Glandore Harbour Yacht Club

News and Events

Gypsy Notes: Don Street shares a letter to his family detailing the adventures of Gypsy & crew in the past week.

Dear all

Latest adventures of Gypsy skipper and crew. We have a new crew we are training, a 15yr old, enthusiastic, Ewan Wrenne.

Monday, Ewan and I went out for shakedown sail.  Tuesday we had Aisling Forde on board but blowing too hard to play with a spinnaker. Wednesday I had high hopes for a light air evening race but instead of light airs we had one we would have described in my youth in Long Island sound as Hairy Ass Flatters. Absolutely no chance of a race!

Thursday no sailing, Friday myself, Aisling, and Ewan went out for sail drill. Set and doused the spinnaker, just when we finished dousing spinnaker it started to blow too much for spinnaker drill so we decided to head on in. As we got in the inner Harbour there was a loud bang! The upper shroud starboard side had let go. My reactions were fast and I got the Main sheet out of the cleat and let it run before the mast went over side. We got the main down in record time then a rough furl.

Aisling picked up the VHF and said I will call for help. I said no, I said if we are very careful we can sail in to our mooring. On port tack no problem, starboard tack with the runner set up as tight as we could.

We picked up the mooring furled the sail properly and went ashore. I put my head down for an hours kip; When I woke up I collected tools and then off to Gypsy. I then got to work with a hacksaw and discovered why the chain plate let go. The chain plates were an excellent design and extremely strong. They were installed probably 1935 or 36 when they moved the Dragon mast 18 inches further forward to eliminate the rather massive weather helm as originally designed. You can see the rust marks where the original chain plates were located

There is a doubler plate welded to the chain plate where the turnbuckle is attached. The entire chain plate was hot dipped galvanized, the only rust was where turnbuckle was attached to the chain plate as water coming through the deck fitting where the shroud comes through but of course ran  down on the turnbuckle and onto the chain plate

When I was cutting away with a hacksaw I realized the problem. There was evidently a small hole in the top of the weld holding the doubler plate in place.  water was inside between the two plates and rusting from the inside out

On the second cut I got down to good solid metal. Then a case of drilling first a small hole, then a larger hole and then finally a six MM hole for the turnbuckle clevis 10.. Not an easy job under the deck and being my size not being able to exert all that much pressure.Once holes drilled I reconnected ,tightened up the turnbuckle re-rigged the spinnaker net, sorted everything out put the tools in the dinghy and was walking up the road to the house in 1815 in time for my evening scotch.I sent an email to Aisling and Ewan to meet me for racing Saturday racing.

Saturday: The committee boat anchors just inside Adam Island. It is a fair sail out but as usual we assembled on the pier at 1230 for 1400 start so we had plenty of time.  it was blowing like stink so he sailed out under main alone, once we got out there we rolled out the jib and for a couple minutes beat to windward. We decided although the crew could take it, it was too much for old Gypsy. Although she would hold together she would start leaking badly so why strain her that much. We decided we would sail around  under main alone.

The race officer David Forde whom I have been coaching, set a good line with an inner distance mark, windward: Prison Cove & Sheila. It was blowing like stink , Mark Barrett and crew decided blowing too hard and headed in, Vince tub decided to head in after spinnaker got well tangled up when they jibed. Missfire broke her jumpers and headed in, the other four boats had good but tough racing

David ran three races and was really smart on the last race. He finished it at the harbour mark inside the harbour, thus no long sail in after the last race.

A good day bright sunny but cold too damn much northwest wind

Love to all, Dad