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

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Yet Another Short Visit

Very neap tides today, not even 4.0m on the tide gauge so literally only 1.5 hours on the boat to do stuff. So little time in fact I didn't have time to take pictures of what I've been up to. Plus it was an 8am start today thanks to the tide times.

However the next time I'm on board I should have time for some snaps.

The first thing I did today (after making a coffee) was fit chunkier wiring onto the solar panel. Even though the original wiring was ok for 11 amps, there was still a bit of a volt drop between the terminals on the panel and the connector on the boat. So I fitted 20amp wiring. No volt drop whatsoever now! The solar panel regulator still doesn't see any amps coming from the panel but at least it does see charge coming from it now.

The off-load reading of the panel at the connector was 20.1v and the on-load voltage is now 13.02, so its a bit higher than the 12-ish volts I saw before. I'm not sure if I'll beef up the wiring from the solar panel to the battery. That may be the next step to reduce the voltage loss to the battery terminals even further. 13 volts still seems a bit low. I'm not sure whether to invest in another 10W solar panel to increase the voltage so I can run equipment without draining the battery and also charge a flat battery up quickly.

The other thing I did was to lift the jib halyards from deck level of the boat, up about 6 inches. This reflects the lift I made of the jib last year. If anyone remembers, the jib was fouling the pulpit rail, so I lifted it about 6 inches with an extended shackle or two. Of course that affected the shape of the jib and it was nigh on impossible to slacken the leech to put some twist into the sail. All you could do was tighten the leech but the sail would still have a flapping foot. Lifting the halyard from the jib track to a pulley 6 inches above the jib track seems to have put some shape back into the jib, with a tighter foot and some slack in the leech.

Now adjusting the car on the track should give me the ability to make some adjustments in the sail shape.

So at 10:30 I was off the boat, with a quick visit to the chuck wagon next to the lifeboat station for a bacon roll before heading home. :-)

It was interesting that the water was clear today, I assume thanks to the slow tide not stirring the mud up. Not once did I lose sight of the bottom which is unusual. Mind you at the tides highest point, I only saw 0.6m under the keel, so it wasn't that deep at all.

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