Penarth Weekend

A cracking sail down towards Cardiff on a very fast tide. We had time to tack round Steep Holm and then do a complete circuit of Flat Holm before lining up with the Cardiff Barrage channel.

Due to the spring tide, and hence the lack of water outside Cardiff, we waited until after low tide (1515) to make our approach. We entered the lock 1.5 hours after low water at 1645.

Jo arrived by train in Cardiff and met us at the marina.

We had a great meal at The Deck in the evening.


Local guest for coffee – Zheng.

No water outside, so we motored up and down the bay until after low tide.

Very smooth trip back. The fast tide gave us great speed over the ground even though there was not much wind for sailing.

Weekend Onboard

We had not planned to go anywhere at the bank holiday weekend. So we were very pleased to welcome David and Sheila onboard, at our berth in Portishead Marina, for drinks on Sunday evening.

The fish and chip shop had a long queue – so we ate some of the ship’s supplies with veg from the co-op. On Monday morning our neighbouring boat went sailing, so I was able to take the photo of Molia from the side.

You can just see our cleaned wind instrument behind the coffee – I need to go up the mast again soon to put it back!

Checking the Reefs

The weekend 22-23 May featured some reasonably strong winds. In the end we chose Saturday for an afternoon shakedown sail to check that the reefing points work.

I can report that they both worked fine – and we needed them!

That is what Tim calls spicy! But Molia is so good natured – we made good speed in comfort with the reefs in.

First Sail 2021 Season

So only 2 things not working at all today. The skipper’s pre-departure checklist, and the anemometer at the masthead.

The first problem became evident a few metres from our berth when the engine stopped. Tim earned a second Molia mug by leaping for one of the new pontoons to hold us, only to be almost immediately informed by the skipper that the engine works just fine if you remember to turn the fuel on!

There was never enough wind to turn the anemometer cups – we hope they are just stuck and will come loose in the next gale.

Our new chartplotter works really well. The autopilot is working to steer the boat, but when it is put on standby it really doesn’t want to let go of the wheel! I think I need to adjust the belt tension. For some reason the crew did not want to try out the revamped deck shower.

The rest of the trip was very enjoyable, included coffee and Garibaldi biscuits – and it did not even rain on us!

Many thanks to today’s crew.

Chartplotter Fitted

The power supply is threaded through the starboard side of the wheel guard rail and then inside the wheel pedestal. There is a pipe inside the pedestal high enough to prevent water accidentally getting inside the cabin. The pipe acts as a cable duct into the space below the wheel pedestal. Luckily this accessible from a panel on the ceiling of the aft cabin.

From here the power supply is routed with many other cables around the aft hatch in the aft locker, forward in another pipe duct to Molia’s main electrical distribution board.

The chartplotter is wired into the ‘centrale navigation’ switch on the panel (third from the bottom of the right-hand bank).

The completed chartplotter in its pod.

This post is a continuation of:

Fitting the New Chartplotter

New Chart Plotter

New Deck Shower Covers

Supplier: Brit Boat Parts (at Bourne End on the river Thames).

The shower head cover was easy to replace. I removed the old cover, cleaned off the sealant and resealed the new unit in place. The tap had to be detached so that it could be threaded into the new unit.

The completed covers, looking much better.

Remember the old ones?

We also replaced the shower head.

Return to Molia 2021

We are optimistic and looking at a programme of sailing for the summer 2021 on Molia.

Reference: RYA return to boating activity in England

From the 12 April we will be able to host 2 households or the rule of 6 sailing on Molia (but not staying). However, the Portishead lock is currently closed for maintenance, so that will have to be sitting on the boat on her mooring until the lock reopens on 19 April. After that – anyone for a local sail?

From the 17 May, all domestic overnight accommodation is open (including hotels and B&Bs) for 2 households or the rule of 6. We are assuming this also means we can stay overnight on Molia, and we are investigating what this might mean for sailing to other marinas.

Of course 21 June is Boris’s full freedom date – watch this space. With luck this will mean all options open.

We are now planning. There should be scope for short overnight trips to Cardiff and Swansea later in May. Our ideas for longer trips are:

  • Round Wales to Conwy, including the Menai straights. 300NM with stops. Approx 5 days.
  • Portland and also the Solent this time. We took 8 days to get back from Portland last year – with comfortable distances (except Padstow to Penarth).

2021 Sailing Planning

Tides are Avonmouth ( = Portishead) BST unless otherwise noted. HT = high water.

1619 – 24 April 2021Local Sailing. HT 1200 Mon, 1818 Sat, 1907 Sun
1725 April – 2 May 2021Local Sailing. HT 1953 Mon, 1102 Sat, 1146 Sun
183 – 9 May 2021Local Sailing. HT 1236 Mon, 1817 Sat, 0638 and 1900 Sun – both these days are good for a down-tide trip (all day).
1910 – 16 May 2021Local Sailing.HT 0720 and 1939 Mon, 1003 Sat, 1032 Sun.
2017 – 23 May 2021 Investigating what trips might be possible. HT 1106 Mon, 1636 Sat, 1741 Sun.

UK schools summer half term holiday 29 May – 6 June 2021

UK schools summer holiday starts 23 July 2021

UK Shore Power Sockets

As Molia was built in France, her shore power sockets are all continental round-pin. We have decided to replace at least some of these with UK square-pin sockets to reduce the number of adapters that we need to carry onboard.

As a trial I ordered one set: socket, cover and wall box made by Berker, from Furneaux Riddal .

In the end, removing the old continental socket was not possible without breaking it! The plastic had gone brittle since Molia was built.

Fitting the new socket was straight-forward. The screw holes don’t quite line up; but there is enough space to get the new screws in, and the old holes do not show. Overall this looks good.

Molia has 4 shore power sockets in total.

I think we might replace some of the others as well!