Thursday, 31 May 2018

Fixed VHF.. err, fixed..

UK has just had another long bank holiday weekend, but despite good weather, the sailing was not optimal..  F6's and F7's on the Saturday, and then nothing on the Sunday/Monday... fairly typical of my luck...

So it was that Monday found me on the boat to do some more fettling - I mentioned on the winter job round up I had a couple of jobs to finish and with the weather roasting, and the harbour flat as a flat thing, today was the day...

Two jobs I wanted to do today, but the one I was looking forward to was the completion of the connectivity for the fixed VHF I physically fitted over the winter but never had time to wire in...  pleased to say that was completed, and I also took the time to start tidying up some of the wiring to the switch panel...  as I thought I'd have to [clicky]
as I put more elements into the switch panel I was running out of free switches, so first I daisy chained the USB charger and voltmeter to a single positive/switch to free up one of the two auxillary's using one of these left over from the cabin lighting job, and then used the now spare aux switch for the VHF - come the winter I'll fit some ducting I think to tidy the wiring but for not it's neat enough and runs down the back of the port hole curtain...  spare sticker and the aux switch becomes "VHF radio" and switching it one delivers the usual burst of static...


I have some further checks to do as reception is not what you'd call brilliant..

The VHF was acquired second hand three or four years ago and is old, pre-DSC in fact; the aerial is new but I have my doubts about the quality of the fitting for the (PL59) plug, so first step is to clean and resolder that..  something of a first, I have a butane soldering iron on the way as I'll need to do it away from the mains...

Once I've done that I'll also test on the hand held and see if there's a difference - if there is, then the fixed VHF is almost certainly past its sell by date, if there isn't then the aerial may be faulty and I can check that...

Swings and roundabouts - that's life on the water on a budget... 

Second job was something I've been thinking about doing for some time which is to secure the outboard to the back of the boat so as not have to keep lifting it on and off, and knacker'ing my back in the process.. the engine is fairly heavy, I can lift it, but it's not easily manoeuvrable and with the back board on the stern, and the recessed well it's a little worrying as at one point the engine hangs 80% off the back with just one of my hands holding it while I let go and swing the other hand over the board to re-grab it..

All done, and to insurance company requirements - I also have a new outboard top cover as taking some advise, I'm storing the engine cowl separately as another deterrent...

As in all things - none of it will stop someone who wants it - hell, one of the guys in the club had his engine chainsawed off the transom of his boat over the winter - but what I'm looking to do is keep the insurance happy that I've done more than the minimum, while putting off an opportunistic thief, but also whilst also not making it too 'difficult' to steal if they're absolutely certain they want it - I don't want to have to spend months repairing, when I could be sailing with a replacement engine...

..and on that happy note - time to look for some sailing time!

PS. Two weeks to the 2018 Jolly Boys Cruise..  can't wait...

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