Prepping the second mast and the navigation equipment (testing out very old radar)

Work on the fridge / freezer box is still underway, but a second project has also started this past month. The mizzen (second) mast has been lying in wait for almost 2 years, and the time has finally come to prepare it for painting. Also all the navigation equipment needs to be in order so those can be mounted on this mast. The mast has now been sanded and the first layers of paint (primer and first layer coat) have been applied. The temperature plummeted way blow zero (see pictures of the Seadog in the ice below this post), so painting has come to a hold. But with a little luck we can start painting again next week.

I was lucky enough to get a free (be it, rather old) radar system from a friend of my dad. After some due consideration I decided that if it worked I would install it on the mizzen and not bother buying a new (and very expensive) radar system for now. And lo and behold, after some tinkering and even a little guess-work with the wiring, it seems the system is still operational.


Seadog in the ice….

Ice, rain and snow

As you can see there were some snowy days here in the Netherlands. But nevertheless work continued aboard the Seadog.

On the starboard side some of the holes that were made to access the through hull bolts were patched up.  And this time two hose connectors were laminated at starboard and port side at the back of the ship to allow excess rainwater to flow out of that hallow space in the top of the hull. Which are connected right into the drainage pipes underneath the waterline. Also all hoses aboard the entire ship have now have been replaced by new hoses with  stainless steel hose clamps. Plus, the storage lockers at the back of the ship finally got there much-needed cleanup as well.

The building of the custom fridge / freezer has not  halted, but only had some minor progress in favour of the above tasks. All the needed supplies are now aboard, so hopefully more on this subject in the next post.


Building a custom fridge box inside a sailboat: Step 1 – Preparations

This past week preparations were made for building a new fridge box inside the boat. There has always been a big empty space beneath the kitchen counter that has been hard to reach ever since the stairs were moved there. The fridge box will be placed in that empty space and will be accessible from the top. Although in this case there really was no other option, it actually always a good idea to have the fridge opening at the top. This way the cool air inside the box will not fall out when you open the door. The plan is to insulate the fridge with a minimum of 10 cm insulation to further increase the efficiency of the fridge box. In some places even more insulation will be used, especially in the small space where the freezing section will be.

To compensate for the immense thickness of insulation there will need to be a lot of empty space available underneath the kitchen counter. Therefor all unneeded planks and beams were removed and some much-needed cleaning and painting was done to prepare this space for the placement of the new fridge box.
The holes that were made to access some of the bolts that go through the hull of the boat were also closed off again. Plus some of the 230 volt wiring was redone now that those parts were easy to access.

The cooling unit used to cool the fridge box will be the Isotherm 3251 ASU Self-Pumping Water-Cooled Component System which is one of the most efficient systems out there, while also being near silent (no spinning fan). With this system the sea water-cooled skin fitting/heat exchanger replaces the air-cooled condenser and cooling fan that normal systems use. The through-hull fitting of the kitchen sink was replaced with this special fitting last month when the boat was on the hard (out of the water).

Isotherm 3251 ASU Self-Pumping Water-Cooled Component System

The building of the actual fridge box will follow in an upcoming post. Till then, fair winds and following seas…

Installing solar panels

The first two solar panels have now been installed and are performing tremendously well.
I first hooked them up in series and later in parallel for testing purposes and it seems the best option (for how the panels are placed at this time) is connecting them up in parallel.
My record to date (on a particular sunny day) was a little more than 60 Ah from one panel alone.
Of course this was in perfect conditions and the average Ah a day will be far lower, but this already exited my expectations about how much energy one panel would be able to produce in one day.
See the pictures below for more details about the panels I used. On a later date I will be writing up a more detailed blog post about how I tested my setup and why I choose parallel hookup instead of in series.

Also created a new battery enclosure for the starter battery to make more room for the two 200 aH batteries that will go alongside the starter battery.
Plus redid all the wiring to and from the batteries to make the setup more compact and less messy (which can, and will still be approved upon)

Hoisting the mast onto the boat and the first real sailing trip

Although I kept and stored all the old rigging to reuse with the new mast, I still decided that in the end it was a better to just buy completely new rigging.
Sure, it costs a lot of euro’s to do so, but this way I can be sure that when the winds are blowing strong the mast will stay on the boat and nothing will break (which would have dire consequences when under sail).
I hired a company to do all of the rigging onside (at the marina), which meant that within 3-4 hours the mast was standing on the boat and all the rigging was done.
On the same day we took the Seadog out to the lake and hoisted up the jib (front sail). And even with wind speed’s of only 2 Beaufort Seadog was going quite fast.
We couldn’t yet take up the main sail because not everything was ready for that yet. But a few days later we also took up the main. That day there was even less wind, but Seadog still kept on moving. And at the end of the day wind speed’s went up to 3 Beaufort and we were speeding through the water!

The mast hight for the Seadog now is 12.65 meters, and the bridges at the Gooiermeer have a hight of 12.80-13 meters.
Which means it’s going to be quite intensive every time we go under the bridges. Especially if there are big waves, but the first test runs went good, so I guess there’s nothing to worry about….

As always there’s still a lot to do, but from now on it’s also time to go sailing now and again 🙂 (finally)!

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