Monday, January 31, 2005

Questions, questions

Thanks to everyone who left comments and sent e-mails with such positive feedback, questions and offers of help.

In answer to some of the questions:

Q) How skilled were you before you started this? It seems you know a bit about diesel mechanic'ing and also some basic skills like welding. Did you acquire these before or after you bought LJ?

A) I have always been mechanically minded and was into motorbikes for years. At 16 I had already figured out how to strip and re-assemble my motorbike engine, with no bits left over. After school, I went on to do an HND in mechanical engineering, although I never did any engineering as I discovered computers and programming.

As to the welding skills etc. I'm learning fast as I've never done anything like this! I believe basic cutting and welding is not difficult, cutting and welding well is the difficult bit.

Q) Is this your full time job?

No, I have a full time job with a computer software company. The switch from an office based job to manual work, much of it outdoors, is a welcome change.

I usually get down to Lady Jane on the weekends, which is why my Blog is only updated during the week. I also sneak off down to Lady Jane on the occasional Wednesday.

Q) How much is this costing you?

A)Lady Jane cost me less than what the price of a small house by the sea. I had some cash saved up which I used, oh and I owe a little more on the house.

Right now I'm controlling how much I spend by choosing the type of work I'm doing and how much I do. For example, the welding being done at present costs me, as I do not have the skill to do the type of welding that needs to be done, so I'm getting that done fairly slowly. Cleaning up, rubbing down, cutting and painting etc. is effectively free so I can do as much of that as I want. I have plenty of paint on board.

There is stuff I have to buy, like the alternator and wind turbine, that I'm paying for on my cc. That spending is pretty much under control now though.

Q) Where are you going to take Lady Jane?

A) Kate and I have no definite plans, more the concept of taking her somewhere nice then possibly commuting between home and Lady Jane. We have good friends in Tenerife, which may be our first 'long haul' destination.

I like the idea of going to Alaska and the Antarctic, I can visit friends in the US along the way. Kate seems to favor the warmer climes like the Mediterranean.

In any event, we would both enjoy having friends and family staying on board with us wherever we are.

Q) How much diesel does she use?

A) I'm not really sure as the only 'proper' run I've done was only from Southampton to Fareham, with some time spent in the Solent waiting for the tide so it's impossible for me to tell. I would estimate she used about 40 liters (10 US Gallons) per hour, but that was at comparatively low revs.

Q) What are your long term plans for Lady Jane.

A) When the time is right, I'd like Kate and I to retire and we'd spend our lives sailing wherever it took our fancy. I envision us mooring up someplace nice and staying there until we got sick of the place and wanted to move on.

Now, whenever we go places the biggest cost is accommodation. Living aboard Lady Jane will solve that problem, so our biggest costs would then only be food, drink, fuel and spares (not necessarily in that order).

Q) Are you going to get qualified?

A) Yes, Kate and I have already done RYA Powerboat II and plan to move on through the courses as far as we can go. I have the number of a highly recommended instructor who will, apparently, take us through the various RYA courses on Lady Jane.

Q) How fast does your new rib go?

A) I've not had it in the water yet, but from the Avon web page I'm expecting it to be able to do about 40 knots, in calm water.

Please feel free to ask whatever questions you want, I'll collect them and answer them when I have a good selection.

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