Wednesday, January 12, 2022

The Scoop on Poop in Fort Lauderdale

Pump outs are an issue in the Yachting Capital of the world - Fort Lauderdale.


It's a crappy subject but boat owners have to deal with it. It's not something that can be left to rot, it will.

Locally there are not that many Pumpout Stations and there are fewer still that work. For us, the most convenient is at Smoker's Park on the New River just downstream of 3rd Avenue Bridge. We have used that facility many times. There are a bunch of boats that are tied up along the river there, notably, Musette II and a few others, they all have a need for Pump outs. If they don't pump out at that locale, they have three choices:- #1 Call a mobile Pump Out service, it will come to them either at the dockside or alongside their boats.  #2 Go to another pump out station, good luck with that one! or #3 Head out to the Ocean and 'pump and dump'

In our case, Eximius holds a maximum of 25 gallons. In fact, if we had 25 gallons of poop on board, it would probably be making a mess in our bathroom as it would flow back - Yuck! So we pump out frequently. We have the same choice as those boats tied up at the New River:- Use the shore based pump out service (DIY), hail a mobile pumpout, head up to Los Olas Marina (apparently not working and unlikely to be fixed until the rebuild of the Los Olas Marina (Sentex managed now) or we can go out on the Ocean.

Ok, so what is the process if we want to pump and dump out on the Ocean?

It's pretty simple. We head out to the 3 mile limit off shore, normally we go quite a bit further, and open the valve that is normally wired shut, turn on the Macerator Pump and whatever is in the Holding tank is pumped overboard. It might not be obvious to everyone, but on our boat, nothing goes into the head that we didn't eat or drink. No TP, no napkins and very very little fresh water. The salt water flush in our boat has been disconnected. Salt tends to cause cakes (now there's a thought you'll not easily forget) to form in the hoses and the tank.  This means that we create a lot less sewage on the boat than we do at home. A typical flush on our boat is perhaps a pint or two of fresh water. 

So our poop gets macerated before it's discharged overboard. Surprisingly, although the trail of effluent is visible over the stern of the boat, it's no longer visible within a few minutes. A boat trailing us would probably not notice that we dumped if they were sailing more than 3 or 4 minutes astern of us.

Ok, so that's the scoop on poop. It's a sad reality that there are so few public pump out facilities in Fort Lauderdale - Yachting Capital of the World.  Of course, Cruise Ships probably have sewage connections at their docks. I cannot imagine how large their holding tanks must be. HUGE!

Anyway, we have been unable to get out to Sea for a while, issues with the boat etc. But we did get to take the boat out for the New Year's Eve Cruise - Thursday, Friday, Saturday and returning Sunday.
The Smoker's park pump out facility is not working, it's not been working for months. One would think that with all of the Sewage that has leaked into the New River in the past couple of years, literally Millions of Gallons of Poop, that the City of Fort Lauderdale would be making extra effort to provide adequate pump out stations. You would think, Right?

Today we hailed a mobile Pump out company to empty our small (25gallon) holding tank. Chris from Mobile Pump Out Service came to our boat today and took care of business, that's #2. As his card says, they are #1 in the #2 Business.

Chris brought his truck and parked it in the road, ran a hose to the boat and quickly pumped out Eximius. Our tank was only half full and I wanted to rinse off the side of the tank (inside) adjacent to where the Level Sensors are located in order to improve their reliability. Chris was ok with me running a hose and spraying that inside of the tank, he suggested that I also spray the area of the tank that is further from the pump out point near the bottom aft corner of the tank.

Chris' rates are very reasonable, he's a cheerful and sensible business owner. He took care to make sure the work area was clean. I had setup the pump out adapter into the deck fitting. Chris said it wasn't necessary but he was happy to connect his hose directly  to the adapter. Boat owners do not need to install an adapter, Chris has a push in adapter that he normally uses.

So we're MT, no longer full of S#!t even if we did have to pay for the pleasure.  Once the current series of Northerly's pass though, perhaps a week, maybe two, we'll be back out on the water. Of course there's a few little projects to do while we wait.

If you need to get Chris to take care of your #2s, then you can reach him at 954-406-6680 or www.marinewastepumping.net


See you on the water.


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Raymarine Auto Pilot - Upgrade review

Raymarine Auto Pilot - Upgrade review

I'm normally pretty easy on reviews of boat equipment, but I have to step it up with my review of the Raymarine EV100 Autopilot that we installed this year.

The installation - Here's a link to the install process, but here's a quick overview.
  • I planned the install in great detail as it was an expensive and complex install due to the existing wiring on the boat.
  • The old Autopilot was suffering, turns out it was probably due to bad wiring of the original install whenever that was done, before my time owning the boat.
  • The install was done in the summertime here in South Florida - yes - Sweaty work.
  • All of the existing navigation equipment was rewired.
After finishing the install a few months ago, we did a dockside test with the boat tied fast to the dock.
That basically consisted of calibrating the Wheel rotation. Once complete we set the wheel pilot to Auto and then adjusted the heading to see that the wheel turned in the correct direction, a simple test, but it sure gives a greater degree of confidence in the complete installation.


Ok, fast forward to the New Year's Eve Cruise on December 30th 2021. We left the dock at 6:15am dawn was just breaking, we navigated down the New River and passed all of the bridges, the last being the 3rd Avenue Bridge, from there is was simple motoring down the river then North on the Intracoastal Waterway, there were only two bridges we need to pass to get us from the River to Sunrise Bay.

I took the opportunity to turn on the Autopilot once we passed the last bridge on the New River. Initially the controller complained that there was no drive unit found, turned out that the Autopilot was not powered on, but the instrument was via the NEMA 2000 Network. Peggy turned on the Autopilot at the Electrical control panel by the Nav Table in the Cabin. 

Now the Autopilot started to obey the commands at the Helm Station. There are 4 heading control buttons:- -1º +1º, -10º, +10º. As soon as the Autopilot was put into Auto mode, the wheel drive motor took control of the Helm. Pressing any of the heading control buttons changed the heading very quickly, it was a quick as if I had manually tried to change the heading by rotating the Helm. I must admit, I was impressed! I was able to navigate all the way from 3rd Avenue bridge to the Las Olas Blvd Bridge - there I took the pilot out of Auto and manually steered through the bridge where the current was pretty heavy and there was other boat traffic the really required manual control.

Again, when we passed the Sunrise Blvd Bridge, I went back to manual operation. After the last bridge, Peggy took the helm with the Autopilot in Standby.

The old Autopilot would very slowly react to a heading change request and would often just stop steering, it was not reliable. We tried to steer via the Autopilot but had to keep a close eye because it deviated from the desired heading every few minutes. The Helm wheel would move with exaggerated turns and confidence in the Autopilot system was zero.

The new Autopilot is amazing so far! It responds immediately to a heading change request and does not make exaggerated wheel movements, in fact they are quite fine movements. We have had other people sail on Eximius, and they would not make such fine movements of the wheel despite instructions on how to hold the wheel and make small but early trims of the wheel to keep on course.

Beneath the digital heading display on the Control Instrument, there is a text bar that indicates when the system is detecting local magnetics, every now and then it would change color but it pretty much stayed visible on the first day of use.

After a great New Year's Eve cruise with the Hillsboro Inlet Sailing Club, we left Sunrise Bay at 7:15 Sunday Jan 2nd 2022. Once past the Sunrise Bridge, we put the Autopilot to work again and easily navigated to Las Olas Blvd Bridge, manually steered past the raised bridge and then back into Auto.

As we continued up the New River, we heard from the FEC Railroad bridge that it was going down in 6 minutes. I called the bridge tender asked how long he expected the bridge to be down. 14 minutes.
At the rate we were travelling though the flooding river, we would be at the FEC bridge before it opened. So I decided to do a few Doughnuts downstream of the 'Tunnel' to pass some time in order that we don't end up trying to hover back from the approaching bridges. I probably made 5 or 6 doughnuts, just turning to Stbd by adjusting the heading via the Control instrument. 

During this maneuver the Control Instrument display changed completely. It displayed a message stating that the system had completed the Magnetic evaluation. WooHoo.

After accepting that info (OK) the screen returned to the normal display and the Detecting Magnetics notice was no longer visible.







We have yet to complete the Commissioning process and that requires that we are in an area that is free of obstructions (like the sides of the New River!) as we have to let the Autopilot take charge.

The Autopilot has a learning curve (the pilot, not me!) and during one phase of the commissioning process the Autopilot follows a track similar to the one shown here. We'll have to be on the Ocean to do that, it's far too crowded on the New River and ICW and the lakes are not big enough as well as normally being occupied by many boats.

I'm good with this, another reason for getting the boat out.


So far, my impression of the EV-100 is Excellent! Easy to use, Very Responsive and very conservative in the way it manages the steering.  We have a lot to learn about the system after completing the Commissioning including being able to follow a track (not sure if it will do that, but it has the systems required, just have to make sure that the Raymarine part will listen to the Garmin GPS Chartplotter which provides the data for following a track.)

Right now, I give it a **********, 10 out of 10 stars. I am delighted with the upgrade. Well worth the effort and we both look forward to using it often.


Oh! One last thing! 
Prior to installing the new Autopilot (which includes a Rudder Position Sensor) we had to look down between our legs to see which way the Rudder cap was pointed in order to determine the Rudder Position. It was almost comical, Peggy would be at the helm, I would ask her to go Amidships and she would look down between her legs and turn the wheel till the rudder cap pointed directly forwards.

The New Autopilot has a Rudder Position Display, even if the Drive it not powered up.

The display shows a Red (port) or Green (starboard) block from 0º to current rudder position. 

No more looking between our legs to see the Rudder position. BTW this was only necessary because the wheel required more than 1 turn to move the rudder from fully to port to fully to starboard, so the whipping that we have on the wheel to indicate Amidships is only useful if the rudder it nearly Amidships already. 


Stay tuned for more updates as we complete the Commissioning process and get used to using this awesome upgrade to Eximius.

See you on the water. 


Saturday, January 1, 2022

2021 New year's eve Cruise 12/31

Friday - 12/31st
A great night's sleep, bodes well for the end of 2021.
We slept in but got up long after Sunrise and I got busy making Coffee before breakfast.  Today's fare was Sliced Ham Steak, Fried Eggs, big Ohio Tomatoes and whole wheat skillet toast. Brie for Peggy's Toast,  Spread, peanut butter and blueberry preserve and, of course,  some hot Coffee. 

Another beautiful day in South Florida, clear skies, temp in the 80`s surrounded by boats, suitably anchored. 

Phone calls started to come in notifying of club members on their way to the Bay. Soon the bay was getting crowded.  Overnight were Spruce Goose next to us, O'Hara and Affection. During the day Hullabaloo, Endurance,  Diversion, Commotion, Pegasus,  Swan Song, Sea View and a guest of Commotion. A good turnout for an end of year cruise that is still hampered by the continuing Covid 19 Pandemic. 

Mike and I took our dinghy out to visit with each of the boats that arrived before 3:30pm, we were chatting to Tom and Norma on O'Hara when Commotion turned into the Bay and that caused a bit of a Commotion as they were going to raft up with us, Eximius &Spruce Goose and we were not aboard for Commotion's arrival! Ross was at the helm of Commtion, Mike & I cast off from O'Hara and zipped around the front of Commotion to the back of Eximius.We quickly got over to the Stbd side of Spruce Goose just in time to accept the lines that Astrid had ready on Commotion.  10 minutes and we had our three boats secured.  Not long after, Ross' buddy arrived in his trawler and thar was quickly secured. 

About twenty minutes later,  Mike and I dinked the Trawler's anchor and rode to about 100 ft ahead of it's bow. Now we had two anchors holding our 4 boats and the known good holding as well as the good weather forecast overnight should mean another good night's sleep. 

OF COURSE IT'S NEW YEAR'S EVE!

There were several boats open for Sundowners, just about everyone is ready to socialize after this year.

It's now 21:30, we can hear fireworks from most directions, not many, but I'm sure that will not last. We're planning on making some noise at midnight. Unusually, it's not gust to welcome in the new year, new resolutions and aspirations,  but to say a loud and very clear Goodbye to 2021. Here's to doing our best to make 2022 a better year.

Wow! I actually stayed up till next year. 

OK, time to turn in without waking Peggy.
Thanks Ross, Astrid, Mike, Scotty and Gladys for the champagne and upbeat wishes for the new year. 
Let's all work on making 2022 better.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

New Year's Eve Cruise 2021

HISC New Year's Eve Cruise 2021

As this is the last cruise for our sailing club in 2021, I really did not want to miss it. The weather cooperated we did a clean up of the boat  and we loaded the boat after it has sat for the last 5 months not doing much except go moldy. As the boat sits on the Dock facing East / West, the Port side of the boat is on the North side, away from the dock. Just like Trees  in a forest, the North side of anything left close to water will grow green, quickly! Despite our attempts to clean the boat every few weeks, that's all it takes for the damp atmosphere to encourage green growth on every surface that does not face the Sun. We spent a good effort scrubbing the boat down, focusing on the Port Side. Grrrrr!


With the boat fully loaded by end of day Wednesday, we planned for an early rise to get down to the boat before high tide at 6:30am. An early night for the 4am alarm and we quickly put the last few things together - clothing, Peggy's Travel Guitar, and our tech stuff - Computer, Tablets, Phones plus a thermos of Coffee.

We love this coffee pot, our daily brew is made (drip funnel) in this pot every day. It really does keep the coffee hot all morning and warm enough to drink for the rest of the afternoon.

The plan was to get down to the boat, leave the dock at high tide and then have a hot cup of the best coffee (that's almost any coffee while on the boat) but it didn't quite work out that way.

Despite leaving the house nearly 30 minutes later than planned, we were ready to pull away from the dock by 6:15am - All instruments installed (we don't leave them at the helm when we're away from the boat), all lockers unlocked for quick emergency access and all lines set to dry on the dock while we're away for the weekend. Engine running, last line cast off, FBFL (flash light) in hand to help guide our way down the dark canal, our EarTec headsets saved us having to shout directions as we quietly motored, barely making a ripple as we headed for the deeper waters of the New River at the end of the canal.

As we approached the bend before the 11th Avenue Swing Bridge, still in darkness, we called the bridge on #16 requesting an opening, the Tender was on the ball and started the opening. All this time I was on the Bow guiding Peggy as we made the turns down the still river. Not quite dawn, I had the FBFL shining ahead when Peggy noted that the engine temperature was rising beyond it's normal 148ºF 

The bridge had started it's opening, I dashed below realizing that I had not opened the raw water intake thru hull valve, my screw up!  Quickly opening the valve and expecting the temperature to start to drop as river water was pumped through the heat exchanger and the cooling cycle would do it's work.

It didn't! The engine temperature gauge was still heading up. It was above 180ºF now. I was pretty sure we could get through the bridge before the engine started to complain, but we didn't. We did get through the bridge, but the engine high temp alarm was sounding, it's not really loud, just sounds that way! Way Loud! I was at the bow and prepped the anchor to drop. Peggy steered us out of the channel center so that we could anchor and I dropped about 50' of chain, we were still moving and I had a challenge to keep control of the chain as the anchor dug into the soft bottom, but we did OK, Peggy shut down the engine.

Step 1: Check the raw water valve just to make sure I had opened the correct valve, it was open. I loosened the hose clamps that secure the hose to the thru hull valve. Closed the valve, removed the hose to the filter, opened the valve and confirmed that the water way was clear from outside the boat.

Step 2: Check the impeller - it could have seized or separated from the pump shaft. Quickly got my tools out and removed the face place from the front of the Oberdorfer Pump. The Pump was dry but the impeller looked ok. Squirted some water in the impeller area and closed up the pump, Peggy restarted the engine. I expected that if the water was flowing, the engine would almost immediately start to cool down. It didn't! 

Step 3: Change out the impeller, I always keep a couple of spare impellers aboard. Removed the plate again, this time the body of the pump was full of water. I still tried to remove the impeller and replace it but could not get the impeller off of the pump shaft --- - Note to self! Carry a spare Impeller Shaft with the spare impellers.  Thinking that as the pump was full of water, it had actually started to pump. So I replaced the old impeller and it's shaft into the pump housing, closed up the plate and asked Peggy to restart the engine. She did, it did, and cooling water was pumping out of the exhaust just as it should.

By this time it was gone 7am and we had to get through the bridges before 7:30am when they shut in the down position until 9am (rush hour road traffic). We approached 7th Avenue Bridge, called the Tender and he opened without any delay for us. Now the 'S' turn through Sailboat Bend  on the approach to the FEC Railroad bridge, we were expecting it to close at 7:10am and heard them on the radio announce that the bridge was moving (couldn't make it out to clearly) but we really wanted to get past that bridge so that we could get past Andrews and 3rd Avenue bridges before the shut down for the rush hour. I called the FEC Bridge asking if they could hold open for just a minute longer so that we could clear that bridge. I had misheard the bridge Tender, she had reported that the bridge was going up, not going down! Phew! As we approached the bridge with one vessel ahead of us, it began to go up and were able to clear Andrews and 3rd Avenue bridges. You bet I wished them all a Happy New Year!

Once past 3rd avenue bridge, Peggy went below and powered up the Auto Pilot. Oh Happy Day! It works like a charm! I was able to steer all the way from just before Tarpon Bend to Las Olas Blvd Bridge using the Auto Pilot. Just had to press the buttons to add or subtract 10º of heading and the boat quickly changed to the new bearing. I was impressed! With a 10º change in bearing, the boat would respond almost immediately. It was less noticeable when I changed by just 1º of 2º but it responded correctly and quickly all the same.

Once past Las Olas Blvd Bridge, we followed another sailboat under power up  to Sunrise Blvd Bridge which opens on the Hour and Half Hour. We made it easily and I used the auto pilot to steer appropriate course changes to avoid boat traffic coming the other way.

Peggy took the helm as soon as we passed Sunrise Blvd Bridge and went forwards to prepare the anchor. Sunrise Bay was pretty crowded, there were 7 big boats already in the Bay and ourselves and the boat ahead of us made it a crowd of 9. Mostly larger Catamarans. So we snuck into the North West Corner of the lake well clear of the other boats, but a bit too close to the homes at the edge of the Bay.

Time for breakfast: Cereal and Coffee, we had a cup of coffee and a couple of slices of Toast before we home this morning. Peggy was pooped, I was not far behind not having slept too well Wednesday Night. Nap time. I awoke to some boat noises and peeked out of the cabin to find that a couple of the bigger boats that had been anchored near the middle of the Bay had gone! Great! Let's haul anchor and move so that we have more room when our buddy boats raft up with us Friday. It only took a few minutes for us to start the engine, done our headsets, haul the anchor and move just a couple of hundred yards to the better anchor spot. Now we can relax.

Of course, we didn't, relax that is.  Ok, so Peggy hit the nap sack but I started to prep the boat for continuing to scrub it down and get rid of the remaining green stuff.  I turned the Dinghy over and added some air, it had been upside down on the dock for how many months? Once inflated, I raised it with our Utility block and tackle and put the dink over the side. Then I cleared the decks ready for some scrubbing.

It took an hour, by which time we were both ready for lunch - Left over Chicken wings from Wednesday's lunch and some Potato Salad washed down with a hot cup of coffee. Yes, it was still plenty hot.

After lunch, I spent another couple of hours scrubbing the Port side of the cabin top, it came up pretty good and that was enough work for the day.


Ok, I rarely sit idle on the boat. The Radar data connection to the Chart Plotter was showing signs of wear (it really was bent in too tight a radius), that got fixed with some Rescue Tape. The cabinet in the bathroom was not properly attached since the last time I removed it. I took the chance to check on the fuel tank and it's drip cloth lead detector. All's well. Lastly, I had started on the install of the new Nav Station goose neck lamp, so I completed it's installation leaving just the electrical hook up for another day.

The new lamp should not only illuminate the chart table, but also the inside when the table top is raised, something the old lamp could not do.





That was it for the day. Time for a Rum & Ginger, a glass of wine for Peggy and watch the other boats come and go, there's always something that happens that deserves the remark: Glad I didn't do that!

Before dark, Tom & Norma arrived on Ohana anchoring off our Port Side - hope they realized how pretty Eximius looked, at least forwards of the Cockpit.  Jeff & Judy on Affection arrived before dark too, they anchored off our Starboard Stern quarter.

We had a simple dinner of Pasta and Source. Peggy played her guitar despite having had a glass of wine. We both had showers. Desert was a Klondike Bar and another glass of Rum & Ginger.

To close out the day, I wrote this blog article.

Today's "Gotado List" includes:-
  • Install an Engine Area Lighting fixture - can't see squat when it's dark outside.
  • Install a Cockpit Light - it would have helped when we were setting up the instruments in the dark this morning.
  • Apply new Shoud Turnbuckle Cover top end Tapes - the old tape has long gone.
  • Get a decent head lamp, I could not see the keys when trying to unlock the boat lockers (3) in the dark. Yep, we haven't made a dock departure on a long while --- if ever!
  • Get a new service kit for the bathroom toilet  --- we used most of the spares last time we were out, how long ago??
  • Get a new Camera mounting - the old one is so corroded that it will not tighten enough to hold the action camera in place. 
  • Relocate the Mini Inverter - I had to remove it from it's home in the aft berth as it was too close to the newly installed EV1 sensor for the new Auto Pilot.
  • Replace the Starboard Bow Nav Light. - The port light is fine, the Stbd one is not. Might be just a new LED lamp that needs replacing, I have spares.

Ok, it's 9pm, that's it. Hope to get some great pics tomorrow as the other club members arrive and we prepare to celebrate the end of 2021 and the oooooh can't wait to make 2022 a better year.

More tomorrow!

Paul & Peggy aboard Eximius.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

New Asym Spinnaker Turtle Bag

New Turtle Bag for our Asym Spinnaker

An earlier post in SailingEximius explained how we were donated a spinnaker for Eximius, here's a link to that article about our Asymmetrical  Spinnaker. It did not cover the Spinnaker Bag. The one we received was not designed for the sail we were given, it was huge! About 5'6" tall and 3' in diameter. The sail was almost lost in the bottom of that huge bag and managing the bag on the deck when preparing to raise the Asym was not a pretty sight.  Time to make a new Turtle.

I had some left over Green Sunbrella and had purchased a few yards of white phifertex left over for another project. I can always do with the practice, so I made the new bag.

Design concepts: 
  • Needs to have a top that will open and be out of the way when extracting or storing the sail from/in the bag. 
  • Because the sail could get wet, the bag must have some ventilation. Only on one side so that the outboard side of the bag has no vents.
  • Must have some line holders at one end for the Tack line, Port & Stbd Clew lines and the sock mouth hoist line.
  • Must have a method to attach to the lifelines so that the bag doesn't need management while being busy with raising or lowering the sail.
  • Some rigidity along the top of the long sides would be nice to help while storing the sail into the bag
  • Must have handles on the end to ease storing or extracting the bag (it's probably going to be stored in the Aft lazarette).
Step 1: Make a drawing of the parts. Top, Bottom, Front Panel, Back Panel, End Panels (2), Line Holder Bags (One piece made all three line holder bags), Tube holder and Rim for the zipper then cut out the two pieces of Phifertex for the vent in the front panels.

Step 2: Mark up the Canvas and cut out each piece with my Hot Knife.

Step 3: Sew the Tube Holders 

Step 4: Sew the Vents onto the Inside face of the Front Panel
Cut out the fabric on the outside face of the front panel to make a 1/2" hem around the edge of the Vent hole. Sew the hems onto and through the Phifertex.

Step 5: Sew the End Panels onto the Front Panel.

Step 6: Sew the zipper to the inside of the Front Panel and the Inside of the two End panels. Sew the Rim to the top edge of the Zipper.

Step 7: Sew the Tube holders to the inside of the Front Panel just below the zipper and to the Back Panel the same height up from the bottom of the panel as the Front Panel.

Step 8: Sew the Line holders to one end, sew a piece of webbing with a snap hook for the Head of the sail at the other end.

Step 9: Sew the Top Front and sides to the Rim.

Step 10: Sew the Back to the top and two ends.

Step 11: Sew the Bottom, first to the Front, then the end without the line holders, next to the back and finally to the End with the line bags making sure not to sew through the bottom of the line bags.

Step 12: Cut the pieces of 5/8 external diam pex tubing to fit the tube holders and insert into the tubes.


All done!


The finished Turtle Bag with the Asym Spinnaker inside ad all zippered up.

The two white squares are the Phifertex vent material.

I made two vent areas rather than one in order to maintain material integrity. 

Bag is 42" long, 17" wide and 14" tall.





The three Line Bags are made from a single piece of Sunbrella and are open at both their top and bottom edges.

Each bag is 3" deep and 5" wide.

The Red line is the Port Clew line - it's 1/2" double braid line with 1/8" Dyneema from the Clew, long enough to nearly reach the Port Side.

The Green line is the Starboard Clew Line, same design as the Port Clew line.

The Red and White line is the sock Tack line.

The All white line is the Sock haul up and down line.
The inside tube holder can be seen on the right in this pic.



This is the 'Head' end of the bag. 
The black webbing has a Stainless Steel spring hook to attach to the Head of the sail which is the last part to go into the bag and the first to come out of the bag

To store the sail in the Turtle bag, the Foot of the sail (the Fiberglass funnel at the bottom end of the Sock) is put into the bag near the Line holders end.
Then the sail in it's sock, is folded several times over reaching to each end of the bag.

The Head of the sail is clipped into the bag.

Finally, the lines are stored into the Line Bags.

Now the bag is ready to be zippered up and closed.


 
Here's another view of the bag with the sail stowed and the lines in the Line bags.

The stiffening tube is clearly shown in this pic.

It looks cramped but there's plenty of room to store the sail.

The deciding factor on the size of the bag was the Mouth of the Sock, it's 16" wide.

The Sail actually extends beyond the mouth of the sock by about 5', I just stuff the remaining sail material into the mouth, it's in there pretty loosely.






Sporting my favorite shirt - Red Catalina Sailboat long-sleeved shirt from Catalina Yachts when we visited them at the Annapolis Boat Show in October.

This is a whole lot better to manage than the original Turtle bag and takes up less room. I'm really hoping it will fit inside the Aft Lazarette and be comparatively easy to pull out when we want to fly the Asym.

Heading down to the Boat on Friday, we'll find out  if that's where it going to live.

Getting lots of stuff done for the boat, it's about time we got her out sailing!

Hopefully we'll see you on the water.



Paul, Skipper of the Sailing Vessel Eximius.



Thursday, November 25, 2021

Dinghy Inflator Carrying Bag

 Replacing the Dinghy Inflator Carrying Bag

The last time we inflated the Dinghy using our West Marine Dinghy Inflator, the bag zips had siezed and I had no choice but to rip the top open in order to be able to use the air pump. Grrrr.


It's been a few months, the inflator, in it's defective carrying bag, has been sat on a shelf in the Garage. Every time I saw it, that guilty feeling would rise and I would mentally take a note that I needed to fix that bag.

It's Thanksgiving, I have a few hours to use and figured now would be a good time to stop those guilt trips. I had a few yards of Sunbrella and a new Zipper. Spent about a half hour designing the new bag. The old (original) bag was not big enough to hold the Pump, the Extended power supply wire and the air hose because I had extended the supply cable by about 20' when we purchased Eximius as the pump would not reach to the foredeck where the dink is located and back to the 12v outlet in the cabin. The new bag is 12" wide, 9" tall and 8" deep, there's a divider between the pump and the other stuff (wire and air hose0.) I used the original bag's shoulder strap.


The new bag took about 3 hours all told. Well worth it.

It looks a bit 'baggy' no pun intended, but the extra space ensures that all of  the equipment required to inflate the dinghy are all in one bag.

The strap is the original

The zipper is a YKK #10 Black single pull.

All seams are 1/2" bottom and sides are all double stitched.

The top has a 5/8" rim so that the zipper goes around the corner rather than around the top (that would be a really tight turn for the zipper)



Despite the extra space in the bag, the air hose still requires a fight to get it inside.

I never did understand why West Marine did not include the adapter from the hose to the dinghy air valves. So the adapter has been secured in place using rescue tape.

The power cord extension wire was crimped and waterproofed with heat shrink. There's a quick disconnect at the pump end of the wire.

We'll take it down to the boat on Friday when we install the new Nav Table light.




See you on the water, please let it be soon!


Happy Thanksgiving everybody.


Paul

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

LED Nav Table Lighting

Replacing the original Navigation Table Lighting

I'm pretty sure that is the Original Nav Lamp (it's the flexible lamp in the corner of the Nav Table)

It's Red, that's good for use at night but not good for reading charts at night as it basically makes any red markings on the chart invisible.

It's not very flexible and doesn't reach far enough from the corner.

It gets very hot! It's an incandescent lamp, so it draws a comparatively high current compared to a modern LED light fixture and that's 0.5 Amps! A LED should be a lot less.


I found this one on Amazon.
"AnTom 12V LED Dimmable Reading Light, RV Boat Bedside Map Chart Light for Camper,Van,Sailboat,Caravan"

It's advantages are:- Dimmable and it is supposed to remember it's last setting. That should mean that if it's turned off when dimmed, then it should return to the same settings when turned back on ( and, apparently, it's the same when the power is turned off and turned back on, unlike other brands found on Amazon)




The instructions are confusing "Loosen the button and turn the knob to adjust brightness" Not sure how to "Loosen the button"

Looking at this image it appears that color is set by Pressing the Button and then turning it:- Left towards warm white and Right towards Bright Red.

I figured it out! When it reads 'Loosen' it really means - Don't press while turning! 






Mounting is a slight issue. I'm pretty sure that the space to which the existing lamp is affixed is not 2.6" wide and the screws being on the sides would prevent securing it in that spot. So it will have to be mounted elsewhere. That's not a bad thing as the corner location is not ideal primarily because not reach most of the Nav Table.

I'm hoping to be able to mount it close to the center of the instrument bulkhead so that it's not in the way when opening the Nav Table Lid.


I'll use an inline fuse holder for now, it will eventually be wired to a fuse block that is protected by a Voltage Regulator. 

Oh! and it has a USB charger: 5V/1.5A output, always welcome. However that does affect the size of fuse required. The USB output is 1.5Amps, the lamp is probably less than 0.2 amps. The total run both ways from the Fuse Block will be about 3'. Using the BoatHowTo wire size calculator (it's better than looking up the tables) I figure that correct size is 18AWG, however, the ABYC recommend not using an 18AWG cable. Hmmmm. I have over 100' of 18 AWG twin tinned Stranded Copper wire. The Ampacity of the cables is not an issue and the ABYC recommendation has the exception of a length less than 18" outside of the jacket, so I'm confident that it's ok to use the 18AWG cable pair.

On the Boat, I confirmed that this lamp will not fit where the base of the old lamp is located. But the good news is that if I mount it on the decorative rail above the storage over the Nav Table, not only will the lamp fit neatly, but it will also allow the lamp to illuminate the inside of the Nav Table when the lid is open. So I have two locations where it will fit.

I also confirmed that the existing lamp only draws 0.3Amps.

Decision made. I'll mount it to the decorative rail just aft of the Fan that's mounted on the same rail.

(The white battery lamp unit is long gone) With the new lamp mounted there, the light can illuminate the Nav Table, all of the Switch Panel, it can even light up the shelf behind the plastic sliding shelf doors.

The USB connection can still be accessed and the lamp base side securing screws can both be accessed for installation. That last point limits where the lamp base can be located, it has to be secured in place.

The wiring can easily be ran into the shelf area and down to the fuse block that will be located behind the area above the switch panel.

Great, we have a plan. All of the parts arrived from Amazon today (Tuesday 11/23/2021) .

Looks like we can visit the boat tomorrow and get that installed.

More later :)