Friday, October 25, 2013

Looking Up….

     It is quite the view from the upper shrouds of any mast, but usually you are not up there for the view.
     For what ever unknown reason the radar unit on “Zeta” decided to give up the ghost.  We are now on the third time of trying to have it repaired and the frustration level is increasing.

     While I am no longer penitrating clouds in the aviation world, the entry into a coastal fog bank results in the same mind numbing experience.  Spacial disorientation is never a fun situation to experience.
     There are two sayings that I have always taken to heart.  “Get home ‘itis” can get you killed" and “Mother nature alway’s wins”.  Fixed or moving objects are not good things to meet up with in a fog bank.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sail Boat vrs "Zeta"

     Last spring we received a phone call from the marina that "Zeta" had been hit by a 45 foot sail boat while in her slip.  Being that "Zeta" is a steel vessel, our first thoughts where "we hope the sail boat did not sink"!

     The result was far from the truth.  The starboard shroud of the sail boat had wrapped around the engine of the dingy and destroyed "Zeta's" davit system.

    (The davit system failed where the gussets on the bottom ended)

     After the financial negotiations where complete, I took the time to redesign the davit system so that some design flaws could be aleviated.

(The davit now sits in a socket rather then two flanges that there bolted together)

     The new davits are made of thick walled stainless steel tubing.  The reach was decreased to bring the dingy in closer to the stern of the vessel.  The decrease in the reach and the support tubing seen in the next picture keeps the dingy from swinging.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

What Goes Up ... Well, It Came Down ... The Water Returns!

     You would think that the expert's who build a vessel would get the basic's right, but this does not always happen.  After installing the sump tank and pump for the galley, we had a situation where the pump would cycle every hour or so, even though the sink was not being used.

When the thru hull valve was closed the pump did not cycle.  After further investigation it was looking like something was not correct with the anti siphon loop.

The next move was to remove the washer-dryer combination unit and trace the line from the sump tank for the sink to the thru hull valve.  Sure enough, the line went up about four feet above the water line, then back down to the thru hull, but I could not feel the top of the loop.

After cutting (yet again) an access panel,  I found that the line did go up then come back down to the thru hull, but there was no vented loop installed.

Once an anti siphon loop was installed the system worked as it should.  One more time it proved, never assume any thing.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Electric heat... Where are the volts?

     Rather then use the diesel forced air heater while at dock, we have tried to use a portable 220 volt electric heater.  To make sure that we had a well protected electrical line, we patched into the separate circuits for the air conditioning heat pumps.   (The air conditioners heat pumps can not practically be used at dock side because the compressors are 50 HZ rather then 60 HZ.  There is no problem running the air conditioner heat pumps when either the inverter or on board generator are used because both produce 50 HZ power.) 

     The only issue we have run into is the under voltage that most docks sources have.  Where we are now the voltage is about 203 volts.  Because of the under voltage the electric heater does not produce it's normal heat output.

Water Overboard!

     Zeta was build under European standards.  As such, all of the waste water on board drained to tankage (gray and black water).  This created numerous trips to pump out stations for simply using the head or galley sink.

Gray Water Tank -  Now Plugged

This week we modified the galley sink plumbing so that the waste water now goes to a sump tank that is pumped overboard (the galley is below the water line so the sink can not be drained directly overboard).

New sump tank with internal electric pump

The next project is to remove the old gray water tank and replace it with an additional fresh water tank.