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Mike Fox

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Everything posted by Mike Fox

  1. Mike Fox

    Near miss whilst at Anchor off Southbourne.

    The correct flare to use would be a white anti-collision flare, but if they haven't seen you already, I wouldn't wait for it to burn out before cutting lines. It all happens incredibly quickly, partly as a result of speeds, but also the delay in identifying and confirming a potential collision., and the fact the horizon is only 3 miles away on a calm day, if your eyes are 6' above sea level, meaning threats are always identified late. The best item of safety equipment in this situation is the hand bearing compass, spotting a likely risk, and if the bearing remains constant, it is. Regretfully, an angling skipper isn't really ever off watch, even though they'd like to be.
  2. Mike Fox

    Near miss whilst at Anchor off Southbourne.

    I was at anchor on the 100' contour a few years ago, and had the seacat ferry come straight at me, despite flying an anchor ball and being off his normal direct path. I called him on ch 16 on full power, asking him to change course immediately to avoid a collision, which he did, but not after complaing I shouldn't be anchored there. His wash from quarter of a mile away at his 30 knots was considerable. I mention this for 3 reasons: - No airhorn would have worked. Relying on one would have given a false sense of security - Vhf 16 only worked because of positive identification and a manned bridge (note that ais might help in some cases) - Ultimately you might be in the right, but dead, with a fast unidentifiable vessel not taking care. I agree with those comments that you still have to keep a good lookout while at anchor, be prepared to cut fishing lines and drop a buoyed anchor, and have to be prepared to move quickly at the last moment. Comments about improved awareness campaigns all make sense, but will never legislate for the numpties.
  3. Mike Fox

    Anchor and chain

    The anchoring skills learned through the club are invaluable, and make a huge difference both to catch rates and safety. We anchored today between two tongues of rock in a small Bay to the west of the Ile D'Aix. The ground is generally smooth but with outcrops of rock. Rather than risk our main anchor for a lunch stop, the fishing anchor was deployed. Our 10kg Bruce clone is tiny for our 11 tons or so, but it will hold. Crucially, it's rigged to trip, and if snagged, it should come back. We know someone without this experience, and lost a 33kg Rocna anchor and chain, after a bad snag.
  4. Mike Fox

    Flatfish Competition

    Amazing, catching conger and tope on No 4 hooks, and ragworm.....
  5. Mike Fox

    Happy with this

    Nice gilthead, must be pushing the club record!
  6. Mike Fox

    Alderney 2018

    The winds are dropping nicely, sea states are coming down, but warm air and cold seas increases the risk of fog. Take care out there chaps!
  7. Mike Fox

    Sad news from Weymouth

    The boat was a fin-keeled fibreglass Westerly GK29, 29' long, around 3-4 tons in weight. They've been around since the 70s. A yacht like that should be stored ashore resting on it's keel in an adjustable steel cradle giving secure support under and around the hull to stop movement. Additional props would be needed bow and stern to keep it absolutely secure, and braced like that, it should be able to survive winds of 100 mph plus, even with the mast up, and genoa furled, as in this case. The fact the owner was present when it moved suggests he was working on the boat, perhaps antifouling, and may have accidentally or deliberately moved one of the supports (something that is banned in most boatyards). I'm sure an investigation will show if it's a failure of the supporting cradle, or the owner's activities that caused the tragedy. While my heart goes out to the deceased and family at this time, for club members working on boats still, please DON'T move any supports for maintenance. Leave it to the professionals, or wait until launching time for a last minute touch-up of the "patches".
  8. Mike Fox

    Bass Regs 2018 - C&R

    France has had a very active lure angling culture for bass for many years. The range of soft plastics, plugs, and metal lures in every tackle shop over there is truly staggering (as are some of the prices!). The French bass anglers I've met are verging on fanatical, and artificials are at the heart of their angling, from boat as well as shore. There's a chance that British anglers will go the same way - if supported by the more adventurous tackle shops, and if the bass stocks warrant the investment by individual anglers. Gone are the days of Redgills or nothing.
  9. Mike Fox

    First Swallow

    I saw my first swallow of Spring today. This might not be monumental news, but it's one of my personal signs that the mackerel and bream aren't too far off now... Roll on Summer! Mike
  10. Mike Fox

    Lazy old Tiddler

    Do they visit Cobbs?
  11. Mike Fox

    Removing antifoul

    Hi Steve, I've scraped 2 boats...and the weapon of choice is a 3/4 inch wood chisel, to be used just after going ashore, when the antifoul is all crumbly still. If you wait, it still works, but is much harder work. The technique to use is to make one long straight clean strip on one side of your chosen area, then using half the width of the chisel blade, take off new rows, so your cleaned area gets progressively wider. Make sure each strip is clean, and then there's no bumps to make the chisel jump. Once the whole required area is clean, thinners and rags will remove the rest. I'd then cut the hole needed, then use an orbital sander to key the gel coat, ready for primer. Typically, you'll remove an area slightly larger than the transducer you're fitting, and make good with underwater epoxy and suitable sealants. The bare gel will need priming, before applying antifoul to the hull again. There's some specialist antifouls out there now specially for transducers, but they come in small pots and are incredibly expensive. Mike
  12. Mike Fox

    Madness is out

    We'll be ashore in a couple of weeks. I have last year's new Bowthruster instalation to check out, blades to remove and antifoul, anodes to check, etc. We also fitted a galvanic isolator last year, which should have stopped any electrical "leakage" and stopped eating my anodes so fast. Results will be interesting. When we bought the boat (gosh, nearly 2 years ago), the top-loading cool box had cooling plates that didn't work. Following a recent survey, I know I have a blockage and all of this needs to be ripped out, and replaced, else it will remain an inert cool box. I'm looking at a complete Isotherm system that's keel-cooled, as a long-term best fix. Have one more project ashore, more details to follow, when I have more clarity. Otherwise, scrubbing bottoms, polishing, greasing my sea cocks (ooeerr Rob) and fixing a few gel coat "dings" the previous owner left me.
  13. Mike Fox

    Overhead safety harness rail

    I have strong webbing tapes secured to strong points on both side decks. My lifejacket has an integral harness, and I use a safety line to clip onto the webbing line when leaving the safety of the cockpit in boisterous conditions and moving forwards. The clip on the lifeline slides along smoothly, and doesn't restrict my movement. I have a diesel engine, use autopilot a lot, and have no kill cord. If I was out solo with this arrangement, there is a risk I'd be dragged along until something (or someone) stopped the boat, but I'd still be attached to the boat. If I was with crew, I'd be spotted as missing, and I'd be attached to the vessel for the first stage of MOB recovery. I consider it safer than watching the vessel disappear without me.
  14. Mike Fox

    Happy Birthday Neal

    Hope you're having a great one!   Mike
  15. Mike Fox

    Windless Winch

    There's no need to climb on the front of the boat with the Alderney Ring. You have your anchor warp attached there, yes. However, by means of a separate short rope (a lazy line) that goes round the anchor warp in a loop, you can actually retrieve the anchor amidships from the cockpit, and stow it in a bin etc.   Raymond, you really need to talk with Charlie, he really does know his stuff. As well as that, why not pop out as crew with a few members to see how they do it.   Mike
  16. Mike Fox

    Anchor chain and Warp

    Take care with the join of the extra 75m  to your current 50m.   The proposed combined length is probably fine, if you can guarantee that the splice won't jam in your windlass / lifting arrangement   You don't want to be dangling over the sharp end trying to free it, if the wind picks up.   Charlie (Great White above) can anchor almost anywhere in the English Channel with his arrangement, and does. If you have the space for 200m+, a drum of rope sourced online could be as cheap as 75m bought locally. That would leave your existing 50m as a useful spare for an inshore kedge.   Mike
  17. Mike Fox

    Heater hose

    Hi Mick, Eberspacher supplier at Ringwood, Kruger (?), used to stock this as well. Worth a call. Mike
  18. Mike Fox

    Cod Competition - Sunday 19th

    Well done Stuie, and Kev for putting him on the fish!
  19. Mike Fox

    Cod Competition - Sunday 19th

    I'm available to help crew, contribute to fuel etc. Am keen to defend my title from last year! Mike
  20. Mike Fox

    West Country adventure

    Devastating to hear how your mako fishing was wrecked by the arrival of so much in the way of by-catch. Keep at it, and am sure you'll get one soon! Mike
  21. Mike Fox

    Making stuff from stainless steel

    Think Stainless Steve is Lymington based, and he can probably knock it up for you at a sensible price..... Else your'e looking at high speed drills, grinders, and specialist welding gear....
  22. Mike Fox

    November Cod Comp.

    Charlie, I'm looking for a boat for the cod comp to join as crew....I think mine will be too restrictive. Cheers, Mike
  23. Mike Fox

    Ex-hurricane Ophelia

    Well, it's due to hit tomorrow. Glad we're not under the main track of it. See here for the forecast for Fastnet: Wind Cyclonic, mainly south or southwest, 5 to 7, increasing severe gale 9 to violent storm 11 later, occasionally hurricane force 12 (sustained winds of 64 knots or more) Sea state Moderate or rough, becoming high or very high later, occasionally phenomenal (wave height more than 14m) Weather Fair then rain. Visibility Good becoming poor. words in brackets are mine...