Saturday, November 4, 2017

Added more wraps to main sail furler screw

When we furled in the main sail, it was touch and go whether we'd get the sail all the way in with just the UV cover showing. There was invariably some sail materiel showing outside the mast once the inhaul furling line reached the stop on the boom.
The furling line was also pulling on the bolt which attaches it to the furling unit, there were no wraps around the furler at this point, the line just came straight back from the furler.
Now, I was thinking I would add a couple of extra wraps on the furler when we drop the main sail but a neighbor on my dock said I should be able to do it without dropping the mainsail. Just pull the furling line through the deck and the blocks, then push the end around the furler unit a couple of times and then pull it back through the deck.
I did this last night and was careful to run a mouse line from the in haul line so I could pull it back again when I was done. It looks like this now
After adding 3 wraps
There were no wraps on the furler at all before I did this. The in haul line is pretty crappy, I don't believe it was new because it was pretty hard and has lost flexibility. I'll replace it soon. The other thing is that the line was already not long enough to get 3 wraps around the cabin winch so with these 3 wraps on the furler, that took maybe another foot out of it so the stopper knot almost meets the cabin top clutch for the in haul now. It definitely needs to be about 10 feet longer. I think this is why they rigged it the way they did. They seem to have had an odd piece of line which they used for the in haul and to have enough line at the winch, they didn't wrap the furler unit.

Anyway, it furls really easily now all the way in with no issues besides the in haul line stopper almost makes it to the clutch now but that's ok for now.

Privacy blind for main cabin

The entrance from the cockpit down the stairs is made of a transparent plastic/acrylic materiel. This looks pretty but lets anyone behind your boat see in the main cabin at night time. We made a simple velcroed on blind from fender blanket which we bought from sailrite. Some Velcro on the panel sticks to the blanket materiel easily and this then covers up the cabin hatch at night. Very easy to make and to use.
Velcro attached to starboard side

Velcro attached to port side

2 velcros at bottom of hatch

Blanket attaches to Velcro readily

Fire extinguishers and EPIRB mounted

We have 3 x 10lb BC fire extinguishers on the boat per coast guard code. They were in boxes until today. I mounted them in the following positions so they are easy to get to rather than buried in some locker/lazerette.
EPIRB and cockpit/galley extinguisher

Engine port extinguisher

Forward berth extinguisher
I mounted them with some stainless steel self tapping screws. The plywood looks like 3/8 inch if I'm lucky. The one on the stairs is going nowhere, it's resting at the bottom on the top step. The rear cabin one is close to the engine extinguisher port and is on an incline and it's the rear of the boat so I think that one is pretty secure also. The forward berth one could possibly fall off if we were beating in to heavy seas so I may move that one to the other side of that bulk head and put it on the floor basically.

Monday, September 11, 2017

B&G WIFI-1 stopped working

I upgraded all the software on the boat electronics I could about 2 months ago. That means V4.5 for my Zeus 2 plotter and anything else that was recommended.
After doing this, the WIFI-1 stopped working. By this, I mean, the plotter couldn't see it. It was however, still transmitting on the SSD I setup but the Zeus refused to acknowledge it was even connected on the bus. I tried shutting down the boat power to reboot it, no joy.
The dealer ended up replacing it with another one and that worked straight away. I don't believe the other one was broken but this is what it took to get the plotter to see it again.
I can now connect the boat to a WIFI hot spot, download updates (which I did) as well as predict wind weather straight to the plotter. I just have one WIFI-1 on the boat so it's the hotspot or reconfigure it so my tablet can be used as a remote plotter display.

First haul out

I hauled out the boat before the winter rush. The dealer came and repaired the forward holding tank release valve. I had the anodes replaced and the bottom painted with Pacifica Plus. The marina service yard did that work. You cannot paint the bottom yourself in New Jersey, you need a license.
Total cost was 1900 US for this. I'm planning on leaving the boat in the water over the winter and staying on it a little and sailing when I can.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

First 100 hour yanmar engine service and more on sailing lessons

Liberty Landing Marina has a service department who are Yanmar authorized and to automatically extend my yanmar warranty from 2 to 5 years, it needs to be serviced by such a dealer. I asked them to do my 100 hour service and the total cost was 632 dollars which is mostly 4 hours of labor (125 ph I think) and parts.

The sailing lessons are going well. We're improving a lot and gaining confidence when sailing and for me, docking is now pretty routine, at least so far.

Things I bought recently for the boat are more dock lines (5/8 x 50 ft) and a mantus anchor/mooring bridle.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Docking trials and lessons

We took the boat out a few times but it was very clear to us that we'd forgotten most of what we learned on our ASA 104 week last year and that we needed docking instruction immediately. We had managed to dock the boat a couple of times backwards pretty well but we had a very bad docking experience a couple of weeks ago and luckily avoided damaged our boat or other peoples boats so that was the point basically where I decided I wasn't taking it out again without instruction first.

So, we looked around for a school. I was going to do the Maryland School of Sailing's docking course but the couple of times I emailed them, they have never answered so that was that. I called the Manhattan sailing school and asked about instruction on my boat and they can't do that for insurance reasons but they put me in point with one of their instructors, Mike, who we are very happy with.

He took me out for about 3 hours the first day. The initial idea was to stay in the canal and get used to turning the boat in a narrow space using the engine but I wasn't comfortable and was basically afraid of hitting something so we went in to the hudson and played around there. I gradually figured out /remembered how it works and then we went back to the canal. It seemed a lot bigger now and I was better able to spin the boat in the canal using engine pulses and so on. Eventually, it came time to do a docking attempt and I went in bow first and it worked pretty well. We came out again and then repeated another couple of times. Mostly, this went well except for a couple of times where I came in at too shallow an angle by turning early.

The next day, Mike came again but we went sailing for 3 hours instead. That went well and things started coming back to us about how this all works again. The docking went well also and I brought the boat in and Mike was showing my wife how to do the dock lines.

These 6 hours were hugely valuable and have made a huge difference on confidence and handling for me. I'm by no means an expert yet and we'll likely be using Mike a couple of times a week through this year to gain more skill and confidence.

Slip wise, we are adding an 18" inch inflatable globe fender which rolls on a post to avoid the boat hitting the corner of the slip and damaging the boat.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sump one way valve back flowing

Our sump is attached to a pipe with a one way valve. The pipe goes aft and exits on the aft port side. The bilge pumps water through this pipe. The one way valve is to stop water left in the pipe flow backwards through the sump pump. Ours isn't quite so one-way. It's allowing water in the pipe to flow backwards to the sump pump and then in to the bilge where the pump dutifully pumps it back out again where it then leaks back and we have a sump pump thats continually cycling as a result it seems. About every 30 minutes, it kicks on again and then we wait for the backflow to kick it on again.

The dealer has an improved valve which they plan on fitting. More worrying is the same type of valve (at least to look at) is also on the toilet pipes heading up to the holding tank. If those leak, it's just nasty and sewage will back flow in to the toilet.

Cleaned out water tanks

As delivered, the water tanks on our new boat were in a pretty sorry state. They clogged pretty much instantly the water pump filter with black stuff which I can only assume is mold.

We cycled two tanks forward (87 gallons) and aft tanks (55 gallons) through and cleaned the filter. I then added a cup of chlorox in the forward tank and 5/8 cup in the rear and let it sit. Then drain both tanks, and fill and dump and refill. The water seems reasonable right now, we'll test it at the weekend and report back.

Life raft locker lid issues

Our lift raft locker lid is bending when my 100lb daughter stands on it. The bolts which are used as hinges at the rear have bent on one side, and the screws holding on the latch with the bolts on each side went through the lid and broke through on the top side. Trying to get a new one which is stronger under our warranty. Very annoying that who ever screwed on those latches at the factory basically ignored the damage and shipped it as is. Quality control...

Toilet fills with sea water on a sail, no anti-siphon valves on toilets.

We did a nice sail on Saturday, our first proper sail with the boat. It went pretty well and when we got back, we noticed a lot of water in the forward head and the toilet was full to the brim with sea water. We know it's sea water because the holding tank is empty given the leaking issues I mentioned earlier.

It appears the our boat has no anti-siphon valves on either toilet. So, when its heeled over, water is basically sucked inside the boat from the sea water flush inlet (the electric toilets use sea water for flushes) and into the toilet which overflows in to the boat. Boats have actually sunk this way and the manual for our toilets insists on requiring an anti-siphon valve be installed which Jeanneau seems to be ignoring.

There is a sea cock to close the inlet which we'll need to do but it blows my mind that Jeanneau doesn't fit these standard on their expensive sail boats which are ocean rated. I've asked the dealer if this was a mistake during fitting or if Jeanneau really ships the boats with no anti-siphon valve. This basically means if you want to use the head at sea then you need to open/close the valve or use fresh water from the shower to flush the toilet. We have a head on port and starboard so we could use the high toilet to avoid any water coming in during use.

Anyway, annoyed.

Forward Toilet through hull valve broken

The dealer came and inspected and cleaned the leaking holding tank. The plan was to reglue both forward and aft toilets with a thicker more flexible glue. Unfortunately, the forward tank won't actually open to the sea. We turn the valve but while it moves, the ball in the valve doesn't actually move at all. So, we need to order a new thru hull, haul out the boat and replace it. Meanwhile, the forward tank is now as clean as we can get it so the foul leak has stopped at least. Playing with that valve is a bad idea also as if it was to catch enough to open the valve, the boat would likely sink unless you could close it again which you likely wouldn't be able to with the broken valve.

Leaking holding tanks on Jeanneau 439

First major problem with the boat and the fitting which adapts the gravity pipe from the tank to the thru hull sewage valve is leaking. It's basically a part that screws in to the thru hull and has a smaller diameter fitting which the pipe from the tank attaches to. It's leaking in the threads between the thru hull and that fitting.

Yep, there was a "weird" smell in the boat since it was delivered. I thought it was the perfumed plastic bags we were using initially but to my horror discovered that wasn't it. The holding tank for the forward v-berth toilet was leaking sewage in to the hull of the boat and it was pooling in the areas under the floor boards. I had the holding tank emptied once I realized this and then spent about 5 hours cleaning it up which I hope I never have to do again. Horrible, horrible job. Of course, it continued to leak in to the hull after emptying the tanks so cleaning it was a waste of time, it just pooled again.

I called Riverside Yachts of NJ who sold me the boat and act as my warranty contact. They informed me that it was an ongoing issue with Jeanneau and Beneteau boats. Apparently the factory used the wrong glue on the holding tank valve to thru hull fitting on both toilets and it hardens to a varnish, is brittle and basically then starts to leak in to the hull. The fix is to replace both fittings with new ones and a more flexible glue. Why the dealer/Jeanneau are waiting for their new boat customers to experience this first hand rather than preemptively fix the boats before they are sold is totally beyond me.

So, Riverside are coming to the marina and doing the fixes and cleaning the boat on Wednesday this week. To their credit, they are acting very quickly on this. I called them Monday, they are fixing it on Wednesday (tomorrow)

This isn't how I thought my first weeks of owning a new Jeanneau yacht would go for me. Lets hope it gets better from here...

The photos show where the leak is. It's a slow leak, there was "plenty" still left in the tank. Whats weird is it drains from there in to a rib in the hull strength area and pools inside the rib which is hollow. It overflows from there on each side through the drainage hole. This is totally messed up and it's draining in both directions! Water is supposed to flow backwards in to the bilge not forwards in to the v-berth. You can see in general, the water does not move easily to the bilge with the hull design. It gets trapped in each section because the hole to empty each section is basically too high. The hole seems to be not on the center line but its to the port side and because the hull is curved, it's then above the low point in that section which looks like a big design issue if I was designing boats. The boat is supposed to be a dry bilge but once water/sewage gets into it, it will not drain out to the bilge without you helping it.

It leaks "forward" in to the bilge area in the v-berth from the rib. It's actually pooling inside the rib and overflowing on to each side of the rib. The hole is centered here
This is the bilge pump on the top area with the area just in front of the v-berth door under it. You can see the low point of the lower section is below the drainage pipes between sections so it pools rather than drains.

This is the actual leak as best I can tell. This is in the v-berth toilet.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Almost time, see trials and more equipment purchased

Sea trials are next Tuesday and Wednesday. Then, we're helping deliver the boat from Riverside Marina, NJ to Liberty Marina on the following Wednesday which is around a 3 day sail. We have a delivery captain during that trip so I'm treating it as a learning experience also.

I purchased a 6 man Viking RescPro life raft this week at a good price (3200 delivered). This will hold 9 people in a pinch and is tons of room for us. It's heavy though at 88lbs. It won't fit in the Jeanneau life raft locker though which is just too small by a half inch for the hard case to fit and the soft case is too wide in the other direction which is a shame, still it's more storage instead then. I purchased the duffel bag version instead which I'll keep in a lazarette or down below when not sailing and outside otherwise. Still, at 88lbs it's heavy to bring up the stairs from below.

Our EPIRB is a Global Fix Pro category II. Basically, the boat will be turned over to us and in our marina slip on Friday, May 5th.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Spinlock Deckvest 5D life jackets arrive

I ordered 4 Spinlock Deckvest 5D PFDs (380 bucks) with the optional AIS transmitters (250 on top of that). They aren't cheap (total cost of 700 USD per jacket) but given that we will be sailing as a couple or with just my daughter, if we have a man overboard or wife/daughter overboard then we have no spotter so being able to see them on the chartplotter immediately is essential to be able to sail the boat around to where they are. The AIS radios on the vests them selves basically transmit GPS coordinates over VHF as soon as they get wet and can also send a coast guard 400mhz signal also. The jackets arrived 2 days after ordering them.

We ordered the hammar hydrostatic inflation which is pressure based (10cm's of water) and it opens. These vest have lights built in as well as a head spray hood. Expensive but very comfortable to wear, they don't get in the way and have a 5 year warranty which seems related mostly to batteries and such for the lights and AIS units.

They also come with a nice nylon mesh bag for hanging them up.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Delivery date set to week of April 30th

Delivery captain is booked. We need to complete 2 days of trials before then to give them a chance to fix anything while the boat is local to the dealer. So, with any luck, we will be moving stuff onto the boat that weekend. Just need to arrange to have the power turned on at the slip before then also. The plan is to sail up with the captain. It's 2 days with a stop at cape May or Atlantic city.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Solar setup on boat

I'll probably add a solar setup this year and take advantage of the federal tax credit on the total cost. It will likely consist of Davits (a rear platform to mount the panels), 600W of Solbian high efficiency solar panels on the davits, Victron Multiplus hybrid invertor/charger, Victron MPP solar controllers and 800aH of lithium batteries also by Victron likely. Looking for someone to do the work now. I'll likely look at someone in Annapolis. By putting it all in at once, that gets me the credit against all that work is the plan.

Boat insurance dropped price beside of new marina

I had to add the Liberty Marina so my boat insurance to rent the slip. My boat was previously registered with BoatUS (GEICO basically) as located at the broker (Riverside Marina in Riverside, NJ). Happily, my premium dropped 300 dollars when I did this so basically it's 1500 a year right now.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Secured a slip close to office for first year

I've arranged an all year slip for the boat at Liberty Marina in Jersey City. It's right beside my office and I can keep the boat in the water all year round, they run bubblers in the winter. I'm having a Webasto 5.5kw diesel heater installed on the boat in preparation for the NJ/NY winters. Thats a 18k BTU unit with 6 outlets so it should be enough. The slip was basically 12k a year with direct billed electricity on top. Sewage is free and water is free. I'm planning on staying quite a bit on the boat which will help shorten my commute enormously, 15 minutes rather than an hour or more some times. Plus, I can go for runs around Liberty state park so I'm looking forward to using that time saved to run more. The slip includes two parking passes also so I can park my truck there year round while living aboard the boat.
Right now, the boat is having some equipment including the Webasto installed and should be delivered to the marina during the latter half of April.
This will allow me to get a lot more use out of the boat. I can use it like an apartment as well as go sailing after work during the summer evenings/weekends as well as fall/winter weekends also.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Second visit to boat after deposit

We went to see the boat again today in the yard and put down the remainder of the cash portion of the purchase price. I spent time on the boat, looking at the systems it ships with.

Electrical System

The boat has 1 service battery (for starting engine) and 4 house batteries for supplying 12VDC to the various systems on the boat. I think the batteries are AGM with 110aH so 440aH total meaning 220aH usable... The boat has a voltage isolator and a 60AMP charger. There is no invertor so none of the 110VAC devices will work unless we're on shore power. These devices currently include a microwave, two AC/heating units and the water heater. Nothing else needs 110VAC on the boat so far. Charging the batteries is done using the engine alternator or shore power. I'm not sure if the 60AMP charger I saw is just for shore power. The alternator may drive that also.

There is a small TV on a wall with it's own 400W invertor to power it.

I already own 2 Honda EU2000i generators. These can be used on the boat to charge batteries on the way. A 60AMP charger should pull around 900 watts (15V x 60) during peak charging. I'd prefer to run the generator closer to 1500 watts charging, it's more efficient.

It's not diesel so I'd need to store gasoline on the boat which I don't like. 5 gallons of gasoline though is a lot of power. One of my EU2000i's is converted for propane and uses about 1lb of propane for 1kwh of power.

Our batteries are 4 x 110aH or 440Ah or 12V x 440aH = 5.2kwh. We can draw about 2.6kwh for 50% depth of discharge. That's 2.6lbs of propane to replace that power. I estimate that will take about 3 hours to charge. I have a test where 5 hours charged 4.4kwh or 880wh per hour with a 55amp charger in my house.

Navigation Equipment.

It has B&G gear, a Zues 2 9 inch screen outside, two small MFDs, an autopilot control and a VHF radio (V50). There is also a chain link counter and electric cutlass.

Refitting plan.

I will be living part time on this boat and sailing most evenings and weekends when weather is good. Staying on the boat cuts my commute to the office time from an hour each way to about 15 minutes. This is an expensive purchase so being able to sail it as often as possible and the commute time savings (an apartment in the city close to the office basically) is a big deal to me.

First purchases:

  • AIS Transmitter (B&G V50 is receive only)
  • EPIRB (ACR V4)
  • Life Raft (Viking 8 man)
  • Dry gear for working on deck. Probably Dry suits for the family.
  • Inmersat Phone dock (external aerial) with Satellite Wifi or just buy an Iridium Hotspot for about the same money for weather and email. I already own an inmersat satphone 2 and a satphone pro.
  • Self inflating life vests.
  • Drogue for emergency steering and slowing boat down in swell/heavy weather.
  • Self activating fire system for engine room.
  • Emergency hole plugging system.
  • Some kind of gasoline/propane/diesel high capacity pump, ~6000 gph.

I'm holding off on the following:

  • Victron Multiplus 12V/3000W/60AMP invertor/charger. This would allow batteries to supplement shore power and split the system so all A/C power comes from invertor/batteries and shore power normally just charges batteries. I own a Xantrex ProSine 1800 which would work well as an invertor but with only 200AH of usable power from current batteries, running 110VAC is prohibitive. 600aH total would give me 500aH usable which is over double my current aH.
  • Victron Lithiums with BMS to replace current batteries. When they wear out then I'll consider it and hopefully they will be cheaper then. They have 12V/200aH ones which I'm not sure will fit in current battery buckets.
  • Solar panels (300W at least).
  • Wind generator.
  • Fiberglass propane tanks.
  • SSB Radio and Pactor modem (I have an extra class ham license and a KX3 radio right now).
The current plan to receive the boat is late April. We want to do some serious sailing lessons with a captain once we get it also.