Lucky Touch or Lucky Bast*#rd

I bought my Holiday 23 Lucky Touch a couple of months ago, she was berthed at RCYC and from what I was told she had not been used for the last 5 years, so she was in abit of a state..

Firstly the hull needed to be cleaned as there were so many black mussels hanging off the rudder I reckon I could have made a pot of mussels in white wine and garlic and fed at least four people.

After lifting her out onto the hard a whole maintenance process took place, she was anti-fouled , her 15hp Suzuki out board was serviced etc, once back in her berth I then started to really spruce her up , she was quite run down including a problem with metal particles stuck in the glass fiber going rusty , anyway after 2 week-ends of scrubbing , scrubbing and even more scrubbing she was ready to go ( sail up to Mykonos )

I had secured the services of Mr. Coenie Thiart ( a young looking but middle aged salty sea dog ) to help me and my son sail her up to Mykonos. Everything was arranged for Saturday 13 June , first mistake. I never started the out-board properly to check up after getting it back from the agent.

Coenie was arriving at 5,30am my son and I got there on Friday at 10,00pm with the intension of sleeping on the yacht , any way we thought lets start the motor up and give it a warm up , we tried for over two hours it wouldn’t start , I decided to strip the carburetor down as I could see the problem wasn’t the spark there was no petrol coming through , the bowl on the carb was completely full of gunk , as was the needle valve , the time was now 3,00am the engine was now running okay and it was not worth going to sleep now! Coenie arrived at the time he said he would checked the yacht over and said lets go.

The wind was fresh but a little bit of fog around , as we passed the harbour entrance to turn it was here we noticed the compass was going berserk , spinning around like an electric motor , all the fluid in the plastic ball had leaked out , not to worry Coenie had his hand help GPS with him , we had just passed the end of Robben Island and had already used 20 liters of fuel ( I had only brought 70 liters , 10 liters an hour we wont have enough ) second mistake make sure you have enough fuel.

Coenie reckons lets put the main up , great idea, nice we thought slight breeze should save some petrol 5 knots not bad , okay Coenie says lets put the foresail up , there we go 6 – 6.5 knots yep we should have enough fuel if the wind doesn’t drop.

I think I can open the Old Brown Sherry now , so off I go down bellow to fetch a bottle , we don’t need cups I thought , we can pass it round and swig it out of the bottle , as I am climbing back up the steps I hear a big crack and there goes the furler the front stay had broken off right at the top and every thing had fell to the starboard side , if it wasn’t for Coenie and his quick thinking I believe we would have lost the mast.

Mistake number three make sure you have the rigging checked at least every year by the experts , so here we are around 9nm away from Dassen with no forestay and a mast that was waving about like a puppies tail , we managed to step the mast and tie every thing down but now we know we haven’t enough petrol to make it to Mykonos or back to Royal Cape , we decided to turn back to Cape Town on the motor but didn’t know what we were going to do , at this time we noticed a mast on the horizon Coenie radioed to all ships and they answered.

Donna Mia was the yacht , they said they would tow us back to where we believed we would have enough fuel to make it to the mooring we had left 9 hours before , 17 hours total time at sea , yes an experience of note , two weeks later the same trip after fixing the compass and having all the rigging replaced we are now finally at our mooring in Mykonos , 11 hours most of the journey under sail and extremely enjoyable, thanks to Coenie a truly great guy.

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