18 March 2011

All ready for sailing?

Say it very quietly, I think Daisy G is ready for the summer. All painting and varnishing done. Even the antifoul boot top, which I think looks quite good. Just hope all the paint stays on. Spars all rigged for "instant raising" and stowed on the boat with the sail cover on. I ran the engine for an hour over the weekend. The water telltale only dribbled, but I reamed it out with a bit of wire and then it was full bore. I even checked the trailer tyre pressures and then towed the whole rig out of the shed just to check it would fit under the lintel. It does, just. And most importantly, two cases of beer stored in the starboard locker (I have to have it to balance the water tank in the port side, honest.)
Now she will just have to sit there until Easter when I hope to launch her after our holiday in India.

6 March 2011

Most winter jobs just about complete

I've had a full weekend to get on with outstanding jobs. Primarily painting. I painted the cabin, decks and cockpit matted ivory. Some paint lifted on the  cabin roof for some reason. Possibly because it was too cold, but nothing serious. Today I taped and painted the hull Donegal green. It looks pretty good for a rollered finish. All that is left is to paint the white boot top with white antifoul, which I will try to do during the week. The timber trim needs restaining, but that is easy at anytime. I usually touch it up during the season, even when afloat, so no panic to get that done.

I have bent on all the sails apart from the jib, which is rolled on its wire and I will raise it when I launch. Fitting all the reefing lines is a challenge off the  boat. I'm sure I have got them twisted somewhere. I have put both masts on the boat and tied them down. I have attached the shrouds and reeved all the control lines in place, so either the whole thing will go up in a minute, or I'll have the most almighty cat's cradle. (Despite my best endeavours it has always been the latter.)  I still need to refit the sail cover, but I wanted to check that all fits as it should. Everything does seem to just fit into place as planned. The boom stowed under the mast gallows just clears the spray hood and there is just room for the stowed mainsail between the boom and the mast.
I have rigged up the top section of a fishing rod as a flag staff to raise up on the mizzen mast. It should get my ensign above the sail and by running the halyards down through the rod's rings, I should be able to keep it vertical. I need a new ensign to test it. My old one blew away when the sail undid itself on the mooring.

I spent ages trying different ways of folding the spray hood. Seems a daft thing to do, but I have managed to stow it about two inches lower, which makes a great difference to the vision forward. Both anchors are back in their lockers. The main item to refit is the engine. Stupidly, I can't remember if I changed the oil in the autumn, so I'll have to change it again, just the be certain. Always a messy job.

I have poured some water system cleaning agent into the fresh water tank, which I should pump out tomorrow. I'll refill it at the marina. No point in towing 50kg of water down the motorway.

I need to get all jobs finished because there are only two weekends left before we go to India, and I want to be able to launch as soon as we get home.

4 March 2011

Let there be light

I have installed both LED units and I am very impressed. They are very simple and basic, but that means switched off they are practically invisible. At £5 a unit, the LEDs cost about £1 each.

I only tested one at night, and it lit up the cabin well enough to read easily in the dark. Two units should provide more than enough light for my use. I tend to use an oil lamp at anchor, but it will be nice to be able to just "turn on the lights".

I have no plans at the moment for anything more than my current battery powered emergency navigation lights, but if I decide I need something more powerful, I will certainly look at LEDs. The usual ones from chandlers are horribly expensive, but that must come down. You can buy the basic LED for very little, so there will be no justification for high prices continuing. Sea Rolf offer navigation bulbs at about £12 each. They are about £50 from chandlers.

3 March 2011

Electrical consumption

I have bought two LED lighting units from Sea Rolf LED (http://www.searolf.com/) at a total of £10.60 incl p&p The claimed current draw is only 40mA per unit. I will try to wire them in over the next coupe of days. I wired in the connection for them last night, to my third switch and it eventually worked (I pulled out the GPS connection at first, which has very fine wires.)
I have done some rough calculations of power consumption to see how long my battery (7Ahr capacity) might last with the solar panel recharging it. It looks very positive, but I have had to guess at the GPS power consumption. I can't find figures anywhere. Does anyone know the power consumption of a Garmin 72 GPS?

Power consumption calculations

Per day power usage on weekend sail (nominally sailing for a maximum of 5 hrs per day)

Lighting: 2hrs/night at   80mA = 0.080A  so 0.16Ahr per night
Depth:    5hrs/day   at  22mA = 0.022A  so 0.11Ahr per day
GPS:      5hrs/day   at 100mA = 0.100A so 0.50Ahr per day  (this is a guesstimate)
Totals         for a weekend cruise       0.77Ahr per day i.e. approx 0.75Ahr/day

Battery capacity (nominal)                         7.0Ahr
Usable capacity say 50%                          3.5Ahr

Therefor fully charged battery should run electrics for 4+ days with no further input.


Solar Panel output                              1.0W at 12V gives 0.08A (nominal)
Say 50% efficiency                            0.5W at 12V gives 0.04A

Power generated for say 8 hours per day                         0.32Ahr
Power per week (7 days)                                                2.20Ahr


Therefor one week's solar charging gives power needs for approx 3 days sailing.
Solar panel halves discharge rate i.e. battery power available for about 9 days.
after two days sailing, only 0.75Ahr discharged and recharge time approx 2 days.


If I sail at most three days per week (if only, I have a day job), the solar panel and battery should cover all needs for the season.
If I go for a week's cruise to the English RAID, I should have plenty of capacity, but it will take over a week to recharge the system.  That shouldn't be a problem, I think I will want at least a week off after that.

Interesting to see how it will work out in practice.