Sunday, December 11, 2016

Insulated Salon - Vberth

Today was a nice day. Lately, I try getting to the marina early enough that I arrive around 7:30am in order to get more done during the day. This morning, I went next door to Harrington Harbor North and walked around the yard looking at boats. Some in the middle of, or in need of, repairs while others sit with for-sale signs waiting for the next dreamer. There's a lot of nice one's too.

There's a few people who think I'm in love with lapstrake hulls. I mean, why not? The Nor'sea is a nice looking hull. Well, I found this cute little wooden boat and showed a picture to friends who said "a real one, for once, not pointless fake GRP lapstrake"... I had a good laugh at it. Still, a cute little boat.

While I walked a little more, I found a familiar boat. The Albin Vega 27, St. Brendan, that Matt Rutherford sailed around the America's. I recognized it instantly from the stickers all over the sides that were in the news article photos. I believe it's for sale. Since I could only see the outside, I think it could just use a good scrub. With Albin Vega's reputation, someone is bound to have a good sailing boat.

Lastly, it was nice to see a little Cape Dory Typhoon. Nice well taken care of little boat. This was certainly a nice little gem for their owner. (enjoy, Bill 😀)

Rearranged the negative wire from the charger. Took it off the negative from the battery bank and reattached it at the shunt used for the battery monitor. Now, the monitor recognizes power going back into the bank. If power is drawn from the system, the number on the monitor will be negative. When more power is going back into the bank, the number is positive.

Started detaching the stern rail to get ready for trying to remove the wood trim for replacement. When I removed the bolts holding down the bent part of the rail, it popped back out. The whole rail untwisted. I think it'll be alright. Just need to straighten out or replace the vertical piece.

Starboard side

Port side

Lastly, I finished installing the last bit of radiant barrier insulation and then attached the wood slats on the starboard side.

I'm happy with how things are looking right now. Still plenty of work ahead of me, as always. Lately, the temperatures have been in the mid 20s at night. When I arrive at the boat, I plug in an extension cord and the electric heater starts up. Takes most of the day before it gets up into the mid sixties to even be comfortable, but even then, it's pretty much from the waist up, while standing. Everything else is still so very cold. I will still work on my projects throughout winter.

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Every Little Bit Helps

Things have been busy. Since reworking a little bit of the wiring for the house bank, I'm looking beyond it to the wiring the feeds into the rest of the boat systems. Some wires cross in front of the engine space, so I want to get those ones moved out of the way. I also looked into where the main wires go from the battery connections and found a single point of connection for the battery banks and what looks like a few other things. Looking to change that as well where I could label what each of the wires are for and use a bit larger bus bar to organize everything.

Positive connection

Negative connection
I'm also working on splicing lines that will be used as new halyards. It's a learning process. In this first picture below, I made the splice at the top while following a video and while it was a pain for part of it, I was told it wasn't the "right kind" of splice. Taking the recommendation to do a "Class II Double Braid" splice, following along to a video, I then did the bottom splice. Still in need of a lock stitch and wrapping the exposed cover. Both, I think, will still hold well. At least I'm getting some practice if/when I ever need to redo this.

The next picture below, is some Amsteel Blue that I made a Brummel eye splice on one end. Just the process of making that one locks it so it doesn't come undone. I'm expecting it to be used in the outhaul setup and will see how that works when the mast/boom goes back together.

The shop working on my mast also modified my mast step. Before the wires were coming up to the deck and all connections were made there. The shop owner said connections should be made below, out of weather exposure. So, they attached a short tube where the wires would pass through, down the compression post and exit below the cabin floor.

In an attempt to clean things up, this past weekend was spent cleaning up around the boat and putting things away that I didn't need at the moment. I also retightened the nuts for the chainplate bolts, reinstalled the insulation material I had up and started screwing in the boards along the side of the hull. I know the insulation will work well in the summer, but wondering if it'll help heat up the inside of the boat as well in winter.

While many people have their boats hauled out and any projects slow down, I'll still work through and do what I can along the way. Still a lot of work ahead of me and if I expect to launch next season, I need to keep at it. Still working on a lot of things so hopefully I can make some progress and be able to post here soon.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Getting Wired Part 2

It has been a good weekend. In an update to the previous post, I did some more wiring on the boat.

Spent a few hours today working on actually mounting/installing the Pronautic 1230P charger I bought TWO years ago. I recently ordered a couple of Firefly batteries for my new house bank. Since I want to make sure the batteries are taken care of, I had to get the charger set up. I ordered some 10/2 wire and some ring terminals from Genuinedealz to connect the charger to the batteries. While time consuming, it wasn't too difficult. I mounted the charger to a couple pieces of oak I had laying around and went head first into the starboard quarterberth to mount the setup to the bulkhead. A little tight but manageable.

I routed the new wires the same way they were with the old charger directly to the battery bank. When I flipped the breaker on the panel to turn on the charger, a fan started and in a moment, a click started charging to the batteries. Very happy this worked out. I don't have a starting battery yet and will run wires for one when the time comes. When I left the boat today, I turned on the vent fan that came with the Airhead for ventilation. The Airhead website said the fan draws .08 amp. So I figured even leaving it on for the week, or even two weeks, it wouldn't drain the battery too much, too fast. And now the charger is in place, I can top off the batteries during my visit.

In my last post, I mentioned ordering a panel from Front Panel Express using their software. Well, it came in and I'm pleased with how it turned out. Black anodized aluminum with engraved letters filled in with yellow, 7"w x 3.25"h. Everything lined up nicely for the toggle breakers. I'd say this was a good test panel for the possibility of changing the main breaker panel by the companionway. Changing the main panel isn't a near-term project but something I can play around with in the design in the meantime.

First look in the box. Vacuum sealed on cardboard.

only have two breakers at the moment

got a bus bar made for attaching the main positive line

This panel will be mounted just under the front of the nav desk where an old cassette car stereo was mounted. This will be used to wire the VHF in its new location, just above the nav desk. Later, perhaps other items. At least it won't require multiple wires to be sent back the main panel, keeping the wiring clutter to a minimum.

Lastly, the mast. The shop I'm having do a paint job is also doing a few modifications. They changed the setup by the masthead. This will help keep wires and halyards from interfering with each other. They're changing the location of the conduit for running wires up. Instead of being on the back side where the track is, they installed a new one on the front side of the mast.

The anchor/tri-color light was in the middle of the masthead and now on its own pedestal on the side. The wires will run up the middle of the tube instead of being external. They also patched up a lot of holes, the largest being the hole from the baby forestay that I didn't intend on using and also a hole used for a box sheave. They patched up a few smaller holes around the mast and boom that were mostly unused. A new location for the VHF antenna is also installed. Soon, it will be sent for painting and then the hardware will be reinstalled.

The guy at the rigging shop suggested connections shouldn't be outside of the boat. So he's talking about putting a short tube on the mast step that will go down a bit (maybe 1") into the deck. Then connections would be made inside the boat at the bottom of the compression post. I'll still have to see how big the holes are at the bottom of the compression post to see how feasible it would be for any connectors to pass through. Below is a picture of a tube on the mast step at the shop I used to visualize what it might look like. The final product certainly wouldn't be as high as in the picture. Should be shorter that would still allow the mast to be stepped/unstepped by an owner.

 At this time, not much to update in regards to the insurance claim on the fallen tree hitting the boat. I've been told I need to contact workshops to get detailed quotes for getting the damages fixed.

Lately, I've been side tracked, or maybe distracted, from a couple projects due to focusing on the mast and the tree damaging the boat. I hope to get back on track and tackle the major projects I've been working on over the summer that still isn't quite done yet.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Getting Wired

The mast is now sanded down. Used paint stripper to get out the paint in the tracks. I recently went for a short visit to the boat to talk with a rigger where we chatted about additional work to be done. All to prepare it for repainting.

They should be stopping by the marina to pick it up soon.

I setup new batteries for the house bank, in place under the starboard quarterberth. I ordered wire that will connect the batteries together and got to use my hammer crimper for the first time. I think it turned out well and finished nicely with heat shrink. I'll shorten and finish the other end when I'm at the boat next time.

4 gauge to connect between two house bank batteries
heat shrink in place
I was looking over the current wiring beyond the battery bank, on top of the fresh water tank and looking to redo some of them. Current wiring that went to the batteries had 5/16" terminals but need to be changed to 3/8". In general, I think it could be cleaned up a bit, with identifying where they go and putting some labels on them.

Now the mast will be away, I can get back to other projects.

One of the other projects I'm working on is putting together an electrical panel with breakers by the nav desk. I originally wanted to use a bus bar to connect the new VHF in its new position without running multiple wires back to the batteries. Someone suggested I install an actual breaker panel to make sure power is disconnected so went with that idea instead. There will be enough positions for breakers to add a few other items if/when the time comes to expand the electronics.

 I ordered the panel through Front Panel Express using their free software was pretty easy to put together. Black anodized aluminum with the HIN engraved into the panel. The breakers are Blue Sea A-series. Blue Sea is nice in that they have the dimensions for hole spacing and cutout templates for their products.

Next post I'll show the panel after it arrives.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Additional Damage Found

Took the torn tarps down for replacement and found additional damage. The stern rail is bent and part of the toe rail was broken off.

This damage also caused a twist in the stern rail.

I used pieces of the old tarp to cover the corners of the wood frame. I hope it doesn't cause the new tarp to wear out too quickly.

Lowering the vane from the boat wasn't too difficult. A few pieces were wedged together but mainly had to unbolt a few places. I recently made some soft shackles and put them to use with my main sheet setup. I kept tension on everything to keep it all from falling down as I unbolted everything then when ready, lowered the main body of the unit to the ground.

Along with making soft shackles, I made my first eye splice. This will be used on the boom when the mast system is reassembled. Not the prettiest splice but it'll work well. I'll hide the exposed core with whipping twine.

Here's the update to the mast. Sanded down and just need a little bit out of the tracks then it can be sent off to a shop for painting.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Damaged Wind Vane

Got a call while at work today. A tree nearby fell and took out my Monitor Wind Vane. After work, I went to the marina to check things out. Luckily the vane kept the rudder from getting damaged. I looked around the boat and didn't notice any damage but will see if I can get another look at it on Sunday when I visit again.

You can check out this video to see how things look.

So, fixing this will be another project added to my list.

First view when I showed up to the marina

damaged wood and lifted mounts

Just missed the next boat over and the tented boat

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Mast Hardware Removed

A video update this time. I removed the rest of the mast hardware today, except for a couple things. Those will be easy to remove, which is seen in the video.

The mast is currently painted so I'll sand it down to bare metal and then it'll be ready to send off to a shop for a paint job.

In other non-boat related news...

The last few days have been a bit...         Interesting.

Woke up last Saturday morning to the sound of pounding at the front door. Opened the door to be greeted by three police officers asking me about my truck. Turns out, there was a hit and run some time during the night. Front driver side bumper was smashed in. Part of the bumper pressed into the tire too and not able to be driven. My truck was hit hard enough, there was skid marks from the tires two feet long.

most of the debris was from the other vehicle

Funny thing, to me at least, the other car didn't "run" very far. Just up the road a bit, still within sight of the truck, also parked on the side road by the neighborhood, it was obvious who did it. Front driver side front end smashed in, airbag deployed, bumper falling off, and isn't going anywhere anytime soon.

It's nice having a good strong truck. Insurance is taking care of my truck and it has already been towed off to the body shop for repairs.

Sunday, August 14, 2016


It's been getting pretty hot lately. Even on the boat with the AC unit I installed, it still gets a little toasty.

I saw another Nor'sea owner install insulating material on his boat. I've also talked to others who have done the same. Went to the local Home Depot and picked up some Reflectix reflective insulation.

Just putting my hand against the hull early this morning, I could feel quite a bit of heat. Direct sunlight on the boat hull can still warm things up, even with AC.

I was able to easily cut the insulation and place it against the hull. Near the chainplates, I was able to get a couple layers. Other areas forward of the chainplates, I was able to squeeze in a third layer. I can still feel a little heat coming through but certainly better than going without. Better still when the wood slats are back in place.

This could be something to consider in keeping your boat cooler in these hotter temperatures.

Thanks for stopping by.