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.
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.