WHAT WORKED, WHAT DIDN’T (part 2, the systems)

A modern boat is complex and although Shaula3 was one of the less sophisticated boats (along with the other boats at the low-end of the fleet) we are nevertheless quite far from Moitessier’s “Joshua”!…

NAVIGATION SYSTEMS:
our navigation systems were based on the Raymarine range, in order to take advantage from the integrated instruments’ ability to share date among themselves, and this turned out to be a blessing, but also a curse, because the “seatalk” data bus is also used to power the various instruments and a fault in one of them may put out of service the whole instrument chain, as it happened to us when we capsized.
Our two radar/chartplotter displays were of an old model, but had the important feature of being able to be networked and share the charts and the radar data,a solution we would hardly do without and only recently became available in Raymarine’s mid-range displays.
The radar was invaluable not only for the obvious uses, but also to detect incoming squalls in time to try and avoid them and, very importantly, to overlap the radar picture with the electronic chart to detect the chart’s positioning mistakes which are none too exceptional for charts surveyed in the 1800’s!
Unfortunately our radar was not very good at detecting the ubiquitous small wooden shipping boats that we met everywhere, even very far from shore; maybe a more powerful (but bigger…) antenna would have helped?
Our electronic pilot ST6000+ with hydraulic actuator has served us big-time, and the high-end smartpilot remote was a bit overdone but generally handy.

COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS:
the subject is rather long, we will cover it next time!

ON-BOARD COMFORT:
Our ENO gas oven, a cheapish model, worked flawlessly; due to the gas-bottle locker’s limited size we could only carry 2 camping-gas bottles and 2 italian-threaded camper-type bottles and, except in Australia where we had to buy a local bottle, we have been able to refill either one or the other type everywhere around the world, each bottle normally lasting about one month.
The Isotherm seawater-cooled refrigerator is the system that most troubled us during the voyage: the very expensive control unit (250 Euros!!) broke 4 times until we found the problem and solved it by driving the cooling-water pump via a relay (they should have thought of it!!).
The coolbox itself was on the small side and quite likely poorly insulated, nevertheless the power consumption wasn’t too bad.
We didn’t have a freezer, both for space and for power consumption issues, and we envied the crews of the larger boats that could enjoy frozen meat in the middle of the ocean…
We didn’t have neither central heating nor air-conditioning, the first because we didn’t think we needed it, the second because the power requirement would have been prohibitive. We only had a small electric heater that was precious against the Australian Queensland’s cold nights and fans which greatly helped to keep the cabins’ temperature under control. Many of the larger boats had airco, and used it a lot, if and when their generators were working….

right, the ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS:
Our domestic battery bank was made-up by 3 lead-silver (a.k.a. low-maintenance) 100Ah batteries, plus an identical one for engine starting: bigger batteries would have been desirable, but there was no space in the battery locker.
In theory with our typical consumption while at sea we needed to recharge at least twice a day for at least 3 hours in total; this was usually relieved in part by our Aerogen wind-generator (until we had to stop using it, late in the voyage, due to the vibration caused by worn bearings) and by our 100-watt solar panel.
In the really good days, we could use the engine for loading even less than one hour per day.
We did not have a diesel generator, mainly de to space issues and gensets turned out to be by far the biggest cause of failures on the boats that had one: some even resolved to replace the damn thing during the voyage, and still had problems afterwards!!
If we ever have to do it again, we would certainly try and squeeze a genset onboard, but it’s essential to run-in the system before leaving for good and making sure the system is accessible for maintenance and repairs!

WHAT WORKED, WHAT DIDN’T (part 2, the systems)ultima modifica: 2009-08-18T19:16:15+02:00da shaula3_gian
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