1st year: Boat Handling and Cockpit Gear

These are my comments after the first year on Boat Handling and Cockpit Gear
= good; = good, but… ; = not satisfactory; = not sure yet;

Torqeedo 1003 Outboard I’d hoped to use an electric outboard because it would be quiet, save weight, and be easily transferred to the tender. However the Torqeedo 1003 didn’t have the power and range I needed. It has returned to powering my Seafly dinghy, for which I had bought it.
Tohatsu 6hp outboard The short shaft Tohatsu 6hp with high thrust propeller has plenty of power and range. However another time I’d have got one with an alternator, and without an integral fuel tank. The filler cap breather tended to snag ropes, e.g. the tiller tamer, or main sheet. I’ve now removed the internal tank and covered the opening for the filler cap with a blanking plate.
Raymarine Tiller Pilot The Raymarine ST1000 is marvellous – often I leave it to steer while I either do other things or just relax! I struggles under surfing conditions with a quarter sea, and causes Seatern to slam when beating into steep seas – but that allows me to use my helming skills! Except in marginal conditions, power consumption is less than I feared.
Raymarine S100 Remote Control The S100 radio remote control was a waste of money. It switches itself off and you can’t switch it back on without putting the Tiller Pilot in standby. Whoever designed it didn’t use it!
Davis Tiller Tamer I’m less sure about the Davis Tiller Tamer (see 7th June 2014) than I was at first. It’s sometimes useful, but to hold a course it’s better to use the Tiller Pilot. Still a good backup for the latter. It will be much better in future since the outboard no longer has a filler cap which snagged the tiller tamer rope.
Whale Ballast Pump Fitted by Swallow Boats, the Whale Gulper 220 proved slow, noisy and power hungry and I swapped to a Rule submersible bilge pump lowered through the hatch.
Johnson Ballast Pump Following my comments on the Whale pump, Matt bought a Johnson Ballast Pump for me. It both empties and fills the ballast tanks. It is as noisy as the Whale, but far faster and in total consumes less power. Much better than having to reach through the water in the aft tank to close the forward facing self-bailer.
Lewmar Winch Matt chose the Lewmar self tailing winch to control jib halyard during mast raising/lowering (original Comment). I wouldn’t be without it, since I also use it for tensioning the main halyard, raising the rudder, controlling the tack and halyard during spinnaker drop. Another time I’d probably fit an additional standard winch on the other side of the cockpit.
Kobra mk.1 6kg Anchor Kept in the starboard bow locker, so far the Kobra anchor has held each time I’ve used it. [Comment on Anchors]
Fortress FX7 Anchor Now kept in a crate in the forepeak this is my kedge anchor, I haven’t yet used it. Bought for my main anchor it was too much in the way when kept on the foredeck. [Comment on Anchors]
Cockpit Grating and seats Both the Cockpit grating and the teak seat panels (see 12th April 2014) were made for me by K.J.Howells in Poole. They did a really good job and the teak surface is so much superior to deck paint, especially when it’s frosty!
Excel Inflatable Dinghy I chose the Excel SL200 dinghy because it’s specified weight (14 kg) was the lightest I could find. In fact the total weight is nearly 22 kg and it’s a bulky object which I haven’t used. Lighter tenders are now available. I’m keeping the Excel at present until I decide whether or not it is worth having (see 2nd September 2014 for comments on Tenders).
Intex Seahawk 2 This is a very light weight, relatively cheap, inflatable sold for fishing on inland lakes, and similar purposes. Whether it will serve as a tender for Seatern remains to be seen. Mixing a hawk with a tern doesn’t sound promising! (see 2nd September 2014 for comments on Tenders)