First time using (incorrectly) the spinnaker and getting the kicker working

This weekend it was nice out, so I decided to work on the spinnaker pole.

It was a second hand one and was a foot or so too long, making it tricky to handle.


First I cut it down to size


Then drilled out the rivets (this was a huge pain!!!!) and pulled off the end off of the cut section, with the help of my neighbour ralph


Then I reattached the end to the cut pole


Next, I replaced all the wire bridal as it was both now the wrong size AND rusty. I used amsteel.


With all that done, LETS FLY A SPINNAKER

Spinnakers are very technical sails, and I had no idea how to use one. Sadly no-one who HAD used one before was free to come out, so it was just me and Emma.

We got the thing up



Now this is where the people who are sailors reading this will be ‘Wait, isn’t that BACKWARDS?!’

Yes. Yes it is. Which is why it didn’t work downwind, as it was on the wrong side of the pole!



Blue is the pole, orange the spinnaker, green the lines. We were the one on the left. I only realised this back at the dock – somehow I managed to get the wrong way fixed in my mind! Ugh. Of course I noticed this AFTER proudly posting spinny pics to social media

Also, probably because of the arse backwards way we were flying it, the rivets at the bottom of the track ripped out, bending the track away from the mast. I will have to replace them with tapped stainless screws (it should already have been this probably, but I am a lazy bum).

Luckily there were lots of other boats around so I’m sure a picture of us will appear on some sailing forum under the title ‘what are these idiots doing’

Onwards and Upwards!

On the way back to the dock the engine started losing RPMs and surging, probably due to a clogged filter. Scary, but we made the dock and I switched it out.

On a more positive note, I got the 6hp kicker that the Nancy Blackett crew gave me running! Despite not being used at all for years it fired right up. TIME FOR A RIP EH BUD?!


We went for a rip around the harbour in it, in which we managed to

  • Have an engine failure in front of a large group of tourists due to fuel plug falling out
  • Switching to oars *seamlessly* and then immediately running aground and getting stuck
  • After managing to get off, then getting yelled at by a harbour taxi for not going ‘port to port’.


I also changed my bike chain, which took two hours due to have the derailleur on backwards. That kind of weekend.

Bike chains do not like being close to salt water, here is my old one




  1. I think i’m learning more reading your blogs than working on my own boat. Keep it up. Now i know what NOT to do with a spinney pole.

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