23 February 2015 | Leverstock Green
Not much to report on the sailing front. I think we only managed to get away from the pontoon once since the last post – the usual ‘Medusa and back’. The usual suspects are to blame: work and weather.
There has been some progress on the refit front. After nearly five years, the VHF has finally been reprogrammed with the correct MMSI. Also, there has – at long last – been some progress on Yanni’s project: getting OpenCPN to run on a Raspberry Pie computer. Some details still need to be sorted (touchscreen drivers, loading all the charts) but the thing works. And it works with the Digital Yacht AIS transponder. High five.
The eBay bargain Webasto heater will be fitted the first week of March. Not entirely a ‘self-install’ as a start-up marine engineer will be along too. So, that should be another tick in the box pretty soon.
More news on the eBay front: another bargain. I acquired an ICOM M800UK SSB transceiver, complete with AT120E ATU for just a couple of hundred quid. Still can’t believe my luck. I have also located a local marine electronics wizard to take on the job of installing it ‘a bit later on the year, once his workload clears’. It’s not a rush job, and as he’s busy I take it that he must be good. So, I am willing to wait – within reason.
And the shopping spree did not end there. Another bargain – stock clearance this time. I got a brand-new Lofrans Tigres electric windlass at a heavily discounted price. This had been on the shopping list for a very long time, but until now it had never been affordable. Good things come to those who wait.
So, what does the immediate future look like?
- Get the heater installed first week of March.
- Fix the leaks in the tender before we go back on the mooring first week of April
- Service the engine
- Top up fuel and water tanks
- The deck is due its annual scrub – again before we go back on the mooring
A bit further down the road (but still this year):
- Have the SSB installed. I would like some time to get to grips with the set before we finally leave these shores summer 2016.
- Have the electric windlass installed. Will get quotes from some of the local yards in the next few weeks.
- Replace the leaking starboard freshwater tank.
I have gone off the idea of a keel-cooled fridge. The old fridge unit will still get replaced, but with a modern, standard unit – not a keel-cooled one. Cost is one factor (a keel-cooled unit is more expensive) and there is the added cost of having the boat lifted and another hole drilled in the hull. And I would like the number of holes in the hull kept to a minimum.
Also, since we went all-LED for the interior and navigation lighting and since the Raspberry Pie draws less than half the A/h of the laptop we have already made significant savings on the electricity consumption front. Provided I only use the electronic autopilot when motoring and rely on the windvane exclusively when under sail ours solar array should churn out more A/h in a day than we could realistically use.
Everything is a compromise, and this is one I am willing to make.
There you have it: our entire ‘to-do’ list. The refit has once again gathered momentum. There is light at the end of the tunnel. And this time it is not an oncoming train. I am looking forward to knocking this refit – started in 2008 – on the head.
Looking forward to some more time afloat in the not too distant future. And, finally, go places.
I am starting to suffer from sailing withdrawal syndrome.