20 Jun 2014

[Captains Blog] Shakedown Sailing

We took Tumi over to Fowey this week to stretch her wings a bit. The weather was OK for the outward journey and we headed off westwards in 15 knots of wind, making a good passage. Tumi sails really well, and she is a very balanced boat that requires little or no steering. We are getting familiar with the sheets (not the ones you put on the bed, but the nautical term for the ropes) as they are all a designer grey colour with different colour flecks to identify them apart from their neighbours. Whoever thought that sailing needs to be designer focused needs their heads testing - at night time, grey looks like grey and the different colour flecks won't show up in the cockpit too well, so we have to know which is which instinctively.

What pleased me about this trip is that the power management system appears to be working well. With the wind generator and the solar panels active, we suffered no real degradation in power levels even with the fridge, freezer, navigation instruments, lights, and TV being used. No need to fire up the generator to boost the batteries. So far so good.

We did have a slight glitch as we were approaching Fowey harbour, the chart plotter went blank and we had to switch everything off and back on again to sort it out, the GPS taking a little while longer than we thought healthy to rediscover the satellite signals and register our position. We will be keeping a close eye on this in case of a recurrence. We had just been using the port-side electric winch when it went off, but that might just have been coincidence.

The other thing we have to be aware of in the UK is that we are a long boat - with the davits and dinghy on the back, we measure over 50 feet and not many moorings are available to accommodate our length. We had to ask our neighbours to swap moorings with us to allow enough swinging room (we didn't realise we were swingers, isn't sailing fun!). They kindly obliged, and we were able to rest easy from that point. 

The trip home was mostly windless, but we did manage a small amount of sailing, much to my delight. Flat seas and a nice breeze, and it was a real pleasure to be out on the water again!