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Batteries, cables, chargers and misc other stuff on Valkyr

Re-doing the power systems on Valkyr

When we got the boat it had two optima batteries one in the starter bank and one in the house bank. There were two other group 31 Sea Volt AGM batteries sitting on the boat not hooked up. My plan is to use the two group 31 Sea Volt AGM’s along with 2 identical Group 31’s that I have on my old boat to make a house bank of 440 AH. The two optima AGM batteries will go in the second engine starting bank. These are controlled from the stock DC switch panel that has a 1/2/All/Off switch integrated into it.

To charge the batteries Valkyr had a 3 stage computer controlled portable automotive 1/10/25 amp charger just clipped to one of the batteries. Though it is a very nice charger we would rather that the bank be charged independent of each other. We purchased a Xantrex XC 50 amp 12v 3 bank multi chemistry battery charger to rectify this. http://xantrex.com/power-products/battery-chargers/xc-series.aspx

We got a pretty good deal by price matching at west marine $499 plus another 49 for a two year warranty that will replace it even if we drop it in the water. I normally don’t do extended warranties as they mostly are a rip off but Xantrex doesn’t have the greatest reputation with their support so we thought that a little extra caution would be good. Also it extends the warranty by a year which I liked also. We could have gone with a cheaper charger by several hundred dollars but this one can charge different chemistry banks separately as well as use input power from 240 volts down to about 90 volts.. basically no matter what the shore power is this charger can handle it. No having to […]

Universal Diesel 5432 water heater bypass and Coolant Recovery Reservoir

Credit for this information goes to Markus Ritter owner of a Mariner 36  s/v Sankaty check out his website at  http://sankaty.homestead.com

Original Front view. with five inch long 1/2" ID Thermostat by pass hose

Existing barbs are good enough for 1/2 inch ID hose. Original Barbs in place

I ended up using a 1/2" hose on the existing barbs. The 1/2 " hose runs about three feet back to the existing 5/8" heater hoses. At that point there is a 1/2" to 5/8" plastic adaptor that makes the conversion as shown.

Plan view w/o brass elbow

I have found some brass 90 deg elbows that may fit into the pipe thread of the engine so that the “From WH” line can stay below the “to WH” line to make it easier to fill the water heater when changing coolant.  I may install them next winter, but so far everything is working OK and our continuous speed is 15% faster as we are no longer cooling system limited. Click here for curves showing temperature after one hour runs a various speeds. Check out Racor’s comments on blow by.

Front View w/o Brass Elbow

There is a manufacturer that specializes in marine heaters I ordered their H-406, H-417, and H-407 3/8″ Male Pipe Thread to 5/8″ inch hose adaptors, but I have not installed them yet.

Heater Craft’s, Dan Shull at 208-687-4400. or e-mail him by clicking here

Westerbeke has the straight adaptor P/N 302391.

I have not been able to get the old barbs out yet.   The system is working fine now so I may never add the brass elbows.  It is difficult to get the air out of the water heater lines, and I expect that the […]

sv Bluesky: Passage from St Helena to Salvador, Brazil, May 2010

#gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 33%; } #gallery-1 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-1 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */ The passage from Saint Helena to Salvador, Brazil is 1,914 nautical miles. As Blue Sky sailed away from the island a pod of dolphins bade us farewell. Fourteen days later we arrived in Baia de Salvador, Brazil! The voyage was calm and we rarely had to touch the sails. Everyday we put the trolling line out so we could enjoy a fresh fish for dinner, but had no luck, not even a bite. Becalmed for a couple of days we were forced to motor. This delighted the children as they had all the electricity they needed for DVD’s and Game Boys. Left is a photograph of a typical South Atlantic squall, fortunately they did not produce much wind, unlike the ones we encountered in the Pacific Ocean. The tall buildings dot the skyline of Salvador. This historic town was once the capital of Brazil. Begining in 1549 until the role was transferred to Rio de Janeiro in 1763. Until then the city was the second most important Portugese capitol second only to Lisbon. This was due to its huge trade in sugar and gold. There are two sections of the city, the upper or Pelourinho, which is a Unesco World Heritage sight. The historic colonial architecture dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries, built atop a cliff. You can access this area either by an elevator, built in the 1930’s or a cable car on an inclined plane. The children prefered going up on the train, but both are spectacular! Anchoring Blue Sky behind the circular Forte de Santo Antonio in the small craft harbor. The fuel dock was right next door and the men in charge lived aboard the barge. We had read that there could be petty crime in the anchorage but possibly because of our friends on the fuel barge we experienced nothing of the kind. Instead we were greeted only with kindness from everyone we met. I think our little “ambassadors” have a great deal to do with our good luck!

Exploring town there is a church on every corner, we read that there are over 365, one for each day of the year

the Greja de Sao Francisco, built in the Baroque Style in 1723, and is one of the richest temples in Salvador. The gold plated wood carvings on the altar and the fine Portuguese glazed tiles surrounding the walls are dramatic. We were lucky to arrive on a day when there were guides. It was a fantastic tour.

Above we are at the top of the elevator on the upper section of the city, looking at the circular fort and small boat harbor. Blue Sky is anchored behind the fort out-of -view.

The San Antonio light, is the first light house in the Americas. In 1839 the roatating kerosen lamp was located in a wooden tower.. In 1890 the structure you see today was installed with a 3.5m lens, this mechanism is still in use. The light was electrified in1932 and can be seen 38 miles off shore. Above: Phoebe and Drake pose at the light’s base.

For our first visit to Brazil this was a very good choice.  Checking into the country was realitivly easy.  Thankfully the dock master had all the paper work we needed and provided it to us in advance!  To do this he charged a small fee.  In my opinion it was worth every Reais!   There are small luncheonettes all around town and we managed to sample most of what Brazil could offer.  The buses were very efficient and it was easy to get to the shopping to re-load our provisions.  The people were very friendly, it was sometimes confusing to communicate, as our Spanish, although close to Portugese does not quite match up.  Even so with the patience of the some of the nicest people we have had the great fortune to meet we were able to get by.  We did get lucky at a book store and found a copy of a Portugese/English dictionary.  Each night we would work on the words that we had needed that day.  Little by little our vocabulary increased with the children being best able to absorb our new language.  Many of the children we met loved to practice their english with us and assisted us in learning new phrases and translating menus.  There is a big push for this generation of students to learn english having one hour of the school day devoted to studying english.

To see more of Blue Sky’s adventures go to http://www.thevoyageofbluesky.com