The last blast – 2016

With haul out scheduled for Monday, we arrived at Ragdoll late on Friday night bent on squeezing one last trip in.  We had a notion that the light winds forecast might allow an evening anchoring out on the Forth somewhere, but with the forecast saying that there may be some overnight winds, we decided that we would head for Granton and stay safe on a pontoon!

We set off and with plenty time in hand, we drifted along under genoa and mizzen down river.  There wasn’t much wind at all, and we were making 3kts with the tide at our backs. Rosanne was dressed like the Michelin man, and was grateful for it as she barely even felt the cold. Once at Granton, Chris rustled up some rather excellent cheese on toast and we chilled out and had a mini board game tournament. With the very short days we were convinced it was bed time by 9pm and turned in for an early night. On realising the actual time we invented a new game – virtual trivial pursuit – whereby you basically make up the rules and questions as you go along. Chris posed a lot of boaty type questions – his favourite categories being “Naval Architecture” and “Things Rosanne should know about Ragdoll, that Chrissy has told her, that she has forgotten.” Meanwhile Rosanne favoured topics such as “Marine Animals” and “Chrissy & Rosanne’s first dates.”

We thought it might be a little chilly on board, but with the eberspacher on, an extra blanket or two and a couple of hot water bottles we were nice and cozy all weekend.  Top tip for cold weather sailing:  Fill two or three hot water bottles and throw them in your bunk for the day – it will heat the whole cabin and take that cold clammy feeling from the bed sheets!  Another good tip – if you have hot water on board, you are lucky!  Alternatively, boil the kettle… and fill 0.5l drinks bottles or water bottles with hot water – keep one in each pocket, and put your hands in whenever you can!  Fingers and hands get cold first usually, if you can keep them warm, the rest of you will keep warm too!  This trick has saved Chris from hypothermia on a couple of occasions.

On Sunday morning team IndyBanks arrived to join us for the return trip to Port Edgar. We ventured out and headed over to Burntisland for a nosey around the harbour.  On the way, we spotted CSV Deep Cygnus at the Leith Pilot Station.  Chris had been offshore previously on this boat doing cable laying and trenching on the Greater Gabbard Windfarm, and it was nice to see her still working!  We got as close as we dared, then headed in the direction of Burntisland.

At Burntisland, It was strange to see the busy little harbour so empty and quiet compared to our last visit. We stopped off on the wall for a fabulous feast provided by IndyBanks… thanks guys!  Afterwards, we had a nosey around the wet dock by foot, then by sea!


We popped out of Burntisland, and Chris had the notion of having a look at Starleyburn Harbour.  This little place had been on Chris’s must visit list for the entire season, and as it was the top of the tide, seemed sensible to try and fit it in.  So, in we went, dodging lobster pots galore.  We made it all the way in to the harbour with what seemed like plenty water, though Chris noted that a section of the quay had fallen out, and as sure as not, what remained of the wall was likely on the bottom of the harbour in a massive keel mangling heap, so we set that as the marker, and headed back out.  A low tide reconnaissance in the future by dinghy is warranted though!  Chris also suspected that the area outside the harbour would make an excellent anchorage, with plenty easterly and northerly shelter.  We need to talk the team into a night at anchor in here some time in the summer!

On our journey back to Port Edgar we stopped off at InchGnome! There were also a couple of big seals hanging around the island!  One of the biggest came fairly close, and then made a big splash as he dived off in disgust at our intrusion into his neighbourhood…

We made it back to Port Edgar just as it was getting dark, and as it was against the outgoing tide, it took us a good bit of time.  Needless to say, with the fading light, and the still water, the bridges looked spectacular as we nosed our way back home.  It was great to have some company out on the water for our final sail of the season, and by all accounts, we were the only yacht on the water!  After delivering team Indybanks back to their car at Granton, Chris and Rosanne had another quiet and cozy night on board watching some sailing documentaries on the Ipad.


On Monday morning we were up to get the sails down, and fuel tank topped up ready for overwintering. Team IndyBanks popped by again to join us for the haul out – we got the sails flaked, the tea drunk, and the boat hauled out most professionally by our marina chums.

Fortunately, the haul out went well, and Ragdoll now sits in the winter boatyard, quietly waiting for someone (Chris) to fix her leaky rudder tube…

3 thoughts on “The last blast – 2016”

  1. Hi Chris, Found your blog (and been following your progress since) whilst looking for pictures of cockpit coamings, great job on the boat by the way, she looks amazing, tell me – i’ve been wondering having seen the pics – where do you store those giant fenders, thats one massive locker you must have onboard. Happy Christmas and New year to you and yours!

    Fair winds



    1. Hi Rodger!

      I knew we would eventually get noticed by the westerly big guns!😅 I’ve been watching your progress on your centaur for a while now too! As a Nav Arch myself with a background in composites, you’re doing a highly professional job – the detail shines through wherever you look on your project!

      The fenders?! They are big… We have 6x polyform tube fenders, which actually do fit in a cockpit locker, and these alone would probably be enough as they are a little oversize for the boat. I then added 2x polyform A4 balls as they are very handy for manoeuvres – you can approach docks with a lot of confidence with them. I later added two more to the armoury after an incident in the marina that indicated we were a little under protected in one corner!

      The balls get chucked in the aft cabin when not in use. If the aft cabin is needed, I leave 2 on the pontoon and tie 2 onto the pushpit.

      As you can probably tell, I like fenders! The thing that gets me is you see a lot of expensive boats in marinas with naff all fenders – usually scabby, under sized, under inflated, not enough of them, over worked, and doing nothing to protect 50k to 200k of yacht from grinding away on the pontoon!

      Keep up the good work dude, looking forward to seeing that Centaur on the water!


      1. Thanks for the kind words, yes the question of fendering was a priority in my head too seeing as the amount of man hours that went into rebuilding my hull run into hundreds if not thousands. So same as yourself – i want to protect my hard work and for me this is my first time skippering so think it sensible not to skimp on the size.

        Its funny – on the trip i did with Dylan & John on Harmony Dylan told me he wont take the helm of mine until i’ve put the first scratch on the hull:-) i’m sure they’ll be a quite a few in the first season….

        Merry christmas and keep blogging, have really enjoyed your exploits so far.


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