Category Archives: Tech stuff

Wash-day

Drying the mainsail after a sponge-down (no scrubbing allowed)
Drying the mainsail after a sponge-down (no scrubbing allowed)

Today the mainsail got a long overdue wash. A weak bleach (chlorine) solution and a sponge did the trick. There was a decent buildup  of green mold, from rain water being trapped in the folds of the sail. Most of it came off, although, some areas still have a slight green hue. Black mold spots also came off, except for the mold that appears to be trapped between sheets of Dacron (where the sail is reinforced). Never the less, it will be more enjoyable and less embarrassing to hoist sails, this season.

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Frognerkilen

Latitude: 59° 54.699 N
Longitude: 10° 42.102 E

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Chart data Statens kartverk and Geovekst

Trying our new gennaker

Goose-winging in very moderate winds
Goose-winging in very moderate winds

On passage from Son to Dronningen, in moderate wind we had to try the new gennaker (second try). We where running downwind in the Drøbak channel so I decided to fly the gennaker on a whisker pole. Bad idea. The gennaker is on roll, but does not roll as easily as the genoa. When the wind increased, it took some inelegant foredeck work and sail flapping before the whisker pole  was rigged down. I also learned that even though the gennaker was rolled up nicely (in headwind), the top soon blew out, so the gennaker needed to be rigged down too.

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Drøbaksundet

Latitude: 59° 35 N
Longitude: 10° 38 E

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Chart data Statens kartverk and Geovekst

A 3 day job

Day 1: lid and 2 of 4 bolts removed
Day 1: Hose, lid and 2 of 4 bolts removed

If I see a leakage, I instinctively grab a screwdriver and start tightening all the hose clamps nearby. I have killed a few hose clamps as a result. This was also going on with the seawater pump for a while, until I realized that the pump axes is ‘open’ so seawater or oil will leak if one of the sealing rings are worn, makes sense I guess.

After browsing forums, getting  a Volvo Penta wear kit and impeller kit and picking up a snap ring plier, I went to work on it, one afternoon. The pump is held in place by 4 bolts, where the 2 most accessible bolts have nuts. The 2 least accessible bolts are screwed into threads in the pump house itself. This 2 bolts require that, among other, one engine pad is removed for a minimum of access. At this point I realize that the 10 mm wrench key was missing from my toolkit, probably offered to Neptune at some point in the past. Just as well, because the afternoon had turned into evening.

Day 2: Seawater pump removed
Day 2: Seawater pump removed

Day 2 I got the pump removed. It took longer than you would think. After removing the gear, it became clear that the bent snap ring plier I brought was no good, I needed a straight on.

Day 3 Done
Day 3: Done

I took the pump to my tools (larger collection of tool at home, than in the boat), since taking the tools to the pump did not work so well. On day 3 I could refit a ready assembled seawater pump.

Granted, a professional  would have all the necessary tools at hand, but still the design is such that time is wasted servicing it. Volvo Pent spare parts are expensive enough, I dread to think what it would cost to have an authorized Volvo Penta serviceman do this job.

In thruster we trust

The result of a weekend on land
The bow thruster at sunrise

The annual haul out, to clean the hull and refresh the antifoul, happened early this year. Yes, mid April is early in the Oslofjord. Most yachts are still covered and in layup on land.

While on land, Ventulus got equipped with external bow thruster. Real men do not use bow thrusters, I know. Nevertheless I am really looking forward to being able to turn at minimum or no speed. And best of all, being able to override the prop walk when space is tight.

Foiled weekend sailing

The culprit
The culprit

Our start battery worked flawlessly, during our week-long summer cruise. Two weeks later, when I pressed the start button there was a loud click followed by silence. Only after disassembling the engines electronics (or more accurately electromechanics), did I think of checking the battery.

The battery was connected to a charger, and appeared to be receiving maintenance charge. However, the voltage dropped, to 4 volt when attempting to start. In the two weeks the battery was left idle, but charging, it had developed a major internal resistance. I am guessing it is a dried out cell. ‘Maintenance free’ should read ‘can-not-be-maintained’.

Refsnes Gods

Veltulus at Refsnes Gods
Room with a view, of Ventulus, at Refsnes Gods

We intended to spend a night at Refsnes Gods, and figured it would be fun to arrive by sea. My worries about the shallow water around their pontoon-dock was swept away by assurances that larger sailboats had visited in the past. We struggled a bit in the windy conditions, as we moored to the pontoon. However, the next day was supposed to be calmer, even so, I broke out the heavy duty mooring lines.

Torn fairlead
Torn fairlead

Next morning Ventulus and the pontoon was engaged in a crazy asynchronous dance, that had apparently gone on for a while. I cant blame the weather-man, the wind was calmer, but from the opposite direction, and with that came waves amplified by the shallow beyond the pontoon. The pontoon did not do much in breaking the waves either, more like encouraging them. The damage: a torn apart fairlead and a bent out of shape bow-ladder.

 

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Refsnes

Latitude: 59° 26.6361 N
Longitude: 10° 36.4033 E

Click chart to view larger scope, or here for an even larger scope in a separate window.


Chart data Statens kartverk and Geovekst