John Laing

Newsletter

OYT South bulletin 5th December 2003

JOHN LAING’s refit continues to go well though there is still a bit of a shortage of help – where are you all? You are missing all the fun!

The boat has continued getting her kit off, stripping off everything that can be moved, peeling off every layer that covers her, exposing every contour, leaving her entirely, gloriously naked, ready for the caressing hands that will soon be ensuring that every part is in perfect working order….

Sorry, got a bit carried away there.

The jackstays have come off, as have the winch bases, the heat exchanger and the exhaust. The team have started taking the deck up. The lettering is being removed and the rest will come off as soon as the masts are moved out of the way so that we can get at the rest of the hull. Phoebe and Dinghy Boy have continued to do lots of whipping (must get that image out of my mind).

Phoebe has also spent several hours trying to fix the light which she broke when skateboarding in the forepeak. Craig spent twenty minutes actually making it work once all Phoebe’s efforts had failed. From now on no-one will be allowed to skateboard in the forepeak without an RYA Competent Skateboarding Certificate.

The boat survey has been started, and should be finished next week. The seacocks have been sized and everyone who helped service them last year is really hoping that Santa will bring us some new ones which will be much simpler both to operate and maintain.

Jobs for next week include the rig survey, continuing the running rigging check, more work on the hull and deck, and tackling the port diesel tank.

For anyone who finds this list of jobs incomprehensible or daunting, DON’T PANIC! Just come and give us a hand. There will be around a dozen more refit bulletins over the coming weeks so why just sit there feeling baffled when you could come along and learn what it’s really about? To say nothing of the satisfaction you will feel when sailing next season if you know that there are bits of the boat in good condition because of your own work.

And of course if you turn up, you too could qualify for a mention in the next refit bulletin! Apart from the core team of skipper Mark “Wolf” Todd, bosun Craig, and gap-year volunteers Dinghy Boy and Phoebe, we’ve had Gary (who found us via the Southampton Boat Show) helping on the boat this week, while Travis turned up with scaffolding (and now we urgently need scaffolding boards). Penny continues to supply the food (it’s worth coming to the refit just for her cake).

Wolf wasn’t on the boat for two days last weekend because he was away at a meeting in Liverpool with all the other Ocean Youth Trust regions. This was useful and informative, but Wolf found it difficult to tear his mind away from his beloved boat. With JOHN LAING out of the water and propped up in the yard, and gales sweeping along the coast, he kept muttering “are you sure Craig would ring me if she fell over?” and having earnest technical discussions about which way she would fall (apparently boats fall into the wind: the gusts lean them one way, the props come loose, and when the gust stops and she leans back, she falls). However, we’re glad to report that the gales did their worst and JOHN LAING remains safe and secure, only waiting to see you to give us a hand!

 



“This has been one of the best experiences of my life and I will never forget it.” Sam, aged 16

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