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Finishing the electrical refit - Part 4

While on the old panel all the fuses were on the panel itself, the new panel has only the rocker switches that are fused so we had to do some extra rewiring work, which was very much needed anyway to clean up the mess. We installed a new slightly larger plywood over the small plywood that was glued to the the hull, to accommodate the two new fuse boxes and the new busbar. One fuse box for all the circuits that doesn't require a switch on the panel, like the interior lights, and an other one for those that lead to the panel but where the switch is switching more than one circuit at the same time, like the NMEA 2000 power and navigation. Those circuits got separate fuses too. We also installed a new negative busbar from BEP (Zbus) with 18 terminals as the new panel has only positive connections. We did some cleanup in the wiring and tried to label everything as well. We used a cheap cable collector from Jula to help leading the wires together with the option to quickly remove if it
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Removing the old bottom paint

The project for the cold and dark winter nights is to remove the old self-polishing bottom paint and prepare the hull for the 2-component epoxy barrier coat and a new hard anti-fouling. We're using the Pro Scraper which has a vacuum attachment. It makes removing the paint almost completely dust free. Still it's a very time consuming and hard job, but we're almost done with the port side. We skip the keel for now and will return to it when the weather gets warmer as it needs to be treated shortly after the paint is removed.

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 mahagon

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

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 al

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.