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The Sailboat Cruiser ~ Issue #25
January 24, 2016
The Sailboat Cruiser
The Sailboat Cruiser is the free monthly newsletter of sailboat-cruising.com and sets out to bring you the news, views and general musings of, well, me - Dick McClary, a sailboat cruiser and creator/owner of the website.
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Newsletter #25 - January 2016
What's in This Issue:
But here we are now, just launched and lying at anchor in Prickly Bay, Grenada, West Indies.
And it hasn't all been plain sailing - in fact there hasn't been any sailing at all yet, just an endless erosion of the cruising budget as we repair and replace parts on Alacazam.
First it was the Cutless Bearing and Shaft Seal, something we knew had to be done before starting out on this year's cruise. But then there was a load of other stuff that we hadn't seen coming at all...
The Prickly Bay Anchorage, Grenada, West Indies
Some time back I'd added another AGM battery into the house bank. What I hadn't done was increase the size of the solar panel regulator to suit.
Over the hurricane season, with Alacazam laid-up ashore at Spice Island Marine, the solar panels had been pouring amps into the house bank and their now inadequate charge control unit had allowed the panels to over-charge the batteries.
AGM batteries can take any amount of current, but charge them at more than 14.4 volts and you'll quickly kill them. So new AGM 'Lifeline' batteries and a 30amp solar power regulator it had to be. Read more about
choosing boat batteries...
For years I'd had an Adverc Smart Charger, but this too had become senile and may well also have contributed to the demise of the batteries.
Budget Marine in Spice Island Marine had a state-of-the-art Multivolt Regulator in stock but the regulator in my Yanmar Alternator had to be either removed or bypassed to accept the external Multivolt unit - neither of which were possible.
So back to Budget Marine for a new alternator. The good news? I sold the old one. Read more about
charging marine batteries...
Fortunately a catamaran owner offered me a good price for it, saying that he could install it well away from the sleeping accommodation. I did make a mental note not to anchor anywhere near him though.
So back to Budget Marine - I'm sure Nicolas (the Manager) is always pleased to see me - where I opened negotiations for a new Air X 'Silent' Windcharger.
This one has hand-crafted carbon-fibre blades which greatly reduce the blade-tip vortices and along with them all extraneous noise. Yeah, right.
At the moment, this has been a very disappointing purchase - few amps, switching itself off just when its starting to work a sweat up. And silent? You've got to be joking!
Which is why we're still in Prickly Bay trying to get the thing sorted.
Air X Marine 'Silent' Wind TurbineI had hoped to be able to write a glowing review of this device, but that might have to wait until next month.
Hah, but no trip to Budget Marine this time.
Some weeks ago I bought an LED laptop light off the internet for just a few dollars. It plugs into a USB port. I have a 12v socket plug with a couple of USB ports - suddenly I saw the light.
Voila - a cheap, low current draw and efficient chart table light!
"Come to the Prickly Bay Bingo session" they said, "It's great".
Against my better judgement, and after some spirited cajoling from Mary, we went along. Strong drink can erode a fellow's willpower alarmingly.
Mary won $400 dollars and a flock of sheep. Real, live sheep - a small flock admittedly, there were just two of them (an ewe and her lamb) - and they were paraded on stage for her approval.
An immediate bond was evident. Clearly there was a willing home for the $400 in the cruising budget, but sheep?
Mary found the answer. After an emotional farewell with the two bemused creatures, they were handed over to a new owner - and Mary pocketed another welcome addition to the cruising fund. She made sure that the new owner was going to treat the animals with respect before the deal was done, and we were both happy that they would be returned to the farmer from where they originated.
Bingo's great - you should try it!
Mary and her Bingo Sheep
My set up was a string of Sabiki Bait Lures with a very small jig lure at the end of the string.
It wasn't long before I hooked up - a Lookdown Fish to start with, followed by a number of small Jacks. They were all returned unharmed from whence they came.
The Lookdown Fish
A couple of small jacksWe should catch something edible once we get out to sea and get the trolling lines rigged. If sailboat fishing grabs you as it does me, you might want to download my eBook 'Secrets of Sailboat Fishing...'
A Hand-Held GPS, a Marine Air Conditioner, a Bosun's Chair and Sleeping BagsNow this isn't another venture into our current spending frenzy, these are new additions to the list of used sailing equipment on sailboat-cruising.com. You can take a look at the full list of items here...
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Please take a look, and feel free to make a post - and don't forget to 'Like' us of course...
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See you next month!
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