Back on Land
I'll sum up the last month. Everything was looking good, but the centerboard was still jammed. This was potentially an expensive problem as I couldn't figure out how to get the board out without going under the boat. However after a few days it dawned on me that the damn thing was buoyant, so no matter what I did to get it out again, it would come up, and I had a rope on it. So I bashed it out with a bit of wood I found in a skip, and spent the money I was going to spend on SCUBA gear on the boatyard grinding it down instead.
I now had no centreboard but was fed up sitting about, so we decided to leave the Marina and see how she handled under power. Turns out that quite a lot of water gets an open centerboard slot, even at low speed. We got as far as Portsmouth Harbour entrance before we turned around - although the pump was keeping up, I was emptying it into the sink and the 19mm drain pipe was struggling to keep up.
Although our mission was largely a success I did notice water in a compartment I hadn't noticed before - right under the sink, at the back of the centerboard case. I pumped and sponged this out but it refilled. I did it again, tissue dried it and an hour later could feel water apparently coming through the fibreglass. Bugger. Wherever it was coming from it was salty and was getting in with the boat not moving, which meant it was a problem. So she came out on the hoist, and a few weeks later is still on the trailer while we try to figure it out.
Looks like 2016 is a no sailing year after all, ho hum.
- It's almost certainly not my fault! It looks like an error made during manufacture. After two years of making mistakes, I am quite chuffed that it's not just me that does it.
- After four weeks in the water the antifoul (which the manufacturers had said might be OK) had about 4 inches of weed on it. So I'll probably have her blasted and redone with Coppercoat, which the yard team very highly recommend. Spend spend spend spend spend.
- My battery management system isn't set up to dump excess power if the battery overcharges. When we motored out we set off with a full battery, and the 6A from the motor triffered the overvoltage alarm quite quickly. We turned on the floodlights and the fridge which balanced it out, but it means I'm back working on my battery management board again.
- She handles nicely under power and folds and unfolds on the water easily. I've bought some big fenders to wedge between the floats and main hull when folding, which makes me a metre wider and means I can carefully motor around folded with the mast up with a little more confidence.
- I've found a mooring that might be a little more practical than Port Solent, which turnes out to be a loooong way from the harbour entrance.
- The tidal chop at Portsmouth Harbour entrance is pretty spectacular!
- The boat does actually function as a boat! OK, I've only covered exactly 3 miles under power before hauling her out of the water again, but it's more then zero.