Boatyard disasters

An incident during Trilleen’s recent launch has resulted in unrecoverable damage to her rig. This means I won’t be continuing my Round Britain and Ireland sail until she has a new mast in place. I’m still working through he full impact of the schedule changes and will keep you all up to date here and on YouTube.

What on earth happened?

Boats – especially their rigs are both strong and delicate at the same time. Unfortunately the Travel Lift which uses slings to lift boats into the water ran into Trilleen’s forestay during the lifting operation. This resulted in significant damage to the forestay foil, and was later shown to have over compressed her mast leading to permanent deformation. It isn’t possible to continue sailing safely with the rig in it current state, particularly because Trilleen is going to be going to some pretty remote areas and to the border of the High North.

The important thing is that no people were harmed in the course of the incident and that becuase Trilleen is a very strong boat she will be ok when repairs are made to the rig.

Whose fault was it?

The boat was in the charge of the yard at the time and they were handling her. I’m not going to name them or the marina because incidents do happen during boat lifting and its one of those things that we have to live with as boat owners. I’m also very grateful for the exemplary way that things have been handled ever since the incident. Insurers are now handling things and we will have to allow that process to take its course.

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What happens next?

The lack of certainty is really disconcerting. There isn’t any practical option but to wait for things to take their course. The process of getting a new mast isn’t at all straightforward. They aren’t off the shelf items and from the time that the insurance is all agreed it won’t be less than 12-14 weeks to get the mast onto the boat. This is a pretty significant hit to the sailing season and if there are nay delays it might even imperil completing the Round Britain and Ireland challenge this year. Never fear I am gong to finish the job on this sail, but there might be some pretty weird boat wanderings on the way.

I’m going to be working out what to do in the interim over the next weeks, but one of the certainties is that I’ll be taking the time to reduce the number of annoying but non critical snags which Trilleen has acquired over the last two years. There are locker door catches, cleats which could do with reinforcement, lines which could be better run and all sorts. An enforced pause will provide time to address a lot of these things. Its not the start to the season I wanted, but its what I’ve got so I will make the best of it.

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