C-gull shakedown sail

May 22, 2013

Macwester Malin 32 sprayhood view

It was a long wait, but we eventually made it out on to the water for a short shakedown sail. It was great to get out of the harbour, switch our engine off and get the sails up for the first time this season. We didn’t have long before dusk would fall on the Forth, however the weather had improved as the evening meandered along and we really enjoyed having the river to ourselves in the late evening sunshine.


With a neep tide meaning that we only had a short window to access our mooring, we weren’t technically sailing for very long, but it was long enough to check that everything appears to be in good order for our first cruise of the year the following weekend. As we reached a racing buoy that seemed relatively far away in the top picture, we grudgingly pulled our sails down and fired our Macwester’s diesel engine back up.

Hippo mooring buoy

All too soon we were heading into towards our sheltered mooring. The shot above shows our white dinghy to the right of the yellow circle, then our Hippo SB1 mooring buoy, and to the left of that you can just about make out the speck that is our pick-up buoy. That speck is what I’m aiming our Macwester Malin’s bow for when we round the harbour wall.

Approaching fixed mooring

Avoiding the other yachts in the harbour is usually straight forward assuming there’s no strong wind, but every now and then we have problems with dinghies that bob around on mini-moorings just off the harbour wall (out of shot to the left of the image above). This approach was very calm and uneventful …’uneventful’ is what I look for when we’re coming into our mooring.


With our 32 ft yacht safely parked and ready to ‘go’ come the first sign of decent weather, I turned my attention to a few outstanding tasks on our ‘nice-to-do’ list rather than our need-to-do’ list for a change. I recently decided that I wanted to infill the v-shaped berths in our Malin’s aft cabin, for the same reasons they’re infilled in the fore cabin.


Far from being a shipwright, I somehow managed to shape some Water & Boil Proof (WBP) ply to the required dimensions and surprisingly it fitted snuggly in situ on the first time of asking. I didn’t go to great lengths with the varnish finish, as this new fitting will spend it’s life hidden underneath a foam cushion.

ZoomerRoo switch

Next on  my list was to fit two ZoomerRoo isolator switches to the batteries. The spec of the switch is around 400 amp continuous and 900 amp intermittent. I popped them on to test them, but want to reinstall them next time we’re on board …as I was short of time and feel that they could be better installed. Once in place permanently, the switches will ensure that everything that should be off when we leave the boat is actually off, and hopefully will mean that we don’t have to replace any more batteries in the near future.

Next up some actual cruising (we hope).


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