Monday, 11 April 2016

...that's it.. all done for this winters maintenance/project list....

...I spoke too soon as the battery I was planning to use has imploded (voltage of 9.4 when I checked last Monday, and despite 24 hours on charge, no difference afterwards.... )

Ah well, always knew it was on the small, and old, side... new one purchased via Amazon using birthday spondoolicks is twice the power and almost same size, and at only £45, and delivered in two days from Scotland to the south coast... bloody amazing..

I've also been spending on some 'additionals' for the system - firstly, one of these...  two separate units in a single mounting plate which is good for replacements at a later date should one or t'other fail.. but basically a digital voltmeter and a dual USB charging port.. this will go on the front of the switch box to the left of the switch panel


I've also bought a cheap solar panel - on Pap I used to use two of the little tiny trickle chargers (1.5W) they sell for car dashboards - I put one in each window inside the cabin and they'd keep the battery topped up for the whole summer (I had very light needs on power - just a bit of VHF, and power for a small stereo amplifier) - this time round I've bought a fully weather proofed 5W panel from a recommended supplier on eBay (Friendly Green Giant) - this will find a home on the pushpit back board at some point....


Lastly, some 11A 0.5mm2 cable in red and black for actually attaching things....

Just in case anyone is interested - here's the costs so far...
  1. Battery (75aH "Leisure") - £45 (Amazon)
  2. Battery box - £15.99 (eBay)
  3. Jump leads for battery cables - £4.90(eBay)
  4. Isolator switch - £4.99 (eBay)
  5. Bus bar - 8 Way Earth Terminal Block - £2.27 (Screwfix)
  6. Switch panel - £18.95 (eBay)
  7. 20 mtrs of 11A (0.5mm) single core wire (half red/half black) - £7 (Amazon)
  8. Dual USB Charger and Voltmeter - £10.50 (eBay)
  9. 5w solar panel - £11 (eBay)

So with time all but gone, I took an afternoon off, and pushed on with work that I knew I needed either shore power or water for..  as it turned out it was the last afternoon I had, I was due to launch the next day...

First I wanted to check the bulb was still working in the mast head light after that drop the other weekend..  attached test cables* to the new battery, and mate Paul who was wandering by at the time confirmed all was good..  cracking result!

*(two or three feet of paired wire with a spade at one end and an alligator clip at the other - damn useful!)

Second order of the day the cam cleats on their now fully prepared block were attached..  not sure about the fair leads..  experience has shown that they tend to jam when feeding line fast (you just get a knot the wrong side of the fair lead) ie. what I want to do when dropping sail! If necessary one or t'other or both will be changed for non-fair lead type..  I've got the bullseye's to keep the line feed straight so they are overkill...

Smart!
Next to be actioned was the new battery which is now snug in the battery box - it is a bit larger but it does fit - the only downside is that the positive post is now further away and although the cable to the master switch still reaches it is a little shorter, and stops the lid fitting snugly...  put it down to experience as I made it longer than was required for the old battery, but still not quite long enough! I'll buy a short length of 16mm2 and re-make...

Next job was the cable gland to take the VHF aerial on the back board..  this was an Index Marine job and I have to say was not the easiest thing to fit..  I found the instructions a little...  errr... counter intuitive...

Anyway - position decided and plate fitted..


then a hole drilled big enough to take the VHF cable with plug attached - I used a 22mm spade bit and it cut through cleanly... drilled and sliced the rubber gasket (very difficult to slice even with a clean blade in the Stanley knife), and then all bolted down as per instructions....


Looks good, and there's still room for other cables (solar panel and rear navigation light eventually) - if it leaks then I'll just smear some "gunk" over the top....


Last job of all - this is the "finishing tape job"..  harbour dues sticker attached... 


Next morning I was down the club early and asked to be dropped at the bottom of the slip - I think I was second or third boat down, but as a 'titch' I get put towards the bottom otherwise I tend to float before they do and that causes traffic jams and other problems....


....snazzy new aerial!


..an hour after that and I was away under the bridge in a growing breeze...  first off as usual, but with a SW'ly wind blowing me into the boat to my right/starboard it took a little speed with with the warp I'd used to hold me off and vectoring the outboard to get away cleanly..  all successful though.

Back on the mooring I was then joined by Rod and Dave to put the mast up - the only thing I will say is that it is up...

If anything could go wrong it did...  first off a cap shroud and aft lower twisted at attachment, second the backstay the wrong side of the back board..  we sorted those two before the mast was lifted...  when we lifted the mast the the after lower shroud then caught under the pin for the cap shroud.... gah...  then when we got it upright the lower mast bolt wouldn't go home, and while we were struggling with that we got hit by a cloud burst and the temperature dropped at least 5 degrees...  we wrestled the bolt in (and I think the issue was that the top bolt wasn't tight enough, which allowed the mast to twist) and raced into the cabin where we sat gently steaming until the rain passed and we could finish, at which point I found the plates for the roller furler had got bent (straightened those with a piece of wood, some mole grips and a hammer)..  finally the forestay was on, the forward lowers were attached, everything was tightened up to support the mast and no more and I tidied away and will go out and finish off one evening this week...  those two deserve a medal, but I bought them a pint... 

Next day I was on a club work party (launching the remaining boats) but with a F8 from the east most of the day I decided not to go visit Sparrow but just quietly thanked God I replaced all my pick up gear this winter...  she was bouncing at least 3 or 4 feet in the chop - most unusual for the Chichester side of the bridge....

4 comments:

  1. Well done chap, a sterling effort. Sparrows looking great with all the work you've done.
    what plans do you have for this year?

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    Replies
    1. Ta dude... no plans, i'm taking it as it comes this year... :o)

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  2. That's a whole list of jobs out of the way and Sparrow looks great, all ready for a sail. I like the way you have made it hard for burglars to steal the cam cleats by alternating with different slotted screws LOL!

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    Replies
    1. Alden - not only that, but one of them is a bolt as well! :o) PS. Welcome back..

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