Sunday, July 7, 2024

2024 Spring / summer (what summer?) cruise stats and issues.

DRAFT

A very poor trip that also left me much poorer, due to the weather, failure of equipment less than 7 years old and early abandonment due to a family emergency, again.

  • 93 days to abandonment at Milford Haven.
  • 429 hours at sea.
  • 1,975 nautical (2,273 statute) miles over the ground for a running total on Sancerre of 15,735 NM (18,111 statute).
  • 49 days sailing / motoring (ignoring moving a short distance to/from a berth / anchorage).
  • 51 place visits (duplicate visits counted each time).
  • 17 anchorages / marinas visited for the first time.
  • 34 days weather bound.
  • 50 nights at anchor, 39 in a marina or paid for buoy (excluding time at Milford Marina where I left the boat there to go home).

High Lights

Weather:

I spent 34 days (37% of the total) weather bound and through force of circumstances the majority were in expensive marinas such as Portland, rather than at anchor. The ratio was only made semi respectable because from Stromness to Milford I only had three nights in Ardglass marina (2 weather bound) and one at Tobermory, all the other nights being on the hook or at sea.

I also used more than twice as much diesel as expected due to motoring through lack of wind on the way north and 29 hours under engine in the rush to get to Milford and home.

With all the delays and no sign of improvement I gave up on Shetland before making a quick return from Orkney down the west coast, that was a good decision, if I had gone down the east coast I would have been stuck in marinas for quite a few more days and used more for overnight stays as the anchorages would have been unusable due to the wind direction.

Equipment:

Both the anchor windlass and the plotter failed in the first few days, both were installed new in 2017, the windlass turned out not to be repairable (1 year out of warranty) so that was £600 plus £100 for the new motor that I could not fit due to corrosion of the gearbox casing, hopefully I will get some of that back selling the motor and new parts not required on eBay. 

The plotter failed whilst I was in Portland and was over £1k to replace, but I did get a 9" rather than 7" (the hole was too big for the new 7" to fit into) that now fits on the back of the cabin, the previous version was bigger and would not. I may be able to repair the old one with parts from the US but it is unlikely to be worth the effort as the obsolete 7" would probably not fetch much more than the cost of the repair, if I can fool it to start up without the card reader and can find the bail to mount it, it may be possible to use it as an instrument display but I'm not sure where it would go, perhaps replacing the monochrome GNX 20 display? 

The REALLY annoying thing was that a week after purchase Garmin launched a big discount sale and I could have saved over £300.

The new Garmin 923, without a powered jig saw several hours work
was needed to enlarge the hole and mount it. The SD cards are now on
the back  of the unit, the screen now going almost to the edges, and
are not easily accessible so I may fit the the optional remote reader.
On the plus side, the new one is much easier to read and the App that maintains the software and charts recognised my charts as being 2 years out of date and gave me a free update to the 2024 version, I suspect that is because when you purchase charts on a card with the plotter (rather than downloaded separately) you get one free upgrade to the current version and the software probably thought the charts came with the plotter. Now that I have a compatible plotter I could upgrade to the charts incorporating Navionics features but I doubt that I will as the version does everything I need, the upgrades are not cheap and although I will not use much of the area my current chart covers the Western Mediterranean, the Atlantic seaboard from Belgium to Africa at 26 degrees N, the Canaries, Azores, etc. The new UK chart covers just UK & Ireland and several others might be required.

The 722 as an instrument display, there are lots of options
with everything on the NMEA network displayable one way
or another. Screen shot in Portland, just before it failed,
during the second named storm to delay me, it peaked
with gusts at 56 knots.
I also had several other problems, mainly resolved before I left Hamble for the second time, fortunately from then on I had no gear failures.

  • On the last delivery trip to the boat, I tried to wind the rather nice 15 day vintage marine clock I had restored, signed by Mercer a premium chronometer maker but actually Coventry made by Williamson, and the mainspring broke or became detached from the arbor or barrel. Fortunately I had a centre seconds 8 day clock by Kelvin Hughes on my study wall so I lugged that down with me on the train so as to have the space on the bulk head filled and because I use the clock a lot as it is easily visible from the cockpit and from the bunk.
The replacement clock, nice but I had to replace the dial when
I restored it, the original was printed and someone had wrecked
it trying to clean it. The barometer on the right is by Broadhurst
Clarkson is from the inter war years, also restored.
  • When I switched on the instruments to leave Hamble, the wind instruments were not working, they had been a week before. I was not totally surprised as the seriously expensive plug and socket at the mast had given trouble a year before not liking the thin cable and very thin wires. After the first failure I had hard wired it but the water had got through. It could not be hardwired again as the short piece of cable from a connecter block under the head lining to the old socket was too short, but I had come prepared with a different make of plug and socket and a length of the correct cable to replace the gash bit that had been left on the boat when the previous owner had installed a radio linked sensor (another long story, but I had replaced that in 2021 as it was useless). I was late away from the mooring and left on a falling tide but with an empty mooring down stream it was not the issue it normally would be.
  • Fixing the wind instruments disturbed other wiring and I had to go back and replace a broken jumper that provided the earth for many of the cabin lights.
  • One non-slip "Treadmaster" pad disappeared from the deck in a storm the day before I left, yet to be replaced.
  • The electric toilet pump packed in shortly before I left, replaced with a much better and far cheaper locking manual pump, now the bowl doesn't slowly fill to half full then slop all over the place in rough weather unless cling film is put over it. It also uses less water so does not fill the new holding tank as quickly.

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