What could possibly go wrong he said.......well, Mr Murhpy was hard at work on four fronts; collision at sea, insurance, keel joint and weather gods!
Issue #1: Collision at Sea.
In mid 2013, a large abandoned cruising floating footpath (ferro-cement) yacht drags its mooring and collides with the old 'Rogue' on her mooring. I am on board doing some maintenance when a 35-40 knot front rolls on through the mooring field. I stand up watching the weather drinking a coffee from the cosy cabin when suddenly a boat 'appears' where it should not be. I shoot out the hatch topside to look into the driving rain to see the 'footpath' descending beam on at my bow and dragging her mooring with her. I wait as she slowly gets closer and closer all the while thinking of action plans in my head........first one is don't injure yourself. I wait for the footpath to ride up my taught mooring line expecting any minute that her barnacle encrusted hull would cut RW free (with my engine in pieces) and we would both be on the beach.
The footpath rode up and up and up and slammed into the pulpit, then with the strength of a thousand steroid enriched Spartans, I pushed as hard as I could using the mooring line as the bow string and managed to slew her sideways down the starboard side. I raced back to get a roaming fender but by the time I returned to the bow she had collided twice more chunking the hull. I ran alongside and managed to intercept every collision so further damage was avoided, then stood and watched as she bounced her way through three trot lines of moorings until she rested on the beach.......on land where all footpaths belong!
The owner of the yacht was deceased so this added a twist to the whole saga, but I eventually recovered my Excess from the Estate 12 months later. Even though RW is a 1983 yacht parts are still available in the UK. Pulpit and stanchions replaced and repaired and the fiberglass returned to a reasonable condition noting the match of gelcoat would be tough.
Result: Insurance came through and Noakes completed the work in Port Stephens with little impact on my preparations for the Solo Tasman.