Riff Raff is ready for sea

A couple of weeks ago, I pointed Martina westward again and sped down the M4 with a strong tail wind arriving at Gwbert in time for a late afternoon cup of tea – and an introduction to the completed boat. There was just enough time to make sure that the “undercarriage doors” that I had made fitted. This was a critical moment as they had been made on a jig at home that I was reasonably confident represented the outboard well but there was always that little bit of doubt….

I need not have worried. It all went together “very nicely’ so I retired to a curry house before dreaming about Riff Raff at sea.

The next day was spend fitting the doors, checking that I knew where everything was (except for one omission which you’ll hear about in a minute) and meeting a flurry (or should it be a flight) of new and existing Swallow Yacht owners. It was quite a convention! Off went a new 26.

Peter the rigger said “you know all about these” and left me to dismantle the mast. I might “know all about them” but I had forgotten an awful lot. But, before dusk set in, Riff Raff was ready to go. I had to demonstrate the way the electric trailer winch could help lower and lift the mast and how the “undercarriage doors” were meant to partially seal the outboard well, together with the “just invented” way in which they are raised and lowered. And so to be.

The following morning came the crunch. I lifted the covers off the wind instruments to discover that there had been some sort of mix up and the wrong ones had been fitted……No wonder Jamie couldn’t make sense of the wiring diagram I had sent him.

Should I leave Riff Raff there whilst Swallow made the correction – or should I take her away and make the changes myself. We agreed the latter course so I was set to go. But we had to have the “group” photo and here it is:


As you can see, it was a rather grey morning: I was away before elevenses. Martina threw herself into the harness (as it were), Terence behaved impeccably on her new axle with knobbly tyres and by late tea time Riff Raff was parked at Northney marina. I went home, returning a few days later to rig her and replace the instruments.

She still hasn’t been properly launched……….that will have to wait for a couple of weeks. I’ve 10,000 words (in theory) to write before the end of May (and that total doesn’t include this blog!)