Season postscript

We have decided to take Heydays out of the water for a few months to give her the TLC she missed last winter. The old girl is showing her age a bit, which is unsurprising given that she was built in 1989.

West Solent Boat Builders have a small yard at Keyhaven and not only do they charge less than the big ones in Lymington, but everyone there is very friendly and they even let you borrow the odd tool occasionally to help out.

An early start on Sunday as we wanted to make the short hop to Keyhaven at the top of the tide. Keyhaven is delightful and unspoilt…but shallow even for us at just around 1.4m draft. Being a bilge keeler we can take the mud, but would rather not sit in glorious isolation for several hours on a cold and windy day. In the event, the wind was well over 30kt for most of the journey with occasional gusts over 40kt.

We chose just to beam reach with a scrap of genoa and we comfortably made over 5kt through the water.

While the weather over Hurst Castle and the Isle of Wight looked fine, we were running away from a very threatening sky over Lymington…

But there are times when even a threatening sky has its own magic against a foreboding Hurst Castle and light…

Keyhaven even at high tide was as tricky as ever but by 10.30 we were alongside with doubled up lines…and coffee on the go.

(Boaty detail alert)…She was not due to be lifted out until early Monday and we needed the time while she was still in the water to trace an annoying leak into the bilges which had developed. We checked all the easily accessible sea cocks but could find nothing except a small weep around one of the transducer fittings…and a steady drip from the stern gland. Hmm! Doesn’t really seem enough. All that is left in terms of holes in our boat are the keel bolts. We want to tighten them anyway as they hadn’t been touched since they were renewed 5 years ago. We can get to 6 out of the 8 sets on the Moody (reasonably) easily, but thery all look good and dry. The only thing for it is to take the water tanks out to get to the last pair…who designs boats…grrr. This turns out to be reasonably easy as we had had them replaced when the keels were done. Good and bad news for us…keel bolts all snug and dry and in good condition, but the plumbing of the tanks! Another job added to the lengthening list….

We leave as it gets dark, having taken the sails off and some dodgy looking tins which have been hanging around for a “while”. The tide is due to drop around 2m overnight (low water at 3.30am. We scope the lines properly, but there is always that nagging doubt. We could have stayed on the boat, but the promise of a warm shower plus the fact that the inside of Heydays has not a single useable bunk due to half the interior being removed, means that we take the easy route…so, up at 3.15 and back to Heydays who has taken the ground nicely (the joys of a bilge keel). She’s not hanging by her cleats from the quay so back to bed for another 3 hours kip.

Early morning inspection, plus removing more of the cabin sole, proves definiively that it is a mixture of stern gland and transducer which are the only points of salty stuff geting to be on the wrong side of ther hull…phew!

The rest of the day is spent on the glamorous side of boating…lift out, scrub down..

…and then finally she is in her new home for the winter. Now the work can really start!

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