5 Things that Worked Well (and 5 that Didn’t…)

October 5, 2014 at 10:30 am

So, after a summer of cruising, here are 5 things that worked very well…

#1 Cheapie Battery Monitor off eBay

Hopefully you’ve seen my previous post on what this is, but I was rather pleased how well this worked! I used my multimeter a couple of times to compare results, and the multimeter always showed a couple of points above the plug in, which I’m OK with as I would rather it under reported than over reported… When the solar panel is charging it can over-read, but they do say that you should leave a battery half an hour to settle after charging before taking a reading.

Cost: £4

12v Voltage Meter hurley 22 duet

#2 Barton Winchers

Once I’d got these on, they were great.  They worked really well with 3 turns of my sheets round them (without even trying to get the sheet into the groove on the top).  The only time they slipped was when I clearly needed to reef.

Cost: £60 odd… But worth it I think!

Barton Winchers Hurley 22

 

#3 Oilie Stowage

After a few weeks of cruising I realised that what with the vaguaries of the British Summer I needed to have my oilies to hand from the cockpit. If I left them on the quarter berth they would without fail end up on the floor and out of reach from the tiller.  So I put this together from a piece of decking teak bought at Beaulieu that I just varnished, and then added some brass hooks from the Pound Shop.  I stuck it on with some 2 part epoxy glue and it was pretty life changing to be honest.  Funny the little things…. Pretty proud of the mitre too. It fits nicely and looks good.

Cost: £1 for wood, £2 for hooks, £6 for glue

Coat Rack Hurley 22

#4 Cider Jug

I’m not going go into detail but hopefully you can guess its use?  Much safer than dangling over the stern, use a cider jug in the cockpit and then tie a sheet to the handle and just lob the lot over the side (downwind). Perhaps more useful to the singlehander, as with crew where a modicum more privacy might be appreciated?  Don’t forget to bring it back aboard after 5 minutes or so… It will slow you down 0.3 of a knot (I know this for a fact).

I also found that initiating its use was generally likely to invite a search and rescue helicopter flypast. Maybe it was a question on my CG66? I must amend that…

Cost: Free

Cider Jug Hurley 22

#5 Galley Storage

I wasn’t sure if these would be secure enough.  They were.  Even though the compass on a few occasions became unfastened from its stowage and ended up on the floor, the cutlery and salt and pepper never did! Thank you IKEA.

Cost: 60p for cutlery holder, £3 for salt and pepper holders

Galley Stowage Hurley 22

#5 Galley Storage

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And now 5 things that were a bit disappointing…

#1 The Tender

I bought a secondhand inflatable from Bussell’s before I left Weymouth, as every cruising yacht needs a dinghy, right? Well, er no I don’t think so.  I towed it about for a couple of weeks and then stowed it behind the mast before I left Portland to go round The Bill. 400 miles and 14 harbours later it hadn’t moved.  At 2.3m it is over 1/3 of the length of Duet and it is a small tender! In all the harbours I have been to I either had a walk ashore mooring, was on a buoy and there was a water taxi service, or I was at anchor and probably wouldn’t have felt comfortable going ashore and leaving Duet on her own anyway.  Admittedly the water taxi’s weren’t *that* cheap (from £3 to £5 per person return) which can quickly add up if you are crewed, or want lots of trips ashore.  But if you have crew, then presumably you would also have assistance to get the thing blown up and launched. Not sure it works for a singlehander.

Okay, so it could also be deployed as a liferaft in the event of a sinking, but I’m not even sure I could have done it on my own, and I don’t think the cockpit is big enough!  Blowing it up from the water doesn’t even bear thinking about. Besides, I have not so far been that offshore.  And I have a PLB on my lifejacket…  The dinghy’s going on eBay.

Cost: £150

Dinghy Stowage Hurley 22

#2 Bungee Self Steering

So I got this working twice, when the wind was forward of the beam.  All the other times, either the sea state or the wind was too high and I had to hand helm. I need better power and a tiller pilot, or a wind vane.

Cost: £5

#3 My phone.

I got my smartphone wet rounding The Bill and fried it. I bought a cheapie replacement phone in Bridport, but I then had no easy internet access for the weather etc.  Annoying as I actually have an Aquapac Stormproof cover, but wasn’t using it. Lesson learnt.

Cost: £hundreds…

#4 The Rigging Tuning

I messed about all summer with the rigging tension, and it’s still not right. There’s too much pre-bend now, and I think I need to slacken it all off and start again! The mast’s coming down for the winter anyway… There will be more on this I’m sure.

Cost: FREE

Hurley 22

#5 The Compass

Duet came with a big bracket mounted compass that is fixed just below the companionway in the cockpit on a removable bracket.  It looks retro and cool. However, it makes getting in and out of the companionway in anything other than a flat calm more tricky.  It’s also showing nearly 20 degrees deviation, and is invisible in the dark (no backlight or glow in the dark markings).  Sadly it has to be replaced (but I actually have a plastimo bulkhead compass on my day boat so I might just swap them.)

Cost: FREE (came with boat)

Would love to hear what you found this summer…