Jersey Sailing Trust

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The yachts of the Jersey Sailing Trust are now all afloat and waiting for the temperature to rise.

Throughout the Autumn of last year work progressed on preparing the ketch for a certificate of compliance to allow her to join the ranks of charter vessels known as “coded” vessels. This is a simple, but expensive, process where all the safety equipment is upgraded and verified by an examiner from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency of the UK ( MECAL) and very shortly this will have been achieved so that the ketch can provide a prudent service to charitable organisations here in Jersey.


Over the Christmas period attention was diverted from the ketch to the needs of the Jersey Etchells. With the aid of a significant donation from Hawksford work was commenced a few days before the Christmas Eve to prepare the heavy timbers needed to build two new cradles to supplement the existing cradle that has been in the water off La Folie Pier in St Helier harbour for the last three years.

The timbers were cut in a potato shed at Rondels Farm and transported to the harbour in a lorry driven by lady volunteer in a fur hat ( it takes all sorts to make crew leader !)

Over the weekend of the New Year the timbers were bolted together and both cradles grew very quickly under the crane at the end of South Pier.

By the second of January the cradles were ready to be treated with extra strong preservative and a generous coat of bitumen was applied to the base elements to discourage invasion by the dreaded “gribble” ( a kind of seawater based woodworm)

At the end of the first week in January they were ready to be lifted into the water and towed to their anchorage point to join the existing cradle where the red Etchell has been patiently waiting all winter.

Some how during the first 48 hours of their being almost in the right position one of the new corner timbers broke under the stress of being temporarily tethered to an adjacent cradle. Despite this major component failure it was decided that it could be repaired once the cradles had been fully settled. To do this the bouyancy needed to be reduced so that they were suitably positioned to receive both the white and the blue Etchells and after being refused entry at the first attempt because the cradles were still floating too high both of the cradles were successfully occupied on or about 10th January.

Now that we have three cradles there is less need for two road trailers and both where moved to a green field parking area. Upon close examination of the black trailer it was concluded that the central longitudinal steel beam was cause for concern and so it has had to be scrapped, but not before the big sail locker was dismantled and rebuilt on the grey trailer.


The RIB “Tickler” has been “a really useful engine” for many years and is in need of a thorough overhaul to ensure that certain minor problems are eradicated. The current problem with the mechanism that tilts the engine so that the propeller is lifted clear of the water, is causing some real head-scratching while the engineers find a way to extract two bolts that hold the hydraulic pump in place. In theory they should simply push through once the nut has been taken off, but the shaft of the bolt has slightly corroded over the last eight years and there was never a service bulletin that required it to be removed previously. There may be an expensive solution to this problem in the very near future. Following on from that repair there is the matter of a full service that is likely to cost several hundred pound……but “she’s worth it”.


While unloading the sail locker from the black trailer it was noticed that several of sails were dated 1988 and quite obviously well past their sell by date. The material is now being retained to make personal kit bags for crew members later this summer. The really good news is that the new sails for the three Etchells are waiting to be loaded once the existing (grubby) installed sails have made way for them. These new(ish) sails have been donated to the fleet by some members of a serious racing fleet in Cowes and we can look forward to some startling performances once they are installed. We need volunteers to move the Etchells to La Collette Marina the take off the old sails and begin the spring cleaning.


The Jersey Etchells are going to enter the Spring Regatta this year (18-19 May) as they have been given a racing handicap that should make competing in them a really exciting affair. We need three skippers for the Saturday events and two for the Sunday races as well as crew. If anyone is willing to lead a crew then please advise


Also, there is a vacancy for a “retired gentleman” to join the crew of Naqapan and Bacchanal for the “ Alex Bleasby Retired Gentlemens Yacht Race Series”. These races are usually mid week events and it is some times difficult to find actual gentlemen(?) so almost anyone will be welcome.




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Last modified: 06/21/16


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