The Voyage of the Swan
The hot water heater after removing it from the boat. We put the solar charge controller in its place, plus retrieved a lot of storage for other things.
This is the space we saved by removing the hot water heater. The hoses, surge tank and wiring will also be removed.
The three phase MPPT charger/regulator from Blue Sky mounted in the cockpit locker adjacent to where the water heater used to be.
Original solar panel position: it was out of the way, but it was shaded part of the time and one panel was just not enough.
The final arrangement for the solar panels, designed to allow both panels to receive the same amount of sunlight all the time.
This remote shows the charge status (bulk, acceptance, float), voltage and amps. When not charging it shows battery volts.
The new whisker pole track. Our “J” is 14.5 feet, but the pole can stretch to 22 feet so we can point higher with the pole pushed to weather.
We over-drilled, filled with epoxy and used screws to hold the pole chocks into the epoxy.
Bolting and bedding the Muir manual windlass. The gypsy is for 3/8” G4 chain.
Done. We’ll add a chain stopper next.
It rained, so I used the time inside to build shelves for the “hanging lockers” in which nothing ever hangs.
Outfitting: Solar, etc.
We spent a lot of time researching solar power. Other than lighting, our only power use will be for the Ham/SSB radio, VHF, small stereo and engine starting.
In the beginning we mounted one 85 watt Kyocera panel just forward of the dodger. However, the location kept the panel in shadow part of the day. Ultimately (two years later), we decided on a total of two panels mounted on a framework mounted on the stern pulpit. It’s just aft of the arc the boom swings in, but just forward of the space the Monitor self-steering needs to work properly. It’s important to position the panels so that both receive the most amount of sunlight all the time, otherwise the output of the entire array will be effected, especially if the array is wired in series.
The biggest part of the job was removing the water heater. When I went looking for a place to put the charger/regulator, the most obvious place was the port cockpit locker, but the water heater was there. Not being a fan of hot water heaters on small sailboats (we never used it), Rhonda and I went to work to remove it. It was a job! It meant disconnecting two fresh water hoses (drinking), three engine fresh water hoses, a surge tank, and the AC power wire. It also meant plugging or re-routing the hoses. Because we disconnected hoses at the engine, it also meant a coolant change, which was probably due anyway. The end result was worth the effort. We not only gained space for the charger, we picked up a bunch of well positioned storage for other things as well.
After the solar panel, we fitted a whisker pole track. We only installed a two foot track because both the jib and drifter lead well to the same area on the mast. We installed chocks for the pole on deck instead of on the mast because I want the pole available for a jury rig should the mast ever go by the board. It also means cleaner air for the mainsail and less weight aloft.
The Muir manual windlass came next. I used the same hawse hole as the previous electric windlass. We will also install a chain stopper soon.
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