Polly in Paris

13 May 2016
08 May 2016 | Torpoint Plymouthl
30 April 2016 | Torpoint Plymouth
28 April 2016 | Hertfordshire
10 February 2013

Race Time - Contessa 32's

17 May 2016
See all the pics here:
Photo Album

I took a weekend off Lady of Lewis this weekend for the first race of the Contessa 32 one design class series. Its been two years since I've raced with the Contessa's due to being locked away in a dark room studying for an MBA. Now all of that is finished I am free and was let loose on the fleet once more.
What a fantastic weekend it was too!

Forecast was cloudy, rainy, COLD (about 11degrees) and not a lot of wind. What we actually got was glorious sunshine, hot enough that half the crew had stripped down to shorts and t-shirts within an hour of the first race but still not a lot of wind.

Saturday's racing organised by Portsmouth sailing club was a slightly frustrating start due to a couple of postponements and then a move of the course but overall a fabulously organised race, enjoyable and thanks to Zephyrus a pretty challenging day tactically. More spinnaker hoists and drops than a...well lets just leave it there and say there were a lot.
The day ended with the traditional pontoon party, this time hosted by George and the crew of Concerto with a typically face melting rum punch. Some highlights and my personal favourite points of the evening included someone in a Dracula style cape, I assume was stolen from Conspiracy to match their fancy and no doubt brand new (likely very expensive) spinnaker closely followed by my own embarrassment at mixing up the Rouse sisters. In my defence they do look incredibly similar particularly with large sun glasses plus after 3 of those rum punches you could be forgiven for mixing up Ellen McArthur and Ben Ainsley!

Sunday saw many wobbly legs and sore heads with most of the fleet feeling distinctly second hand but still managed in Contessa style to have a fabulous and fun race.
My own experience of Sunday was slightly more stressful due to at least three failures in my nav sending us in the opposite direction to the fleet at one point and at least twice simply following the fleet for once being thankful we were not leading! Still I quite enjoyed my new role as nav/pit and hopefully will get a bit better of it as we carry on through the season!

Next blog will be back on Lady of Lewis for some serious clear out action to see what the hell is in all of those cabinets!

Moving Day!!!

13 May 2016
Check out the photos here: Photo Album

Lady of Lewis is now here in dauntless, safely and happily sitting in her cradle tucked away in the corner of the yard where she will stay for probably the next three years. I won't lie though getting her here was probably the scariest thing I've watched. Now I know all of you seasoned boat owners out there will be laughing and saying they do this every day...they are professionals!....don't worry she'll be fine. That's all very well and good but not 3 weeks ago I saw a picture popping up on my Facebook feed of a very shiny new looking 30 foot yacht slipping out of the hoist slings!
The journey started on Thursday morning with Mark the lorry driver setting off from Lancashire and driving down to Torpoint. It might firstly seem crazy to use a company who are not based locally but of all the transport companies I spoke with Sealand were by far the most responsive, professional and nicest outfit I spoke to. Andrew patiently answered all of my questions and concerns and kept me fully updated the whole time. You just can't put a price on that kind of peace of mind.
The guys are the yard had already removed the mast so early Friday morning they lifted her onto the lorry and off she went. Round all the little back roads in Cornwall, up to the M4, along the M4 then round the M25 (in rush hour!!) Finally reaching Dauntless on Friday night. Mark the driver gave me a ring to let me know that the guys from the yard were going to come back into work to try to lift her off on the Friday night so that they could all enjoy the bank holiday weekend. After 2 hours of that they finally decided that they would need the big crane rather than just the hoist and so would reconvene first thin Saturday morning.
Saturday morning I was there bright and early with my boyfriend Carlos to watch the magic (or horror) happen. Of course all went well. What else did you think I would say.... These guys are professionals you know! ;)
Thank you again to all the guys at Huggins Marina in Torpoint Plymouth and to Sealand Boat Deliveries Ltd!

Time to Dismantle

08 May 2016 | Torpoint Plymouthl
Last weekend was all about getting through the pretty full to do list in preparation for the boat being shipped across the country on the back of a lorry.....because thats not a scary prospect at all! I wan't too worried about us getting everything done although I was slightly nervous that if we didn't get everything done on the Saturday we'd end up going out for dinner and "a" glass of wine, which would no doubt turn in to 5...bottles as it so often does with Jess and I.

The list included:
clear everything up so that its not thrown around during the move,
remove the boom,
remove the granny bars from around the mast,
take down the enormous gantry and finally
loosening and retightening all the rigging so its nice and easy for when the guys take the mast out.... I'm not going to lie i'm kind of glad I won't be there for that!

Removing the boom was no problem at all and was done in about 30 minutes.

The granny bars came off pretty easily although typically the access the bolt nuts we had to take down most of the headlining. This is definitely something to go on the list....make headlining more accessible.

The gantry was a bit more fun as it involves getting in and out of the stern locker. It took us most of Saturday to un screw all the bolts on the gantry and granny bars

Pretty much all the rigging moved easily with the exception of a couple of stays but hopefully that won't be an issue for the crane guys.

Heading for the boat

30 April 2016 | Torpoint Plymouth
Full Photo album here

This weekend we are heading down Plymouth to see the boat and start prepping for the move back to the East Coast.

The transport guys are booked for next Friday which means we have a list of things to get done in preparation. Of course they would do everything for us if we asked but in the spirit of being thrifty I want to keep the costs to a minimum and so am going to get as much done myself as possible.

My best friend Jess is joining me to help out, we normally race Contessa 32's together and have been like family for years so it should be a wicked road trip too.

First thing to get done is removing the ginormous gantry on the stern! Now I know that Olson 38's are true blue water cruisers and it is the kind of gantry you might find on a yacht thats been doing an around the world but i'm pretty sure Lady of Lewis has never been further than France.....perhaps it was the aspiration for the previous owners....it certainly is mine!

The boom also needs to come off, as do the granny bars around the mast then we need to loosen and retighten all the rigging just to make sure its running free for when the mast comes out.

I really would like to be there for when the mast is removed but unfortunately I need to pay for all this and so will be at work. I'm also pretty sure that the mast has never been removed and so am a little worried about how easily its going to be. Perhaps it is best that I won't be there.

Lady of Lewis my new love

28 April 2016 | Hertfordshire

A bit about me to start with...

I was a relatively late starter to sailing only popping my sailing cherry at Uni when I joined some friends on their Contessa 32 for Cowes week. Ever since then I have been a crazy keen sailor and general boaty.

I have just complete the purchase of an Ohlson 38 (go big or go home right? :S ) who is serious need of an overhaul.

Now this is either the best decision I've ever made or the worst I'm just not quite sure which.

I will say now I'm looking forward to all the comments about the 1st and 2nd best days of my life being the day I buy and the day I sell, I'm determined to prove you all wrong ;)

The plan is to spend the next 3 years working on her on weekends and holidays and pretty much to work my way through the boat mast to keel, bow to stern.

....Did I mention I'm planning on doing everything myself??

So having never actually worked in the yachting industry, I'm actually from an IT and banking background I'm sure you can imagine I have plenty of really useful skills for this kind of project... joinery, mechanics, rigging, fiber-glassing; no not so much.

I can however order a seriously mean starbucks double macchiato, plus I'm a whizz with microsoft project and excel so at least I'll know how to write the best macros that will automatically turn the budget spreadsheet from black to red, or is it red to black? What do I know I'm not an accountant!

So If nothing else I hope this blog will be relatively entertaining whether from a learning while I learn perspective or in that its just fun to watch a slightly calamity prone woman try to basically rebuild a boat.

I say calamity prone as a slight understantment, over the past few years one or two incidents have befallen me including lost teeth and broken jaws while racing, frantic pan pan calls to the coastguard when we nearly lost the rig outside of lymmington and a seriousl problematic petter engine requiring a tow back into the berth. I'm not sure there is anything less dignified that being strapped to the side of a large water bus and being dragged up the cowes medina. :( I'm sure there will be plenty more stories to add to this list but all in good fun of course.

Please leave comments, feel free to watch the video blog version of this and of course follow along with our progress.


More images here:

Full Photo Album here

Rite of Passage

10 February 2013
I am sure I will at some point over the next few days regret this decision. When I bought Zingara it was with the aim to learn as much as possible and with jobs that I can do myself with a bit of research and hard work, do myself.

So tomorrow, or now looking more like Tuesday/Wednesday due to the snow, I will head down to the boat, scraper and orbital sander in hand to start preparing the bottom. Of course antifouling seems just a bit too straight forward, so I have taken the decision (foolishly or not, we'll see) to Coppercoat.

I have read everything from blogs to product instructions, watched you tube clips until I am dreaming about it and heard opinions vary from "its hard work but well worth it" to you will never regret starting anything more in your life. The thing is that I didn't grow up with boats and although have been sailing for a while now I have never been asked to help with the job of antifouling. I could very easily pay someone to grit blast it and do the coppercoat for me but this feels like my boat ownership rite of passage. This is something every rooky owner should go through at least once and lets just hope I get it right so I really do only have to do it once. I am sure that there will be some blood sweat and tears. Some swearing, stamping feet and most likely sulking but if I can do this and get through it with success I'm pretty sure I will be beaming with pride and satisfaction.

So here goes. As I mentioned I have done a lot of research once part of which was checking if Zingara is even appropriate for Coppercoat. Thankfully she seems to be. The survey from the purchase showed very low moisture content, the first issue when it comes to coppercoat. She also has an epoxy barrier on underneath all the old antifoul although I do not know what brand of when it was done, hence planning on adding a new coat.

My plan is to break it down to loosely the following;
1. Scrape hull using a Bahco pull scraper with the corners of the blade filed down to avoid gouges to the epoxy coat currently on there.
2. Finish using a random orbital sander grit pad 120
3. Sand keel rust using orbital sander and grit pad 36
4. Finish the pits with a sanding disk flap and possibly a wire brush attachment on an electric drill. Taking the keel back to bare metal
5. Coat keel with a rust convertor to stop any new rust.
6. 1 or 2 coats of epoxy primer
7. Finally coppercoat.

Originally I had planned to grit blast but for various reasons I have decided to give it a go and see how I get on. For a bit of price comparison and economic analysis on it all..... In terms of cost, the grit blasting had been quoted at £400.

Currently I have purchased the following equipment:
Bahco scraper (£27.95),
4 replacement blades (£40),
bosch random orbital sander (£49),
pack of 24 assorted sanding pads from grade 60-120 (£17.95),
pack of 5 sanding pads grade 36 (£7.98),
pack of 5 sanding pads grade 120 (£4.98),
sanding flap (£12.98),
rust convertor 500ml (£17.95),
epoxy primer 2.5l (£94.95),
Coppercoat 5l (£396)
Overalls, goggles, mask etc (£20)
Dust sheets (£5.99)
Roller tray (£1.99)

That's a total of £697.72 but of course I will have some nice additions to my tool kit for the future. If I had gone with grit blasting the total would have been around £836 and I wouldn't have had those extra tools to keep.

If I had chosen to simply paint over the current with regular antifoul I would most likely had still purchased the random orbital sander but not so many accessories for the hull, most likely just a couple of packs of 120 grade pads. The keel however really is in a bit of a state so this would still have needed treatment. I estimate that I would have probably spent about £270.

So we're looking at Coppercoat being about 2.5 times more expensive although as long as its all done properly I should have made the money back in 2 years and of course I wont need to do the nasty job on antifouling again. I have also justified it to myself slightly but thinking I will most likely leave the boat in the water the whole year with just a quick lift for a wash off. That means I should save a few hundred on storage ashore next winter.

It is worth mentioning that I'm not working at the moment so along with being a lady what lunches I have plenty of time to do this. If I was working full time and only had my weekends I might have made a different decision.

So there you have it, decision made, tooled up and raring to go. I really am quite excited, I can literally hear eye rolling going on by all those who know I how quickly I will loose that enthusiasm but for now that's what I'm running on. Now all I need is the snow to stop so I can actually get down to Lymington.

Wish me luck, I'll keep you informed.
Vessel Name: Lady of Lewis
Vessel Make/Model: Ohlson 38
Hailing Port: Dauntless
Extra: Lady of Lewis has been looking and feeling a bit sad for quite a number of years now. I have bought her with the plan of a complete renovation which I plan on doing entirely myself, or certainly as much as possible. Follow my story to see how she progresses :)

Port: Dauntless