My winterizing of Volti Subito has always been minimal; I like(ed) to do weekly check ins on her, and could easily take care of issues as they appeared. For example, if the temps were forecasted to plummet the next, I'd simply run another light-bulb warmer, or open up the engine compartment to make sure that area stayed warm. Volti's design has a VERY flat bottom with no bilge well to speak of -she could easily have 3 gallons of water in her before the auto bilge would ever trip. I've never liked that, but just pumping it out each week was part of the excuse to head down to the boat; not so easy now.
I knew I wanted/needed to do something given the less frequent check-ins, but I had a couple criterion; 1) had to be cheap (what can I say), 2) not need to alter/modify _anything_ on the boat, 3) temporary in nature. I subscribe to Practical Sailor and (too) regularly receive an email from them focusing on an old story from a past article. This one fit my need. For about $75 bucks I got a great system that I can leave in should I want to, or in 10 minutes pull it out without there ever being a trace of it.
The heart of the system is a small 12v pump ($30 on sale) that can run dry for up to 5 minutes, a $12 multi timer (17 on/off settings), about 40' of clear, flexible tubing, several T fittings to create a manifold with, some 90° barb fittings along with some scouring sponges to act as filters for the angled pickup tubes.
I managed to run all the hose and the electrical feed through existing access holes. The only 'permanent' thing was wooden mounting plate for the 12v pump, but it's hidden down inside the port settee storage area. The multi timer can program down to 1 min. intervals, so I simply set it to run for 1 min. at a time. I arbitrarily set it to run 3 times per day (created this in the rainy days of November); one or 2 times might be sufficient, but figured why bother. I was concerned about how best to expel the discharge (could/should I tie into the existing bilge hose? Dangers of creating a back syphon situation? etc), and opted instead to just run the discharge hose up through the portside stern lazarrette and take it down to the cockpit scupper. I may rework that part should I decide to leave it installed later, but for now, it's fine, functional, and didn't disturb the integerity of any part of the boat.
How does it work? I think great. So far the most excess I've been able to sponge out (after a month's absence) has been about half a cup. Here's a couple of pictures showing some of my adaptations, but I just based it off a much more detailed/step-by-step article linked here.
How's your boat doing?
This season is different for most of us. Usually we have quick and easy access to check/use our boats 24/7, but few are experiencing that this year. There are a few different monitoring options out there for boats -most in 'boat buck' pricing, and if one is looking at a long term solution, that may be a reasonable way to go. But if you're only looking for (hopefully) short term solution.... till we can resume regular PR access, a simpler (less expensive) solution to your peace of mind sure would be nice.
I was conversing with P/Cmdr Don and he brought up a solution that fit his needs and situation. I think I'll be exploring it further for our boat as well, and so I asked him if he'd be willing to write up a little summary of his experience and he agreed to, so here it is. No, it's not marine rated, not it's not a bunch of things, but if it looks interesting to you; check it out. Remember, Don nor the Club take any responsibility for anything (some may say that's just the norm anyways, but hopefully that's sufficient for a legal release. Don? -Shane
Ecowitt is a company that produces a number of weather monitors. It’s simplest configuration consists of the gateway monitor pictured below, which sells for $41.00. As a standalone unit, it will monitor temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. I put one on Sosueme in Otter Bay and connected it to Otter Bay’s Wifi. I don’t recall the connection procedure, but it was very simple. I then downloaded the Ecowitt app to my phone, and with that I can monitor the conditions on Sosueme. The second image is the first page of the monitor on my phone. The second page (not shown) gives you graphs showing the last 24 hours. The information is updated every minute.
The Ecowitt App has a number of alarm settings. I have programmed two alarms: one is when the temperature on board falls below 5 degrees, and the other is when there is a power outage for more than 1 hour. The power outage alarm has worked well thus far. The temperature hasn’t fallen below the threshold yet.
There are many additional monitors that can be added to the Gateway. I mistakenly thought that the Gateway was just that, and didn’t have any monitoring capabilities, so I bought a separate monitor for an additional $20. I didn’t need to do that, because the Gateway is also a monitor. I put it elsewhere in the boat, so I have two separate monitoring points. That is really unnecessary, but I already bought the second monitor. There is also a “water leak” monitor that I plan to purchase for $15.00, and put in the bilge. I just discovered it recently, but before I can purchase it I need to go to the boat and record the frequency of my Gateway to ensure a match. If you go to Ecowitt.com you can see their full range of weather monitoring devices.
Having a boat that isn’t within a short drive is something new to me, so this device gives me peace of mind.