Year 2020

Note:- To view any image in a higher resolution just click on that image.
Also, there are many other photographs on this subject held on file

  The bulk of our budget for this refit was spent on 2 new Harken “46” self-tailing winches to replace the 2 forward non self-tailing Lewmar “46” cockpit winches.  Anyone want the old winches?   The old winches were removed, mounting holes in the Timber/GRP reinforced base were plugged and sealed.  New mounting holes drilled (new Harken winches had a different PCD to the Lewmar) and the new winches installed.  Please make contact with me through the Links section.  The new winches were installed in February and looked just great.  Our Mainsail and Genoa were in for repairs & cleaning as was an order for new (replacement) Dodgers.   They were completed end of February and stowed on board.  As for me, I had to cease maintenance at the start of February in preparation for another operation on my spine which will keep me absent for quite some time.
  Our Winter Refit continued with minor tasks and most could well have been postponed another year although the general condition of the timber in the Saloon/Heads area was looking “sad” with water damage, split veneer seams and most vulnerable.  This was to be our priority and where we initially concentrated our efforts.   Water and UV had had its effect on the timber and it was getting worse. Our first thought was to attempt to save what areas were still stained by severe washing with a Kitchen abrasive (CIF or Sugar soap), then bleach disappointingly to no avail.  Then rubbing with steel wire wool and metholated spirits, more severe methods and eventually Paint Stripper (something we absolutely never expected to use).  Then scraping off what stain was left.  It all helped but with having to wait for the surface to dry thoroughly before we could sand smooth without damaging the vulnerably surface, our problem remained.   Then one of our Partners came up with a possible solution painting on an Acid (bottle “A”) and then an Alkali (bottle “B”) which successfully removed everything leaving us with what was left of a very thin layer of veneer.  This was a professional solution and had to be used with extreme caution. The surface was then delicately washed down with white vinegar twice, soapy water and finally fresh water, dried and sanded smooth.   We were left with a surface as good as it could be for refurbishment especially as we are not professionals.   Of course our dehumidifier played its part drying out the timber occasionally thoroughly wetted via the various treatments.  Next step, stain and varnish.   After an inspection when all the timber was thoroughly dry we decided to try a light stain in an inconspicuous area but eventually decided no stain would be necessary as we thought the many coats of varnish we required would darken and match the timber to the original furniture.   Varnishing started with a water based matt UV proof varnish adding 2 coats on each visit.   A match was getting closer and of course the more coats the better the protection.  As part of the running costs we have to keep all equipments in good order so we are replacing all of our Dodgers, Side 2, Quarter 2 and Aft. since they are now past their sell-by date.

Both old Lewmar “46” Winches removed

Underside of Winch mounting area (Timber + GRP Reinforced)

One of the new Harken “46” Winches installed

Plugged & sealed underside of the new Winch mounting

May 2019 Timber, generally poor condition with water damage and split veneer seams

  After extensive treatment detailed above

 After 2 coats Varnish, no stain and not far off a match

Replacement Dodgers
(Side 2, Quarter 2 & Aft)

  Our Winter Refit had to continue but with myself on long term medical R&R, another having taken several weeks off for work and another (late February) just starting medical R&R for several weeks it seems a strain in getting what is now becoming just major tasks completed.   The last (struggling) Partner is also awaiting knee replacement so is limited in use.   We are now relying on friends and more so volunteers to keep the ball rolling.

ADAT (nearly) ready for launch (18th March)

  At the beginning of this year we saw the Coronavirus Pandemic effect the world and at that time not realising just how bad it was and how it would effect Adat’s launch and how vulnerable we all were.   Maintenance plodded on as it normally would until the dangers of the virus became very real indeed and our country was soon in an enforced lock down with all non essential travel banned (with Police fines). Thankfully due to the magnificent efforts of one of our Partners at the last minute Adat’s hull was made waterproof and almost ready for launch apart from some “touching in” of Antifoul after the Yard staff moved the Pit Props.  We requested this service from the yard. What we didn’t expect was that the Pit Props were moved, the Antifoul applied covering the now new patches and ADAT was launched all in the same day. Now that is what you call SERVICE!   Of course with the whole of the country in lockdown for at least 3 weeks no one knows when any of us would get a chance of boarding her?  Days certainly not, weeks maybe but surely months to wait for an all-clear from our government.  We were lucky being launched in as much as many other Sailing Clubs and Boat Yards had CLOSED and Antifoul once applied has a limited life out of the water.   Our most important problem now would surely be theft.   Any boat now in the water securely tied to their moorings with limited security makes them very vulnerable. We have of course taken precautions on ADAT in that our V&A items are Post coded, (and/or) Smart water coded and registered.   This of course does not guarantee that any items are NOT stolen but its a better deterrent.  After the first 3 weeks of lockdown we have another 3 weeks to contend with and the risk with almost 1,000 (NHS registered) persons a day dying are just too great.
Its the 1st of May and I have just passed the 11th week after my operation, not quite 3 months but have outdone the original 4 thrice-a-day exercises.   Its a matter now of building up strength and stamina with another 4 exercises.  These are really pushing me so they must be useful but still no lifting of heavy weights (limited to 1 Baked Bean can in each hand as in one of the exercises).   My Physio has recommended no heavy weights for another 6 weeks and after another 15 weeks I should be FIT?   One scheme that has come of this virus and the general lockdown is that a member of YOSC has set-up a ZOOM online conference link to be opened to the whole of our membership on a Monday evening (for an hour) as a substitute for our usual get-together.   A test has already been run and proved very successful.   Of course we have to supply our own drinks.   The government restrictions have changed with a common 2 Metre distance between persons rule and no overnight stays with restricted travel. £1,000 fines for getting caught but the real danger is catching the virus hence no visits to ADAT.

Wicormarine’s new Fueling Bowser

Bridging pontoons at Wicormarine
for more “Walk ashore” births

  Middle of June now and it seems restrictions are at last easing.  Two of our Partners have managed to board and tidy, clean, stow and bend on our sails so maybe a day sail soon?  They even cleaned and preserved the Ring Deck.  The 2 Metre rule could soon (July) to be reduced to 1 Metre and the numbers of persons getting together increased from 6 (current) with a greater mixture (own household and others).   There is also the possibility of staying overnight.   Cleanliness is of course paramount.  Over the last few months, Wicormarine (our home mooring) have made some changes notably some additional walk ashore pontoon moorings and a mobile diesel fuelling service (at reasonable prices) which we have already taken advantage of.
June 16th and our first sail of the season but just for the Partners (2 Metre distancing still active) but with rain and low winds forecast it looks like a motor probably to Osbourne Bay for a Lunchtime anchorage.   Well at least its a day out on board.

17th June with Adat anchored for lunch in Osborne Bay

 And with just 4 other vessels for company

  Well, we were lucky to have antifouled ADAT just in time for her launch at Wicormarine before the Coronavirus locked the country down.    Here we are on 17th June and with government restrictions easing (still 2M distancing and no overnight stays) we managed to organise a day sail.  Were we the first to sail from YOSC? Here we are on anchor in Osborne Bay for a pretty hefty Ploughman's lunch in the cockpit and glorious clear sun.  Albeit for another 4 vessels we had the Bay to ourselves.   All this with a clear sky and a very hot sun keeping an eagle eye on the sky especially the Cu-nims for the rain forecasted to start at 1300/1400.  The inland clouds indicated that some poor sole had some pretty heavy showers but we remained dry.  On our return “motor” to Portsmouth Harbour we slowed near Gosport Fuel birth to top up our fuel tank but their price was so close to Wicormarine’s new service we decided to continue our passage as the services of Wicormarine was so convenient.   Engaging forward gear again we noticed a noise emanating from the gearbox like a long scraping/crunching sound and after what seemed a long pause (just a second or two) there was a quiet “clunk” and forward gear started to actually drive.  OK this must have been a glitch or so we thought and hoped.  We motored onwards another 20 minutes to our mooring slowing down and eventually entering neutral and reverse.  Then, when we required forwards again there was no drive at all.  By then we had our lines ashore and were safely moored and started investigating our problem.   It was rather obvious that we had Reverse gear but lost Forward gear and so our gearbox had to be removed for repair.  Were we lucky?  Well, a big yes for the weather, a safe mooring on our return and a no for the 33 years old gearbox.   For this refurbishment see GEARBOX section.

View of Cafe from the Sea Pontoon

View from the Outside tables

View inside with several eating areas

  To add to our misery our Outboard wasn’t passing cooling water from the small rubber cooling water exhaust pipe (even after threading through a thin piece of wire. The Outboard covers had to be removed to rectify the problem. The cooling water exhaust was clear therefore it was something more serious and we decided to place the outboard in the very capable hands of Fairweather Marine (Lee Fairweather). The water pump was found to be split (broken) and they had to remove the cylinder head resulting in 2 broken head bolts (see photos).   The good news was that again our regular servicing had paid off in that the general condition of the engine was very good and a repair worth while.  The broken cylinder head bolts were easily replaced saving the original threads.   The whole procedure was completed earlier than expected.  Well at least something had gone right?

Cylinder Head showing 2 broken bolts
and partially blocked waterways

Broken waterpump with the old Head Gasket

  Beginning of September and I had the chance of a sail on ADAT.  One of my Partners and myself had been planning a visit to the Isles of Scilly over a fortnight and this was to be our third attempt.  Yes, was to be but mainly due to the Corona virus this time yet again it had to be cancelled.  Although ADAT had been sailed (motored) for 4 days testing the gearbox I still wanted to regain my own confidence with a first hand feel of how it performed and sounded. I had removed, refurbished and installed bigger and more powerful engines and gearboxes than ours (I refurbished both the engines on my first vessel, a Fairey Dell Quay Ranger) and I had recommended that we install ours under my direction to save the cost of a professional.  I just had to be sure. So whilst I organised another 2 crew my Partner organised a berth at Lymington Dan Bran for the Saturday night and a meal in the Mayflower pub nearby (always excellent). With Cowes fully booked and Newport facilities still closed we were very limited. It was Dan Bran or an anchorage somewhere and we really wanted a meal out. We boarded on the Friday evening and dined on an excellent home-made Spagbol with just a little to wash it all down.  Our last crew joined us around 0930 the following day bringing one of his Drones promising to take some photos of ADAT at some stage of the weekend and maybe at sea although this was also a “first” for the Pilot even though he was an Instructor and Examiner.  After breakfast and now with four on board we decided to slip under motor against the tide and on to an anchorage in Osborne Bay in around F4-5 for lunch.   We wanted to sail but we found our batteries were worse than flat at under 8 volts so we had to motor to charge them (what an excuse).  There were a few boats anchored in the bay but still not as many as usual and it was warm enough to dine in the cockpit.  Maybe there would be more later in the day?  After lunch and with the tide now starting to run west we raised the anchor and motored on to Lymington.   On route we asked if it would be possible to fly the drone but as this was to be a “first” and it was rather gusty the offer was declined as a safely measure.   Also this drone cost £1,500 and we didn’t want to loose it overboard (they don’t float).  We arrived at our mooring on Dan Bran and were directed to raft alongside another yacht which rather surprised us all with the corona virus directives banning rafting.  We must have missed an update?   My first task was to separately check the condition of our batteries which all proved in good working order and a much improved voltage.  Then of course was a mains shore connection to ADAT and on with our 50Ah mains charger to give us a 14 hours overnight charge.  Drinks all round and later our meal in the Mayflower which I have to say was rather pathetic outside in the garden under cover and certainly not up to their usual standard but we all enjoyed the visit.   They stand very little chance of getting another visit until they improve.  My meal was mostly lettuce hearts salad with one piece of chicken at £16 but the 2 bottles of red washed it all down well.   Back on board for a night cap (or two) and rest.   Just don’t mention the Grouse.  We thought it would be a great idea to sail around the Island as long as the wind stayed in the right direction and speed.  The following day before breakfast we slipped motoring out of the harbour then under Genoa alone sailed with the tide east.  I say sailed as it was more like a drift in 2 to 5 knots.

September and another anchorage
in Osborne Bay

Lymington Dan Bran at sunset

Dining late in the Mayflower

André assembling his Drone at sea

André setting up the Drone

Airfield (Garage) with Sprayhood down

Wicormarine pontoon with André at the controls

Successfully hovering from pontoon

  With this very gentle wind our intrepid Drone Pilot decided it was worth a try taking off from our main hatch cover (encouraged by ourselves).   We collapsed the Sprayhood and the Drone was assembled ready for lift-off.  We were all keen and getting very excited. The blades (sharp enough the take off a finger) started rotating and the revs increased until we had lift-off. With no more than 6 inches off the deck all power suddenly ceased and she fell back to the position she raised from. It was indicating “Magnetic interference” but from where?  Several more attempts were made but we decided again we didn’t want to take the risk.   We drifted onwards with Genoa alone past Cowes refuelling at Gosport and mooring on our pontoon at Wicormarine. “I can do this” said our Pilot and he duly set-up on the pontoon.  Success at last, and so may photographs were taken (see below).   From this new perspective it seemed we had photos of the area, ADAT and another club members yacht “Minke” and all on a dry clear sunny day.   What with the repaired gearbox, an enjoyable trip (can’t say Sail) to Lymington and to experience the opportunity of a Drone taking photographs of whatever we wanted was something special for this weekend.  I have been assured the drone will fly from ADAT again sometime with André at the controls which certainly beats a talk at our Sailing Club.  

Our first Drone photo of Adat

Looking towards Portsmouth

Looking towards
Wicormarine and our mooring

Looking north

Adat from various angles
& heights

Adat from various angles
& heights

Adat from various angles
& heights

Minke from above
(opposite Adat)

  With a series of hospital appointments starting middle of September running into October culminating in an operation with around 3 weeks recovery (oh the joys of growing old) we have planned a final overnight sail (2 to 3 day) around the end of October to round off the season.   Unfortunately one of our partners will be self isolating after a holiday in Portugal and UK restrictions demand 2 weeks isolation on return and another restricted in his movements again due to Corvid restrictions.    After the sail we will then make ADAT ready for her Winter refit on the hard (Genoa stored, Engine/Gearbox service, etc.).   With an engine service in mind I purchased oils, etc. (we had all the filters) and with a possible Domestic battery bank to replace I enquired as to their price.  What a surprise with Euro Car Parts quoting £158 (Inc. Vat) for a basic type 663 at 110Ah and Alfa Batteries at £104.99 (Inc. Vat & Delivery) of a better type but 120Ah.  Euro Car Parts blamed the high price on Covid and said that it was a typical price. Guess who will get the order?  Of course this sail was weather permitting and the forecast is rain, rain and even more rain. Boarding on the Monday morning we slipped and sailed to Priory Bay and an anchorage for lunch.   With a westerly wind and tide assisting, the passage only took 2 hours.   With the “Up” windlass Bow power button malfunctioning I had to use the Binnacle controls, a first.   Lunch completed we slipped and motor sailed first refuelling at Gosport then back to Wicormarine.  Weather still moderately dry we dropped and bagged our Genoa (a requirement for hauling out).  We then celebrated the end of season with a special Fillet steak meal needless to say with the appropriate liquid refreshment.  Staying overnight we faced the expected rain and squalls so the engine serviced was our main task followed by making ADAT ready for our Maintenance season on the hard.  A new requirement is now to remove all Gas cylinders.  This done we started to plan our ever long Maintenance Schedule and of course our journey home.
Guess what, Covid has struck again. Not content with scuppering our sailing for the season it has now struck the start of our Winter Maintenance program with a 4 week country wide lockdown starting 5th November.   Of course it didn’t help that we have had to spend so much on repairing our gearbox and leaving us financially short for this winter’s maintenance so we have had to prioritise.   Either way, the important work will be accomplished.  Firstly our domestic batteries had not been holding a charge.  On investigation using our sailing club’s Drop Tester we found one battery in a really BAD state with the remaining 2 in a WEAK state. My supplier recommended a Norwegian battery made by Nordstar which was a type 663 Heavy Duty Commercial but 120Ah (our existing were Lucas 110Ah) and the best was that they were cheaper than all the others. We arranged for our Sprayhood/Cockpit Tent zips to be replaced and the Sprayhood cleaned.  The Timber around the Galley was also refurbished (as the Heads timber).  This started with a good clean using Sugar Soap then up to 6 coats of Paint Stripper and finally another clean with Wire-Wool and Metholated Spirits.  Once as much of the old varnish or stain had been removed we applied Morrell’s Sprayhood Bleach, Part “A”, Sodium Silicate Solution then Part “B”, UN2014 Hydrogen Peroxide Aqueous Solution then another clean with Wire-Wool and Metholated Spirits.  This state was left for around a week until thoroughly dried and “white” in colour.  We were then able to reinstate the protection coats of stain and varnish matching the original timbers on board.  Our Dinghy, so little used since we now have shore access is to be covered against the elements (rain, snow, UV damage, etc.) with a Tarpaulin. See Modifications section.  Also around the beginning of November, my wife had been diagnosed with breast Cancer. See Home section.  With Joy having Chemotherapy sessions leaving her extremely vulnerable to catching any bug (or even Corona itself) which could have dire consequences, I also had to be wary of passing on the same so I too had to be careful.  Alas that meant I had to forgo my own visits to ADAT for our Winter Maintenance period, something I will dearly miss.
Well would you believe it, Covid struck yet again with many counties including Berkshire being placed from Tier 2 to Tier 4 meaning no social travel.  That means no more maintenance visits for any of us until further notice which at the moment looks possibly like end of January.  No difference for myself of course as I still will be caring for Joy and limiting any contact with others (mainly in the supermarket on a weekly shopping trip).   What a way to round off the year 2020.