Saturday, June 22, 2019

Day trip with parents

My parents are visiting and they showed a lot of interest in seeing the boat, so yesterday we did a day trip to Andijk. The forecast was max 10kn wind, and it was 10kn as we got there. 

Engine started without a problem, when leaving the box the fenders got stuck in the pillars, but we managed to get out anyways. Right outside the port we pointed the boat into the wind, activated Susie the autopilot and took the sails out - storm jib and main with 3rd reef. I realized the sheets for the jib are too think for the jibs' nose, so i had to force them thru. We run on a broad reach for a nm or so, executed the manoeuvres (tack, gybe) and we beat close hauled back to the port on already 4-5Bft (15-20kn). Engine started without a problem again, sails were taking down again with Susie as a helper, and we got into the port/box with no problems, but help with the bow lines. 

The starter battery had 10.5v when I've checked it after shutting off the engine, and over 14v with the alternator running. So it's pretty much dead and needs replacement. 

By the time we tied up, the wind was already whistling thru the lines. 

I've also measured the hole for the old manual bilge pump, to see if a new one would fit in the same place. 

In the port there were a lot of Albin Vegas, it seems the AV club had a get-together in the port this weekend, we saw at least 4 visiting. Including hull number 1xx!

Total 5nm, and I'd say single-handed - actually probably more challenging than being alone. 

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Great total: 1382nm, out of which 5nm single-handed.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Around de Kreupel

We started off without a clear goal on May 18th, 2019 at 9:40am out of Andijk with very little wind, 1-2 out of N. Weather was fantastic with around 18°C initially, then going up to 24°C. We headed NE - 40° for almost as de Kreupel, initially thinking we could make it to Enkhuizen. We soon realized the wind is dying so we decided to go for a circumnavigation of the island de Kreupel instead. We had to fight the light breeze coming from NE and zig-zagged until the SE corner of the island - which turned out not to be an island at all, but rather a collection of small islands declared as national reservation for birds and marked with 'Entry prohibited' on the map. As we got closer to the islands, the biting flies became a real nuisance, they were all over, green and red- depending on if they already got their lunch or not. We inched forward between the island and the cardinal signs making a shallow spot east of the island, and to our surprise we found out some boats actually sailed into the reservation/group of islands. Dan took a nap and Annette was busy with preparing lunch, so i had to tack myself a couple of times to manover through the nature channel. After passing the North cardinal buoy, we changed the course to NW to avoid entering a breeding area North of de Kreupel. Once we got to the NW corner of the area, we hove to and we started our coffee break - bad timing as it turned out, since the wind started blowing 4-5 and a lot of boats started coming from the south with us as a clear target. Even hove to, we still made 1.5kn SoG. So we decided to have our coffee break while on the way, we set course to SW and enjoyed a great sail with the wind. The waves also started building. At the port entrance, Annette took over the tiller, started the engine and kept the boat in the wind while i took both sails down and we got into the berth at 6:30pm.

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Monday, April 15, 2019

Finally sailing

The day started by Mrs. A sanding & oiling the teak handrails - looks much better now! I set up the boom, the main sail and the genoa and then at 12:47 we set sail with about 11kn wind. We sailed NW on a beam reach for about 2nm, we turned W on a broad reach for about 1nm and then turned SE on a beam reach for 2nm back. It was a lovely ride, even if the waves were a little steep and we took them from the side. 

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Saturday, April 13, 2019

Launch day 2019

Today was the launch day - perfect weather, 3C and the only snow day Netherlands saw this year, alternating with beautiful sunshine. Anyways, the first surprise was the auxiliary rudder, where the recently painted AntiFouling was scorching away. And the 2nd surprise was to see the rudder was made out of wood, at least some layers of it. So first order of the day was to sand it, find some fast Epoxy resin dough and apply it just in time for it to dry and be able to paint AntiFouling on it again. 

In the meanwhile I've soaped the boat sides over the waterline - wend over it twice. Unfortunately there are no water hoses in the region where the boats are on the hard, so I couldn't really wash it off, but at least it looks better than before. 

I've also looked at the light bulbs on the mast, and the curious thing is that the top light doesn't show any reading on the ohmmeter, even if the light bulb looks perfectly alright. Same goes for a LED replacement, and this one even works on the the top of the mast atm, so this is really strange. Anyways, here are the light bulbs:

I've also installed a new wind wheel thingy for the NASA Wind instrument (Target 2) on the top of the mast, which went well but the instrument still doesn't show anything, so it must be a cable problem.

Then the harbor master took the boat in the water, I've checked no thru-hulls are leaking, he raised the mast and helped me with the set up. I've learned from him that the first shrouds to be connected should be the cap shrouds on both sides, them the backstay and forestay, and then the lower shrouds. Tension is still a mistery, so I've tighter them up so that they're steady but you cannot play bass on them. 

Motor started right away, so we could go directly to our box and tie up. 

Even the mast lights where all there - and the right color on the right side.

At the end of the day I've just scrubbed the deck a little bit - a lot of green stuff over there,.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Last day

Today I finished the AntiFouling painting with a last layer on the waterline and the forward facing 'waterbreaks' like keel&co and realized why they say one should paint on a windstill day - it's been a lil windy and it's a nightmare, drops flying everywhere. 

Anyways, total is that a little more than the half of a 2.5l paint bucket was needed to paint the whole thing. Plus what's going to be needed when I put the boat in the water, like under the pads and the surface under the keel...

Was really thankful that inspite of using normal masking tape, no paint has made its way thru it and the tape came off nicely, after one day of staying on the hull.

Unfortunately I realized that my starter battery is dead. When I came on the boat it shows 8V, and after being connected to shore power for one day and disconnected for one night, it went back to 10V. The little health display also shows blank, so it must be time for a new one.

Today I finally took off the cockpit floor and put some grease/Vaseline to the stuffing box.

Unfortunately it turns out that there indeed isn't any manual bilge pump installed - i kept on hoping there was one hidden in the stuffing box compartment or under the wood construction for the auxiliary rudder in the aft cockpit... So a DIY project coming soon.

I also picked up and mounted an anode for the propeller shaft - 2.5cm diameter (1in?). Fun fact: zinc anodes are for salt water only, aluminum for both salt and fresh water. So I picked up an aluminum one. And I still don't have a clue how to take the old one at the end of the shaft off...

Still looking for a matching handrail replacement, seems to be a non-standard one on the Albin Vega (93cm with three connections as opposed to the closest on the market right now, 84cm with four connections).

Also, the old heater's furnace pipe is obsolete and I'd like to replace it with a ventilator, but the pipe is 6cm diameter and the smallest ventilators start at 7-8cm. Let's see what the internet offers there.

Anyways, time for some lekker hollandse dinner and head home..

Friday, March 22, 2019

Albin Vega - a big boat?

Is Albin Vega, with it's majestic 27ft, a big boat or not? Well, it depends on what you are compairing it with. Compared with Elisson's yacht, or the Maltese Falcon, it's rather small - a 1/10th of their size. When I try to dock it, it's rather big ;) When we're 3 ppl on it, it's quite small again. But today I cleaned the hull and painted it with AntiFouling, and let me tell you: it's HUGE!! When you must work under it and old AntiFouling is dripping from it, or new antifouling is splashing, it's really a never ending story to get it painted. 

Degreasing it took around 2hrs, and I've done it with a very hard sponge - which makes it unnecessary to sand the old AntiFouling paint. But I had not idea that the old AntiFouling paint is so disolveable, at least when in contact with the degreaser solution. 

While waiting for the hull to dry, I've done some shopping: got this little fellow that's supposed to keep me warm at night:

And a new bucket and some LED lights to replace the old ones. 1.5W instead of 10W for the same light!!! Fun fact: traditionally, the navigation lights have been using white lightbulbs and a green/red/white enclusure that changed the light color. Not possible with LEDs anynore, since white LED light + green enclosure gives blue light. So there are special green/red LEDs for navigation lights.

Painting the hull was a major undertaking, I had to dress up with a protection suit, breathing mask, protective glasses and gloves. And the process took forever, something like 3.30hrs and it got dark etc. I have no idea how it turned out, I guess tomorrow's the day. One thing is for sure, next time the boat will get out of the water, I'll have to scrap all the paint layers and redo everything. There were sections which were a mess - old paint came down when I painted new layers over it. Now you can see at least 3 different colors of old paint: white, blue, red and the latest was black, which is what I've used this time too...

Today I've also repaired the compass, it's fixed in the cockpit wall to the cabin and the wall always got wet, so I took the compass out and put a band of butill tape all around, hopefully it'll keep the water out now.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

2019 - new sailing year

After turning down an offer in Seattle, I am super excited to start the new sailing year 2019 now! 

Got to the boat today after a long break and everything is alright, except for the amount of mold I've found. So first thing was to wipe the whole mold clean.

I've also checked the voltage with which the batteries are being loaded from shore power - 14.7V - hope it's compatible with gel batteries.

I've also managed to fix the NASA Clipper Duet screen - new LCD solved the problem. New covers are also there, to protect the LCDs.

Tomorrow is the big day, scrub the whole under waterline hull and apply antifouling.