I’m sorry but again the blog is mostly about maintenance, I promise next post will be about life and places when sailing, but off season life in harbor contain a lot of maintenance, repair and improvement, actually an important and major part of cruising.
A new plotter
At the end of last season we noticed that the touch control on our chart plotter or MFD as it also is called, did not work properly. Fortunately it also has a “key board” so it still works but felt rather uncomfortable to use. A bit disappointing as the MFD is only 4 years old, after browsing on internet I found that it is not an uncommon problem. Not such a big deal we rather quickly decided to buy a new MFD the Axiom 9 from Raymarine. BUT then looking where I could make a good deal, I found a very “attractive” package deal, a Quantum Radar and an Axiom 9. I have been thinking of replacing our existing Furuno radar, an excellent radar but very power hungry (8A 24v), the quantum radar draw less than 1 A and users praise it. So that was ordered and delivered rather fast, but I need a radar bracket, as well soon to be found on Internet.
Up in the mast preparing for mounting the bracket
Up in the mast mounting the bracket
Radar bracket and cables in place
After hanging in the mizzenmast for three days the radar doom was finally in place. Decided to keep the old radar, at least for a while until I can determine if the new radar is as good as the old one.
The old MFD to the left worked good as a radar screen the touch function not so important operating a radar. The new MFD to the right in the picture. It is a great improvement to have a radar screen at the helmsman place
So it was a bit more work than just replacing the old MFD with a new one, but this was just the beginning!
Our old AIS only have NMEA 0183 and the new MFD talk NMEA 2000, so I need an interface to connect the AIS with my Axiom, the Interface cost ca 200 Euro, a bit sour that was not part of the plan. Internet is fantastic? I found a B&G VHF with integrated AIS and NMEA 2000, an outgoing model for 279 euro, now I can replace my old VHF who does not have DSC (distress function) for the cost of “79 euro”, a given…. and easily get AIS to our MFD!
I ordered the VHF and it arrived, but where to place it? To make a long story short I found I had to rearrange the whole nav station to get a good placement of the VHF. At the same time I could convert my solar and battery control system to blue tooth to get rid of some displays.
Half way through to ripping out the instrument
Making new fronts in Plexiglas for mounting the instruments
Sawing in Plexiglas works OK, but drilling was more difficult, very easy to get cracks, but I manage well, did not have to redo any panels
Work in progress
For a not so handy man there are several challenges, one was how to get access to fasten the VHF on the back side?
On one side plenty of space for inserting a screw, but on the other side, very limited space, but a threaded rod
And a piece of fuel hose
And the VHF is firmly in place. You can se a fuse box in the picture as I was poking around in the area with a lot of cables I decided to tidy up a bit, by taking away the in line fuses and install proper fuse boxes, one for 12 v and one for 24 v, plenty of work as replacing a few cables as well.
As well as a new stereo, rather pleased with the result,
But the original a few hours work to replace the old MFD, became 4 weeks hard work!
VHF and SSB close to each other, nice? The observant reader might think is it not very practical to have the VHF station down at the chart table? is it better to have the VHF in the cockpit. Yes it is, and of course there is a solution to that.
B&G sell a remote hand held unit to have in the cockpit not so much work to add but more cost, the discounted Axiom 9 MFD I bought, did not only create a massive amount of work, in the end the cost became many times higher than anticipated, a well known fact for most boat owners. But we got Bluetooth monitoring of our solar panels and battery management
11 Amps going in 311 W from 360 watt panels not to bad.
Yield the day before was 2 kw from the same panels, coming fall we will replace the old Turkish panels we have on the arc with new modern high yield panels witch will get almost 2 times the effect on just a fraction more surface, The list gets longer…
We sometimes took a walk in the quiet lock down Lagos for an occasional drink, to rest from the boat work
Sometimes to tiered to make dinner then a Sushi take-away was ordered, not bad for 20 euro
When we were at it, we also replace to old nav station chair with a new one, of course they had different tube size for attachment.
The old tube, I did not want to replace the base, because the old base is an integral part of the structure so very firm.
I found some sewers pipe connectors that fitted well in the old tube and after some grinding gave perfect fit to put the new Aluminium tube on top of it, to get a solid installation.
Nav station with chair and new VHF etc.
We also made some new padding for the helmsman’s chair the old was rather uncomfortable. Kerstin is happy now when she gets a more comfortable place to helm Kerpa from.
But that is not the end of it, more work to follow
The attachment for the cutter jib was not very neat and not strong enough, it had bent a bit so we had a new stronger one made.
8 mm 316 Stainless Steel and two extra bolts, this should be strong enough and looks much nicer.
As always working on the boat it is chaos aboard, but finally we said to each other, enough is enough and decided to postpone a long list of work to after this season as it will be a short season about 3 month of sailing before we go on the hard.
So we provisioned and caste of and sat course to Ferragudo, less than 10 Nm from Lagos
Anchored outside Ferragudo
Enjoying one of the best hamburgers ever
Kerstin took one with salmon as topping, it was surprisingly good, I took a regular one that was delicious, can’t compliant on the setting either
marvelous sitting there having a hamburger for lunch, we had only planed for a short lunch but it was so nice so we stayed for a few glasses of Sangria as well before heading to a neighboring boat for a sun-downer, a bit headaches the next morning.
Next stop Rio Formosa…..