Enterprise goes to Gosport…brrrr!

image 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.

image 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.


Delivery trip Plymouth to Brighton…

Eventually the day dawned when Jaz and I and our two good friends Pete and Chris set off for Plymouth, to do the delivery trip to Brighton. I had already spent the week driving back and forward to Plymouth with a car load of supplies and running out to the local chandlery – mostly for safety equipment, and other small but essential items like a bulb for the chart table lamp – and also filling up with fuel!. The life rife was serviced and delivered back to the boat.

Friday 7th October dawned, with forecasts of force 5/7, sea state mod/rough – but it was a window of about 2 days between F8 and worse. We decided we had to push on – and do the trip in one go – 170nm.

We motored out of Plymouth and then came our first test – how to unfurl the in mast furling. You might think this was the easiest thing in the world – after all it was designed to be so – but we managed to spend about 20 minutes getting it wrong before we eventually got the sail set with what we approximated as one reef – we added the genoa, also reefed – and off we set at a slow pace – 4/5 knots for the first hour.

Then the wind kicked in – 20knots gusting 25/27 and we were off! We settled into a 4 on 4 off watch system, with each couple taking a watch together. The boat settled into a broad reach on port tack and that was that, 6/8 knots non-stop all the way to Brighton. Fantastic!