Short, odd season.

I’ve been slack with this blog. It’s been such a strange year. Daisy G was repaired, very well, by Traditional Shipwright Services, who are literally next door to my marina. I couldn’t think how I was going to move her there, but they said there was no problem, they would just have her launched and floated around. It took about five minutes. She went back in the water just after the July heatwave, sadly, but I managed to get out a couple of times. We had good weather in September, which was a real boost. Managed to get a good dose of naturist sailing and skinny sea dipping which will set me up for the winter.

The slatted poop deck is a great success. I love just sitting in the stern, watching the world float by. I’m thinking of reworking the ladder platform so that it is level and flush with the slats, which will just about give me a sunbathing platform.

Getting Daisy G out proved frustrating. The day she was due to be lifted, there was a storm and the lift had to be postponed. Eventually she was lifted out well into October, which is the latest I have done. She is now secure on the garage, with not a lot of winter work to do. I just need to get on with it.

Here’s to a better year in 2022.

The dinghy is still a star. She does so well and allows me to explore the shallowest waters. Looking fairly battered these days.
Cockpit tent in place. The tent hop is getting a bit wobbly. It isn’t really essential, but it stops rain popping on top.

Not the planned sailing season

After my first April sail, we had a week’s holiday in Scotland. I had a phone call from my marina, which I knew could not be good news. Daisy G had broken her mooring in an exceptional May storm. I found subsequently that she had been saved by the Lilliput Sea Scouts. She had been blown onto their stone pier, where some scout leaders saw her and managed to tie her up with fenders and hold her during the night. The marina sent a boat out next day to retrieve her and haul her out. Some damage to her stem, but she would have been wrecked without the Scouts.

Big splits in the stem, but none going right through. No interior damage at all.

My insurers sent a surveyor and after some hunting around, we found that Traditional Shipwright Services next door could do the work within the next couple of weeks. They simply floated her round, hauled her out to repair, and then put her back on her mooring, which is literally just off the end of their slipway. They even raised her masts and untangled the running rigging. I’ve lost two months sailing, but I could have lost my entire boat.

This week I took her out for the first time after refloating, spending the night off Shipstal Point. A beautiful, quiet night, only spoiled by the upsetting sight of a boat in flames in Parkstone Yacht club. Apparently a visiting catamaran, which burst into flames whilst the owners were having dinner in the clubhouse. A complete write off. Poor people.

The next day was one that you want, warm, sunny and a gentle breeze. I sailed round the islands, anchored off Studland peninsula, skinny dipped and sunbathed and generally just had a summer’s day. Hope to get down a few more times before this odd season ends.

Sailing at last.

New season at last

I’ve been quiet on this blog. Pandemic lockdowns make sailing preoperative seem tentative, but things are getting back to normal. I hadn’t thought I would get launched in April, but we did. Then with a spell of sunshine, I’ve even had a night on board.

Launching the easy way, get someone to do it for you.

I haven’t launched from my trailer for some time now. The launching is quite easy, but it’s dealing with the trailer, finding somewhere to tie up the boat, getting to the mooring is just a logistical nightmare. So I now pay the marina to just lift Daisy G in, and then motor her out to the buoy. Worth every penny.

The paint finish always looks better in photos. I believe very much in the work boat aesthetic. I’ve had to change her colour this year as they no longer make Atlantic Blue. She is now Oxford Blue.

A week later we had a long sunny spell so I risked a night on board. Beautiful by day and freezing at night. Literally. The dew on the spray hood was frozen in the morning. I planned to stay for two nights, but I only did one. I really don’t like sleeping wearing everything, including two pairs of socks. I’m a summer sailor.

Getting ready for the new season.

Last year was weird, and this year is shaping up to be just as strange. But I had good sailing last year and many happy hours anchored in beautiful places in the heat, with lots of browning sunshine and I should think miles of skinny dipping in surprisingly warm water. Or maybe I’m just getting acclimatised to it. I don’t think I will be able to launch until late April or May, but that worked OK last year. I’m still getting Daisy G ready, with most painting done. Just need to furnish the cabin and stock the galley.

I’ve had to change her colour this year, although you would hardly notice. They no longer make “Atlantic blue” She is now “Oxford blue”. Looks much the same to me. Still need to restring the mast, which is quite an undertaking.


So, we are to stay home again for four weeks. I have decided that Daisy G should benefit by a full repaint, so I shall be spending much of the lockdown sanding of old paint. It isn’t particularly heavy work. It’s all just at really awkward angles. I need some more aggressive sand paper.

Most of one side flattened. Or in other words, I haven’t even done one side yet.

I enjoyed it so much I thought I would do it all over again…

I was very pleased with the way the side decks came out, with their new timber covering. Whilst I was admiring them, I noticed that the back edge of one looked to be slightly proud of the deck. I have it a little lift, and the whole thing just came off. I have the other side a tug, and off that one came too. So much for super strong sealant and adhesive. It didn’t stick to the painted deck at all. So I spent quite a long time scraping it off the underside of the wood (yes, it sticks to that like anything) and then refixed the whole lot, sanding down to near bare wood and using thickened epoxy. It won’t move now, but a great waste of time.

First deck held down whilst the epoxy cures.

Having redone that, I packed out the new rear deck grating to get it flush with the top of the coaming. It looks good and is remarkably comfortable to sit on, even without a cushion. Next jobs are mainly painting.

The now darkened bathing platform, which I think looks pretty good.

Poop deck

I’ve redesigned the stern of Daisy G with a diving “poop deck”. The stern deck had always been of little use as it is set down behind a coaming and I’d poked the stern light right into it just where you might sit. So I’ve moved the light, which took a bit of imaginative wiring, and built a slatted grating, which will form a horizontal diving platform as well as a comfortable sitting area. Even for two, with your legs hanging over the back.

The grating could also form an excellent showering area with a solar heated shower bag hung from the mizzen mast. I used to have one, don’t know what happened to it. I’ve also finished oiling the deck coverings and fitted the new hatch covers, so all looking very smart.

Subsequent to this photograph I have treated the slats with wood preservative. It is a lot darker than I expected…

A perch on the stern

The deck oiling progresses. Two coats on now. I have also started work on making a little stern platform using the plywood worktop from over the water tank. This is a slightly odd shape and a bit narrow to be perfect, but I don’t want another plank of wood kicking around the boat. Everything needs a place. This bit of plywood already serves as the worktop and as a cockpit table. I may use it as a diving platform, but mainly it will be a seat. My favourite position on a warm, calm anchorage, is seated right over the stern. You get the feeling that you are just hovering over the water.

Platform in place. The bottom has been shaped to lock it in position without to much wobbling.
View from the stern…

Deck tops done

The pine tops to the deck are now firmly bonded in place and feel very solid to walk on . The old locker lids are in place whilst I apply the Danish oil, but shiny new ones are on order. First coat of oil rubbed on. Just 11 more to go. I’m also working on a little diving platform over the stern, which you can just make out.

Deck repair complete, now to finish

The patch has cured firmly in place. To try to avoid cracking in these side benches in the future, I am topping each bench with 18mm laminated pine board. I think it looks better than plywood, and I’ve found it to be very long lasting, even out in the open. When the Sikaflex had cured I will treat it all with Danish oil.

The patch was sanded smooth and both stern bench ends have been repainted before laying on the pine boards.
Pine board positioned on one side. I have ordered new hatch covers as the old ones were very weather beaten after 10 years in the open air. I think the boards look good and I don’t want to spoil them. I’ll finish with Danish oil, which I have found to be the best finish for bare wood.