"Not all those who wander are lost."

J R R Tolkien

HOME...................................................EMAIL: joel.delorme@btopenworld.com............................................. MY WEBSITE

4 May 2015

Off grid solar power. My first solar shave!

I  think I mentioned before that I have installed a 80w solar panel on my garage along with two 110Ah batteries and small controller on my boat. Its a small system that's been going over the winter. I haven't done much with it so far apart from having a led light come on in the evening on the boat.

The two batteries are fully charged all the time so I figured I should now do a bit much with it now and bought a small 300w power inverter a couple of days ago. I installed it and have plugged my electric shaver in to try it!

Well I have had my first solar powered shave this morning and even though it's a small step to take, I am inordinately pleased with that first step.

It's my first step toward energy independence, that's why. It's a great feeling!

Following this, I recharged the two batteries for my drill drivers, and used a 60w main light bulb briefly. I am just learning slowly what I will be able to do with this small system.

The boat is not quite ready for a more complex system yet, but I am learning and it won't be long before I add more stuff to it!

Should have done this stuff years ago!

20 April 2015

looking in through the window

The weather is slowly improving and I have started again working on the outside of the boat now. It's still not quite warm enough to use the epoxy yet, so I am concentrating on the cockpit, preparing all the ply panels in readiness for the fibreglassing. It's amazing how many panels there are to make a simple ply box! 

I had already made the floor for the cockpit last summer, and put down in place temporarily. Today was the time to take it out again. Well, I ended up having to cut it in halves to remove it...damn!

Looking through the port side window.
The sitting arrangements! Will double as a
Additional bed

Port side window again. You can see a lot of
water staining of the ply, despite being inside
The large tent

The one piece cockpit floor, before
Getting the chop!

Cockpit from the starboard side

A slightly better view of all the panels
I have also made an "armchair". This will be bolted to the hull to prevent it moving, but at the same time, fairly easy to remove if I need to work on the hull behind and under it.

The kitchen cabinet is a copy of a 1950s plywood larder. It's about six feet high. It will also be bolted/screwed to the wall behind it, in order to be removable for access.
Another through the window view
The kitchen cabinet is another
Work in progress

19 March 2015

a long overdue update on life, boatbuilding and everything...

Has it been that long already since I last posted? Doesn't time fly when you are having fun!

Well the winter is nearly over here in Blightie. It has not been particularly cold, just damp and dreary at times, just too damp and cold to use epoxy glues and paints outside. So I have concentrated on the inside of the boat in the past few months.

The photos will show better the progress. Sometimes though photos don't show the hundreds of little things one thinks is not worth a picture and so these little details, which can end up amounting to a lots of work, don't get recorded.

For example, the installation of the insulation. A block of rockwool does not photograph particularly well, it's not glamorous, is it! so I don't think I have taken any pictures of that process. Nevetheless I have insulated the whole of the inside of the cabin and hull now. I have also fitted a vapour membrane, which if I believe the blurb, will prevent water vapour from migrating from the inside of the cabin though the lining, into the rockwool insulation and end up condensating on the exterior walls of the cabin. This would be a bad thing, apparently, because it could end up rotting the structure! Hey ho, it's all done now and I'll have to live and wait and see.
The process of painting is another activity that's not terribly photogenic. Nevertheless the colour chosen can make a hell of a difference to what the habitable space feels and looks like. We decided in the end to paint the whole thing white. Yep, that's right, plain ordinary white. I  am quite pleased with this choice because it made the interior so much brighter compared to the colour of the wood and ply I have used. I have ended up using acrylic paints for the inside, except for "the bilge" this generally unloved and hidden area of a boat that end up murky, dark and dank on a lot of boat, filled with "stuff", and generally cluttered with miles of wires and pipes in a lots of boat, inaccessible and difficult to access for any sort of maintenance, except in dire emergency!

So I used proper bilge paint.. White too. It says so on the tin! But it looks more cream to me than white. No matter. The whole thing is clean, bright and most of it will be easily accessible. So hopefully, I'll be able to keep an eye out for any problems and deal with them early on.

The other thing about my bilges is that there are not "systems" going in there at all. The only wires and pipes will be for the bilges pumps.  I also hope to have some good ventilation in there running from one end of the boat to the other. Probably will have some sort of solar fans drawing air out. I hope it will work and keep the bilge dry.

I am planning to place the galley and the head close together so that any water systems will be  small, simple, easily accessible and short.  Same for the electrics. I am planning a simple solar powered system, with the wiring running inside the cabin, along the top of the wall inside a wood section, that will also hold the LED strips I am using for lighting.

Talking of solar system, I  have installed a solar panel on top of my garage, connected to two leisure batteries, a small regulator and powering some led lights. Really this is for me to learn about small solar systems before I start installing things on the boat.

Here are a few photos of the interior.

The galley.  The cupboard is about 1.80m high

Pantry storage
Looking forward from the stern doorway

Another view, looking aft> I am particularly  pleased with how
the ceiling and beams look now they are painted. About 12" down
from the ceiling is the channel in which the LED lights and wires
will go.