Yes, I know I have mentioned earlier that today is splash-day, but as it seems they are not that good at mind reading here in the yard and probably just taken it as a discussion. Well, I’m to blame really since I haven’t been making sure that the message got through.
But it is still this week, and it will be great to finally be in the water. I almost wrote “back in the water”, but she has never been in the water under my ownership earlier so let’s call this the day when I finally get her into water.
There are still some things to do, of course. She is a boat. But nothing that is stopping Away from going into the wet. I did a test run of the engine some days ago, it started up as expected but I forgot to check if the alternator was charging so I have to run it again tonight. But everything seems fine, even if it runs a bit rough before she gets warm. Does anyone have any ides what to look for to get her run a bit smoother? I guess I will have to learn to diagnose a diesel engine too, in the future.
So, what have I’ve been up to the last days, since I’ve been so silent? Well, I did laundry for the first time since I left Sweden – yes, that is almost three months! – and it was grand. Clean clothes is indeed a luxury, and it was so good to have it all cleaned. Simple happiness.
I have also been wrestling with my dinghy, trying to figure out where and how to patch it. I did find the holes and I did manage to get some really advanced glue for it and I did some how manage to glue a piece of PVC over the holes, but it was really weird since the glue was said to have a pot life of 4 hours but after 30 minutes or so it was already creating a skin on its surface. It was supposed to be applied twice, in thin layers, 20 minutes apart. But as soon as I got the glue on the PVC it dried and was hard to brush on so I rushed it. Well, worst case I have to redo it, right? It does hold air much, much better now anyway, so that is great. We’ll see how tired I will get of pumping it every now and then.
One last thing that had to be done before splash was also to anti-foul the propeller, two coats and it was done. The paint dried really fast too, I started on one side of the prop and as I was done with the other side I could put on the second layer immediately. Crazy fast! Or maybe I’m slow putting on paint… I only had a 12mm (1/2″) paint brush so it did go kind of slow. But none the less, it is done and checked of the list!
It has been raining pretty much the whole time, so it haven’t really been fun to be outside so I have been working a bit with my electronics. I have managed to connect my AIS (and it is possible to see where I am in real time on this map, as long as I have the AIS turned on).
I have integrated a Raspberry Pi to my boats NMEA 2000 bus using a PICAN2 HAT (an add-on card that can understand CAN-bus signals, which the NMEA 2000 bus really is) as well as the autopilot. It is however not fully configured yet. But it gets the signals it needs, so that’s cool. The RPi will be used as a navigational computer using OpenCPN eventually, currently I just use it to inspect the bus. Having Signal-K installed to read the messages, and even write if I want to, makes it easier. I will try to come up with some fun things to use this integration for. One thing that I would like to do is to have two programmable buttons in the cockpit that I can program to tack the boat when on autopilot, so I don’t have to reach back to the display to do a tack when single-handling her. We’ll see what I come up with, I have some hardware and some ideas anyway.
Oh, yes. I installed the extractor fan for the engine compartment as well two days ago. The old one was connected directly to the battery and thus ran 24/7 (or, it should have but it had failed catastrophically). So now I’m looking at creating a temperature regulator for it, so it won’t run when not needed. I have some sensors and one of my arduino boards that can read analog input, but so far its readings are a bit off and it doesn’t seem to be very linear either. Odd and frustrating, but it is said that the AD-converter on these boards aren’t really that useful. I have some 1-wire temperature sensors as well that will give me a digital signal and I think I will test it tonight if it works better.
Last post I cleaned the boat. The last few days the birds have worked hard to achieve status-quo. I think they are overdoing it, to be honest. But I got a plan: When Away is in the water I will scrub her down with plenty salt water to get rid of their “calling cards” and then sail away. Perfect, right?
I also need to take a closer look at the refrigerator, it seems to be running continuously and that will drain my batteries quite fast since it is using about 3.8Ah, so over 24 hours it will be using something north of 90Ahrs all in all, which is almost half my useful capacity at the moment. Can I get its duty cycle down to 50% or less it will minimize the time I will run my engine just to charge my batteries. Currently it just builds ice on the cold plate, which is totally unneeded. But it is cold.
Splash is coming.