26 Jul Corryvreckan Log
Charles Stewart – RYA Instructor, Redbay Powerboating.
Résumé on trip from Redbay to Southampton return for Seaworks 2010. Redbay Boats new demonstrator RIB ‘Corryvreckan’ Stormforce 11 was displayed at the Seaworks Show in the Southampton docks 15th to the 17th June 2010.
Corryvreckan was first launched for her sea trials on Saturday 1st May, and after a return trip to Cowes Isle of White for Ribex and a few trips over to Scotland it was time to head south again.
On Saturday morning 12th June myself and Stephen Ferres from Redbay Boats met up in Redbay at 9.30am for a 10.00am departure. (Late departure due to other work commitments). We were keen to get going since we wanted to get to Milford Haven before the lock gates closed at 19.00hrs. Everything ran smoothly getting the boat launched and the two of us were underway at 10.05hours.
The sea was calm with a gentle north easterly breeze in our favour. Corryvreckan was now well run in with 86 hours on the clocks, not bad for 12 days since her launch! We ran her fairly gently at about 2900rpm. Even at this rate we were managing an impressive 26/27 knots and were looking good to be tied up in Milford Haven at a sensible time.
Since the wind was from the north east and a following sea, we decided there was no need to follow either the Irish or Welsh coasts, so we plotted a course down the middle of the Irish Sea. Visibility was good, but we barely saw another boat or ship. It wasn’t long before we had passed the Isle of Man and stopped for lunch. The wind had picked up about force 4/5, we hadn’t noticed until we stopped. A good sea was running so we engaged the Garmin Autopilot to keep us on track and hold the boat steady while we had lunch. Despite the sea picking up our progress was good and we looked on track to arrive on time for free flow in the tidal lock gate at Milford Haven marina. A quick check of the time to go indicated we should arrive at 19.05hours. With the gate due to close at 19.00hours we increased revs to 3000rpm making 30knots, arriving at Milford marina at 18.55 and straight into the fuel berth, perfect timing! Total mileage for this leg of the trip was 222 miles. After getting refuelled so we could get away as early as possible the next morning. With the boat now full to the neck with diesel, Corryvreckan tied up in the marina and contacted the Piercontrol enquiring what the earliest time the lock gate would open at the following morning so we could make an early start. The answer was 06300hours for free flow. Ropes barely tightened when Tom phones to check our progress.
The next morning no wind and warm sunshine, the gates opened at 06.30 allowing us to get underway and set our course for Lands End with the intention of refuelling and spending the night in Salcombe, somewhere neither of us had been before. We left Milford with a gentle following breeze. We set the throttles at 3000rpm and engaged the autopilot, we were averaging 30 knots which felt effortless. The wind and sea picked up mid channel but once we could see the Cornish coast it was flattening out. The auto guidance on the Garmin told us we would arrive in Newlyn at midday. We planned to stop for lunch as we skipped breakfast to get an early start. The auto guidance and autopilot working wonderfully well, but testing our nerve and navigation as it took us within yards of the shore going round Lands End.
We found a small café in the main street with tables out front for lunch, not much open on a Sunday in the fishing village. We basked in the warm sun while waiting for lunch. Departed Newlyn at 13.00hrs for Salcombe.
On arriving in Salcombe we spent time admiring the shore side houses and small sandy beaches, before looking for the fuel barge. With a strong tide running, we approached the fuel berth ferry, gliding in on the flow, while getting fuel the harbour master came along side to organise a mooring for the night, we told him we would prefer a pontoon berth as we were sleeping onboard. The harbour master got us a pontoon berth and we were soon alongside waiting for the water taxi to takes us ashore. “I must confess I was impressed with Salcombe and will return”. Leg192 Miles.
Next morning we left our berth and went to the short stay pontoon in the village for breakfast. The weather looked settled and we knew we only had just over 100 miles to run. After a fine breakfast in Captain Morgans we headed for Southampton. The miles went in quickly as the sea was flat and no shipping in the area, giving us time to play with Garmin plotter and autopilot (still a lot to learn about its many applications). We planned to arrive around 1 o’clock to allow time to wash and clean Corryvreckan for the show.
Many thanks to Warsash sailing club who allowed us to use their pontoon and hose. It was much appreciated.
Once Corryvreckan was washed and cleaned we headed up to Sea Works and found our berth in the middle of the pontoons. Leg 115miles.
The show provided a great deal of interest in the three boats Redbay had on display, “Corryvreckan 11metre” “1050metre prototype fast rescue with twin 300hp Suzuki’s” and “650 with twin 90hp Suzuki’s.”
The 650 had twin 90hp fitted with self righting a frame and engines fitted with immersion proof covers. This is a first for any engine manufacturer or boat builder!
Thursday the last day of the show proved to be as busy as the first 2 days. Demos complete it was now time to slip our mooring lines and head for Newlyn on our journey home again. Our departure time off 15.00hrs was delayed until 15.45hrs due to the interest in Corryvreckan!
We departed at 15.45hrs knowing we had almost 200 miles to complete that evening! The wind was from the north so we would be getting shelter along the south coast. All went well until we were 15miles from Newlyn with fading light when the port engine gave a great screeching scream, the like of I had never heard before. A quick investigation at the transom and a look at the drive legs revealed a small plank of wood had jammed between the duo props causing the clutch to slip. We started the engines back up and engaged gears all seemed ok and we carried on with a nagging worry at the back of my mind. I need not have worried as we arrived in Newlyn at 22.45hrs, both engines and drives running well. It had been a long day we were able to pop a ready meal in the microwave and head to bed. 187miles completed.
Next morning we were woken with the seagulls! Newlyn must have the noisiest seagulls anywhere! We had arranged to meet the tanker driver for diesel at the ice factory at 07.00hrs. He was running late and we didn’t get fuelled and ready for departure until 08.55hrs.
Departing at 08.55hrs, the weather was warm and bright with no wind and the sea like glass. We were soon at Lands end and talking about running all the way home to Redbay. The sea remained flat rounds land end and up the Cornish coast but we soon noticed a change in the sea conditions and the wind had started to pick up from the north east. The further north we ran the more exposed we became to the wind. We pushed on into the head sea with the trim tabs down and our speed slowed to 18knots for a while. The open stretch of wide open sea at St Georges channel always seems to throw up a rough patch, maybe one day I will get through it on a calm day! The wind and sea remained rough until we were almost north of the Bristol Channel and Milford Haven. Once north of Milford Haven and into the Irish sea it began to flatten out and we pushed Corryvreckan on a bit setting the throttle to 3200rpm and cruising at 32knots. The sea was now flat calm and evening approaching it was looking good for the run home to Redbay. We decided to call into Howth marina for a quick stop, arriving into Howth at 18.35hrs. We took on some fuel and a quick phone call to make sure we could get the tractor and trailer left at the slip for our return.
We Departed Howth at 19.15hrs with 116miles to run and our expected time of arrival was estimated to be 23.00hrs. The sea was flat calm and no wind but the tide was against us as we departed but we knew it would be with us before we got passed Carlingford where the out going tide splits in the Irish Sea. The miles were going in quickly as we kept the speed up just over 30 knots, the Mourne Mountains were as impressive as always. It wasn’t long until we were at the mouth of Strangford Lough and on the last sprint for home, when we got an overheat alarm on the port engine, we checked the leg and could see nothing but we could see no water in the sea water filter. Then we noticed a large piece of plastic in the water! Engine restarted and the temperature gauge was soon falling and the alarm silenced.
The wind had now started to blow from the north creating a sizeable wave on the water. We put the trim tabs fully down to keep our progress up as darkness had started to fall. The Copeland Islands were our next waypoint and we expected a rough patch as the tidal overfalls on the edd tide. We were not disappointed and kept close to the islands and missed most of the rougher water and had to go round the stern of a large tanker departing Belfast Lough. The sea kept building and become as bad as it had been the whole trip round Muck Island and the Maidens. We now hoped we would be able to get onto the trailer in Redbay with the north easterly swell? We arrived round Garron point with sea falling away to a gentle swell, arriving into Red bay to see Connor driving the tractor and trailer down the slip. Corryvreckan went straight onto the trailer at midnight with 330miles on the clock. Average speed of 22.7knots. 14.5hours at sea.
The total trip to Southampton 1083nmiles.
Average speed 23.1knots. Total time 48hours.
My time at sea wasn’t finished as next morning I was meeting Chris Howard and Neil McDonald from Kylestrome Estate in Sutherland Scotland to take delivery of SCALLY the latest Fly bridge 11m. We would have a run of 260nmiles. Details of trip to follow.