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.

Start weekend update

We arrived just after dark and fortunately were able to get everything on the boat in the dry (big puddles all around though).

Wind is howling, forecast says gusts 37 mph and it definitely sounds like it, boat is shuddering a little.

Despite that nice and snug inside, had a lovely cabbage stir fry and some wine. So time for bed with a hot water bottle.

Hopefully dry tomorrow so we can make some more progress on the bow roller support.

We published another video on our YouTube channel yesterday, the colour/white balance needs some work but managed some new bits of editing. It is “Upgrading a 44 year old Bow Roller for blue water cruising“. We are quite committed to seeing how far we can take the channel. So we love views, likes, comments, subscribes and shares 😍 on YouTube.

We also have a Ko-fi! account if you would like to support us by donating the value of a coffee.

Adding more simplicity :-)

We have been busy with the rest of life this month (September is always a very busy time at work for us both).

However, our thinking has been progressing and we have been finding lots of inspiration from very small boats and from other people’s projects. So for example this video from Sailing Magic Carpet

It ties in with our Foredeck and Forecabin plans update or at least it confirms that we are making some different choices.

Our chain lockers were quite similar. We totally agree on the need for more space for chain and for the weight to be further aft. Initially our plans were quite similar (see Plans for anchoring). However, this is where we have been able to simplify things a lot.

A combination of things have meant that we are completely changing our forecabin, it will be a lot simpler in many ways. We started that thinking in Foredeck and Forecabin plans update but we can now go further.

The two key things that have led us to a simpler solution are Water and Beds.

Water

When we decided to remove the stainless steel water tank and use some of the space for our batteries we have been through a number of ideas for water tanks. Now we have realised we can build them into the hull and this gives us huge advantages:

  • far greater capacity as no wasted space
  • much safer. They strengthen the hull and create extra crash boxes

We also realise that we can use the same technique for the batteries (rather than a drop in box build it into the bull), for the chain locker and for storage/crash boxes.

Beds.

Already we have reduced the number of beds by removing the fold out pilot berth above the starboard settee (it has saved weight and created a much more usable space). We have also replaced the “V” berth in the aft cabin that worked best as a 2 singles with one double Pullman style berth.

When we realised that the “V” berth in the forecabin wasn’t actually long enough for an adult, let alone 2 it simplified things a lot. It also means that we have a chance to create a much better chain locker than Magic Carpet 2.

So.

The key limit on the “V” berth length was avoiding having the chain pipe come down through the middle of the bunk. By moving to one single bunk we can move the chainpipe slightly to starboard so that there is plenty of space for the single bunk to extend past the chainpipe on the port side. Not only does this make the bunk full length and a good width it also means that we can use the chainpipe to drop the chain vertically into the chain locker despite moving it aft. That is a huge advantage over our original plans and what Aladino can do on Magic Carper 2 where the chain slides into the chain locker almost at the bottom – the chain can stack better, be further aft and have a deep crash box forward of it.

I’m now planning 4 watertight areas under the original”V” berth height. Each of them will be considerably higher than the waterline and all of them will be able to have a removable, watertight lid.

At the very forward end there will be a proper crashbox that we will probably fill with foam (there will be another forward of this beyond the foot of the bed that will also be filled with foam). These crashboxes will mean the whole bow from below the waterline to the bow roller will not be able to flood the boat if damaged.

Aft of the crashbox will be the chain locker. When at sea we will disconnect the chain from the anchor and attach a line between a deck bung for the chainpipe and the chain which will drop down to the locker. That will allow a watertight lid to be fitted over the chain locker. The bottom of the anchor locker will drain into a much smaller locker aft of it. This will have a pump to remove any water that comes in to the chain locker with the chain. This small locker will also have a watertight lid so that the two act as another crashbox.

Aft of this will be a full width built in water tank. The top of this will be the “footwell” when sitting on the bunk. It too will act as a crash box so a hole in the hull here will contaminate this water but not flood the boat.

The doorway into the forecabin will no longer be full height. The bottom will be level with the top of the water tank with a step in the heads compartment so that you can get up and into the cabin (no standing headroom but full sitting headroom on the bunk). The heads compartment will be your dressing area. There will be a door for this cabin, separating it from the heads.

Additionally, I want to learn something from the older Amels (like Delos). So we will carry a sheet of wood that can be bolted over the doorway on the forward side of the bulkhead. It will have a rubber seal so that the whole forecabin can be turned into a watertight crashbox. I can imagine that when sailing with only the two of us we might put that in place quite often when at sea (and just use the forehatch for access to the forecabin as a storage area.

Simpler

By embracing the limits on the size of the forecabin which mean a V berth for two adults isn’t practical we end up with a much simpler, stronger and safer boat that will suit our needs much better. We don’t need to be able to sleep 3 couples and 2 singles on board, but we do need to carry enough water and would like extra protection from potential damage caused by debris floating around our oceans.

Thinking about this has also helped us think about simpler supports for the Bow Roller, Anchor Windlass and Inner forestay. So we can hopefully progress them soon.

Once I can get the companionway steps removed, this approach of watertight compartments built into the hull is going to make the battery boxes much simpler and more compact. I think the outcome will be larger water tanks and being able to move the Inverter and Mains Galvanic Isolator into the motor room so that we can keep the wet locker behind the steps.

It takes a long time to simplify things, but the results are well worth it.

Mast top coats of paint finished (for now)

Today was beautiful weather and we were able to get the last coat of paint on both masts (at least for the moment) m

We are not in a rush now to get the masts up. There is nothing to be gained by putting them up in the boatyard for the winter.

We still have a lot to do anyway in terms of chainplates, fittings on the masts, dyneema standing rigging, wiring, lights, wind sensor, aerials, running rigging. None of this will be improved by 6 months of autumn, winter and spring outside in the boatyard.

So most of these jobs can wait until the couple of months before we launch. Until then we can do a lot of preparation (such as mast tangs and splicing) plus ordering everything we will need.