Jun 292011

The last 3 weeks have been slightly too troublesome for my taste. Progress on the final to-do list has been very slow and sometimes almost backwards… Especially since I am trying to get some sailing done every now and then.

But today I got a nice verification that at least I am not completely lost as a designer. The ballast tanks filled on the calculated time (10 minutes) and resulted in the calculated heel (8°). Nice.

Oct 142010

We have not been able to do as much sailing as I would like due to continuing engine problems. I have changed filters in for the engine fuel so many times it is not even funny any more.  So I decided I had enough. And ripped the tanks open to see what was going on. I am glad I did, even if it was A LOT of work, with lots of interior having to be dismounted. This is what they looked like:

It will set me back a bit over a week to get all the tanks cleaned out and the interior put back in place.

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:

Jun 212010

At 5 o’clock in the morning on September 11, 2000, I arrived in St Johns, Newfoundland after a rather difficult crossing from Qaqortoq on Greenland. The following 30 hours were some of the weirdest in my life, with a complex set of personal events intermixed with the approaching hurricane Erin and the terrorist attack that took place a few hours later. I could write a very very long text about this, but what is important today is the fact that we were short of fuel.

Now St Johns is a fishing/commercial/naval harbor, with zero yacht traffic except on rare occasions. There was simply no refueling place equipped with a small enough nozzle to fit in my tank fill. And Canadian laws are very strict about environmental damage by diesel spills in the water. So they all refused to fill our tanks using a funnel.

We were moored behind a small charter trawler, whose captain (like most Newfoundlanders, I later found out) was an extremely nice and helpful guy. He called down a fuel truck, but that met with the same problem, the nozzle was to big for the small hole. After the second fuel truck who was called for had the same problem, my newfound friend got in his car, drove 30 km to his home, and came back with a large oil barrel and a manual pump. We proceeded to call one of the fuel trucks back, and had them fill the barrel on the dock. Then we pumped the fuel by hand over to our yacht.

I decided that I did not want another 9/11, so the Journeyman is equipped with dual work-boat size (50mm internal diameter) fills. Some trucks also has quite high pressure in their pumps, and will refuse to fill your tanks if the air breather outlets are not the same size (too small breather outputs cause overpressure and thus spills). So I use three breathers instead of one. Plus they all have water-locks at their hull exits. Never again…

In the picture you can also see the valve for the breather pipe of the ballast tank. Why is there a valve on the breather, you ask? Because in case of an emergency I want to be able to seal the ballast tanks shut. This will give an extra 4-5 tons of buoyancy to the hull.

Creative Pump Design Department

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Mar 182010

I would like to publicly thank the engineers at Johnson Pumps for helping me come up with a solution to the trim-tank pump. The trim-tanks are very big and they should not take too long to fill. This can easily be done if you use a big, heavy expensive impeller pump. But besides being big, heavy and expensive these pumps are also usually fitted with non-watertight electric motors, which makes placing the pump in the bildge problematic.

When I told the engineers at Johnson about these problems, they came up with the idea of connecting two of their biggest submersible pumps in series. This was a little tricky because these pumps are not made to be connected to a piping system. But after plenty of searching I was able to find a good solution to connect the pumps to the piping:

This gives me a pump that is completely waterproof, and weights and costs about 20% of a large impeller pump, but still gives about 60% of the capacity. With this pump it will take roughly 10 minutes to fill the trim-tank.