Friday, September 22, 2006


I went to the Southampton International Boat Show today - much, much better than the London Boat Show at Excel. Apparently the London show is going to be 'revolutionised' for next January, according to the yachting mags. It'll need to be.

Apart from wandering around the boats on show and dreaming (as well as picking up even more ideas that can be copied for Arabella's ongoing refit), I trawled through all of the equipment stands with my wallet at the ready.

I spent a long, long time at the Raymarine stand, staring lustfully at their C-series plotters. Very, very tempting. I wasted the poor salesman's time for far too long. But in the end, I'm proud to say, I walked away. Far too expensive for my budget, and anyway I don't (and won't) have a radar to overlay on the chart display. I was thinking hard about AIS, which could also be interfaced with the C-series plotter, but actually I didn't much like the way that AIS targets were displayed on the screen. So it's back to the handheld plotter for the time being.

Instead, I wandered over to one of the large chandlers and actually got a very good price (£50 off list) on a NASA AIS 'Radar', so went for that instead. Then found the guys from the yard on their stand and upset them by explaining that they would need to find somewhere to squeeze it in. They didn't see the funny side. I was told very firmly - no more kit after this.

Just before catching the train back home, I wandered over to the marina and checked on Arabella, now safely blocked up ashore. I'd forgotten the camera (again), but was happy to see that the yard had cleaned her up really well and had made a start on installing the instruments and transducers. I'll try to take pictures for my next posting here.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back on dry land again

Arabella was lifted out today, so that the yard can start work on the exterior items and instal the new transducers. I opted for Raymarine ST60+ instruments, as they do a decent 'value' pack containing all the bits for Speed, Wind and Depth. Also a NASA Navtex. I nearly cried when I wrote out the cheque. Was I really still the same person who had been so proud of saving all that money in this very blog, not even a year ago?