Boating & Biking Adventures

Category: Technical Page 1 of 5

Yoga for the Panda

I have finished my yoga in the engine room for the day. The Fischer-Panda generator is cleaned and all salty remains from the recent water leakage of the sea-water-pump removed.
The issue on the water maker, high pressure pump tripping, is caused by the generator loosing its AC power at 2.5kW. We suspect either the capacitors or the rev servo motor to be the ultimate root cause.
Fair winds…

Lanzarote to Cabo Verde – Day 9 / Logblog 6

We have just now sailed 800nm without taking the mainsail out once and only flying the 110% foresail. It got sometimes fully deployed, sometimes partly reefed and sometimes not even unfurled. With or without spinnaker pole.
This gave me some food for thought on sail arrangements and after a long and heated discussion with the lady we concluded the following concerning the mainsail.

The mainsail is good for two purposes:

#1. Obviously you cannot take the lady out on a catwalk without having mainsail out. Imagine, sailing the parade alongside many other boats, whereever in the world, and no mainsail out. The yacht will only look complete and attractive under full set of sails. No doubt.

#2. The mainsail is also needed, from a technical point of view, if the skipper wants to bang his head against the wall. In other words, the skipper wants, or has to, sail against the wind. Technically you will need some mainsail out to make that work properly.

In all other circumstances the mainsail remains a nice to have, which brings minium speed advantage but plenty of headache. The mainsail can become a huge risk under certain broad reach courses, especially with increasing wind angls in windy and wavy conditions. Numerous times this was the reported root cause of serious injuries or even death in worst case or best case de-masted yachts desperately crying for help. Some had preventer lines some maybe not.

I had my own experience around 2005 when Susan and myself approached Hasle in Denmark on our beautiful HR34 at that time. We did the unintentional gybe and I found my glasses next to me on the cockpit bench and cannot recall how they got there. The only thing I remember is that the boom did not bang my head as in this case I would probably not be sitting here typing these lines. Perpaps I did defend my head against the boom with my hands and by doing so the glasses flew off. I cannot recall the exact circumstances but understood at that time, that I was lucky.

Sometimes speed could be a good reason and the extra knot you would get from the mainsail might bring you into the marina before the storm kicks in or it´s getting dark but passage planning can partly compensate for that. Perhaps not in each and any case but it´s worth a consideration.

I am sure this subject can be debated further but personally I feel much more relaxed keeping the main furled into the mast even though I arrive a bit later at my destination.

We will need to decide on our sail configuration for the upcoming crossing of the Atlantic towards the Caribbean.

Fair winds…

…bits and pieces…

The final bits and pieces are falling together but we still have some items on the To-To-List, nothing critical though.
The fridge is running properly again without touching the new one, which arrived from HR Parts today. Conclusion: We now carry a spare fridge compressor on board.
The gas bottle compartment got a clean-up as one of the open exemplary tasks, which was overdue.

Recent progress allowed the opportunity today to jump  onto the bike to Arrecife. Main purpose was to get some delrin shims for the gooseneck manufactured. Ulli from SY Christina gave me the right contact, a one man workshop hidden behind  a door – no signs at all.

The shims got completed on the spot, which left time for a drink and catch-up with Ulrike & Nelly at Strava Restaurant in Arrecife downtown.
The backwinds then helped me on the ride back to Puerto Calero along the coastline – definitely one of my favourite stretches on the island.

More bits and pieces left for tomorrow. 

Fair winds…

Bimini, Fridge, Inventory, etc.

New: Left - Old: Right

The Bimini made it onto the To-Do-List this morning. Actually its customised tensioning, which settled in  after two seasons and I felt it was a bit loose in recent gusting wind conditions. As the dyneema ropes are made to length the only option was to cut a bit off the four adjustable tensioners. The little vice we have onboard is always handy for this kind of jobs. Got it completed before the sun took over and indoor activities kicked in.

Martin from Hallberg-Rassy Parts did put in the extra effort and got a new compressor unit on its way this morning. It shall arrive coming Monday, latest. Cross fingers! Nevertheless we will try to get the current unit running again in which case the new one will be a good spare. 

Frigoboat K35F Compressor unit

I already feel some pain operating with one fridge only and it is better to carry a spare unit than being with only one fridge for a longer period of time. This issue remains open.

Besides that I finlized the turnbuckles and same time lost one half cap of the screw cover to the sea. Damned, totally unnecessary but happened.
After a food inventory check, I jumped on the bike for Lidl in PDC and stocked up the pantry. I got a list from Susan and it’s long.
Over a glass of wine on SY Christina with Elke and Ulli we will call it a day.

Fair winds…

😕...jumped over board...👎

👍…Watermaker & Fridge…🤔

My day started before sunrise with the software update of our new Iridium satellite phone. One coffee was not enough and a second had to be brewed before successful update got confirmed. Puh, that’s done. Glad it worked. Now planning a test call to MRCC Bremen for final verification.

Second on the list was – after breakfast – to attack the membrane replacement on the water maker. After disassembling the membranes unit from the overall system, I got some help from Ulli, skipper of SY Christina. Two brains with four capable hands & four sharp eyes got the old membranes removed and the new ones installed. Fittings resealed and the unit was ready to get back installed below deck. The procedure to be followed for initial operation of new membranes took a while but the final reading of 173ppm of water quality meets the expectation. Another big one ticked off the list.

2 x SW30 2540.
One leakage detected during test run.
Test reading of water. ✔️

Henry and Jean Michelle turned up to check out the fridge. The result was not promising: topping up refrigerator coolant did not bring the expected result. Compressor should be the culprit. Hm 🙁, that is not pleasant.

We got two identical units installed, so one still working but we are used to operate both, one as a fridge and one at slightly higher temperatures for fruits, vegetables and wine. HR Parts might be able to help out on this last minute issue before Boating & Biking Adventures 2.0 are supposed to kick off.

The lady keeps me on my toes but there was still enough time for a quick bike ride to PDC to buy some dinner delights. It’s now getting dark early after the clock change!

Fair winds…

Spinnaker Pole Ready

Together with Alice and Ulli we checked each others Spinnaker Pole arrangements this morning. It’s also good practise again not having used it for a while and sametime doing some needed maintenance on the system.

Up to now I did run the sheet straight through the pole ends’ eye itself but we concluded it is better to add a block to eliminate chafing. I have got the right block (from our previous HR34) and will connect it with a soft-shackle to the boom end.

The soft-shackle is a present from sailing mate Rainer, skipper SY Geronimo. This should now be bullet proof to eliminate chafing on the sheet. Together with cleaning the turnbuckles on the standing rigging and other small tasks the To-Do-List got a bit shorter although one item had to be added:
Since I arrived back from Germany, one of the two fridges is not performing very well and I guess some refrigerator coolant needs to be topped up. Trying to organise that but it is a 4-days long weekend holiday in Spain at the moment. Hope to get this fixed next week.

I will now get on the bike heading to the beach for a cool down swim. As there is no wind at the moment the sun is burning and there are two options after lunch: Long Siesta or Beach !

Fair winds…

⚙️…wear & tear – everywhere…🛠

At 8:30am, just after sunrise, I was on the foredeck taking the old foresail down. My intention was to check the tension of the luff against the halyard position. Clive and myself marked the max up position during the recent mast inspection to prevent any potential chafing at the halyard sheaves’ inlet at the top of the mast. If the eye of the halyard is getting too much dragged against the sheave, chafing will happen. Conclusion: Old sail should be okay but limit the tension to the marked position. I think it should work.

Now I was curious about the luff length of the new foresail. Got the damned heavy sack out on deck and then – what a relief – Ulli from SY Beagle was standing next to me giving me a hand, tow actually. We pulled the new sail up to learn, that its luff length is about 15cm shorter than the old sail. Perfect in terms of chafing. New sail down, folded, rolled, back into the sack and dragged  back under deck. Four hands instead of two keep things below grumbling and shouting level. Thanks Ulli!

Two sheaves on the foresail traveller had to be replaced. As you can see on the photo, the sheets have grooved its traces into it and the circularity while turning was not given anymore. Some bolts showed galvanic corrosion. Parts got bedded into a new layer of Tikal Tek-Gel to prevent future blooming.

Besides that I pulled the 20 year old spinnaker halyard out of the mast, gave it a 4 Euro wash in the washing machine to get rid of calima and salt leftovers and routed it back into the mast via a pilot line. The shackle got de-rusted in some phosphor-water-mixture. All becoming sweet, soft and handy again.

Before jumping on the bike for my minimum daily ride to PDC, I fixed a reading lamp, which had a broken internal cable. Some brazing was required, not my core skill but it is back alive.

Following a nice sundowner on SY Beagle with Alice and Ulli, I am now ready to call it a day. Tomorrow, we will focus on the spinnaker pole arrangement and prepare for water maker membrane replacement, which is scheduled for Monday.

Fair winds & good night!

☝️…Emergency Sat Phone…📞

We have decided to add a satellite phone to our safety equipment.  It will be placed in the grab-bag and used solely for emergency purposes – medical calls or abandon ship situations.
Although we already have other measures in place, depending on the actual situation, the satellite phone will close a small niche while providing peace of mind. Hopefully we will never have to use it.
Fair winds…

Rigg inspection ✔️

Perfect day for some work in the mast. Blue sky and no wind.
Sail dropped after batten removal.

Rigg & gooseneck inspection was on the To Do List for today with particular attention to the mainsail halyard. A bit of a hassle to take the long vertical battens out of the mainsail being able to drop the sail on deck. Surprisingly the halyard for the main is not of wire/rope configuration, which I was not aware of.

After looking at the halyard itself, Clive and myself decided to keep the same as it does not show any reason for concerns. No clue why 20 years ago Hallberg-Rassy did the genoa sail and cutter sail halyards in a different way than the mainsail halyard. Today, it’s all Dyneema anyway.

On the rigg hardware itself, we replaced one split-pin at the forestay, which was bent and showed some signs of corrosion. It was also a bit undersized for the drilled hole.  After taking the tension completely out of the forestay with the help of the spinnaker halyard fixed and tightened to the bowsprit, we could turn and  move the bold, get the old pin out, clean the area and get a perfectly fitting new split-pin attached.

Last but not least, there was a lot of rattling noise coming from the gooseneck area on our trip back from Azores. One reason is that we mainly sailed on a broad reach course, which is proned to more movements of the boom, but second reason is some play in the gooseneck connection.

We will now limit the play by adding some customised shims, done by Wes and his team mate Dave. This rattling can drive you mad at sea and I hope it will be gone afterwards or at least reduced to a bare minimum.

Overall these are small items to improve and keep the rigg in safe and mint conditions.

Fair winds…

…another productive day…

The day started with yoga – engine room yoga. Checking the impeller on our lovely Fisher Panda Generator was on my list and I have postponed this task many times. The main reason is access, not within the engine room itself but particular to the seawater pump housing it. There is hardly any space for the spanner and pulling the impeller out without removing the whole pump is a bit of a challenge. And then…once I got the cover lid unscrewed it slided out of my hands down somewhere below the generator, where the muffler of the exhaust pipe sits. Oh my  lord, forever gone! Long story short, more yoga postures were required but finally the pain was gone and I felt all the benefits from the abnormal bending. My face turned into a happy smile while holding the damned piece of metal in my hands again.

Removing the solar panels from the Bimini and placing some minor orders for material, appliances, tea and spares was a good end of the working day.

I then jumped on the bike for some logistic’s ride (coffee & honey) from SuperDino in PDC was on the list. At that time SY Momentum of Fal was approaching and its skipper & 🚴‍♂️ coach René mentioned to me to take it lightly as there is still some Calima dust in the air. Therefore I invited myself for a beer at Musa Bar before heading back to receive their lines.

SY Momentum of Fal coming from Graciosa and arriving in Puerto Calero in the late afternoon sun.

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