Category Archives: Boat Tech

When we use our Spinnaker!

Our spinnaker only comes out when we’re on a long passage of over 6 hours and away from land. It is a real beast and so we want to ensure the wind is going to be steady and constant or else the effort in getting it out is not really worth it. Its size means that we can still sail relatively fat even in very low winds. Here it is in action going up the Irish sea.

Living ‘off-grid’ with solar panels

The title of the this post is a little misleading as clearly life on a boat is “off grid” but the system we have on-board is the same as if you wanted to work off-grid in a house. That is, 12V batteries charged by solar or wind. You can then run 12v appliances or 240V ones via an invertor.

Strangely, most appliances in a house are in fact running from 12 volts or less which is why laptops, lights, cameras and other appliances come with bulky adapters to convert them down from 240v to 12v or less. On our boat the only thing that needs 240v is actually our water-maker (desalination unit).

Changing a boat anode whilst still afloat

An anode is a sacrificial piece of metal that corrodes more quickly than the other metal it is attached to. This little piece of chemistry means that we can use Zinc on our propeller shaft to protect our propeller, the shaft itself and the engine from corrosion since the zinc ‘anode’ wastes away first. They are generally replaced once per year but since they are underwater, can be a pain in arse to both check and replace without the boat being lifted out. That is costly and boring so this is how we do it!