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Electrical refit - Part 3

The electrical refit continues with the DC panel. We're installing a new panel (Pros by Ditel) with hydraulic magnetic breakers from Carlingtech. I tried to select appropriately sized breakers for the separate circuits and where necessary (or practical), combine several functions on one switch, like the NMEA instruments and navigation. In these cases the combined circuits will be fused separately in a fuse box behind the panel and the breaker on the panel is used just as a switch.
We selected the Pros Modular panel because it was the only one we could find that was a fit for the cabinet door frame on the boat. There aren't many nice horizontal panels on the market unfortunately.
The 10 switch horizontal panel (PROSXRC10) and the sailboat light indicator panel (PROSLCL1) fits perfectly in our door frame side by side.  The plywood insert had to be removed from the frame to replace it with a new one, which was not easy. I considered just gluing on one more layer of a thin mahagony…
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Minor hull repairs

We noticed a small crack in the paint on the bottom of the boat between the saildrive and the rudder. The Scanmar hulls were made of two molds glued together, usually mostly from the inside. The crack appears where the two parts were joined together.
I've seen this symptom on several Scanmars and the issue is usually not serious, more of a cosmetic one. But as we're already working on the transom, I've decided to fix it properly.  We sanded down the bottom paint and gelcoat around 10-10cm in the area, exposing the crack. It seemed that were the two halves of the hull were connected, some kind of filler material was used from the outside. This material started disintegrating, making voids and thus, the crack appeared.I carved out some of the filler material with a dremel tool, then filled it with thickened epoxy. After it cured, we laid 4 layers of 300g woven fiberglass cloth on it. Finished with 3 layers of 407 fairing compound. It gets two layers of unthickened epoxy as a b…

Repairing the transom

The transom looked really ugly since we bought the boat and needed some attention. The red gelcoat was faded, with badly done hole repairs and there was a small vertical crack in the middle. The original plan was to just widen the crack a bit with a Dremel tool and apply a gealcoat filler. But when I started opening up the crack, it turned out that it's deeper than expected. Probably the water got into the laminate at the top of the crack and worked its way all the way down. So I decided to sand all the damaged laminate out. 
I widened it to a ca. 10cm patch and removed quite a bit of it on the sides to have a good angle for the new fiberglass to stick to. The laminate underneath was healthy though and the crack didn't went through (there is no crack from the inside of the boat), so it's more of a cosmetic issue, but we thought it's good to reinforce it anyway.  We laid 2 layers of 800g triaxial fiberglass and one layer of chopped strand mat on top of it and repaired all…

New ventillators and smoke detector

Three old ventillators have been replaced last weekend as they were falling apart due to UV damage and the brittle plastic. We could get the exact same type of ventillators, so we went with those. No new holes to drill and hopefully these will do the job for another 10 years. I was also considering changing them to solar vents, but I haven't read too good reviews about them. They're usually much bigger (need a bigger hole) and according to many they tend to die after a year or two (either the battery or the fan motor gets loud) and doesn't worth the extra price tag. We're going to add some regular 12V car fans inside before we sail to warmer climates.
We already have a gas/propane alarm in the galley and now I also installed a battery powered smoke detector. Very easy and no drilling required, it's held in place with velcro strips.

VHF and cockpit speakers

We already had speakers installed in the cockpit, but they were so badly UV damaged that the membrane fell apart. I decided to replace them with some new 5" marine speakers. Fortunately I found a model (LTC Promarine 52) that fits perfectly. They're placed under the sprayhood windshield and raised from the deck a few centimeters by a round wooden frame. I also removed the frames, sanded, painted and installed them back with new a marine sealant. The cockpit speakers can be turned on/off with a switch at the charttable, next to the radio.
Our VHF radio is installed at the chart table too and it would be good if we could hear it more clearly while under way and use the handheld only when we want to send, so I also installed a new external VHF speaker in the cockpit. The wire goes below deck at the speakers flange and the VHF speaker is fastened with velcro, so it be easily moved if needed. It can be turned on/off in the VHF radio's menu. Now it's perfect.

Reinforcing the battery shelf

We placed the new batteries to the aft cabin last year, but the shelf we made was not constructed very well. It was done in a hurry and was not thought through well either. It was supported by legs on its port side and the hull on the other, which was not keeping up with the weight of the batteries, so the legs were bending and the shelf was sliding towards the steering gear. Before sailing out this year, we decided to redo it. The old shelf was removed and used as a template. We bought some fresh wood and a thicker plywood sheet and coated everything with epoxy to make it water proof. 
The wooden planks got carefully leveled and screwed into the bulkhead on one side and epoxied to the hull on the other side with thickened epoxy. The plywood shelf is screwed into the planks and the batteries are secured with pine trim pieces against side movements and also by several straps. It's a much stronger construction now, should be rock solid.
The shelf also got painted with two coats of Da…

Cleaning the diesel tank

Our engine was producing some white smoke which can be due to water getting burned with the fuel. We thought it was time to check how the diesel tank looks inside and possibly change the fuel to see if it solves the issue.
The tank has no inspection hatch, so it had to be done through the fuel gauge opening. Once opened, I could clearly see that the tank needs to be cleaned and the fuel is full of water. There were growth flowing in the fuel too which could clog the filters any time. Unfortunately the fuel gauge opening is very small, so my hand won't fit in, I had to find some other way. The first thing we did was to pump out all the old diesel, for which we used a manual fuel pump. The tank on Ann-Riis is rather big (~160 liters) and it had around 90 liters still in it. It took a while to pump it all out and carry in jerry-cans to the recycling station.Then I picked up a flexible "grabber" which can be used to grab stuff from difficult places and used it with tons of …