Jude’s thoughts on running her boat

Deb and Bruce recently wrote; It now being xmas, we have been on break for a few weeks  and have immersed ourselves in your books and your videos and I am wondering if we can ask a few quick questions (hope some aren’t too personal)?

1.       Jude how do you do your washing on your travels? Things like towels and sheets? (water/power usage & machine or hand or out the back on a string?)

2.       What would a week’s meals menu look like? I realize Jude you don’t eat red meat, we both eat red meat, but I often think it would make life easier if we could cut back and have other options.

3.       Did you have a freezer on board?

4.       We noticed you built your own fridge and only turn it on 1hr per day, but on long hauls, how would you keep your batteries full?

5.       Apart from beer and butter, what items are in your fridge to survive only being on 1hr per day, we guess the insulation is 6” to require so little on time?

6.       When provisioning, what would your food and spares shopping lists look like?

7.       On a long haul 5+ days, would you shower every day? And is that a shower in a shower or a rinse in a bucket?

8.       What sort of insurance did you have to do your travels? We have insurance but not over the 200nm boundary.

9.       You don’t have a water maker do you? We understand you can carry 700ltrs.

10.   When you’re fishing Jack, there is only the lure on the line correct? (no bait).

 

Jude wrote to Deb and Bruce, and thought that other folk may be wondering the same so we’ve pubished Jude’s reply.

Welcome to Cruising. Fair winds and kind seas.

Hope you get a whole heap of info out of these answers to your questions.

ANSWER 1.
Banyandah does not have a washing machine on board. Laundry is somewhat minimized when cruising; out of the work force, fewer clothes are worn etc.

There are too many negatives to having a machine on board as far as I’m concerned; takes space, uses too much water/power. It’s easier to use a washing machine ashore than it is to keep filling the boat up all the time.

Sheets and towels and most bulky clothes wait until convenient to wash. I don’t lug clothes far and always find out where the machine is before even taking the clothes ashore. We had a courtesy night alongside in a marina last month and while there did two loads. Most marinas or yacht clubs have a machine if you moor there. Even anchoring off a town beach there’s often a laundromat not far away. Filling up with fuel/water last September in Dampier, at the fuel dock operated by the sailing club I hand washed a few light things and rinsed a few salty towels, and Jack did three loads in the yacht club’s machine close by; I couldn’t walk due to sick leg.

Often opportunities come your way; a new friend might take you home so you can do your laundry over a cup of coffee.

Sometimes while filling the Banyandah with water I’ll fill all our buckets up and do some laundry when back on the anchor etc./ or I might bucket wash light clothes if we’re about to fill up.

We try to minimize on the clothes that get salty – salt is hard to rinse out, takes many rinses and salty clothes never feel dry; so we tend to put back on already salty clothes or a salty outer garment/spray jacket when we go on deck and are likely to get wet; we change back into fresh clothes to help keep the salt out the boat. I’ve never strung clothes out astern on a line.

 

Answer 2.- Meals.
Fish with veg, potatoes, or rice.
Lentil curry with fresh veg.
Creamy pasta with red salmon and fresh veg.
Cauliflower cheese.
Green Thai veg curry.
Fish again if we’re lucky.
Tinned tuna curry.
Tinned fish patties.

Spaghetti with tomato – I use small tins or sachets of tomato and use olive oil, garlic, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, maybe a can of mushrooms, and sometimes fetta cheese which keeps well unopened in the fridge.

I have a pressure cooker on board and the bottles and lids, and bottle any excess fish such as with a big tuna, if weather conditions permit. ie. that big fish caught just before anchoring. I also prepare a few bottles of chicken for Jack, chicken curry, chicken with carrots etc. These are good for when he’s on watch and I’m not really wanting to cook. I’m always happy with a can of bakes beans or some lentils.

I don’t have many tins of peas, carrots, sweet corn on board; carrots keep well in the fridge and I also use freeze dried bought in a 100g pkt. Tinned beans and bean mixes are good in a herby stew with cheese, drained and made into a salad etc.

 

ANSWER to 3/4/5.

No freezer on board, yet the back section of fridge box will freeze if left on. No thermometer in fridge. The Fridge is well insulated, 6″ and more where it backs the hull and at the bottom, and something more than 4″ lid and each side.

Reasons why I think our fridge works so well:

a.         The fridge is deep rather than wide so cold doesn’t escape so easily, and because all the food is in three baskets I don’t have to scramble around inside to find things. Each basket basically has its own use and the bottom basket only gets lifted out when I clean the fridge. I just set the basket ‘out’ on the floor when we’re sailing to reach in to the next.

b.         We control the temperature; In cold climates 1hr, twice a day is enough for our use but in the hot Kimberly it could be on about two hours twice a day and more. We judge how cold the fridge is on by the coldness of the beer and the solidity of the butter. Generally, longer than that and the vegies can suffer from excess cold if anywhere near eutectic plate. Running the fridge twice a day is better than just the once; this balances the average temperature over the 24hours helping to keep the food good. I might still have the heart of a lettuce left up to four weeks by using the outer leaves first.

Before turning the fridge on in the morning we make sure first to restock the liquids, which, when the fridge is cold, and off, it helps to maintain the cold – the contents of a fuller fridge hold onto the cold more easily when the lid is opened – less cold air to escape etc. Extra space behind my baskets is taken up with up to 5 x 1L square shaped drink bottles and there might be 10 beers in the space inside the eutectic plate. Might only use 1L of water daily, the others filling the space help maintain the cold.

c.         We open the lid as little as possible; – helped by being able to lift out the TOP BASKET with all its everyday used contents such as butter, yoghurt, cheese, salami, fresh chilli, parts of half used vegetables, open mayonaise and leftovers, and set it aside to get to the MIDDLE BASKET which contains mostly soft vegetables, tomatoes and fruit. The BOTTOM BASKET is really good for unopened cheese, butter and dairy products to use later down the track, and as cold sinks the temperature is pretty constant. The ‘in use’ butter at the top of the fridge being kept firm is our temperature guide. The bottom basket which is the taller of the three holds also carrots, cauli, firm tomatoes, zuchinni, whatever good quality vegies I want to last a long time, and a whole uncut salami. FISH, and sometimes chicken for Jack, is stored on top of the beers at the back, both last up to three days, or longer if cooked.

 

Notes on Power.

Power is not a problem for us, but we still tend to run the fridge in daylight, when the solar cells output to the batteries. When we’re motoring the alternator puts power in.

We do have plenty of power – we run a few laptops.

Banyandah has 5 x 200amp hr batteries (in two banks, 3 household use and 2 for anchor winch use – these are connected to the household bank when the engine is started).

Therefore we have the capacity to store all the power from our 3 x 80watt solar cells put into them. It’s necessary to have the battery capacity to take the power, the more batteries the more storage etc. Example – anchored at Monkey Mia in Shark Bay for one whole month we never started the engine, our solar cells were sufficient. Without sun we do pretty well too, the alternator is high output.

On long hauls the solar cells do their job, keep providing power to the batteries. Must be remembered here that it’s necessary to keep the solar cells clean, even more so when close to shore, it’s amazing just how much muck comes off the land, and how much birds can shit on them. Jack takes a pan of fresh water and sponges them clean every so often.

 

ANSWER 6.

Food; as above re fridge. Stock up on things you normally have in your pantry, plus more for obvious reasons.

Dry Goods; lentils, grains, nuts – good souce of protein. Sultanas and cranberries, whatever, go good on cereal. Wheetbix and porrage oats go a long way because of bulk and the other more box type cereal added atop make them interesting. Dried peas, the 100g size bought from Woolworths that reconstitute in minutes are sweet and easy and store well. Things like that.

Powdered milk 1kg bags; also good protein and easy to carry. We don’t carry liquid milk; when open they need refridgeration.

Cans and Bottles; tuna and other fish, sardines are great on toast. Baked beans and other beans, another source of protien as well as a few cans of sweet corn, great to add to a rice salad when times are lean. Even a drained can of mandarines added to left over rice with a spoonful of mayo and some cumin powder makes a nice cool salad. A few cans of fruit are a nice change to add to cereal but take up a lot or cupboard room. Bottles of sun-dried tomatoes, olives, gherkins, artichoke hearts, that kind of thing are great to have; good for nibbles but can be chucked in to make a pasta.

Vegetables and Fruit; which keep well in cool place. Granny smith apples are good stewed on cereal. Whole cabbage – I tear the outer leaves off to cook in stir fry but when I eventually cut it I make sure I have space in the fridge to store it. Same with pumpkin – keeps well until it’s cut. I might start off from a major shop with a piece each of cut cabbage and pumpkin. Plus all the usual onions, garlic, apples and oranges etc.

Okay, now basic stores are on board. When a new place to buy food comes along, other than a major store up, remembering I might still have some cabbage or a pumpkin on board, My List generally has on it; bread, eggs, fruit, veg, lettuce etc, some chicken for Jack, maybe even a piece of salmon, top up on a change of cereal, top up on the milk powder if I have carrying room, and buy something completely different to eat for a change etc. Next time I might top up on the cooking oil etc.

To be honest; I don’t just provision for a certain amount of time; when we leave after a major provision shop, I don’t hope to shop again for a while. In other words, I wouldn’t be buying butter very often; it keeps in the bottom of the fridge really well, as does cheese. But let’s say we’ve gone into a major food store and my bag is empty, then, that’s the time to carry light with a block of toilet tissue. Especially when ones got a bum leg, Ha Ha.

Boat Spares; Spare belts for machinery all round; alternator etc. Spare major pumps; salt water pumps, fresh water pumps, bilge pumps, spare hose clamps, spare shackles, spare sheet rope, spare instrument batteries, grease for pumps, a length of hemp for the stuffing box etc. Plenty of oils, lubricants etc. We also carry a spare alternator and starter motor.

 

 

Answer 7 and 9.

No. We don’t shower every day. It’s that water thing again. But we’d definitely have a shower once we’d arrived at anchor after 5 days and have a good wash, maybe a shower once in a while depending on sailing conditions. However it’s very nice to rinse the head to get rid of the salt. If the sailing is gentle, in hot conditions having a small bucket bath is lovely.

All of the above depends on how much water the boat carries – and Banyandah holds nearly 700L – we prefer not to have to divert just to fill the tanks up.

10.   When you’re fishing Jack, there is only the lure on the line correct? (no bait).

Answer 10. Correct, only the lure – no bait.