Friday, January 22, 2010

2009

2009Looking back at what was a busy 2009 for me...

Most of my time seems to have been spent painting and building the workshop space, so it's a pleasure to look back through my blog and see just how much has been achieved.

At the end of the year:

  • Lady Jane has much more paint on her, so the constant war on rust starting to go my way, at least for now.
  • The damage from the Humber Star collision has been repaired and that whole incident is just a memory and a few indignant posts on the blog.
  • I've made huge strides in insulating and wood panelling inside the heads, galley and upper engine room. More to be done there.
  • The engine room has benefited from some tender loving paint care.
  • The engine has new telemetry fitted, though this particular project has some way to go yet.
  • I have a new workshop space, which to some extent replaces the gazebo I had on deck for working in the rain.
  • The whole 24/240V power system has been significantly enhanced.
Overall, I'd say that the advances made in Lady Jane's electrical systems has been the most significant thing achieved in 2009.

It must be said that none of this would have been achieved without the help of my mates. In particular Fred, who has worked tirelessly despite difficult personal circumstances.

For me, now having a 3.5KW inverter charger along with the wind generator performing properly has been a major turning point on board.

Previously whenever I needed any power, I almost always had to run the small generator. The thinking was for minimal power usage I would use the battery bank and 1KW inverter. Anything needing more than 1KW, or sustained power, would need the generator. I also used to let the generator run and run so the battery would charge and the battery refreshers would work.

Now I have the Inverter charger, and with the wind generator doing it's job, I very rarely use a generator. The batteries, because of the refreshers and re-vitalised wind generator, have got to a state where the wind generator can keep the battery refreshers working in a relatively light wind (>25.6V) while I'm not on board and the power is off. This, in turn, accelerates the pace at which the batteries ability to hold their charge improves. Currently the batteries hold their charge to about 25.0V. A vast improvement on the 24.1V I started at.

The setup I now have means I can use the batteries for virtually all my power requirements while I'm on board, without needing a generator at all. Of course reasonable conservation of power still has it's place here, and having some wind about does help.

Oh yes, and power 'failures', upsetting the radio or heating system, while I switch over from battery to generator or generator to battery are a thing of the past.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Surviving winter

SurvivingI'm hoping we have had the last of the bitter cold this winter, but you never know.

This weekend at least gave me a chance to check everything was ok on Lady Jane, especially after the very cold snap.

As it turns out, I had a burst pipe in the galley. Fortunately it's not too big of a job to fix. At least I think it's not going to be a big job.

I usually leave the power off when I leave Lady Jane, so at least the burst pipe didn't cause a flood, or cause me to loose all my freshwater.

If that had of happened, I guess the water pump would probably have burned out as well.

There is always something...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Back

Back from wintery daysWell here I am, back again after a bit of a snow break.

The combination of Christmas, New Year and then the snow has cramped my style somewhat, but I was back on board at last on the weekend.

I had not been down to Lady Jane last weekend, mostly for fear of not being able to drive home again after dire threats about monster snowfalls, then before that it was new years and all kinds of stuff.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm confident of the truck's ability in snow, it is four wheel drive and all that, but I was not confident of the ability of the various authorities to keep the roads clear so other people, who should know better anyway, did not get stuck, therefore causing me to be stuck.

Anyway, things should be back to normal now it's 2010 and the sun iswas shining.