Thursday, 19 April 2012


The more observant reader will have noticed that the photo above doesn't look very much like the Solent, even on a good day. 

Before someone cites the Trade Descriptions Act, there's a reason for this: in August we're planning to leave on an extended cruise, which will hopefully see us swap the dull grey of the Channel for the warm winds and deep blue water of the Atlantic.   

Ever since my teens I've wanted to head off in my own boat, and I bought Limbo with blue water in mind.  A year's crewing before University left me wanting to experience the sailing life again.  A mere fourteen years later, things are falling into place and it's finally becoming a plan.  We're not doing this without a certain amount of trepidation, and it would be very easy to find good reasons to put it off until 'one day' - but it's time to grab a chance.  

[Insert inspiring quote of your choice here, ideally re: regretting things you don't do/trade winds/throwing off of bowlines etc.]          

Monday, 2 April 2012

Sanding - lots of it.

Limbo has hardwood bulwarks (no sniggering) atop a 6-inch wide hardwood strip, with a protruding 1-inch wide rubbing strake at the lower edge. This should be an attractive feature, and used to look briefly acceptable when freshly oiled, but was now horribly patchy and grey.

'Before' is on the left.  See what I mean?

What was worse, the port strake was coming away from the hull in places.

New forehatch

The old hatch was fairly knackered, to use a technical term.  The aluminium was corroded, one of the safety bars was loose, and it leaked. 

The old hatch

Part of this was due to a fundamentally flawed design that seemed made to hold a pool of water against the seal, so rather than use an identical replacement (Houdini hatches are still available) I sourced a new design from Gebo, handily made to fit in exactly the same cut-out.

Rudder improvements

It’s been a while since writing.  We had a good three weeks’ cruise to Brittany last summer, although the weather left much to be desired. I'll write that up later. Since then, I’ve been focusing on some upgrades.  I'll write these up, for a mark of progress as much as anything! 

New Rudder Fittings

One thing I’d been meaning to check for a while was the state of the rudder fittings.  Limbo’s rudder is a simple affair, attached to the transom and the base of the keel by three brackets.  

The bottom, and main, of these turned out to be badly corroded.  Not only were the nuts hanging on to almost non-existent threads, the area around the pin was deeply pitted. The middle fitting was weeping rust on the interior of the hull.  It didn’t take much in-depth metallurgical knowledge to work out that replacement was in order.  The photos below tell the story…