Folksong: the answer – a plank of wood

I had spent the afternoon kneeling on the cabin sole, cleaning first the bilge then the lockers and getting frustrated because every time I tried to put something down, it either fell into the bilge, or into the open locker. I wished for a working surface to put tools on and to hammer/screw/cut on, one that would be easy to manage in a relatively restricted space. Too wide and it would be difficult to stow, too narrow and I wouldn’t be able to attach a vice, too short and it wouldn’t fit across the cockpit/cabin sole.

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Folksong: below decks

If this is your yacht – or a similar size to yours, then you need read no further as this is a short post about the space below deck in a small boat with no standing headroom. This post is for Folksong owners and anyone interested in small boats. I would welcome feedback and tips. Feel free to use and improve any ideas you find helpful here.

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Gone Wandering

This is the first time I have tried posting via my iPad.

I have gone wandering for a few days and will not be posting so often for a week or two, but there are posts in the pipeline.


Folksong: Temporary sail ties

In 2009, I wrote a post on lazy jacks. In 2012, I posted another three posts on lazy jacks, here, here and here. Then in 2013 it occurred to me that I was being very slow on the uptake, the boat is small enough not to need them. So I removed them.

No lazy jacks means that a whole series of lines are no longer there to be tangled with but it brings to the fore those vulnerable minutes between lowering the mainsail and stowing it neatly, when the wind can get hold of the sail and blow sections of it over the boat or, worse, over the side. At the same time, there may be other boats in the vicinity, so attention is divided between containing the flapping sail and avoiding the possibility of a collision. Lazy jacks are designed to avoid this so, if I have decided that the boat doesn’t need them, what is the alternative? This is the solution that works well for me.

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Photographing at sea to show pace – trial images

In the previous post, I mentioned the difficulty of photographing waves at sea – the boat moves in tune with the waves and it’s difficult to record their size on a still photograph. Yesterday,the wind was gusting heavily and we were at the point when I considered reefing. However, the sails were reasonably balanced and the tiller easy enough to control the boat with one hand while holding a camera in the other. I wondered whether it was possible to share the pleasure I was getting on the water by trying to demonstrate the pace we were going.

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Mullion Cove – a slight swell and a storm

At Mullion Cove, with the wind from the south west, there was an opportunity to photograph swell – or, at least, to attempt to photograph swell. Trying to record waves at sea is nearly always disappointing – the vessel moves in tune with the waves. I have seen some amazing images from the Southern Ocean but they really need to be taken from outside the boat to truly reflect the situation.

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A short walk in Cornwall – taken further

Cadgwith is some 70 miles south south west of Steeple Point. If you walked the coast from Steeple Point to here, you would have walked approximately 240 miles.

We walked into Cadgwith from Kennack Sands just to the north – a mere two and a half miles on a Saturday morning with a wind blowing and clouds scudding.

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Shakedown sail – in the way, bodies learn then need to relearn.

We were away at the weekend so yesterday, belatedly, was my first sail of the year. There were a couple of problems, so, while it’s still fresh in my mind, here’s a short description for Folksong owners and anyone else who might be interested. If, by my not keeping quiet about my mistakes, it sounds as if I have no pride, you’d be wrong, I have lots of pride, but as I get older I find I can take it or leave it . . .

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A good team. Job done.

One of the features of a boat that was launched in 1988 is that any fittings that haven’t already been replaced are now over twenty five years old. I thought of this yesterday when, the winds having abated, we were able to get a couple of jobs done that had been scheduled for two days earlier.

I took the boat down river to Plymouth Yacht Haven. We slipped into a berth beside yachts twice the size of Blue Mistress. In such austere company we seem to be batting above our league. However, let’s concentrate on the job in hand . . .

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