Antipole cruises

Back on the water for 2015!

We are back for the 2015 season.  Over winter Antipole was layed up ashore at Wareham while we attended to other things.  But matters marine were not forgotten.

This winter the lifting rudder mechanism was due for service.  It turned out that the delrin bearings were worn and the aluminium pivot, which runs on a stainless steel bolt, corroded.  We had a stainless steel pivot made up and obtained a new set of bearings.  While the lifting rudder blade was removed, Tony gave it a thorough re-painting and, as an experiment, has treated it with Coppercoat antifouling.  This is an experiment, as many say such a copper treatment must not be used on aluminium, while others swear it is fine.  Tony thinks it should be OK and at least any problem will be confined to just the blade.  We shall see.

Tony has been dissatisfied with the regulation of the wind and solar charging.  Due to the nature of wind generators, it is necessary to use rather crude regulation to dump excess wind energy into a large resistor bank we refer to as ‘the toaster’.  Because energy has to be dumped to prevent the battery voltage going too high, it took a long time to charge the batteries that last bit from 90% to 100%.  Over winter, Tony researched the issue and has fitted a separate solar regulator.  This uses Maximum Power Point Technology (MPPT) to run the solar panels at their optimum voltage, which has given us an extra 30% power out of the same panels, and also applies multi-stage charging to optimise the final stages of the charging cycle.  The improvement has been dramatic and since this system was installed in mid-March we have been running all 12V needs while ashore on solar power alone, with the wind generator stilled.

Solar charging has been much helped by the fine weather during April, which has been excellent for fitting out.  The boat yard has been full of happy owners fettling and painting without getting rained on.  We even sat out late in the cockpit having supper.

2015 launchAntipole was launched last Wednesday and by nightfall we were anchored off Brownsea Island for our first night afloat.  On Thursday we called at Salterns Marina for an engine safety inspection instigated by Volvo – nothing needed doing in our case.  We called at Poole Town Quay over lunch and then had a good first sail back up to Wareham.  This trial outing seems quite essential – it is suprising how much we lose the knack of slick operating after just a few months laid up.  Antipole is now moored on the river again and we have returned to Portsmouth.

This season we will not be doing extended cruising.  The 2015 Cruise Plans section of this site lists our plans, such as they are. Our first trip will be to Normandy next week.  Family and friends are welcome to check out the possibility of joining us.  This year we can arrange further trips to suite your availability and inclinations!

More news in due course…

Ynskje & Tony


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