Enterprise is now in the hands of Chris Haddock at Gosport Boat Yard who will carry out the the “blue water refit”.
As I said previously, I was impressed with Chris who owns – and still works in – his Gosport Boat Yard. Over the past few months I have been writing and re-writing lists.
I have spent many winter evenings reading books on preparing boats for blue water sailing from cover to cover – Beth Leonard, John Vigor, Nigel Calder, Tom Cunliffe, Les Weatheritt, Don Casey, Roger Taylor have all inspired and terrified in equal measure. I have been surfing the web; writing to previous owners of Moody 44 (some of whom are linked to on the right hand side bar on this blog); asking silly questions on the extensive Moody Owners Association forum; emailing friends and contacts who are actually doing circumnavigations at the moment….and finally I have produced a 16 page “Refit Plan” …! Obviously we cant afford everything on the list – nor do I think we need everything on the list. But you have to start somewhere 🙂
Chris did not seem at all perturbed by the “Refit Plan”. I think he is humouring me. But we have a pact that I will be working alongside his guys as they do some of the work that in actual fact should become part of my maintenance routine when Gosport is many thousands of miles away…they do say that “cruising is the art of boat maintenance in exotic places”.
We left the boat with Chris and his team to have a look over and I went back to Gosport a few days later to review the Refit Plan. Chris and his team spent the best part of 4 hours going through every item with me on the boat. Discussing, explaining, coming up with alternatives.
The plan became condensed somewhat. But there are still an alarming number of big ticket items on it. It brought to mind John Vigor’s concept of the “boat buck”. One boat buck = $1,000. So in my case lets just say that one UK “Boat Buck” = £1,000. By that reckoning I think there at least 5 items that cost several Boat Bucks each on the list viz. Hydrovane, watermaker, Chartplotter/radar, dinghy and outboard, Duogen. All quite alarming. …Enterprise is certainly no Mingming…but then I am no “Roger Taylor” !
Well it had to be done. We have decided to entrust our lovely Enterprise to Chris Haddock at Gosport Boat Yard for the “Blue water refit”.
I have met Chris on a couple of occasions and really liked his quiet, calm manner and his obvious years of experience. He has built a great reputation at Gosport and I am hoping that he will guide us through the nail biting process of getting various big ticket items added to Enterprise – as well as advisable mods being done to make her ready for the blue water duties that we envisage.
But , first we had to get her from Brighton to Gosport. the designated day was February 11th. after a fortnight of gales, snow, ice and fog we were full of trepidation. But we kitted out with base layers, mid layers, Russian style hunting hats, boots, gloves in fact anything we could wear and still move – almost.
Saturday dawned with brilliant blue skies, no wind, and glorious sunshine. We didn’t need any more encouragement we shot off – under engine as soon as we had 2m of water at Brighton. It would be churlish to complain that there was no wind – but, there was no wind. So we motored and later we motor sailed – after I had wrestled with the in mast furling main for about 30 mins.
I must say I was very disappointed. I had that sinking feeling when I could not get the main out at first. I started to scold myself for having compromised from my initial goal of getting a boat with a traditional fully battened main. But, after a rest and a careful examination of the way the sheets were running, the friction points and a couple of trips to the mast to wriggle and free anything that looked like it might be causing friction – bingo – the main came out smoothly. I will reserve judgment – but – I am hopeful that as we get used to the contraption we will get better at dealing with its foibles and actually start the to enjoy the benefits that in mast furling was designed to deliver – watch this space!
I have uploaded a video of our little winter jaunt on the video page here.