Season one – review

The first season on Capella and we learnt a lot about her. 

·         The Genoa is too big for upwind, so always put a couple of rolls in it – otherwise lea helm is a huge issue.

·         The engine is not fond of chilly days but start eventually

·         Always ‘blow off’ the mooring.

·         Don’t have a bottle-screw on the forestay (Fixing the Roller reefing)

·         Don’t use a flexible funnel to put oil in the gear box

We had some really good sails in her and hope to do some overnights this year – may be even out to see (well as far as Walton Backwaters anyway)

Still a long to do list and more money needed to through in the fibreglass hole in the water (but she’s worth it J)

So for the new season it will be

·         New standing rigging

·         New anchor chain

·         New set of 3 clutches

·         VHF aerial  actually connected to the VHF Radio

·         New GPS aerial (primarily for the VHF Radio)

·         All the switches moved to an accessible location

Along with all the usual commissioning jobs – going to be a busy and expensive spring. 


This my first season with an inboard engine – so this year had to do the winterisation myself.  I went on the RYA Diesel Engine course at East Anglian Sea School in the spring and very good it was too, but nothing like have to do it to your own engine in the confines of a yacht.

Flushing was relatively easy using a water filled bin in the cockpit and 3m of the correct diameter hose. As I have a saildrive I thought I might be able to just but a bin full of water round the leg, just like dunking an outboard in a tank, but the intake holes are too neat the hull to make that practical.

Draining the oil took longer than I expected but have now got the hang of the Pela 6000 vacuum oil extractor, (it can’t do the whole engine in one set of pumps).  Draining the sail leg was simple, but the oil was so clean I wonder why I bothered, probably won’t next year.  Replacing the oil is ‘interesting’.  Fill the engine was OK but awkward with a funnel with a flexible hose.  I tried the same with the saildrive leg, I may have managed OK with 4 arms, but only having 2 I taped the end of the funnel to the dipstick hole (filler hole for the saildrive) and tried to gently poor form a full 4l container while hold the top end of the funnel upright enough to keep the oil in the funnel.  The inevitable happed and the bottom end eventually eased out of the hole and poured oil down the side and into the bilge.

Small funnel and small jug – so off to the Range, about a 10min drive form the OYC to spend around £3 and the required Items.  Two hours later I get back to Capella – getting out of Suffolk Retail Park is a real nightmare and took me over an hour to get out of the car park.  Should have driven back to Felixstowe to get what I needed.

The engine now tucked up for the winter – just need to find the only key which seems to have done a disappearing trick.