Well we’re already nearly halfway through what for me is undoubtably the worst month of the year. Winter seems to drag on, it’s cold, it’s wet and we’ve had day after day of strong winds. The only way to fight it is to keep moving and to that end I’ve taken every chance to start working on the long list of improvements I want to make to ‘Gleda’.
Here are a few of the jobs I’ve tackled in recent days.
First off a cheap exercise mat from Lidl proved to be a perfect insulator for the underside of the main hatches. It’s completely stopped the dripping condensation here.
Whilst talking about the companionways I also made some decent washboard retainers to replace the temporary bungy and brass eyes I’d put in place. These timber ones work and look much better.
Next up was a window in the pod roof. It was annoying to have to keep craning your neck outside the pod to see what was happening with the mainsail. A bargain caravan door window bought on Ebay, four stainless bolts and a bit of silicone, and visibility is much improved.
Most recently I’ve also moved the VHF and newly acquired dedicated GPS unit into the pod. I’ve flush mounted them close to the wheel for visibility and ease of use. The VHF mic is clipped into the engine control recess out of the way. I’d already put the depth sounder in there and it works well.
The next project on the list is a biggy. I’ve decided to build wind vane self steering. After a lot of research I’ve decided on a servo pendulum vane called the ‘Hebridean’. It’s a relatively new design by a guy called John Fleming up in Scotland. It’s a bit of an experiment as ‘Gleda’ will be the first catamaran to use the vane but after talking with John we’re pretty sure it will work. One of the big attractions of The ‘Hebridean’ is the fact that it’s available in kit form at a cost of £350. The only other material needed is some hardwood for the rudder and frame plus some polyester resin and a bit of ripstop nylon. I’ll be blogging in detail about the build, the fitting and of course the results but you can check the vane out on Johns website HERE
Anyway as I sit here listening to the hail on the cabin roof and the wind whistling through the rigging I’ll say bye for now, I’m off to bed to dream of ‘Gleda’ self-steering through crystal blue waters whilst I sunbathe on deck with a nice rum and coke in my hand!