Size does matter

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Nov 282012

The crazy Australians that built my hydraulic steering system had a tendency to super-size everything. Not a bad thing in a steering system actually. But the auto-pilot got super-sized too, and that was maybe not perfect. With the original pump the HO/HO time is about 2.5 seconds, which is waaay to fast. So I have had the system running throttled. But then it consumes too much power, so the batteries run out…

Now I’m replacing it with a more sensible sized unit…

Nexus becomes Garmin, still provides good service.

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Nov 152012

My favorite instrumentation supplier Nexus has been purchased by Garmin, and I am hoping it means good things for the products. So far I have only good things to report. I needed to replace my log transducer, and Garmin provided one very quickly for a friend who was traveling down to Uruguay to join the crew.

The new transducer has a different fitting than the old, but I happened to have an extra through-hull mounted with the proper dimension. So I thought it didn’t matter that the boat was already in the water when the transducer arrived. What I didn’t think about beforehand was that the extra fitting was originally used for a depth sounder, which is not dependent on any particular orientation of the sensor. The log sensor on the other hand must be correctly oriented to work. But to my relief I had mounted the through-hull correctly from the start, so the installation went smoothly.

Oct 132012

One of the products that I have not at all been happy with is my Max Power bow thruster. It thrashed its internal gearbox for no apparent reason while we were in Las Palmas, so I lived without thruster since. Journeyman is not simple to maneuver without a thruster, since the “One propeller/Two rudders” combination offers no possibility at all to generate a turning moment on the boat without making way through the water.

When I installed the thrusters electronics control box I noticed that it was not very well made. It was not watertight at all. I tried to add sealant to the box and the holes where the cables came in, but as you can see this didn’t help. Not matter what you do there will be times when you have to open the forward locker hatch under way, and the occasional wave or spray will get in. So in the end there was some water inside and it fried itself. I didn’t get any warranty for the repair, but when the new control box shipped it was a completely different and much better design. Which proves to me I was not the first man with that problem…

The product disappointments continue

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Apr 192012

I think I have enough trouble dealing with my own mistakes. But on top of that I have to deal with a multitude of standard products that fail. Here’s another one to add to the list: Today I was investigating a leak in one of the manual bilge pumps. It is less than two years old, but when I took it apart still it turned out it was the membrane that was cracked.

Now I deliberately bough rather expensive Johnson SPX pumps. And still they do not even last this long before the material fails. I guess as usual, the marine product manufacturers are laughing all the way to the bank….

Dec 012011

As I wrote about earlier we had the newly installed wind generator fall down after only an hour at sea, despite the installation being done according to instructions with the manufacturers mounting kit.

I must say that Marlec took care of the situation with perfection. Within a week I had a new unit to pick up in Santa Cruz. I wish all suppliers would be as caring for their customers.

In other news, we are now off to Cape Verde!