Category Archives: Winter Work 2017/8

Winter Work (cont)

A progress report of sorts;

The fridge is all but complete, however, I broke the sensor tube for the thermostat. I placed it in a convenient place above the cool box, but the sensor wasn’t long enough, so I put it nearer the cool box, but the tube had to be moved from exiting the unit out the back to out the base and the very thin tube broke. So I ordered a new unit, just before Christmas but it’s now arrived at Mt Batten Boathouse. but I’ve got to get there to pick that up and some other stuff.

Tim of Tim Beck Engineering fitted the compressor onto my backet in the cockpit locker and carefully unwound the condenser tubing (it’s aluminium, much to my suprise) very carefully and threaded it through the back wall of the cool box, re-wound it up and fixed it to the bulkhead out of the way. He then connected it up, both tubes and the electrics, put a jumper on the missing thermostat pins and it worked. The plate got down to -16°C and was drawing 2½amps. This is much better than the old one, and we could hardly hear the compressor running. – V quiet. When I’ve fitted the thermostat, the last job is to fix the condenser plate to the side of the cool box, seal up the hole that carries the tube, probably with plasticine (don’t ask, it’s what Tim uses to seal the holes!)

The tap in the galley is very slightly loose so I’ve disconnected and removed everything: tap, filtered water pump and old and unused seawater pump, removed the perspex splash guard, not to mention the shelves and cleaned up the varnished wood. Today, I put the 1st coat of varnish onto the sink surround to be followed by at least 6 more, inc a few rubbed down. The I’ve got to put everything back, in the right place. One of the shelves was very difficult to remove!

I’ve never been happy with connecting a swivel directly onto the Bruce anchor, so I’ve copied what Vyv Cox has done and connected the anchor to the swivel via 3 links of chain. Yhis will prevent the swivel being pulled at right angles when the tide changes and drags the anchor around. (His website is full of excellent advice, especially on Sadlers.)

Remaining jobs are lots of little ones, some I’ve already done, for example, I’ve revarnished the outboard bracket, however, I’ve need to find a way/place to refit it with the wind generator and the stays that are now in the way!

Launch day is only 45 days away; delete all the wet days, a very rare holiday abroard and there’s not much time left!

Continuing Winter Work

Saul, from Weir Quay Boatyard looked at the skeg and rudder and measured the water content as very high; not unexpected! However, he has ground back the offending bulge and it is now being left open to allow any fluid to drain. It will be repaired in the spring before launch.

The fridge has progressed from a mucky hole to a clean and pretty fair cold box with 5 coats of epoxy undercoat and, as I write, 1 coat of topcoat, to be followed by 2 more. Tim, if you read this, do you want to try your hand at the installation of the fridge units?

The autopilot is fully installed and, good news, Raymarine have said that they will replace the lid of the EV-1 sensor. At some stage, I will start everything up, update the software in the various units and maybe do the dockside initialisation of the autopilot.

The Sadler wiring is a true rats nest! During manufacture, the wiring is preinstalled and stuck to the outer shell of the coachroof, it is now hidden inside the sandwich. Unfortunately, Sadler used only 1 sq mm twin core domestic wiring, which is fine for some lighting but useless for power. In various places, I have found cable ends and have had “fun” finding where the other end is! I’ve managed to connect the NMEA wires for the AIS and GPS data from the VHF radio to the Chartplotter using a multi-core cable. The cockpit instument panel loadspeaker cables are connected from the CD-radio at the Chart table using another multi-core cable. Power for the Chartplotter comes from the Chart table to the Chartplotter via two domestic cables to ensure that there is sufficient conductivity. This has removed several cables from crossing the aft cabin deckhead; it will look much neater when I put the remaining cables into a white plastic duct. They are for the Speed log, Depth gauge and Wind vector. I am still trying to find a cable to get a power feed from the switch panel to the chart table for the 12 volt socket.

I have installed an improved extractor fan and improved lighting into the heads. There is a switch for each, somehow I need to make it obvious which does which! The installation involved threading cables from one small hole to another and hoping they were long enough!

There has been lots of Northerly winds, consequently most of the boats at Weir Quay have a covering of leaves from the very high hedge belonging to next door. I think that we’ll do some gardening next time we go to the boat.

Winter Work #1

Stop Press: The dehumidifier works (see previous post)

Our plan was to install a windgenerator to help power the new fridge and to help us short-handed a new autopilot. As a blow-bu-blow account of every visit would be VERY dull, not to mention, balls-aching to write, I’ll detail just the highlights.

Cuchulainn now has a working Rutland 914i windgenerator installed. The base is fixed close to the top of the transom by the upright of the pushpit. It’s fixed to the upright with a large U-bolt and a custom-made plastic block that is a snug fit to both pole and upright. In addition, the upper pole is secured with two stays bolted to the pushpit as well. Message to Sadler Owners: my pushpit is fixed with through bolts and not screws! As the pole covers the existing stern light, I removed it from the pushpit upright and rivited it to the generator pole (facing the right way). Both cables go into a deck gland on the transom. The generator cable goes to a dual battery controller which is directly wired to the batteries. The advantage of the dual controller is the display which shows battery voltage.

Wind Generator Awaiting Some WIND

The fridge is a longer term project. We found that there was very little insulation on the inboard side of the cool box. A little checking this winter showed there was still substantial air gaps around the fridge. This is on a boat that is filled with foam, thus losing quite a bit of storage in the process, not to mention the difficulty in rewiring existing equipment from standard 1.5sqmm domestic wiring to tinned wiring (that doesn’t corrode and lose conductivity). There is now much more foam around the cool box, the base now has an additional 50mm of Celotex (closed foam insulation), sealed in with epoxy coated ply. the whole inside of the box has been filled and faired with epoxy filler. It is now smooth (almost everywhere) and ready for 3-4 coats of top coat 2-pack polyeurethane paint, after I put on 4 coats of epoxy primer. The Boss hasn’t seen the dust the Skipper has produced yet!

The Autopilot is an Evolution autopilot which we’ve added to the existing network to the chartplotter. Its centre is a 3-D magnetic field, accelerometer and gyro sensor which will very quickly learn the pattern of the boat movement and steer the boat in much heavier conditions that the existing unit which is barely capable of dealing with half-metre waves. We hope it will considerably help with cross-channel crossings. Installation was fairly straight-forward by fitting the control unit by the  tiller pilot fitting, installing a ply plate for the sensor and computer inside the cockpit locker and joining them up with the right cables. All I need now is to launch! Oh, and a replacement fixing cover to the sensor as I broke the very flimsy clips. Not good Raymarine! I expected much better.

The boat has cables crossing the deckhead in places and I am putting them into ducts that I’m fixing to the fibreglass with plastic ties through holes drilled inside the duct. The one I’ve done looks much neater already; I’m also reusing some of the dubious cabling hidden between the two skins of the coachroof: replacing the cockpit loudspeaker cables, NMEA data cable between the VHF radio and the chartplotter, power to additional 12v sockets.