02 March 2018

Is it cold in winter?


YES





BUT


While the taps and toilets are all frozen on the land, the water is still running absolutely fine on the boat because the tank and pipework is far from freezing. The toilets can't be flushed on land but the boat toilet is absolutely fine as it runs on raw salt water. So that's 2 - 0 to the boat compared to land living. 

snowy cockpit
Exposed cockpit.
Most sane people who live on their boats
would have got this covered over
with a winter boom tent. 

snowy boat pontoon
Mooring the boat the other way round
would have solved the problem of
cold whistling though the vents and it
would be at least 5 degrees Celsius warmer inside. 





empty prosecco in snow
No problem for keeping drinks chilled though

It's a steady 8 degrees inside, which is 12 more than it is outside and if we take the wind chill factor into account, that is 20 degrees warmer. All things being relative, I'd say it's warm inside. (14/15C  inside the boat would feel the same as 21C in a house given the small space and low ceiling height.)  When it's 8C inside, this is warm socks/boots and a thick jumper conditions. Not unreasonable really. It's fkin cold outside. But  kinda ok inside. When the wind changes direction, it'll be cosy.

but for now... The thermal Buff is the gift of the gods.

The Polar Buff has been a winter/spring/autumn staple for the past 14 years. This Star Wars one is on my wish list.
Also wish they did a disco one for Boogie Nights.  I'd wear it as a boob tube in summer. 



I wrote (Can you smell that) last March... which gives a fuller explanation.



20 January 2018

Fossil power & bad vibrations







15 January 2018

The bread knife of reasonable expectations un-met.



un-met expectations meted out metaphorically. 

A metaphor

The captain is in reflective mood as we march rapidly through the first two weeks of 2018. 

\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ caution: strong language throughout //////////////////////////

14 January 2018

First Time Boaters - 12 essential things you should know

Stepping onto a boat, any boat, for the first time can be daunting.

They're like something between a space-ship and a caravan with a pointy end.
Some bits within them will seem vaguely familiar while other things are positively alien.

A while back we wrote about how to date a sailor, but it was brought to our attention that advice should be given to those non-boaty types, or those giving it a go for the first time, on how to comport ones-self on board a boat or yacht. So for those of you deciding this is the year you're going to have a go, then get started with these 12 essentials.

alien caravanning on water. 


13 January 2018

Electric Friends



The chain of consequence effect. 



Back in the summer during the brief phase of Captain Flashheart having a really shit milestone birthday (it's mid June if anyone feels the uncontrollable urge to spoil her this year) the battery charger decided to shit itself. And by shit itself, what we mean is, put up some error light that meant it no longer charges batteries but sits there doing fuck all in a cupboard. Thanks to Xantrex, you useless-bag-of-four-year-old-shite. 
This means that plugging the shore power in will result in pretty much fuck all happening. 

30 November 2017

risk taking






Rebel Rebel
it's a risky business 

––––––––––
(7.5 minute read)


06 September 2017

A quick thanks to the sponsors...


This not particularly academic soul has been arm twisted into completing a bunch of academibollocks ( a Masters degree) in order to progress in the world of teaching the next generation of feature journalists at a very splendid university on the very worthwhile and noble South Coast of the UK. So while I've been working like anyone else, full time and flat out, I was doing this as well, and now it's done and it's September already. Damn. 


Sooo, figured it was probably a good idea to share it with y'all.



2017 summer has been one of those years where you look at it and wonder where in the flying fek did it go? It kinda went something like this: expect occasional strong language. 

January 2017 (we're 15 months into a 21 month course already, there's a major project and two other written assignments to go)

Deepest darkest phone signal deprived Cornwall...take some pics, meet fishermen, let's get this major project party started. (I'd already spent the previous summer reading and researching for it)

Dripping like a skate out of a fish box

05 September 2017

JOG to Alderney

A quick JOG race to Alderney was planned in June. It just so happened to be the first weekend after a milestone birthday for the Captain.


The boat came out for a scrub and antifoul and then came out again a few days later to skim the rudder bearing (again) there will be another post about that when I can be arsed

There was a terse verbal exchange during a poorly executed mooring by the crew, who we will call 118, who had asked if he could have a go at mooring up, when I suggested it was "obvious you've been sailing a long keel far more than a fin keel recently" he responded by calling the captain a "cunt", then told her to "shut it shrimpy" and promptly fekked off down below leaving captain calamity here to struggle to tie her own badly moored boat up.

Bravo for not putting a breadknife between his shoulder blades I say. Restraint of fairly high order.

01 September 2017

hold my beer a minute...

Now then, anyone with eyes and a vague interest in magazines over the years will have seen somewhere on those magazine racks is a whole smack of yachting and boating magazines. But open their pages and you're in for a limited world view. 


Recently a friend brought round a small bundle of yachtie rags and said "here, fill your boots with these"

my boots are filled - my cup runneth over


I'm pretty sure he didn't intend on releasing my inner feminazi, but here we go, "I said don't get me started", he said "looks like you already are, crack on" the engine is revving and I'm ready to unleash venom. Beware, liberal amounts of potty mouth coming up. 

Oh Yachting World. a world of yachting. Yachting. World. You promise so much with your big colourful covers and sporty looking design. That high gloss finish that repels water, you tempt me. But open the cover and I am not sure if this is a time machine, taking me back to the 70s or 80s when women knew their place. That place wasn't at the helm of a boat. Or anywhere doing anything much. Other than looking pretty.
Given the magazine has a female editor and a female deputy editor, it is surprising to find that neither are anywhere to be seen betwixt the glossy covers.

No.

Instead we are treated to a singular cock-owners world view.
I actually really quite like men. I genuinely do like them. BUT, for FUCKS SAKE Yachting World, women are cool too. I want to be inspired by some of the most rocking, kick arse women there currently are, out there, in the world of fast yachting. They're out there, just open your prejudiced eyes.

give me fucking strength - and a pair of boobs, one for each hand. 

In the spirit of backing up my assertions and chagrin of mono-gendered magazine bullshittery, I did a bit of analysis and points scoring for the two visibly identifiable genders.  Here's how it works:

  • 5 points for a column
  • 1 point for each image of an identifiable person
  • minus points for gender cliche such as a woman in a bikini sunbathing while a man steers or woman holding a child or woman in a galley (these are cancelled out if a man is also sunbathing in his mankini, holding a child or also in the galley.) 


Yachting World May 2017 issue
Women 21 points (they lost 3 points for women gratuitously wearing bikinis)
Men 117 points. (none were found gratuitously wearing a mankini sadly)

this is two ladies gratuitously wearing hats and neck tubes. 

Yachting World July 2017 issue
Women 27 points (they lost 3 points for a woman holding a child, another used as a barely clothed model in circumstances that didn't require it and another was wearing a fucking swimsuit for no reason.)
Men 144 points (6 columns of manly guff compared to just 2 columns of professional lady-ness. Sad)

A man, in the galley. Gasp. He even looks happy. Double gasp.  

Yachting World August 2017 issue
Women 18 points (they lost 3 points for a woman holding a child again, a derogatory caption by a picture of a lady helming and another fucking swimsuit shite ad. )
Men 170 points. fucking-Americas-fucking-Cup. There's a lot of testosterone in this one. Boring.

A woman, working on an engine. Don't chip a nail with your delicate lady fingers there...


Yachting World September 2017 issue
Women 28 points (fucking get in, there's three columns by the women, yes three, I am almost beside myself with interest! Though they lost 3 points again, that Beneteau Oceanis swimsuit ad is back, you cunts, then there's another pic of a woman looking wistfully through a window while a man steers outside and why would you choose a group picture of the women all dressed for hula? I dunno. Surely there was better pics than that?
Men 94 points. No man was seen holding a child, working in a galley or staring wistfully through any window, or gratuitously mostly naked except for a small strip of white fabric covering his cock. Disappointed.

gratuitous pic of half naked man running up a beach. It has no relevance to the blog post really, I just wanted to share it again. Because ya know, he's a nice chap. (thanks Jerry for this enduring image)
This is the closest I can find to a man holding a child from my own archive. 


Out of those 4 magazines, there's a total of 8 female columns featuring expert views compared to 19 columns written by the blerks.

94 women visible compared to 525 men.
(of which 3 women were helming, one hauling a line and the other on a winch.)

Is that the best you can do YW? It's not good enough.
Sort your fucking pages out and get the content balanced up you cunts. You've got a female fucking editor for fucks sake. The myth that women don't sail fast or hard is perpetuated by the fucking media. We're out there, doing it. We aren't the exception, we are the rule.

let me just demonstrate what a woman helming looks like >>>

woman on helm

woman on helm - racing

woman on helm - still racing


woman on helm


woman on helm - woman on main sheet - double the danger
and when women aren't helming, staring wistfully out of windows, holding children or wearing swim wear in unlikely situations... women also do other stuff >>>

woman doing some proper sailing type thing - not staring wistfully through a window
woman climbs mast - fixes some thing up there

woman climbs in cupboard - fixes some thing in there

woman sorts out diesel fuel problem - didn't damage a lady nail in the process

woman goes swimming to clean weed off speed log housing

woman deals with burst holding tank -  no shit Sherlock


woman needs to sail through night on helm, double handed/solo. Survived unscathed. Must be voodoo

woman fills in log book with GPS co-ordinates, didn't get confused and feel the need to ask a man for help.


There's a Facebook group called Women Who Sail. There's over twelve and a half THOUSAND members. Strictly female only. (to avoid the blerks coming in and mansplaining shite and bollocks all over the place)
THAT my dearest Yachting World is more than your monthly readership.


gratuitous picture of a man jumping off a boat in swim wear (Sorry Luke, couldn't resist this pic again)

Occasionally a blerk does come on board and is able to helm, though he may need supervision.
Nobody wants to see this though do they. 







26 March 2017

Can you smell that?



Spring is HERE!
yeah, smell it. 

Every winter the same questions are asked, by different people.
  1. Is it cold in winter? 
  2. What do you do in the evenings? 
  3. Aren't you scared when it gets stormy? 
  4. Don't you wish you were in a house?
I answer the above differently each time just to mess with peoples minds.
But I decided it was about time I gave the definitive answers as a practical guide. It might be useful for anyone flirting with the idea of living afloat.
This is for the wanna-be-live-aboard-in-a-northern-climate type, of for those curious. You know, like we're curious if bears shit in the woods or something like that. Nosey bastards.

So in reverse order let's go through them one last time. 


4: Don't you wish you were in a house?

NO. 

3: Aren't you scared when it gets stormy?

NO. Yes. No. Sometimes. Ok, a couple of times. Wouldn't call it scared, maybe more, high alert. When your house is bouncing around crashing against a pontoon it can get a bit bum twitchy and when you're balanced with the boat out of water in a cradle and you have 100 mile-per-hour winds and you feel it move and the extra supports start to fall out from under the boat, yeah that's a little bit of a moment when you think "the fk am I doing here?".


broach:broach:broach

2: What do you do in the evenings?


Shocking I know, there's no television or broadband. We make our own entertainment. It can get surreal sometimes.

A formulae for fun: wine + a little bit of spare time = unicorn + ?

Yes, that's right. Ice cream. In winter. It's the only time you can buy ice cream and it doesn't melt before you've finished dinner. (yes sometimes dinner takes liquid form and is pink) 

There's also a small sewing business to keep ticking over, a Masters degree to complete, a freelance photography and writing career to keep alive and a couple of new magazines to be launched. It's a fkin hive of activity is Boogie Nights.

The evenings spent sewing, in the dark. 


1: Is it cold in winter?

This is the number one question almost every boater ever gets asked. The answer to whether a boat is cold in winter is complex. 
Let's break this down into sub sections: Sleeping, Climate Control and Light

SLEEPING

Like any mammal, you'll be wanting to sleep at some point but it takes a certain kind of dedication to preparation.

<< The duvet >>
Find the highest tog possible. Ideally take a small animal to test it. If the small animal disappears completely from sight like dropping a chihuahua into a snow drift, when placed on the duvet, then it might be warm enough.


this duvet is warm enough. 

If you can't find a duvet warm/deep enough, you might need to add another blanket. Actually, there's no might, you will need another blanket.
Then you will pair all of that thermal lofting insulation, with a motherfucking electric blanket.
It is only when the electric blanket is added to a bed that unicorns happen.
Don't scrimp on the electric blanket. Get the hottest, fastest heating up-est, most sturdy-est one you can afford.



<< clothes >>
We don't sleep naked. You need to be ready to leap out of bed at a moments notice if a mooring line snaps, if the jib comes unfurled or some other shit goes down, like a rat attacking your rubbish bag in the cockpit. You won't be ready and willing to leap out of the pit-of-unicorns if you aren't ready to face the world in a basic encounter suit. But "I always sleep naked" I hear people whine. Fuck off back to your warm houses then, you naturist bastards. That's what summer is for. If the thermometer reads in single figures, then I'm keeping my socks on and most likely full ninja outfit.
The secret (not very secret really is it) to a boaters wardrobe is versatility. What appears to be summer clothes are actually base layers in winter. We layer that shit up. Layer after layer after layer after layer...
Those jeggings or leggings that form a thermal base layer in winter are outerwear in spring and summer. We're kinky like that.

Black, it's so versatile. You can put it under some sailing gear, go for a sail, then in the evening, put on some pearls and you'll be like Grace Jones. Or if you're tired, you can just go to bed like this, then in the morning, throw on a pair of knee high boots and a scarf and you're one classy Joe at work the whole day. 


<< socks >>
Bed socks, day docks, any difference? Put your bed socks over the day socks.
You might start with small socks, followed by longer socks, followed by wooly knitted bed socks. Yes. They also act as light protection against walking on uneven or lumpy surfaces. (see cables)

sometimes wear them outside when having a BBQ

Going to the shower requires careful time planning.  Unlike when you live in a house and roll out of bed and into a shower, when you live in a marina, you need to get up, get dressed for outdoors, walk a few minutes to a shower block then commence cleaning rituals.
The winter layers make a bit of a stack and take time to peel off and carefully put back on again. Basically we are avoiding exposure of bare flesh on the boat, or keeping it to a minimum. So changes of clothes often happen really really fast, or ashore.

yes, this many clothes. I have slept in THIS many clothes. 

After 10 years of wintering on a boat, I have got the knack of changing underwear down to Formula 1 levels of speed. 
fastest knicker changer on the south coast



LIGHT

Choose a lamp, choose a fucking bright lamp. Choose a daylight lamp of many 1000 lumens and 6500 Kelvin. Be prepared to look at it every evening for five months. The beams of light exiting the boat windows will look like you are calling Batman, but be assured, the only caped crusader is you, wearing a blanket in the depths of January in a small marina. Alone.

<< The daylight lamp >>
Anyone who has ever been on a boat at night will say how atmospheric the lighting is. But then, so too are boarded up abandoned buildings and every cellar ever featured in any horror film in the history of horror films.  You'll be needing a daylight lamp and you'll want to sit as close to it as possible. Every evening. All the time. (winter bonus, the lamp gives off a small amount of heat)

In horror films, the cellar lights never work, yet still they go down there...

Boats are dark places in winter. You'll be needing some kind of "big light".
so far no sign of the caped crusader. 


<< Vitamin D >>
Big lights are not enough on their own. You're going to need some chemicals, some D's n wizz. Eat them like they're strips of post apocalyptic radiation treatment. Pre-prepare your strips, eat them with breakfast. sprinkle them on your waffles or toast.


strips of sunshine pills. 


Just shovel them in. It's hard to have too much of vit D in winter. 

<< Solarium >>

Winter is really hard. Get some winter sun.


Sun. Get some. You'll feel much better for it. 

CLIMATE CONTROL

<< blankets >>
There will be times when you sit at the dining table with a blanket over your head, wearing a head torch. It's normal. That's how we roll.
(bonus: blankets attract dogs. Dogs are warm.)
blanket on head. Not quite a caped crusader.  

<< heating >>
There's one heater on Boogie Nights and this is it. It's not on if there's no human on the boat and even when there is a human onboard,  it's usually single figures celsius before it gets switched on. It's switched off at night. Notice the melee of cables, keep a good eye on those at all times. You will be stepping over them for roughly five months.

3 Kilowatt kick space fan heater. It's loud, it's obnoxious, it's expensive to run. But damn it heats the boat fast. 

This how I imagine the heater when I pay the electricity bill

 << dehumidifier - aka moisture sucker >>
This desiccant type dehumidifier is the difference between clean, dry comfortable smugness and mildewy mouldy-mcmould-faced apoplexy.
If you breath, then you'll be needing one of these.
(Winter bonus, these things kick out gentle warmth too)
Beware, this moisture sucker will empty the dogs water bowl over night. 
This model is the Meaco Junior. 
<< cables (walking on) >>
With the big light, the unicorn-powered-blanket, the money-burning inferno and the moisture sucker, you can be guaranteed that you WILL step on cables, daily.
But if you are following this advice closely, you will already have started knitting yourself a pair of monster socks, that you could tread on an upturned plug with and barely notice.
(bonus: the amount of power being drawn through the extension lead makes it warm, which means at least it's warm to stand on.)

<< The temperature >>
So the truth is, it's fucking cold, sometimes. But not always. When the heater is on, we usually have 14 or 15 degrees celsius, which feels a lot warmer than it sounds. When your ceiling is only 20cm above your head, it means there's not a massive space to heat up, just a few cubic metres. The feeling of cold or warm is linked to the humidity, once you get that down to 80, it suddenly feels like a different world.

that's roughly 4 degrees inside with 92% humidity. This could be the morning temperature, or what you arrive home to after work. 


It's the coldest, hottest, dampest and driest place I've ever lived in. 



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