Geek toy of the week

by Jax 2nd Apr 2014 - liked

The geek has wanted one of these since he first saw it at METS (Marine Equipment Trade Show – aka ‘geek heaven’) in Amsterdam last year, but was unable to get hold of one (without going to Sweden) until it became available from a UK reseller.

ScrubbisInvented by a Swedish sailor, the Scrubbis is an ingenious way of being able to clean the hull without having to haul out your boat.

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Fortuitous forecasting…

by Jax 25th Mar 2014 - liked

setsail One of the informative talks we heard this weekend was an introduction into offshore weather interpretation and forecasting by Mike Broughton of Winning Wind. It was very interesting, but left me wondering exactly how we would manage without having an expert weather router backing us up, or the satellite capability to download up to date information from multiple sources (not going to happen – this exceeds even the geek’s flexible budget for life improving technologies).

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Jimmy Cornell’s Long Distance Cruising Seminar – Part 2

by Jax 24th Mar 2014 - liked

As billed, the geek and the girl took part this weekend in Jimmy Cornell’s long distance cruising seminar at the Cruising Association in London.
Long Distance Cruising SeminarLeft to right (facing): Doina Cornell, Kathy Parsons, Gwenda Cornell, Germaine Beiser*, the girl, Jimmy Cornell.

As well as Jimmy’s insights into world weather systems, principal sailing routes and other tips and tales too numerous to mention, there were some really interesting and informative presentations on aspects of blue water sailing such as offshore weather forecasting, offshore routines and medical emergencies at sea, given by some vastly experienced professionals.

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Iridium Go!

by Adrian 23rd Mar 2014 - liked

This is worth keeping an eye on if you’re considering buying a satellite phone system for emergency calls and basic data communications.

Like a wifi hotspot, this new satellite access point promises to let multiple smartphones and tablet devices share a satellite data connection for calls and app-based internet activity such as gps position reporting, SMS messaging, twitter/facebook updates and even compressed (light) email and web pages.

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Don’t try this at home…

by Jax 14th Mar 2014 - fun

I loved the keel walk that Alex Thomson performed two years ago.

This time he has gone the other way and executed the mast walk:
For more fantastic pictures, like the one below, see Alex Thomson Racing

See the video of the original keel walk:

Now that’s a bit more exciting than turn button catches (albeit not as useful – although if the geek could run up the mast like that whenever something needs attention it might save me some effort!).

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Drawer Safety

by Adrian 9th Mar 2014 - equipment

A quick recommendation for reasonably small and unobtrusive turn button catches to guard against drawers and cupboards bursting open whilst being bashed around in heavy seas.


I know modern push button drawer latches aren’t meant to come open, but believe me, they do, and the resulting crash sounds horrible and picking up the contents in rough seas after they’ve been scattered all around the boat isn’t fun.

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by Adrian 8th Mar 2014 - liked

A visualisation of global weather conditions updated every three hours.

This beautiful weather map shows live wind, pressure, humidity, temperature and ocean current systems around the globe. It pulls in GRIB data from the Global Forecast System and creates a real time predicted view of the earth’s weather.

Not only really interesting, but beautifully designed.


The map is fully interactive and zoomable.

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In all weathers…

by Jax 15th Feb 2014 - England

Maybe it’s not the right time of the year (or maybe it’s just not the right year!) for an Open-Air exhibition of photography, but if you happen to be in central London with any time to spare don’t let the elements put you off.

RNLI 1 001

Viewing this display of pictures in inclement weather only serves to highlight just what it is that the RNLI do.

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A slippery problem…

by Adrian 5th Feb 2014 - equipment

Changing oil is one of those jobs you need to do but don’t necessarily want to do. It is always messy, something invariably takes longer than you’d planned and the price of oil makes you wince.

Oil Extraction pumpTo make this job more attractive, I installed an electric oil extraction pump a few months ago. It was a standard 12v auto extraction pump meant for cars.

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Exploring the water tanks

by Adrian 1st Feb 2014 - equipment

We’ve owned Vagaris for nearly two years now, so I though it would be a good idea to open up the water tanks to see what lies within…

I wanted to see if there were any debris or deposits in the tanks and check there wasn’t any damage or anything to be concerned about.

Water Tank Access

We have two water tanks built into the bottom of the hull; the port-side feed and top-up tank with 185l (49 gallon) capacity and the starboard reserve with 365l (96 gallon) capacity.

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