Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Starling Project - Part 43 - LAUNCHING DAY

Yesterday I launched the renovated Starling for the first time and went racing in the Onerahi Yacht Clubs Tuesday evening racing series. It was all a pretty low key event without any mishaps or dramas of any kind. The loading / unloading / towing of the boat was uneventful and I am pretty pleased with the setup.

All rigged and ready to go.

The proud skipper doing a reasonable impersonation of a beached blue whale. 

Sailing at last. It was very, very, very good to be out on the water again in my own center board yacht - its been far too long coming.

I was pleased with the boat performance although it is pretty evident I am too heavy (90kgs + ) when the maximum recommended weight for the Starling is 60kgs. As we were sailing back to the yacht club I asked some of the teenagers in the other Starlings what their weights were - "45kgs", "40kgs" were a couple of answers received - so at twice the weight of some of the other sailors I am going to be out sailed in light winds. We will see how I fare in heavy winds when being a heavy weight may be an advantage.......... but! I didn't do the restoration simply to go racing - just getting out on the harbour for a sail was, and is, the most important consideration.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I like the reaction of the skipper during the breaking of this sailing record. I think his reaction is entirely understandable LOL!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Starling Project - Part 42

Shipmates, we are on the downwind leg of this project. The big spinnaker is drawing in a fresh breeze and I can see the finish line. Some have said, "What the hell will you do with yourself when you are finished?" I can answer that in seven words; one for each day of the week. I will go sailing, sailing, sailing, sailing, sailing, sailing and sailing.

The photo (above) shows all the turning blocks and jam cleats installed on their respective mounting blocks. The controls from the center line outwards are: boom vang, mains'l 'out haul' and mains'l cunningham. The controls are repeated port and starboard. The turning blocks attached to the mast base plate lead the controls from the sail through holes in the splashboards to the deck turning blocks and the jam cleats.
All the deck hardware has now been masked with masking tape as has the perimeters of all varnish areas ready for the last big varnish. There are already two coats of varnish on the deck. I will apply at least four more coats. I am looking for a smart 'yachty' look - not a Steinway piano look.
The deck gets sanded with 320 grit sandpaper between each coat of varnish.
A third coat of varnish has now been applied. The tiller and the centre board hanging in the background of the photo also got their next coat of varnish.
I removed the plywood deck of the new boat trailer and gave both sides a couple of coats of undercoat paint. The underneath of the deck was given a finishing coat of grey gloss paint. I gave the top of the deck a couple of coats of non skid deck paint.
Once painted, I refastened the deck including this black Teflon type plastic strip which has a very slippery surface. This strip helps when hauling and sliding the beach trailer up onto the road trailer.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Starling Project - Part 41

Every sailing dinghy requires a beach trolley. When I bought the Starling she came with a trolley but  the wheels and axles were in bad shape and I had to replace them. The story of replacing them is somewhat convoluted. I first bought some cheaply priced bits and pieces from a local second hand shop to fix the beach trolley but the solid rubber on the wheels proved to be useless. The weight of the dinghy compressed the solid (foam rubber?) tyres completely out of shape making it impossible to move the trolley (Nothing is easy in this restoration marlarky; that's the truth shipmates! )

Two galvanised bolts to use as axles cost me $3. Two cheap wheels were $24 each, two quality replacement wheels with inflatable tubes in them cost $40 each. Six securing bolts and a handful of washers cost around $10 and I destroyed one drill bit drilling 6 holes for the securing bolts. The first repair was pretty straight forward and it didn't take long to get it all fixed up. The second attempt with the new more expensive wheels took a bit longer as they didn't quite fit. They are slightly wider and I had to cut a couple of centimetres from each end of the axle crossbeam on the trolley with a hacksaw. But all was not lost ( I didn't lose my temper! LOL and the old wheels will be Ok for a trolley of sorts for grandson Zane).

This is the first attempt at fixing the wheels and axles. 

Here she is sitting on the almost completed trolley. I didn't realise at this point in the proceedings that I would be back the next day with yet another new set of wheels. The Starling and its beach trolley will be transported on the flat deck of the new dedicated boat trailer (Below) .

This is the new boat trailer. It is only 1.35 metres wide. The trailer is light weight and easily moved around when it's unhitched from the car. It stows neatly between the carport and the fence. The Starling, sitting on its beach trolley sits on top of the flat deck. The Starling is launched into the water on its beach trolley so there is no need for the flat deck trailer to ever go into the water. This photo was taken on the delivery trip back from Auckland. I have since fitted a jockey wheel at the front of the trailer.