Sailing back to Stockholm city

During the weekend we went sailing for the last time this year, which was sailing back to Stockholm city for the winter. We have had her further out in the archipelago during the summer so that we didn’t have to sail the long distance from the city every time we wanted to go sailing. It is approximately 20-25 NM to sail from central Stockholm to reach the first nice archipelago islands. There are some places in between, but they are not as good as the ones you find further out.

But the summer is definitely over now and during the winter we want the boat closer so that we can finish everything we need to do before our departure.

We started on Saturday by taking the bus to Anne-Mon together with one of our new sails, a furling genoa we found second hand. We bought two furling head sails, one genoa and one jib, and a cover for the furler for 450 SEK (47 USD, 42 EUR). They are all in good shape as well, so we were really lucky to find them! 🙂

We tried the new furling genoa on the furler, and after some time we were ready to set sail. The new sail immediately proved to be way much better than our old one. Both this one and the old one are still to small for us, so we have another genoa that we plan to buy which is bigger. Then we will use the one we just bought as a reserve and probably throw away the old one.

Sailing towards Stockholm
Sailing back to Stockholm.

It was pretty late when we left, and the sun sets early this time of the year. We had chosen a spot where we wanted to stay for the night, some islands just north of Vaxholm and west of Vårholma. We have been here before with the ship twice so we had a pretty okay feeling of the surroundings, therefore we decided to continue even though it got dark. It was our first time sailing with Anne-Mon in the dark, and it was pretty exiting to sail with the help from lighthouses and the dark contours of nearby islands. As we were close to the city we also saw some cruise ships on their way to Finland and Tallinn, but no one passed close to us during the evening.

We navigated in between the islands and managed to anchor towards land even though we had a really hard time seeing where we went. We ate dinner, watched a movie and went to bed.

We woke up the next day to grey weather but beautiful autumn colors.

The spot we chose for the night.

It ate breakfast and left right after, just when it started to rain…

Time to leave for the last leg. As you can see on the water we had some rain….

It was a slow sail on Sunday, barely no wind and a lot of tacking. But we sailed almost the entire way to the city, we took the sails down half an hour before sunset when we only had 1 NM to go. We were hungry and quite cold at that point after 7.5 hours of sailing, the first hours in autumn rain.

sailing stockholm
Passing the castle outside Vaxholm.
sailing stockholm
When getting closer to the city it is common with close encounters with the cruise ships. Not so fun while tacking!
Just outside the headland Blockhusudden on Djurgården close to the city. The sun finally breached through the thick clouds.
Sunset sailing towards Stockholm.

Eventually we reached our final destination. Now we will empty the boat and focus on boatwork! We have some exiting things ahead, just yesterday we bought an autopilot drive unit. Instead of buying a finished autopilot package, we buy components separately and write our own code for the control system. Perfect winter activity! We will write more about this later on, so stay tuned 🙂

If you want to read more about our previous boatwork, mostly plastic repair, rig preparations all blog post about our renovation can be found under the category Sailboat Renovation and to read about our engine overhaul, those blogposts can be found under the category Engine.


Autumn sail to Stora Nassa

During the weekend we decided to take a weekend sail to Stora Nassa, an island group in Stockholm archipelago. The weather was kind of cold and northerly winds around 7-9 m/s (14-18 knots) gusting up to 11-12 m/s (21-23 knots). We left work early on Friday and headed out to the boat and left as soon as possible.

A map of our autumn sail, blue is start position, red is Säck where we anchored Friday evening and yellow is Stora Nassa where we anchored Saturday, with a total distance sailed back and forth of 40 NM.

We have had a damage in our furling genoa, which we got fixed this week. We took the genoa and two other small headsails to Björn, a sailmaker in central Stockholm. He repaired the sails and took a look at them. We also got a lot of tips regarding sail care and sail theory in general. Can really recommend Björn if you need to repair your sails, link to his website can be found by clicking HERE.

Anyway, we set sail and departed to find a good place to stay for the night.

On our way to find a good spot to stay the first night out.

We ended up in the protected anchorage Säck, even though it was northerly winds we found a spot that was pretty protected.  We were all alone there, which is quite uncommon. Usually you have to fight for a spot in this very popular anchorage.

Säck a very popular and protected bay in Stockholm archipelago.

We anchored and started preparing dinner and starting our diesel heater, but not without trouble. After a while we got it working and let it run for a while during dinner.

After some issues getting the diesel heater to start we finally could eat some dinner.

We turned the diesel heater off during the night since we haven’t used it that much before. When we woke up on Saturday we had 8ºC (46ºF) inside the boat. We turned on the diesel heater and prepared breakfast.

Säck Stockholm archipelago
A cold but beautiful morning in Säck.

We didn’t hurry Saturday morning and did some small jobs before we left for Stora Nassa, like changing the halyard for the cutter stay, which we were gonna try out.

Finally we we were on our way to Stora Nassa, the wind was quite strong and there was the occasional rain and even some hail at one point. We had set the biggest of our jibs (we have three in total at the moment) on the cutter stay, and we made an average 5 knots on the way in 9 m/s (14 knots) winds. We took the northern route around Möja to reach Björkskärsfjärden, and here it is really important to keep an eye on the navigation as it is a maze of small islands and underwater rocks, as seen in the picture below.

This is what you have to navigate through at some places in the archipelago. A lot of small islands and underwater rocks everywhere.

We arrived at Stora Nassa and anchored at a very sheltered bay, even though the winds were strong outside it was completely calm where we were. There was no other boats in position. We anchored and ate a well deserved late lunch.

Stora Nassa
Anchored at Stora Nassa early October, all alone.

We took a tour around the little island we anchored at, the weather was quite dramatic and we spotted the wild Mouflon sheep that lives at Stora Nassa.

Stora Nassa
A storm is coming…
Mouflon sheep Stora Nassa
A quite bad picture of the Mouflon sheep that lives wild on Stora Nassa, but they were quite scared of us and we didn’t want to disturb them to much.

After our tour around the island we relaxed inside the sailboat and did some small boatwork, working with connecting the VHF antenna was one thing we did.

Sunday arrived and it was time to head home, we ate breakfast and set sail shortly after. On Björkskärsfjärden it was still quite windy so we tried our middle jib, which Björn, the sailmaker, had gone over, on the cutter stay. With that sail and a reefed main we sailed approximately 5-6 knots without cringing to much.

When we reached the bigger islands around Möja the wind died a bit so we un-reefed the main and took down the cutter stay jib and furled out the genoa instead. It last part was quite slower than the first, but the sun was shining. At one point when sailing downwind we tried the whisker pole for the first time, not for long, though, since the wind is constantly changing direction in Stockholm archipelago.

On our way back, sunny weather but still quite cold.

Soon we will sail back Anne-Mon to the city for the winter, which means we will focus more on the final preparations before our big sail. It also means that there will be more frequent blog posts here, since we have the boat closer.

Weekend sail to Lådna in Stockholm archipelago

This weekend the weather was kind of promising so we set out sailing towards Lådna in Stockholm archipelago. Petra’s parents and their dog Felix were visiting and they needed to leave early on Sunday so Lådna was perfect since it is pretty close to where we have Anne-Mon right now. We also wanted to find some mushrooms and last year we visited Lådna with our ship and found a lot of chanterelles.

Lådna’s location in the archipelago.

It was a pretty calm sail on Saturday morning and we got to try the new mail sheet traveler we added a while back. The behavior of the main sail was much better and it was also easier to handle the main sheet.

Petra’s parents dog Felix, first time on a sailboat.

We arrived to Lådna, had some lunch and went on a hunt for chanterelles.

Skomakarviken Lådna Stockholm archipelago
Anchored in Skomakarviken in Lådna in Stockholm archipelago.
Beautiful Swedish forest 🙂

And we found a lot of mushrooms, yellow chanterelles, autumn chanterelle and some other mushrooms. So now we will have mushrooms to eat for the entire autumn 🙂

mushrooms Lådna Stockholm archipelago
Good mushroom catch in Lådna.

After the mushroom hunt we had some work to do cleaning the mushrooms and preserve them. Some of them we cooked so that the water in them disappeared and left in the freezer and some we will dry.

We also had to look for tics, and all of us had some that stuck. There aren’t a lot of dangerous animals in Sweden and the tic is one of the worst. It carries diseases, which could be quite serious if infected.

We prepared some dinner and went to bed quite early, tired after sailing and mushroom hunting.

Lådna Stockholm archipelago.
Beautiful sunset in Lådna, Stockholm archipelago.

The day after it was cold and cloudy. We prepared a nice breakfast and got ready to leave.

Sunday breakfast.

The sail back was much colder and the rain was close. Fortunately for us, it started raining when we were back.

Much colder on Sunday compared to Saturday.

Petra’s parents left as soon as we docked, but we stayed a while and worked with Anne-Mon for a while, but more about that in next blog post.


Our solution to reef the main sail

We have mentioned earlier that we hadn’t a good way to reef the main sail and that was something we wanted to fix. Our boom can be rolled, so it can be used to reef the mainsail using a rolling reefing, it is an old way of reefing and what we have read it doesn’t seem to be very good since it changes the shape of the sails. With a rolling reef system we can’t have a kick for the boom either.

We choose to go with a reef line solution, and for that we needed some improvements. For our reefing solution we will have a hook at the gooseneck, at the mast. In the opposite end of the boom we will have a traveler with blocks and ropes to the reefing points in the sail.

First  up was to attach the reefing hook to the gooseneck, and for that we needed to do some welding. That is because boom is mounted on a slide and need something that pulls it down, like a cunningham. We had to remove the existing mounting for the cunningham to mount a reef hook to the gooseneck.

Preparing for welding a shackle onto the sprint with the reefing hooks.
Welding started and shackle soon attached to the reef hook.
The shackle welded onto the nut on the reef hook.
A better look on the reef hook.
The old cunningham hook had to be removed.
gooseneck reefhook
The gooseneck and the reef hook together.

When we were finished with the preparations it was time to go to the boat and attach and test the reef solution.

reef solution main sail
The gooseneck and reef hook in position. The shackle we welded onto the reef hook can be seen here holding the cunningham. The black cable tie is the to prevent the nut and the shackle to unthread itself. The will be replace by a sprint instead. 
A second look on the gooseneck/reef hook.
Attaching a traveler on the boom for the second part of reef solution.
reef the main sail
We hoisted the sail at anchor to test the reefing. The rope goes through the sail and the traveler, holding the sail down. The rope is attached close to the mast and therefore the entire reefing can be done at the mast.

reef the main sail

At the mast, the reef hook hold the sail down in the reefing point.
reef the main sail
The reefed main sail seen from the bow.

When we were finished with attaching everything we could test sail with reefed mainsail for the first time. It was pretty strong winds so prefect opportunity for testing.

reef the main sail
Testing out our solution to reef the main sail in the strong winds.

So finally we have a solution to reef the mainsail, which feels good. Also very nice to spend some time out sailing in the archipelago at what feels like will be the last summer days for this year. We won’t take the boat up until spring, so we will have time for some autumn sailing as well, and a whole lot of boatwork of course 🙂

Fixing our fresh water system

During the weekend we worked on the boat, and next up on the to-do list was to get the fresh water on our sailboat up and running. We had started last weekend to change some hoses and when all of them were changed it was time to fill up the tanks. Since we can’t fill up water where we have the boat right now we took a little sailing trip to find water.

Sailing to Stavsnäs to fill up the water tanks, Thomas parents joined us for the sail.

We sailed to Stavsnäs, had some lunch and filled up the tanks. Before filling up the tanks we added a couple of pills that would get rid of any bacteria growing in the tanks.

We used these pills to clean the inside of the water tanks.

These pills should be left in the tank at least six hours and then you empty the tanks. We wanted to do this since we haven’t opened the tanks and they haven’t been used in over 10 years. We sailed back and let the pills clean the tanks during the night.

Sailing back with full water tanks.

During the sail an old damage in our furling headsail got worse and a new one has gone from the wish-list to need-list. Hopefully we find a good second hand one, a new one is way to expensive for us.

The damage in the furling head sail.

The following day we started to empty the tanks, after we had fixed all leakages in the system. Some of them are temporary fixed, for example a hot water pipe to the shower which is broken and needs to be changed. We plugged it right now so the fresh water system can run without any leakages.

We reused the old fresh water pump, which seems to work fine.

Going over the fresh water pump and mounting the final hoses so that we could start the fresh water pump.
Temporary installed fresh water pump and water filter.
Fresh water system working! 🙂

Since we have emptied the tanks completely we also need to sail back and fill them so that we can start using the fresh water, but at least the system is working right know.

We have also found a second hand watermaker which we bought yesterday! 🙂 It will definitely make our sailing adventure easier, not being dependent on water. But more about the watermaker later.