I am finally feeling like I am making tangible progress on the electrical front. Yesterday I spent the better part of two hours contemplating the inside of Changabang trying to figure out where I’d put the hydrogenerator converters. They need good ventilation; they shouldn’t be in the way; they would preferably stay out of possibly wet areas; as they heat up they shouldn’t make living inside impossible when it’s really hot, but the heat could be useful in the cold weather; wires to the battery should be as short as possible; the connection to the solar panels should be straightforward (should the primary MPPT fail); etc. I once again fell victim of “paralysis by analysis”.
Ultimately, I put one on each side of the engine compartment, with wires wiggled through existing holes (except for a couple holes I drilled into the battery box). One thing I realized is that they will charge the house bank only; so the engine will need to be started every so often to keep the starter battery going strong enough. It was part of the plan anyway: to keep the juices flowing in the engine’s many tubes and wires.
Next is finalizing the lug connectors with heat shrink (as I soon as I get the heat gun), and extending wires to the hydrogenerator themselves (as soon as I get the 14/3 AWG wires for that). Oh, and wiring the solar panels.
While all that was happening I heard from my friend Noël, who had offered to help with the fabrication of the aluminium brackets that we will use to affix the hydrogenerators to Changabang’s sugar scoop. Good progress has been made!
Sails and sail hardware
When I put one of the partial battens back in its pocket last weekend, I broke the pocket. I had to trim the end cap of the batten itself (it was too wide, which is what tore through the aging pocket), apply a large pad of sticky tape, and give it another go. Hopefully this will hold long enough. In the process I lost my trusty Dyneema scissors to the muddy waters of the harbor.
I also tried to figure out why the furler brake was not working. It is supposed to hold the sail all neatly wrapped up, and wasn’t. The brake itself has a fuse, which was broken. I found a spare on the boat and replaced it. I’m to order another one from the folks at Karver, who also advised to replace the furler insert that guides the brake. It’s like I said, everywhere there are costs.
I’ve also ordered circlips for the batten cars. And I really should spend another $700 on the mast track gear but … pockets are running empty, especially considering all the pending open tickets (hydrogenerator installation and spare parts).
I’ve opted to mount the YB3i vertically as that was the best spot on the boat. It remains to be seen if that will work well. I still need to wire it to the batteries (waiting for extension wire). I’m thinking that I will wire it to the load posts of the MPPT.
So far so good …