The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2019.02.14 - Lighter Evenings

Last week was fairly horrendous as far as sailing weather went as storm Erik raced over the country bringing with it very high winds and wet weather. Those very high winds were only high winds by the time they reached the Fens of Norfolk but even these winds with the rain made sitting in the cockpit on Naiad not a pleasant thing to be doing.

Oh, and it was cold.



This week, however, the winds are light, there has been a little rain but the afternoons have been very pleasant indeed and apart from yesterday (shopping day) I went down to the mooring to spend what little time I could drinking tea and just being on the river. Above is Monday's view from the cockpit.

This give me time to look at the boat and ponder.

And I need to do some serious sanding and varnishing.

So, one of the paddles, the tiller and the quant have been taken back home so that sanding and varnishing can commence. I'll put together a makeshift tiller to use whilst the real one is being worked on, I have a second paddle and I'll just have to do without the quant. Hopefully I won't need it anyway.


I also took part of the gooseneck back to the workshop and drilled a hole right through the nut and bolt so that I can put a pin through it to stop the nut from falling off. The result is shown above. I've put an 'R' clip in the hole for the moment but this is only temporary since it will catch the reefing lines and will be replaced with a large split ring when it arrives. What looks like dirt on the 'R' clip is copper grease and if I do not pin the nut in place, it undoes itself when I'm sailing due to the grease and I have to remember to tighten it before every outing. If I don't grease the bolt, the nuts rusts and then it is difficult to get off when I need it off.

Another small task was to replace part of the furling line to the staysail with a thinner rope. I rigged Naiad with 4mm rope but found that this can come off the furling gear on the last turn when the sail is fully out and that makes it impossible to furl it again necessitating a trip forward to sort it out. Not the type of thing you want to be doing in a hurry.

So I bought some 3mm rope and used that at the end of the line that wraps around the drum. If it works properly I'll replace both furling lines with the stuff.


This is the jib furling drum with the 4mm rope...


...and this is the staysail furling drum with the 3mm rope although I have to say that it does look a lot thinner than the red rope but that might be because of the colour. Still, it is good enough for the job and will not overload the drum which is the problem with the 4mm line.


This is the view from the cockpit just after I had arrived this afternoon, the temperature was around 12 Celsius and very pleasant.


An hour later the sun has set and the temperature dropped to around 7 Celsius and feeling chilly as a result.

At the moment there is not enough time to go for a sail in the late afternoon but it ill not be that much longer before it will be possible and then not again when the hour goes forward!