Being several thousand miles away and in a different timezone getting on with the remaining fitting out tasks on our extensive list is simply not possible. Instead we’ve taken to reviewing and researching each of the items of kit that are on our list. Some are nice to haves others were classed as essential and some have not been on the list at all.

A tender you can sail

For example I’ve always fancied a hard dinghy instead of the inflatable rubber flubber that has served as Temptress’ tender for many years (and still looks fairly new). Definitely not on the list as our Lodestar will serve for many years to come but a recent eBay auction was very tempting until the price started to rise (currently at almost £500)!

Then there are gas regulators. Not all regulators are equal – you need different ones for different types of gas typically propane or butane. The latter burns more cleanly and provides more energy, but propane is a better choice for situations in which temperatures may drop below freezing.

Currently Temptress has three Camping Gaz bottles to supply our galley stove. A 2.5Kg refill costs a whopping £23 in the UK and lasts about  three weeks when just the two of us are living on board, less when we have crew. Around a pound a day for cooking!. The other big disadvantage of Camping Gaz is that it is not easy to find outside of N Europe. Other gas bottles are fairly standard worldwide and often can be refilled at an ironmongers or garage rather than swapping empties for filled ones of a dubious vintage.

Gas Bottles come in many sizes…

So the plan is to change suppliers which, in the UK, basically means Calor. Assuming the gas locker will hold them Temptress will also be purchasing larger bottles which reduces the cost of gas significantly to around £16 for 4 Kg in the UK (roughly half the cost of Camping Gaz), as well as increasing the time between refill hunts in unfamiliar ports. Plus with the right regulator setup and assuming we can afford a range of bottles, we can indulge in whichever gas type is most suitable for the climate.  If there is room for at least two larger bottles we may also treat ourselves to a switch over valve making changing bottles so much more convenient, no more struggling to attach a heavy bottle in the pouring rain at night! For now though it is all theoretical, until we return to the boat we’ve no idea of what will fit in but we have done the research online and know what parts to order at what cost from where as well as the diameters of the various bottles that might fit. Oh and this wasn’t an item on our fitting out list either, though we have been planning to do something ever since we arrived back from our Med cruise in 2002!