Captains Log

Making Plans and Fireside Reading

The Winter is here, and we are making plans. The papers are advertising days of snow, thick, heavy snow, and transport chaos. Instead, we might get a slight scattering of snow and the traffic chaos.

With the heavy Autumn rains and the storms, the rivers have risen, and the water flow has increased such that it is unsafe to take the sailing dinghies out as the current is way stronger than the winds. So what is there to do? It is all about making plans. Reading books by the fireside seems the best idea, but for most of us, that really means sitting near a radiator, looking out on a grey day, wishing for the summer to come and days out in the boat.

Books, Boats and Catalogues

I look through the blogs and catalogues, making plans and dreaming of what might be. I am thinking about a small powerboat – probably a dinghy with an electric outboard to use to follow the Toura and get some external shots. This could be used as our own safety boat. This gives the other family members something to do whilst I sail with my youngest son.

Books to read to help with making plans

My eldest son likes powerboats; my wife could drive one if I got one with a steering wheel. She has no idea which way to turn the tiller. So maybe it’s an RIB I need. But I still couldn’t get on the water even if I had one.

Making Plans: Choosing a boat

At present, even powered craft are banned from the river. I am looking at several different types of boats. So, this is one of my plans in the making. First, I looked at a Kayak. An inflatable one will fit in the car. It will be good exercise against the current, and a two-man version could see me cashing the sailing boat for some extra shots. Although this might work, a better solution might be a RIB. With a firm deck and a small electric motor, this might work. I don’t need a powerful motor for the river, and a silent electric motor might be just what I need. My son suggested a Rigiflex-style boat (orange bathtub), and the Whaly versions looked good. My wife liked the version, which looked more like a landing craft. Virtually indestructible and easy to maintain – jetwash after use.

making plans to buy a Polyethylene boat

Making Plans: Boat Hooks

In my making plans and fireside reading, I have come across boat hooks and special ones that allow mooring lines to be attached. They are in the shop, but I am yet to buy one and try it out.

Making plans to purchase a special boat hook

Model Sailing Boats

Making plans for filming. Other work goes on in preparation for doing some actual sailing and filming about sailing. We designed a model boat in CAD and sliced it into three parts so that they would fit into the 3-D printer. And now we have the mast, too, all ready to assemble. The boat’s idea is to sit on a device like a Lazy Susan to represent the river flow. On top of this will be a cradle to change the trim and yaw of the boat. This is now a job for New Year’s Day.

Making plans to build a Model Boat

Still no sailing

With the New Year’s Day Races cancelled because of the high river levels,

High water levels on the Thames again

Paul worked on updating the UTSC website with River flow data. Paul spent most part of the afternoon researching where to get the data and then being able to display the data on the website. Now all the data is in one place to be found. This should be good for the club members. All I can do is sit here making plans and wishing for better weather.

Read all of the blog from the Captain Blog Philip M Russell Ltd

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