For the past few weeks I have migrating chrisjrob.com from WordPress to Jekyll. I have also been merging in my previous blog at bootpolish.net.
This process has proved to be much more work than I expected, but yesterday evening it all came together and I finally pressed the button to transfer the DNS over to the Jekyll site, hosted by GitHub.
I have tried to maintain the URL structure, along with tags, categories and RSS feeds, but it can’t be perfect and there will be breakage.
I have a number of WordPress followers – please do consider following my Atom at http://chrisjrob.com.
If you notice any problems please do comment below.
After a magical sailing season last year, we have decided to trade up to a bigger boat and that means that we need to sell Welia. This does feel a bit like we’re parting with one of the family!
For more information, please visit http://welia.info.
A soft shackle
I’ve been looking into the best method for attaching sheets to the foresail. Metal shackles are dangerous and can rip holes in sails, bowlines are unreliable knots when not under pressure, and a continuous line looped in the middle through the clew is likely to compress the clew over time.
The ideal solution appears to be to splice soft eyes into the end of each sheet, and attach them to the clew with a “soft shackle”. Being a lover of knots, I thought I’d give it a go and this was my first attempt. The surprising thing was the cost – I used 5mm Marlow Excel Vectram 12, at a cost of £5.91 per metre, which is enough to make a single soft shackle. The reason is the strength 5mm Vectram has a similar strength to 10mm braid on braid, 2400kgs breaking strain.
I followed the instructions in this video, which resulted in a 5 inch loop, too short for the intended purpose. A second attempt with a 7 inch loop looks long enough; although I have not yet tried it on the boat. The next step will be to splice soft eyes into each sheet.
Our built-in De-Dietrich microwave over has been broken for weeks. Initially the door catch had broken, but a replacement catch DIY-fitted had not fixed the problem.
De-Dietrich’s service agent wanted £195 to come out and fix the oven – a ludicrous price for a 13 year old microwave. Other appliance repair centres would either not repair microwave ovens at all, or particularly excluded De-Dietrich.
Fortunately one such appliance repair person recommended that we contact Visual Eyes in Farnham, Surrey. We did so, and the next day a nice man came and fixed our oven for £40.
Great service, thank you Visual Eyes.
N.B. If you received this post in your RSS aggregator and would rather not have done, then please be assured that such posts will be rare. If you’d rather not take the risk, then I do also maintain separate RSS feeds for Technology and Personal and even sub-categories such as Sailing and Linux. Just follow the relevant menu option from my home page and see the RSS feed in the address bar.
Having been quoted £250 to replace the halyards and topping lift on my boat, I decided to do it myself, by purchasing the ropes from eBay for £100 and the fids to do the splicing for £33.
Having the fids would then enable me to do the rest of the running rigging: reefing pennants, kicking strap etc.
The only trouble was that I didn’t know how to splice braid-on-braid, and it turned out to be more tricky than I expected. In the end I found a YouTube video to help me.
Having bought an inflatable Avon Redcrest dinghy on eBay, I found that the pump no longer had a clip holding the two halves together. I knew that the older models used to have a piece of leather attached to one half with holes that clipped over screws on the other half, but on this pump only the screws remained.
Newer pumps instead came with a plastic clip that attached to the pump hose and clamped the two halves together and I felt that it would be quite simple to replicate and so it proved. This was a simple design exercise and worked perfectly first time. I have since re-sold the dinghy and hope that the pump clip is still serving its new owner.
My Westerly sailing boat has a rectangular-shaped shorepower socket and the faceplate was broken in half. Given its very exposed position in the cockpit, this is only to be expected, but purchasing a replacement proved very difficult. Fortunately the broken half had been kept by the previous owner, which enabled me to design an exact replica. And the beauty is that it will certainly be broken again, so I have printed a spare.