Friday, October 23, 2009

Another round of work: part 2

The boat is back at YachtFitters for its next round of work.  The theme for this round is for the boat to be capable and comfortable for coastal cruising during this winter and spring.  I also want the boat to be easier and safer to single hand.  Yes, I know that safety starts with the idiot behind the helm, I'm working on that part.  There will be a list of work to follow this round, and a list to follow that one...

The boat will probably be gone for 2 or 3 weeks, drat.  Here's what's going on:
  • a new windlass.  I've chosen a Maxwell RC10-8, a vertical windlass.  The current manual horizontal windlass works pretty well, needs no energy aside from my own, and is simple.  Its also hard to raise the anchor, clean the rode and steer the boat all at the same time.  The last thing is that I have had a bad back in the past...raising the rode twice in a row tends to tweak it
  • adjust the anchor locker.  I want to cut the current anchor locker into one large volume.  The goal here will be to be able to raise the entire rode without having to manually flake the chain.  If the chain needs flaking, it should be easily done on the forward deck.  When raising a lot of chain at the moment, I need to occasionally head below to the forward berth to adjust where the chain is piling, run up to see where the boat is, adjust, go forward to raise more rode, head below, etc.  I want to be able to avoid all of that in the future.  I'll also add 100' to 150' of nylon rode to my current 300' of 5/16th HT chain
  • add an autopilot.  I've chosen a Raymarine unit.  For offshore I'll eventually have a Monitor wind vane, but for coastal sailing an autopilot is more useful
  • add a furnace.  I've chosen a Webasto AT 3900 forced air diesel furnace.  I've gone back and forth between bulkhead mounted, hydronics and forced air.  Webasto makes a nice small hydronic unit, which has the advantage that the plumbing is small diameter pipe and easier to route - but the heat exchange units are fairly large and the power draw for the system is high.  Bulkhead units were very tempting - I like their simplicity, having a visible flame in the cabin would be nice, close to zero electricity needed, and fuel efficient.  However they occupy valuable space on a bulkhead, provide a local source of heat, and have long flue stacks which would need a hole cut into the deck along with corresponding deck space for the stack.  Forced air requires some duct work inside the boat but provides the driest air.  Everything is a compromise on a sailboat.  I hope I'll be happy with the selection
  • work on fuel tank.  My boat has an aluminum fuel tank and there have been reports of these tanks having problems due to galvanic corrosion between the tanks and the stainless steel keel bolts in the salt water bilge environment.  I like to keep the bilge dry.  The boat is 20 years old and I have no idea on the condition of the tank.  The solutions are either to replace the tank with a fiberglass version (which is what the factory uses now) or to take the tank out and fix it.  I'm going with the latter route.  This will involve: emptying the tank; taking it out; cleaning it inside and out; acid etch the exterior; epoxy the exterior and reinstall.  I'll also take the opportunity to add an inspection port and a sampling port.
  • a variety of smaller projects
While this is going on, there is one major carryover project from earlier this summer.  I'm still working on the replacement of all 10 portlight gaskets - a few of which are leaking.  The gaskets are old, they will all leak eventually.  That project will be described in its own post, its taken quite some time to figure out how to solve the problem.

The theme for the next list will probably be energy self sufficiency.  That would involve a wind generator, solar panels, charge controller, possibly an arch, possibly reposition the current radar.  Beyond that, the lists will involve projects for offshore