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Calou's Blog
Cruising with the crew of CALOU on the Baja Ha-ha and Pacific Puddle Jump
Photos from CALOU

this is a test

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Lee cloths

John also made the lee cloths. These have battens to keep the sides stiff, so fewer supporting lines will be needed. We used the same Sunbrella fabric.

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spinnaker bag

John designed and made a special bag for our spinnaker, so that it can be lashed to the deck (to save room below). The bag is elongated, designed to fit just forward of the mast. It has tabs on the corners so it can be lashed to the attachment points available on deck. It has a mesh bottom so it can drain water out. The rest is made of Sunbrella which is waterproof and UV resistant.

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Solar Panel wiring and Controller
10/11/2006, Sausalito, CA

As I mentioned, it turns out Anderson's says that the repair will be relatively simple and will be done by this Friday. So it's back to work in preparations.

Today I completed the installation of the wiring for the Solar Panel and its computerized controller. The controller (pictured above at right) converts the 28 volts, 7 amps from the solar panel to the 14 volts , 14 amps needed required for recharging, and is a 3-stage charger so overcharging of the batteries is not a worry. It has a digital display that indicates how many amps it's putting out. In the photo it's producing two amps--in the evening!

The black thing to the left of it is the circuit breaker for the electric windlass.

Crew member John made three lee cloths today and is working on an all-weather spinnaker bag so the spinnaker can be lashed to the deck.

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windlass wiring

First of all I'd like to say how much I appreciate the comments that readers have left. With the frenzy of getting ready for this trip, which involve very long hours, I haven't had the time to reply to many of them. When we're sailing, I think we'll have more time.

I installed the wiring for the electric anchor windlass today. (Well, 95 percent of it). This includes two 4 gauge cables from the starter battery, to a circuit breaker in the cabin, and along the starboard side to the bow. Running these heavy cables is no small task. There's a relay in the forepeak which will switch the windlass up and down.

All that remains to be done tomorrow is install the control switch and the windlass itself in the anchor locker.

I designed a prototype for the windlass bracket, that raises it to the maximum height and places it in the exact location and angle required. The machinist appreciated having this 3 dimensional model to work from rather than the typical sketch.

You can see how the bracket turned out here.

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Solar Panel
10/08/2006, Sausalito, CA

Today, I got the solar panel mounted on the stern davits, with help from crew member John and a friend. This thing is about 5 feet by 3 feet. It's mounted on hinges so that it can tilt fore and aft about +/- 20 degrees. There are two locking piston-like devices that can lock the panel at any angle. These things are sold by West Marine for the purpose of adjusting the angle of an opening windshield on powerboats. They work perfectly.

I haven't connected the wires yet, since I'm awaiting the arrival of the charge controller, ETA Tuesday.

I also replaced the busted rope clutch on the mast for the jib halyard, going this time one size larger. Will add a block and cheek block so the halyard is brought into the cockpit.

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updated to-do list

Anderson's Boat Yard seems to be doing their thing at a snail's pace. So far the only thing they've done is pull the rig and remove the old prop and part of the prop shaft. I keep going into their office to remind them of our deadline.

Here's what Anderson's is expected to get done:
make bracket for the electric windlass, install chain stopper, dripless shaft seal, new prop and prop shaft, have diesel mechanic do complete engine service and checkout and recommend spares

Here's what we, the crew of Calou, still need to do:
finishing touches on bimini, solar panel, install windlass, cockpit shower, run jib halyard to cockpit, 2nd fuel filter & vacuum gauge in fuel line, new anchor rode, reconnect instruments

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Emergency Rudder
10/06/2006, Anderson's Boat yard, Sausalito

D.G. and I worked all day installing the emergency rudder system. It would have been easier, but the installation required the custom fabrication of teak shims to account for the curvature of the boat's hull. Fortunately, DG brought his table saw so the precise angle cuts were straight forward.

So now we have this great backup steering system!

Also today, Pascale drove all the way to hippie-dippee Hopland, CA, and back to pick up our new, super-duper solar panel. This baby produces 14 amps at 12 volts.That's a lot of power!

Attaching and connecting the solar panel will be the next project.

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10/07/2006 | Steve Rathfon
Enjoy your blog. The e-rudder looks very sturdy. What do you attach to the ends of the T and how do you manipulate it to steer the boat?
10/08/2006 | Bruce
the Tee has eye bolts in each end to attach lines, so the rudder can be steered by either (a) lashing down both lines to stern cleats or (b) lashing one end to a boat hook and pushing/pulling fore/aft.

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