The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

25 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
15 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
05 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
20 February 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
07 February 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
03 February 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
31 January 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
26 January 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
19 January 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
10 January 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
23 December 2020 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
17 December 2020 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
18 November 2020 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
08 September 2020 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
20 December 2019 | Gloucestershire
10 August 2019 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
09 August 2019 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
03 July 2019 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
02 July 2019 | St Paul’s Bay (position: 35 57.629’N 14 23.841’E)
26 June 2019 | Marsaxlokk (position: 35 50.121’N 14 32.961’E)

Meet our new crew member - "Stick"

25 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
In previous blogs (Windy Wind Vane Steering) and (Windy Wind Vane Steering (part 2)) we were researching wind vane steering options for Flirtie. After many email exchanges we decided to purchase "Windy" https://windyselfsteering.com/selfsteering/, a servo pendulum wind vane steering solution with a customised mount specifically designed for Flirtie. "Windy" is manufactured in Estonia so fortunately there was no import duty or additional charges payable in the EU.....something that unfortunately doesn't apply to the UK anymore :-(

After the payment of a small deposit, Imre Aljas started the build. Delivery was scheduled for approximately 4 weeks.

True to his word, "Windy" was ready for shipment 4 weeks later and after paying the outstanding balance we received "Windy" here in Porto Turistico Marina di Ragusa just 1 week later.

"Windy" was shipped in a custom made plywood box and arrived safely without any damage.


plywood shipping container

Everything inside was extremely well packaged and secured so we would be confident that "Windy" could be shipped anywhere in the world without sustaining any damage.


"Windy" well packaged

As for the installation, it's fair to say that it was extremely straightforward. Just 4 x 8mm holes through the teak planks and the stainless steel framing beneath on our bathing platform after ensuring the mount was on the centreline.


"Windy" mount clamped on the centre-line

The accuracy of our measurements and the engineering from Imre's perspective ensured it fitted perfectly with the mounting bolts in precisely the right location.


holes drilled

After that it was just a case of sliding "Windy" into position and securing it in place with an oversize thumbscrew.


"Windy" in place

With "Windy" now mounted on the bathing platform we turned our attention to the steering drum which is attached to Flirtie's wheel. This wasn't quite so straightforward to fit requiring three nylon blocks to be shaped to match the angle of the steering spokes of our wheel. Imre provided stainless steel pipe clamps, self tapping screws and leather cloth to secure these nylon blocks in place but instead we preferred to use stainless steel U-bolts for the purpose. Either solution was perfectly acceptable but we felt our solution was slightly neater and a little stronger.


U-bolts securing nylon spacer blocks

With the nylon blocks in position it was then just a matter of bolting the drum to the nylon blocks.


drum in place

Next we needed to mount a couple of blocks by the wheel and on the pushpit.


turning blocks adjacent to wheel


turning blocks on pushpit

Finally all that was needed was to feed the 6mm dyneema line (low stretch) from the wind vane to the drum.


dyneema control lines

It was about this time that we happened to receive a video call from Caroline's sister Jo. Caroline explained what we were doing and turned the camera towards "Windy". Jo not fully understanding responded with 'you mean that "Stick" thingy? '. Since then "Windy", our third crew member has been christened "Stick".... Lol.

All that remained was to see how "Stick" performed.... take a look at the brief video below.



It goes without saying that this was our first outing in favourable conditions but from what we've already learnt and experienced we're extremely confident that with practice "Stick" will become a crew member that we can both trust and rely on. I'm sure in future posts "Stick" will certainly say hello on occasions.

Keeping busy during lockdown - part 1

15 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
Bruce
There is always something to do...

Our Eberspacher (boat heating) works a real treat when we're alongside and connected to shore power and the battery charger is keeping the batteries nicely topped up. At anchor however it's a different story. The problem is at initial startup the heating draws nearly 30amps for 5 minutes or so and if the batteries aren't fully charged the voltage loses by the time it reaches the heating unit are such that the system just shuts itself down.

With our longer term plans to sail earlier and later in the season it would be nice to be able to call on the heating as necessary so we needed to find a cost effective solution.

Our batteries are reasonably new and hold their charge, but it could be argued that the wires from the batteries to the distribution panel were slightly undersized and the bus bars would certainly benefit from an upgrade.

Before ripping out the wires to the distribution panel we decided to upgrade the bus bars first together with a couple of short wires relating to the central heating. Our bus bars are original (30 years old) and pretty basic as you can see from the picture below.


existing bus bar - pressed plate with push on terminals on a piece of perspex

The wiring/cable management wasn't great either and would certainly benefit from a bit of organisation.


existing wiring

We ordered the parts from our preferred European supplier www.svb24.com now that the UK has left the EU in order to avoid the excessive import charges that now apply.

With a few hours effort the new bus bars were installed successfully and all the existing cables were reconnected with fresh ring terminals.


new bus bars and wiring reconnected



a test crimp to confirm we were using the right die and pressure


Now the moment of truth :-

With both our mains battery charger and solar panels switched off for 24hrs and the state of charge of our batteries down to around 80% we tried the heating......

Success!! This is the first time we've started and run the heating without the battery charger running! Without doubt the internal resistance of the old bus bars and connections was so significant it was the cause of the problem.

As an aside many weeks later we have observed that we are getting significantly less interference on a number of our radio devices like our Radio Telex (Weatherman) , Navtex and our SSB receiver all of which were getting power from the same bus bar.

Buona Pasqua - Happy Easter

05 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott


Like Christmas and New Year, the whole of Italy is once again at the highest level of lockdown (red) in an attempt to try and contain the spread of this terrible virus.

Until recently we understood that Sicily was handling the pandemic reasonably well but now we're not so sure. In the last 10 days it transpires that a senior figure has been manipulating the figures here in Sicily such that they looked significantly better than they actually were and as a result we were in a less restrictive lockdown (yellow) which meant Café, bars and restaurants could remain open until 6pm. Call us cynical or what.. but could this be the Mafia at work ;-). Nevertheless now that the real numbers of infections are being reported we are set to remain as either fully locked down (red) or partially locked down (amber) for the month of April.

Just like at Christmas we bubbled up with our good friends Vic & Clare from Njord and celebrated Easter Sunday with some delicious food and plenty to drink. Thank you both, it really was another lovely day. Xx










Vessel Name: Yacht Flirtie
Vessel Make/Model: Trident Voyager 40
Hailing Port: Dartmouth, UK
Crew: Bruce and Caroline Trott
About:
Welcome to Sailing Yacht Flirtie's blog.

Our blog serves as a personal record of our adventures and experiences since leaving the UK in 2012 whilst allowing family and friends to keep up-to-date with our whereabouts. [...]
Extra: email us: bandc.trott@gmail.com
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Yacht Flirtie's Photos - Benodet and the Odet river 2012
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Created 28 May 2012

Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

Where are we now?