Saturday, February 26, 2011

Solar Power

The event of the river water sifoning into the boat created a took out the temporary small inverter that was running the main refrigerator.  This facilitated moving the installation of  a house power system to immediate on the list of priorities.  In the meantime we have doubled our gas consumption in order to keep the  generator running full time for the sake of the fridge.
Up go the panels.  Will be used as a roof and to generate power.  We intend to cover 2" insulation with sunbrella and place on the underside.

This invertor is 1500 watt pure sine wave inverter with charge controller and automatic transfer switch to auxillary power if the batteries get depleated.  (Yes, I just had Carter quote that to me.)   In my words, this is a big mohunken piece of equipment.
The battery bank located under the companionway floor...directly in front of and in between the head and mechanical room.  The two batteries on the left are under the flooring of the mecanical room.  There will be several more batteries by the time Carter is finished.  We must take the weight of the batteries into consideration when determining the placement.  The weight must be equal on both sides port and starboard in addition to as close to the middle of the boat as possible.

At the same time, Carter has been dealing with motor problems.  I think I mentioned in an earlier post that he worked on the exhaust system and was able to easily replace a gasket, fixing this problem.  While down in the belly of the engine room he saw another problem and began to take it apart and discovered even more problems with the timing chain.  We made a quick visit to Deisel Don for consultation.  It is determined that the deisel is not in as good of shape as previously thought  but will last a while longer.  We will drive it until it dies.

The repaired pully.

It's hard to see the brass patch  in this picture but the pully was cracked and had to be brazed. 
In addition, the woodruff keyway in the pully was completely wollered out and had to be filled with brass, machined out, and new keyway cut.

After Carter got the engine put back together it was time to go to Port LaBelle for another potty dump.  This time, Carter created a better method of tapping the holding tank for pumping and we were finally able to completely empty the tank.  It should be a good long time before we have to dump again.

Captain Carter

1st Mate.  I find this larger vessel much easier to steer than the Georgia Girl.

The Halcyon continues to attract attention whenever we take her out.

We had more time to test the electric propulsion on this run and it was very enlightening. 

This shows a single Great White Shark trolling motor powering the Halcyon at a wopping 2.3 mph down the Caloosahatchie.  And a fine job it did! (downwind)  Carter has been doing extensive research and and after these tests he has definately decided to pursue a central electric motor in line with the diesel.

I was asked to define some of the terms used for some of our  Landlubber followers.  I'm learning them myself...Carter often corrects me hoping that it will sink in as normal language.

Jim Buoy...good question...I had to ask too!   

Jim Buoy is the name of the company that makes life preservers!

We were at West Marine yesterday and I saw the same exact life preserver with a price tag of $110.00!!! Yikes!  We are very fortunate that we found ours on the bank the next day. 

Cool picture of the Fort Denaud Bridge during one of our daily sunset whaler rides.

And the end of another day in paradise.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

After 4 weeks of intense work we have slowed down just a little bit but we are still working.  We are both feeling the aches and pains of our age.

The lilly pads create a problem for everyone it seems.  We removed a rather large amount of them from around the Halcyon with the help of a grappling hook, making it easier to get the Whaler out.  We went to visit Hank at the Gerogia Girl one evening and found that he was having the same problems so we brought our grappling hook over and conducted a 'marine vegitation relocation action.'  LOL
We arrived home to find we were sinking!  It turns out that the sump pump in the shower had created a reverse siphon and pulled river water in.  Carter immediately fixed this problem and hopefully we won't deal with it again.  It's never dull on a boat that's for sure.

We both continue to sand everythingin sight in preparation for painting.  Carter has worked diligently on the main hatch doors and I started on the instrument panel.  Both will be turned into beautiful wood again.  We take turns sanding the superstructure. 

Sanding and teak oil really perked up the control panel.

I failed to mention that Carter has been working on a side project since we first arrived dealing with solar electric propulsion.  He's been experimenting with 500Watts of solar a large trolling motor temporairily mounted on the starboard side near the stern. Although it does push the boat surprising well, we're afraid even with two mounted on each side, it will come up short so Carter has been researching how to mount a central electric motor in the diesel drive train instead. With some helpful ideas gained from our visit to the DragonFly, he thinks he can come up with something that will work but there is still a lot of design work to do and that will have to take a backseat to some of the more pressing issues for a while.  We will probably adapt one of these as a bow trusther later so the effort has not been in vain but the central motor just seems like the best way to go.  
Despite over 5 weeks of toil there is still so much to do that it seems a little overwhelming at times so I decided to make a list of what we have done to make ourselves feel better. So far we've:


Licensing the boats
Build new gangplank
Construct work tables
Cleared deck
Pressure washed entire boat
   superstructure, walkways, and freeboard
Cleared out dinette
Cleared out mechanical room
Cleared out bottom bunk (storage of sails and RIB)
Pressure washed entire boat 2nd time
   including Boston Whaler
Removed rotted handrails on superstruture
Began Epoxy in damaged spots - continues daily
Paint primer superstructure
Began construction on pilot house - continues daily
Began testing electric propulsion system - continues daily
Repair sump pump in shower
Removed table in dinette and replaced with nav station table
Removed washing machine
Cleared Anchor Chain Locker
Cleared Hanging Locker (removed many scuba air tanks)
Secured Solar Panels on Roof
Removed, sanded and poly main hatch and doors
More cleaning on superstructure
Sanding and continue epoxy on entire boat in prep for painting
Removed splash guard (had rotted)
Worked on Exhaust system in engine room
Worked on repair to pulley in engine


Cleaned:  Kitchen, bathroom, storage drawers
Paint bathroom
Cleared and cleaned bottom bunk
Moved our clothes into drawers
Cleaned galley and dinette
Cleaned walls in salon
Removed carpet in salon
Helped with shower sump pump repair
Cleaned and set up galley pantry
Cleaned parque floor in salon
Cleaned anchor chain locker
Primed and Painted anchor chain locker
   and hanger locker
Sanded and painted main hatch entrance

It looks like we could make a career out of this boat but I guess this is a good start.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Before and After Pictures - 4 weeks - February 21

We thought it would be fun to look at before and after pictures after 4 weeks of hard work.

This is how it looked the first day we arrived.
And today.

The view from the rear with the old inflatable dingey hanging on davits.
The old dingey has been removed and construction on the roof has begun. A few solar panels are in place and the new gangplank has been a huge improvement.
View from the cockpit toward the bow, portside.

And same view 4 weeks later after pressure washing.  The superstructure has one coat of primer and the rotted handrails that were causing the rust stains have been removed.

The pulpit.  No work has been done here as yet.  This will be a project for another work session.  We won't have time to work on it this winter.

The bow upon arrival.

The bow after pressure washing and some epoxy repair.

Looking from the bow back towards the stern on starboard side.
The same view with the chain removed, pressure washing and primer on the superstructure.

The cockpit.

The cockpit has not been a big focus yet except for pressure washing and cleaning up a bit. The captains chair has been removed because the floor will need to be replaced later and it is in the way right now.  This is a central location for entry into the boat and is central location for tools.  No use to clean yet.
Looking toward the stern from the cockpit.
Same view after pressure washing, scraping spilled crud off of the hatch cover and one coat of primer.  Huge difference!  The chairs in the back corners have been removed for the time being.  The chairs sit on top of propane tanks that need to be hydrostated, etc and all will go back in due time.

Viewing from the superstructure back towards the stern.  The old roof is completely shot.

Construction of new roof begins.
Viewing the top of the roof.

Viewing the top of roof now with the some solar panels up.  There will be more.
First view of the galley.

And same view after cleaning.

2nd view of galley.
Same view with stove removed.  We are using a camp stove until we find a replacement.
The navigation station upon arrival.
The nav station now with the table and facing removed.  We are using the table in the dinette and the equipment will be delt with another time.  Obsolete equipment will be removed.  Some wires will be reused for other purposes. 
The dinette upon arrival.  This area is so full of stuff that you can't even tell that there is a dining table under it.

After removing stuff and cleaning.  This picture is with the original table.

We changed out the original table with the navigation table.  We plan to use the original table in the salon area when we reorganize it.

With all of the stuff in here I didn't realize there were shelves in this area.

They now function as the kitchen pantry.

The main salon area.

Cleaned up and everything put away.  The blue indoor/outdoor carpet has been removed and I have cleaned up the parque flooring.
This picture shows all the stuff that was stored on the lower bunk.  There were sails, an inflatable raft, many sets of sheets/comforters/pillows and the cushions for the dinette.

Both bunks were taken completely apart and cleaned.

Not much has changed here yet.

The only changes here is that we have moved in movies and books.  Can you tell who sits where?  LOL

The Mechanical Room had a washer and a refrigerator in it when we first arrived.  We removed the washer when we found out that it does not work and it will be replaced with a new model soon.  We are still using the refrigerator although it has been relocated into the salon area for now.  Carter is still determining whether to replace the built in refrigerator or if it can be repaired.  As of today, we are leaning towards replacing it. 

Everything has been removed and Carter will be working on wiring his solar panels, batteries, etc.  He will have to write more specific details on that project as it progresses.

The anchor chain locker before.

And after cleaning, priming, and painting.

The airstream upon arrival.
The airstream after unpacking what we brought to use and unloading stuff out of the boat which is being stored under the awning.
The tent with the first work table constructed.  One more large table came after this.
Priceless treasures removed from the Halcyon are being stored under the tent safe from bad weather.

A view of the port side of the boat after we launched the Boston Whaler and we could get into the river.  We have a lot of fun with the Whaler.  We go for sunset rides every evening that we have time.

The Captain with his favorite toy!

And that is the Halcyon refit at 4 weeks.  We feel good about the progress we've made and look forward to the next couple weeks.  We plan to paint the superstructure, walkways and freeboard in the next week.  We will then have to take a short break and take a trip to Tennessee to check on things there.  Upon return it will be time to take it to the yard and paint the bottom.  After that we can focus on replacing some of the equipment and appliances.