Saturday, November 20, 2021

Rebuilt bin locker and a repair.

Sancerre once had a built in and very inefficient electric cool box aft of the cooker, this was not working when I bought the boat and probably had not for years. With all of the insulation and voids around it a lot of space was being wasted.

Lots of wasted space.
Replacing the fuel tank and moving the water tank (see previous posts) meant working under the sink unit so I decided to sort this out at the same time.  The capping piece on the front / top of the unit had been damaged by a previous cooker so that could also do with replacing.
A big crack & unsightly holes in the Teak capping piece.
Lots more space, the bin is hardwood marine ply, epoxy coated
on both sides with carpet to deaden sound as things move about.
 The timber blocks support a tray for ready to use items, fresh veg etc.
The new Teak capping pieces cost more than the rest of the job together, even sourced as simple planed all round (PAR) timber to a standard size, fortunately I have a bench router to round the edges saving machining costs.

Job done and looking better. The cup holder is a little lower than
before and out of frame.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

New guardrail stanchion bases

The boat had new stanchions when I bought her but they have never worked correctly leaving me with slack guardrail lines. 

Once I had tightened it up the main bolt and put on a lock nut (omitted by the yard) the base was stable but however much you tighten up the connection between the stanchion and the base it went slack in no time.

One of the 8 stanchion bases.
Fortunately I found that the stanchion was a standard 25mm so I was able to put this fitting over the top of the original.
Four of the stanchions were fixed on the first visit before near
gale force and some rain maid it too much like hard work.
Naturally it was not that simple, the one I used for testing I purchased a couple of years ago for the cooker crash guard (see pic in the previous post) and it was a nice snug press fit. This batch were very slightly smaller and needed a serious lump hammer to get the stanchion in, but I ended up with a nice rigid stanchion and tight guardrails.

Friday, October 8, 2021

Replacing the Cockpit Locker Floor, Part 3 + Installing the new Fuel Tank.

Day 1 of the installation and the floor is in but not secured, the new water tank and plumbing was done and the water pump & filter moved.


Day 3 and the job is almost done, just the other part of the slide bolt
needs to be found and fixed (its reused).
I thought for a moment I had specified the tank to be a little to long or to high but with a great deal of fiddling and even more swearing it went in. The floor is screwed down all round and the softwood sections forward and inboard are fixed sideways so the whole lot should stay in place in the event of an inversion.

The lashing points are for fuel in cans, probably a max of 40 Litres in 10 Litre cans as my 20 Litre jerry cans are too tall, leaving no room for buckets to go in on top. That is somewhat less than previously but the tank effectively holds 10 - 15 Litres more than the old one which partially compensates and in total will still give 70 hours endurance, in reasonable weather that would be at 5.5 - 6 knots and 385 - 420 NM range (or quite a bit more with a clean hull and / or in dead calm waters).
I fitted a new fuel filter with a clear lower section and drain in case of water contamination. The original filter is in the engine compartment and would be almost impossible to get at when at sea unless it was dead calm, not good if you got the fuel bug. The fuel bulb made bleeding the system dead easy. The engine started immediately although I want to run it for another 30 minutes before leaving the mooring, just in case.

The big electrical cable is from the fuel sender to a NMEA converter so fuel level can be displayed on the plotter and one of the wind instruments.

The rope hanging down (see also the 2nd pic) is my method of securing the locker from thieves and backing up the latch in heavy weather, the end of the tackle goes to a cleat inside of the boat, a similar system runs to the Lazarette hatch covers.
On my last sail I finally found one of the leaks into the compartment which appeared to be from the bilge pump, but when I got it out I found that when the new mainsheet track was fitted (before I got the boat) someone had drilled through the bilge pump outlet pipe so on the odd occasion I used it bilge water sprayed out, but unless the hatch was open you wouldn't know. Fortunately there was enough slack so I cut off 6" and refitted.

Update 6th November.

Unfortunately it didn't work. Last week I decided to do a long running test (rather than the 10 minutes or so after installation) and the engine stopped after 10 - 25 minutes on several tests. It appeared that the bulb primer was the problem.

Ron (a fellow Achilles owner and serial restorer) consulted with Roger (Dehler 41, "Blue Magic") who immediately recognised the problem which happens on some trucks, the solution should be to have the bulb vertical with the flow downwards so that gravity would help open the non return valve. The bulbs pump fuel best the other way up but does pump in all positions.

Unfortunately that didn't work, the Yanmar 2GM20's low pressure pump is just not powerful enough to open the valve on that brand of bulb (Osculati), this creates a vacuum in the fuel system and the engine stops. The first fuel filter is now connected directly to the tank and on the first test of the engine ran for an hour before I got fed up with diesel fumes blowing into the boat.

So a device to save a few minutes once a year when the engine is serviced or if it runs out of fuel, cost me a day and a half and a 160 mile round trip to the boat 😞.

Monday, October 4, 2021

Replacing the Cockpit Locker Floor, Part 2.

The new fuel tank arrived earlier than expected but typically the timber was rather later, but it is now built and ready to go.

New cockpit locker floor built to support the new fuel tank and cover the new water tank. The plastic rulers under the tank are there to ensure that the tank will not sit on any water that pools under the tank and allows any water that might get in to drain away into the bilge (the drain holes are not visible).

Three bolts press against timber spacers
to help locate the tank firmly in place at
the base.
The floor has to support a heavy stainless steel tank with 70 Litres (almost 70 Kg) of fuel in it and another 30 litres in cans. And do that in a heavy sea. It also has to hold the tank, cans and at least part of the weight of a full water bladder tank (which is up to c 40Kg) if the boat turns up side down. That would not have the same shock loading as a very rough sea but fixing the floor down is a challenge especially as it is very hard to reach the edges through the narrow hatch quite away above. More on that to follow.

The platform is made from a seriously expensive hardwood ply with Lloyds certification for structural use in high risk environments. It is much stiffer than "normal" marine ply, will take higher compression loads and has a 25 year guarantee.

It is made in 2 main sections rather than the three of the previous one and my initial design, with the hatch section removed I should be able to get the larger section in (fingers crossed). 

It is 9mm thick with the beams under 11mm. Other timber is reclaimed mahogany and teak with spacers made from Sapele left over from when I replaced the headlining. Fastenings, retaining pieces, etc. are in marine stainless.

The whole is covered in epoxy rather than varnished for better durability and the beams are screwed and glued together with glass tape bonded over for additional strength. Very much over engineered, I hope.

The hatch is to give access to the new bladder water tank under.

Each strap is strong enough to hold the tank in place - assuming the timber holds which with reinforcement under it should. The forward strap will be secured to the  bulkhead. 

The hole in the platform back right is for the water filler, that front right is for the fuel pipes to and from the engine and the one front left is a breather to hopefully keep the lower section reasonably dry and to help the water  tank expand as its filled.

Installation of this and the new water tank is going to be a long job and if the weather is good will hopefully start later in the week. 

Click here for the next stage.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Replacing the Water Tank and Cockpit Locker floor - Part 1.

As mentioned in a previous post I am building a new food storage bin and moving  the fuel tank from the forepeak to under the port cockpit locker, reducing weight forward and the length of pipe work required as part of a project to replace the fuel tank. The locker floor is structurally pretty good but is badly contaminated by 45 years of oil spills, water leaks etc so to be sure it will support the weight of a c 70 litre steel fuel tank and some cans and to reduce possible contamination of the water tank that is going under I am rebuilding the floor.

The floor of the main cockpit locker, time to replace I think.

 
Cut pattern for an expensive piece of ply wood. Joints are
positioned so that the reinforcing strips under the joint will
give best support to the tank. Sections poistioned to make
best use of straight edges and square corners.

The new water bladder.

The floor will be made from a very high grade hardwood marine plywood, "Super Elite Plus" by Robbins Timber, it is made from multi-laminate Sapele veneers to BS1088, KOMO Class ‘A’, ‘C’ and Lloyds certified for constructional use in high risk environments and guaranteed for 25 years. It is about twice as stiff as the next grade down (Elite) and 30% denser.

Sod's law said that a quarter sheet would be slightly too small so I had to get an expensive half sheet, the balance will be used to build the new food locker, in conjunction with a quarter sheet of the lower grade "Elite"  ply made from Gaboon (Okoume) veneers which will be more than adequate in the much more benign environment with limited stress. 

All will be 9mm, the floor coated in West System epoxy, the bin part in epoxy, part in varnish.

The newly painted storage unit goes in the
under sink locker and supports part of the floor,
that is awaiting a coat of varnish. The circular
cut out holds a bucket for wet items. The other
cut out is for access to the sea cock on the waist
pipe from the sinks sea cock. The unit was
originally intended for storing pots and pans but
like at least one other owner I use it for storing
cleaners, oil, grease, fuel additives etc.
Getting the water tank out was straight forward, like the fuel tank although there was a lot of the contents not available, although no water was coming out there was at least 15 litres still in the bladder, not far short of half the effective capacity, the 50 litre bladder was square and the compartment narrower. 

There was also a small leak which became serious when I trial fitted it in the aft compartment so I had to get a new one, fortunately not that expensive although "the lorry driver shortage" meant I had to shop around for it as 3 suppliers did not have any 50 litre bladders.

The new compartment should be more accommodating although some height restriction on the outboard side will probably restrict it to about 40 litres. On the positive side the outlet will be lower than most of the bladder  so almost all of the water should be available for a net gain..

The water pump was under the starboard berth and will now go under the floor of the locker under the sink unit with very short pipe runs to the water filter and on to the tap.  This locker backs onto the non structural bulkhead at the front of the cockpit locker so the water feed pipe will come through the bulkhead straight onto the pump.

The water filter will stay in the locker but moved to a more convenient location for changing the cartridge.

Monday, September 13, 2021

2021 Late Summer Cruise, Days 25 & 26, & some Statistics.

Force 6 winds were forecast for Friday but then the 07:00 inshore forecast replaced the F6 with F5 and I considered moving on, but 6 different models from the 08:15 download from Predictwind, including the met office model, were predicting gusts around 28 knots so instead I just moved out to the Portland Harbour anchorage saving a days berthing fees and making for a quicker and easier getaway on Saturday.

It was still blustery (F4-5 all the way) on Saturday but I was away at 05:30, half an hour later than planned as I did not hear the alarm for some time. The broad reach past St Albans ledge was very pleasant, starting in the pre-dawn and I made quick progress under Genoa alone. Unfortunately the next leg was dead down wind with the sea conditions very uncomfortable under sail. With tidal gates to make for the mooring I switched on the engine and motor-sailed at, and with the help of the waves, often well over the theoretical maximum hull speed of 6.8 knots, frequently making 8 - 9 knots over the ground.

I went through Hurst Narrows at the peak of the spring tide and after dodging an awful lot of boats, many of which were clearly over canvased and not fully under control, I made it to the mooring with 20 minutes to spare before the local high water, the ideal time to arrive, although with a strong wind it took a lot of effort to get the stern line on. And I found someone had chopped up one of the two stern lines, presumable with their propeller.

Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" in Hurst Narrows
Broken water with the strong wind and tide, this would be really evil
wind against tide. I was making better than 10 knots over the ground.
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" in Hurst Narrows
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" in Hurst Narrows
Achilles 9 metres "Sancerre" in Hurst Narrows

56 miles in 9 hours.

Summary:

129.6 hours sailing
544 Nautical miles over the ground.
14 days sailing
9 Days weather bound
13 Days at anchor
6 Days in a marina
6 Days on a buoy

Average sailing day, 38.9 GPS miles in 9.3 hours.

Day by Day:

 Day #

 Hrs

 GPS Miles

Tue 17 Aug 2021

To Hurst

            1

          5.75

               20.0

Wed 18 Aug 2021

To Studland

            2

          5.00

               19.0

Thu 19 Aug 2021

To Portland

            3

          4.75

               20.0

Fri 20 Aug 2021

To Pilchard Cove

            4

       16.05

               56.0

Sat 21 Aug 2021

To Cawsand

            5

          7.50

               33.0

Sun 22 Aug 2021

To St Mawes

            6

          8.75

               37.0

Mon 23 Aug 2021

St Mawes

            7

Tue 24 Aug 2021

To St Michaels Mount

            8

          7.00

               36.0

Wed 25 Aug 2021

To Hugh Town, St Mary's

            9

          9.00

               41.0

Thu 26 Aug 2021

Hugh Town

          10

Fri 27 Aug 2021

Hugh Town

          11

Sat 28 Aug 2021

To St Mary's Pool

          12

          1.75

                 4.0

Sun 29 Aug 2021

To St Michaels Mount

          13

          9.50

               38.0

Mon 30 Aug 2021

To Newlyn

          14

          1.25

                 3.0

Tue 31 Aug 2021

Newlyn

          15

Wed 01 Sep 2021

Newlyn

          16

Thu 02 Sep 2021

Newlyn

          17

Fri 03 Sep 2021

To St Mawes

          18

       10.25

               40.0

Sat 04 Sep 2021

To Fowey

          19

          6.00

               24.0

Sun 05 Sep 2021

Fowey

          20

Mon 06 Sep 2021

To Salcombe

          21

          8.50

               38.0

Tue 07 Sep 2021

Salcombe

          22

Wed 08 Sep 2021

To Portland

          23

       19.50

               79.0

Thu 09 Sep 2021

Portland marina

          24

Fri 10 Sep 2021

To Portland anchorage

          25

Sat 11 Sep 2021

To Hamble

          26

          9.00

               56.0

 Totals:

          26

       129.6

             544.0


Statistics for the year:

 Days

 Hours

 GPS Miles

 Days Sailing

 Weather Bound

 Marina or Buoy

At anchor

Round GB

79

437

1,881

47

24

34

40

Summer cruise

10

86

319

8

1

1

7

Scilly Isles

26

130

544

14

9

12

13

2021 total

115

652

2,744

69

34

47

60



Summary 2017 - 2021:

Includes some estimates of day sailing in 2017 & 2018 but the total GPS miles is the same as that recorded by the instruments. Excludes time on the "home" marina or mooring. The Marina berths, Buoys and Anchorages were in a total of 77 different locations. 

Year

Days

Hrs at Sea

GPS Miles

Days

Sailing

Weather Bound

Marina or Buoy

At anchor

2017

14

-

238

13

-

-

1

2018

46

-

1,559

31

-

7

14

2019

49

485

2,282

41

5

15

24

2020

64

372

1,685

32

18

36

24

2021

115

652

2,744

70

34

47

60

Total

288

1,509

8,508

187

57

105

123