It All Starts Tomorrow; Definitely, Maybe.

Kornog is now all ready, having worked hard on her all day, so I have no more excuses, apart from the weather. Its gusting up to 28 knots at the Hayling Yatch Co. but is due to calm a bit by high tide tomorrow morning, when I plan on going.

I have 4G data WiFi on board, all the electrics seem to work now and she is mostly cleaned and painted, although the painting could have been better, you live and learn, I’ll probably splash the cash next time (3 years ish) and have her topsides sprayed, I liked the undercoat colour.  Engine is running to charge the batteries as it is now hightide (5 pm).

The name looks good from a distance but I screwed up the appliction of the first half, the wind was bad and the instructions were were also poor, that’s my excuse anyway.  Littlehampton tomorrow via Nab Tower, if the weather is kind enough.

Here is Kornog ready to go:

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No music on my computer, which I shall have to put right next weekend. I also need to bring back the FM areal. My new stereo has DAB and FM and an aux input.


June 2016

The launch date has been put back again and again waiting for a couple of good days of weather to put two topcoats on the topsides. Undercoats are on


and Kornog is looking good.  Latest date is 8th July. Has been raining nearly every day for a month or more.

Skerryvore 2

I told Matthew that I wasn’t goimg to move Skerryvore any further unless it was <Force 7 and we had a 3rd person for the night passage, being too old to go without a half decent sleep. Matthew was wanting to get Skerryvore from Holyhead to Milford Haven ( 130 odd nM) which meant an overnight sail. Nigel came with us so we sailed over the Saturday and that night to arrive in Milford Haven in time to get a train back to London. I think that that is probably me for Skerryvore as I have to get my own boat ready.


Nigel looking pumped to go! It was f*****g cold through the night and I still didn’t get enopugh sleep. Even colder when you rush out to catch a train that then sits at Maze Hill station for half an hour (thank you Southeastern trains) and you forget to take a hat and gloves (we all shared Nigel’s gloves.

Left Holyhead at about 10:00 with a full diesel tank.

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Out past South Stack and across Caernaven Bay (however you spell it). Anyway I’m old enough to remember that tosser Charles getting invested (or whatever) at Caernafon castle.


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South Stack just outside Holyhead.

Seemed to take forever to cross Caernafon Bay and get to Bardsey Island before crossing Cardigan Bay, was that named after the chap in the Charge of the Light Brigade or after the jumper type thing?

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Bardsey Island and Nigel Steering – getting colder already, despite the sunshine. As we were just getting past Bardsey Island the wind was picking up and the fetch was long enough to create huge waves (wind over tide as well), hit 10 knots surfing down a wave, well you don’t surf up waves as far as I know,  soon be time for dinner ( chicken tagine and cous cous)


Wind and waves died off past Bardsey Island and into Cardigan bay, so engine on for the rest of the trip, which we needed because the batteries died, leaving us no chart plotter, but we kept a good log of our position after that. Once the engine was on all the electrics worked again.

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Dawn saw us abreast of Skomer Island, a stones throw ( or a few hours sailing) to Milford Haven.

After Skomer it was Skokholm Island.

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Sun had a little heat in it so we started to warm up a bit.

Then Milford Haven.

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we left Skerryvore in Milford Haven, until she gets taken aroung Lands End to Falmouth or Plymouth.


Did I say it was f*****g cold at night? Hour on, hour off, hour in the Cockpit /Nav stationj etc., so not much sleep either.


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Matthew bought a boat ( a Maxi 1100). It’s a lovely boat called Skerryvore. The only downside is that it was moored in Ardfern in Scotland so Matthew asked if I would help him get it back to the South coast with him. so this blog covers the 4 days it took us to get to Holyhead, more for myself than anyone else. Ardfern is at the top of Loch Craignish.- just 50 km south of Oban .We sailed in glorious sunshine (despite the snow on the hills) down to Port Ellen at the south of Islay, a total of 46 nM in just over 5 .5 hrs.

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so along the Sound of Jura (9 distilleries in Islay, so I am told- Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Bowmore, and many others). We had a nice meal in the nearest hotel to the marina and had had a fantastic sail down the Sound of Jura. The West Coat of Scotland, as usual, was exceptional. Skerryvore is not a new boat, she’s about 9 years old but is in beautiful condition and needs nothing, apart from parallel rules and a hand bearing compass, but the chart plotter worked perfectly all day.

Initially I met Matthew at Euston

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and we took the train to Carlyle where we by Mike (Matthew’s step father). Mike and Jill, Matthew’s mum, put us up for the night in Carlisle (which is in England for those of you whose geography is as bad as my son’s). We drove the next day to Ardfern, stopping at Luss for a pee and a coffee, it was freezing.

Copy of 004 Mike and jill drive us up to Ardfern stopping in liss for coffee

Ardfern was beautuful but we didn’t hang around and set off almost immediately down the Sound of Jura tacking once only to miss the headland on the mainland about half way down Jura and get a stronger tidal stream nearer Jura; to Islay and the first stop in Port Ellen. We went to the nearest hotel (The Islay Hotal) for a drink and a meal and had a shower in the morning. The wind was generally 9 – 12 knots but the weather closed in towards the end and the wind picked up to 14 knots, then gusting 17 knts and then became flukey and died, leaving us with the engine on, getting to Port Ellen as dusk was settling in.


Here is a poor set of maps so you can follow the route (I printed out three Google maps and then took a picture, although there must be a more sophisticated way to do this).

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Sound of Jura with Skurvuile lighthouse

A bit too much whiskey before bed meant a little hangover for the sail on the 1st of May, however we did get the heater working after a couple of hours fannying about.

Sunday took us from Port Ellen to Northern Island and Glanarm, just next to Carnlough, there were no taxis to be found so we settled on buying a toothbrush in the local shop and eating on board. We had thought of going to Carnlough for a meal, there were no meals to be had in Glenarm. The HM had gone home but he had left the keys for us and we had showers that evening. Thre is not much in Glenarm but it is nice, it used to be a big limestone exporting area for the burgeoning Scottish irom ore industry. There were a couple of lovely limestone chairs just above the harbour. notices told you it was the oldest village in ulster, but that didn’t make it any livlier. No phone signal at all around here. It was a short crossing, originally we were going to go to Bally castle on the mainland behind Rathlin island but we needed to push on. Also when we did the planning we really didn’t have the port info available and thought that there was much less choice for a big boat than there is. Going a bit further meant a shorter next day.

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Initially we were sailing into big seas with a nice wind (F4) on the beam, with the tide helping us, which it did all day. The wind died about 12:30 and the seas flattened so it was a nice motor ( although overcast often) down the coast to Glenarm, arriving about 17:00. This was again just under 50 nM done in about 10 hrs.

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Rathlin Island with The NI Mainland Behind

Monday meant we had to push South and get to Ardglass, just South of Strangford Lough. We left Glenarm about 10:00 although the tide didn’t really turn in our favour until 13:00. Out past Park Head and the fish farm. The coastline was great.

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Here’s an aside. My brother Mark has lived in Shetland for a number of years and asked me if I knew the difference between a skerry and an island. I didn’t – do you? Well an island is big enough to graze sheep on, a skerry is too small. so a skerry is a rock then!

Glenarn to Ardglass.

Ardglass was a late addition to out schedule as it looked a better bet than going into Strangford Lough tp Portaferry. Giving us an easier last day. This was a leg of 62 nM  and took about 8 .5 hours. Initially we put the engine on to get past the fish farm and Park Head. The wind filled in a little so the engine went off after half and hour and we close reached under furling genoa alone in 20 knots of wind.. eventually stregnthening to gust at over 30 knots.  Lovely sunshine and a great sail down the NI coast but a little overpressed in the gusts. The chimneys of Larne were visible for miles. Past Muck Island with Guillimots and Razor bills with the wind easing to about 25 knots.

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Island of Muck

Found the auto pilot instructions and reduced it’s reposonse so it was less fidgity (and quieter). The wind was very calm past Muck but picked up across Belfast Lough around midday.  The wind was easier after Belfast Lough and we sailed inland of Copeland Island. We couldn’t find the second green buoy ubtil we saw it on the back of the Eire equivalent of a Trinity maintenance vessel. The rain set in opposite Skullmartin rock. and we had a hairy moment trying to reef down just south of South Rock – we had to go much firther out to sea than we initially thought to miss all the rocks and the wind was very strong.

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No Pictures of the Lovely Copeland Island but here is one of Burial Island (South of SkullMartin but North of South Rock etc.

We then had to motor past the entrance to Strangford Lough then under sail as the wind eased again, into Ardglass. We had eventually got hold of the HM who said tht water depth was not an issue, even for a draft of 2m, so in we went. Very sheltered and a lovely harbour.

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Had a lovely meal in Aldos Restuarant under the castle, and even managed to buy a loaf of bred in the village shop. Our next door neighbours were ion a 36ft Halberg and had come from Denmark, via the Shetlands and the Caledonian Canal.

Ardglass to Holyhead

This was the longest leg and the hardest across the Irish Sea to Wales. It was cold and windy especially in the morning but when the sun came out it warmed up a little in the afternoon. The wind picked up and we reefed then shook one out to sail with one main reef, eventually shaking that one out before having to put both back in. We were doing about 7.5 kts SOG. Total distance was about 65 nM. We were pushed North by the tide at the end and struggled to keep sailing being very close hauled and eventually motor sailing, before dropping the sails and motoring into Holyhead at about 17:00 (9 hrs- which was very quick). We just went to the nearest restaurant as we were too knackered to do anything else.


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Next day the ferry from Ireland had been cancelled due to high winds (thank god we weren’t saling, altough Matthwe seemed to think tht he would have gone if we were a day later to cross the Irish Sea) and we got the first of three trains home. This one being empty. Luckily the train was a little late as the taxi didn’t come initiallty then we ere stuck behind a tractor going about the same speed as the boat. Good job it wasn’t far to the rail station.

A total of 240 Nm perhaps in 4 days. Skerryvore sailed very nicely.

July 2015

No photos, but after doing the Classic Chanel Regatta in Blue Saluki (1964 Prior 37 by Alan Buchanan) (see their website, highly recommended by the way, we had a great time). went for a trip to Weymouth from Chichester harbour. It proved to be far too windy (on the nose) to get there so we stopped in Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. toilet blocked, window and handrail leaking (it was very wet) and we wrapped the jib sheet round the prop on the way back to the mooring. All now sorted and I will never leave a rope in the water again.

Hope the winds ease and I get a couple more sails in after the family holiday.

One Year Later – June 2015

Kornog had a few bits and pieces done to her over the last year but is now complete and she had her first real outing on the Round the Island Race (Round the Isle of Wight). One of 1500 entries we came about 500th on corrected time (I think – the results listings were a bit confusing). Whatever the result it was a great day out force 4 – 5 wind and sunshine. Beat from the start at cowes to the Needles then tacking downwind along the Soth side of the Island until you had to beat to the finish along the solent. 9 1/2 hrs total time.

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At Birdham Pool Marina having jackstays fitted, the week before the race. My son Patrick was helping me bring the boat back to its mooring after the work was complete.



Matthew and Alyson during the race.


Ropes on the deck need to be tidied

Nearly Done – September 2014

I spent the week on the South Coast, mostly trying to do the wiring. a few bits and bobs are left to do but it all seems to work.

The boat came out of Tim’s shed and here she is early in the week


I put the boom on and rigged her as best I could remember.

The cushions came after 3 days.


I left the plastic on one seat so I could dump stuff there.


Quarter berth all cushioned out


I slept in the forepeak with the slats all replaced and a new facing to the panel up front.


Heads are sorted and working (very interesting)



After fixing and unfixing countless times the instrument panel above the chart table looks good with a new switch panel. The GPS works but I need to fix the VHF in place and put in the stereo.

I sailed her on the Saturday; the winds were light but Kornog sailed nicely and she ended up back on her permanent mooring in Emsworth channel. I have arranged for her to come out for the winter on 7th November, so very little time to sail her. I plan to finish the wiring over-winter.


On her mooring, and again


August 2014

I have taken Kornog to Tim’s yard in Birdham pool to have the inside sorted. Hopefully she will then be 99% ready to sail, I will just need to do some electrics and get the autotiller working (or buy a new one).

Every boat needs a bottle of whiskey. Here is a picture of mine.



19th July 2014

I spent the day on the South Coast with Patrick moving Kornog from HYC  to her permanent mooring in Emsworth Reach, except it won’t be very permanent as she is due to go to Tim’s yard “Dolphin Quay at Birdham Pool” to have all the insides sorted. Costs are rocketing but best to get it all done and then nothing for 20 years, I hope. A couple of trips ago I took Kornog from HYC, after her launch, to Chichester Marina to have the mast installed. The last picture was of her as she was of her finished with the mast and returmed to HYC for the liferaft and swan neck to be fitted plus some snagging ( calorifier – just needed setting up adjustments, anchor windlass switch – bodged the first time and the gas had stopped workinhg – works fine just my stupidity I fear)


Here she is with the mast and sails on waiting for a few bits and pieces ; the liferaft is just sitting there not fixed.


…and today motoring from HYC to her mooring.


On her mooring. Once her insides are done I will sort the electrics and ensure that we have a GPS and an autotiller. The ones on the boat might even work, I just have to sort out them out, otherwise I will have to buy new.






I shall have to get the topsides painted next year , they are in a poor state.  Hopefully I will get her sailing before she goes to Tim’s the first weekend in August.

27th June

I took 3 days off work to try and get some things done.

Everything I looked at was broken, so to do this, this and this, means doing this, that and the other.

No GPS (there were two) works, the cooker oven didn’t work, and (HYC issue), the calorifier doesn’t work.


I managed to fix the oven by fitting a new thermocouple. Of course taking the cooker apart is no easy matter and as you try and put the final screw in you drop it into the casing and have to take the whole thing apart again to find it.


The inside is still a mess.

Taking Charles’s advice I am getting a quote from Tim (Dolphin Quay) to do the inside and finish up, I will never manage to do it properly.

Tim came on Friday to look at the boat while the mast was being put on.


Chris Holman and Andrew doing my mast at Chichester Marina. I took the tender from Northney to HYC which took an hour and a half and was lovely. I figured out that you could leave the engine and sit on the thwart in the middle of the boat to keep it level. You can then steer by leaning left or right. The engine stays in the same position and it never missed  a beat.

Left HYC (Mill Rythe) on the high tide and had a fantastic motor to Chichester with the sun shining and the engine throbbing away faultlessly. Made it through the lock on freeflow but had to take the tender off the rear quarter of Kornog and tow it on a long rope through the lock.


Made a big mistake and decided to take the tender back to Northney. 2 1/2 hrs and very cold, although the first and last half hours were very pretty with flat water and the sun out. The middle bit was hopeless, got soaking wet and cold, the sun went away and it was a bit choppy. I caught the end of the tide coming into the Chichester Channel and it was very slow going with a long fetch and a choppy sea.


Once out of Chichester Channel and across the bay it calmed down and the sun came out again.

Cold tired and wet and then a long drive home. Getting there slowly and getting all the bits and pieces that you need to go sailing. Have half arranged (cost permitting) to have Kornog in Tim’s yard for the whole of August, then it will be done, as long as I can do my bits (rewiring and a few bits and pieces).

The tender now lives in Northney and am getting the hang of launching and retrieving her, although I need to make up the necessary bits of rope with the right fittings on the ends to make it easy.

Spent Saturday whipping ropes.