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Continuing the Pursuit of Seaworthy!

Another week has passed, and now we are closer to completion, even if it sometimes feels like two steps forward and one backward. So, what changed this week? Plumbing, electrical, and commissioning, and we welcomed Mark Worthington, our delivery skipper, to begin preparing for sea.   

System Plumbing

It's Sunday in the Free Zone, a great time to get some interrupted work done. A few $$ in cash also has its uses and our plumbing team are working hard though no doubt missing their families. Replumbing is going well. Engine room bilge spaces are now clear of most obstructions (and clean!). We moved the bilge pump away from power batteries and simplified the pipework. The emergency manual bilge pump was also reinstalled and piped in place. We began to commission the freshwater system and flushed (forgive the pun) a few easily fixed plumbing issues. Two check valves were added to help the pumps prime on startup. The water/Glycol cooling system is now 80% completed, with just the power batteries to connect. Correcting the diesel heater and a new engine service tank fuel switch over is next.  6 way valve of the Groco type are popular in the USA and hard to mess with but not so common in Turkey. We bought our own from Marine Components International in the UK, so a shout out for their great service (link HERE)

Solar Underperforming?

Victron Cerbro Explorer Yacht

We spent some time looking at our solar output. The system generates a low 1.2kW in full sun, and we assumed that near-full house batteries were causing the Victron MPPT controllers to back off the charge rate. However, as loads came online, the battery reserve drained to around 50%, and the low power production from solar panels continued. We now suspect an inappropriate battery max temperature setting is the cause and will speak with Victron on Monday to investigate further. Peak Power output is theoretically 6.5kW, so we have some ways to go. In the meantime, shore power is supplementing the shortfall.

Stability in Arrival Condition - Lead Ballast

We added some 3.25T of lead ballast to Vanguard to improve stability in the "arrival" trim with water ballast and low fuel on board. This was stored low in the forepeak and skegs. An opportunity presented itself to improve drainage in the way of the skegs by filling the space to the level of the limber holes.

Explorer Yacht, ballast

Firstly, we used a rubber sheet to insulate lead from the aluminum hull plates. Lead ingots provided ballast before filling the remaining void with 250kg of 4mm lead shot. We then added a 36-hour cure with low-viscosity epoxy (Kermet green, for some reason!).

For safety, we poured epoxy in the morning and monitored the temperature throughout the day as the catalyst started the setting process. All was good, and within 36 hours, it hardened with a maximum three-degree C delta temp. 

Delivery Skipper - Mark Worthington

Mark Worthington, Yacht Skipper

Mark is an experienced skipper who came to us via Halcyon Yacht Deliveries. His role is to inspect and document our navigational procedures and train our crew to be a working crew. Owners are then free to deal with the chaos that is finishing our build in the knowledge that safety is not compromised and we will be ready for sea when mechanically complete. I've previously introduced you to my friends Steve Parsons and Magnus Day from Eyos Expeditions. They have been employed similarly to various FPBs shipped out from Circa Marine in NZ. We want this process to roll out with calm and practical common sense, so the expense is worthwhile. We have the first delivery voyage to clean things up before my family arrives, and the real fun starts. Mark's Resume is enclosed below.  

Rogues Gallery of the Week.

Resisting the temptation to whine as no one likes a never-ending complaint, but there was one this week worth some focus. We removed the aluminum cover plate from the starboard starter batteries to inspect the battery terminals and

modify the plate as it pinched the live wire. 

Explorer Yacht Failure

  • Are the terminal posts greased to protect from corrosion, clamps tight, cables properly connected, batteries secured, all basic stuff? 

We found this ............ I hope the photo is self-explanatory. Cause - tasking installation to staff with inappropriate skills and poor/no job supervision.

We reported this to the Yard rather than just fixing it (we did that also); errors can lead to future process improvement if handled correctly. 

Chris Leigh-Jones

SCDOT Driving Test

Lastly and in completely random but personal fashion, a shout out to No 5 child, No 3 son, Rhys.

He passed his South Carolina driving test this week. He's been practicing on a 1960 Austin Healey and 1926 racing Bugatti. No breakages! The child in him is slowly becoming the man.

They are waiting at home in SC for us to get underway.

Love you son.

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