18 February 2014

Bilge pump and sails

I went to the West Midlands Boat Jumble on Sunday. Main thing I bought was a 12V bilge pump. Unbranded, but it looks just like a Rule pump. At £12 I felt it must be worth a try. I am going to use it to pump out the stern ballast tank, which never empties with the fitted pump, which drains from the bow tank. I have fitted a cigarette lighter plug so I can just plug it into the switch panel. I tried it to pump out a bucket of water, and was very impressed. Just a few seconds to empty a bucket. I can't really evaluate until I'm on the water, but if it works well. I may empty the tanks more often. It draws 2A, I have a 20Ahr battery, so I should have enough oomph to run it. So long as I have some sun during the week, the solar panel should be able to keep me charged for the weekends.

I have bent on the mainsail to the boom, which involves a lot of threading of reefing lines around the boom and through various fittings. But it is all on, and the all the spars are now secured onto the top of the boat. Just about ready to go, but I need to stock the galley and the cellar.

4 February 2014

English Raid 2014 will be at Falmouth, September 1-5

The dates of the English Raid have been published. Sept 1-5, 2014, based at Mylor, in the Carrick Roads/Falmouth, Cornwall. Full details at:

I have done a GoogleMap for it which can been seen below or here:

I've just registered. I have always wanted to sail in that area

3 February 2014

Outboard back on board

I have changed all the oils and run the outboard happily from both its internal tank and the external. The water tell-tail is spewing nicely, so I don't think I need more of  service than that for this year. A full professional service costs about 25% of the cost of a new engine, which seems way over the top, so I only have it done every few years. Hope I don't live to regret it.

The motor well blanking plate fits in under the engine much more easily now that I have removed the projections. I'm much more likely to use it now. The raised floor boards can only be used fully if the engine is tilted down into the water. If I want it tilted up, I can only raise the forward half of the floorboards, which is what I expected. The outboard really is quite obtrusive into the cockpit.

1 February 2014

A place for everything and everything in its place.

I do get pedantic about having somewhere for everything to go. Comes from having a small boat. I have just installed a winch handle holder from Barton. Delightfully simple. It is basically just a winch socket, screwed to a bulkhead. The handle's spigot just locks into it as in a winch, and pops out in the same way. Much less intrusive than a winch handle pocket. I have spent some time trying to get it in the right location, so that it is easily to hand when needed, but not in the way of lounging against the bulkhead when stowed. I think this should work.

And what is the square black box on the coaming? A place for everything, including my coffee cup. I spill more coffee over the cockpit than any amount of sea water that comes in. This may help to reduce spills.

It isn't all that robust. Just fold out plastic bits and a couple of coil springs on the retainer arms. I have to use two hands, one to spread the arms and one to pop the mug in. That is not great. I might try propping the arms open enough to drop the mug in. There is another one on the port side, I'm not totally asocial.

I have repainted the anti-foul boot top stripe and dare I say it, there is not much else to do before she is ready for the new season. Still need to bend on the mainsail to the boom and check out all the fittings on that, but that will be about it. I have changed the oils on the outboard and run it in a tank several times. I have discovered the main reason I have had trouble starting it in the past is due to having too much throttle. It floods the carburetor. Basically, if you do what it says in the handbook, it starts just fine. There must be a lesson there somewhere...