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

——————

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…

Hurley 22 Across the Atlantic

September 19, 2014 at 11:18 am

In 1996, when I was 21 and freshly returned from a years backpacking in Australia, I sailed with my father on his Trapper 500 to Stavanger in Norway from the Netherlands through the Kiel Canal into the Baltic and up through the Danish Islands and Copenhagen. We were away for 4 months.

This was in a different time, before the Internet, Kindles, iPads and MP3s. We had battery operated ‘ghetto blaster’ tape player which was used daily to listen with anticipation to the Shipping Forecast on longwave BBC World Service (for we were in the far off, mystical areas of North Utsire, South Utsire and Fisher). It was also used occasionally to play my fathers 60s hits compilations tape (just the one), and I think we’d picked up a Creedence Clearwater Revival tape somewhere too (maybe Holland?) though I soon gave up trying to inflict him with my 90s trance tapes but kept them on my tape walkman for private enjoyment when I was on watch alone.

As well as some music and the BBC World Service we also had the onboard library consisting of a few crinkly dog eared copies of Practical Boat Owner, a copy of Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (mine) and Gypsy Moth Circles the World by Sir Francis Chichester (Dads) which were all well read.

But despite this limited access to media I really don’t remember being bored. We just chatted and talked and got to know and relate to each other as adults, though we did also spend a fair amount of time amusing each other with seal impressions if I remember rightly…

Anyway, in one of these well-read PBOs I remember there being an article on fitting a Hurley 22 to cross the Atlantic (and presumably it is this that is referenced on any Hurley 22 advert on Apollo Duck or Boatshed). Sadly I no longer have the copy of PBO but I’ve found part of the article here and it still makes very interesting reading though sadly the illustration is missing.  I remember it as a cutaway drawing showing where everything was stored.

It’s interesting to me because as well as some great tips for Duet, I think this article probably seeded my desire for a Hurley 22 (though I can also remember trawling the classifieds at the back of these PBOs dreaming of a Hartley ferro cement ketch but I’ve moved on from that now!).   It’s also interesting how technology has moved on, but the cost of a Hurley 22 is about the same. It’s also very “Jester”.

(If anyone’s seen our Trapper 500 lately I’d love word.  She was called Sula and last known in Hartlepool.  We had her nearly 20 years…)

Plymouth to Fowey

September 10, 2014 at 8:50 pm

Yes, so there may well have been a window on Wednesday, but on Tuesday evening I got drunk, by mistake, with the neighbours… and then the weather came in as predicted so in the end I didn’t get out of Plymouth until the 31st August!  (12 days in total!)

It was a good passage, I made good time, and managed to sail pretty much all of the way, putting the engine on about 3 miles off Fowey which was by then dead upwind, and the light was starting to fade.  However, I felt quite anxious the whole way, to the point of nearly turning back a couple of times.  Something didn’t feel right but I couldn’t put my finger on it.  Maybe I had been in harbour too long?  Maybe I’d been spooked by the incident with the mooring buoy?  Maybe I was worried about the sea state (the wind did rise a bit).

It wasn’t until I got to Fowey and I took the main down I realised that the topping lift had been caught and was tight, to the point of slightly scandalising the main sail (lifting the boom and depowering the mainsail).  I wonder if I could feel that the boat wasn’t powering properly and wasn’t right, and it was that making me anxious?

Despite this it was a good passage.  We had a lovely beat in a steady force 4 and I even managed to lash the helm with bungee and she steered herself.

Fowey’s pretty too. Oh and it’s pronounced ‘Foy’, like ‘toy’, not ‘Fowey’ like ‘Bowie’.  Just so you know.

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