Thursday, December 1, 2016

sailing Navigator Annie after way too long

Across the creek from us there is a sort of ramp...well it is more a gap in the bushes really, but after far too long (what with moving, renovating and the charms of Beachcomber) I thought I'd try this little sandy spot for a launch of Annie. The trouble with the jetties around here is they are generally set a bit high for compact and lower boats- I always feel I need a truckload of fenders.

 The vehicular part was fine in 4x4 mode and she slipped effortlessly into the creek. I knew the foliage would prevent raising even the mizzen mast until after launch, but there was a nasty breeze blowing straight up from the south and in such a confined space behind the jetty pictured above it was necessary to cast off and tie up to a couple of trees in very shallow water to rig.
The spars had been revarnished before we moved so lines were all in the wrong places and it all took much longer than usual.

The sailing was certainly worth waiting for and Annie spent a few pleasant hours exploring Bancroft Bay and our bits of Lake King. Other gaff sailors will all have their ways of raising the yard, and with Beachcomber I like to see it going up horizontally until the throat is within cinching height, and then the peak can be trimmed. I had forgotten that the forks I made for Annie are a little tight to do that smoothly, so hers tends to go up with a fair bit of peak halyard first, and she likes to come down the same way. I'll have to get some tallow onto the leathers all the same.


  1. Rob, I'd be much interested in the use of tallow. My major concern is attractiveness to rodents while the gaff is in storage.

    I've just had my gaff leathers replaced, and have yet to treat the replacement leather. Our local saddle maker and gaff jaw fitter advised against tallow for just that reason.


    1. Hi Dale- I would have thought the same thing, but I've not had any invaders on the boats and my inherited drum of it has not suffered any indignities even after nearly a quarter of a century of storage. Still smells mild and clean, looks white not yellow. I use so little of it though...I expect there might be something in the way this has been prepared (by a butcher) that makes it good. As to storage, since so little is needed any vermin-proof pantry container would do, but you might have to obtain it by cunning means at home....In short, my experience has been that I am probably more attractive to rodents than is my tallow. On the boat however, if it is stored there maybe an issue, as your advisors have said....maybe Neatsfoot oil in that case, or lanolin paste from sheep wool (I bought some of that from a chandler some years ago). But I'll stick to tallow.

    2. I'll take the leap, not only do we have a saddle maker (with a workshop somewhat like your old one) we have a tallow supplier. I'll set to surveying the kitchen for such a suitable container, and an alibi.

      Must make the journey to the lakes sooner rather than later, to compare tallow notes afloat.


    3. I would love some pics of your cutter if you have any, after you've been to the tallow shop...