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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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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Mounting trailer tyres with hand tools

The best way to mount 8″ trailer tyres is to take them to a tyre fitter. This method is how I did it and I’m noting it for future reference. However a lot of swearing is involved.

First look at the wheels and tyres. The ones I did years ago went on fairly easily. These laughed at me – no way were they going on.

Rim is far too big to go into the hole
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Wanderer Dinghy – Mast Step Repair – Part 3

I’ve cut some more bits of wood. There is:

  • A big block cut from a fench post – possibly Larch. This provides somewhere for the screws to go and takes the vertical force into the old plywood hog (which I cut a section out of).
  • A top plate that is split into front and rear halves. Since the tabernacle is glued in, it isn’t possible to get the top plate in in one piece. The top plate transfers the side-to-side force into the new ribs.
  • A couple of fiddly little bits to block up the remaining hole in the front buoyancy tank.
Big block and rear top plate
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Towing cover

I made a towing cover:

Towing cover for Custard

The idea is to reduce the towing drag, make the boat a bit more secure in transport and provide a cover when away from home. It is made from uncoated acrylic canvas. The colour was chosen on the basis that (a) it is cheerful and (b) it was half-price.

The towing drag is important as we are planning to get an electric car and towing can reduce the range by 50%. Custard has always felt particularly draggy on the trailer so hopefully this cover will reduce the drag somewhat.

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