The adventures of Yacht Flirtie

15 July 2021 | Sicily, Milazzo (position: 38 13.206'N 15 14.741'E)
10 July 2021 | Vulcano, Spaggia di Cannitello - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 22.318'N 15 00.287'E)
07 July 2021 | Lipari, Praia di Vinci - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 26.417'N 14 56.978'E)
30 June 2021 | Salina, Santa Marina - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 33. 071'N 14 52.208'E)
29 June 2021 | Lipari, Porto Pignatro Marina (position: 38 28.677'N 14 57.816'E)
27 June 2021 | Porticello, Lipari - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 30.636'N 14 57.963'E)
25 June 2021 | Caletta dei Zimmari, Panerea - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 37.600'N 15 03.993'E)
22 June 2021 | Porticello, Lipari - Aeolian Islands (position: 38 30.615'N 14 57.962'E)
16 June 2021 | Porto di Ponente, Vulcano - Aeolian Islands (position:38 25.221'N 14 57.182'E)
15 June 2021 | Milazzo (position: 38 13.217'N 15 14.710'E)
13 June 2021 | Taormina (position: 37 50.794'N 15 17.433'E)
12 June 2021 | Monte Pergola, Augusta (position: 37 14.234'N 15 14.010'E)
06 June 2021 | Siracusa anchorage (position: 37 03.604''N 15 16.734'E)
04 June 2021 | Portopalo (position: 36 40.140'N 15 06.726'E)
02 June 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
28 May 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
25 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
15 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
05 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
20 February 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)

Keeping busy during lockdown - part 1

15 April 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
Bruce
There is always something to do...

Our Eberspacher (boat heating) works a real treat when we're alongside and connected to shore power and the battery charger is keeping the batteries nicely topped up. At anchor however it's a different story. The problem is at initial startup the heating draws nearly 30amps for 5 minutes or so and if the batteries aren't fully charged the voltage loses by the time it reaches the heating unit are such that the system just shuts itself down.

With our longer term plans to sail earlier and later in the season it would be nice to be able to call on the heating as necessary so we needed to find a cost effective solution.

Our batteries are reasonably new and hold their charge, but it could be argued that the wires from the batteries to the distribution panel were slightly undersized and the bus bars would certainly benefit from an upgrade.

Before ripping out the wires to the distribution panel we decided to upgrade the bus bars first together with a couple of short wires relating to the central heating. Our bus bars are original (30 years old) and pretty basic as you can see from the picture below.


existing bus bar - pressed plate with push on terminals on a piece of perspex

The wiring/cable management wasn't great either and would certainly benefit from a bit of organisation.


existing wiring

We ordered the parts from our preferred European supplier www.svb24.com now that the UK has left the EU in order to avoid the excessive import charges that now apply.

With a few hours effort the new bus bars were installed successfully and all the existing cables were reconnected with fresh ring terminals.


new bus bars and wiring reconnected



a test crimp to confirm we were using the right die and pressure


Now the moment of truth :-

With both our mains battery charger and solar panels switched off for 24hrs and the state of charge of our batteries down to around 80% we tried the heating......

Success!! This is the first time we've started and run the heating without the battery charger running! Without doubt the internal resistance of the old bus bars and connections was so significant it was the cause of the problem.

As an aside many weeks later we have observed that we are getting significantly less interference on a number of our radio devices like our Radio Telex (Weatherman) , Navtex and our SSB receiver all of which were getting power from the same bus bar.

Forestay turnbuckle upgrade

31 January 2021 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
Whilst cruising the Spanish Rias we lost the bearings from our Selden Furlex. We managed a quick repair (a job well done, blog post 322715) until we had the Selden professionals www.petekeeping.com take a look and service it properly in Portimao. One of their observations was that the turnbuckle (bottlescrew) that was mounted below the furling drum is something Selden no longer do or indeed recommend because of the turning moment applied to the forestay when under load or in the event of a component failure like what we experienced. Unfortunately they couldn't help with an off-the shelf solution but they did fabricate a couple of plates with machine screws that locked the turnbuckle as best it could.


old turnbuckle (bottlescrew) with locking plates

We were running with this solution until we were lifted in Manoel Island Yacht Yard and had the boat surveyed. In the main everything was found to be in extremely good order but once again the surveyor commented on the turnbuckle below the furling drum. In this instance he was concerned about the welded fork on the bottom of the turnbuckle and recommended that this be changed for a toggle style fork without any welds. This would address any issues of corrosion and allow better movement fore and aft and side to side.

An easy solution you would have thought but like many things on a boat there is always a surprise waiting.

When trying to source a replacement we identified that the clevis pins (the horizontal pins at each end of the turnbuckle) were of different diameters - 14mm on the bow roller & 16mm on the Furlex something that isn't available as far as we are aware.

It was time to turn to the professionals once again so we turned to a rigging company in the UK "allspars" www.allspars.co.uk that we have worked with previously and we have complete trust.

We explained our position and left it with David Barden the Production Director who quickly came up with a solution and pinged over his thoughts.

After checking all the measurements one final time we commissioned the work.

A few weeks later we received the parts courtesy of DHL and their DDP service (Delivered Duty Paid) and at the first opportunity we installed it.



As you can see in the main image, the turnbuckle has been removed completely and the Selden toggles attached to the bottom of the furling drum and bow roller allow for complete articulation.

A good job done we think!!

R&D flexible couplings for Flirtie

10 August 2019 | Sicily, Marina di Ragusa (position: 36 46.863'N 14 32.701'E)
Bruce & Caroline Trott
before - the standard volvo coupling

Warning: high yawn rating ;-)

Following our lift in Manoel Island Yacht Yard where we had both cutlass bearings replaced we have been keen to realign both our prop shafts just in case they were out and causing undue wear on the new bearings.

The actual exercise is relatively straight forward to undertake but like most things relatively time consuming requiring the coupling that joins the propeller shaft to the gearbox to be split (unbolted) and parted slightly so that a feeler gauge can be inserted around the flange at 90° increments. In an ideal world with a perfectly aligned engine and shaft the gap would be consistent but if it isn't the engine needs to be raised or dropped, angled up or down or moved left or right or any combination of these movements - a bit of a dark art as one of our cruising friends commented.

On Flirtie, access to the bolts to split the coupling is rather awkward in the first instance so no surprise the alignment exercise hasn't been performed in long time. What we really wanted was a solution that makes the job easier and this is where the "R and D flexible coupling" www.randdmarine.com/flexiblesc.asp comes in.

The R and D flexible coupling negates the first exercise of unbolting the coupling and instead provides you with a designated area (a machined red bolt) that you can insert a feeler gauge above and measure the gap. This means the gap can be monitored at leisure and any minor adjustments made as necessary. Additionally the coupling is semi flexible meaning it absorbs minor alignment errors of up to 0.25mm - a benefit certainly but not completely necessary.

The installation was relatively straightforward with the help of the clear instructions www.randdmarine.com/flexiblescinstr.asp. The only minor inconvenience being the new bolts that connect the coupling to the gearbox flange needed shortening by about 4mm to clear part of the gearbox casting. This was fairly easy for us with access to mains power and an angle grinder but would be a bit of a pain with only hand tools.


after - the white nylon coupling between the two halves of the standard coupling

With the installation complete and with just a minor tweak to a couple of the engine legs the gap is almost identical at all 90° positions so we're now ready for a proper sea trial ;-)

Vessel Name: Yacht Flirtie
Vessel Make/Model: Trident Voyager 40
Hailing Port: Dartmouth, UK
Crew: Bruce and Caroline Trott
About:
Welcome to Sailing Yacht Flirtie's blog.

Our blog serves as a personal record of our adventures and experiences since leaving the UK in 2012 whilst allowing family and friends to keep up-to-date with our whereabouts. [...]
Extra: email us: bandc.trott@gmail.com
skype us: distant.drummer797
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Yacht Flirtie

Who: Bruce and Caroline Trott
Port: Dartmouth, UK

Where are we now?