Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Sunday, 2 February 2014


Sailors talk about it all the the time (the weather that is) and this weekend there has been plenty of it.

Yesterday we had blue sky but some atrocious showers including sleet and hail, but the worst thing was the relentless wind. Sprite 2 the little minx had thrown the mooring chain off the bow roller again, but this time on the side where the roller reefing fixes to the assembly. I spent 10 minutes rowing out to her against the wind (something that normally takes 3 minutes at most). Once I got to her no sooner had I pulled alongside and pulled the oars in, than the wind had pushed the dinghy away from the boat. I tried a couple of times but thought against making a desperate grab for the boat and capsizing.

So I retreated and hoped things would work out and that I wouldn't find a knackered reefing system or worst still be dismasted.

Today was clear, with blue sky, no showers and a manageable wind. I got out to Sprite 2 easily enough and made a start on the thing that was probably first on my to-do list, the charging system. Some of you may remember this thing from one of my earlier blogs last year:

I was curious to see what was inside, and seeing as the fuseholder on the side needs changing, I brought it home and opened it up.

I thought it may have some electronics in it to regulate the charge to the battery from the engine, you know, something a bit sophisticated and technical.

Here's what's inside:

Not a lot really. Just a bridge rectifier a fuse and a meter. The rectifier uses the ally plate as a heat sink.

I don't know how much it cost originally, but if it was boat-related then I bet it wasn't cheap. I'm not sure if I'll keep it in its current for or change it to make it more compact. There's an awful lot of space in there and it could really be combined with a solar charger and volt meter readout in the same size.

The rectifier needs cleaning up as there's rust at the back of it anyway and the fuse holder needs changing, so at a bare minimum that's what I'll do.

I also brought the engine home today for a service, so that's a job I'll do in the next few weeks. At least I have a few jobs I can do while I'm waiting for the weather to improve.

And to prove I do have people looking at my blog, I have a follower! A lady emailed me earlier in the week asking for advice. She's looking to buy a boat and is interested in one down at Eastney, so she might be a waterside neighbour soon! See we're a friendly lot down at Eastney!

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