Friday 22 August 2014

Messing about in boats

15 Aug: New owner Dave, and Forse, builder of Gabrielle, the Somes Sound
12 1/2 in the background, beached in Nim Shue Wan, for a bit
of "messing about in boats".
Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — 
half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. 
Simply messing... about in boats — or with boats. 
In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. 
Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. 
Whether you get away, or whether you don't; 
whether you arrive at your destination 
or whether you reach somewhere else, 
or whether you never get anywhere at all, 
you're always busy, 
and you never do anything in particular; 
and when you've done it there's always something else to do, 
and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not.
Rat to Mole, as they are rowing up the river. 
Gabrielle on Nim Shue Wan beach, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong.
Dave's mate Lex, by their new little dinghy-tender

Dave, in dinghy, Lex in water, taking Gabrielle
back to her mooring in Nim Shue Wan, after the little
messabout.  That's the Bounty in the background.

1 August: Noel, our boat manager for Xena, finishes off the
antifouling of Gabrielle.  Discovery Bay Marina, Hong Kong....

... while I take some time off on the water....

... courtesy mate Jonno, and his mate Mike's lovely
Island Gypsy 32 in the waters just off Discovery Bay, HK.

Jonno, with favourite tipple, Tsing Tao.  The cooler/holder is a
give-away from sailing mate Stevo, from his wedding to Zoe on 18 June.
LATER (13 May 2015): Here is a link to the launching of Paul's boat in Ireland. He's made a truly beautiful example of this lovely picnic day-boat.  Lovely sails and she sails lovely!

Friday 25 July 2014

Gabrielle comes back to Discovery Bay

What a decent mooring!  Would hold a Super-tanker, that...
Gabrielle in Nim Shue Wan bay, Discovery Bay, Hong Kong
Yesterday, we towed Gabrielle back to her permanent mooring in Discovery Bay. We'd taken her over the wall last year, and then it's been a while getting all the bits and pieces ready for her to be brought to her permanent mooring, back here in Discovery Bay.
David (new owner) joined us on the delivery.
Thanks to Jonno for organising the Sea Ray 24' (in turn thanks to owner Andrew), for us to tow her back from Royal Hong Kong to DB, about 12 miles.  It was a pretty rough crossing, though the photos don't really show it.  Winds from S at force 6, and choppy, confused wave patterns, a hangover of typhoon Matmo.
Still, she handled it well, and bounced along, throwing the seas and waves out of her way....
Here's some photos:
Jonno aboard Suzie M, kindly loaned to us by Andrew
Just for the record: Before launching, I had painted the yellow strip on the rudder
at the Design Water Line (DWL).  It sits right on the water line...
more luck than good management, I suspect, but pleasing nonetheless...

At the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Noel dodging the rain

Snugging up to the tow-boat
Ooops-a-daisy, Noel hops onto Suzie M, Jonno and David in background

Rough crossing...
... so rough that a fish got bounced into the boat...

ICC building (118-storey) at the left, lost in the clouds...

One of the reasons we couldn't sail over: crossing a major shipping lane

Gabrielle-builder Forse and new owner David

Nice cover!  Noel has just clipped it on

Ahhh. peace at last.  Gabrielle lies nicely at her mooring

Later (10 September 2014): She's been sitting at the mooring now for nearly two months through all sorts of thunderstorms, and major rain bursts, and hardly takes any rain-water at all.  A tribute to Janice ("the boat-covers lady") and her skills at tight-fitting Sunsail fabric.

Thursday 10 July 2014

Re-launch and first sail

Wow, six months since the last post!...
Well, it's taken those 6 months... to find and fit a boom, to make the fittings for running and standing rigging and get the Mainsail made for Gabrielle.  Of course, not always on the job, as other things have taken their priority, like: visiting Australia, racing to -- and delivering back from -- the Philippines, Thailand regattas, trips to Xiamen and Shenzhen in China and organising Japan hiking...  In short,  it's not like we've been on the job every day....
So, anyhow, here we are with the second launching of Gabrielle, from the RHKYC, with a very nice classically-coloured Mainsail made by North's Sails (thanks to Stevo), and then our first little outing under sail by Noel and me which we did from the Club yesterday.
We hope to tow her over to her Discovery Bay mooring next week (or so...), for her new owner David to take delivery.

Looking pretty on the pontoon of RHKYC, 9 July.
Those cleats on foredeck are for the towing bridle.
The North Sails Mainsail.  Nice colour and shape, Stevo!
The jib will have to be added later by new owners.

Peter ("Forse") at the tiller: handmade laminated Ramin (bai mu).
She handled well. Note fixed point main-sheet (instead of Traveller
attached to the transom).  That's because of the set-up on the boom.

Noel checking out the bilges after our little sail.  He also took the chance
to mark out the waterline, with Duck Tape, for the anti-fouling that
will be painted on, as she'll live in the water on a mooring.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

In the water

Gabrielle at soft launch, RHKYC, 7th January 2014
UPDATE (17 Jan): At Koko's request I wrote an article on the build, for the February issue of the Club magazine, Ahoy!  Published 28th January.  Article on page 22).
Well, we finally got around to popping Gabrielle* in the water -- I'm calling it a "soft launch" -- after some months of dawdling, Christmas, New Year and all that.  And trying to work out a small issue with getting the boom on -- having to try to find a new gooseneck, so far unsuccessfully, as the second-hand booms and masts (ex Lasers) which were supposed to be at our Club's Middle Island boatyard seem to have been cleared out. So now we -- as in Noel and the Boatyard -- will manufacture one. [UPDATE, 7 March]: boom now fitted; sails and boat cover being made next week]

      *[Gabrielle is Xena's sidekick in the cult classic series "Xena, Warrior Princess"]
Some photos from yesterday, at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, Causeway Bay:
Sam, our neighbour in Discovery Bay.  We bumped into each other on the
ferry over to town and he decided to come along to the soft launch.
Here he is next to our "other boat", the lovely Xena, in fine condition
thanks to Noel's ministrations after a day out on the water last Sunday.

The 50-tonne crane finds this little lift a doddle....
Note nice new paint job, thanks to Noel.  Sanding.... sanding....sanding...

.... and gently into the water.

Noel next to Gabrielle, as she lies nice and even - I was
worried that due to my amateur build that she'd lean one
way or the other, but she seems to lie dead straight.
On quick look the waterline seems to be about right, but
to check that would mean some more careful measurements.
Here I am next to her. That lean is just bobbing...!

Noel and Ah Luk from the Boatyard.
On the original of this photo, you can make out the waterline (DWL) marked on the rudder,
sitting just above the waterline, which means she's riding a touch high in the water.
But that's what I would expect, as I made her -- not entirely deliberately --
a touch beamier than in the plans (don't ask...).

A pretty sight from behind.  But she does gain beauty
with contemplation from a distance.  I wouldn't want
a proper boat-builder to have too close a look!
(Should we paint on the transom: "Our other boat
is an X-yacht"? [kidding...])

Lying straight, by the pontoon at the Royal HK Yacht Club
LATER: Eagle-eyed builders of the Somes Sound will note that the mast is not the classic wooden one. That's because, by the time I'd finished building the hull, wife Jing had got a bit touchy with our house and garden being a boatyard, and wanted them back again.... and also, to be frank, that I'd rather run out of patience myself as well.  And... in the meantime, we'd been kindly offered a free second-hand mast from a Laser, courtesy our Yacht Club.  And... there's nothing wrong with having aluminium aloft: lighter than wood, it will make the boat stiffer.  Thanks to Roger and Simon at the RHKYC for the mast.  Now, just to sort out the boom issue...

Monday 2 December 2013

Mast on...

Mast and boom on, but boom needs a bit of work on the goose-neck.
Sanded back for new painting
It's been a while to get the mast done, various reasons, all too boring to note here.... But now she's got the mast, forestay and shrouds on, and looking good.  Noel has done a good job.  He's also installed the Centreboard.
Noel also made the mast step and bracket.  Feels solid
The issue with the boom is that the goose-neck is a bit damaged, this being a second-hand mast that's been sitting around the Boatyard for some time....
When we've sorted out the boom issue, Stevo of North Sails will measure up for a set of sails, cotton/dacron in this case.
Then we can go for a sail!

Friday 2 August 2013

For Sail to good home...

An SS at rest... Gabrielle is same colours

The time has come, the walrus said.....
I don't have any room to keep the little wooden picnic day-boat I built (aka "Gabrielle"), so I'm inviting interest form someone who would like to take her over in as-is shape.  And that's basically finished, but with mast to be stepped (mast included), and sails needed. Sitting at the RHKYC boatyard.
She's been sanded back for final painting -- British racing green marine paint, as in the photo above, is included....  and the elbow grease for painting could well be as well...
Please get in touch if you're interested in this Hong Kong Somes Sound 12 1/2, a lapstrake version of a Herreshoff design from 1902.
A "good home" means you would need to have a mooring or a hard standing available.
Phone or text me xxxx.
Designer John Brooks takes his SS out for a blast..

Friday 12 July 2013

A non-update update

Gabrielle, as she was a few months back just before the lift-over the wall and trip to the Yacht Club

Not much to add to last post, really, just posting this to say that I haven't disappeared off the face of the earth.  We're still awaiting a pair of spreaders for the mast, then we can go ahead and step the mast and measure for the sails.  I'm off out of Hong Kong for a little bit tomorrow and back in a couple of weeks, so for now, she continues to sit at the boatyard at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club.