Just finished vanishing the tiller and a new lower washboard. 14 layers of varnish on the tiller - first 3 layers thinned 50%, 25%, 15% and the rest 5%, with sanding in-between every 1-2 layers. Same approach on the washboard, but only 11 layers total. 

A fast trip to de Kreupel

Sep 16th, 2020
Andijk - de Kreupel - Andijk 11.8nm, NNE 4-5Bft, 1.5-2m

I've used the chance to go to the boat once more to try to solve the diesel problem I've noticed on the list couple of trips, since I've changed the fuel filter. The problem was actually very easy/fast to diagnose by running the engine for a couple of minutes and simply noticing what happens. The fuel lines were all dry, but there was a lot of diesel on the fuel filter mounted on the engine. It turns out both screws on the fuel filter and the screw on the fuel line leading from the fuel filter to the main block were leaking. Fortunately I was able to find a couple of gasket/washers at the Andijk Yacht Service shop nearby (for free!), at least for the to screws on the fuel filter, which solved 90% of the leakage.

Since the wind was blowing so nicely (17-20kn from east of N), I decided to take the boat for a ride. Getting out of the box was a pain- in spite of the NE wind, the aft or the boat turned to NE when coming out of the box, so I had to sail backwards all the way. Since steering backwards is such a pain, in spite of two rudders, I had to put the boat multiple times into fwd, straighten it up and put it in reverse again. There is a gap between the two pontoons, where I've tried to reverse the boat with no success - I've almost hit a pole, so I continued backing up all the way to the big open space in front of the gas station, where I've finally managed to turn the boat around.

Once on the IJsselmeer, I've set up the jib and the main with two riffs in it and experimented a lot of heave to positions. I've noticed that when the jib sheet is a little loose, the boat points higher in the wind. One mistake that I've done is to always keep the main tightly sheeted in - afterwards I read that easing it a bit stops forward reaching. 

The boat beat into the wind will the way to de Kreupel (what a difference in speed/time compared to last time!!!), I've tacked a couple of times to get as close to the island as possible, and then returned on a broad reach back to Andijk. There were quite steep waves, I had to change course a couple of times to get them on the right angle.

In front of the port entrance I've heaved to again, put the main down and noticed that I got quite close to the shore meanwhile. So I motored away from it, and took down the jib in the process. 

Getting in the box was a shameful experience - I've steered into it to late, and the wind blew the bow towards the next box. I've managed to get the line from the lee pole , while the whole boat turned 90° into the wind, touching the next pole. Thankfully the other boat(s) weren't protruding, so I didn't touch them except for a light anchor kiss. I managed to pull the boat into the wind up until I could reach the windward pole, and I continued pulling on the line in that one. Boat touched quite a lot of the pole, and the neighbor boat, but I hope/think it was only dirt I got from them. Anyways, it was quite an extreme experience - the first time when the wind was blowing from Northeast, through the open harbor and at full force. Lesson learned: steer the boat much earlier into the box, aim for the neighbouring windward box and try to keep the boat at an angle - the aft part will be blown by the wind anyways, while I'm tying up the windward line.

The good news is that after mooring was complete, there was absolutely no diesel in the bilge and only a minimal amount on the motor block.

Total: 1586nm, 198nm single-handed

A slow trip to de Kreupel

20200910 - Bft 1-2, Sea 0m, 6.3nm

We started off with a car trip from the current camping place Corfwater to Andijk, with the whole family. Since we had Eric (5mo) with us, I chose a day with an especially settled wind forecast. Around 12, we set sail on a mirror-like lake, with no special direction. It was a question of if the wind will pick up at all - it was extremely windstill, in spite of the current wind forecast of 2-3Bft. When we started to have a light breeze, I was very confused on where the breeze is coming from, and it took a while to realize the wind-kicker wasn't working properly, at least on some wind directions. It was coming from NE, even if the forecast was from NW. We set course to de Kreupel in a close reach, but we had to hand steer the whole way since the previous repair I did on Susie didn't hold. It took us a couple of hrs to come in sight and reach of the island. Dan got bored quite soon after, so we've sent him to the V-berth to set up his matchbox car paradise. This kept him busy for the best part of an hour, after which he started complaining that his tummy is hurting, then head, and we soon thereafter realized he got seasick for the first time of his life. So we arranged a temporary pillow bed in the cockpit and he slept it off. Eric was the whole time in the cockpit as well, in the basket of his stroller. Once we got close enough to the island, we hove to for a cup of tea and then started in the reciprocal course back to Andijk, this time on a beam reach. Eric started complaining - probably his tummy or his teeth - while Dan played the whole time with the pillows in the cockpit, forming all sorts of buildings out of them. In front of the harbour entrance we hove to again, out the sails down, and Dan motored us all the way to the entrance by bearing the middle windmill from the three. No problem mooring, but I discovered -again- a lot of diesel in the bilge. This becomes a real pain. 
All in all a real enjoyable experience and a nice day out sailing with the fam. Not sure how it'd look like with a real 3Bft or higher, tho..

Total: 1574nm, 182nm single-handed

A nice ride to Urk and an adventurous one back

Aug 1st, 2020: Andijk-Urk: 29.3nm, 9hrs, 3-4Bft W/NW, 0.5-1m sea, single-handed

Aug 2nd, 2020: Urk-Andijk: 30.6nm, 8:15hrs, 4-5Bft W/NW, 1-2m sea, single-handed 

On July 31st, I've went shopping for a 10kg Rocna anchor, 50m of 6mm chain and 40m of 12mm lead anchor line, to improve on the existing 2 folding grapnel anchors with around 7m of rode each. One of the grapnel anchors also has 2-3m of 8/10mm heavy chain. I've tried to store the whole setup in the aft cocking locker, but the anchor is simply HUGE, so I'll have to improve on that. The initial idea was to launch the anchor aft and then drag it to the front - but more on that later.

Andijk -de Kreupel-Andijk

July 24th, 2020 - 9.7nm, 2h41m, Bft. 3-4 W/NW, Sea 0.5-1m

It's hard to get out of the new box with W/NW winds (from aft) - it's the first time I really notice backing with the Vega is really random, the steering doesn't do anything. As I once heard the guy from Sailing Uma saying, you have to be patient over all the time when the boat is random, before it starts doing what you want. As a result, I crashed into the post of my own box when trying to forward and "turn on the spot", and I broke the green/stb nav light. Thankfully it's only this. Other than tht, I had a nice sail to de Kreupel and back, without circumnavigating it. Getting back in the box was harder than usual, because I didn't slow the boat enough.

Andijk - de Kreupel - Andijk

 July 23rd, 2020 - 13.8nm, Bft 3-5SW, Sea: 0.5m

Feierabend-sailing. Left harbor with a lot of small problems: forgot to untie both aft lines, etc :) Setting the sails not a problem, then took course 42° targeting the W-corner of de Kreupel, with wind dead-aft. Wind was blowing around Bft 5 and I could fly wing-on-wing all the way to de Kreupel. Unfortunately, after rounding the island on the lee side, I got the wind right on the nose. I fought it for some time, but eventually I started the engine and motored home. It was the first time I've ran the engine for more than 1hr. I've even folded the jib and stowed it away, and put on the main cover on the way back. Easiest job back in the harbor - ever :)

Trip to Texel and back

 Andijk - den Oever - Oudeschild(Texel) - den Oever - Andijk

Andijk - den Oever (July 18th, 2020)

1-3Bft SW, 4h14m, Sea 0m

I've started the weekend on Sat July 18th with shopping and boat improvement projects: new 74Ah battery, double-swivels for bringing halyards to the cockpit and triple-swivel for bringing the reef-lines to the cockpit. Unfortunately the black reef-line (3rd reef) is too short, I'll have to replace it.

I left Andijk around 3:30pm and had a wonderful sailing weather all the way to den Oever. I could even read on the way, simply perfect! I reached den Oever around 7pm, too late to go through an unknown lock and spend the night on the North Sea. So I decided to spend the night in den Oever. I've entered in the marina after a Marieholm 26, they wanted to take a berth quite at the entrance - and a huge one. By the time I got in the harbor, the harbormaster was already there telling them to go to another box, and he also guided me to a suitable-sized berth. I got some help with mooring (single-handed flag does wonders!), after which I've helped another boat to berth right next to me. It turns out they were there just for the evening, got a grab to eat and then left again. Price for the night was around 12€.

den Oever - Oudeschild(Texel) - den Oever - Andijk (July 19th, 2020)

3-5Bft W/NW, 12.7nm to Oudeschild + 27.2nm back to Andijk, Sea 0,5-2m

Started my morning in den Oever marina watching how a guy wanted to get out of the box, got a line in the propeller (his daughter couldn't save it on time). He was able to get in his wet suit in 5min, took a dive, and was out of the box in 15-20mins, so really agile. I left the marina at 8am and met the same guy and his daughter in the waiting area in front of the den Oever lock, waiting to get inside. We simply moved back and forth up until the lock opened (didn't have to wait more than 20mins). In the lock I was able to 

Lids for the cockpit lockers

As part of the winter projects, I've decided to replace the cockpit lockers lids - the old ones look deplorable:

Hull restoration

I've started the hull restoration by scraping the whole hull with the ProScraper. I don't know how many layers of paint are there, but the last one(s) is very hard to scrape off and sort of "slippery" for the blade - I suspect some sort of epoxy-based paint directly on the gelcoat. So I will leave it on for now and try to get it off by sanding.

The process of scraping took almost 3 mornings, and I've managed to do it with a single blade.


We decided to buy a street trailer and bring the boat home for winter projects. Yesterday I've picked up a truck (that can pull 3.5T), drove to Asten, NL to pick up the new Vlemmix trailer and then drove to Andijk to prepare the boat for the haul-out. 
Today started by my first single-handed "parallel" mooring manoeuvre to the dock next to the crane. Then we've hauled-out the boat, but we had some trouble:
  • I completely forgot to disconnect all the cables in the mast
  • I was not able, for the love of God, to disconnect the water intake host for the engine from the thru-hull valve. Last year i was able to disconnect it without problems, stuck it in the anti-freeze bottle and run the engine for some time. But today i had to cut the hose.
What we've also noticed is that the stanchions are mixed, so some open if you turn them clockwise and the others in the opposite direction. I'll have to fix that.
Fitting the boat on the new trailer was a little bit tricky, but went well. I decided to leave the mast at the harbour and not fight with fixing it to the boat or trailer. Next spring I'll have to check it before launching the boat. 

Project of the day - fix storage lockers lids

Something that started breaking were the lid 'hooks' for the lockers behind the sattee, so this is today's project.

The good hooks are L-shaped and look like this:

And the broken ones looks like this:

In the same picture you see the replacements I've manufactured.

First, peel off 4 layers of fabric at the corners and undo the 40 yrs old screws. Then drill holes in the new hooks, first the big ones and then the small thru-ones (learned by doing it the other way around and breaking the hook):

And then screw them back in:

Gorgeous sailing day

After driving for 5 hrs on Friday thru the Weekend traffic, we had a gorgeous sailing day on Saturday. On Bft 4-5 winds and 1m waves we were able to do constant 6kn on a beam reach towards N. After ca 10nm we did a gybe and tried to heave to, which worked but the SOG was between 1-2kn. Unfortunately I didn't try to keep the boat 30° to wind, but it was rather on the beam, and also didn't watch if the speed was forward or sideways - homework for next time. We returned home on a close reach, while the wind came down to force 3-4.  On the way back we had to avoid a couple of regattas taking place, it's incredible how fast the small boats can go!

All the maneuvers of taking up/down the sails were done with Susie, so pretty much single-handed.

Total of 22nm in 4:40hrs.

Projects projects projects

Have used this weekend to go to the boat (alone!) and do some projects. 

First off, I've replaced the somehow leaking toilet with a shiny new Jabsco small-bowl. Of course it wasn't plug'n'play - I had to cut off a piece of the outpipe since it was sitting on the thru-hull. With that I also had to shorten the connecting hose, but I had to replace the intake hose with a longer one. But it's done and I'm extremely happy about this one.

Secondly, I've replaced the old VHF with a Standard Horizon GX2200e, which I could program with my MMSI and ATIS codes - and can also see the AIS targets on it. 

Thirdly, o finally decided to get a manual bilge pump - it's a Whale Gusher Urchin that I'll fix on a glass-fiber wall in the cockpit and connect to the same output as the electrical bilge pump. 

I also discovered the navigation lights weren't working, and after hours of troubleshooting it turned out to be a simple electrical contact problem in the knob. Initially I suspected the breakers, since none of the 3 ones for the navigation lights had any voltage on them - but all others did - but it turns out only the three nav breakers are after the circuit knob, while all the other breakers are before the knobs, so always have voltage on them. 

De Kreupel - again

The 3 of us went for a daily today, we left Andijk at about 11, and we sailed on a beam reach to the de Kreupel island. For the first time we stopped there, we threw the anchor, did lunch and had a swim before we turned around and went back. The way back was on a close reach and the last part only on motor, since wind was blowing exactly from Andijk.
Beautiful day, but A didn't feel great and D was all over the boat, so no complete relaxation.

Weather: beautiful, wind Bft 1-2, Air Pressure: 1024hPa.
Total of 14.7nm in 5:35hrs.

Day trip with parents

My parents are visiting and they showed a lot of interest in seeing the boat, so yesterday we did a day trip to Andijk. The forecast was max 10kn wind, and it was 10kn as we got there. 

Engine started without a problem, when leaving the box the fenders got stuck in the pillars, but we managed to get out anyways. Right outside the port we pointed the boat into the wind, activated Susie the autopilot and took the sails out - storm jib and main with 3rd reef. I realized the sheets for the jib are too think for the jibs' nose, so i had to force them thru. We run on a broad reach for a nm or so, executed the manoeuvres (tack, gybe) and we beat close hauled back to the port on already 4-5Bft (15-20kn). Engine started without a problem again, sails were taking down again with Susie as a helper, and we got into the port/box with no problems, but help with the bow lines. 

The starter battery had 10.5v when I've checked it after shutting off the engine, and over 14v with the alternator running. So it's pretty much dead and needs replacement. 

By the time we tied up, the wind was already whistling thru the lines. 

I've also measured the hole for the old manual bilge pump, to see if a new one would fit in the same place. 

In the port there were a lot of Albin Vegas, it seems the AV club had a get-together in the port this weekend, we saw at least 4 visiting. Including hull number 1xx!

Total 5nm, and I'd say single-handed - actually probably more challenging than being alone. 

View it:

Download it:

Great total: 1382nm, out of which 5nm single-handed.

Around de Kreupel

We started off without a clear goal on May 18th, 2019 at 9:40am out of Andijk with very little wind, 1-2 out of N. Weather was fantastic with around 18°C initially, then going up to 24°C. We headed NE - 40° for almost as de Kreupel, initially thinking we could make it to Enkhuizen. We soon realized the wind is dying so we decided to go for a circumnavigation of the island de Kreupel instead. We had to fight the light breeze coming from NE and zig-zagged until the SE corner of the island - which turned out not to be an island at all, but rather a collection of small islands declared as national reservation for birds and marked with 'Entry prohibited' on the map. As we got closer to the islands, the biting flies became a real nuisance, they were all over, green and red- depending on if they already got their lunch or not. We inched forward between the island and the cardinal signs making a shallow spot east of the island, and to our surprise we found out some boats actually sailed into the reservation/group of islands. Dan took a nap and Annette was busy with preparing lunch, so i had to tack myself a couple of times to manover through the nature channel. After passing the North cardinal buoy, we changed the course to NW to avoid entering a breeding area North of de Kreupel. Once we got to the NW corner of the area, we hove to and we started our coffee break - bad timing as it turned out, since the wind started blowing 4-5 and a lot of boats started coming from the south with us as a clear target. Even hove to, we still made 1.5kn SoG. So we decided to have our coffee break while on the way, we set course to SW and enjoyed a great sail with the wind. The waves also started building. At the port entrance, Annette took over the tiller, started the engine and kept the boat in the wind while i took both sails down and we got into the berth at 6:30pm.

View it:

Download it:

Finally sailing

The day started by Mrs. A sanding & oiling the teak handrails - looks much better now! I set up the boom, the main sail and the genoa and then at 12:47 we set sail with about 11kn wind. We sailed NW on a beam reach for about 2nm, we turned W on a broad reach for about 1nm and then turned SE on a beam reach for 2nm back. It was a lovely ride, even if the waves were a little steep and we took them from the side. 

View it:
Download it:

Launch day 2019

Today was the launch day - perfect weather, 3C and the only snow day Netherlands saw this year, alternating with beautiful sunshine. Anyways, the first surprise was the auxiliary rudder, where the recently painted AntiFouling was scorching away. And the 2nd surprise was to see the rudder was made out of wood, at least some layers of it. So first order of the day was to sand it, find some fast Epoxy resin dough and apply it just in time for it to dry and be able to paint AntiFouling on it again. 

In the meanwhile I've soaped the boat sides over the waterline - wend over it twice. Unfortunately there are no water hoses in the region where the boats are on the hard, so I couldn't really wash it off, but at least it looks better than before. 

I've also looked at the light bulbs on the mast, and the curious thing is that the top light doesn't show any reading on the ohmmeter, even if the light bulb looks perfectly alright. Same goes for a LED replacement, and this one even works on the the top of the mast atm, so this is really strange. Anyways, here are the light bulbs:

I've also installed a new wind wheel thingy for the NASA Wind instrument (Target 2) on the top of the mast, which went well but the instrument still doesn't show anything, so it must be a cable problem.

Then the harbor master took the boat in the water, I've checked no thru-hulls are leaking, he raised the mast and helped me with the set up. I've learned from him that the first shrouds to be connected should be the cap shrouds on both sides, them the backstay and forestay, and then the lower shrouds. Tension is still a mistery, so I've tighter them up so that they're steady but you cannot play bass on them. 

Motor started right away, so we could go directly to our box and tie up. 

Even the mast lights where all there - and the right color on the right side.

At the end of the day I've just scrubbed the deck a little bit - a lot of green stuff over there,.