Saturday, 31 July 2010

Bit of sailing on Cardiff Bay

Spent the day sailing on Cardiff Bay. First time with 3 aboard.One person needs to be in the cabin and 2 in the cockpit or other way round when the rain started though they were kind enough to pass out my coat :-)

Have got the launching and recovering pretty well sorted now ,I do have some ideas in my head for a modification to the trailer to lift the bow up a bit as we are winching her on. At present I have to winch her up a few inches then physically lift the bow up onto the back of the trailer then winch her fully on. Its not heavy but just a bit awkward singlehanded as it could slide off again until the slack on the winch wire is taken up.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Lawrenny Cruise

I towed M.A. to Lawrenny Quay on the Milford Haven Estuary.Good Slipway and parking, friendly people and a pub and cafe close by.

Launched the boat then made upstream to Langwm for the night.Very peacefull sheltered inlet off the river. Mighty Atom sat happily on a gravel beach for the night .I relaxed in the cockpit eating a meal and drinking some wine as the sun went down then a comfortable night asleep until the tide returned at 0445 when I motored out bleary eyed to a deep water mooring then turned in again until about 0800.

Sailed down to Milford Haven town pontoon had a visit from the marine Police in their rib,as a major oil port Milford is a bit of a sensitive area these days but the police were pleasant and just asked me my intentions for the day.

After lunch sailed back up to Burton for the night had a pint in the Jolly Sailor prior to a deep sleep on the Pontoon by the pub.Larger boats may be unwelcome for overnight stops as its meant to be a landing pontoon only but M.A. is small enough to not be noticed so much :-) Last day had a leisurely walk and breakfast before leaving Burton and sailing back upstream to Lawrenny to recover the boat and head for home.

Mostly good weather and North Easterly winds sometimes a bit strong but manageable in the sheltered waters.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Cardiff to Weston cruise.

Took advantage of the quiet weather this week for an overnight cruise across the Bristol Channel to Weston super Mare and back.

Most visitors to Weston only see the town beach and pier but tucked away out of sight in the western corner of the bay is the River axe which can be entered at about half tide and has the Weston Bay YC boat moorings, their clubhouse and landing pontoon.

Locked out of Cardiff at 0900 Wednesday morning in light winds and drizzly rain,almost cancelled due to the poor visibility but this improved as the morning went on so luckilly I decided to push on. Used the outboard quite a bit as we were sailing but not quick enough to get there and enter the river.

Finally the wind picked up ,rain stopped and enjoyed a great sail for the last hour before reluctantly lowering the sails and motoring up the river at about 1230.

Spent the day lazing about and chatting to the other boat owners who were about.Then heated up a curry on my little coleman stove and walked up to the pub later for a few beers .Wobbled back to the boat and slept like a log until 0900 (unusual for me).

Tide returned about 10 ,30 then set off back with a perfect sailing breeze sun shining sea sparkling etc. So glad I didnt cancel due to the rain on the way over.

Locked back into Cardiff at 1345 having only used the motor to clear the river and get back through the Cardiff Barrage Locks.Really impressed with the Voyager now, She handled the small sea and swell very well for her size, hardly any spray or water on deck and never much weight on the helm.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


Was lucky enough to get a friend to take some pictures as I sailed past the club today. Started off in light airs then a perfect sailing breeze later.

Monday, 19 April 2010

Chocks to hold lowered mast.

Made some wooden blocks to hold the mast when lowered.Will make it a bit more secure and save it scraping the paintwork.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

River Taff

With a road bridge at the mouth odf the River Taff in Cardiff most yachts cant get under as it only has about 20 ft clearance.

Taking advantage of a good breeze and the Voyagers short mast I had a sail into the river ,found a quiet pontoon for a lunch stop before sailingback to the club and hauling out .

On and off the trailer went quite well except getting a fender tangled around one of the docking arms on launching.

The boat sailed well in a stiff breeze probably gusting over 20 knots with some of the sail reefed down by wrapping it around the boom.

Thursday, 8 April 2010


The repaint is going well. Put the blue topcoat on the hull today which smartens her up a bit.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010


Under the flaking paint and green mould was a beautifull pair of teak handrails.I cant wait to see them on the newly repainted cabin top but that still needs a bit of elbow grease :-)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Reefed down

Had another sail today with a decent breeze this time. Launched at CBYC sailed on the bay for a few hours moored at Mermaid quay for sandwiches and coffee out of the flask.

Wind had freshened by then so tried her out with the main reefed down by wrapping some of the sail around the boom.The boat sailed quite well like this ,nice to know that it works.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Cockpit hand rails.

The ones that came with Mighty Atom looked a bit industrial and were covered in flaky paint and rust.

Intention was to bin them but after the first sail i think they are important ,ideally I would get some nice stainless steel ones custom made but thats not an option right now so I have refurbished the old ones and bolted them back on.

The Starboard one wraps around the stern and the port one is shorter so as to not to interfere with the outboard.

They will blend in a bit more when there painted white to match the deck which also needs repainting.Why is it that with every job I do the job list seems to get longer?:-)

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Trailer Modifications

I have modified the trailer with some channel iron ramps at the back for the boat to slide up and down on. Tried them out today and works a treat.

Launched the boat tied up to a pontoon ,had a coffee then recovered it again.No problems and no need to immerse the wheels.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Keel Refurbishing

The port side keel was badly corroded along its bottom edge but the rest was solid so i have ground out the rust and bolted a 6mm x 75mm plate on each side of it. This will also add about 22lbs of ballast on each keel which will be a good thing. The plates and keel are painted with red oxide primer so they should now last a few more decades.

It looks as if the boat was kept on a drying mooriong at some point with the paint being ground off as she dried thus causing the corrosion along the bottom few inches of keel.

The bolts were in perfect condition but unfortunately it was quicker to cut the heads off than undo them so new ones are going on.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

First Sail

Launched the boat today at Cardiff Bay YC for its first sail in our ownership.

Everything went well,light winds were ideal for a first sail.I got it on and off the trailer singlehanded without immersing the wheel hubs but I have a few modifications to the trailer in mind to make the process much quicker and easier.

My crew mate turned up in time for a short sail to Mermaid quay and back.Only about a mile each way but enough for me to know that everything works and the boat seems to sail very well.

With Tony sat out against the side in the cabin and me stood on the side deck on the same side (probably 28 or 29 stone between us )she heeled over quite a bit but never felt as if she would go any further than the gunwhale close to the water.My confidence in the boat has risen a lot now we have sailed her.

Touched a shallow bit on the way back which lifted the rudder off its pintles causing a bit of alarm for a moment but all good fun :-)

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Interior refitted.

I refitted all the interior woodwork today.Bit of a puzzle but eventually workled out which bit went where.I can only wonder why it had all been removed.

Quite a sensible layout for a small boat with a bunk port and starboard ,your feet go into a trotter box under the cockpit seat. Feels quite comfortable.

Forward of the bunks is a shelf and space for sails etc.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

The Mighty Atom

We recently bought the Mighty Atom which is a Voyager 14 trailer sailer. Despite being less than 14 feet long she has a cabin with 2 full size sleeping berths and a few shelves.

The boat needs some of the woodwork replacing and a paint job but is basically a sound little yacht.We are looking forward to getting her in the water and seeing how she sails.