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Mike Fox

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Mike Fox last won the day on July 19

Mike Fox had the most liked content!

About Mike Fox

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    Snaddler Twitcher

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    Feisty Fox

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  1. Mike Fox

    Another beast of the bay?

    I remember reading about this in September, and wondered if it will keep going, and be excluded from insurance cover. We've extended our cruising insurance as far as La Corunna for the last couple of years, hoping to get that far south, but I suspect we won't next year. We got to within 140 miles or so from Spain in 2018, but were stopped by gales. Rob, a 5 tonne killing machine, 2m underwater, is unlikely to be bothered much by a boat hook. I suspect that if you really managed to annoy them, they might not be quite so gentle....
  2. Mike Fox

    Boat wanted

    The point I was trying to make is that for a newly-bought £6-7K angling boat, marina fees which would typically be over £3K, will be difficult for some to afford, given the likely financial difficulties over this winter period. If this is widespread, lots of boats will hit the market at the same sort of time, and hence prices will fall. So yes, probably all marinas...
  3. Mike Fox

    Boat wanted

    I think the bargains will be had when new owners get their marina fees for next year...
  4. Mike Fox

    First time channel crossing from Jersey to Poole

    I've done over 40 channel crossings, and there's a number of things that might prove to be a "stopper"... Jersey might still be in Covid-19 lockdown, and mandatory 14-day quarantine when you get there; Are you convinced the boat is offshore capable by design (RCD Category B, for example); Will your insurance cover you for the trip? Will you have undertaken sufficient sea trials to have assured yourself all equipment works reliably? Do you have sufficient spares, experience and safety gear for the entire trip, given that in the middle you'll be 30 miles from land; Who do you really expect to rescue you if things go wrong, and you're out of VHF and mobile phone range? Remember that the French will charge you to be rescued, if you're in their "half" of the Channel, and you get rescued via your PLB alert. Tides: You really want to hit the Alderney Race on slack, or the very start of the flood tide. Ideally on a neaps. It can be evil else; Weather: You need a calm spell. Many club boats have been across, a F4 in the wrong direction can take you off planing speeds, and trip duration and fuel consumption will suffer. Fuel: You need to guarantee having enough fuel for main and reserve engines for the entire trip, and it's best to assume the wind will turn against you, and displacement speeds as contingency; Daylength: Jersey is littered with crab pots and submerged marker buoys dragged under by the tides. The edge of the Normandy coast is similar. If you do pick one up, what's your plan for clearing the prop? Departure window: if you're in a marina in Jersey, the marina probably has a sill, meaning you can only leave half tide or above, which might impact your timing of arrival at the Alderney Race. Visibility: You will probably have the speed to go round the stern of shipping in the Shipping Lanes, but if visibility is poor and you don't have radar or AIS, then you're effectively blind. You might have to delay departure until visibility improves, meaning you'll probably need accommodation on the island (see above for Covid-19 concerns). Autohelm: Unless you have an autohelm, a 100 mile plus trip like that will be a challenge to concentration. There's other points that you will think of as well. I'd look to have it popped onto a transporter and ferried back to the UK, if any of the above items are of concern. Mike
  5. Mike Fox

    Walk round, cuddy or pilothouse

    All good points above, but don't forget the petrol or diesel implications!
  6. Mike Fox

    Wind Turbines 12v battery charging

    Good luck with that, and let us know what you think after a year
  7. Mike Fox

    Wind Turbines 12v battery charging

    Hi Raymond, I looked into this a few years ago. I take it you have no mains/shore power to use a conventional charger, nor a method of charging it up when under way. I would look to link it to your engine alternator if at all possible, so it's getting charge whenever the engine is running. The marines turbines/generators are expensive, and only deliver a few amps. The good news is they can keep delivering it 24 hours per day, so need carefully regulating. The vibration and noise can be significant, and wherever they're placed they will need careful bracing on a pole with supporting wires. This makes it difficult to remove if it's in the way. While it will be more than enough to keep a leisure battery on a boat charged, you might have other options open to you. Have a look on Google (or similar) for "marine wind generators" for costs, performance etc. If you then look for "marine solar panels" that might give you another option, which could save you a thousand pounds or so...I have a small £40 solar panel that I use to keep my car battery charged when away a couple of years ago, and it fits inside the back window. The car started first time after 16 weeks, despite the security system being active all of that time. A third option would be a portable power pack you can charge at home, or even remove and charge the leisure battery itself at home. Others may have a different solution, but good luck, whatever you decide. Mike
  8. Mike Fox

    Upgrading from Warrior 165

    You have a few items on your wish list that seem contradictory, and might need prioritising. For example, if fuel economy is a priority, then diesel springs to mind, but if you have diesel, you might not have the speed and acceleration you want for water skiing, but will be fine for towing donuts, and gives peace of mind offshore. If you have diesel, you can't readily change to a more powerful engine as you can with outboard. If you have an outboard, you'll need petrol which might prove trickier to source in some locations. Sun-bathing space implies some compromise towards a "family boat" instead of purely angling, and they typically come with creature comforts such as sleeping accommodation, a galley, and a toilet, which constrains angling space in a smaller hull, and if you go larger, fuel economy suffers. Offshore capability to the Channel Islands implies RCD category B, which you won't find in vessels smaller than 23-24 feet, which implies higher berthing and fuel costs, and you can forget towing. For a walkaround hull for angling with some leisure and offshore capabilities, the Jeanneau Cap Camaret range might suit some of your needs, but they don't have livebait wells, and can be exposed offshore. For serious trips offshore when the weather can break down, a decent protected cabin is worth its weight in Fiish Black Minnows. The Bayliner Trophy models will give you this. Fixed livebait wells can be found on the Arvor range of pilothouse boats, which has many models between about 19 and 28 feet, and are optimised more towards angling than weekending, but can be used for both. If you decide to tilt the compromise more towards "family use with reasonable angling capability", then you will find a wider range of vessels open to you, with many club members opting for Beneteau/Jeanneau pilothouses or similar, but you will probably lose the dedicated livebait well, and walkaround capability. Budget, as ever is key. Every time you set a budget, you'll find that for "just" an extra £5K-£10K new possible boats come into scope. Some choices need compromise, and all compromises can be made to work, to a greater or lesser extent
  9. Mike Fox

    Stern gland easy to repack yourself ?

    Hi Ben, a few photos will help, and information on which type of stern gland it is. My comments below assume an inboard diesel and straight shaft. If it's a traditional stern gland with greased flat string and a separate grease "gun" then it's straightforward but messy. If the stern gland is dripping a tiny bit of water now, you can nip it up afloat until it just stops, then re-pack the grease "gun". If the gland has no adjustment left and is dripping quite a bit of water, it will need re-packing. If you're lucky, it's just a matter of slackening off everything ashore, fishing out the old packing with an appropiate hooked tool, and replacing it. Always cut the flat string on the diagonal to reduce ridges, and insert it slowly whilst winding it on the shaft. Make a diagonal cut for the last bit too, so it lies neatly, and compresses uniformly (but not too tightly) as you tighten everything up, and you can then apply as much grease as you can before re-packing the "gun" as it easiest ashore. If you have the black rubber Volvo shaft seal (or equivalent) these need a tube of grease with a metal nozzle that you insert between the two stern-facing flaps/seals on the gearbox end, and you squeeze the grease out (like toothpaste) as you rotate the shaft. These shaft seals last about 7 years, and eventually wear slightly asymmetrically causing a leak that grease won't stop. To replace them, you need to remove the shaft from the gearbox (which might be difficult without proper pullers) and slide it aft, dismantle and remove the old seal, and carefully install the new one, using the insert tool provided to make the two rubber flaps point aft as you insert the shaft. If you have rope cutters installed on your prop, these might have to be loosened or removed to drop the shaft. Oh, and keep the fitting tool in your spares box onboard, I once had a seal "invert" on launching and needed the tool to push it into the correct position. Hope this helps, Mike
  10. Mike Fox

    Diesel Bug - long time on shore

    I've been using biocide on Feisty's diesel since I bought her 4 years ago, and the light "marmite" bug in my first year filters hasn't been seen since. I actually pop a bit more in than recommended, because I typically add 100-120 litres per tank before adding the fuel, and measuring small quantities is fiddly, so I simply add more. It doesn't seem to cause a problem
  11. Mike Fox

    Birthday greetings Charlie & Coddy

    Best wishes both! Roll on the end of the need for ockdown!
  12. Mike Fox

    Passing the time

    Martin, just remember that the English language doesn't have a word that expresses the true urgency of the Spanish word "Manana"...
  13. Mike Fox

    Propeller antifoul

    After over 30 years of leaving boats in all summer, I've given up on antifouling props. The speed of rotation washes out all toxins and "goodness" and you just get left with a matrix of paint that remains well-attached. The weed, slime, barnacles and bristle-weed absolutely loved it. I scrape, sand back, polish with wet and dry, and the burnished bronze has a fresh layer of toxic copper on the surface that keeps the worst of the wildlife at bay for another year.
  14. Mike Fox

    Recommend me a PLB

    Also consider if it's waterproof and can float (even if it needs a "jacket"), and can be readily attached to a lifejacket in a pouch or similar. Some are designed for mountaineers who are unlikely to be stuck in seawater miles offshore, hoping for a lifeboat to find them.
  15. Mike Fox

    Baby Ray ID please

    Hi Steve, You might like to check cookoo ray as a possibility... I'm away currently, and cant help more at this time. Mike