Friday 8 August 2014

Exeter living magazine, a quick dit about sailing!

A few weeks ago I received a tweet from Exeter Living Magazine asking if I would like to contribute to their latest issue about the sailing/boating scene on the Exe. I was asked to provide a few words describing a memorable moment of sailing on the estuary.

So I put a quick dit together about my first trip on DY171 and her delivery from Starcross to Topsham via her little 2.5 hp engine. 

The issue has just been published…...

If you would like to have a read of the article click on the image of the issue above and go to page 26

I didn't choose my most glorious moment, but it was certainly memorable!

Happy Sailing


Tuesday 8 July 2014

DY171 update... 2014 so far....

After being away for a little while DY171 is back on the water and sailing!

Its been a long time since I last posted but I'll try to keep this one as short as possible.

A quick update so far:

2013 season ended well with DY171 winning the Topsham summer series of weekend races.

While I was abroad during winter and spring my father looked after DY171 and her continuing renovation. During the offseason she was taken back to the west midlands where she had some major work undertaken at SP Boats.  Her hull was stripped back and a new coat of blue gelcoat applied, replacing the paint job by her previous owners. After all the old layers of paint were stripped back the original hull colour appeared to have been maroon, we decided to stick with light blue as we had grown accustom to it. A new forrad bulkhead was also installed as the old bulkhead was rotten. This was due in part to water entering the forrad buoyancy space through the hole for the bow sprit notch under the deck moulding. This space is now sealed however we have kept a buoyancy bag in the compartment for safety.

During the process of applying the new seasons coat of anti-foul we noticed that the hull had a small hole under the waterline. This looked to have been caused by incorrect roller alignment of the new trailer, yet another lesson learned the hard way! A temporary repair was applied in order to get her back on the water.

DY171 had her first sail of the season with 32 other yawls at the Devon Yawl National Championships. A disappointing first day with one race sailed in extremely light airs was very disheartening (especially as we had to carry such a poor result). Three races on the sunday in race worthy wind proved that DY171 has good boat speed up wind, we need to look at our down wind speed however. The first race on sunday gifted us a top ten result and the following two in the low teens. Here is some footage from the first race on Sunday (including GPS data)

After the nationals our hole under the waterline was repaired and we put DY171 back on her mooring (Thanks to swift repair by a great chap called Charlie and Some skilful van driving by Sam from Exe Sails!)

The next event we sailed was the Exe regatta where we had some good match racing with Ed W-H!
There are some great photos of DY171 and Y'ALL WHITE at the regatta taken by Jon Croome at this link

We are looking forward to the rest of the season!

Happy Sailing,


Thursday 20 June 2013

Exe Regatta and MUVI Micro video camera test

Work prevented us taking the Yawl to the national championships a fortnight ago, however we did get out on the water for the exe regatta the following week (which was a windy one). 

Yawls getting ready for a windy saturday at the Exe Regatta

The change in genoa track position that we made toDY171 has made a big difference to boat speed and pointing. DY171 appears to be going ok, last weekends racing showed that the basic boat setup is pretty much there.

On the way back home from the race course I ran a test of my waterproof camera strapped to the mizzen hopefully I'll be able to post some racing footage in the not too distant future.

Happy Sailing,


Sunday 2 June 2013

Pesky Birds and Round the Island Race 2013

I have been spoiled for sailing over the past few weeks. Firstly the month of May finally heralded Spring (better late than never) and presented me with two amazing bank holidays to take the yawl out on some adventures around the Exe. Our first Yawl race of the season was wet and windy which gave us the opportunity to really test the boat in challenging conditions, we were glad to see that nothing broke and the Yawl survived unscathed, less can be said for my poor Dad :  )

In other 'thrilling' yawl related news, the bird scaring bunting seems to be doing the trick and saving the cover from the majority of bird attack. It would however appear that a small minority of hardy birds still can't resist a go at making our poor boat a mess.

Outside of Yawl sailing, this weekend I had a break from the Exe and headed to the solent for an early start and some champagne sailing on the round the Island Race. 20kts of wind at times and almost continuous sunshine was an unexpected treat, I hope to see some more days like it this summer. Our team didn't get round the island in the sub 3hrs that Ben Ainsley managed but in a nevertheless respectable 8 and a half hours.

I snapped these photos on my iphone as we rounded St Catherines lighthouse

Happy sailing,


Saturday 18 May 2013

Making the most of May sunshine and wind

We have just got back from a great sail on the Exe, all new bits and bobs seem to be working as intended. We sailed from Topsham to Exmouth beach stopping briefly at Starcross YC for some lunch on the way back. 

On our way down river we caught the Merlin Rockets sailing from Starcross at their open meeting, perfect weather for such an event, force 4 and beautiful sunshine (is this really the UK).


Happy Sailing,

Thursday 16 May 2013

This puts my renovation efforts to shame!

Earlier this year Vigilant (a Thames Barge) was beached at Topsham Quay and is undergoing a full revamp which looks like most of the hull is being replaced. 

The local BBC news did a report on her story here 

Tuesday 7 May 2013

Spring has sprung, I have video evidence!

I've finally got round to posting some video of DY171 under way! In order to get a steady picture video was taken from my phone in a waterproof case strapped to the mast. We took the boat up to Starcross for some teaching and to see if my recent changes had worked. A relatively steady wind of force 3 to 4 in the gusts provided a great afternoon on the water.

Happy Sailing,