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

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Costs for 2015

As is customary for the start of a New Year, it's time to look back at the old one.

So, first of all, costs.

 £132  Mooring

£150  Insurance

So that takes care of the Annual running costs. £282 :-)

£40 Fuel (should be cheaper this year!)

£5  MX Mariner (from Play Store)

£40 Heavy Duty Wire (20m worth from eBay)

£16 Solar Panel Regulator (from eBay)

£25 Waterproof Tablet Case (case from Boat Show, connections from eBay)

£10 Large Fuel Tank (from Beaulieu, yet to be installed)

£20 4x Side Stay turnbuckles (From eBay)

£10 Oxalic Acid (eBay again!)

£35 2.2 Hp Mariner Outboard (From eBay)

£6 VERY Large Anchor (subsequently donated to Freecycle as it was too big!)

£6.50 Boat Hook (eBay)

£2.99 Boat Hook Handle (The Range)

£4.00 Pound Shop Bits

£16 Main Sail (eBay)

£18 Spinnaker Sail (eBay)

£19 2.2 Outboard Cylinder Head (eBay)

£555.49 Total Sailing Expenditure for the year.

Down on 2014, but that reflects the lack of use last year. I got some good days in, but the week away I'd been planning all year was a washout. Had I gone away. I'm sure there would be Marina bills on top of this total.

Also maintenance was minimal this year. I already had all the stains, oils and varnish, so I reused that. Next yer the locker tops will need replacing again, so I might have to shell out for more.

Some things I bought last year I didn't follow through on. I bought the big fuel tank, but haven't yet bought all the bits to convert the outboard to external tank use. Maybe that's a plan for this year, but it's not a priority.

The same goes for the Little Outboard. I got an uncracked head, but it needs a new head gasket and service to get it up to scratch.

I might put the old Seagull I've got on eBay to claw some money back. It's never worked, so I might as well let it go. If anyone wants to make me an offer, please message me, but if I can't breathe life into it, it's really only good for parts..

I didn't attend too many Boat Jumbles last year either. Probably a reflection of the weather. I did make Beaulieu, which I recommend to anyone. You can spend hours walking round the boat jumble there.

Instead I majored in eBay bargains. It seems that in 2015 it was easier to pick up a bargain than previous years. I remember in 2014 the struggle I had to get a cheap depth sounder display. It took months to actually win one at a decent price. 2015 just seemed easier. Okay there were a couple of Chinese parts, like the Solar Panel Regulator and the rigging turnbuckles, but most were sourced in the UK. Just not from Chandlers (although the bargain 2.2Hp engine was from a chandlers! But via eBay).

This year the plan is: not to plan! I spent most of my time last year wanting that cruise away for a few days and I was bitterly disappointed with the weather. In fact that week was when the weather broke and has not been settled for long enough to get much sailing in at all.

So this year, I will revert back to the 2014 model of snatching days and half days when the weather permits. That was a far more rewarding year.

I will be on the lookout for bargains as always. On the list is rope for the spinnaker so I can get that working. I've a plan to try and make the spinney easy to single-hand too. But I'm not sure it will work. I mean the idea is so simple someone else must have tried it....

A high point of 2015 was the Round the Island Race. Watching the live streaming on my TV was excellent and I don't know why one of the terrestrial broadcasters don't pick it up. They could provide coverage all the way round the Island and it would be niche enough not to get snapped up like the likes of Sky. ;-) But the pictures of hundreds of boats jockeying for position at the start were awesome. I'd recommend watching the live stream to anyone remotely interested in sailing. Even if you're not, the images are stunning and just might inspire you to have a go. It's especially impressive on a big TV.

The surprise of 2015 was Oxalic acid, which I used to clean the hull. Watching FaceBook videos it looked too good to be true, but it removed the staining from the hull easily. Definitely recommended. It also dissolves limescale from the loo at home too. :-)

Success of 2015 was the re- wiring. The tiller pilot worked so much better, the battery voltage held well (until the sun went away) and it just improved things to the extent I don't have to worry about electrical problems now. Playing with the sensitivity of the tiller pilot made it work so much better too.

So there you have my review of 2015. Glad to see the back of it. Roll on 2016.

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