Sunday, 20 June 2021

Back in the water again at last!

The 2020 sailing season did not happen for me at all.  Covid lockdowns delayed the work being carried out on Margherita by the boat yard in Poole and my ability to get there. I finally brought Margherita back home in August and spent a week or so re-fitting all of the cleats, brackets, jammers etc that make it all work. I could not have floated her before mid- August at best and It felt to me that it was not worth bothering. So, looking very smart, she went back into her barn for the winter.

What was done? a complete make over really. Dick Phillips of Willow Bay Boats made a new centre plate in bronze (damn the expense) to replace the rusty steel one. The boatyard stripped all antifoul from the hull and copper coated it before fitting the new plate and cloth sealing gaskets in the keel, retained by the keel irons. Using Epifanes two pack paint, the topsides were repainted in white and the deck and coach roof in Oyster. All varnish work was given a couple of coats of Epifanes two pack as well. The boot line was deepened and changed from blue to black to better match the copper/green of the new antifouling. 

All in all, she looks very smart I think. Apart from some fading of the wood here and there, she looks like new again

I launched Margherita for the 2021 season at Salterns Marina in Poole in late May, delayed by a bout of awful weather. I slept on her in the marina overnight to finish sorting rigging etc. before putting her on the mooring the next day.  She looked lovely - in my eyes at least! 

What have we done together so far?  In early June I sailed her some 20nm East to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight to attend the OGA Solent Gaffers annual Regatta. We cancelled it last year and had to modify some of the socialising for this one but 59 boats showed up! I was away for a week. I don't race her but did crew for friends on a couple of lovely Golant Gaffers. If you have never seen one of those - google it and take a look.

The new Bimini works well at giving me a bit of privacy in a marina and keeping rain out of the cabin while I get in and out.

Finally, last week I spent a couple of days just sailing around Poole Harbour and enjoying the boat going well in a decent breeze on a calm sea. Here is the sunset from June 15th. I was moored on the harbour side of Studland peninsula and this is looking West towards Furzey Island. 

More adventures to come, I hope!


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