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

Monday, 28 December 2015

Post Xmas Visit

I had about 3 hours on board today. Just checking things over, having a brew and listening to my new radio. An episode of Dad's Army on Radio 4 Xtra. :-)

My moisture trap had filled up so it got emptied and binned. The second one is now in it's place.

Now the wind has swung to the South, the solar panel is finally getting daylight and the battery was up to 12.8 volts. I ran the engine for a couple of hours to charge it up. When I left it was up to 13.2v. As long as the wind comes from the S, SW or SE then the panel will pick up enough daylight to charge the battery.

The days are getting longer now, so that will help. Yep, the days are getting longer guys, so get doing those jobs for the spring! :-D

I heard some bad news from Ben, his boat hit another after slipping its mooring and was holed below the waterline. He's recovered it onto the beach and I saw today it has a plywood panel over the hole. I expect he'll move it down the beach or into the ECA compound for repair. Not such a good Christmas for him.

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Merry Christmas

It looks like there might be a theme to my presents this year, in that they may be biased towards use on the boat. We normally have our Christmas family meal between Christmas and New Year which is when we open the presents, but my son and daughter came round on Christmas day for a small get-together and brought my presents.

My daughter bought me a tool kit for use on the boat:

Also she got me a small DAB and FM radio from Aldi. Its a neat little thing, with a rechargeable battery that charges from a micro-USB cable, so the same cable you use to charge a mobile phone.

Both quite handy items, they will find their way on board this summer.

Other presents that I know about seem to be warmth-related which is a bit strange considering it's been the warmest Autumn on record. So there's a hint of jumpers and fleeces in the air. We're keeping the stores going by buying winter clothing when no-one else is. :-)

It seems the conveyor belt Atlantic storms appears never ending and the tides have been wrong, so getting on board has been pretty impossible. I still live in hope I can get on board in the next few days and fire up the engine or genny to charge the battery. Or bring the battery ashore and charge it at home.

UPDATE: Went into Aldi in Havant today (29th Dec) and they still have a few of these DAB radios left.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Aboard at Last!

I finally got on board yesterday. After 4 weeks of gales my union jack was a bit tatty at the ends, so I took that down.

After pointing into Notherly and Westerly winds for a few weeks, the battery was down to 12v as the solar panel wasn't getting full Sun. That's something to sort out, probably bringing the generator on board and running it for a while, or just running the engine will do.

Hopefully it won't be the electric wiring failing again like it did at the beginning of last year.

Dampness seems to still be a problem, thanks to the lack of airflow through the boat. That's something that needs addressing. There is no hatch or vent at the front of the boat, the only vent is at the rear above the cooker.

Other than that, everything was ok. Phew!

Doesn't stop you worrying though. :-)

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Sailing Boat Porn

As it's drawing close to the winter solstice I thought I might as well post this video I found on YouTube.

Nice to own if you have the money and just look at how many craftsmen are employed in making the gorgeously-shaped thing.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Three Weeks and Counting.

So far its been three weeks since I got on board Sprite 2. This weekend just gone the tides were very early or very late, the weekend before the weather was bad and I was on a course (something myself and the wife are working towards) and the week before I was babysitting.

Fingers crossed that the weather changes for next weekend and I can get on board.

Not much to report really on dry land. I'm currently searching for bits and bobs to improve things next year.

A smaller, flatter main sail would be good, a less tatty jib/genoa would be nice too. The eBay searches are in place ready for the bargains to appear. I actually missed out on a couple of mainsails that would have done last week, but they went while I was at work.

Sails are a priority really as they improve the sailing experience. Given the amount of time I've spent trying to get the main to work properly, its about time I sideways and had a play with another sail to check on the difference.

The jib is different. The strip at the edge is a bit frayed, but I do have some blue sail material to make a UV strip to replace it with. That's a job for the winter season.

I also need to remake the locker tops with marine ply. If I have any plywood left I have an idea to rehouse the vhf radio.

So the winter jobs are starting to firm up. Whether I get the time is something else. :-)