Am a documentary film-maker and journalist covering environmental issues. Am making a feature length documentary on this subject.
This is a fassmer CLR-C 7.2 A davit launched lifeboat, which are designed for exceptional and quick performance under the most severe conditions. Totally enclosed, they are compact and modular, designed to fit into tight spaces and to operate easily. I bought it STONEHAVEN Aberdeenshire UK, ALAN JOHNSTON 07759 421998
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Please edit the wiki with ideas and links
Boaters need to act to replace CRT
Boater Life - The Canal and River Trust (CRT) is a two faced org that was set up to enclose and moniterise the waterways. One face is soft and the other hard. Asking them for good outcomes is nieave. Forcing them by a carrot and a STICK is effective as they are also useless, weak and ineffective. In the end boaters need government to replace CRT with an org "outside the market" to treat the water ways as a common good, which they are.
I tried to bring this up at a recent Nbta London gathering when the new boaters were talking about the good ideas CRT should do. Sadly it got a blank response from the room. The idea of asking for a replacement for CRT would scare the shit out of um (stick) and help push good needed stuff (carrot). Of course in the end they need reforming/replacing as their agenda is neo-liberal and incomparable with our boater life which is based on "commons"
Problems with boat solar install
Installed a MPTT 12v set-up on my boat about 9 months ago, worked well getting 4-8 amps from 2x 120w panels mounted flat on the boat cabin roof.
A week or two ago it started to fail, one of the panels was putting out 1.4v the other full volts so disconnected one panel and the set-up worked for a few days before the other panel failed. It was putting out full voltage but only showing 0.1 amp on the MPTT controller under full sun.
Checked all the wiring, no change, so replaced all the wiring, this did not fix the issue. With all the new wiring I put in a older non MPTT charge controller and went away for the weekend, came back to find the battery’s at the same state of charge.
The “broken panel” was putting out 1.4v in the shade and 9.5v in full sun, the “working panel” 13-20v depending on the sun, but no power was going though to the battery’s.
I removed both panels and installed a old 100w flexible panel, this worked with the old charger and the MPTT charger. It seams both of the 120w panels had failed.
Talking to the the suppler to resolve the issue.
Circumnavigating Europe by inland water ways in a converted north sea oil rig lifeboat.
3-4 year trip from London to Russia and back through:
Thames - London
Seine - Paris
Rhone - Marseille
Over winter in the south before returning in the spring:
River Rhine – Germany
River Main – Germany
River Danube – Austria, Balkans
Over winter in Bulgaria:
Black sea – sea of Azov
Then the inland waterways through Russia to St Petersburg and into the Baltic sea
down the coast of the Baltic states and into the canal network in Poland/Germany
Cross channel back to London
I set off from Kew Bridge 11th and the first stop on this journey is the river Darent in Dartford, “Milda” will be here till the weekend of the 21st before setting sail for the Medway (weather and tide permitting)
Todo Europa boat trip
* Finish kitchen
- crow bar
- make wood structure (Y)
- find table top
- test fridge
- sink waste connection
- put in window
- hooks for cups and pans, drying rack
- sheet of hardboard for wall
- socket kitchen, wood stove, toilet
- look at underfloor, think about moving
- roof power, light
* wind mill email
- look at ballast and storage
* sought clothes
* look at servicing engine + buy parts.
- deal with fuel leak
* look at new ropes?
* Fire place lower (complex)
* For the trip
- Facebook page for Thames, Medway, Coast, Crossing, North France
- Paul about the convoy
* Life Raft and Flare?
* Ask to buy 2 life jacket
- clear the seats and back
Tell CRT I left their waters
Look at tides and time
Fill up with fuel
Program radio with more resets
Redundant Navigation on black laptop.
- the mud or the party
- talk to coast guard
- look for ports
- talk to coast guard
- bit of research
* French port
- what papers?
- Wallets of ships papers
- licence river
- Vat paid, VAT fuel
Wind Turbine full of water
Charge controller looks fine
A simple guide on how to use boat batteries
The only time you can get a “true’ish” reading is after they have been sitting without charge in or out for a few hours. The rest of the time it's a “ruleofthumb” reading, you need to get used to this.
Don't go lower than 12.2v if you want your battery’s to last any time and 12.4v would be sensible cut off point to extend their life.
If you have limited power generation you need to run your battery's on full rather than empty. Otherwise your paying out big time in a year or less. It's normal that everyone wrecks their first set of batteries. Learn from this for the next set, this is a first step for new boaters.
You're living on a boat not a house, you can't just turn the lights on without thinking about all the above. The sooner you get used to this the sooner you can let it drift to the back of your mind.
Happy boating, my your lights shine bright and your laptop be fully charged.
Ps. Ignore anything beyond this as it’s likely to do more harm than good. Pss. Does not apply to geeks.
Plan from the Medway to Central London
Planing a trip - On Sunday.
Forcast is - Fog clears 9-10am some mist 11 low wind
low tide at Sheerness 9.36am
- we should leave 30-60 min before low tide to clearer the Medway.
High tide at London bridge 15.19
- best to arrive before the tide turns
This gives us 7 hours which should be fine no rush.
We will have to leave between 8-9am earlier better so we ain’t rushing at the other end. So the first hour or two might be in mist or fog (not good) we can navigate fine by GPS and the radar reflector will make us visible to other boats but we are limated to AIS to see them. We can use the GPS to stay at the edge of the shipping lanes.
Talked to the harber master and the local marien police they both think we will be fine if we stick to the edge of the shiping lanes.
We are booked into Bow Lock between 3-4pm
TODO in the morning for the trip
* mount radar reflector on the roof
* Tie down solar panels
* check anchor chain rope is untangled
* shorten flue
* check tie down wood on roof
* wipe windows
* ratchet stove in place
* train crew in roles and equipment
* lifejackit and man overboard
* pump bilges (done)
We started the trip on time in heavy fog, navigating by GPS and AIS was fine. though when we got into open water we had a fog related navigation panic and found our self doing loops before we realised this.
As the day went on the fog did not clear, come 12.00 we started to worry, agreed to drop the anchor just before Canvey island and wait for it to clear. Called VTS to tell um we were anchor, they had been watching us on radar good to know the radar reflector was working.
An hour later still no sign of it clearing we had to make a decision to push on or stay anchored. The further we went in land the more chance the was that the fog would clear so in the end we tried to pulled the anchor up, It was stuck, after tiring a few times we shortened and re-tied the anchor rope so that it was near vertical then gently powered over the anchor to free it, this worked with out fouling the prop.
We gave the job of steering to a boater who hadn’t had a go yet so that he could get used to it before the channel narrowed. he lost control I had to take over after circling 5-6 time and it took me 5 minutes to bring the boat back on courses. Its hard to navigate/steer a courses with no visibility, you soon learn to steer by compass Bering.
Called VTS to tell them the situation they were helpful with radar directions, at one point they called us to tell us we were heading starate for a line of groween - that soon loomed out of the mist as we turned away from them.
We headed out more into the centre of the channel using AIS to tell us when a big ship was coming past, we would scoot as far as we could into the side. the biggest one came up behind, was a 33,000 ton bulk carrier, its fog horn BUMING lowed behind us was disconcerting - when it finally went past we were hit by 5-6 2M waves from it's wake that made the boat jump and everything crash about inside, no harm done.
It was nearing 3.00pm and the turning of the tide, we would have already missed the tide window for Bow Lock that we had booked so called CRT to cancel it. Limehouse lock was closing at 4.30 so it was looking like we could not make that one. If we continued past the tide turning we would be lucky to make 2-3 knots punching the tide so decided to drop anchor agen just past Deapford Creek. On the map the was a anchor point there.
Making sure the were no big boats on the AIS we crossed the channel to find comeing out of the fog a line of yachts anchored up there with 3 empty buoys on the end we missed the first and tied up to the second, that was us for the night.
In the morning the fog still had not cleared so we waited for the tide to turn at 12.00, past 11.00 the fog started to lift, we slipped the line for the buoy and it was easy the rest of the way to Limehouse in light mist.
Cheap/free tools for coastal cruising
DRAFT (needs links)
Many boat navigation tools for coastal cruising are available as smart phone apps and laptop programs.
OpenCPN gives you a large screen navagation map with live GPS location and heading of your boat.
BTGPS sends the smart phone GPS location to the laptop map in OpenCPN
Speedview give a live speed over water view, useful for an idea how well you are doing against tides and wind
Findship gives a live updating map of AIS a internet radar like location and heading and speed of big ships around you.
Anchor lite is an GPS alarm to tell you if your anchor is dragging.
Tide Times gives you a local high and low tide time to plan your coastal trip
BBC weather gives you a 7 day weather forecast with wind speed/rain/fog. If in doubt I use a number of sources to back this up.
Trip up the Medway
From Rochester to Allington lock
Trip down the Thames to the Medway
down the big river