14 October 2014 | Leverstock Green
It's been a while since my last entry. Not much happened on the sailing front - mainly due to work and ill health (Yanni broke a leg and I had to deal with kidney stones which prove to be rather painful). Just one gentle sail up and down the Stour and Orwell to report since my last post. Well, when I say 'gentle sail' I actually mean adrenaline and testosterone boosting white knuckle ride in 25kts plus of apparent wind. Brigitte wasn't too impressed.
The story of recent weeks - either too much wind or not enough.
Other than that: a rather painful and maybe ill-advised trip up to the boat last Sunday. The last chance to check on the boat for several weeks. I was in agony - driving up with Yanni - hoping things would get better along the way when the painkillers kicked in (they didn't). When I was in a good mind to turn back we were nearer to the boat than home. Anyway, long story short, once we were aboard we didn't really do much.
We checked the wiring for the second autopilot controller (turns out we need another part) and had lunch. Plans to tidy up the bilge pump installation were abandoned because I feared that if we stayed aboard much longer I would be in too much pain to manage to drive back. So, we took autopilot wiring diagram and heater installation manual home for further study and left it at that.
As you can gather from the above, the keel-cooled fridge will have to wait another year and the main project this winter will be the replacement of the now defunct cabin heater. Two main reasons: the current fridge still works and we can fit the heater without need for any outside intervention. Whilst as a unit, the heater is more expensive to purchase than the fridge there are no additional costs. If we opted for the fridge, the boat would need hauling out, an extra water inlet would have to be made, etc... Not things we could do ourselves.
I had quotes for the hauling out and for the water inlet, but I have sort of lost faith in 'quotes'. So it was quite possible that the fridge project would turn out to be more expensive than the heater project. This year, even more than usual, funds available is the deciding factor.
The new cabin heater will be a Webasto Airtop Evo 5500. I also looked at another Eberspracher, but the Webasto came out top (price/ease of fitting/warranty). The intention is to retain all the vents and ducting already in place. So, the unit is now on order (at boat show price) and Yanni and I are looking to fit it sometime early November. That way we get maximum use from it this winter.
Also on the agenda for November: service the engine at install the second autopilot controller by the chart table.
So, we have our work cut out for us for the coming weeks, but hopefully it won't be too long before we can get some sailing in. Because sailing is, after all, what it's all about.