Friday 10 january 2020

There was a storm this night, heavy rain and mass of lightning all over the sky. Noise of the rain pounding the structure of the boat, flashlights every 5 seconds, the jetlag was back again… Fell asleep after 3 in the morning only!

Awake around 8 am, the day started with a cool breeze, what a relief! A short term relief, the sky was opening up again, by 10 am it was already hot as hell :-). Enough about the weather, let’s get to business. First thing on the “ToDo” list, finish te cleaning up of the boat. After that I will be able to tackle the issue with the air conditionner as I mentioned the day before.

The cabin was still full of various items, some to end up in the garbage, some to be put somewhere safe in the hulls or underneath the settee. Talking about the settee, there are also storage compartments behind the back element of the U shape. One of them is where the mast stand is mounted, a simple piece of lumber connecting the bottom of the cabin with the base of the mast on the top of the cabin. A surprise was waiting for me in that compartment: because of the leaks in the front windows of the cabin, a lot of water had sipped to the bottom of that area. The panels being made out of wood, you can guess what the result was… little white worms and mold on all the things that were in there… Ugly sight!

It’s almost noon time and I’m finally ready with the cleanup tasks! Compared to the sight it was 4 days ago, please agree with me this is now somewhat looking nice, isn’t it?

A clean place is a nicer place to stay!

OK, time now to tackle the issue of the air conditioner. Yesterday I alluded to the fact this system was producing adverse effects: cooling and heating in close vicinity. Easier to understand if you look at the following picture: the unit takes ambient air, cools it through a condenser and expels the hot air via a hose to the outer world on one hand, the condensation water to a collecting reservoir on the other. The hose you see going from the unit to the portlight in the back of the cabin is very hot, so it acts as a radiator! Not good.

There are better places to put your portable air conditioner, aren’t there?

Like mentioned yesterday, the best thing to do is to reduce the size of the problem :-). So why not move the unit to another destination, somewhere the hose can be drastically reduced in size. That place exists, but there is no opening in the cabin available yet. What would MacGyver do in that case? He would just create one for sure!

The picture shows the back side of the helm station in the cockpit. You can already imagine this subject will also require some improvements, but that is for later. The reason why I chose that portion of the cabin is because it is right in the middle of the zone and there are no obstacles on the outside portion. By the way, an opening in a fiberglass panel is something you can always repair afterwards, no worries! But he, what is rule number one when working fiberglass?

PROTECT YOURSELF!!!

I used a jigsaw to cut out the portion required for the hose to pass through, one of the tools left over by the previous owner. My jigsaw is still in Belgium for the moment, not enough space in my luggage unfortunately.

You can clearly see how the panel is made: a foam core encapsulated in two layers of fiberglass with polyester resin, construction known as “sandwich panel”. This structure is very strong and, even more important, very light. The outside portion is covered with a white gelcoat, a variant of polyester resin mixed with a white colorant. So, here is the winner of today!

Remember the water connection I built two days ago? Well, I have to admit there were some leaks in the connections, i.e. time to do something about it. This time I elected to go for a simple formula: complexity is the source of failures! I just put a direct connection to the fawcet and added a stopper valve outside in the cockpit, this way it is possible to cut water supply off when leaving the boat. Better be safe then sorry!

So, what’s next for tomorrow? Time to start the full revision of the steering system. The wheel at the helm is connected to the rudder stocks by means of cables and pullies, a quite complex system. Worse, stainless steel combined with aluminium and maybe some inox parts have created a lot of corrosion over the years. My plan is to get rid of all that and install a hydraulic steering system. More on that during a later post. First thing to do for this purpose is to get access to the rudder stock area situated just behind the engines inside the sugar scoops. Two options: insert an access hatch in the sugar scoop or enlarge the opening behind the engine.

In order not to risk additional water leaks in the hulls, I have elected to enlarge the opening in the panel behind the engines. There are lot of things to do there: work on the saildrives, inspect the fuel tanks and admission hoses, access the exhaust system, but before anything else: work on the rudders!

It’s late in the afternoon in the meantime, the temperature is cooling down, time to do some projects outside.

It’s the end of the day, time for diner. As I walk out of the marina, I always pass aside of two boats I like more than the rest. See for yourself…

Eating at a close by restaurant. No comments needed… See you tomorrow!

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