Utilising wind power to get you from A to B and back again is great for us. Ok, we are a sailing boat and that’s to be expected but sometimes not even the wind can get the 54 ton Challenge Wales yacht moving so we have to put the engine on.
Of course, our close manoeuvering in harbours and marinas also requires the engine, to help control the vessel, and over many months our fuel levels naturally drop and it is time to fill up the fuel tanks. Fuel is also used when our generator is running and the central heating system is on.
Most boat owners will tootle over to the petrol pumps (or the fuel berth as we know it in the nautical world) and fill their boats up just as they would if they were driving a car…you know; take fuel nozzle, poke in hole, fill up tank.
Well, Challenge Wales is a bit different. Her home port of Penarth Marina, near Cardiff Bay has the fuel berth in a part of the marina that Challenge Wales can’t get to so if Challenge Wales can’t get to the fuel then the fuel comes to Challenge Wales.
…And it comes in the form of a road tanker. Volunteers will help move the boat from one side of the marina to the other, the road tanker parks up at the side of the marina, the fuel pump gets handed to the skipper who proceeds to fill her up with 1,000 litres (around half her fuel capacity). Thirty minutes later, job done.
When all four fuel tanks are full she will carry 2,000 litres of fuel which actually lasts most of the year. So next time you are filling your car up at the petrol station just remember how small your fuel tank really is!