Forethought 2006 log
Page rescued from Google Cache . Oops.
This is about the 10th anniversary of
our purchase of Forethought . More things need replacing that we
fitted new when we bought her. Sails are holding up well from the late
90's. Just as well we bought Pentex/Mylar with taffeta protection. More
expensive but durable.
The year included finally replacing the headlining in the main cabin,
and suffering mild sideffects of exposure to the toxic foam dust.
I went on a VHF DSC course and now the old Seavoice VHF is playing up.
It seems to recieve for few minutes and then go dead . After a lot of
effort, it turned out a plug was being pushed out of a socket by a
stiff cable inside from the channel switch to the main PCB. It wasnt
going dead, just jumping to a different channel dependent on how far
the plug wobbled out.
Round The Island Race 2006
Some days before the race, I was just checking through the tides,
assuming as usual that the race would be a bit of a battle to make it
to the Needles to get there as the tide turned . I was shocked to
discover that our allocated start time was 0800 and the HW time
was 0450. This meant that the earliest we could reach Hurst Narrows
with favourable winds was about the time the tide turned hard against
us. The Needles is several miles and over an hour further on. The
forecast was for light NW wind with a seabreeze that was SW.
At that point I realised we had little hope of making it around, and I
knew that if we hadnt made the needles by 1400 we would probably not
make it around the Island before 2200.
So I went and bought some 3mm cord, put back some old turning
blocks, and bought some lightweight plastic snap shackles for the
spinnaker, and made up some light spinnaker sheets. When the wind
exceeds F2 these are painful to hold. But they help the spinnaker fly
in the light wind we experienced.
Friday night we went for a practice sail and a get-together. Andy
couldnt make it but we went to watch the VOR starters as they passed
We saw them from a distance and then later saw the hospitality motor
yacht for "Pirates of the Carribean" perform a "Jack Sparrow"-style
coming alongside with a downtide approach to Port Hamble taking about
five attempts, rather than putting their beautiful fender-socked
fenders on to the other side of the boat .... Dont worry, I guys will
go and watch the film ...
The tide is going from right to left in the second picture...
Saturday 0600 Hamble Public pontoon for the crew pickup: Start time
0800 as part of the second-to-last ISC
group. I slept on the boat and was woken up at 0430 by the
oystercatchers. Looked up at theperspex hatch and thought it was
covered in seagull droppings but it turned out to be my keys which I
had dropped on the hatch the night before.
The crew was
cockpit, foredeck and helming
Erfaan Sharif: cockpit
cooking, foredeck and helming
Duncan Hobbs cockpit and lookout . Doomed to
race round the Island and never finish. (several Industry Sailing
Detailed Tide Atlas Caused me severe shock.
Everybody arrived on time . This year Steve made the bacon rolls. As we
motored out we were commenting on the brightness and the beauty of the
morning. We also commented on the lack of wind and the high haze that
made a good seabreeze less likely.
We wouldnt say we were fast ...
but we passed Hurst three times pointing the same way
... before we retired
We put up the sails early and
sailed around to get a feel for the speed and direction of the wind .
The northerly wind seemed stronger than expected. This was actually
going to be a bad thing when coupled with the weakened sea breeze.
It looked like the West Brambles end of the line was favoured with the
wind as that gave a spinnaker reach down to Hurst. Of course tempered
with that was the knowledge of the fact that we had longer boats
in our start group who would be rolling over us as we sailed down.
What actually happened was that 'knots' of stopped boats would appear
and we could avoid most of them.
Quite a few times we shot through the lee of single bigger boats, but
more often we would find ourselves having to luff hard or drop back
then go through to windward.
We saw a single GK24
who started in clearer wind go heading off towards
Hurst and gain about a mile on us. They vanished into a line of boats
and that was the last we saw of them.
Hopeful : 1150BST
We passed boats with these with cruising chutes as the wind came more
from astern and they had trouble keeping them filled, apart from boats
which goosewinged the chutes with a pole.
We kept a lookout for the wind and tried to stay in it. As we neared
Lymington the wind came more astern and we then spent time and effort
never sailing deeper than a broad reach . The fractional rig with
extreme spreader sweepback doesnt like running. We also had a
plan - to go close inshore at Hurst and then try to go up the Shingles
bank. So we worked our way to the anchorage off Hurst where
we gybed and started to sail to the point.
Boats anchored in the anchorage were under constant attack from the
drifters coming through - they probably thought they were going to see
the fleet from a distance but actually they were in the thick of the
Already to the south the fleet was going backwards. Over in Totland Bay
and out to NE Shingles buoy there was a line of boats stopped and
sailing in random directions with and without spinnakers up.
As it turned out we should have anchored at Hurst in the anchorage
there and waited for
the sea breeze. Even then it was probably too late to make it round the
Island in time.
Hurst in the rush hour
Coming to the point we discovered several things. We were still making
against the tide. A stream of boats outside us took the wind.
Four boats inside us requested water. And there was a GK29,
Galloping Kougar and another boat aground on the tip of the spit. We
were forced out into the tide, we couldnt get back through to the
inside by cutting across transoms. We needed to be over with the
spinnakers cutting along the spit. (1st
pass of Hurst Castle)
At this point the race finished for us. We did many gybes at this
point as the wind swirled around the boats .
We managed to get to 0.3 NM from NE Shingles with the wind behind us
but the next problem was that the wind to the east of the Narrows was
blowing NE and the wind to the west of the Narrows was blowing SW. The
tide was at this point still only 1 to 2 knots going NE. The trouble
was that you would run against the tide until the wind changed , drop
the spinnaker and then try to beat into the SW wind.
At the seabreeze boundary, different parts of the rig were in opposite
wind directions. Seabreeze at sea level , gradient breeze higher
The tide would then push you back into the NE wind and the cycle would
Meanwhile the whole group of boats would have drifted back east, into
the next boats behind you. The seabreeze boundary would also move NE
with the tide. So we spent about an hour on this boundary being pushed
back up the Solent (2nd
pass of Hurst Castle) until we were
east of Lymington.
We came very close to ramming several boats when we ended up as one of
the upwind boats running into the back of other stopped boats at
the boundary. On one occasion we had to stop by violently turning 135
degrees as there was no way out ahead or to either side, in a
manoever which only I dared attempt, as I have most confidence in the
turning circle of the boat.
Its quite stressful helming a boat which is running into the back of
other boats almost out of control.
Andy relaxing while we sailed back to Hurst
The seabreeze then filled in and we were able to sail back up to Hurst
and arrived there again three hours later (3rd
pass of Hurst
Castle) . By now the breeze was strong enough to beat through the
narrows and head west . But we were only making about 2 knots over the
ground and the Needles were still another two to three hours away at
that sort of speed. No way we could finish the RTI if we were only at
the Needles at a time when we should have been looking at Ryde.
SteveJS and Dunx
So we had a chill-out run back to Lepe where the ebbing tide finally
stopped us at about 1730, so put on the engine and went back to Hamble,
arriving at 1900.
Tired and fairly happy despite not getting very far.
We did our best as a team and nothing was messed up or got broken.
The weather was against us, but the sunshine and sea breeze made it
into a pleasant but rather expensive cruise to Hurst.
A week earlier we would have been battered and possibly failing because
of gear breakages in strong winds.
It would have been worse the day after, despite the tide being later
today : Bramblemet is still reporting less than 2 knots since 0800 on
Sunday 4th June, and the Lymington Starting Platform station is
reporting less wind than on the 3rd at the same time..
Semirigid coupler breakage
Since last year when there was a loud bang from the propellor shaft and
it slipped clear of the semirigid coupler , I have had trouble with
some vibration and rattles at low speed. I put this down to a loose
anode on the shaft which I know is still wobbling around. I removed the
anode after a swim in the sea, but still the vibration.
Many attempts to clear up alignment of the prop shaft had not really
resolved the problem.
I wanted to take a look around the engine so :
I lifted the engine forward into the middle of the cabin on the
mainsheet, and noticed an almost-square piece of non-rusty mild steel
plate lying in the bilge. It showed signs of being worn by
rubbing and rotation.
I looked around the engine but couldnt see any matching places where
such a piece of metal could have fallen from.
I cleaned up the engine, put more hammerite on some rusty patches and
then I noticed a lot of play on one of the bolts in the coupling . I
looked at the after end of the plastic 'star' and could immediately see
that the piece of metal had come from the middle of one of the straps
which supports the ends of bolts which attach the 'star' to the
gearbox drive plate. One of the bolts had its thread worn off from all
the flapping about so that needed replacement as well.
A trip to French & Son in Netley and they made me a new strap for
£15. I fitted it and so far no vibrations, the engine runs faster
and I can do about 0.25 knot more under engine.
Had outboard motor stolen for the Avon so I will enter 2007 with a
twostroke engine on 10:1 fuel/oil mix. Its a 1977 British Silver
Seagull and it is getting me in training for getting a heavier
fourstroke when I finally buy a new engine. Anything will seem light
after a Seagull. I will be going about in a cloud of oil smoke. I will
buy a new carburettor needle for it if I keep on using it that takes it
to 25:1 fuel:oil
Page © Mike James 17 October 2006
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