New Parrels for Custard

As mentioned before I need to sort the effort involved in raising the sail. This was forced on me by injuring my hand while on holiday.

The sail on Owl is easy to pull up; that on Custard is too hard. They should be about the same as, while Custard’s sail is almost twice as heavy as Owl’s, Custard has a pulley system that should negate the extra weight.

The first thing to tackle are the batten parrels. These were ultra-short – normally junk rig parrels are quite long allowing everything to move around. The main reason for them being ultra-short was that I didn’t build them into the sail early enough but left them as something to sort out at the end. By that time I didn’t have much option but they seemed to work ok.

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Andersen Self Bailer Repair

As I mentioned before Custard leaks a bit – not enough to be a real problem – I just need to make sure she is bailed out every day if she’s afloat. However, this isn’t ideal.

First step was sorting out the self-bailers. These are Andersen/Elvstrom Super Medium bailers made in stainless steel. My original idea was to remove them and blank the holes; however I thought it might be easier to repair the original bailers.

Repair kits are readily available although not cheap. I got mine from Force4. They include the two gaskets I needed plus rivets and thicker gaskets.

At first glance it looks like it is necessary to drill the old rivets out to get the old gasket out. However, this isn’t the case – the old gasket can be pulled out of the recess by prising with screwdrivers and pliers.

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Problems pulling the sail up

Over the summer I injured my hand pulling the sail up. I’ve got an old trigger-finger injury and the high load on the halyard meant that this re-occurred: one finger couldn’t be straightened for a week or so. This is irriating rather than a big issue but I don’t want it to get worse. Thus I clearly need to sort the halyard load out.

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Tesla Model 3 Towing Dinghy – Actual Energy Consumption

Having now been on holiday I’ve got some real figures for energy consumption:

Energy consumption over the last 30 miles of the journey home

The average seemed to be around 290 – 310 Wh/mile. This was for a fully loaded car, two adults, two children, towing a Wanderer dinghy with lots of stuff inside it and a towing cover. Speed was around 55mph(90km/h) on motorways and A-roads.

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Giant Halfway Folding Bike Review

I’ve been doing my cycling on a old steel frame road bike – putting it in the boot of the car, driving the kids to school, cycling home, then cycling back in the afternoon and driving the kids home. This saved money on the car and meant I got exercise built into the day. It was also lots of fun.

However, now we’ve got a Tesla Model 3 and the road bike doesn’t fit into the boot any more. We’ve got some big hills round here so I needed a folding bike that would cope – both up the hills and down. I bought the first decent local folder that appeared on eBay, and it turned out to be a Giant Halfway.

Giant Halfway

I then found out that the Halfway was designed by Mike Burrows, a hero of mine. So I’ve got an actual Mike Burrows bike which is very cool 🙂

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Tesla Model 3 Towing Dinghy

I wanted to get an idea of energy usage involved in towing Custard – a 14′ Wanderer sailing dinghy – so I could work out our range when towing the dinghy.

Update: I’ve now got the actual figures.

A Better Route Planner provides an easy way to work out how to get somewhere with charging stops along the way. You can also tweak your car’s energy usage. Their base figure is nominal usage at 65mph.

Custard’s trailer has higher drag that I would expect – in my Mazda 6 it looks like petrol consumption goes up by 25%. This doesn’t appear great for something that is fairly aerodynamic (boat shaped) and not particularly heavy (I guess around 340kg). When I used to tow a Jaguar 21 – 1100kg plus trailer – it seemed to double petrol consumption so for something much smaller 25% seems high.

Anyway, first guess was that the energy consumption in the Tesla would go up by 25 – 33%. The nominal energy consumption per mile is around 255Wh/mile at 65mph according to A Better Route Planner. This seems close to what we get on a normal local journey. So this would mean consumption of around 320 – 340 Wh/mile.

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Wanderer Dinghy – Mast Step Repair – Part 4

The hole through the foot of the mast was too tight for the stainless steel rod, so I ground the end of the rod as a quick and dirty reamer to make the hole the right size.

DIY reamer to get the holes the right size

This worked well. However, on assembling the system in the boat a problem became apparent: when in the boat the rod wouldn’t go through as it wasn’t aligned perfectly. Boats are never straight and the mast wasn’t at right angles to my new mast step.

I solved this with three approaches:

  1. Adjust the alignment of the metalwork with washers under one side;
  2. Barrel the centre of the rod so the mast could move from side to side without jamming;
  3. Put a big handle on the rod to help in applying force to get the rod in or out.
Pin shaped to allow the mast to flex from side to side, and a big handle to help getting the pin in and out
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