Thursday, April 11, 2019

I have to tell you I’ve lost something significant, but I don’t want it back.  More of that later.  Meanwhile last weekend we took Herbie out on a cruise.  ‘Hang on’, I hear you say,’aren’t you supposed to be grounded pending treatment for your angina?’  Well yes I am but we threw caution to the wind and cruised all the way to this spot:

Cropredy lock.  It took us all of five minutes to get there from our berth at the marina and it was worth it because we’d arranged to rendezvous with the Moomins (aka Simon and Ann on Nb Melaleuca), so we spent a couple of jolly evenings eating and drinking and talking about batteries and toilets, like you do.  Melaleuca now has lithium batteries and a fiendishly clever battery control system devised and installed by Simon.  I wouldn’t know where to start – Simon’s brain works on a higher plane than mine.  Nevertheless now that the days are longer, Herbie’s solar panels are earning their keep and our conventional batteries held up well, losing only 15% over 48 hours of fridge, lights etc. If there is anyone out there who doesn’t have solar yet –get on with it. It’s a no brainer.  Interestingly, I did a quick survey of boats in our marina and I reckon that less than a quarter of them have solar panels.  I think that’s because lots of them never go anywhere. They just sit there plugged into the mains and quietly get eaten away by galvanic corrosion. 

I’ve now got a date (8 May) for my medical ‘procedure’ which I hope will include fitting a stent or two.  According to Oakie I’ll feel like a new man.  Kath say’s she’s felt like a new man for ages.

The thing I have lost as of today (see para one)  is a stone in weight since all this heart thing started a few weeks back! Hooray.  You may congratulate me. No faddy diets, just portion control and cutting out fats, sugars and alcohol (I allow myself a drinky once a week – well twice last weekend ‘cos we were dining with the Moomins).  Now I need to lose another stone- stay tuned.


Marilyn, nb Waka Huia said...

Good on you, Neil.

I too am surprised at the number of boats without solar panels - we have had four and, late last season, we added another biggie. I am hopeful its power production will lead to many more slothful days sitting reading beside the cut without the sound of the engine to interrupt my peace and quiet!

Cheers and here's hoping Kath gets her new man soon.

Marilyn (nb Waka Huia)

Steve said...

Solar was the best investment we made on the boat. Around £1000 wasn’t cheap and payback is long but we factored in that I it means we don’t have to put up with the noise of running the engine for a few hours a day, That’s worth a lot of money to me.
Been moored up on the cut for 11 days and the batteries are back to full by lunchtime every day. 200 yards away another boat is running the engine for hours on end and annoying anyone within 3 boat lengths.
Even back at the marina I don’t bother with connecting to the mains for 9 months of the year.
Unfortunately solar doesn’t have a good a name as it should as many people have inadequate systems. I’m sure you have had the conversation where a boater says “ I spent £100 on an 80 watt panel and I still need to run the engine”. You then find it’s a domestic panel, no MPPT controller, the roof box puts part of it in the shade and they run a 240v TV off the inverter. Meanwhile every boater they talk to then decides not to waste their money.
Steve NB Tumbleweed

Herbie Neil said...

Spot on Steve

Catherine VK4GH said...

Also the wiring and distance between the panels and batteries. Like Steve said, much more efficient use of battery power to run 12 volt appliances. Not sure what is available in the UK for 12 volt refrigeration. They all claim to be the best, but very few live up to the claims, but a good one is worth it.