|A sort of star to guide a refitter in the very short days of December.|
Another unconscionable gap between posts, but I have the excuse at least of plenty of paying work and plenty of work paid for. Behold welder/fabricator and fellow club member Andrew Barlow remedying an owner error of a solar arch with too little space to accommodate the backstays.
|The scene of the scrim prior to the snows. My job, aside from design and disbursements, was to shield the welding from the wind gusts, which made the TIG job tricky.|
|The Cabin Boy is now a hairy, lofty teenager. My mission plan has long been adrift in time.|
|The idea was to have a bimini of silicon, not Sunbrella.|
|What I lack in artistic ability I retain in measurement.|
|The two uprights have oval ports underneath through which the solar panel conduit can be run.|
|The two "doublers" which would form the base of the new support pipes and the means through which cables and wires would go below deck.|
|The "reversed" traveller control lines have given no issues to date, by the way.|
|Yes, I know the binnacle box is beastly. It's heading for retirement in the spring once I migrate an instrument pod and other goodies up on deck.|
|The cutting board made a good shield to keep welding bits from melting that beautiful Dyneema control line.|
|The power of hydraulics compels you!|
|The man's a genius for freehand trimming.|
|This was about making the curving divots necessary to weld the top of the pipe to the existing arch.|
|Behind is the big piece of panel I used to screen the welding from the wind-ing.|
|All the enlightment an ancient 75 W work lamp can cast.|
|The reason they wouldn't go here in the first place (for the curious) is that the boom and mainsail would shadow them too much.|
|Yep, welding in snow is a thing|
|Andrew got his Christmas tot for finishing this up under such trying conditions.|
The second major job of the recent refittery involves the replacement of the Xantrex RS 2000 charger/inverter with a new Victron Multiplus 3000 charger/inverter, obtained from the capable staff of Ontario Battery Service. This was necessitated last summer by the failure of the Xantrex unit, which otherwise has continued to both charge and invert, to talk to its own control panel, which I tested at another installation and which worked properly. Basically, the network light on the Xantrex front is off and it's well out of warranty, meaning I can't get it fixed.
In addition, the size of the battery bank I actually ended up installing was nearly twice the size of the bank I anticipated having when I bought the Xantrex many boat shows ago. So, the loss of the network interface meant that while I could charge and invert, I couldn't tell if I was doing so to the factory defaults or to the last defaults I input from the control panel...well, short of clapping voltage meter leads on the batteries. I also could not equalize the batteries and this is an important part of getting maximum lifetime and charge cycles out of them, both of which are important for my wallet and my back, given the weight of the things.
So a new inverter was called for. After a fair bit of research, I chose the Victron. Those interested in why can peruse the link above, but it is considerably more flexible a device than the Xantrex was, and, as an inverter, can handle greater loads which my battery bank can supply. For instance, we can have heating and airconditioning at anchor, assuming a nice, full charge. Another aspect I like is that I can hook in a small genset (such as my Honda 2000) and the Victron can integrate it as a shorepower-like feed to ease the battery drawdown of typical inversion.
Lastly, it was considerably cheaper in 2017 and about 15 kilos lighter than the Xantrex of 2008, which was appealing to the skipper who does most of the lifting aboard. Now, being a prudent (read: cheap) sailor, I will open up the Xantrex and attempt to fix it; the network "card" could simply be loose or corroded or otherwise amenable to repair. If I can fix it, it can go forward to act as a charger/inverter there and to keep the windlass battery full. It's good to have options.
|Hey, kids, it's Cap'n Sparkwell.|
Removing the old charger involved some disconnection, of course, and some improv on the safety front to avoid bridging the fearsome 4/0 ga. battery leads. One does what one must to avoid accidental welding.
|The previous holes will need filling|
The Victron, while not a featherweight, mounted perfectly on attempt number one, and through-bolting at its base it went easily. It is monitored in two ways and (mostly) controlled by one. The first is via a remote panel connected by a CAT 5 cable to the charger. There's a further refinement involving a shunt I will complete a little later.
|Just the basics of how the charge is going and whether the inverter's needed.|
The second way is via a network cable to USB "dongle". This allows, after the downloading of the appropriate software, to review a bewildering array of configuration and reporting options for the charger. Yes, I have downloaded the manual! This thing was designed by Dutch engineers and it shows in the documentation. Good thing I'm from the distant past.
|Still life of dongle and Bluetooth speaker.|
|Only some of the information the unit conveys to my little netbook. Gosh, I'd best be careful.|
|Damn right it's bulk.|