Emerald Tales

Currently in Portugal after 7 years in the Mediterranean

13 October 2023 | Porto Santo
15 September 2023 | Porto Santo
09 August 2023 | Porto Santo, Madeira
28 July 2023 | Porto Santo, Madeira
23 June 2023 | Porto Santo
15 January 2023 | Porto Santo
15 September 2022 | Porto Santo
19 August 2022 | Porto Santo
29 July 2022 | Porto Santo, Madeira
02 October 2021 | Faro, Portugal
06 June 2021 | Alcoutim
28 May 2021 | Alcoutim
16 April 2021 | Rio Guadiana
31 March 2021 | The Balearic Isles

Emerald's Launch From the Boatyard: The Moment of Truth

01 December 2023 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
"Are you feeling excited or nervous?" I asked Colin as we left the harbour office on a Monday afternoon, having made the arrangement for Emerald's launch tomorrow.

"Both" he replied. "Me too!"

We learnt that it is possible to feel so incredibly excited by a moment whilst at the same time feeling absolutely terrified. Emerald's launch would be the moment when we would learn whether all our work over the last year was good or not.

If everything went well we'd be floating not just on water but also on a euphoric high, celebrating the successful completion of what at times felt like an impossible ask. Or, it could end in failure, with a sad return to the boatyard and an even longer postponement of our dreams. I tried not to think too much of the former in fear of jinxing it, whilst being absolutely terrified by the latter.

But we didn't have too much time to dwell on the bad as we now had to cram two days of final prep into half a day. Click here to read more on our blog page.

Sailing Life: All you Need is Just a Little Patience

24 October 2023 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
In the Guns N' Roses song Patience, Axl sings that "all you need is just a little patience". He sings about a romance, but it's a good trait to have to ease life along in general.

Patience is a particularly good quality to have for living and traveling by sail boat. Most often it's the weather that regularly tests us. Or maybe it's being stuck in a boatyard waiting for parts to arrive, like we've experienced this year. Perhaps you're waiting for a space in a popular harbour, or for a service person to tend to your boat. Most likely they're all things that are completely out of our control. The waiting is frustrating, but a good dose of patience can help the time pass more smoothly.

We had one big boat job left to do to be able to escape the boatyard, but the weather had other ideas. It was another lesson in how patience is a good trait to have to make the sailing life go smoothly...

To read the full blog post please click here.

What Happened Next in Our Boat Engine Rebuild

13 October 2023 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
You may be wondering what happened next with our boat engine rebuild. In the last blog we'd had the engine lifted back into the boat and we'd given it a test run. It hadn't gone well. It had started, which was excellent, but the revs were out of control. We were able to stop it, but the situation wasn't good.

Once our emotions had settled, we'd taken a look at the engine and saw that the stop lever was in the wrong position. We suspected that a tangle between the engine stop lever and the throttle control was the problem. But, were we able to untangle the levers? And if so, did the engine start and run correctly? Plus why do we feel like we've caught a dose of the commentator's curse?

Click here to find out more.

Advice for Servicing a Hydraulic Autopilot

15 September 2023 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
This article shares our experiences and tips for servicing a hydraulic autopilot. In our case, the unit is a Simrad HLD2000 MK2LS, also known as a Robertson. The servicing involved replacing the seals in the ram, cleaning the components and replacing the hydraulic oil.

Emerald's rudder is attached to the boat via the rudder shaft which comes up through the stern of the boat. On top of the rudder shaft is a steering quadrant with the steering cables attached to both sides. As the helm turns, it pulls the cables, which in turn pull the quadrant which turns the rudder. We also have an Edison tiller arm connected to the rudder shaft and to which an hydraulic autopilot ram is attached. The ram is operated by the autopilot.

To read the full post, please click here to visit our webpage.

Our DIY Boat Engine Rebuild: The First Test Run

09 August 2023 | Porto Santo, Madeira
Nichola Wright
We ended the last blog with our Volvo Penta D2-75 engine finally back in Emerald's engine room. This was a major milestone in our DIY boat engine rebuild following salt water damage. With no previous experience of rebuilding an engine, we'd had many months on a steep learning curve with several soul crushing set backs. But we'd resolved each problem and to have finally reached this point was an incredible feeling.

The next big step was to test run the engine.

But before we got to the test run, we had to reconnect all of the ancillary systems. And of course there was another unexpected part failure.

To read the full post, please click here to go to our website.
Vessel Name: Emerald
Vessel Make/Model: Kelly Peterson 44
Hailing Port: No fixed abode
Crew: Colin 'Skip' Wright, Nichola Wright
About: One from Northern Ireland, one from Yorkshire, UK
Extra: Emerald has been our home since 2004. We've sailed around the UK, the western Baltic and have spent 7 years in the Med. We're currently in Portugal, planning a refit. Lot's more information about us and the boat can be found at www.yachtemerald.com
Home Page: https://www.yachtemerald.com/