Paying The Price

12 Responses

  1. Roger Noakes says:

    Stay the course Neil. You’re living life truthfully, and you’re an inspiration.

  2. Andy says:

    I’m not sure how practical this would be, but here’s what I’m thinking. If you could rig up a small fan, say a 12V PC cooling fan in a box, and to rig it up to force the water to condensate under your terms. That is a condensation box, which could then have a drain pipe into a bucket. Not only would the air movement help stop mould, but you could keep taking the moisture out of the air as much as possible. Since you already know the hull is a cold enough to force condensation, that could be your condensation plate.

    Alternatively, you could spend some more quid.

    The main cabin isn’t that big, so maybe a small one might work.

    all the best mate !


  3. Jacques says:

    Courage, Neil. Mold was a big problem too when Pilgrim was in New Jersey. Since in the med not anymore. Stil working on my mastcase. Got heavy allergy to epoxy and trying to recover. Weather is ugly too in the south with SE winds which is very unusual.

  4. Ifor says:

    Hi Neil
    Your honest warts and all account are a refreshing change from people saying that everything is wonderful. You’re a top guy for taking the time and trouble to inform and inspire the rest of us taking a similar path. My own build is coming on a pace now, hopefully out of the barn Feb 2015.

  5. Andy says:

    I read this this morning, and felt that maybe some of it applied to how you are right now Neil,

    have fun, you might not realise it, but you’re living MY dream !


  6. I once spent a long cold winter (the sea water in the deep harbor froze) on a small boat and learned some valuable lessons on keeping warm.

    The least expensive method for sleeping warm at night at the dock is to use an electric blanket. When it is really cold, use two – one on the mattress, covered by a mattress pad and sheet, kept on low, then the second one between a sheet/blanket and the comforter/outer blanket.

    As for the condensation, you might want to try to build/buy a vented solid fuel stove. All types of heat produce water vapor, but a vented solid fuel stove will vent the condensation out with the smoke, leaving behind a dry heat.

    Consider researching an insulated rocket stove. These can be made quite small and are both very inexpensive (free if you are a good scrounger) and use very little fuel. It does not have to be elaborate, pretty, or permanent; it just needs to get you through the winter. It would help if the heater was made in a way that it could heat up a fireplace brick or clay pot for radiant heat.

    You can also put a few fireplace bricks or cooking stones inside your oven – heat oven to 350-400F, then turn off and open the door. The heated bricks/stones will radiate dry heat into the galley area.

    Good luck with the cold.

  7. Simon says:

    I read this in a traffic jam on the way to work – a desk job with sharks and liars. I know its cold but believe me, you are in a better place.

    Consider nested flower pots with tea lights and sub £20 Argos extra large sleeping bag. Vital extras for winter sailing.

    As you say, shortest day is only a few weeks away.

  8. Ed Thomas says:

    I’ve a ‘little cod’ wood burning boat stove you could borrow if you weren’t so far away.

  9. Alan says:

    Hi Neil,
    I know how you feel after spending many cold damp nights on my own cat.
    One option might be Brittany. A quick dash across the channel and once there most marinas offer free electric, certainly all the ones I’ve stayed at have.
    I’m currently in New England and looking to head south in two weeks, by then I’ll have polar bears for company on deck!
    Merry Xmas
    Stay warm, spring is just around the corner

  10. JonK says:

    Budgetboater beat me to it but I would have thought that the nested flowerpot tealight holder might be an answer – not much watervapour produced I would have thought…

  11. JonK says:

    Hmm – having read the comments on that article, maybe I’m on the fence about the tealight heater. Plus maybe having a motlen wax heater on a swaying wooden boat wasn’t my best idea?

  12. Locost says:

    Lesson learned?

    Sail south in winter, north again in summer. Trust me, This time next year you’ll be south of the equator and enjoying a life of perpetual summer.

    Get some drying heat for the boat. A couple of Taylors 079’s or two Sig100’s, one for each hull. Run them on easily burned paraffin rather then diesel and they’ll dry out the boat.

    It’s December, it’s England and it’s cold, wet and goes dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. You’re on a floating plywood tent for God’s sake. This happens!

    Plan your first cruise in spring. That is what you both need. A reward rather than a burden!

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