Great Progress Today

Four Sailors from my favourite forum turned up today

Bill turned up with the ball valves for the cockpit drains – £65.. We were just finishing fitting them and  were about to start looking at the the electrics and decipher which wires were which – coffee to help us think clearly was brewing and then suddenly a bloke called  Dave turned up. Dave used to do the maintenance on a fleet of 100 charter yachts – he now sails a junk rigged virgo voyager.

Dave can read and interpret a wiring loom the way a preacher can read a psalm. First he tested the batteries – he said they will probably be OK. I will soon learn what capacity they have. He then found the bad place where the domestic battery was refusing to talk to the domestic spagetti panel

He had them speaking withing minutes – he worked out what did things and he worked out which wires were doing nothing.

Bill and I watched in amazement – the bloke is a like a ferret – in a good way – he thinks so fast for a no young bloke with a grey beard who looks like a sprightly vicar.

Then Dave supervised the checking of the fuel tank. He pushed a pipe down through the filler cap and pushed it to the lowest point on the tank and used a small hand pump to suck a few litres out of the bottom of the tank. he looked at the fuel and declared it fit. he told me to chuck away what we have in the can and fill the tank with fresh fuel.

he said the engine will be fine

we will not start it until the first week in march – It is not the end of winter yet –


Dave told me that I should probably get rid of the old radio and put one in with DSC

but said that I could put an aerial on the radar arch thereby freeing up the masthead for my beloved penant.


he said that I should replace the standing rigging.


I intend  doing  everything he tells me to.


Two other blokes I know from the sailing forums also called by – one with an invitation to a Tuesday gathering of Chichester Harbour sailors and the other carrying a plastic bag of beer and pork pies. Both most welcome.

The four of us had a very agreeable lunch picnic lunch in the cabin

– Bill and Dave did not drink and are vegetarians – but it was four sailors who had never met sitting down and doing what sailors do best – and that is to yarn a bit  about sailing.


We discussed watch patterns for a crew of three blokes sailing around the clock – three hours was suggested because four hours in the cockpit can be pretty tiring

A very good day indeed.

wiring is starting to look simpler



the operators side of the panel  and with a bunk light above it



Miracle Dave’s first stab at a wiring diagream for the battery arrangement – done in seconds while he talked to us – really impressive


Dubbla is the swedish word for double

I am assuming that the engine will sing out its own name in swedish all day long.


flourescent light over the table




light in the bog with fally down ceiling


forward berth light




wet lockerport light – leaks a little


An origo long lighter – never seen one before


magazine rack


bizarre gift





bog ceiling – yeuch



wet locker lining held up with glue gun glue – not perfect but better


This is about Centaur Project, Dylan Winter's Blog, Sailing around Britain.

23 Responses to “Great Progress Today”

  1. 13 February, 2014 at 10:26 pmDavid says:

    Fantastic – everything going brilliantly and looking forward to seeing Harmony on the water.

    The only thing I have a slight issue with is Dave’s suggestion that:-

    “Dave told me that I should probably get rid of the old radio and put one in with DSC
    but said that I could put an aerial on the radar arch thereby freeing up the masthead for my beloved pennant.”

    I am probably worrying unnecessarily, but, as I’m sure you are aware, VHF equipment transmits pretty much line of sight. Higher the aerial is, further away they will hear you, and as we all know nowadays, the earth is curved. My own (probably unpopular) belief is that you want to acquire a DSC set and use that (as stated in my post a couple of days ago) and mount the f**cking aerial is high as you can (top of mast) so you can call for help if necessary – NOT arch on stern.) Especially with wife and offspring aboard…

    Just to be clear I am not one of those nanny state people who suggest everyone who goes to sea even in flat calm should wear a lifejacket in all circumstances (sorry RNLI.) Just think sensible sailors (as we all are) should be able to shout for help if we really need it.

    Only my opinion.. sorry folks


    • 14 February, 2014 at 9:12 amdylan winter says:


      you make a good point

      but the masthead aerial has one heck of a long run – the wire has been cut at some point and there is no antnna up there – the whole run will need replacing

      On the radar gantry it will be as high as any radio on a fishing boat or mobo

      I think it will be okay

      Up until now I have been sailing without a fixed vhf – just the hand held

      On the run up top scotland I shall see if I feel that I have bad range – I can find out as I cross the entrances to the Thames, Harwich, Humber, Tyne/Tees/Wear


      I get a nice flag on top of the boat


  2. 14 February, 2014 at 1:34 amGiles says:

    Just what the **** is that bizarre gift?? We should have a competition to see who comes up with the best use of such an object. To start the ball rolling; is it a foie gras goose stuffer? Very useful.

    I love the kind of day you’ve just had, in three weeks I expect, like thousands of other boaties, to be doing the same things.

    Drift has similar looking wiring to Harmony and after a couple of years now it’s all beginning to make sense. I did have the urge to rip it all out and start again, but I’m glad I didn’t. It works! Admittedly there still are a few mysterious wires that disappear into looms that are never to be seen again, but I just leave them be. They are doing no harm as far as I can tell. It’s just a sort of electrical evolution where, as new bits of kit are invented, extra wires are plumbed in and, in contrast, where kit becomes redundant, the wires are either put to some other purpose or just left as sort of skeletal electrical remains for the boat archaeologists of the future to ponder over.

    I suppose I’m saying ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’…

    Have fun and all the best,


  3. 14 February, 2014 at 4:39 amJes says:

    I’m pretty sure the bizarre gift is a plastic laryngoscope, used by anaesthetists for inserting a tube into the trachea. Previous owner a doctor, anaesthetist??

  4. 14 February, 2014 at 9:13 amPaul Mullings says:

    When you’ve finished with Dave can you send him down here please?

  5. 14 February, 2014 at 9:45 amDianne Cutterham says:

    Just take down that ceiling in the loo & wet locker & the bit in between. Mine wasn’t there when I bought it and is just painted in white kitchen/bathroom paint. Easy to maintain & you don’t have to worry about it falling down at an inopportune moment.

  6. 14 February, 2014 at 9:52 amDianne Cutterham says:

    Don’t forget to change the water pump impeller before the big start up day. It will be a bit deformed by now.

  7. 14 February, 2014 at 10:18 amIan Clarke says:

    Dylan, if you’re replacing the standing rigging, I assume mast down? In that case easy to replace masthead vhf aerial. When you’re in the wilds of north Scotland i would want the best vhf coverage possible for you + family.

  8. 14 February, 2014 at 10:57 amGiles says:

    Well then, I wasn’t far out with my foie gras stuffer, was I?

  9. 14 February, 2014 at 12:47 pmPhil Sitch says:

    Not like any laryngoscope I have ever seen, looks more like a gynaecological instrument, but I strongly suspect I know what it is, and that is far more boring, look at the plug socket end…… Provides a smooth supply route .

  10. 15 February, 2014 at 10:14 amSalty John says:

    Antenna height versus range. Communicating with a coastguard station or a ship with antennas at 100′ above sea level your theoretical range is 16 nm for an antenna 10′ above sea level and 20 nm if you put it at 40′ above sea level.
    The higher the better is the way to go, all other things being equal, but practicalities and cost can effect your decision so it’s important to know what you are losing or gaining, in this case about 4 nm range.

    • 15 February, 2014 at 10:32 amdylan winter says:

      thanks John,

      I think I am going to mount it on the gantry and spend some money on a PLB.

      4nm is probably not that significant and in the event of a dismasting then I will still have a signal


  11. 15 February, 2014 at 4:56 pmCSugg says:

    Nice “product placement” on the shot of the magazine rack! I think you got your “Small Craft Advisor” before I did and I’m in the States.

    • 15 February, 2014 at 5:10 pmdylan winter says:

      do you fancy emailing them and telling them what a great job I am doing of promoting their excellent magazine

      they are great blokes


      PS product placement is how I managed to afford Harmony – paid for by the hair company – because I am worth it

  12. 19 February, 2014 at 5:20 pmJohn says:

    Dylan, if your fuel looks OK and you are not going to clean the tank I suggest you add Marine 16 Diesel Bug Treatment which kill any bugs, and then add Marine 16 Diesel Fuel Complete which will break down contaminates into fine particles which the engine will burn, effectively cleaning you tanks.

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