what works

Ultrasonic Antifouling – worth it or not?

by Adrian 1st Mar 2015 - Caribbean
Thumbnail image for Ultrasonic Antifouling – worth it or not?

We’ve had our ultrasonic antifouling installed and working for a year and a half now and the big question I’m asked is “is it any good, does it work?”

It’s a bit hard objectively gauging performance when we’ve been in very different waters and have travelled so much, but I would say it is helping and is making a difference.

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Roaming Solar

by Adrian 24th Jan 2015 - equipment

We’re currently in the Caribbean roaming the seas in a very self sufficient manner. We are making our own water, generating our own electricity, shopping locally and living quite cheaply and well. (We’ll all be reading the Guardian , not washing and wearing dreads soon if we carry on like this!)

(not much chance of that)

Coachroof Solar PanelsOne little modification I made before leaving Las Palmas which is helping considerably was replacing the two 65W factory supplied solar panels built into either side of the coachroof with more efficient 100W mono-crystalline ones.

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SSB installation

by Adrian 23rd Jan 2015 - equipment
SSB Installation

An SSB installation is not easy, and is probably the area of boat technology that is most susceptible to hard-to-diagnose performance issues caused by poor installation. There aren’t that many people out there with real SSB installation knowledge, especially on aluminium yachts, so I’ve read around, talked to lots of people and have tried to become an expert and understand the principles and recommendations of SSB installation, and most of my thoughts and understanding is here.

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Deserted Beaches and Distant Wifi

by Adrian 21st Jan 2015 - Caribbean

I’m feeling a bit smug…

Barbuda ChartWe’ve sailed across to Barbuda, with the promise of beautiful rose white beaches and crystal clear waters and reefs for snorkelling. Our first stop has been Cocoa Bay – one of the long beaches on the south west coast.

As advertised, there are indeed miles of white (the guide book says pink) beaches.

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The importance of knowing what’s normal…

by Adrian 9th Jul 2014 - equipment

Since we departed the UK a week ago we’ve been making a special effort to try out and test everything onboard that we’re going to rely on from now on. This has meant living off grid as much as possible, charging batteries from renewables and the generator, making all our own water and generally relying on the systems I’ve installed and prepared over the last couple of years.

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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.

Catches

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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Cooking without gas: Induction hobs (and the art of gadget accumulation)

by Jax 23rd Oct 2013 - liked

The geek (who doesn’t control the galley, but does keep a keen eye on our energy sources – in this case how much gas is being consumed) had been thinking of investing in an induction hob for a while. And, as he tends to get restless when he hasn’t acquired a new gadget recently, it was only a matter of time…

DSC01063

The idea was that a small portable induction hob could be used to save gas when we have a ready supply of electricity (i.e.

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Quest for the holy grail (of pans)

by Jax 16th Oct 2013 - liked

TefalPans.pngOn our last boat most of the galley and interior was furnished in one big shop at John Lewis in Southampton (handy, good quality – everything we needed in one place from pots and pans to bedding and quite a lot in between). So, when we sold that boat almsot lock stock and barrel, I wasn’t too concerned as I thought it would be easy to nip back to John Lewis and re-stock with all of the useful things that we had before…Wrong!

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Anchor without rancour

by Jax 6th Sep 2013 - equipment

Now that summer’s over – and sitting here in the rain this morning, after the enjoyable mini heatwave we experienced last week it kind of feels that way – it will probably be a while until we can enjoy idyllic nights at anchor again.

We were fortunate enough to be able to spend a handful of peaceful nights anchored in beautiful locations this summer (the upside of there having been too little wind to sail at times).

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Solar Power with a capital P

by Adrian 4th Sep 2013 - equipment

We’ve had a great summer cruise, and (for the UK) have had a decent amount of sunshine.

I’m very pleased that the new solar panels I installed over the winter have performed fantastically.

This is the maximum output I’ve seen so far. Not bad for up here at 50 deg north.

Decent Amps

We regularly average over 10amps during a sunny day, and thats without any angling of the panels towards the sun.

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