Skippers Newsletter 03-2012

Civil Service Sailing Association – Channel Sailing Division
SKIPPERS NEWSLETTER – Yacht Sea Essay of Hamble
Newsletter No 03/12
February 2012


This is an occasional document issued by the Yacht Secretary, which will be placed on the CSD website and/or sent to all CSSA approved Skippers in CSD when there is new and/or important operational information to promulgate.  There is no intention to produce newsletters on a regular basis.  Each one is numbered in sequence every year so recipients can identify if any are missing.

Items for this issue of the Skippers Newsletter are as follows:

Heads Cleaning Materials

The manufacturer advises that regular flushing with sea water is one of the most effective methods of keeping the toilet clean and sweet smelling.  Specifically:

  1. For cleaning the bowl use any liquid or cream ceramic cleaner.
  2. For the remainder of the toilet use a non-abrasive cleaner.  Polish with a dry cloth only.
  3. To disinfect the toilet use a liquid disinfectant  diluted in accordance with the manufacturers instructions (e.g. Dettol)

CAUTION – Bleach or any thick liquid toilet cleaners should not be used as it has adverse effects on both the rubber and plastic parts of the heads system.  Do not use abrasive pads on any part of the toilet.

Cleaning of cabin upholstery

Both the blue outer and white inner covers of the cabin bunk cushions have been professionally laundered this winter

Fuel usage

The Volvo engine of the D405 is significantly larger than previous boats and hence its fuel consumption is higher than we, CSD, have experienced before.  Fuel consumption rises as rpm and boat speed increases.  However this is not linear and a big increase in rpm above about 2400 rpm has little effect on boat speed but a big increase in fuel consumption.  Therefore we recommend that the rpm is limited to 2400rpm except in emergency.  As a reminder a yellow coloured arc has been painted around the tachometer scale above this figure.


We had reports last season of dampness in the boat.  As a result we have fitted a SmartVent 300 solar powered ventilator in place of the static one in the saloon overhead deck hatch.  This is rechargeable and should be switched on at all times.  When the boat is berthed the forward ventilator should be opened so as to allow a free flow of air.

SmartVent 300 –

The SmartVent 300 has 3 switches, on/off, in/out and boost (battery).  The on/off switch selects the unit on and in/out switches work to change the direction of airflow in or out.  The boost (battery) switch enables you to operate the ventilator at night or during overcast conditions.  The SmartVent 300 diverts some of the power generated during daylight to charge an internal battery.  The power stored in this battery is then used to operate the boost function.  When the boost switch is pressed the ventilator operates for approximately 10 minutes, if the switch is pressed again within the 10 minute operation time the ventilator will turn off.  The number of boost operations possible depends on the amount of power stored during the day.  When the on/off switch is in the off position power generated by the solar cell is used to charge the battery.  This can be useful if you want to ensure the battery is fully charged for night time or weekend use and you do not need the SmartVent working during the day.

Operation –

The SmartVent should normally be left in the open position however you can close the SmartVent to waterproof the product in severe weather conditions.  To fully close the SmartVent hold the centre ellipse area, twist anticlockwise and pull towards you until it locks into position.  To open again, twist clockwise and push in until it locks into position.  The SmartVent is operated using the switches as described below.

The unit on Sea Essay should be off during the day so as to charge the battery and on boost (battery) during the night or when the boat is left unoccupied.

Troubleshooting –

If the SmartVent is not functioning properly, make sure you have followed the above instructions.  If the unit is still not operating after that then take the following steps:

  • Ensure that the top surface of the unit, above the solar cell, is clean.  We recommend that you periodically clean the top surface to ensure optimum performance of your SmartVent.
  • Ensure that all switches are in the correct positions as described in the operation instructions.
  • Ensure that there is no debris or obstructions in the SmartVent that prevent the impeller from rotating. If necessary the finger guard can be removed by unscrewing the 2 screws either side of the ellipse and pulling the guard towards you.  The guard is held in by 4 flexible location tabs, take care not to damage or break these tabs when removing or replacing the finger guard.
  • If the boost function does not operate ensure the battery is working and securely in place in the battery holder (300 only), replace if necessary.

Close Down Checklist

The procedures for the Close Down Checklists are being revised as follows:-

  • Blank Close Down Checklists will available on board instead of being issued with Charter Agreements
  • The checklists will be kept in the same chart table folder as the Handover Clearance Note book
  • Three clear plastic wallets are provided in the folder –
    • Wallet 1 holds blank forms
    • Wallet 2 holds forms completed by outgoing skipper and awaiting signature of incoming skipper
    • Wallet 3 holds completed forms which will be collected by the Yacht Husband and sent to the Yacht Secretary after each maintenance day

Skippers will no longer be required to send the Close Down Checklist to the Yacht Secretary after each trip as before.

However, the white copy of the Handover Clearance Note must still be sent to the Yacht Husband as normal.

Martin Bellamy

CSD Yacht Secretary
February 2012

Channel Sailing is a division of the CSSA