BITS and PIECES

BITS and PIECES

Here’s a little modification recap.  Mostly meant to provide additional security and improve independence for this and future adventures it was a big financial output this year but we can now untie the lines and feel we are well prepared.

Solar panels were installed to supplement battery power (story here, here and here)

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Solar Monitor

 And should we be fogged in along the Saint-Lawrence which is very likely this time of year, we have Gen the Generator to provide power at anchor for that much needed morning coffee (story here and here) and to fire up our little electric heater to take the chill out of the cabin.

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Generator

A word about fog…Ray the Radar will let us see what’s coming and going around us (story here)

The Dome

The Dome

Our boat came supplied with a collapsible camping water jug which we have now upgraded…modestly for now (story here)

15 Free Flowing Gallons

15 Free Flowing Gallons

Mostly esthetic, the Weather Station (story here) was added to give us an indication of changes in barometric pressure, temperature and humidity but the added benefits of having a safe place to store charts and navigation tools made it a step up from ‘pretty’.

A Place to Hide All Precious Cargo

A Place to Hide All Precious Cargo

Solar  Luci Lights will be used to supplement our mast light when at anchor.  Solar instead of battery power is always good.

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Luci

…and little ‘AA’ battery operated LED cabins lights can be used at night instead of using the boat battery.  Only thing missing in this picture is our evening cocktail.

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Cabin Lights

This  year we’re trying something new.  We removed all the bilge covers in the rear berth and found bins that fit securely into the depressions.  Lower priority items and less used are stashed at the back and the containers are small enough that they can be lifted out easily to access things stowed in behind.  Thanks to a great suggestion from our friend Beth we used large pool noodles to safely store fishing rods.

A word about balance:  we are very conscious about equilibrating load.  The weight of the extra 15 gallons of water port-side will be balanced with provisions starboard.  An eye’s view from land shows an even distribution and the onboard clinometer shows zero degree healing at rest and because the load sits low, the righting arm and centre of gravity should be at peace with each other.

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Improved Storage

This sack made of breathable Phifertex holds 2 sets of full foul weather gear, long underwear, tuques, gloves, wet suits and will be stowed below.  Everyone we have talked to says to be prepared for the cold.  Hoping this will be enough. And regarding cold, who wants to fall in the Saint-Lawrence River with near freezing temperatures?  Life vests with safety harnesses, webbing life lines along both port and starboard with tethers have been added.

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Foulies

Two sets of simple pole clips will keep our docking/locking poles secured and out of the way mounted just behind the companionway stairs.

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Clips for Docking Poles

What’s left?  Well I guess the only thing left to do is provision.  That’s a personal preference thing. What works for us won’t necessarily appeal to another. I’ve spent the winter working on easy galley recipes and there will be new ones posted from time to time along the way in Sea Salt Galley Kat. We’re counting on being at anchor more often this trip but as with previous years what’s worked best for us is to count  number of days away from supplying and add a contingency factor of +20% to allow for bad weather and unforeseen delays,  There are lots of places along the way to pick up supplies though.  Oh yeah, speaking of our bellies, we have our fishing permits.

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Permits

…and some super duper lures thanks to  Tim the Master Fisherman, so hoping to snag a fish or three and Francois knows of places where we can dig for clams.  We may freeze but we won’t starve.

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Scary Stuff

A word about internet.  In a perfectly plugged in world we would by now have an internet booster but haven’t we already done enough for one year?  It’s on the list of improvments but the priority had to go first to those things that will make us safer.  We did however augment our data plan which included a super deal from our provider giving us a new iPad mini which hopefully will provide more latitude with blog posting.  Will see just how great that signal is along the Saint-Lawrence.

…and last but not least is what we have been referring to as Little Red, our new-to-us dinghy.  Names have been thrown around, suggestions offered but Francois has come up with what we think is the best of the best.  In France if you order a glass of red wine you ask the waiter for a ‘ballon de rouge’ so don’t you think it very fitting that our little inflatable should be called…

‘BALLON de ROUGE’?  

So that’s it.  Next time you hear from us we will probably be on our way.  Feel free to stop by to check in on us.  It will be an adventure for sure.

HARVESTING the SUN – part 2 – Mounting Solar Assembly

HARVESTING the SUN – part 2 – Mounting Solar Assembly

Phase two of our solar panel project is now underway.  Soon winter will be but a distant memory, boat tarp will be removed and we can get this party started.  Part one, panel assembly, can be found by clicking here. This next stage highlights what we used to mount the panels to the existing bimini structure.

I have also added a new feature which may help those who wish to reproduce this on their own boat.  A recipe card template that we use on our Sea Salt Galley Kat blog has been adapted to give you a printable shopping list of materials and tools needed (see bottom of page)

Continuing with a more cost effective method we are again using aluminum tubing easily found at local hardware stores.

Pipe Cutter

Pipe Cutter

A simple pipe cutter was added to our tool repertoire and until we have alternatives, living room, kitchen and guest room will continue to be our work rooms.

 Even though we have tried to keep this project cost effective, there are occasions when nothing but the strength and durability of stainless steel will do.

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Stainless Steel Fittings

Aluminum tubing that we have used for the panel and mounting assembly has been a fraction of the cost of stainless but aluminum is a malleable metal.  To counter this, hardwood doweling was glued into each length so that the continual stress of movement and any accidental shock will not bend or reduce the overall strength.

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Aluminum Strengthened with Doweling

 

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Some Assembly Required

Loctite Metal Epoxy will help to secure each fitting to the tubing.

Now back to the boat to put it all together

 

Assembling the Rig

Assembling the Rig

 

SS Fittings in Place

SS Fittings in Place

 

Perfect Fit

Perfect Fit

 

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Sushi Reward and Captain’s 007 Beer

Next step, wiring and connections…

 

Solar Panel Mounting Assembly
 
What We Used
  • Pipe cutter
  • Hardwood doweling
  • PL glue
  • 2' x 1" lengths aluminum pipe x 2
  • 1' x 1" lengths aluminum pipe x 2
  • SS Outside Eyes x 4
  • SS Hinged Jaw Slides x 4
  • SS T-Fittings x 4
  • Loctite Metal Epoxy
Notes
Prices will vary according to location and material sourcing but this phase cost us less than $200 CDN. 'Working' beer cost not included.

HARVESTING the SUN – part 1- Panel Assembly

HARVESTING the SUN – part 1- Panel Assembly

In our attempt to become more autonomous onboard R.E.D., plans are afoot to add to, and modifiy existing systems.

The first big addition was a Generator (link to post here), our never-wanting-a-dead-battery-again purchase.

At the end of the season last year, we aquired two 40W solar panels. Testing them in temporary locations showed just how effective they would be. They kept the battery fully charged throughout the day with all onboard equipment running.

End of Season Test

End of Season Test

 

From a local hardware store we found lengths of 1-1/2″ aluminum strips, cut into 4 equal lengths spaced evenly along the windth of the panels.  By securing all four together with tape, holes could be drilled precisely.

From our marine supply store we found 4 rail mounting brackets, each tacked with a spot of PL glue to keep them in place before securing with screws.

Support Strips and Rail Mount Brackets

Support Strips and Rail Mount Brackets

 

One extra strip of aluminum was cut to act as a joint between the two panels, secured in place with 3/16″ aluminum rivets.

Panel Joint

Panel Joint

 

Finally, a spot of PL glue on each bracket to keep the 1″ x 54″ length of aluminum tubing from sliding, tops of brackets fixed securely with acorn finishing nuts.  Total assembly is 14″ x 62.5″.

Rail Assembly

Rail Assembly


Mounting  the panels on R.E.D. will have to wait until her tarp is removed in a month or two or three.  In the meantime, Francois is busy designing the next step.

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Next Step