With the solar panels now unable to keep the ship's battery charged, I needed to make a maintenance visit to Naiad in order fix fix that problem. The weather forecast for Sunday looked to be very good so I set off at stupid o'clock and arrived around mid-flood allowing me to get the dinghy onto the water without a huge walk up and down the hard. I had planned for several jobs to be done with the main one being the solar panels and I had purchased several items in advance of the trip, including a new 50W solar panel.
The first taks was the removal of the flagstaff mount as it is unusable in the position i had mounted it. When it has the flagstaff inserted it restricts the movement of the tiller. Not good. So off it came, an easy job as it was only bolted in place, and the holes left were filled with quick-set epoxy.
Next up was the solar panel set up. These are the panels that no longer keep the battery charged.
And this is one of the reasons why. The connections are corroded and pulled apart when I lifted off the frame. The main reason is that the epoxy coating has started to yellow and that cuts down the amount of light hitting the solar cells and thus also reduces the charge produced.
So off they came. Not a difficult job as the frames are screwed in place from the inside.
THe new solar panel is a bit bigger that the old and needs to be mounted on a curved frame. I used the full water barrels as weights to hold the laminates in place whilst the glued dries.
The laminates were cut from 4mm plywood so that the amount of pressure required to bend the laminates was low.
I used exterior grade wood glue as this dries fairly quickly and I'll be able to take the frames back to the workshop to finish them. If I had used epoxy for this job I would have need to return another day as the cure time for the epoxy is measured in hours.
There is one problem with the new setup and that is the furling lines. They will touch the new panel and create wear so the bullseye you can see will need to be raised so that the lines clear the panel. You can see from the photo that the two red lines touch the frame and the panel in mounted on top of the frame.
This is the new solar panel. I tied it to the top of the mainsail and wired it into the electrical system. By the time I left in the afternoon, the ship's battery was showing nearly 100% charge.
The next task was to stow the anchor chain which had been left to dry on the foredeck after being washed at the end of my last trip. The mud on the bottom of the North Geedon Channel was consistency of double cream so that anchor and chain sank into the ooze. Since it was dark when I raised the anchor and I had to get back to the cockpit quickly on that occasion, I had to leave the muddy chain on the foredeck until I had picked up my mooring. Then I flaked the chain as shown and used the mop to wash off the mud with seawater.
The chain is fairly easily fed into the hawse pipe until this point.
This shows why no more chain wilh feed into the chain locker and why I cut off the top part of the locker. The chain has stacked up in a pyramid like pile and blocked the pipe.
The fix is easy. I wriggle up to the locker and shove the pile sideway.
This makes the pyramid collapse into the other side of the locker and the pipe is not longer blocked.
The remainder of the chain was then fed through the hawse pipe and the foredeck was ready to be washed down to remove the dried mud.
The screw holes in the coachroof were filled with the quick setting epoxy.
The underside of the holes being covered with Duck Tape to prevent the epoxy from dripping out of the holes.
I had a nap once I had finished the tasks I had set myself before packing up, shutting up the boat and setting off for home.
Definitely time for a cup of tea.