Sunday 19 June 2016

Classic Sunday...

Not because of the sailing, just the views, of which more anon..

So not a classic sailing day, good enough, but not outstanding - we're going through a bit of a grey and damp spot in the UK at the moment, and the weather was not really 'optimal'..  in fact I was in two minds whether to even go, but in the end good sense prevailed, I'd not sailed in three weeks so it was time to get out!

First job then, check the bilges for rain (wettest June on record for the UK) so I was not surprised to find a couple of pints down there...  next job, fire up the metal donkey, again two weeks of idleness so I just wanted to ensure all was well...  it was. Next job, roll out that massive reef I put in last time, all good..  small adjustment at the out haul end of the boom as I had found the shackle for the main sheet was catching at times when I rolled in a reef..  an extra shackle has put some space between the end of the boom and the main sheet upper block - much better...

Time to go sailing...  started warm and sunny, winds westerly, put up the main as quickly as possible so that I could run down the channel..  past the rowers who had congregated at Northney slip today for what I think was a Round the Island competition - hard work, either way!

Either way, that was largely it - turned grey and cold'ish, wind picked up, good fast sailing down the harbour, where I spotted these two classics racing up the channel

The one on the left is Mikado [clicky] the one on the right, I don't know..

...but after I'd got to the bottom of the harbour and turned for a fantastic broad reach back up the harbour, I spotted one of them coming back...  what a beautiful sight..

Love this shot..

...bit of alright I'd say... 

Made it back just before the rain... funny old day, but damn good to get out at last!


Distance:  8.96 miles
Wind: W going SW after an hour (just enough to get me to the bottom of the harbour on one tack); F3 going top end F4 as the wind swung round
Sail Plan: Full main and 90% genoa going roughly 75%
Speed: Log says max speed was 5.2 knots (and that was under sail on the broad reach from the bottom of the harbour) average speed was 3.5 knots.

Friday 10 June 2016

We have the power...

..beautiful, sunny, warm, day last Sunday, and a midday tide, but no wind meant a sit and laze day...

 ...still the trickle charger has worked a treat - 13.8v (from 12.8 last week) - tick 👍

..not so sure about the VHF antenna but it was a quiet traffic day so we'll try again another day...

This was the Wednesday before - biggest tide I've seen in some time.... it had overlapped the edge, onto the path on the right...

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Solar panel fitted..

If anything it was even windier on Bank Holiday Monday than it was on the previous day when I had the trip to Snowhill [clicky] and with the tides still not optimal, and a busy day of non sailing bits and pieces to do I settled for an early trip to the boat to fit something I've been waiting to do for ages...  the solar panel...

The panel is only a little 5w one as my electrical needs are very light and all I basically want to do is trickle charge the battery... On Pap (my old boat) I had a couple of 2w panels doing the same thing and they were more than man enough for the job, 5w is a step up.... 😀

I bought the panel from Friendly Green Giant [clicky] who trades on eBay and has a good reputation with the guys on the PBO forum so I think my £10 is safe, and if all goes tits up then I've not really lost anything! 

First job was too replace the tiny cable that came with the panel with a slightly longer one..  I ordered some 1.5mm2 two core cable (5 mtrs), and I also bought myself a soldering iron from Toolstation as the existing cable was soldered on...   not used one in years so it was with some trepidation I fired it up (alright, plugged it in) and when it was hot applied the end to the existing solder and removed the cable, solder is funny stuff, one minute it's metal and the next minute it's liquid I'd forgotten how quickly it changes.... I also removed the old alligator clips and put them to one side, I was planning to re-use them.

I then carefully laid a blob of new solder on the new cable ends attaching it to the terminals. To finish I put the panel in the window and tested with a multimeter to ensure all was as it should be - it was... result...! Last job was to run some amalgamating tape round the junction box to give some additional water proofing...

Once on the boat I knew where it was going to go, so I ran the cable through the existing cable gland, cable tied the new cable alongside the VHF cable, and then ran both through to the cabin via the cockpit lockers...

Connection to the battery was simply  a matter of crimping the alligator clips to the ends of the two core, and then putting a small feeder cable to each quick release clamp on the battery which I could then attach the alligator clips to (the clips stopped the quick releases from closing). 

Checked again with multimeter and all good, and when I left the voltage was already showing 12.9V (was 12.8V)..

The panel is attached with some bungy, we'll see how that goes... I may need a more permanent solution...  but either way, job done! 👍