It’s been a very busy few weeks for us, but with another couple of significant milestones passed in the Westabout campaign; we’ve managed to get the boat coded by the MCA so we can do charter work and finally put something back in the pot as opposed to taking it out, and we’ve already done our first two corporate sailing days for our long term sponsor bluQube last Thursday and Friday. For months everything has been focused on those two days, and now they’re successfully behind us we can relax a little……. for a day or two anyway.

For the coding we had to take the boat out of the water to ultrasound the keel, keel structures and formally survey the hull (I had done my own survey in Spain before we bought it, but I’m not qualified so it doesn’t count!). I was quite pleased when the professionals didn’t find anything I’d missed!! Sunseeker in Portland kindly lifted the boat for us, being able to work on the boat at home was perfect, otherwise we’d have had to have gone to France where crane are cheaper, but you have to pay surveyors travel expenses!

We had a big hydraulic leak from the during the Round The Island Race which meant we had to buy a new valve block from Australia to cure the problem. Imagine 20 litres of hydraulic oil inside the bow section of the boat, it was so slippery to say the least. Standing up in a big glass bottle full of baby oil would have been easier! When things break you always learn more about them, and this problem was no exception – I’ve got a much better understanding of a very complex system now. The upshot of all this work has been a lot of expense and a month of 18 hour days, but hopefully things have slowed down a little now and we can do some sailing, after all that’s what it’s all about isn’t it?

With the boat now fully operational we can focus on the Southampton Boat Show, I’m up on the Dean and Reddyhoff stand on Tuesday the 15th of September, so drop by the stand and see me if you’re at the show.