Buying a boat , fantasy or reality?............

A bit of sad news received today-anybody recall this item of news over the BH weekend?:

Bodies of missing fishermen found

"The search for two missing fishermen in the North Sea has been called off after bodies were discovered.

A major search operation was launched on Saturday night after three crew members in a life raft were found off the coast of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

They were rescued by a cruise ship when their distress flare was spotted at 18:45 BST. Two other men from their sunken boat were reported missing."

It turns out that the Belgian beam trawler that was lost was the 'SONJA', a well-known visitor to Milford Haven.

The crew were well known by many of the fish dock workers and the Master was an old school mariner, who always 'saluted' the port as he entered and left with two blasts from the ship's horn.

For those in peril on the sea? Aye.


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Autumn is gently arriving and it occurred to me that I’ve got a really nice boat sat in the yard that I still haven’t properly used.

Spent half a day cleaning it and checking it over. Battery still good, engine turns over nicely, fluids all look good. It’s basically ready to go apart from needing some new tyres on the trailer.

Will hopefully get out sometime this month before the weather turns properly shite.

In the meantime I went out with the boy yesterday in a VX One Racing dinghy.

Serious piece of kit, spent most of the day hanging off the side of it with my arse in the water.

It was ******* fast.

The beautiful big 1937-built yawl at the end of my pontoon has just lost her foresail to the wind (it woke me at 9 banging around). Consensus was to leave it be, as powerful forces were at work, and we weren't sure about the rigging, which is a maze of ropework and the owner's in Dublin. In shreds now. The owner came in from Portugal the other day and managed to find a rock at the harbour entrance. Unlucky.
All the smaller fishing boats are safely in the old harbour for the duration; first time I've seen that. More coffee.
Things are getting a bit lively here at Milford Haven: the tankers and LPG carriers waiting to come in have been told to bugger off onto the hook in St Bride's Bay until this lot blows through.
I've just been on a sailability lesson in this wind!

The mainsail was reefed as far as we could, but the gusts were horrendous.

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There's bravery. Looking out through the harbour entrance here all I could see were walls of white water. Some doughbag was fishing on the rocks nearby yesterday and a wave took him in; had to be fished out himself. Good weather for strong mooring lines, a heavy-duty Eberspacher and cool Talisker.
Well, that's it-the great live-aboard experiment is over. For now.

Woman is up for major surgery come December and being afloat is not the best place to encourage recovery: so, a house was bought (which allows me to look out over the Haven and into the marina). To that end, much fettling has been taking place over the summer (all injectors out and refurbed, shower sump float switches replaced, service kit for the heads, yada yada yada). The most bum-gripping item was 400 of your British pounds for a spunking Tacho/Hours Run meter replacement. Curse Volvo and all their houses.

Today, the boat came out the water for some hull work-nothing too desperate, more of an end of season clean off and anode replacement.

Boat out 3.jpg

Anti-foul works. Most of the hull is covered in a thin film of 'stuff'-BFO Power Wash by Bosch soon saw that away.

Boat out 1.jpg

Boat out 4.jpg

Actually, not as bad as it looks: that's from a year in the water and during the warmest 2/3 months we've had for some time. A day or two for them to die off, generous use of Wickes Brick Cleaner and job's a good 'un.

Boat out 2.jpg

All anodes will be replaced (as you can see, they've fizzed away to not much-the reason why they're called 'sacrificial anodes'), hull re-antifouled in places, hull buffed up a bit from a couple of biffs from passing driftwood and back into the water within 2 weeks.

And then she's up for sale. Time to let her go.

She's served us well as both a toy and as a home: however, Woman will be up on blocks for some months (yeah-the surgery is THAT major) and her recovery anything up to a year.

But we still want to do boating. So, once this one has gone, we'll get another: smaller, more easier for the Mem to help crew, given her limitations, but still with enough power and space to go coastal and a bit of offshore.

And cheaper. Cheaper is good.
Mine comes out when the others in the marina can decide on a good date for hiring the crane; probably mid October. It's astonishing how much work needs done after a year in the water, but it'll keep me busy spending dosh over the winter. I don't think I'll be putting her up for sale anytime soon - she's the right size for me, even though I don't use the sails as I had intended - the Mrs isn't a fan of the sea other than to sun herself out back, Son is presently half the globe away and my sense of balance is shot. A Merry Fisher 7 or 8** might be nice, though; no acreages of teak inside and out to bugger about with. There's something very satisfying about fixing, cleaning, polishing, testing and using a Fisher, though, so I'm sticking with it. A calm, sunny day just in sight of land, with a good book, is time without price. Gives me an excuse to get ratted in the pub down there, too.

I'll inflict photos on you in coming months.

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