Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 122 Times in 110 Posts
Rep Power: 11
Well, the Admiral flies home on Saturday and that is a very good thing some of us say. She ha being prepping Ainia for being left for something like 9 months in a harbour that is both well-protected and very windy. In the summer (now) dominant winds are SE but in the winter they will be NW. We have hired a 'boat custodian' to keep an eye on the boat. All dock lines are already doubled,10 lines in total, and the custodian asked that extra lines be left in the cockpit - I did say it is windy there.
This also brings up the question of dock lines and fenders on boats that do extended cruising. Generally you go months or even years without staying at a dock. South Africa is the clear exception to this. There are very few places to anchor along this coast. You have to anchor in the river at East London and you can anchor off the yacht club in Durban, but they charge and it is not much more to take a dock. You can anchor in Kynsna if you can get in. Other than that you can find shelter behind headlands west of Port Elizabeth but only for a night or so, when the wind switches you are completely exposed. Anyway, the reality is that many cruisers do not have enough, or big enough, fenders and may not have a huge sully of dock lines although lots of old sheets. We were fortunate because we were living in a marina in NYC and have seven fenders, including four very large ones. We had more than one set of dock lines but bought four more. In SA the standard for dock lines is something called PolySteel which is also used in the marine trades as well. It seems to be as strong as nylon the same size, has good stretch, but is slippery on the cleat. Speaking of cleats, this can also be an issue. We have 12 good-sized deck cleats and 8 of them are in use, the others are aft or mid-deck on the side away from the dock. If a boat had fewer cleats it would be hard to tie up in places like this.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.