The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2018.04.23 - Launch Details & Mooring Modifications

Unfortunately, the GMR Boat Transport people were too busy to be able to put Naiad into the water this week, so I went along to Bridge Boatyard in Ely as they have a slip. Putting Naiad into the water here is cheaper than using the lift at Cathedral Marina in Ely and has the added advantage of not having the boat lifted high (seemingly at least) above the concrete before reaching the water.

The boat yard use the slip to launch and recover their own boats so putting Naiad in will be trivial for them to do and since the weather looks to be fair on Friday for a trip from Ely to the boat club, I arranged to put Naiad into the water on Thursday afternoon. I'll sleep onboard and make a really early start, around dawn if possible, and that should give me plenty of time to get down river to the mooring. I may even try to get past the bridges in Ely on Thursday evening. According to the map that would be a distance of 2 miles. That would leave a slightly over 3 mile sail down to the first bridge at Littleport, 0.8 miles between the two bridges in Littleport and then a 4.3 mile trip to the mooring. In total is it about 10.25 miles (statute, not nautical, it would be 8.9 nautical miles) and should be well within Naiad's capabilities.

The weather forecast for Friday between dawn and dusk is South West force 2 backing East South East 3, overcast with light rain in the afternoon and a high of 10 Celsius.

With that wind Naiad should sail pretty well. The line from the last bridge at Ely to Littleport is South South West and then from Littleport to the mooring is South West, so the wind should be from the port stern quarter to start with and slowly turning anti-clockwise to be just off the starboard beam by the time we reach the club. If the weather holds it should be a lovely sail. I must remember to the the cameras with me this time.

Having got the arrangements out of the way I picked up two fence poles from home and a sledge hammer and drove the poles into the mud beside the pontoon. The poles are about 4" in diameter and about 3 metres long.


The pole with the blue fender perched on top is a piece of timber about 2" x 4". There is another one of those near the bank as you can see to the left in the photo. These two are in pretty good condition but they are 16' apart. The planks I have are 13' long. There are two other timbers of the same size, one where the white fender has been fixed to the edge of the pontoon and the other is not so easily seen in the photo, but both of these have rotten away at the waterline over time and will easily snap if any pressure is put on them.


This is the first of the two poles I put in...


...and this is the second.