Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sea Trial

I fit the new chartplotter in the extreme starboard foreward corner of the cockpit. It all goes OK but we find the wood underneath the seats a bit soft. Something to look at next winter. Its spliced into the power lead to the auto-helm using gell-filled crimps. Pretty cool devices. The Garmin came with some of these for signal connections but I'm given a larger power one by a friend at work.

After a little time the receiver puts us exactly on our berth. Both the map and the gps are that good!

We sail up the Stour and back again and every bouy is right where it should be. I'm happy.

The scary thing is even the depths are about right. Too tempting. We must not start to believe it will always be this accurate.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Easter Sunday

After the smack boat outing yesterday the gaffers are wondering what to do today. Pete the knife suggests the Bakers Arms at Holbrook. We sail down and anchor. Inflate the dinghy and row ashore. Alison & I are not working well together on the paddles. We decide to look for a different dinghy.

The pub is great. We sit on the grass in the garden and all is well with the world.

The sail back is interesting. The wind is gusting. It rises steadily and then drops rapidly and then repeats. We notice again that Robinetta points much higher in a breeze than in light airs. As the wind rises I point her up. When it falls we are in irons!

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Robinetta goes high-tech

We've mislaid our GPS. No idea what's happened to it. Its an old Garmin GPS12 I bought for hill walking many years ago but it works well. We've looked everywhere!

We're going to Burham next month for the Crouch Rally so we need something. I look at the market. There are a bewildering set of options
  • replace the GPS12 with the modern equivalent - I'm reluctant to do this coz I'm sure the darned thing will turn up
  • go for a hybrid walking and marine handheld with maps
  • go for a hybrid car and marine dash mount unit with maps
  • go for a proper chartplotter.
I decide all the hybrid units are a mess. The hybrid car units don't do turn-by-turn voice prompts, the hybrid walking units cost too much to add proper charts to, ...

I reckon there is nothing worth buying in the £100 to £300 range, below are good cheap hand-helds, above are some wonderful value mini-chartplotters with full UK and channel coverage. I order a Garmin GPS 450. Probably should have gone for a 450s with built-in echo sounder (add £50 for a transducer).

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Pin Mill

Wind W2-4 Ideal for Pin Mill. We get into the Orwell and its shifted north and we beat up river.

We gybe round at Pin Mill and run back down. We get back to Levington and past Suffolk Yacht haven then the wind shifts more than can be accounted for by the river's curve and we are headed. Some of the boats are managing to beat through it but we're pretty tired and she's proving quite hard to control.

We find that if you tack and haul in tightly on the jib, that it can be hard to stop her going further round the turn. Lose off the jib a little and de-power it and all is well. Once she has forward motion on the new course the jib can be sheeted in.

We give up and motor back round to Shotley.