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Messages - rosswaddams

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Sailing / Re: Norfolk Broads
« on: December 24, 2017, 04:44:25 PM »

Yes, I shall definitely be going back to the Broads in 2018, probably for two separate weeks (it's a long haul from the West Midlands so I'm thinking of leaving Rogue over there in-between visits).

A visit to Swallowtail Boatyard (as recommended by Dave Cawston) could be part of one of those weeks - it's just around the corner and would allow a trip along the River Bure without the hassle of shooting (and hopefully, missing) Potter Heigham bridge. A few days on Horsey and Hickling Broads and a few on the Bure would make for a very pleasant outing, I'm sure.

I'd be very happy to spend some time cruising in company. We could get in touch in the Spring.

As I say, the guys at Whispering Reeds are very laid back but it would obviously be best to speak with them about over-nighting in the car park.

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Raising and Lowering the Mast
« on: September 30, 2017, 11:49:54 AM »
Gosh - that looks easy! Your mast seems to be made out of balsa wood compared to mine. But I shall have a go with your set-up and see how I get on - it's far better than all my tackles and A-frames.

Just for interest, I've weighed my mast and it seems to be just over 19 kgs with the shrouds and halyards.

Sailing / Re: Norfolk Broads
« on: September 17, 2017, 12:29:53 PM »

This was the first time I've put my pride and joy in the water (in fact, the first time I've put any boat in the water off a trailer) so I chose the Norfolk Broads for its large bodies of non-tidal fresh water. Slipways with adjacent trailer parking are few and far between on the NBs so I based myself at Whispering Reeds boatyard on Hickling Water. There is a public staithe and slipway with parking only 100 m round the corner but this is for dinghies only and charges apply.

The charges at Whispering Reeds were:
Use of the slipway, 10 each way.
Trailer parking for one week, 15.
Car parking for one week, 15.
There was also a one week Broads Authority visitors license which I bought through them at about 25.

* Plenty of low overhead wires (see photo) means that you have to put the mast up immediately before entering the water and put it down again immediately after leaving the water. Fortunately the boatyard was, in mid-September, fairly quiet so this wasn't a bit problem.
* The boatyard is open from 8:30am till 5pm. There is no access to the slipway outside these times. However the parking area and pedestrian access to the private staithe is available at all hours.
* There's a very tight angle to get onto the slipway (about 70 degrees) (see photo). I didn't find it a problem with the front tow hitch fitted to my Land Rover Defender but another guy launching there took several shuffles in his brand new Land Rover Discovery to get it right.

* I don't have much experience but the prices seemed reasonable to me.
* The boatyard is very laid-back, it's quiet, and there's plenty of room to faff about getting sorted out. This results in low stress levels.
* 100 m from the boatyard and you're on the largest broad. There's a marked channel but I sailed all over the broad with both boards down and never ran aground.

Most important of all, I got in two launches and two recoveries with some good sailing in between.

Yes, it was a wet and windy week and I'd have liked to have done more sailing. But the boat is safely tucked up for the winter now and I can get on with a few minor jobs knowing that next season I'm all "good to go".

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Raising and Lowering the Mast
« on: August 14, 2017, 07:33:59 PM »
Thanks, Dave and Rick. I shall heed your advice and think of a suitably caution Plan B until I've seen the Markie Magic in action.

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Raising and Lowering the Mast
« on: August 13, 2017, 07:34:33 PM »
Thanks, Rick and Dave.

I'll have a go with Rick's suggestion as I'm keen to be able to raise and lower when underway (the Potter Heigham bridges are between the Swallow Boats yard at Ludham and Hickling Broad). It sounds a lot simpler than my system.

I don't know why I didn't spot that "Page 2" - derrr. Heading over there next...

Dave - the link to your video doesn't work. When I saw this post originally I couldn't figure out how it all worked from the photos so that's when I got my Thinking Cap on. Have you got any other photos or a working link to the video?

Trailers, towing & launching / Raising and Lowering the Mast
« on: August 11, 2017, 06:55:29 AM »
I'm sure I've seen a thread about this topic on the forum somewhere but annoyingly can't now find it. So I'm starting a new one.

WB25 is nearing her first (for me) launch so I'm practising whilst waiting for the September holiday on the Norfolk Broads to roll around. The first time I got the mast up, it took four of us, all cursing and swearing. The mast is the original heavy old lump of solid wood. I was rather disheartened because I'll be doing all my sailing single-handed. There had to be a better way. Thinking cap on; computer on.

Here is a video of my new method

I'm rather pleased with it. I don't claim any originality (we stand on the shoulders of giants) but I do want other newbies to know that it's easy when you know how.

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Lessons from my first tow
« on: July 29, 2017, 07:51:25 AM »
It's obvious when someone tells you! I was wondering what was more important - the vertical vector or the horizontal. I compromised by using a diagonal, but now see that you simply do both.

Thanks for that.

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Lessons from my first tow
« on: July 22, 2017, 08:13:07 AM »

An obvious one this, but not to me. Once again, I followed advice and lashed the bow eye bolt to the winch post. My first check of the trailer three miles down the road showed that the hand winch ratchet wasn't holding so this is definitely something worth doing. Hopefully the two tie-down straps would prevent the boat going backwards off the trailer but this extra lashing keeps the front of the boat pointing at the bow roller.

Talking of bow rollers, I shall be replacing the bow roller with a V-block if I can.

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Lessons from my first tow
« on: July 22, 2017, 08:06:53 AM »

This was the subject of another topic, as I was rather unsure about this. I followed the guys advice. Well, I didn't properly understand what had been said so I didn't get it entirely right...

I discovered that if you remove the tabernacle bolt and rest the mast in the tabernacle, the heel of the mast will sit very nicely in the angle of the bow post (I strapped it down to the anchor cleat). It's obviously designed to do this so that the mast doesn't spear your back window under heavy breaking! So far, so good.

The short scissors is then just the right height to keep the top of the mast supported. The middle of the mast is just off the companionway hatch so you can squeeze in and sleep on board (as I did). And the top of the mast doesn't overhang the stern of the boat. Perfect.

But this is where I went wrong - I secured the head of the scissors firmly fore-and-aft but in order to do so I moved it forward one foot. This meant that the feet of the scissors were just held in place by friction. I had a strap pulling the mast down onto the scissors and I thought this would provide sufficient friction to hold everything in place. Wrong! Some time on the journey one of the scissor legs moved and the scissors collapsed. This caused the mast to bounce up and down on the rear edge of the companionway hatch. Downward movement is limited by the washboards but I need to check that his hasn't damaged the hatch.

Needless to say, I will be securing the feet of the scissors next time (as I now realise I was being advised to do).

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Lessons from my first tow
« on: July 22, 2017, 07:51:16 AM »

I have a Land Rover and I appreciate that this is not going to be much use to most people. But a front trailer hitch has been so useful I really must share it with you.

I bought a removable one from Simmonites:

The boat was in a really tight space, with not much room on either side and another large (immovable) boat directly in front. Normally I'd put the tow hitch on my side so I could see both sides of the trailer. But on this occasion the only way to get a good angle was to put it on the left side. I'm pleased to say that it came out first time! I don't see how I could have done this on my own by reversing up to the trailer - there just wasn't enough room.

It came in useful when I got the boat home and manouevred it into another tight spot.

I'm sure my reversing skills will develop in time but in the meantime this piece of kit is going to make life a lot easier (and save a crinked neck).

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Lessons from my first tow
« on: July 22, 2017, 07:38:02 AM »

I'm not sure if I'm allowed to recommend a tradesman but here goes...

Tony was very good. He answered my initial email enquiry almost immediately (at 8pm). I sent him some photos of the trailer and he reassured me that it didn't look too bad. I later found out that he used to work for Indespension building boat trailers and knew all about my Roller Coaster 1. He gave me an estimate for the work which turned out to be accurate. He is cost-conscious and suggested several ways I could save money.

The boat was 250 miles away from me in the Bosham car park boat park so I told him where the boat was and we fixed a date for him to do the work. In the end I was able to make it down by midday but Tony would have emailed me photos of the finished job with the invoice if I couldn't have made it in time. You can pay him by phone (using a credit card) or by direct bank transfer.

Whilst he was working, we got chatting and loads of useful trailer advice came my way (see "Tyres" above).

Tony is a really nice guy and knows his stuff. So if you're anywhere between Southampton and Dover, and need your trailer fixing, I can thoroughly recommend him.

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Lessons from my first tow
« on: July 22, 2017, 07:25:23 AM »

New tyres were definitely needed as they were 17 years old (I read the dot codes) and had several splits.

They were marked "155R12 76c". This seemed rather an odd code and so I assumed, given the age of the tyres, that it was an obsolete code. I did my research (on this forum and on the wider internet) and ordered three 155/70 R12 tyres (8 ply, very popular on modern vans).

My friendly trailer repair man (see next post), when I casually told him, remarked that 155R12 tyres were indeed the correct ones (of an old design, they were once very popular on 1300 Commer vans). He pointed out that a 155/70 R12 tyre had a much lower profile than the 155R12 which would result in much reduced ground clearance for the trailer rear swing beam. I hurriedly made a grovelling phone call to the tyre shop and they ordered the correct tyres for delivery the next day. Phew.

These are relatively unusual tyres so I'm glad I've got a new spare as well.

Needless to say, I now know a lot more about tyre codes than I did a week ago!

Trailers, towing & launching / Lessons from my first tow
« on: July 22, 2017, 07:03:56 AM »
Previous contributors were so useful in making my first tow a success that I thought I'd "pay it forward" by setting down the lessons I learnt from the experience.

There's probably going to be too much for one post so I'll split it over several.

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Support for mast whilst towing
« on: July 21, 2017, 08:49:14 PM »
Well, I made it home! In large part, thanks to all the advice and encouragement above - it was echo-ing in my mind during the two moderately stressful days of the trip.

I'm tempted to start a new thread "Lessons from my first tow" with some photos. I'll maybe get onto that over the weekend.

The trailer did need new tyres, brakes and bearings, and a new tow hitch but is otherwise in better condition than I thought. The winch ratchet is a goner (surprise, surprise) but replacements seem reasonable and I can get a better bow snubber at the same time. I've eased off one of the bearings one flat because it was a bit on the warm side when I got back. And I no longer feel the urge to change the suspension units as it all looked good in the rear view mirror.

The result is I'm now confident future WB trailing will go well. I just need to give the boat a good clean and repair the broken boom jaws, after which the fun begins!

Once again, thanks to you all.

Trailers, towing & launching / Re: Support for mast whilst towing
« on: July 08, 2017, 08:58:17 PM »
I thought I'd replied yesterday, but obviously not... still getting the hang of this forum thing.

Thanks, Dave, for the photos - that makes it all very clear. Your mast crutch is similar to mine. My boat does have a cover but for the first tow I thought I'd do it without. Also I'm intending to have the boat as light as possible (no gear on board).

I shall be putting some 155/70R12c tyres will a load rating of 88 on, which hopefully will be man enough. I'm still agonising over new 1300 kgs suspension units as, at 500 the pair, they'd be 10% of the price of the boat & trailer combined.

The only way to solve all my trailer anxieties (for instance, this trailer only has four rollers which must point-load the hull) is to buy a new trailer at 3,700 for an Indespension Roller Coaster 7. I don't have the budget for that so I guess I'm going to have to put some miles in and build my confidence up.

The first tow (home) is pencilled in for 18 July so I've still got some thinking time.

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