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Whitson Southwold trip

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Whitson week saw a rare opertunity to spend a whole relaxing week on the boat and with a forcast of fantastic weather it seemed a good oppertunity to plan an outing down to Southwold,

As time got closer the forcast lobbed in a nasty day on Monday so the trip was delayed till Tuesday to allow a few little jobs to be completed first, a bit of relaxing then a run out for a few days taking in the lovely town of Southwold.

Saturday after the 3 hour car journey from Birmingham we called at Brundall to collect 2 Rev counters that had been ordered 5 weeks earlier, these were to be used to allow some fuel callculations to be done on the run down and back from Southwold in an attempt to find the most ecconomical cruising speed for clanny on the longer runs planned for later in the year and also to get some idea of what she was actually returning to the gallon to callculate fuel stops along the way.

The journey had been fairly uneventfull to that time but after waiting for 15 minutes in the shop que, just as I reached the counter, to be told that the parts would not be there until Tuesday, My better half appeared to tell me the dog had been sick in the car and that after opening the door to go to the boot and get something to clean up with the dog had jumped out and made a run for the railway line, fortunately thinking better of it before meeting th 12.15 to Yarmouth. On getting back into the car the dog then proceeded to jump all over Heathers lap and in the proccess managed to detach the tap from the super pubic catheter she unfortunatley has, resulting in a spreading warm feeling down her left leg before the realisation of what had happened dawned.

On arrival at the marina some 20 minutes later Heather, covered in dog sick and wee dodged the usual welcoming chatter to make a run for the safety of the shower while I started the unenviable task of unloading the car of the 6 months worth of clothes and supplies we seem to take on every trip.

With Heather cleaned up kids, dog and supplys on the boat it was time for a quick cuppa and a bit of relaxation, the brand new telly was turned on for the kids to reveal no signal on digital so relaxation was put on hold while the cause was investigated. Bits of boat were removed to allow access to the signal booster located behind a 7' piece of 6" timber moulding, which was stood up next to the patio doors in the cockpit, while investigating the booster there was a sudden clatter from the cockpit which turned out to be the timber falling over and in the proccess the end of it putting a lovely tear in the vinyl padded boulster cushion that surrounds the cockpit. To add to the misery there was no apparent cause for the lack of signal so the telly was transported onto Crackerjack moored in the next berth to Clandestine in order to try it there, no problem with the signal and all channels succesfully located meant a call to Brian wards who supplied the aeriel 9 months earlier. They were just closing but didn't have any Status 315 aeriels in stock anyway and wern't expecting them untill Tuesday so there was no time for any further disasters.

Sunday saw lovely clear blue skys and a chance to catch up with a couple of fellow forumites who had returned to the marina from there new home in Brundall to say hi to everyone, an hour or so was spent watching the Grandprix on the flybridge of Nauti Minx and enjoying a couple of beers in very pleasant company before returning to Clanny to take on more little jobs. All but one of the buttons on the flybridge trim tab controls had stopped working but thanks to a post on YBW.com a fix had been found to avoid the rather nasty cost of replacing the head unit, the fix involved soldering new buttons into the unit so I was fully aware of the fact that the £12 I had spent on parts was very likely to be added to the cost of a new unit that would probably be needed anyway but for once the fix worked and for the first ime I can remember less than £100 was spent on fixing a problem on Clanny.

We then accompanied Phil and Caron on a run over Breydon to give Nauti minxs rather large diesels a clear out and marvelled at Phils mooring skills as he found a new way of putting such a large craft along side the quay heading at Reedham on the return to drop us off. A few celibratory pints at the Ship rounded off what had been a very unusualy succesfull day.

Monday was supposed to be horrid accoring to the forcast but we awoke to more clear skys and a forcast moving the bad weather to Tuesday, as we didn't fancy sitting on the boat in Southwold listening to the rain I phoned the Harbour Master and put back our visit to Wednesday, by this time sitting in the marina, although nice, was starting to get a bit wearing but the strong westerly that had developed made the thought of manouvering Clanny in and out of her berth not the most appealing one, instead a rare visit to Yarmouth by car was agreed on. We called first at the Stacey arms windmill, to enjoy a cup of coffee and let Rachel play with the baby Guinipigs and goats before continuing onto the beach and spending an enjoyable hour sheltered from the westerly by a coffee shop, watching Rachel play on the giant inflatable slide and admiring the perfectly flat sea in front of us.

Jonathan and Tammy on Crackerjack had ventured out and returned from a meal at the Dukes Head with a quartet of forumites in the form of Adam and Suzanne from Jupiters Mist and Colin and Lou from Happy Jax 2, A very enjoyable evening was spent on board Crackerjack where Jonathan and Tammy proved themselves as always exceptional hosts and it was lovely to meet up with all the others.

Tuesday started with the forcast rain but the delay in departure meant that I could run down to Brundall and pick up the rev counters and also a new booster unit for the Status aerial, on fitting the clocks worked but the telly was still a non starter, nothing else for it other than dissasemble the radar arch to take out the Aerial and contact Brian ward for a new one.

Tuesday evening saw a car ride out to the White Swan at Yarmouth where a very commendable meal was served at an extreemly attractive price of £5.50 a head.

Due to the strong Westerly winds we had decided to leave the trip to Southwold untill Thursday although we were going to go down to RNSYC on wednesday afternoon ready to leave from Lowestoft on Thursday morning, after studying the tides this looked a bit of a waste of time as we would not want to arrive at Southwold till 2 pm so instead another run to Brian Wards to pick up a replacment Aerial and a decision to go on Thursday morning on the 11.45 bridge from Yarmouth.

A run up to Sandersons to get the Holding tank emptied and then up to the Ferry at Reedham Ferry was the first time the boat had moved in 5 days but despite the pub not being open untill 6pm (we arrived at 5 so had a couple of bottles from the boat sat at the pub tables and pondered why a pub would be closed on the afternoon in whitson week, no doubt a thought shared by the other 8 boats sat outside) we were looking forward to the trip the next day.

Thursday saw calm winds and a working telly so at 10.15 we slipped the lines and headed for Breydon, leaving early in anticipation of hire boat traffic.

Breydon was vitually empty with exception of one hire boat heading in the direction of the bridge fairly close to the start and a dot in the distance coming towards us. At this point I have to hold my hands up and unreservedly appologise to the hire boat we passed. I came off the plane well before we reached them and then procceded to pass them very slowly keeping the full width of the channel between us, watching my wash and ensuring that it was past them before I opened the throttles, I then put Clanny on the plane to play with trim and tabs before getting to sea in an attempt to find the best attitude for her. Unfortunately I was informed by Jonathan in Crackerjack behind that as I had opened up, due to the amount of space I had left between us my wash as I climbed onto the plane extended back to catch the boat I had just past, I don't know if it frightened them or caused them a problem but they did not complete their crossing, It may have been that they had just decided to wait for the turn of the tide as it was at the end of the flood but if it was anything that I caused and the occupants are reading this I am very sorry and will ensure that it does not happen again.

The Bridge was opened on time and the run down to through the Harbour was pleasant watching all the activity going on at bankside, ships being loaded, unloaded and even built in the wet sheds. The sea was nice and calm with just a touch of swell from the previous days high winds and being too early for our arrival time we spent the next 3/4 of an hour bobbing around at displacement speeds before enjoying a 22 knot run down the coast to Southwold arriving just at the end of the flood allowing us to moore with the ebb on our stern, Clanny can be very noisy at night there if moored the other way round as the main cabin is forward and the ebb is about 6 knots on springs.

The rest of the day was spent on the beach with the kids and on the return from the beach we picked up what can only be the freshest tastiest fish and chips available anywhere, the fish is landed from their own boat twice a day so lunch or evening the fish will only have been landed an hour or so earlier.

Friday dawned to Glorious Sunshine and despite the winds turning easterly and forcast to strengthen the following day we decided it was far too nice to return and instead spent the day walking into Southwold town and then on down to the pier to spend an hour in the under the sea section. even the dog enjoyed the submarine ride.

Those that know Southwold will be familour with the 2m tidal range meaning that although the bathing platform was level with the quay when we arrived in order to get Heather off the boat for in the evening it was neccessary to put a board accross from the flybridge of Clanny to the quay, then lift her up onto the flybridge and help her to walk the plank accross, quite a sight for those watching from the Yacht club balcony as we disembarked to enjoy an evening meal at the quayside harbour inn.

Saturday was return day and despite the force 4-5 easterly the sea state forcast was for slight seas, all I can say is it was the roughest slight sea I have ever seen, A long and very swaying journey back showed the difference in hulls between a full planing hull on Clannys 10'6" beam and the semi diplacment hull and 12' beam on Crackerjack. Admitedly Tammy who Jonathan has previously subjected to some very nasty journeys went by car but Crackerjack along with Jonathan and his presganged crew were able to make the passage at 15 knots while we were forced off the plane to bob along at 8 knots despite leaving half hour later than them due to the bridge time at Yarmouth and our obviously much higher cruising speed.

We eventualy abandoned attempts to make the bridge as it was getting very tight on time and pulled in at Lowestoft to join Jonathan and tammy who had pulled in to drop off crew and decided not to continue on to Yarmouth but lock through Mutford instead.

We pulled into Haven's site at hamilton dock to wait out the 3/4 hour for the bridge and noticed that the sea had managed to remove the front cabin door from its runners. I mashed a quick cuppa but Heather was complaining of abdominal pain so decided to take the oppertunity to have a lie down in the newly open plan cabin.

Just after we had slipped the lines to make our way to the bridge with me happily on the flybridge and Heather down bellow I heard a call from the bedroom which turned out to be Heather minus her cathater which had been pulled out completely during the passage, handing the controls to Tom Heathers 14 year old son and saying just keep in the water I hurridly scrubbed up, grabbed the emergency Cathater we keep on board and proceeded to undertake the procedure of putting in a new one while Tom went round in Circles, amazingly I finished, dosed Heather with Morphine and still made the bridge.

The rest of the journey was uneventfull with us eventually tying up back at Reedham Marina at 5.30pm instead of our scheduled 2pm.

A couple of photos from our time at Southwold.






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Hi Ian

nice read sounds like Heather had a rough trip respect given :bow

were able to make the passage at 15 knots while we were forced off the plane to bob along at 8 knots despite leaving half hour later than them due to the bridge time at Yarmouth and our obviously much higher cruising speed

sounds like fun :teddy::teddy:

Jonny ice sliceice sliceice sliceice slice

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Jill was more of a washing machine than a Corkscrew :mrgreen:

Simon hope the recovery is going well, cant wait for you to be accompanying us to Southwold even if just so we get some decent pics :grin: really though are you any closer to boating again yet and has anything caught your eye?

It was a realy bumpy trip back but everyone enjoyed it thoroughly, no hint of sea sickness even from Tom who has a tendency towards travel sickness


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Toss up between a Sealine 285 and another Fairline Mirage. The 285's are quicker and have some layout issues I quite like. They are also more practical on the rivers as they lend themselves much better to stern on moorings. It would probably be more fun. The Mirage is not as quick but a more stable design with a more rounded sea going capability (would take somewhat choppier seas to worry it) and more controllable on the river. Probably less fun and less pose-ability but more spacious internally and perhaps therefore lends itself better to 7-14 day trips out.

The thing is, the Mirages are all over the place as a design, one can be completely different from the next, especially in terms of engine options. Genuinely interesting ones only come up and now and again. The 285's tend to be much more similar as a bunch and when you've seen one you've pretty much seen them all, minor differences in condition aside. On the other hand, oil prices are creeping up again and whereas the 285's are guaranteed to be twin engine and almost certainly petrol (with our budget anyway) every once in a while a Mirage with a powerful single diesel turns up. I guess it's a case of we'll just have to see what available come the time we actually do the deed!

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Hi Simon

which ever you go for i will be jealous like always but more important you will be afloat again what happen to getting a brads cruiser :lol::lol::lol:

Jonny ice sliceice sliceice slice

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Jill, was that poster an advertising campaign by the Brewery's? :naughty:

Hi Simon

which ever you go for i will be jealous like always but more important you will be afloat again what happen to getting a brads cruiser :lol: :lol::lol:

Jonny afraid salt is adictive, there is no helping Simon now, secret is to get one that lets you do both. :cheers:

Simon, whichever it is I am sure you will love it, with a hankering after another Mirage are you starting to regret letting SD go?


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Simon, whichever it is I am sure you will love it, with a hankering after another Mirage are you starting to regret letting SD go?

We do miss her, that's for sure. But regret getting rid of her? We regret not having a boat but I don't think we regret not having THAT boat. The reasons for getting rid of her were valid enough then and remain valid now. And it was always a distinct possibility that the replacement would be another Mirage - I was already trawling all the Mirages advertised online when we sold her. Indeed, the Mirage is a spectacularly bad design for someone with limited mobility so with hindsight the decision was excellent.

I think the 285 would overall be my preferred design because of its more spacious cockpit, better sleeping cabin, full width and much lower bathing platform and transom door. The last couple of points overcoming a real shortcoming of the Mirage design on the rivers.

On the other hand, the 285 will wander all over the river, has a smaller and more cramped main living area, is lighter and bouncier at sea and requires much higher speeds to stay up whereas the Mirage is a 3/4 length keel and almost more like a semi-d hull and likely to be more tolerant of bumpy seas. But the main thing in favour of the Mirage is the number of power single engined diesels available. That configuration simply does not exist in the 285. Trouble is the Mirages come in such a variety that you never know when the right one is going to come on the market so there will be a large element of luck with that. 285's on the other hand are always on the market and they're much of a muchness.

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Hi Simon before you jump for a petrol 285 ask Ian about his gallons per mile. Jill the sea was a mixture of swell and chop giving some 2 metre waves which we took on the front quater and Crackerjack loves, would have been a corkscrew sea had we been going the other way though. We knew we were taking a chance with the weather on Saturday but Ian and family seem to be as gungho as we used to be :naughty: I had my friend Phil on board who is now a desk jocky after a career in marine bioligy so was keen to get salty. We had to wind the rib back up after it had wound down in the chop and also found we only had one rudder after the drag link had fallen off ( 2 new 1/2" rose joints now fitted ) but all in all a good trip and very well written by Ian :bow

cheers Jonatan :Stinky

Will try and get Phil to post on here he spent some time doing sewage surveys on the east coast and has some good stories.

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I assume one of those three was yours Jonathan?

Hi Simon yes the one at the front. the middle one is twin 200 diesels and the one at the back is what tempted Ian to sell white lady It may well be for sale again. Would you like me to check.

cheers Jonathan :Stinky

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What did your tests show you were using in terms of fuel?

Don't you think boating should be a lot more than worrying about a few litres of fuel Perry? :cry

In all fairness I abandoned any attempt to calculate the figures after the return trip, I am totally confident that the run down would have topped the mile to the gallon possibly pushing the 1 1/2 mark as the needles hadn't even moved on the gauges but the run back was done at 8-9 knots and 2900 revs on both engines, so used bucket loads, 3400 revs gave us 23 knots on the way there.

What I should have done was refilled at Southwold as it would have been usefull to know how much we did use coming back for future reference when we are out in the same again.

Trouble was inexperience raised its head in that I ran back at a reasonable displacement speed somewhere around hull speed, unfortunately I forgot about the tide and used speed over ground from GPS, so was running at a much much less ecconomical speed of around 10-12 knots through the water and as such pushing loads.

We have so far not clocked a reasonable run where we have just settled down at a cruise, mostly we have been running full throttle playing or sitting at 15 knots running legs full in and tabs full down to stay with Crackerjack. the figures to date have not been encouraging though so data is needed to see if the engines need a major tune up, last calculation was around one and a half gallons per mile at sea.

River speeds is easy though 6 litres an hour on 1 engine and 10 litres on 2 so 4-5 miles per gallon for most of the time. :Stinky

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Hi Simon yes the one at the front. the middle one is twin 200 diesels and the one at the back is what tempted Ian to sell white lady It may well be for sale again. Would you like me to check.

That would be kind if you could, Jonathan. Not sure we'll be doing too much about it at the moment though. Having said that, we are off up to the Trent next weekend to see that Mirage I've been looking at for some time.

All I need to do now is find a way to get on and off it!

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Don't upset him Perry it was all going so well :lol:

I didn't mean too - honest :norty:

Just interested as part of the Petrol v Diesel debate that often goes on i.e. lower capital cost v's potentially higher fuel bills.

Don't worry Ian for your trip down I can arrange a refueling team with a couple of 45 gallon Drums off Orford for you ;)

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