Whatever floats your boat

April 22, 2013

Macwester Malin 32

With a couple of good days forecast, we were keen to head out for a quick shake-down sail over the weekend. We planned to set-off straight away and then get our yacht’s genoa on alongside Capernaum Pier. It was a neap tide with only 4.4m at High Water [HW], so we knew that we had a very small window to escape our sheltered mooring. ‘The crew’ painted five stripes on a wooden post a couple of years ago, and we know through experience that anything below the bottom stripe means our twin-keel ketch is on the ground. As HW came and went our Macwester Malin 32 thought about floating, but her keels never quite made it clear of the mud. Best we can tell the high pressure must have kept the tide on the low side, so for my future reference anything less than 4.5m at HW is unlikely to be enough to float our boat if there’s also high pressure.

We decided to stay on-board and do some of the stuff that we needed to do. First up was getting the genoa on, which was a job made easier by a very gentle breeze coming from the South West straight on to our bow. After a spot of lunch the tide was receding and we decided to stay the night. I carried out some adjustments to the mooring when the water had finally ebbed away, and then the rest of the day disappeared well ahead of schedule.


Turning down an invitation to the local pub, we had a very quiet night on-board as our Malin failed to float when the tide came back in for another attempt just after 10pm. The next morning the view South to the river was bright and settled. Not sure what happened to one of the yachts further out; we reckoned that its rudder must have found a deep hole. I guess that’s one benefit of having a chunky skeg like our Macwester, as it doesn’t matter where you walk on deck when the tide’s out …she just isn’t prone to tipping over in any direction.


On the Sunday we spent a more leisurely day having accepted that we weren’t going sailing this time around. We nipped over to our yacht club and caught up on news about the day’s racing. I helped a friend carry out some remedial work to his mooring tackle following a screw-up which saw one of his rear strops being chewed-through by his rope cutter. Back on Indefatigable Banks, I read about a gas leak on-board a Macwester Malin called Sea Gilt in May 2013’s edition of Yachting Monthly …and that reminded me that I really need to get some sort of gas detection set-up organised sooner rather than later. After lunch we spotted some homing pigeons being released on the pier. They circled around two or three times before heading off beyond the trees.


With the arrival of some darker clouds we decided to call it a day. In the end, it didn’t take too long for us to drive through the rain and on our journey along the River Forth we spotted a steam engine meandering along the water’s edge. We gave it some beans and managed to make it to Culross in time to watch the train pass. The ‘Union of South Africa’ whistled, and her driver waved a rag at us as she steamed gracefully passed.

It was a welcome high point to finish our ‘low water’ weekend on.



  1. I’m very jealous that your sailing season has begun. We still have lots of ice on the lakes and rivers here in Manitoba, Canada. My Macwester 28 sleeps under the tarp, but I crawled in to make sure no squirrels had taken up residence and started the process of getting redy for the (liquid) water.


  2. Hey Rob, It’s still pretty chilly over here, but the weather seems to be moving towards spring at last. For one reason or another, we haven’t actually made it out for a sail yet. Hopefully we’ll make it out this coming weekend. I’m sure it won’t be too long before you’re back in the water squirrel-free.

    Happy sailing!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: