One thing Sundance didn’t have when I bought her was roller reefing for her genoa, her previous owner opting for hank on sails as she was club raced with a crew. I thought I could manage with these sailing singlehanded and whilst I can it’s hard work, especially when the wind picks up and you have to change the sails in a good bit of Bristol Channel wind over tide. It was the sole reason I didn’t take part in the 2017 Jester Baltimore Challenge and with the 2019 event round the corner I thought I better get things sorted.

Roller reefing has been on the cards, well since I’ve owned her, but it’s such an expense I haven’t managed to get it till now!

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Although I haven’t anchored Sundance since I’ve had her (I haven’t needed to and there’s not many decent anchorages in the Bristol Channel), I want the option of being able to throw the hook in and not have to worry about it. It can be argued with the thick gloopy mud we have a decent sized mooring shackle would hold and I agree but my thoughts are if I’m anchoring it’s because I either can’t get back on my mooring or I can’t get into a port with water in it!

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I finally managed to get out on Sundance for the first night away of the season! The mother had little man for the day and he was at nursary the next so I had a free pass. I had planned on meeting up with a friend who wanted to have a sail to Cardiff but a weather window opened up for him to sail to the Isles of Scilly on his boat so he took it.

After a good few weeks of nice weather and no wind, it started to fill out and although it wasn’t awful, it was just on the edge of feeling comfortable with going out, especially on my own. I had put the feelers out to various people to see if they fancied a night away but being in the week they couldn’t make it either. I drove down to the club and even if I didn’t go for a sail I still have enough jobs to do to keep me busy.

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I needed to go up the mast last year but managed to put it off, I’m not the best with heights but if it needs to be done it needs to be done! If I’m going to do it though I would rather have my feet on something rather then hanging from a harness or bosuns chair.

I have seen various methods of mast climbing but a mast ladder appealed the most to me. I said singlehanded or with inexperienced crew mostly so having to ask someone who isn’t so sure on how to use a winch to winch you 30ft in the air isn’t my idea of a fun day out. With a ladder I am in control and another person can tail the safety line on the winch or I can use a climbing asscender myself.Continue reading

As you can see the whole system was in need of a refit, the orange pipe dated 1991 and the copper pipe pitted quite bad.

It’s May already! Where has the time gone? With all the rush of getting the boat on the water it’s been a bit of a down time getting on with life and not a lot of sailing. The plan was for little man to head to Granny’s house for a night and Lou and I to have a night on the boat. We had thought a night in Cardiff Bay but settled on popping the boat on the club pontoon and getting a few more jobs started or finished off that I didn’t manage to get done over the winter.

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Well the official club launch has been and Sundance is floating, well at least I hope she is! It all went fine, a slight dribble from the raw water inlet hose but noting an extra turn on the hose clamp didn’t sort. I changed the sterngland over the winter so it was a relief not to see any water coming in through the shaft!

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Finaly fitted the refinished grabrails and new sprayhood wood!

The winter jobs list grows and grows and launch time is just around the corner so I’ve had to get the red pen out and prioritise what needs to be done.

I’ve had the last week off work, originally to sail a friends boat around from Cardiff to Plymouth but that fell through. Although it would have been a fantastic opportunity and experience I’m quite glad as it’s given me a few days to knuckle down and get to work. The plan was to have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the boat, Wednesday at home and Thursday and the weekend in Plymouth where we had booked a cottage Lou to meet me after the now cancelled sail round.

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The last blog post I mentioned I was allocated my permanent mooring but it might not be there, well if it was I couldn’t find it. I had an inkling it wasnt, I heard the person that was given it last year didn’t go on it and used a loan mooring as he couldn’t afford, didn’t want to or didn’t have the time to put a new one in. Not that I’m complaining! I wasn’t expecting to find a pile of rope on the bank but I had to look.

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We’re making progress… as I mentioned before it was the mooring meeting at the club last Wednesday so I had booked half a day off work to get down before it started and try to get a few more jobs ticked off the list. A quick blast down and I was at the club, well I’m not sure you can blast anywhere in a 1.5 NA diesel car but I got there.

First thing on the list was to try out the improvised puller I made to draw in the cutlass bearing.

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