Of skill and Savlon.

We have a new rudder already. Tom at Newcastle Marina made it for us from a single piece of yellow cedar, 10 board feet of it, in about 2 hours. Wonderful to watch a real craftsman at work and the rudder is truly sexy. It doesn’t lift like the original and will be heaps stronger. (Bill L., I’ll email you with details when it’s done). We are hoping to persuade him to make us a daggerboard but as he put in a special effort for us yesterday, I think that’s unlikely. We have been offered tools by a local friend who has done the race himself about 3 times and we can make one ourselves. Instead of the current centreboard arrangement which is inherently weak and ineffective, we will make a trunk through the double centreboard casing which we can easily waterproof with expanding foam and the daggerboard will slot down through it and be supported by the double casing instead of hanging on a single quarter inch pin and flapping in the surge with the full force of Bobbles’ weight on it like the current one. Bobbles will sail again soon, stronger and wiser and with her dignity intact. Meantime, I’m treating my rather sore rowing nethers with the local Savlon equivalent and working to grow proper rowing calluses on my hands again, just like when I used to do it seriously. Last time I held a pair of sculls in anger was at Melbourne University in about 1971 and before that at school in the early ‘60s. Luckily, the skill seems to have stuck.

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