The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

"Hi, we are sailing yacht Flirtie's crew, Bruce and Caroline. Welcome to our blog.

Sicily, Marina di Ragusa to Malta, Manoel Island Yacht Yard

Two chilly crew members on route to Malta

An early start to this season as we depart Marina di Ragusa to head for Malta where Flirtie is to be lifted for approximately one month to enable us to perform the usual boat maintenance. This involves a check of all the 'below waterline' fixtures and fittings such as seacocks, rudder, cutlass bearings, anodes then fresh antifoul will be applied. The hull will also be washed, cleaned and polished but this year the propellers won't be mirror polished as they are to be replaced with feathering ones. It's a huge treat for us and has been on our 'wish' list for many years which we are very, very excited about.

We chose to return back to Manoel Island Yacht Yard based on our previous experience 7 years ago. At the time we were impressed overall. Communication and time management was excellent and there was no end to the skill sets available hence our decision to return back. We can only hope that nothing has changed since we suspect we may need assistance at some point with one of the propeller shafts as it may not be identical to the other. It was replaced many years ago by the previous owners, Richard and Judy. Cutting a long story short, the starboard shaft fell out after a shaft seal was replaced by a greek boat yard and they subsequently omitted to tighten up the bolts properly. Needless to say that it disappeared promptly down to Davy Jones' locker. It must have been frightening experience for them because they were a few miles away from the port with a lot of water coming through what is effectively a 30mm hole.

Early season comes with a mixed bag of unsettled weather so a week before our deadline we checked the forecast daily for an opportunity to be able to sail. We managed to find just one day in a 5 day forecast where there was just enough wind in the right direction to take us over comfortably to Malta. For our first sail of this season we couldn't have asked for better conditions. We had to motor for the first few hours (which gave the engines a good run after being winterised) until the wind arrived, 12-15 knots on the beam and a perfect sailing angle. It was an excellent first sail. By the time we arrived in Malta our average speed was 5.6 knots which was pretty respectable considering Flirtie was last antifouled in Tripani, August 2021, over 2.5 years ago.

We've arrived a few days early so there's time to relax and prepare Flirtie for the lift which is scheduled in a few days time.

Total distance this season: 52.57 nautical miles