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This Weekend's Achievements


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I successfully managed to change a head light bulb in a late model European car.

Anyone wondering why this is worthy of positing as a weekend's achievement clearly hasn't had the pleasure of completing such an apparently simple task. Damn near physically impossible. A sense of achievement equivalent to sailing around the country with only one mate.

European cars are clearly not designed for european male hands. And why do they have layer upon layer of apparently pointless plastic covers, screens and shrouds? All they do is give the impression the engine is too complex to touch, and hide the bit you are actually trying to find.


Bring back my old HJ Holden. I could unbolt the bonnet and stand beside the engine with one leg either side of the front suspension, and change the head gasket in an afternoon. Could even change the whole engine in a weekend, and consequently carry the old one around in the boot for spare parts... didn't even need a computer to tell me what the engine fault was!

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OK, so it took a few extra days to get any photos.


Here's the "big" day, when the Zürich Water Police surveyed the boat and made their assessment as to its seaworthiness. Using a crude formula they determined the number of people it's allowed to have on board when sailing (anyone care to guess?) - formula uses only beam and length (1.42 x 3.85m). We're now registered and allowed to use the boat, but I have to make a builder's plate with hull number etc... (lol).


By my calculations using straight line interpolation between the sections, it will take 475kg to reduce freeboard to 25cm, and there's 142L of sealed tankage under the main cockpit seats. 


We stepped the mast and they actually tipped it right over until it flooded. But it sat very high, taking on probably less than 150L of water when they allowed it to right. All of that was in the forward section between the centreboard and the forward thwart. 


Only in Switzerland does one use a crane to launch a 65kg boat...




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Nothing as exciting as that...


I bought the boat about a year ago straight after a so called boatbuilder had redone the keel (and charged the previous owners quite a bit of money to replace keelbolts etc).


Turns out they had no clue about what they were doing (look out aucklanders if you are getting keel work done)


Keel was faired pretty similar to what a 2 year old might make out Plasticine, warped and hollowed out with a trailing edge curved off to port (probably why we were 4 degrees better on one tack and the boat rounded up at random occassionally.


So the plan was to refair the keel but once sanded back we noticed the dreaded red weeping. Turns out the trailing edge had been sanded through (probably trying to get it remotely fair) and then water had seeped in and run along the base plate.


Fortunately the deadwood is solid cedar not ply and there was a filler "Dam" so the water didn't seep up any higher. given saltwater in oxygen free environment are not a great idea we took out the section and now the pros are involved fixing it. Guessing shape some high density foam or wood then glass it in.


Pretty gutting but very pleased I found it now!


Interestingly there is a cavity with a whole bunch of lead shavings and some balck tar type stuff in it. Only around 5kg of shavings but random to find.

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I completed the Piedy intergalactics on Steinygrenade. Had a heap of fun and reminded myself why I should never venture forward of the mast. I stayed on board though which is not always easy on these things. Knackered after 2 days racing! These are cool little boats to race. Thanks Drummonds! Someone out there has some great video of my awesome (not) foredeck work....

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Not really a weekend achivement, but still some nice stuff. 

Headed off for a week on Firefly. Best mate came in from AKL on the Saturday. Departing at 0600 on a Monday morning. Caught the high slack to go through the Raz de Sien, then down to St. Marine. On to Groix the next day and a short nip up to Lorient on the Wednesday (blowing 30 NE - and some newbies on board as well so didn't want to give them a too hard day). Thursday, Lorient back to Camaret sur Mer, 100NM with a bit of everything from 28knts Quartering (nice) to 5knt variable (also nice) and 25knts on the nose against a 4knt current (not nice). Various shots of the fun.


Rounding Penmarch wing-and-wing no pole in 4knts breeze, 2.5kn boatspeed. We were all on the foredeck to lift the arse out of the water a little. Steering from my phone.


Coming in to St. Marine. 



Tied up in Lorient. Was fun docking with 25knt side wind.



This is Pointe du Raz at 30 min past high tide. The sea is crazy there, boiling up in one place, breaking waves 100m further on, dead calm in another. The google maps shot below gives you an indication on why you really only pass through at slack tide in good weather...





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