So to the hits. Well surprise surprise I thought the aircon was a luxury we would probably not use until the Caribbean but it has been a Godsend in reducing the temperature in the boat in the evenings before bed. As it uses mains power and this is seldom metered in marinas then hey why not use it. Well we have. The little A65 WiFi plotter mounted under the spray hood has been another success. As we often sit under the spray hood and the helm plotter is behind us and one on the chart table is not visible, we have used the A65 most of the time. Linking in a second AIS has also been great as it is this plotter that we first look to for traffic. On the couple of occasions we have had fog it has delivered. The mast head camera and 32 inc TV have also been a success. Having a view down below of the sea is very helpful and it has also been useful in marinas watching life go by. The sad thing is on an earlier passage in Southern Ireland at the start of the trip a little leak in one of the port windows produced a drop or two of water on the bottom of the TV screen and soon vertical lines started to appear. TheTV had to be replaced. The leaking interscrew is yet to be replaced but we have an Irish poncho to put over the TV in case of further water. The replacement of the batteries with Rolls heavy duty AGMs has also meant we have not had to worry about power. There is 750 amps and we have never been down to less than 400 and we have not scrimped on power usage. The electric furlers on Main and Genoa have also made life easy. So far they have performed flawlessly so fingers crossed they will continue to do so. The new Yanmar has been a dream. We've had to motor a great deal and it is now up to 160 hours, 140 of them on the trip so far. It was also a very good decision to replace the primary fuel filter to a Racon as when we had fuel problems earlier it was this device's location and ability to filter out large particles that saved the day.
So the mistakes/less well performing systems. The main Raymarine E120s seem to loose sync at least two or three times a day. The wind instruments also do likewise requiring a power off to reset them. Annoying but not dangerous. The autopilot has worked well and we upgraded it at the start of last season to a Simrad planetary gear unit. However, the linking arm failed on passage two days ago. The pin in the quadrant sheared. It was interesting to be reading Jimmy Cornell’s book “A passion for the sea” that evening. I had just reached the chapter on self steering. It appears he has had the same problem and has had to replace the link pin at least once a year. If it is a user serviceable item why don’t they supply spare pins? James the marine engineer from Kika has bolted the link arm straight through the quadrant with an M10 bolt. That will not shear but it has led us to think, is the design a sacrificial one? The fix works for now but we need to get it checked out when we get to Lagos in a few days time. The Anchor Buoy was lost overboard in Ireland and the design of the stainless steel carrier for the foredeck needs a locking device. Another one is on order but at £250 it is a sad loss. I will not be so careless in future. Other great items are the ice machine, washing machine, mobile printer and Sat Coms. Enough of the technical as we are in Sines in Portugal and will soon be in Lagos for some R&R before the trip to the Canaries.