How we have found “Elektra” gear after a year of ownership

We bought “Elektra” our Sadler 29 after searching the internet looking for the best on the market we could find at the time, she came with loads of gear which we had never had before with other yachts. After a year of use I thought I would share what we have found out about the gear.

Elektra came with Bukh 20hp engine, Eberspacher diesel cabin heater, Shore power, 12/240v fridge, 240v battery charger, H&C pressurised water, Tiller pilot, Radar, Chart plotter on chart table, Stripper rope cutter, Manual windless, DSC Radio,

The Bukh 20hp diesel engine has proved to be very reliable after a few problems during our delivery passage, the engine is now 34 years old so is on the list for replacement (the plan is to do in the next 7 years)

The Eberspasher cabin heater proved to be broken and not worth repair (it seems when yachts are for sale these heaters are tried during viewings and not cooled down properly before shutting off batteries, this fries the unit) so we replace with a new D2 unit which has proved to be very good.

Shore power is great if you can connect to it but being that Elektra in on a swing mooring we don’t have it so she has not been connected to shore power since March 2017 (but I bought a petrol power gen so have kept the batteries topped though the summer of 2017 and the winter via the shore power connection, (also good for running power tools in the winter). The new solar panel and charger has taken over this role.

12/240v fridge works great on shore power or engine power but we were not able to run just on battery power in 2017 for fear of running them down. The new solar now allows us to keep the fridge running during daylight hours though hot weather.

240v battery charger works great when connected to shore power or petrol gen.

H&C Pressurised water, the cold water work very well only the water pump had to be replaced after the winter as it wouldn’t prime anymore. The hot water has been more of a problem, what we know is the hot water pump off the engine works and the 240v heater draws power but as yet we haven’t been able to get any hot water. There is a inline water filter which I have replaced and the water is ok for drinking. The lack of hot water hasn’t been a problem as we just put the kettle on (its all we did with our last yacht). Its on my to do list to sort out this season.

Tiller Pilot, both Vicki and I love to helm when sailing so we thought we would never use this, by June last year it hadn’t been even looked at it. We sailed to the Yealm River for a SSOA Bar-B-Q, then had to motor home over two days due to lack of wind on a sea like glass, not long into the passage from the Yealm River to Fowey I got the Tiller Pilot out for a play. What I found out was once set up it could keep a better course than I could and could be trusted to leave in control for a long while without checking, I found it very useful at the end of last season when sailing on my own. Saying that we haven’t used it again yet this season.

Radar needs loads of power to operate so we have only used when motoring, it was useful when motoring out to Scilly last season. I haven’t yet tried to use off solar power.

Garmin 750 chart plotter, on the chart table, not the best place for a plotter when you need to see it from the helm. Its a nice bit of kit for keeping track of things, I use the info from it when keeping the passage log. I had my old Garmin 550 chart plotter fitted in the bridge deck so I could see the info from the helm, it also had all my old waypoints.

Stripper rope cutter, not had the need for this yet! But I am glad to know its there if needed. One day in 2018 we motored over a floating 20mm line which stopped the engine, we were towing a dinghy at the time and I was able to pull quite a bit of line off, then running the engine in reverse the stripper made mincemeat out the rest of the line, so I think I can safely say it works!

Manual Windless, when we viewed “Elektra” I never saw the windless as the bath tub (under cockpit locker) was covering it because of work being done on the engine at the time. I had always pulled anchor up hand over hand without any problems on our last yacht, I thought I could do the same again, what I didn’t reckon was just how heavy our Sadler 29 was, it soon became clear I would need to use the windless most of the time. That said I have no plans to fit an electric windless as the manual work very well.

DSC/VHF Radio, I come from a generation who didn’t need to be in contact all the time, the radio goes on ch16 but I don’t use very much myself.

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