First guardrail splice

So I have made our first Mobius Locking Brummel splice, with thimble, for our guardrails.

This is in 6mm Hampidjan Dynice Dux from Jimmy Green Marine.

This will be used with a lashing to tension the guardrail. This bit of line will lead to the gate which has “pelican” hook into another thimble. Something like this:

Mostly following this blog post from Rigging Doctor.

Our latch doesn’t include a screw thread to tension the gate so I think we will need to have a separate lashing to tension the gate.

However, we do have a big decision to make about our stanchions. The gates, in particular, are all a bit bent and the diagonal support braces are clearly moving where they are bolted through the deck – obviously a likely source of leaks. Also the stanchion tops, through which the lines pass, have some UV damage.

As we are already replacing the aft most stanchion with the supports for the solar panels using the Tula’s Endless Summer method the question is whether we can afford to replace them all now (well after we fit the chainplate ply backing plates all the way along).

If we do replace the stanchions then I would do so with longer ones for better security (700+mm compared to 600+mm) and with 3 lines instead of 2.

At the bow, we would refit the pulpit onto pads for better waterproofing, but the guardrail lines would slope slightly down to it.

At the stern we have a couple of options. One possibility is that what we build for the aft solar panels replaces the pushpit and so would match the new height. Otherwise a slope similar to the bow will be mostly hidden behind the side solar panels.

No instant decision needed. We can sort the supports for the side solar panels which replace one stanchion per side and see how that goes. That can inform our decision about the other stanchions and the pushpit.

Feeling super happy

We are back home and I’ve probably watched too many American YouTube videos if I’m describing myself as super happy 🀣

First, I’m really pleased with the progress on the rearranging of the aft cabin. One nice interim feature is being able to use the original bed base (with a little extra support) over the seat. So we can continue to use the bed as we have been doing until all the new work is complete. I had been planning for the seat to be at about half height between the floor and the mattress (because it was has been a real scramble to get on the bed). However, now that everything is uncovered it looks like the step/footrest will need to be a bit higher than I had thought (due to the hull slope). So the seat might be close to the mattress height, a nice feature will be that puts you at the right height to look out of the windows. With the storage behind it will have a great backrest and so be a lovely place to sit for a bit of quiet or for a read. I’ll also sort some low level indirect lighting that will allow visits to the loo without disturbing Jane (yup men and our prostrates mean disturbed nights).

Second, I’m also really happy that this work is going to allow us to really strengthen the support for the mizzen mast. Got some nice and simple ways to improve that as we go.

Third, I’m super excited and super happy with the progress on the backing plates for the 3 chainplates per side of the aft cabin. The prepared ply went on very easily. It was rigid enough for the thickened epoxy to squeeze out evenly along the length. With our fan heater we got the temperature to around 30Β° C once we had finished fitting everything. So we got a quickish cure, so no worries about the epoxy slowly flowing out during an extended cure time. I knocked up some quick props and that meant we were able to remove all the bolts before they got completely locked in.

Fourth, I did the measuring and I can build boxes to store the waste from the composting toilets in the lazarette, they can be the exact size to clip onto the toilet base. So emptying will be really easy. Take off the seat part. Clip on an empty box. Turn the base, with box, over. Unclip. Turn toilet back over, add coir, add the seat part. Put lid on box and take to Lazarette. No possibility of mess, no plastic waste and super quick.

Fifth, we got home to a couple of deliveries. One gets us a handle for the electric motor throttle that is simple, cheap and easy to source anywhere. Second was another package from Jimmy Green Marine. We now have the 6mm dyneema for the guardrails and the tensioning lashings (I’m wondering whether to scale down to 4mm for that to get more turns without jamming up). Plus the “Pelican hooks” for the guardrail gates. I also have all my extra dyneema splicing tools. So I can get some practice for the rigging by splicing the guardrails.

Sixth, we have some exciting new thoughts on our aft “solar arch” that isn’t an arch. As a teaser: it is kind of a combination between the Tula’s Endless Summer stanchions and a Lagun table support.

We have another week at work, then a week on the boat. Our first since last summer. Hoping to have a rest and make lots of progress 😊

Progress on Visit 4 in 2021 (part 2)

Very exciting progress today 😊

We have epoxied in the plywood backing plates for the aft cabin. Full length of the cabin on both sides.

The challenge now is to time removing the bolts soon enough so that they don’t get stuck yet leaving them long enough that the backing plates won’t sag. I think I’ll put some temporary props up.

We have managed to get the thickened epoxy to ooze slightly from all the edges so are pretty confident that there is going to be a void free bond.

We have a similar job to do in the lazarette and in the saloon. Then I think we can be pretty confident that there are not going to be any more stress cracks in the deck from the chainplates. 😁

Progress on Visit 4 in 2021 (part 1)

Last night was pretty windy and heavy rain. By the morning the wind had died but it has rained on and off all day.

So it wasn’t a good day to fit the big backing plates to the underside of the hull shelf that supports the deck in the aft cabin because we want to use the old chain plates to apply pressure while the thickened epoxy sets. So we want the decks dry.

Instead I have been working on the changes to support the mizzen mast better and rearrange the bed in the aft cabin. Instead of the v-berth with an infill we will have a seat on the starboard side that faces forward and this will also act as a step to get onto the bed more easily. The bed will be sort of Pullman style on the port side. Still 5 feet wide at the head. The middle section will also be a little longer with a headboard.

We wrote about the original plans in Idea for redesigned aft cabin.

One of the other key design goals for the redesign is to make the corridor which is quite low (1430mm or 4 foot 8 inches) and narrow (door was about 400mm or less than 16 inches) feel less dark and claustrophobic. So compare these photos:


Obviously removing the fuel tank from the starboard side (under the fenders on the left of the first picture), also the door and the side to the engine compartment has helped a lot.

We will be able to build a new side for the electric motor compartment that will leave the corridor a bit wider. The starboard (outer) side of the corridor will probably have a new water tank and storage but again we will leave the corridor wider.

The bulkhead which is at the aft end of the chart table has been weakened both by the cutout for the fuel tap at the bottom and the old radar. So we will cut this back a bit and then strengthen it.

Today though was the work on the aft cabin.

We had already cut back the aft wardrobe which you can see stepping into the cabin entrance just after the door in the first picture. Now I have added a new 70mm x 44mm strut which is going to become one of two new mizzen supports. That has allowed me to cut a big opening into the bulkhead at the head of the starboard berth. This has a massive visual impact, as it opens the view right through to the far end of the berth. This opening is going to have a seat (a little higher than the cushion I’ve put there at the moment with a flat footrest/step (you can see the slope of the hull there which is too steep to stand on or rest your feet). The seat then becomes the new way onto the berth.

This picture, sort of shows how it will work. The seat will be a little higher and have a curved backrest with storage behind and under it. We can cut and reuse the foam to create a comfy double bed. Thanks to the new post (and one to go on the other side of the opening) the central part of the bed will be 90mm longer which will make it great for me. This central bit will have a headboard and access to the storage underneath.

Above the headlining there is a raised section of the GRP that runs across the cabin roof to create a section for the mizzen. The two bunk end bulkheads at bonded into the middle of the raised section. They are joined by some more ply that goes under the mizzen mast foot. However, that is currently loose. So I am going to bond that in with Silcaflex 5200. Then using ply, thickened epoxy and fibreglass cloth I am going to tie everything together as a really solid beam the full width of the cabin roof that is supported by both new posts and a strengthened remainder of the bulkhead at the cabin side on the starboard side (still got the full bulkhead on the port side as it is between the bunk and the heads compartment) all this above the headlining so that can run straight through which should help make it seem a larger space.

As we square off the heads compartment with a new wider door we will also be adding more support for the mizzen that is closer to the centreline than in the past (using a 40mm x 40mm doorpost)

We are losing a little standing space in the centre but the gains for knee room in the heads (and much easier to get the toilet in and out) as well as the seat that acts as a step for the bed are a much bigger benefit. Plus we will be able to find each other in the bed πŸ™‚

Here are a few other pictures of the work in progress today.

Obviously a lot more to do, including a proper “foot” for the post which will bond it to the hull.

Tomorrow, weather permitting, will be the big plywood backing plates that go the full length of the aft cabin. They are there for (on each side) 2 mizzen chainplates, 1 main mast backstay chainplate, 1 mooring cleat and the current pushpit. They are made and coated with epoxy, they have a large 2nd layer of ply which covers all 3 chainplates, which is already bonded to the first (see Visit 3 part 1 and part 2). Each fitting will also have a 10mm FR4 backing plate to ensure that the ply gets a distributed load. If I get time to work on the port side of the bed/heads mizzen support that would be great.

Looking further ahead, once the ply backing sheets are in and the bed/heads door/mizzen support all done we can get on with re-configuring the mattress, fitting insulation and headliner and then we can start moving forwards with a nice to live in aft cabin. Oh, yes also got to cut that access panel into the lazarette that I mentioned here.

Also looking forward to a delivery on Sunday or Monday of all the other dyneema and other bits to rig the mizzen mast. The only thing left to order is some bits to make the mast tangs. Mustn’t forget that the mast itself needs quite a bit more work (new aerial, new lights, new wiring, and hopefully, painting so that we can have 2 masts the same colour).

Improving the composting toilet experience

We have been using a Nature’s Head composting toilet on Vida since September 2019. We liked it enough to add a second in November 2019. Our experience has ranged from them being abandoned (after use) for 6 months during lockdown through weekend use by two people and upto a couple of weeks by two people plus occasional guests.

During this time we haven’t had a 12 volt electrical supply and so we have not fitted the extraction fan or vent.

So what would improve things going forward?

Improving the user experience

This is going to be the shortest section. Whilst, I am wary of calling anything perfect we don’t have any suggestions for improving the usability of the Nature’s head. Perhaps a step would make it more comfortable for very short people. The integrated, solid seat works really well. It is easy to keep clean and perfectly comfortable enough. The instructions are very simple:

  • Always sit
  • Open the hatch for solids
  • Put paper down the hatch
  • Close hatch
  • Spin the handle a couple of times.

Improving the Emptying Process

Here we do have some changes that we are planning.

  • Fit the extractor fan. Not to prevent smells (we haven’t had any problems), but to help dry the solid waste by extracting the damp air above it. That will make emptying the solids easier.
  • Widen doors so the Nature’s head fits through them. The doors to both our heads compartments (and the door plus corridor from the aft cabin) are a very tight fit for the Nature’s Head and it takes a bit of wrestling to get it through. So as part of our refit they are all being made a bit wider (even if not for the full height) to make it much easier to carry the Nature’s Head out. It will also make the doors less cramped for my shoulders as the doors were really narrow. Taking the whole toilet outside to empty the solids avoids any possibility of mess inside the boat.
  • Have a set of solid boxes with vented lids (that can be closed) that the solids can be tipped into (more detail below)
  • See if we can fill some of the “ledges” in the top compartment that loose bits of compost get caught on when you are a bit enthusiastic with spinning the handle. It makes a bit of a mess (of the driest, coconut coir) when you remove the lid to empty the solids.

Dealing with the waste.

The liquid is no problem. Just take to a normal toilet and empty. If no toilet or emptying point available then pour into the sea (outside the 3 mile limit) or onto the ground eg a hedge (well away from water supplies, people, crops).

The most common solution for the solids seems to be to bag it and put it in a bin. That seems rather unpleasant for everyone, it creates more plastic waste and it wastes a really good resource – compost!

We plan to fully compost the solids so that they can either be put onto any appropriate bit of ground or used in gardening. If necessary, once fully composted they can be dumped at sea with no risks to anything/anyone. Ideally that means they need to be kept for about 12 months. This is no problem while we are not live-aboards – we simply take it home and put it into the normal compost bin. Out of caution and wishing to be sensitive to our neighbours, we use a big plastic compost bin with a lid and every so often we put some grass cuttings on top of the compost.

Once we live-aboard we plan to have a set of boxes, each sized for emptying the base a couple of times. These will be custom made to fit inside our lazarette locker. We will label each box with the date that the last solids were added. Once that is more than 12 months ago the box can be emptied (appropriately ashore or into the sea offshore) and restarted. We think this will work out a reasonable size so they are not too heavy to lift or too big to get in and out of the lazarette. Obviously if we find that we are filling the boxes too quickly we can add more boxes (subject to the size of the lazarette)

Each box will have a vent (that can be closed for transport). We will also have an extractor fan for the lazarrette. This will ensure the compost gradually dries (desiccates) which we understand is good for the composting and good for ensuring no smells.

Building the first box will allow us to test the size and will also provide a better way to get the compost from the boat to the compost bin at home. At the moment we either have to take the whole toilet home (very awkward to carry down the ladder) or tip the waste into a plastic bag (which we then put in another plastic bag for security). These bags then get thrown away after tipping the contents into the compost bin, this obviously creating unnecessary plastic waste.

We hope (I’ll try to remember to measure it this weekend) that our fixed lazarette hatch size is bigger than the dimensions of the opening in the toilet base. Then each box can have catches (for it’s lid) that are the same as the toilet top section and so a box can clip onto the toilet base. To empty the base, the toilet top is removed, a box latched on it it’s place and the whole thing turned over so all the waste falls into the box with no mess. If, however, our lazarette hatch is not large enough, I’ll create a “funnel” intermediary to connect the box to the base, adapting from one size to the other.

Whether we can fit a whole 12 months of solid waste into our lazarette locker remains to be seen. It is very hard to predict as the toilet takes less days to fill if in continuous use than if used only at weekends (it composts down significantly in between the weekends). it will depend on how many guests we have and how much time is spent where there are other toilets we use.

The 12 months is a very arbitrary length of time. It is generally expected to be completely safe to use on a garden after 6 month with a recommendation that it isn’t used for food crops for 12 months. Our understanding is that even after quite a short time there is no risk to marine life if you empty the compost at sea (beyond the 3 mile limit).

Supplies

At the moment we buy bulk recycled toilet paper from Who Gives a Crap. Obviously, when cruising we will need to buy whatever is available where we go, however, we will still bulk buy when we find recycled, plastic free products.

We also bulk buy Coir Briquettes at the moment. A years supply takes very little space but there are plenty of alternatives that can be used if these are not available.

We use vinegar in a little spray bottle for cleaning the toilet seat, hatch etc. Cheap and widely available.

Conclusion

Composting toilets are great. So the only improvements are to make them a bit simpler to empty and reduce the impact caused by the waste you create.

The hidden dangers of your boat

No, I’m not being subtle here πŸ™‚

Our experience from the beginning of our project on Vida has included uncovering a number of hidden dangers. In our case that included being close to having paraffin leaking into the engine compartment.

This can of fuel (for the heating system) was fixed and buried deep within the cockpit locker where most of it was invisible in a wood “box”. We put it in a bag and took it to the recycling centre. By the time we got there it had given up and all the fuel had leaked out.

We have many other things that we have uncovered during this refit. Including this important part of the steering system. The gear box on the right of the picture was boxed in by plywood nailed into place. The other side of the bulkhead is hidden behind the autopilot motor in the furthest corner of the cockpit locker.

So nobody knew that 3 of the 4 bolts holding it in place can fallout out and the 4th was about to do so. It wasn’t picked up by the survey and the lack of smoothness in the steering had come in so gradually that it hadn’t been noticed.

Or there was this as we were removing the galley sink drain. How well do you think the seacock tap would have closed off this pipe if there was a problem?

Or there is the issue that our foam back vinyl headlining was absorbing water and disguising where leaks were. Two we only discovered after returning following 6 months of Covid lockdown.

Or that the cupboards in the aft cabin had meant that the previous owner couldn’t work out where the leaks where coming from because they blocked access. They also hid the one place in the boat that we have found where the glass fibre tabbing for a bulkhead is not perfect.

Or that the bilge sump had a fixed floor 1m above the bottom with one tiny hole so that things could drop in and not be retrieved yet could block the bilge pump (let alone no way to tell how much water was in there).

Or the gate valve on the skin fitting for the bilge pump. Totally seized which didn’t matter so much as neither the previous owner nor the surveyor even knew it was there, if they had known they could not have reached it due to all the original systems in the way.

Or the original diesel system with tanks so well fixed and boxed in that it was impossible to inspect them, or trace all the pipes or have anyway to clean the tanks.

For us all this makes us very grateful that we are replacing pretty much all systems and that we are not trying to restore the original timber interior.

Others have it worse though. There are now a couple of YouTube channels with Lagoon 450’s which have serious problems with failing bulkheads that are completely hidden by furniture that was assembled before being fitted to the boat and which cannot be disassembled without pretty much destroying it. Sailing Parlay Revival was the first. Here is where they first discovered the problem:

They now have a playlist of videos where they are fixing the problems (which are enormous).

I’ve seen plenty of mocking Colin as causing the problem by putting far too much tension in his rig. However, some of what he has uncovered shows that there had been attempts to fix issues before it became the hurricane damaged catamaran he bought.

Then I discovered this video.

I’ve read some of the comments (yes, I know usually a mistake). Lots of hate and ignorance and general nastiness.

My concern is a wider one than the extent to which Lagoon have a problem to solve.

In order to have nice looking boats and to ft more and more features (like hot water, fridges etc etc), for decades, manufacturers have been building furniture that hides things. Sometimes, the furniture is designed to be part of the structure, others to hide it or conceal the services.

This has the potential to be a significant danger. Problems are hidden until they have catastrophic outcomes (such as paraffin leaking into an engine room with a hot diesel engine running; or a bilge pump hose failure that means water can flood into a deep bilge that you have no access to from a skin fitting that you can’t reach or close).

I’ve been writing a separate blog post about “Why we are changing everything on our boat?” and for us these are connected. When hidden problems are uncovered and fixed during a full refit you safe time, money and reduce risk significantly over a do the minimum now and then maintain on the way process.

For us this is also about Sustainability, not immediately in the environmental way (although at the end of the day that is impacted to). Sustaining the plan, the cruising dream is made more possible by reducing the potential for hidden problems. So we believe it is worth making (sometimes drastic) changes in order for you to be able to:

  • see every bulkhead along it’s length to check it is fully, properly connected to the hull
  • inspect every chain plate (thanks to our latest design ours will be a simple job per chainplate: slacken shroud, pull the dyneema chainplate loop out, inspect or replace)
  • get to every backing plate for every deck fitting to check for corrosion or leaks
  • get to every part of every length of fuel line (gas or diesel or whatever) to check. Be able to clean and remove blockages/sludge from every tank and fuel line
  • reduce the number of holes in the boat (seacocks/instruments etc) and be able to check them all quickly with good access for checking and servicing.
  • have headlinings that can be removed to check for leaks (as well as run wiring)

The way that this becomes more environmentally sustainable is that all these practices mean that boats can stay in use and not be written off for longer. Every extra year of use reduces the average carbon footprint and takes us closer to points where recycling of old boats is improved.

The satisfaction of mending tools

A few weeks ago I fixed my old (well over 20 years), but fairly powerful drill. I’d shortened the power cord a couple of times but the outer insulation was failing all over the place. Sadly, my first multi-cutter motor had burnt out (it has suffered a lot when I was removing the diesel fuel tanks) so I used that cable to renew the drill πŸ™‚

Also I’ve been frustrated for about a year by a broken drill press. The platform on which the item to be drilled rests had snapped off.

I’ve been looking for a replacement for ages, but with no luck. Then when ordering something else (to reinforce our very creaky stairs at home) I found I could buy some large section angle iron “100mm x 75mm x 8mm Mild Steel Angle Iron Hot Rolled” from Metals4U to a custom length, so 180mm cost me Β£7.87 (plus a small share share of Β£6 delivery).

I’ve made some progress on fitting it.

The trickiest bit was cutting away around the hole so that it fits on the flange, anyway the dremmel did it, even if a bit messy.

The grinder is currently at the boat, once I get that I can cut away parts of the platform and bolt it onto the angle iron. Going to be very useful to have this fixed for some of the projects coming up.

Simplifying access to “Sharpen the saw”

One of the advantages of doing a very full refit, which involves stripping out most systems and lots of stuff is that it becomes very time and cost effective to make changes that make jobs easier. When doing one small job after another, it often doesn’t seem worthwhile making changes that make life a little easier now and a lot easier in the future but only by delaying the current project.

One example is that we have already found access into our lazarrette (the locker at the back of the boat accessed through a hatch) very tight.

The only way in is to go arms and head first, it is very uncomfortable and there are corners we just can’t reach. This was a problem when we were trying to fill the holes after removing the mooring cleats (because they were leaking and the poor backing plates had caused stress cracks in the deck).

We have lots more jobs that need doing in the lazarrette including: chainplates for running backstays, backing plates for replacement cleats, to fit windvane self steering, fit solar panel arch.

We wondered about making the hatch bigger but that is a big job and when at sea we don’t really want a larger hatch (structurally weaker and potential for more flooding).

Now we have had another idea which is worth it because there are so many jobs that it can make easier.

This is the aft cabin soon after we had bought Vida (only change is new cushions).

This is after removing the cupboards (they made access to discover and fix leaks very difficult and they reduced the usable area of the bed significantly) and the headlining. We had just painted the fibreglass to make it look a bit better until we were ready to fit a new headlining.

While we were working on the backing plate for the new chainplate we noticed that the tabbing for the aft bulkhead wasn’t perfect all the way round (this is the strip of fibreglass that attaches the wood to the hull). So we added that to the jobs list.

At the same time we realised we could cut an access hatch in this bulkhead that will give us much better access to the lazarrette. We will make it so that it can be screwed closed with a watertight seal so that we still have a watertight compartment for safety when we are not doing jobs.

If we were going just one job we would probably try to, uncomfortably, manage with the existing very limited access. But with all the jobs we need to do, we will easily save the time. We can do this alongside repairing the tabbing and will end up with a stronger bulkhead and access when we need it.

It is all to easy to miss opportunities to “sharpen the saw”: An idiom saying that sometimes you have to stop and do some prep or refit work (wasting time now) so that you can proceed faster later (saving more time later than you lost now).” We hope that the way we are approaching this refit gives us the most benefit from this type of prep or enabling work.

Dyneema Shroud and Chainplate progress

We haven’t been able to get to the boat this week, Jane has been ill and I had a seminar on my day off.

But we have had a delivery from Jimmy Green Marine. That means I’ve been able to do some practice splicing. As a result we can see how the Shrouds and Chainplates are going to work.

The first image shows my very first Dyneema Eye Splice. It isn’t very good, but that isn’t a surprise. I’m going to make sure I practice lots before the first real splice πŸ™‚ This is a MΓΆbius Brummel splice (which means it is locked in two directions with a long straight bury. To see how to do this splice see this video from Rigging Doctor. As Dyneema is slippery you need to bury a tail that is 72 times the diameter of the line in length. Our Mizzen Shrouds are 9mm (for reasoning behind that choice see The mysteries of sizing Dyneema standing rigging). For simplicity and an overabundance of caution I decided on 720mm of bury (I think I ended up with about 680mm on this first attempt). The double locking stops the splice from slipping but another key to the strength is tapering the buried portion (so there are no kinks caused by sudden changes in direction for the fibres), my taper ended up being 360mm long. I’ve put a low friction ring in this eye splice which is what will be used at the bottom of the shroud. At the top another eye splice will be fitted to the custom tangs I’m going to make.

Now we have my first attempt to make a chainplate loop. This is also very simple. It is essentially a soft shackle with overhand knot (I tried this one without the soft shackle eye but will put that in the next one). A video on how to make this is here. As I didn’t make the soft shackle eye I’ve put a simple whipping to hold the low friction ring. This started as 3m (3000mm) of 9mm Dyneema and has ended up being about 300mm sticking out above the overhand knot. This uses 2 simple Brummel splices which the loop goes through so that they go around the overhand know,. As the buried tail reaches all the way upto the whipping it can’t slip as it is going all through the knot. Nor can the knot slip because the tails are these eye splices held by the main loop.

This one is only pulled hand tight at the moment. I’m going to have to make some kind of rig to properly tension these to get the knots tight before I install them.

To install them the chainplate is basically a big backing plate with a hole going through it and the deck. The loop (without the low friction ring) is push through the hole from below. The knot can’t fit through the hole in the backing plate. The low friction ring is inserted and now you have a secure point to attach the shroud to.

I’m guessing I can reduce the length of the original line to 2.5m and the buries to 600mm without any significant strength loss. That would place the low friction ring at about 200mm above the deck which is just about what I am looking for. Rremember that Dyneema rigging is sized for stretch not strength, so even with the splice it should be more than 3 times stronger than the stainless steel it replaces. I will do some strength testing but don’t think I can affordably or safely achieve a 10,000kg pull.

Here they are together. They get joined by a 6mm dyneema lashing, that loops between the two low friction rings. When you pull on the tail of the lashing it gives you a mechanical advantage (more will be needed to get enough tension),

Neither of these were difficult to make. I managed both in a couple of hours. I’ve ordered some extra splicing tools and special dyneema knife and scissors (it is very hard to cut!!). My next practices will be on 6mm Dyneema which is for the guardrails/lifelines and the shroud lashings.

We had another delivery today, some Mild Steel Angle Iron which I am hoping to use to repair the platform on my drill press. I have plans to use that to help make the tangs for the top end of the shrouds.

Now we are definitely going to 48volt house battery bank

This answers our pondering House Battery Bank: Should we go 48 volt

So we managed to get these two items from the clearance section at Energy Solutions.

The new MultiPlus II (looks like a decent upgrade from the original MultiPlus). Sized with a 48 volt, 5000 Watt inverter and a 70 amp charger. For the price of a much less powerful 48 volt charger on it’s own.

We had planned to have two smaller MultiPlus units to give some redundancy. We don’t really need that before we set off world cruising so we can wait and add a second smaller one in a few years. The feature set is amazing. For example we can have two power circuits on the boat and one of them will only be supplied if we have shorepower or a generator running. Also we can tell it the shorepower capacity and it will make sure it doesn’t overload it. It can do all kinds of clever stuff mixing shorepower, battery and solar in clever ways (that will mean that we can minimise our shorepower usage as the solar is prioritised).

The Isolation Transformer was an even bigger bargain, the case has some damage (looks like it was dropped onto one corner hard enough to bend the side and bottom panels). It can support a 32 amp 7.0kvA mains supply. It handles 230v and 120v, sorts reversed polarity and protects us from electrical currents that can cause metal fittings on the boat to corrode.

We are very much looking forward to getting these installed (might need to do some weight training to get the MultiPlus II up the ladder and it will need a very strong bulkhead to be fastened to).