After our recent visit to Gran Canaria and in particular Las Palmas, it now looks like we are intending to cross the pond with the ARC (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers), we deliberated for ages trying to decide wether we would or we wouldn’t, but have now decided that it would be quite nice to enjoy the camaraderie and entertainment side of this event.
Every year we look to see how many Beneteau Oceanis 473 participate, more often or not its a couple, many blogs we still follow, Beyzano, Rafiki to name two.
We have also been contacted by Ian & Caroline from Poole who are intending to do the ARC at the same time as us with their 473, they have just started their own blog, take a look www.yachtsilhouette.com
Well nobody expected that! The weather that is, this weekend was forecast to be a typical UK bank holiday weekend, wet, damp and miserable, but as it turned out it was a scorcher on Saturday & Sunday, Monday reverted back to form, “but two out of three aint bad” (wasn’t that a meatloaf song or am i showing my age now?)
Anyhow, because we planned for a crappy weekend we had lined up the jobs i described in a previous blog, namely the new clutches, the traveller and the the new cruising chute furler, all got done because the weather was so great, so we now have 14 new clutches that allow all our sheets, vangs, outhaul, inhaul and numerous halyards to come back to the cockpit, which in short means we don’t have to go out on deck to pull any ropes! they were easy to fit as we stayed with the original Manufacturer (Spinlock) and the original Holes lined up, we had to drill a few more be for the additional clutches, but the whole operation was quite painless.
Even the traveller was reasonably straight forward, although both jobs involved several walks back and forth to the chandler to buy Silicon, blocks (pulleys), shackles, nuts, washers and bolts resulting in quite a hefty bill (10-12 mm 316 stainless steel bolts aint cheap)
The Furler also went well, although it was a bit windy and several times we had the Chute pushing hard against the mast so furled it fairly quickly, also forgot to get any pictures, but i think the video on the previous post shows what it looks like and does.
All these jobs means that next weekend we can sail, the weathers supposed to be really warm, but knowing the UK that can change in an instant!
As you can see over on the top right of our website we now have a countdown timer.
Some may say thats premature, some may say thats a long way off, but at almost two years and counting down, it helps keep us very focused.
Well what a miserable bloody weekend! I suppose we shouldn’t really expect anything else here in the UK in April, constant rain, gale force ten winds!!
We had tried to go to Bembridge on the isle of wight this weekend, in fact we actually set of Friday morning with every intention, we didn’t get far, just as we were about to reach the end of the river our water over temperature alarm went off, I checked the obvious like the raw water filter, then took the impeller cover off ( a lot easier with our SpeedSeal Cover) but both were fine then i noticed the belt was actually off the pulley and the pulley had lost the retaining nut, i rummaged in the bilges and found the nut, replaced it and managed to get the belt back on and get us back to base. Its all fairly seized up so it all had a good spray of anti seize, so i can tension the belt later.
In light of the weather i’m quite glad we didn’t go, it would have been a bit crappy coming back in this rain.
So the rest of the weekend has been fairly predictable, a few trips to the pub, then hunkered down with good food and wine and an old film 😉
Well after my second attempt, i managed to gain my Full Amateur Radio Licence, meaning I am now a fully Qualified HAM.
In short this means as well as using my marine short wave radio I can now legally “open up” (a one time key combination on initial start up) the other frequencies and talk to HAM enthusiasts all over the world.
It wasn’t something i seriously thought about doing when i bought the HF radio, but it was something I’ve always had in the back of my mind, one of the guys at work is a HAM and he egged me on to do it.
So if you are a HAM keep an ear out for MØOSY (Thats “Mike Zero Oscar Sierra Yankee”) 😉
Well as many of you that have been following this blog from the beginning will know, 5 years ago we embarked on a 3 year plan to give up the rat race and sail off into the sunset. By that statement alone you can see we haven’t made it yet, and in reality it will be another 2 years until were completely ready.
As many cruisers before us will testify, things just don’t go they way you planned them, everything always takes longer than you expected, money, work, life in general and a myriad of other little things you never really took into consideration always seem to scupper your progress.
One of the toughest things to program and allow time for, is the jobs you need to do to get your boat ready for this adventure, some of it is timing, some of it is you just have to wait until the weathers right, or that the boat is out of the water. Some of it is what i term “job discovery” this is while doing one job, you discover that something else needs replacing, or that “you might as well do it while you’re there, as you won’t get a chance to do it when you put it back together” sort of jobs and most of the time its just it is just sheer expense. I dread to think, although I’ve got a pretty good idea what we’ve spend on Allegrini since buying her.
Anywho, this weekend we’ve started the process for the last few major pieces that haven’t been changed out, and are part of the original kit fitted when Allegrini was made, back in 2004.
The first piece of the jigsaw, namely the Traveller is a piece of kit that allows the boom to move between port and starboard, while still staying connected to the boat, this is the piece of kit that allows you to move the position of the boom & mainsail to get the most power from it. (If you really want to know I’ve linked all the “sailing terms” on this blog to a site that explains things in greater detail) The original was a Lewmar were going to replace it with a Selden.
The second piece of the jigsaw is the Clutches, these are the bits of kit that stop the Sheets (ropes) from releasing when you don’t want them to.
Were going to replace them and also add a few more, so we can bring some of our spare halyards back to the cockpit.
To enable us to do these works we’ve had to take down most of the headlining (ceiling) in the salon (lounge). this hasn’t seen the light of day since it was built, these are made up of sectional pieces, all numbered, but will probably be a complete bugger to put back.
And finally, not a final piece of any jigsaw, but an upgrade to make life easier when using the cruising chute is the swapping out of our traditional Snuffer .(like a giant condom that squeezes the sail down) for a Selden GX furler which will furl (roll up) the cruising chute, making it easier and quicker to use.
Blimey talk about time flying, this is the first weekend I’ve been down the boat since New years day. Was hesitating whether to leave it till next weekend and come down with Helen, as she’s in Newcastle this weekend. Good job i didn’t.
At some stage in the last few days, (the only time i didn’t check online that everything was ok) the power must have gone off, stupidly we had left a heater on and through the inverter it completely drained the house batteries, doh! When i got down on Friday night, they had about 7 volts left in them. This can be quite disastrous if there old batteries, as older batteries have sulphated more, as the plates break down the sediment sits on the bottom of that battery floor and gets between the plates, letting them drop this low allows the plates to fail and then they over sulphate (in short they’re knackered) but as these were that old and haven’t been used in anger they should be ok.
So how do you charge a completely dead battery? Most charges just don’t have the capability to charge from that dead. Well a little trick i learnt from Kent Bergsma on Youtube, basically you need to get a bit of life into the battery, you need to get it up to about 12.3v (watch Kents video he tells you), but in short you have to connect a good battery onto the dead one with jumper leads and leave for 4-5 hrs until the voltage in the dead battery is high enough to use the charger. So i got the leads from the car and jumped the starter battery onto the house battery, once i got one fully charged i did the same with the other 3. Used up most of my weekend, but saves spending another £1000 on new ones.
anyway apart from that she’s in great shape, were back down again next weekend to put sail on and give her a wash.
We’ve been away from the boat since new year, predominantly caused by me having to attend the last part of my HAM radio class, exam this coming Thursday She’s a good old girl though and being quite a small marina the staff do a really good job of looking after her, that coupled with remote CCTV and Energy Monitoring we know she’s ok. We’ll be back down, or i should say i’ll be back down this weekend to make sure she’s ok.