Monday, 18 June 2012

Autopilot fittings for a friend

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Well eventually I had to fit them, they have been lying in the aft cabin since we left. Initially I was going to fit them over the bimini and I had bought the appropriate metal work to do the job.

After noticing how many dents were in the bimini frame from the boom hitting it, I decided this was not the best idea in the world, so had to fit them off the transom, normally this would be done in an arch , but fitting an arch on this boat would have been a bit of a nightmare.  Improvisation being the mother of invention, I improvised, all the framework and joins I had bought for the bimini were adopted hacked and various other things done to them and eh voila, we now have a sorts of arch??? Dunno what you would call it , but it works, the minus point is I could only fit four panels when I had five, but I can live with it!

New transport at the bottom.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The cost of cruising - cruising budget

This is one subject many ask, and often the answer is as much as you have got.

The first month I've went through about $3000, granted there were 2 tanks of fuel in this
($900) , we motored about 40% of the time as we wanted to get out of the cold and into the heat.

When not sailing we stayed in marinas and did not anchor.

The thing is once we hit land , we did live it up, large bar bills and eating in restaurants all
the time, so you could easily half this figure being more frugal.

It really all depends on how frugal you are going to be, so far I would say that about $1000
a month is the minimum you could get away with and still live a reasonable life, $1500 would
allow more marina visits, eating in restaurants occasionally and a few nights at the bar.

$2000 a month would allow a healthy fun time with excursions and fun days out, $3000 a month
and you can pretty much eat out and visit bars and have days out as much as you'd like (within reason).

The above is subject to you leaving with a boat in pretty good condition that requires no major maintenance
work done.

Update. Month two was closer to $2500, again there were some one off spending, a new folding bicycle at $500 and I stayed in a marina for nearly the whole month (long story) $750. I finally completed the solar and water maker installs & replaced  a shower pump / toilet pump assembly -$250.

Monthly costs should certainly start to lessen. In the Eurozone if you are anchoring out, then you could get away with as little as $6 a day easily, if like me you drink and smoke call it $15 still cheap living.

One piece of advice , leave with a boat in a as good a condition as possible, get all those little nagging things fixed before you leave, I thought I had, but some problems don't become quite as apparent until you are aboard full time.

Eg I have 2 electric bilge pumps, one diaphragm one centrifugal, the centrifugal one always works fine, but even with a one way valve the water eventually leaks back down, leaving a continual puddle in the bilge, next to the keel bolts! Sponging the puddle out by hand the odd occasion when at home wasn't an issue, but every day when under passage a pain, a new diaphragm pump sorted this out, but I could have done this easier and cheaper at home, same with one of the heads shower drain pumps, intermittent issues, never a real issue before living aboard as I never really showered on the boat.

These things you can fix cheaper and quicker when you still have cars, mail order and internet.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Illa Du Culatra

We went to leave Albufiera and they had no fuel, no fuel for several days they said, we had intended to head direct to Gib, but had vapors in the tank. The wind was blowing well, so we sailed to Villamoura 10NM or so down the coast, but all the delays meant we would miss the favorable tide hitting Gibraltar.

We decided to stop over in illa du culatra , this is a bay of sorts, several islands which are met by rivers, just south of Faro , It was a very nice anchorage and the local bars were so cheap and the beers had proper ice on them.

I wish we could have stayed longer, but we had to get to Jamie home for the end of the week.

We are seeing far more cats as we head further south
Whales, they freak me, they keep swimming under the bow