Working on Leader's masts in Totnes

Refit Blog: The mate’s perspective

Trinity’s crew and a team of volunteers are busy getting all three boats ready for the 2015 season with less than two months to go before the first voyage.

Leader’s new mate, Stan, has shared how things are going for him and his team, and here’s how the refit went last week:

“Monday started very early with Ben, Matt, Hugh and I moving Provident to the grid in order to check her propeller and rudder stock. Although it was a little nerve wracking watching as more and more of her hull was slowly revealed she dried out perfectly and the inspection was completed in preparation for her new engine being fitted later this year.

“Tuesday was another early start with the guys moving Leader alongside in order to have her spars, minus the masts, lifted off and taken to Totnes for re-varnishing, although a full English cooked by the skipper did do a little to ease our pain.

“Wednesday say great progress with Leader’s water system and Hugh finished making Leader’s new generator box.

“On Thursday we were joined by Tres Hombres crew member Leah, and 2014 Tall Ship’s crew member Teymour, who are kindly giving us their time sanding and painting for the next few days.

“A large amount of cosmetic work was completed down below on Friday, despite the boat rocking around in some huge squalls on the river. Friday night saw Paul, Nat, John, Lucy and Anna and Jeremy join the team for the first ‘Refit Weekend’ of the season. After a meal on board we all headed out into Dartmouth for a brilliant night out with relief skipper Toni.

“On the first day of the weekend, half the team headed to Totnes with Leader’s Skipper Ben to get started on the spars, while the other half stayed on board with me to varnish the galley. Estelle generously turned up last minute to finish the metal work in the forepeak.

“We had another massive meal on board Saturday night, then went out to one  for a few quiet rums and to hear about what sailing everyone had been up to over the past few months.

“Sunday was much the same with the Totnes team managing to finish sanding the entire of Provident’s mizzen, a fantastic effort that we expected to take far longer. Down below Leader progressed very well, much of the starboard side accommodation was sanded ready for undercoating and Jeremy managed to clean and check the entire main engine before the guys headed home that evening.

“Special thanks again to everyone who came to help out on the weekend! I think everyone had a great time and it was really good to see old friends and some new ones. You are all very welcome back anytime and we hope see you on the water this year.

“If the idea of helping out on a 123-year-old sailing trawler appeals to you, give the office a call on 01803 88 33 55.”

 Picture by Paul Catterall