who makes good use of the main even when motoring head to wind. We will often have a full main up - even when its impossible to set the gib given our course to wind.

I can drop the main easily and quite safely - but its setting a reef alone - especially when its a diffucult sea - that leads you to leave it down, often motoring when I could be sailing - and the more you 'sail' the more you learn.

Diary 1st April 2014

Was going home today - but so warm and placid here. Odd for a big spring tide - usually brings in wind. Massive tide last night - but awesome still and hazy. A couple rowed in in the near dark - right at the top of the tide. Outboard had packed up - but I envied them that row ! Flat glassy water everywhere. mist and half light - nice.

Sorted a few jobs - modified my primer bulb housing and banjo. They use a 'Goodrich brake' type of banjo bolt - the housing for the flow is on the bolt not the housing. ( they are expensive too ) but it maks it cheaper to make the primer ! The outlet hole now lines up fully with the recess - had to take 3mm off the thickness and then 3mm off the banjo bolt itself !

So easy to file - god knows what grade of ally these are, old coke cans melted in a pot probably !

Took it home to sort out properly, with a good pair of digital calipers. Needs to be parallel.

Fixed the spinaker pole to the port hand rail - its better ther ethan behind the greenhouse !

Such a nice day I went into Weston - got some bread and things and new shoes ! My old boat daps had become 'unwalkable' - so I gave up and hit Shoe Zone, a pair of black canvass deck shoes and a pair of soft moulded 'mule' things - real cheap.

Changed them on the bench in town and put the old straight in the bin - felt like a bit of a dosser ! Ha - maybe I am .

Weston s Mare was quiet, warm and 'out of season' quiet - nice.

Finished drilling the mast for the slug track - needed a stop button and the stainless strip the boom runs on is mega hard steel ( old stuff - c 1970's ) I had my big Makita cordless, Heller colbalt bits in 0.5mm increments - and still managed to break the 4mm !

Just a few jam cleat to add to the boom now for the aft reef lines.

Moused and removed the topping lift - so stiff I could hardly bend it. Took it home to scrub down and into the washing machine ( no wife ! - they come up lovely in a wash !)

Need to re-read Hunts Ascent of Everest - then I will feel better about climbing up to the spreaders on my prusiking gear .

Ha - in my potholing days I've done 1000 ft freehanging shafts on this gear - now I'm feeling it at 5 m. Still - we are worried by the consequences of a fall - 1000 m is no worse than 50m - both will kill you and the lower height will kill you quicker !

I just use a Clog sit harness - then hoist a new unused 12mm spinaker sheet, up with the main and foresail halyards ( these run over the masthead sheaves ) I then climb the new line - and back myself up as I go with an extra Petzl onto the spinaker halyard.

It easy enough - and one cannot fall off ( ie one could pass out and be safe.

I don't rig any decender gear - I just prussik downwards. Its no slower than going upwards ! I am used to prussking downwards - most climbers would not know what you are on about !

Still a bit airy up there - but you must trust and be careful of what you are hanging on. Hence - a new line, hoisted using 'two' halyards, then backing up with another.

These halyards are only 8mm - and old. You should not be hanging on 8mm. 12mm polyester we used to use as standard ropes for potholing SRT - until they started to make dedicated ropes ( Bluewater, Ereldrid etc ) You see they do not stretch - there is no way one could climb on these, a fall would slice you in two ! Something like 3% stretch compared to 30% for a nylon climbng rope. Prussiking on climbing rope is like trampolining !

Anyway - my reason for this ascent is that the radar reflector has parted company with its top fixing lines - also my steaming light is very dim, whereas all the others are gleaming bright - and my deck flood packed up ages ago !

I think I will make base camp just below the spreaders - come down for another coffee - then go for it at first light !

If you ever fix a steaming light - don't rivet it on. Screw it on, stainless and a bit of Duralac - then you can demount it when climbed up a mast and work on it downstairs !

Another thing - take a good look at your lighting regulations for steaming light heights. A vessel's steaming light can be much lower than you might think ! Stick it on where you can reach it off a pair of steps !

Had enough - bed - writing by candle light and a small torch, saving batteries. Must get the engine going soon.


Bristol - Wed 2nd. Seems my new filter head, mk 2 , should be with me in the morning. Just hope he does not ring the bell at 7.30am. Pouring with rain - saw the best of the weather, warm though.

Geoff - Bristol April 2014.

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