We started our Winter refit as usual at the end of October (2013) with much work on the engine area culminating in re-soundproofing the engine cover (see section “Modifications”). This was money well spent with an engine now so very quiet. Before this project started I designed, built and installed a new Instrument Panel to the Binnacle to house all the existing instruments plus a Raymarine C70 Colour Plotter (again, see section “Modifications”). The rewiring took some time for the most part being straight forward but now with the ability to view AIS (as well as all the data on the Raymarine ‘Seatalk’ bus) on both the C70 Plotter and a Laptop on the Navigation Desk for our SeaPro electronic navigation. I also took advantage and installed another LED light around the Cockpit Sole (discrete lighting) also a pair of smaller, less harsh LED lights on the rear of the Instrument Panel. During all this our headlining being very old and tired was in places literally falling down. Basically it was far past its sell-by date and had to be replaced. With quotes of up to £14K we decided to remove & clean as much as we could and plan replacement for the end of the 2014 Sailing season. We later found that with very little guidance we should be able to replace some of the panels ourselves. One of our “volunteers” worked on our hull with sanding, filling and coating with Primocon in preparation for Antifouling (Flag-Cruising again). All of our “volunteers” get first refusal on passages on Adat for their dedication. Work by Hayling Yacht on our keel (finalising last seasons rebuild) was complete by March with launch to one of their pontoons which allowed us to make her clean and ready for the Sailing season.
Our first passage of course was the short trip to our mooring at Wicormarine on Tuesday 1st April. I had to miss some of the last minute fitting out on Adat as by 5th April I had been requested for Fitting-out, Sea Trials, launching or Commissioning of some 5 other yachts. A week later saw us in Marchwood for the weekend followed by a very well attended club trip to Lymington (Dan Bran) dining in their excellent Yacht Club and an overnight anchorage in Studland Bay in the company of 7 other YOSC boats. We invited guests on board for dinner and after, a dinghy trip ashore for drinks in the Banks Arms pub. The following day we had an excellent sail all the way back to Portsmouth. A week later saw us on a day excursion for the “Gosport Shed” with 8 on board and a few days later a sail for just 2 around the Eastern Solent anchoring overnight in Priory Bay then on to Newport to meet some old friends on board for dinner. Early June and a Friday evening passage to Priory Bay at night then on to Bembridge for a BBQ the following day. During Saturday we erected the Bimini for shade but then we suffered squalls. Our new member to YOSC Jo, gained some experience when we returned on the Sunday by mooring Adat (as well as the night sailing on the Friday evening).
June 20th and we started our annual Summer Cruise this year touring the Bay de Seine visiting the much loved (and frequented) ports of St Vaast, Carentan, Grandcamp Maisy, Arromanches, Ouistreham, Caen, Ouistreham, Trouville & Deauville, Honfleur and finally Le Havre. We covered nearly 300 Nm over 15 days and as always it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. We sailed for nearly 3 hours on the outward leg with almost no wind, motored or motor/sailed all passages until we slipped Le Havre where we sailed all the way home. A fantastic sail in F4 to F6 with just the occasional shower.
End of July another Training (long) Day with 4 on board (2 Offshore Yachtmasters). This gave us all the opportunity to practise those manoeuvres (Man Overboard, Picking-up Buoys, Mooring, Ferry Gliding, etc.) we seldom use but when we have to it has to be perfect. To help with the usual tides we had F4 winds gusting 6 which proved great for catching one out. First priority was a new member to YOSC giving her the confidence to “Have a go”. Not expecting her to pickup that much I thought the rest of us would do most of the practise. How wrong I was. She did everything we, yes we could throw at her. With Man Overboards thrown in at any time (and many) she coped admirably and with the confidence to undertake those manoeuvres on other yachts. Just what she requires for her forthcoming career in Superyachts (and with a bit of luck the possibility of starting this August). Good Luck Jo. PS: She started as suggested, in August.
September saw Adat on the Hard for nearly 3 weeks with a Jammed Keel. The cause was found to be a very poor fit. Thankfully it was professionally “reshaped” and we were launched in time for extensive sea trials. This was quickly followed by our YOSC Dan Bran dinner in the Royal Lymington Yacht Club. The event attracted some 9 club boats and the dinner was so good most remained in the restaurant until late. Just days later we had 6 on board from the “Gosport Shed”. This was their second trip on Adat this time for 2 days giving them more actual sailing time and of course an overnight on board. The first day at sea was for them rather rough and certainly wet but the second day more than made up for it. So thrilled were they all that they requested a repeat for next year passaging even further and maybe across the Channel.
October saw our last sail on Adat for this season with Dinner in the Master Builder pub at Bucklers Hard, Beaulieu. I took the opportunity to show my new neighbour Manish what sailing in the Solent was like. With some hard pointing on our way, enjoyable company with dinner in the evening and a very pleasant sail all the way back to Portsmouth, we all thoroughly enjoyed the event. For an end of season sail it couldn’t have been better. Manish is now “hooked”.
With the onset of our Winter refit looming our thoughts turned to our sagging headlining and the problem of what to do about it. After estimates from some Professionals we decided to investigate the matter in more detail with the distinct possibility of doing it ourselves. Even estimates from professionals north of Cambridge charging considerably less than a local seemed far more than we were prepared for so we set to roll our sleeves up. This task was deemed to run for several years.