Trip on Les Affaires starting 2008-02-22 in BSAMar08
Solent Cruise 22-24 February 2008, “Les Affaires” skippered by Dave Lloyd, report by Don Hirst
The Skipper, Dave Lloyd, and crew Don Hirst, Ryan Lloyd, Rob Reynolds and Linda Wilcox, of “Les Affaires”, a Sun Odyssey 36i chartered from Victory yachts, assembled at 16.00 on Friday to take over the brand new SO 36i. It was so new even the clock and barometer were loose in the side stowage. A new Almanac and charts with no previous crib notes which tested Jenny our navigator. The most difficult bit was setting a course on the half size chart table. The French designers obviously still believe in a flat earth, but to go to Valhalla or the French equivalent before reaching Cowes is stretching it a bit. The French had shrunk the engine and only put together three cylinders. It did, however, make for two comparatively large rear cabins. The boat came with DVD and TV which banged from side to side when tacking until Ryan secured it with a line. I'm very glad to say it was not turned on at all over the weekend. The initial mooring was interesting. Victory Yachts managed two bow lines, two springs and one stern line using just two Warps, perhaps they did not want to get the other ones wet.
Rob and Linda brought lots of super healthy rations which defeated the crew who were unable to consume them all, despite valiant attempts. Many thanks to Rob & Linda for doing the food - superb as always.
Friday night we went to the Castle and over-indulged, nothing new there. Saturday we left for West Cowes at 10.00 after a huge healthy breakfast. On the way several people wanted to try manoeuvring the boat in the harbour and everyone had a play. The throttle controls on the boat were interesting as they seemed to favour two speeds slow or fast with nothing in between and were situated on the side of a surprisingly wide cockpit. Even with the physique of an American basket ball player it is impossible to control the throttle, the wheel and see where you are going at the same time. We spoke to Victory on this point and they say they are to re-site the throttle controls on the binnacle.
We had some excitement mooring at West Cowes due to the awkwardness of the throttle. The wind was blowing the boat off the pontoon and not wanting to put the first marks on virgin Gel -coat the boat was not as close to the pontoon as preferred , Rob jumped on to the pontoon and handled both lines as we moored without too much drama to those viewing from the Cowes Yacht Club. The initial intention of going to Cowes was to have another breakfast at Egon’s but the flesh was weak and we chose to eat a heavy lunch on board. After a short run ashore we set off for Lymington. It was low tide when we arrived. The calibration of the depth gauge which we conducted at Gosport before we left proved to be very accurate, 20 feet from the mooring the depth gauge said we were about to run aground and we duly slid onto the mud, however giving the engine a bit of welly got us moving just enough for crew from the other BSA boats to pull us in so we were able to make the Kings Head on time.
We woke late on Sunday and missed what would have been a beautiful sunrise over the Marina. We ate yet another hearty, healthy breakfast and set sail for Osborne bay where we tried the anchor. Nordic Mist tied up to us for lunch, and the anchor held both of us. After lunch the wind died and we motored back to Gosport after some excellent navigation by Jenny. On the way from Lymington to Osborne bay we set a beam reach only to find the Mainsail lying on the aft-swept spreaders, badly disrupting the air flow. It is disappointing to find this apparent design shortfall where the main can’t be set correctly even on a beam reach. There is no chance of correct sail trim on broad reach or run. The sail will soon be damaged by wear and we only achieved just over 6 Knots in ideal sailing conditions.
The weather over the two days was excellent for February, warm and up to Force 4. Thanks to the Skipper for an excellent trip thoroughly enjoyed by all. The Skipper would also like to thank the crew for a very enjoyable weekend.
Phil Steele, skipper of “Soeur Jumelle”, Solent trip 22 – 24 February, said that there was little to add for his boat to the two reports already given.