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Showing posts from August, 2020

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 either. It was supported by legs on its port side and the hull on the other side, 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

Cleaning the diesel tank

We thought it was time to check how the diesel tank looks inside and possibly change the fuel if it's needed. 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 was growth flowing in the fuel too which could clog the filters. 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 Scarlett is rather big (~160 liters) and it still had around 90 liters 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 to reach places and used it with tons of paper towels to clean the tank.   We changed both fuel filters and filled the tank with fresh fuel. While at

New bilge pump

After the work on the bilge was finished we could install a new bilge pump, which is a fully automatic Rule LoPro 900S. It has an in-built water level switch, a flow-back preventer and it can be set to run on schedules too. We use it with the low setting which turns on the pump when the water level reaches 3.3cm. The installation was very easy. It's connected directly to the battery with an appropriately sized fuse, all connections are done as high as possible (cabin floor level) and are heat shrinked. The previous bilge pump was screwed down into the bilge floor, and now that we've laid brand new laminate there, I wanted to avoid using screws. So I fixed the pump with some drops of Sikaflex, which is strong enough but can be removed if needed. We tested the pump with a bucket of water and were satisfied with the result.

Sailing to Gotland

We spent three weeks sailing with Scarlett this summer and completed more than 300Nm. We sailed south from the Stockholm Archipelago till the nature reserve island of Fifång where we spent several nights on anchor in a natural harbor waiting for the winds to be favourable for our first open water crossing to Gotland. The winds and seas turned out to be stronger than expected though, with winds reaching over 25 knots and some thunderstorms in the end. It was a rough ride with two reefs in the main and a reefed genoa, but we did a reasonably fast crossing under 12 hours. Gotland has many to offer. We spent a few days exploring the island, the 'capital' Visby, small fishing villages and it's neighbor island Fårö with it's beautiful rauks, before heading back. The crossing back was much slower with light winds, mostly broad reach and running. We sailed 70Nm aiming a bit higher towards Nynäshamn, so it took almost double the time and we had a nice quite night sailing too.

Removing old vinyl stripes

It was time to get rid of the old UV damaged red stripes on the topsides of the hull. We tried several methods to remove it. Heating it with a heatgun, using aceton and some glue residue remover, but there were several layers of vinyl stripes on top of eachother and non of these methods worked, the stickers were disintegrating into very small pieces and it would take forever to scrape them off. Old UV damaged stripes The only way we found to be effective is sanding it off with rubber disks on a driller. We used up 8 rubber disks during the process and tried two different types, the one with stains and the solid. The idea was that the stainted disk produces less heat and will not burn the gelcoat, but it didn't really matter. The cheapest disk does the job well too and the gelcoat didn't get burned. The whole project took at least four days for two of us with two drillers and we were exhausted. We found the original red gelcoat to be in a fairly OK condition, there is a color d