Fixing annoyances – big and small.

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Apr 252011

Today I got rid of a couple of things that have annoyed me for some time.Actually, I have a list of about 60 of these. And the only way of making the list smaller is fixing them….

A small annoyance was that the starboard side helmsman seat would gather a small pool of water on the seat when it was raining. It was really small, but still enough to cause unnecessary chilling of the helmsman’s rear end in cold weather. It was a bit tricky to fix because the drain had to be put in very close to the inner wall of the storage compartment underneath the seat. But now it’s in place, and all you see from the outside is the two small holes that I pointed arrows at in this photo:

A much bigger annoyance was the fact that the hydraulic steering was leaking air into itself, which was causing it to leak oil when the temperature got warm. So now we finally found the leak, fixed it and did a thorough bleeding of the system. I am hopeful it’s going to be more well behaved now. Two conical threads in the cross-link valve in the back of this photo were the culprits:

Jul 282010

So this is what the steering position looks like. In the picture you can also see the now solved winch collision problem. You can also see the steering control valve I talked about in yesterdays post, it’s the small silvery handle to the right of the wheel center.

You can see two joysticks on the switch button panel. The left one is the bow thruster. The smaller right one is the engine throttle and gear control. I hate the Teleflex style big throttles that always break and take too much space and peoples lifelines get caught in them and what not. So I rebuilt the engine to use a small industrial joystick for control, one at each steering position and one indoors in the deck house.

You can maybe also see that it has been raining, which is not so good since we are trying to get the bottom paint done, and that has been taking a bit too long due to multiple epoxy mixing disasters…

Funky Door Complete

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Jul 072010

What makes a door funky, you may ask? Well, for example the fact that it is in three pieces. Two on separate hinges, to allow opening only the upper part, and keeping the lower in place as a wash-over protection. The third part is a small fold-able corner of the upper door part. It uses frictional hinges to stay in place, and allows the upper door to be completely open and out of the way without colliding with the cockpit sofa backrest.

In other news, the doors to the forward toilet and shower was cut and put in place upside down, in a moment when I wasn’t looking. Too bad, now we have to make new ones… We also tested the ballast tanks today. First there was a very major leak due to a hole in the pumps, then only a small leak that hopefully is fixed for tomorrow. The emptying works fine:

Apr 012010

I think the first time I had the idea that I could actually build my own boat was when I met Peter Stuivenberg on his yacht Crossroads in the Horta Marina on the Azores in 2001. If he could then I should be able too, right? One mistake he said he made was not paying enough attention to the helmsmans position, and as a result it was very uncomfortable to steer his yacht.

Now that the Journeyman helmsman positions are done I can reassure you that this will not be the case here.

If you want to sit down while steering the seat is there for you, and it has a U-shape that will keep your bottom in  a nice grip up to about 10° heel. For larger angles you will move up to sit on the deck edge, which is angled 25° (you only see the edge in this picture). Both places offer you a nice forward view passed the deckhouse. Standing up, you will find good support for the leeward foot on the footrest, which has a really steep angle at the end to stop you from slipping away in case of a broach or similar event. With the leeward foot on this rest and the knee of the other leg on the deck edge you have a really stable and comfortable position at high heel angles.

All seating areas are covered in a rubber/cork mix material (originally developed for diving board surfaces) which provides good friction, thermal insulation and a soft feel.

The top bearing of the rudder shaft ended up underneath the proper position of the footrest, as you can see. So we made the footrest easily removable.