It was a cold day for Encore’s haulout, seatrial & survey

Posted By on December 9, 2010

Encore – and UK built 1986 well equipped 36’ Westerly Corsair CC

I’ve been offline and a bit out of kilter the last couple of days … I could say I was busy Christmas shopping, but then what I’m doing sort of stretches any Christmas present budget that I’m aware of? palm_2010-06-12_183048I headed to sunny Florida for a haulout, seatrial and survey of a sailboat that Brenda and I have been ogling. We’ve probably lost what few marbles you may have thought we had, but I’m sort of classifying my lack of judgment on reaching ‘mid-life.’ My brother-in-law asks, “why not just buy a sports car?” Others just jump from airplanes, rock climb or dangle from a bungee cord … or some have affairs (that one off limits for me) … but its hard to beat returning to a first love – sailing or perhaps more appropriately, cruising.

Not to fear, the ink hasn’t dried on the contracts just yet, but we’re significantly closer to owning the proverbial ‘hole in the water’ than we were when we were just traveling to sailboat shows and spent our time looking at boats.

For my part on this trip, I flew from chilly Ohio to the chilly southeastern Florida. One would think my packing shorts and tee-shirts would have guaranteed some warm weather for our survey and seatrial – it was not to be. Upon arrival the temps were right at freezing! By the time we hit the haulout pit I think the sun may have warmed us up to 40 degrees F – although it was hard to tell with that north wind blowing down the intercoastal waterway.

encorehauled101207All went well and my experience surveyor, Brian Galley, tapped the hull and electrically measured whatever he could finally pronouncing the hull ‘sound.’ From his years as a South African boatbuilder he was helpful in pointing out a few things to watch for such as the external cast iron keep rust seeping through the bottom pain and odd sized 250mm prop shaft (US corrosion zincs are fitted for 1” shafts = 254mm). He was also helpful in discussing rigging advice and changes he would make to the existing set-up – someday. Back in the water Encore and our merry crew of frozen brokers, surveyors, owners and yours truly, the potential buyer went. Next was a little channel navigation out of Taylor’s Creek and into the intercoastal with skipper Larry behind the wheel and his first mate firing up each piece of electronics equipment for our testing. The only two failures that we found were the Autohelm autopilot and steaming/running lights … although Encore is equipped with a tri-color single bulb masthead light – appropriate for use under sail, but not under power. Enough to be aggravating but not a deal breaker.


As we prepared to set sail for a downwind course, it was my turn behind the wheel … something that felt good after a decade of being boat-less or sailing Hobies or dinghies. In fact my kids have trouble remembering going sailing – sad. We thought we were doing the right thing putting them in baseball, soccer, rugby, figure-skating and gymnastics? Hindsight … who knows, but maybe I can still make up for lost time?

lloydsregisterofshippingNevertheless, the sail was good and the condition of the standing and running rigging as well as the sails were excellent for a older boat. One expects sine wear and although there was some, it does not need immediate attention or replacement. We ran the Volvo diesel up to full throttle on the way back, noting that the temps and oil pressure stayed safe, but that the tachometer seemed off. Hopefully this will be just a small adjustment that can be made on my part to get the readings correct (it reads about 1000 RPM high at full throttle).

All in all I was pleased with the performance and comfort … and the nice bimini and fixed dodger helped to keep the cold wind off at least the helmsman. On deck forward was a different thing. I really didn’t have time to play with the ‘new-ish’ GPS, something we sailed without back in the 1980 or even 90s … although I had (still have) a Garmin 175. Some other new toys on this boat will be SSB and Radar. Lots to learn. For now … its figuring out the logistics including homeport, time and money! Wish me well.

Westerly’s have a solid following in the UK, but I probably should have scouted out a Westerly grouplist or forum here in the US and asked some questions … but in case some reader has advice, please let me know. BTW, for those American sailors asking “What’s a Westerly” … only need to know that their UK based “owners association” claims to be the “largest yacht owners’ group in the world.”


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  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
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