Wednesday, February 23, 2011


RibsNow we are coming up to warmer weather, thoughts are turning to exploring more in the rib.

Obviously mine is not as posh as these.

Whizzing around the Solent in the wet and freezing cold can hardly be described as fun.

A little sunshine appears however.....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christoph M

Christoph MOn Sunday the Christoph M arrived, performing what must be the most unusual manoeuvre I think I've ever seen.

About 100 yards from her destination, with a huge clattering she let go her anchor, and continued to drag it all the way to her berth.

Needless to say, coming alongside took far longer than is usual for these big vessels.

The only reason I can think they would dump their anchor like that is if the vessel had no reverse gear.

No sign of her using a bow thruster either.

Monday, February 21, 2011



A cold, damp, misty but very calm day on the river.

It's very rare for the Itchen to be so completely calm.

Not even any birds fishing to disturb the river's mirror smooth surface.

Friday, February 18, 2011

24V Lighting

24V LightingI was going to post something different, but have already had a few questions and emails on lights.

Anyway, you can see the first pair of bunk lights there at the top left of the image. The wood coving also neatly covers the metal gussets (Rob). Oh, and these are only initial templates, not the finished article.

The lights I opted for were Dioder lights from Ikea, really only because they caught my eye when I was last there. The lights are a group of LED's arranged in a very neat, thin, housing.

To give you an idea of how thin the housing is, if you look at the far end of the bunk you will see the next strip ready to be mounted at the head of the bunk. The shiny silver bits are the lights.

The Ikea Dioder lights come with a 12V transformer, so connecting a pair of these lights, in series, into an array very neatly gives me 24V lights in the bunk with no need for the transformer.

What I've done is setup two 24V arrays, independently switched, one at the head of the bunk for reading in bed and one at the side of the bunk for lounging about against the hull reading during the day.

Overall, I'd say that the lights are fine for the bunk area, and for reading, but I had hoped that they would be bright enough to also use as the main lights in the accommodation space.

Testing, with a second pair of arrays in the deckhead, has shown the lights are just not quite bright enough. No matter, I saw some bigger LED lights at Ikea, so will look more closely at those (voltages for a start).

If that fails, I will go to Portsmouth, to Furneaux Riddall, to see what their 24V lights look like in the flesh.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wires everywhere

Wires everywhereAndy has been down for another visit.

An inevitable consequence of Andy's presence is wires hanging out all over the place. At least while he is there that is.

The plan I have is to use 24V lighting everywhere I possibly can on board, and low energy lighting at that.

The thinking being there is no point transforming the voltage from 24 to 240 for lights that are likely to be on for some time when I can use 24V for little or no extra effort.

Things look somewhat dire in this picture, but all the wiring was back together by the end of the weekend.

Things finished a little late, so I have loads of tidying up to do when I'm next on board.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


DestinationI thought it would be an idea to get a glimpse of the final product I'm working towards.

Here you see how the bunk can look with a mattress and quilt all in place.

You can also see I've been experimenting with lighting, though that's not by any means a final decision.

I can report that it's extremely comfortable to lie across the bunk, up against the curve of the hull, reading.

Further testing reveals the need for bedside shelving, to store essentials such as cups of tea and phones/music players.

Oh yes, and some kind of storage close to hand, for current clothes and suchlike, would also make life so much easier.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Bunks painted

Bunk paintedThe inevitable coat of white paint.

It already looks so much better after a first coat of paint.

Not much more to say about this, other than "watch this space".

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

NASA Green Building

I see this: NASA Green Building and think this is kind of like having a solar powered oil rig!

I'm thinking just lighting the fuse on one of the rockets they refuel must pretty well cancel out all of their green effort entirely.

For the purists out there, I mean with the amount of energy it takes to make the fuel they ultimately use.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Battery state

Battery stateStrong winds = free power for me.

We have been somewhat battered by winds these past few days, though it's all died down again now.

Plenty of wind translates into plenty of power for me.

I've not had to run a generator at all this last weekend, and for most of the time the battery voltage stayed above the magical 25.8V figure I need for the battery refreshers to work.

It's been years that I've had the battery refreshers, but even now the charge the battery holds seems to be ever so slowly improving.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Bunk primed

Bunk primedI'm back!

This winter has been longer and colder than I'd like. In turn this, along with being desperately busy at work, has impacted how much I've wanted to do when down on the boat on the weekends.

It's easy to find reasons to stay snuggled up in the wheelhouse bunk reading when the temperature outside is below zero and the heating system on the boat has to run virtually full time in a vain attempt to keep the cold out.

Anyway, work on board has not halted completely. Here you see evidence of the bunks being primed, in preparation for painting.

The idea here is the bunks are painted and sealed, helping prevent any spills, or whatever, from getting to anything which may be stored below the bunks.