Still working on Nelleke
21 November 2018 | Shelburne NS
Even though we aren’t heading south as planned we are still doing boaty stuff. Our two new solar controllers have arrived and we have bought the wire to run two connections from the panels to the battery. This should more efficiently provide solar power to keep our house bank charged up. The wind generator and it’s controller are both back at the manufacturer for servicing and repairs. We have the cranking bank off the boat and at home under trickle charge for maintenance and everything else off the boat for winter storage so we are almost ready to button her up for December through March.
In addition we have been helping our new friend the female French solo sailor sailor, Estelle aboard Courlevent, an aluminum sloop. She decided that the timing and weather was simply wrong for this year so we helped her coordinate having her boat hauled here in Shelburne. We are also helping her store a lot of her gear for the winter. We have the space and it was a simple matter of helping her transport material from the boat yard to our place. I went over there yesterday morning to take some things to Nelleke and to begin to help her unload Courlevent. I knocked on the hull of her boat and heard a voice call out, “‘Allo, Mike. Look at me!” I looked around and finally looked up and saw what is in the photo on this post. Up the mast working on her instruments all on her own. Estelle is one independent, courageous young lady. She continues to impress the heck out of me.
It's damn cold......
14 November 2018 | Shelburne NS
Mike/clear and cold
.....we should be down south.
We've been up on the hard for going on two weeks now and you'd think there would be little or nothing to post, but I am finding that to be far from the truth. Setting aside the obvious prepping Nelleke for the winter to come, there have been a number of other adventures.
First, and most dramatically, we sprung a big irreparable leak in the house hot water tank. I don't think that I had mentioned it before, but this year we had decided to leave the water on and the house heated, although to a much lower temperature, so that if we had family or friends who wanted to come to Shelburne while we were away, they would have a place to crash. If we had been away when this leak occurred, there would have been a lot of damage. There was some good news other than that we were here to notice and catch the problem right away, it was still under warranty so, other that a small bill to an electrician, there was no cost to replacing it. Clearly, in this case, the angels were looking out for us. Next year we may leave the house lukewarm but we will definitely drain the water heater and turn it off!
We have taken the wind generator off its stand and sent it off with the controller to eMarine Systems in Florida for servicing and repair. Plus I have ordered new solar controllers and plan to have each of the panels on individual panels on their own separate controller. This should make them more efficient collectively, so that if one of them is shaded it won't affect the other. We should get the new controllers this week and I'll hook them up to be able to keep the batteries refreshed over the winter.
This fall the weather has been decidedly colder by Shelburne standards that we, as late arrivals, can remember it. In the past seven years since we moved here it never snowed until after New Year and we were in light sweaters and fall kit until after Christmas. As I write this the weather is -1 with a wind chill to -7. I went down to the boat this morning, intending to do a few small jobs, but once I got there it was so cold, and so windy, I decided to just give her a pat and come home to wait for at least less than gale force winds. Brrrr! It has never been this cold until after Christmas before since we moved here.
Finally, Barb and I have made a new friend. There is a 33' aluminum French yacht in harbour single handed by a French woman who was trying to get south for the winter and is trapped by the crappy weather as we were. The woman's name is Estelle and the boat's name is Courlevent or Wind Runner as a rough translation. As of yesterday she has decided to give up the thought of heading south this year as an exercise in bad judgement and will be putting her boat up in the yard sometime soon, whenever the Taylor Yacht Hauler business can fit her into their schedule. Meanwhile, we have been helping her where we can - we drove her to a Canadian Tire where, on our suggestion, she bought one of those small propane heaters that run off a one pound tank. We were startled to discover that her boat had no means of heating the cabin, so, since the weather has been so cold and she is living aboard, she needed some source of heat. I suppose we shouldn't have been surprised as she bought it in Martinique and in the Caribbean there would have been no need for anything like that. She plans to go back to Europe for the winter to get a job to replenish her cruising kitty and then come back here in the spring to prepare her boat and reprovision. We have agreed to store her tinned and dry goods until she returns. Next summer, she tells us, she wants to sail to Newfoundland. Truly an adventurous soul.
08 November 2018 | Boatyard SHYC
Unless I am attacked by a severe case of yakity-tumbs, this will not be one of my longer posts.
As I have already posted Nelleke is safe up on the hard and we have spent the last several days removing the final items, provisions and outfittings, that we don’t want to leave aboard her over the winter. We are just about finished and all that is left are some of the seat cushions and bunk mattresses. Those we will take of on the next dry day.
I have been working on the electrics to determine what exactly was causing our problem on the abbreviated cruise. This has been the opportunity for me to try to remedy some of the problems that were self inflicted when I did some of the original installs. The bundling of wires behind the power panels is something that I am too embarrassed to photograph to show you, but this time one of my projects has been to clean that up as best I can. While I was doing it I discovered what was likely causing the problems with both the wind instruments, depth sounder and the VHF radio. Both battery banks are set up for 24V but some of the instrument, such as the radio and wind instruments run off 12V so I use an electrical step down transformer to reduce the voltage. I discovered that the ground connection for the 24V input, although it was a piece of number 8 wire was only hanging on by a couple of strands. In fact, when I took hold of it the whole thing came off in my hand. Clearly it was not able to pass on the full wattage to the transformer. This would explain a lot of the things we were seeing. Some of them were even giving me low battery warning beeps or even messages on the screen.
We are also taking this opportunity to send the wind generator back to eMarine for a long overdue servicing. When I called them to arrange shipment we also discovered that we should be bringing the power in from the two solar panels on two separate circuits through two separate controllers the good news is that the technology has improved and become much less expensive since we installed the old one so it won’t hurt the pocketbook all that much.
Once I have done these projects I will be finalizing the cabinet work under the mizzen step and the. We should be able to leave Nelleke to rest for the winter. We are already planning to launch as early as possible and a couple of shakedown cruises. Barb has asked for a trip up to the Eastern Shore to visit Liscomb Lodge. We both have enjoyed visiting there in the past, trout fishing in the river, going for walks in the woods, and treating ourselves to dinner at the lodge.
Ah planning. Almost as much fun as the doing.