Staande mast route Netherlands info

Browsing through the Internet I found some great information about the routes through The Netherlands with a sailboat with the mast still standing (max height for passing is 38 m above water level). In English it can be found here: Blue Heeler HR 39. Highly recommended.
For information about bridges, sluices and opening times you can check on Varen doe je samen (in English).
It is highly recommended to get the dutch Staande Mast Atlas, a set of waterway charts with a lot of useful information. But it is difficult to buy outside of the Netherlands.
This route takes you through the waterways from the very northeast to the southwest of the country. The vessel depth allowed in the main channels is down to 2.5 m. Some sections of the route are covered in convoy. The canals through Amsterdam are only navigated night-time due to the bridges only opening after 02.00 hrs local time.
The route is divided in a northern section through the provinces of Groningen and Friesland down to the large inland lake IJsselmeer. The southern section covers Amsterdam, from the IJsselmeer down to the rivers and delta of the Scheldt river bordering Belgium, near the North Sea coast.

Photo: Isabell with standing mast.

Preparations for the start of the season

Time to start planning for the season’s repairs and renovations. In a few weeks the spring fixing starts. Not much to do this time, Isabell is in good shape. During winter the batteries are loading from a small 25W solar panel that sits in the mast above the tarpaulin cover.
It helps to look through old notes and pictures of last season’s sailing. Time also to buy new spares to the engine, such as oil filter, fuel filter, impeller and zinc anodes. Some of the sheets have to be replaced and the electronics checked. Now, let’s hope winter does not come back in April, like it did last year.

Sailomat 760 wind vane

Finally! The newest investment in the sailing experience with Isabell is the wind vane self-steering of the model 760 Sailomat. Assembling the various parts is quite a job. Instead of the Tef-Gel that is used by the aeronautical industry to prevent corrosion problems with stainless steel – aluminum contact sites, I have choosen to use the Teflon-based boat bottom paint that I have also used on the underwater hull of Isabell during several years. This paint is quick drying water based Teflon paint.

I will try and make some pictures of the proceedings of installation the whoile structure on the stern of the boat. They will be posted on the homepage soon…

Back on the seas

On April 29th Isabell was launched at the Lake Malaren harbour of Rastaholm. Two days later she was ship-shape for a sailing trip to the summer berth at Bullandö marina. We (Monica and I) had a long weekend ahead, and with the boat filled with good food and drinks we enjoyed a super-nice trip through the city of Stockholm, past the centre, through the docks at Hammarby, and out into the salty sea at Nacka (Erstaviken). Our first night we stayed at the beautiful island of Agnö. It was cold, but good sailing weather (clear with a northern wind). Next we sailed around a short trip to the former island of Björnö. We found a nice little cove to anchor in, all by ourselves. Went for walks along the sandy shore and through the woods. The night was cold again, and we needed to start the heater. Next day, we sailed around the big island of Runmarö counterclockwise, and had to do some serious shallow water navigation. Great fun! We ended up at the SXK harbour Norrviken, not too far away from the home port. It was ten minutes after we had dropped anchor, that it started to rain. And continued raining all night. So the heater was back on duty. A quiet night passed, and we motored against the wind into Bullandö on Sunday. Now, Isabell is ready for the sailing season. And we had a great time!

Winter jobs for the season

Soon the day to launch is here again. This season has been particularly mild in southern and central Sweden. On April 29 Isabell will go back into the water.

In preparation for yet another fantastic sailing season a number of repairs and improvements are made to the ship. First of all, since it will become obligatory in the HELCOM region to empty sewage (black water) to a pumping station on land from 2015, Isabell has now been fitted with a new deck outlet for black water from the septic system. In the process, the whole septic system has been renovated with new connections (1 1/2 “) and 38 mm sewage hoses.

The toilet has got a new lid and new hinges. And the tubing to the water tap from the water tank is renewed.

All of the interior lights have been replaced with LED lights. In spite of the high cost of this, the low energy usage of the LED and their long lifetime do make it a worthy investment.
The navigational Hellas running lights (top, back, port and starboard lights) also have been replaced with special LED bulbs. As an additional option a combined LED light (tricolor and anchor light, Hellas) is placed in the mast top. New wiring has been drawn for these lights.

A new electronic horn is placed in the mast top as well. The wiring from the instrument panel to the cockpit navigation screen (computer) is redrawn through the starboard storage box. One of the 12V main batteries died during winter and is replaced.

A new bimini sun top is designed and installed across the cockpit. See the website for more details on this.

As usual a lot of the gear, sail covers, ropes and running rigging are cleaned and gone over at home. The heater is serviced and supplied with new fuel.

Some work was done on the packbox, but it is still ok for another season. Fuel and oil filters are checked and replaced, as well as the anodes on the prop and in the water cooling system.

New covers were sown for the fenders, this time in wooolly grey like material. Then there is the general cleaning and polishing to do, and here we are… SHIPSHAPE!!!

Winter jobs

During the winter of 2012-13 a lot of work needs to be done on Isabell. In icy cold winter with deep snow and thick ice the first big project is to disassemble the whole steering setup and get it home for a paint overhaul. The sails are shipped to UK Syversen for fitting of a new genua sail. The underwater body is going to be painted. So Monica and the captain crawl around under the hull, in knee-deep snow, to remove all of the old paint from the underwater body. It takes many hours and loads of sanding paper. Finally, when all done, a bit of Spring weather arrives in the middle of April, and the new paint can be put on, first a couple of layes Gelshield 200 epoxi-paint, and then two or three layers of thin Teflon anti-foulant without metals like copper or zinc. Teflon is great, once in place. It is unhealthy business, painting it on. Need a lot of personal protective clothing. But once it sits there, it is easy to clean and needs very little maintenance.

Soon Spring will melt the ice and snow, and Isabell is back in the water (planned on May 2nd).

Also the newly cleaned curtains are in place, new fuse box installed on the engine, new anchor roller in the bow, fixed stopcock in the toilet to sea line, and much more…

Sailing season is here soon! YEAH!

Meeting Vindela skipper

Sunday 5 August 2012

Today I sailed out to meet the Monsun skipper Jerk Oldenburg, with his no. 27 Monsun Vindela. He turned 80 years this winter and is taking it easy now. But still sailing long-range alone. It was great sitting in Vindelas cockpit and chatting with Jerk about all things possible, over a cup of tea/coffee.

Jerk sailed around the World between 1998 and 2007. He wrote a blog along the way, but said he did not feel like writing more on the way back to Sweden, somewhere in the Mediterranean. I used to read his website blog and was not sure if he continued sailing. But he has continued sailing Vindela. This summer he was in the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Riga, and also on Aland. He has sailed Vindela up along the Swedish westcoast, along the Norwegian coast up to the Arctic. Tranported the boat on a trailer truck to Haparanda in Sweden the next spring, and sailed back home along the eastern coast of Sweden the following summer.

Jerk rowed out to me in his dinghy and took over the helm in Isabell to navigate into the very stony and shallow waters around his sons summer house in the Stockholm Archipelago. Thank you Jerk, for some good advice and a very nice afternoon on Vindela.

I hope we meet again.

Here is a picture of Jerk rowing back the dinghy to Vindela…

Day 4 – Vaxholm gh

Sunday 24 June 2012, we run into the guest harbour at Vaxholm to lay over for one night. It is time to celebrate Monicas mom’s 75the birthday. We walk up to the house and have a wonderful time with family. Good food and relatively nice weather. Hardly any wind today, so we run on the engine all of the 5 nM there. This harbour is not among my favorites, too crowded and sloshy, for each time the ferry boat goes by, the whole harbour turns into a soup bowl. But the town is nice. In the evening we sit in the cockpit and try to solve a crossword puzzle…

Day 5- we wake up to the smatter of rain. It is raining like mad out there. Continues through the morning to rain. We decide to wait for a wee bit better weather. We are on the low side of the dock, so Monica and I make plans on how to get out of the harbour. Not going to be easy. Mean while it is raining and raining… Will we go anywhere today? Weather report said it will be little better this afternoon. We wait and see.

The fortification at Waxholm, seen from the seaside.

Day 2 – Midsummer

Friday 22 June 2012, position 59*27’N 018*19′ E
We get the dinghy into the water already in the evening of the first day. Today we row into shore and walk to the party. It is far and one of our friends comes halfway and picks us up in his car. We have a wonderful time at the party.

When we take the bus back and walk the last bit to where we parked Isabell, we get to the bay after dark /around midnight/. Isabell is gone! First we panic a little, then we start walking around the shore to see if she drifted with the wind. No Isabell. When we are about to call the police, we look into the dinghy and find a nicely written note. Neighboring people had seen that Isabell was dragging anchor in the soft bottom, and they had with the help of another sailboat moved Isabell to the other side of the cove. We rowed over and found her all well and nicely anchored in clay bottom. Poooh! What a scare.

Now we need to rest. We stay in the cove tomorrow and just read, fix things good food and row around in the dinghy. Pick wildflowers in the roadside and walk thorugh a little park. Great! Here are some party pictures…