Two free upgrades to improve our blog and videos

I’ve just upgraded to the latest version of Ubuntu namely 21.10 Impish Indri. As always a simple, automatic and fast process that gives me new versions of nearly all the software I use, all for free.

I think I’ve been using Ubuntu for around 15 years, in that time I’ve had new versions every 6 months, and it has continued to get better and better. Not yet sure what all the updates are in this version (clearly new versions of LibreOffice and FireFox are among them).

One of the more recent changes in Linux, that Ubuntu supports, is new ways of packaging software so that they run on lots of versions of Linux without needing to be prepared and packaged by each Linux distribution (such as Ubuntu).

So, I’d switched from using the Ubuntu packaged version of Kdenlive (our video editor) to one installed with SNAP. Now I’ve switched to a version installed by FLATPAK as that is more directly supported by the project. So now I have a version of Kdenlive that was released 9 days ago.

The new version of Kdenlive now has working (for me) subtitles with speech to text. I’ve just run it on our first Low Footprint video and it is very accurate. Not going to need much work to give us full subtitles (captions on YouTube). That is a very nice improvement.

Trying to seal from little friends

Before leaving this evening I used some cheap sealant to try to block the ends of the aluminium tubes that support the wheelhouse roof. The flies seem to use them a lot.

I’ve also resealed where the electric cable currently goes into the cabin (when we switched to the new consumer unit the foam tile was left with a bit of a gap).

We have caught a hundred or so flies with the fly paper (mostly outside). Inside the “electric zapper” fly swat has been effective, must have killed 40 flies with it). Overall when there are large numbers of flies the little Makita vacuum has been the most effective, catching hundreds.

Hoping for fewer “friends” when we are at the boat for half-term!

A friendly welcome?

This is what we found in our wheelhouse when we arrived just after dark today.

There were also quite a lot in the cabin but these were mostly dead and so easy to vaccum up.

Fortunately we came prepared. Flypapers, electric swatter, and vacuum cleaner. So we have cleared away nearly all of them (I think I can see only about 3 or 4 flying around the cabin at the moment).

We assume they are hatching in the wheelhouse support tubes, ideal breeding grounds?. It does tend to move updating the wheelhouse up our priority list, although really we want to wait for nice Spring weather for a job like that. Maybe we can just put some sealant in the ends to see if that reduces the problem?

Our first Boat Refit Tips video

Just uploaded:

We would love it if you watch the video and like it 🙂 Comments on the video really help too, we will reply to them!

As we work to build our Sustainable Sailing YouTube Channel it would really help us if you subscribe (and hit the notify bell). As you look on the channel we are going to be standardising on Orange thumbnails for Tips, Red for refit Progress and some other colour for more reflective/theoretical videos.

We have lots more Boat Refit Tips videos planned (and we think we will keep them under 10 minutes long so that they focus reasonably tightly one issue). Do you think that is a good way for us to go? Any suggestions of what you think we be helpful?

Some future directions

As you may have seen, we are making a much bigger go at producing YouTube Videos for Sustainable Sailing. I’ve had to learn quite a lot more about making video during the pandemic and we watch a lot of sailing related video content. We hope to manage a couple of short videos a week for the moment with a mixture of action footage of the various tasks and also some with more background reflections.

So head over to the Sustainable Sailing YouTube channel, subscribe, hit the notification button and then play & like everything 🙂

We have also been setting up a Sustainable Sailing page on Ko-fi. At the moment it allows one off donations of any amount or memberships with monthly payments (again any amount, no tiers). We much prefer the business model of Ko-fi over Patreon (especially that they don’t take a huge cut of the donations).

Gradually, we want to add more to our Ko-fi page. There will be physical items to buy, some that we will be making from recycled plastic, others craft items that Jane is planning to make. We are also be looking at adding some “virtual” items such as e-books/guides. Eventually, we plan to develop the membership side with specific content and probably some direct support of great projects that we see around.

In the meantime your support can help us with the equipment we need for the videos. Better lighting is a key priority and then we would love a GoPro.

Next Bow Roller video is here

Just published this:

One of the challenges we face by trying to sustainably pace ourselves is that a job like fitting the new bow roller takes quite a few visits to the boat. However, we think the process of filling from the new backing plate to deck level using scraps of FR4 with thickened epoxy is a little novel.

This is an area that just need to be strong in compression (sandwiched between the backing plate and the bow roller). FR4 is ideal here as we will never need to worry about water ingress through the bolt hole causing rot. It is a lot quicker (and better in compression) than building up with layers of fibreglass. We don’t need to worry about cosmetics as this part is going to be completely buried. Nor do we need to worry about a smooth finish on top as it will be covered by a larger FR4 board that will be bedded with more thickened epoxy. This board will also include raised bases for the forward pulpit feet to keep them drier.

Later we will create the curve at the aft end with a small wood batten and then the whole lot will be encased in fibreglass cloth to fully tie it to the bulwarks and give us a surface to fair up before painting.