Thursday, 26 April 2012

Home for repairs.

Boat at Uyeasound Out of the water, presumably...
Boat at Uyeasound Out of the water, presumably for repairs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am afraid Chasca has let me down as, after trying several things to get her main engine repaired and working again it all ended in failure.
On Friday 27-4-12 she will be taken out of the water and I will be bringing her home to get a professional to repair the engine and with any luck it won't be long until she is back on the water again.
It is a big setback and disappointment but risks cannot be taken where safety is concerned on the sea, so bear with me til we make her better and soon perhaps more exciting posts will be written.

The photo is just to show how sad a boat looks when she is out of the water, but then again I am sure you all knew that.

The saying "Its not all plain sailing" seems very appropriate during these stressful times. lol

Your prayers are welcome ha ha.
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Saturday, 21 April 2012

The launch, Chasca's day of shame.

The day before the launch all systems seemed ready to go but as usual in times of great expectation sods law steps in and kicks you in the teeth.
As you can seen in the videos it was as if Chasca did not want to venture onto the sea to spend her next few years in this new big wide world.
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I should have reversed all the way down to the jetty, it would have been much easier. I'll know next time

I had chosen a week when the tides were at their slackest and it seemed to take an age for the tide to come in far enough to start the launching procedure so I decided to splice an eye in the mooring rope that would be used when Chasca finally sailed to her berth where, with a bit of luck she will spend the summer months.

Pass over the next video if you don't want to be bored with me displaying one of my old skills as I kill time.

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This next video is of Chasca eventually getting her hull wet but refusing to power up after behaving so beautifully at home.
Sods law, when the vital moment arrives the engine starts but splutters so bad that the small engine had to power her to the berth. Hold your ears or concentrate on the wind noise if you do not wish to hear the oaths of me as I struggle to tempt Chasca's main engine to fire properly and allow me to continue towards the mooring with some dignity.




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As you can see it was like trying to persuade a stranded whale to head back out to sea.
All that was missing was some whimpering, but then again maybe it could not be heard above my curses.

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She is now lying alongside the pontoon where after going through the eliminating procedure I am waiting for a spare part to be delivered which with any luck will solve the problem and have her ready when the fish begin to show.
The only consolation so far is that the weather hasn't been too great and any boats that have been out came back with no fish at all, so its a case of nothing lost, nothing gained for the time being.
Lets hope that the next installment will bring the positive and interesting stories you have all been expecting or Chasca's new life will be short lived.

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I am sure by now if you have watched all the videos, you will have begun to doubt that I had ever been at sea but I can assure you that these small boats are a long way from the boats I was used to and  I realize that I have a lot of learning to do yet.

Thanks to Robbie who can be seen assisting me and who has had more experience than me with small boats, my education will be short,sweet and rapid.
Hope you all find it as amusing as Pat, my partner did and who can be heard laughing in the background while filming our escapade.

My entrance would have been more dignified if I could have used the controls for the big engine and stood proud at the wheel, with all controls at hand. The small engine is for emergencies only, sits on the starboard corner and has manual controls for the throttle, and a gear that works one way. If you need to go astern you have to turn the whole engine around, hence the extreme difficulty in handling a stubborn Chasca.

Never mind, they say a bad start is a good finish, lets hope so for Chasca's sake.

I was not the only one to have misfortunes that day.
The man who launched his boat after me managed to pull his trailer into the harbour, where it had to be extracted next day at low tide by a digger.





Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The emergence of Chasca.





The above photos are of Chasca in winter storage.
Top picture is work in progress trying to make the cuddy watertight.
The cuddy is the covered compartment forward and it leaked like a sieve when I purchased her but after loads of work searching and sealing each one in turn, the cuddy is now bone dry at all times.

The next three shows her ready to sail, with two added coats of anti-fouling on her hull, as there never had been any on her before.

As she will be lying at Maidens harbour all season the sea water produces barnacles and weed around the hull which will be kept at bay by that special coating of paint.
She never had a name when I purchased her, nor did she ever sail on the sea, only freshwater lochs, and was taken out of the water at the end of each fishing trip, so anti-fouling paint was never really needed.
The engine needed some work on her but after I tidied up and cleaned the fuel system, she is now running smooth and sweet.
I have installed a ship to shore radio and a GPS system a must if you are going to venture out on the ocean, and of course she has a "fishfinder", or a sounder as we fishermen used to call them, which gives you the depth of water and any fish swimming under the boat shows up as an added bonus.
With a bit of luck, a man of my experience will be able to find fish without instruments ha ha.
 Other parts like the deck, bilges and the floor of the cuddy have been cleaned and painted to smarten her up a bit, and most likely I will give her a complete paint job when the season is over.
That will depend if she is a good girl or not ha ha.

This photo is the picturesque marina in Maidens on the south west coast of Scotland where Chasca will be based.


I hope to launch her at the weekend 14-04-12 weather permitting with the help of my friend Robbie who has helped me tremendously in acquiring the new skills needed in maintaining, managing and sailing this smaller and much different type of boat than I have been used to.
I will take this chance to convey my gratitude to him on giving up his time and supplying me with several items, but most of all sharing the knowledge he has acquired since he took up this pastime on his little boat "Wee Lad" that I wrote about last year.

The next post should have video of the launch which with a bit of luck will be next week.
I will thank my partner Pat, for her patience and help too, and who will be responsible for the video during the imminent launch.
I would also like to thank any readers who are continuing to read my blog and have waited patiently for this saga to continue.

Hopefully the stories, although not as exciting as my days on commercial fishing boats, will be amusing and entertaining enough to hold your interest.

CHEERS! Here's to Chasca, may God bless her and all who sail in her.
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