So long since my last post. Well I didn’t seem to get out much on the boat over summer. Not really sure why. The general blur of the last 2 years of the ‘rona has me wondering what exactly I have done with the last 2 years. I even had to Google when we came out of lockdown as even this was lost in the haze. I didn’t do any regattas either, at least not on Wine-Dark Sea. Not only was there little crew interest in regattas, I even struggled to field a team for Friday twilights. Maybe people don’t need to wind down on a Friday evening anymore now they aren’t going into the office.
So onto the mods!!
The new mast is in finally. It was somewhat delayed by global shipping woes. It was fabricated and ready for transport around the beginning of December but didn’t end up arriving until March with install and commissioning stretching into April. Its no been out for 2 races, both in very light air. There have been a few more test sails to figure out mast jacking limits but it is likely the true potential will not be seen until we hit the racetrack in Airlie Beach Race Week in a little over a month’s time. Early indications are that the boat is a few degrees high upwind and about as fast short handed as we used to be fully crewed.
So that was the planned modification…then there’s the unplanned!
I had noticed the oil in the high pressure pump for the water maker had gone milky. A sure sign water was leaking from the water side into the crankcase. After much procrastination I finally removed the pump and ordered a new set of seals. Upon breaking down the pump I found salt deposits around one of the cylinders (its a piston Cat pump for the technically minded). Once I scratched this away to my dismay I saw that the salt had eaten into the crank case meaning that the new seals wouldn’t seat properly. New pump time (at several boat dollars expense). Then I got to thinking. “If I’m spending all this money on a new pump to put into an old system, is there a better way of doing this than 20 year old technology”. After a bit of research (Thanks Jimmy Hall) it turns out there is. While throughput of the water maker will be down, for the same price as the new Cat Pump, I’ve decided to go down a 12V route courtesy of Rainman Technology’s Pressure Supply Unit, connected to one of the 2 existing membranes. This allows me to ditch at least 100kg of generator. Sure I’ll loose the massive 150+A alternator bolted on to it, but that really isn’t much of an issue with the solar panels charging the batteries all day. The new system will draw about 32 Amps, well within the capabilities of the main engine alternator and solar panels.
The only thing now is to get the bloody generator out of the boat. I made a good start today disconnecting all the connections to the generator. I suspect that was the easy part. Now I have to somehow get it out from behind the main engine. I’m hoping I can get it out via the starboard quarter berth. I’ll see if I can remember to take some photos of the chaos. Otherwise, hopefully, my next post will be from the delivery up to Queensland…FINALLY, hopefully with a functioning watermaker.