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Blog

Join us as we sail around the world - share our joy, experiences, trials and tribulations as we proceed.
It's lonely out here! So please comment as we love to hear from you.

JUL
02
0

New dinghy - Highfield CL 340

HighfieldCL 340

Our existing plywood dinghy which took Jacque Basson, Cape Town around 4 months to build is literally falling apart and needs to be scrapped. Joints are pulling apart, joints weren't sealed, water got into the marine ply and started rotting - it is just another badly done job. In addition to this, we also found that the plywood dinghy is hard and causes damage to the paint work whenever the dinghy bumps against Revelations. So, I have been looking around for another dinghy and we favour the Highfield CL 340 inflatable dinghy.

Standard Features
  • Valmex® PVC tube fabric
  • Welded seams
  • Flush mount non-return valves
  • High tensile chromated & powder coated aluminum hull
  • Bow locker (fit 24L fuel tank)
  • Self-draining deck
  • Integrated transom supports
  • Removable seat
  • Lifting points and towing eyes
  • Tow bridle points
  • Anti-slip deck
  • Heavy duty rubbing strake
  • Full length keel guard
  • Tank strap kit
  • Under seat bag
  • Highfield dry bag
  • Foot pump, oars, repair kit
  827 Hits
827 Hits
JUN
10
0

New MasterVolt Charger

MasterVolt40021006

Despite the unsettled insurance claim we have with AIB (Associated Insurance Brokers), we have been repairing Revelations at our own expense. We have already replaced the MasterVolt ChargeMaster 12/35-3 battery charger and the MasterVolt Mass Sine 24/2500 Invertor - we are now replacing the MasterVolt Mass 24/100. It is a damn expensive piece of equipment trading at around US$2800 (R42,200) pre shipping. Whilst one can certainly buy cheaper, the quality of the equipment is superb.

Specifications
Nom. output voltage 24 V
Total charge current 100 A
Number of battery outlets   1
Battery capacity range   200-1000 Ah
Nominal input voltage   230 V (180-265 V) 50/60 Hz
Supplies your system without battery   yes
Display/read-out   LED display
Dimensions hxwxd   420 x 318 x 130 mm 16.5 x 12.5 x 5.1 inch
Weight   7.7 kg 17.0 lb
Approvals   CE ABYC A-31 RRR RS Lloyds DNV
Charge characteristic   IUoUo automatic 3-step+ for gel/AGM/wet/Lithium Ion
Charge voltage Bulk   28.5 V
Charge voltage Absorption   28.5 V
Absorption time   4 hours
Charge voltage Float (wet batteries)   26.5 V
Charge voltage Float (gel/AGM batteries)   27.6 V
Temperature compensation   -60 mV/ C -33 mV/ F
Voltage compensation   voltage drop compensation in DC cables up to 3 V
Power consumption (DC side)   < 1 mA
Full load consumption (230 V AC)   3500 W
Power factor control   > 0.95
Temperature range (ambient temp.)   -25 C to 80 C derating > 45 C -13 to 176 F
Cooling   vario fan
Sound level   < 48 dBA at 1 mtr
Protection degree   IP23
Protections   over temperature over load short circuit high battery low battery
MasterBus compatible   yes
CSI/DC alarm   integrated in the battery charger as standard
  763 Hits
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763 Hits
APR
12
0

SharkBanz

Sharkbanz

Make your next trip into the ocean a little safer with the Sharkbanz Shark Deterrent Bracelet. Developed in collaboration with experienced shark experts and marine biologists, it uses patented magnetic technology to deter sharks by disrupting their highly-sensitive electro-receptors, which they rely on heavily in area where you're most likely to swim. It doesn't use batteries, never needs charged, can be worn on your ankle or wrist, and are available in a handful of colors. Available from Amazon.com

  1032 Hits
1032 Hits
FEB
22
1

Nanni Saildrive Woes

Entheos, the yacht sailing with us and moored opposite ours in Terminal Nautico da Bahia, have a problem with their port Nanni engine and saildrive (similar to a gearbox). The 8 bolts holding the engine and saildrive together came undone by itself, then got sheared off by the flywheel and with nothing holding the engine and saildarive together - the entire saildrive was loose and moved about when motoring. The sheared off pieces rattled about in the saildrive bell housing causing a huge rachet and further damage to the rubber seals, pressure and adaptor plates. These bolts should never come undone by themselves - it is like the bolts holding your car gearbox and engine together coming undone by itself.

It is a real shame that neither Nanni (the engine manufacturer), nor the distributor in Cape Town who assembled and installed everything are taking any responsibility for any of this. All sorts of excuses, very little in terms of answers and typical "duck and dive" moves from both the engine manufacturer and distributor. Neither are there any support in terms of answers to pertinent technical questions.

It was not a simple task of replacing the sheared off bolts with new bolts! The engine had to be taken out, the other half of the sheared off bolts, still stuck in the saildrive, had to be drilled out. With limited and confined working space, high heat and humidity, without the required tools and plant - it was a huge task drilling out these stuck pieces of bolts remaining in the saildrive. This took days of frustration, blood, sweat and tears to remove these bolts. Once removed, it become apparent that the distributor never applied "loctite" to any of these bolts! Despite photos clearly showing no Loctite residue, the distributor in Cape Town is simply evading the issue and clouding the entire matter with irrelevant and non sensical questions and statements.

As a result of all this saildrive movement, oil seals got damaged in the process and now there is water in the saildrive oil. This means that the salidrive must be taken out and to do this, the boat must come out of the water - another formidable and damn expensive problem here in Salvador. To do this, the boat must be relocated to another marina as there is no space here or boatyard at Terminal Nautico. Then a mobile crane with at least 20 ton capacity and adequate slings must be found and hired. Once on solid ground and properly supported, then only can the saildrive be taken out and checked for damaged after which it can be repaired. The costs and risks are high, it is no joke and quite nerve wracking to see one's boat hanging on a crane cable in mid air whilst lifting it out of the water onto solid ground. As usual, all of this will be entirely at the yacht owner's risk.

During the past 2 weeks, whilst seeking answers and solutions, talking to people in the local industry, the greedy and the sharks have gathered. One local guy who does a variety of repairs on yachts in this area wants over ZAR8000 just to remove the engine - that does not include putting it back or anything else. "I want $R2000 (Brazilian Reals which is over ZAR8000) and I will take out the engine and take it to my workshop". Then he does not quite seem to understand what the actual problem is - the problem is not with the engine, the problem is with the saildrive.

In view of all these unknowns, inadequate industry, risks and hyper prices, we are considering beaching the catamaran on a local sandbank at high tide. When the water level recedes, for us to then take out the saildrive ourselves, plug and seal the about 300 mm diameter hole in the yacht through which it protrudes - all before the tide returns.

  1483 Hits
Recent comment in this post
Hi Wiets Tell Entheos, I will come repair it for them Spent my life working against the clock in the sand , but never by the se... Read More
Sunday, 22 February 2015 13:16
1483 Hits
NOV
22
0

GoPro Hero 4

We received a call from ORMS, a Cape Town photographic dealer that our GoPro 4 camera finally arrived and is ready for collection. We also bought a couple of other items when we went to collect the camera. One of these is a handy GoPro remote with a range of 180 meters (600 feet). This will come in very handy when taking pictures from kite flying far up in the sky.

GoProHero4

  1616 Hits
1616 Hits
NOV
08
2

Satellite phone airtime

We once again met with IMTECH to discuss the various Immarsat satellite airtime options and I can tell you that it is ridiculously expensive. The technicians still have to come and install the Sailor 250 Braoadband dome unit which went in for repairs. But for them to setup the satellite email account, the need a valid, activated sim card with airtime. For this, we bought the smallest available airtime package of 60 units (about 45 minutes of talktime) at a cost of R1600.00 - this is more than R35.00 per minute of talktime! Not only is it damn expensive, the airtime expires if you do not use the airtime within 60 days. But wait, that not all! Laughing

In addition to all of this, they automatically deduct 14 units per week from your airtime simply for having the facility. By my calculation, this means that the 60 unit airtime will be just about all gone within the first month anyway - and that whilst you have not made a single call! So, just to have a valid sim card whilst not making a single call, is going to cost you around R1600.00 per month. So you pay them the amount of R1600.00 per month to have 60 units (about 45 minutes) of satellite airtime - then they take it all back within 30 days whilst you have not made a single phone call! What a rip-off! So clearly they know that they have you by the balls and they are squeezing the living shit out of you! Clearly I've been in the wrong business all my life.

Sailor250FleetBroadBand

  1079 Hits
Recent Comments
get yourself a pactor hf email system sailmail has a cost and time limit ham radio option has no cost or time limit you will alr... Read More
Monday, 17 November 2014 19:30
Hello James. We already have a Pactor 2 modem installed on Revelations. We recently ordered the new Pactor Dragon 4 modem which wi... Read More
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 03:50
1079 Hits
OCT
21
0

More stuff done

We managed to get more stuff done today. We waited patiently in long queus of people for some 3 to 4 hours long to get new the new version of South African ID Books - it is now a single card similar to your drivers license. Then it was another visit to the MRCC, Cape Town to get the new EPIRB registered - this was done very quickly and efficiently.

Then a visit to ORMS, a well stocked photographic supplier saw us buy a Canon wide angle lens, the latest GoPro 4 Black edition, a small Canon camcorder for Sue and some other photographic gadgets. Whilst it does not seem like much, these are all items on our tasklist we need to get done.

  573 Hits
573 Hits
OCT
20
0

EPIRB's, PLB and AIS Recovery systems

We started working on the tasklist of stuff we have to get done before we go sailing. We went to MRCC, Cape Town to verify that our EPIRB's and PLB's are properly registered. Everything was correctly done and we only changed one of the contacts they had in their database. We then went to the the McMurdo distributor to learn more about the EPIRB and PLB devices. There we found out that our EPIRB is not GPS enabled - meaning it functions properly and will send a distress signal, but this distress signal will not have GPS co-ordinates. Seems like another slick salesman (rather sales woman from IMTECH, Cape Town) who did not do the sales job properly and sold us the first thing she could lay her hands on - without bothering to explain.

So, we ended up buying yet another EPIRB - this time GPS enabled. In addition, we also bought two McMurdo Smartfind S20 - AIS Survivor Recovery Systems. The only problem with this system is the range of the AIS radio signal - told to us to be about 1 nautical mile. None the less, it is certainly better than nothing as even at a few hundred meters, it is almost impossible to see somebody in the water. The distributor also told us that a newer system is in the works which works on a satellite communication system but that it will only be available a couple of years down the line.

We now have a comprehensive and multi layered inventory of distress devices which form part of our emergency strategy.

AISSurvivor

  1180 Hits
1180 Hits
MAY
11
0

World's best screw?

No ... not the kind of screw you dirty minded bro's are scheming. Jeez, can't take you anywhere! What were you thinking ...
I'm talking about wood screws.

The common screw may not have been screaming for a makeover, but consider its shortcomings: stripped heads, tedious pilot holes, endless bit swapping. The company OUTLAW has developed a new fastening system that cures all those headaches and could unseat the Phillips head as the bench standard. Now we just need them in 316 Stainless Steel grade and in a various sizes!

BestScrew1

Non-slip head
Three tiers of hexagonal recesses in the screw head provide 18 points of contact with the Outlaw bit. (A standard Phillips head has only four.) More contact means better grip, which makes the bit less likely to slip and strip the fastener. Shorter Outlaw screws have two recesses (12 contact points) but the same hexagonal shape.

Automatic countersink
As you drive a screw, small ridges on the underside of the head helps cut a shallow groove into the work surface. The extra space allows the screw head to rest flush with the surface instead of on top of it.

Self-drilling tip
Forget predrilling pilot holes. Outlaw screws have extra-sharp self-drilling tips, so they can bore their own way through wood.

A single bit
Outlaw’s corresponding screwdriver bit has a three-tiered hexagonal tip that matches any of the company’s screws. Because the bit makes more contact with a given fastener, it’s able to hold onto screws more firmly and drop fewer of them.

BestScrew2
BestScrew3

  1319 Hits
Tags:
1319 Hits
MAY
07
0

Plastic bags keep steel tools from rusting

RustFreeBagsFishermen, sailors, and other people who take to the sea will know how quickly and easily steel tools begin to rust in a marine environment. One method of dealing with the problem involves spraying the tools with oil before storage, then wiping them off before use. New Jersey-based company Leland Limited, however, is now offering what it describes as a simpler, more eco-friendly alternative: plastic tool-storage bags that prevent rust.

Leland deals mainly in compressed gas products. Its developers came up with the idea for Ultimate VCI Protection bags when they were making steel CO2 cylinders for marine inflatable life jackets. In the production line, the cylinders would begin to rust before they reached the electroplating stage. Instead of putting them in an oil bath, the developers invented the bags, which allowed the cylinders to remain rust-free without the use of oil.

The bags are lined with corrosion inhibitors that release vapors which are attracted to metal surfaces. The inhibitor molecules reportedly align themselves on these surfaces, three to five molecules deep, and even get down into the nooks and crannies. This layer of molecules prevents oxidation, yet doesn’t leave discernible residue on the tools when they’re removed from the bags.

So, just what are the “corrosion inhibitors”? “Much like the Colonel's secret recipe, that is somewhat classified,” Leland’s Lee Stanford says. “Our standard quote is: ‘VCI products are completely non-toxic. In fact, most of the VCI chemistry is actually food grade preservatives.’”

www.green-vci.com

  1226 Hits
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1226 Hits
MAR
16
0

Photographic Equipment

We are certainly no professionals when it comes to photography. However, during the past few years we have slowly been gearing up on photographic equipment - cameras, video recorders, lenses, software, etc. We have a couple of high end semi professional gear and then some smaller "quick and easy" cameras for carrying around and taking snapshots. In addition, we also obtain a variety of lenses from wide angle, to close ups and then zoom lenses for further away. Then there is a variety of photographic accessories such as timers, chargers, extra memory cards, batteries, tripods, etc. There is an abundance of software available for editing, cutting, resizing and other special effects - I prefer to use Corel PhotoPaint for most of the editing. To become better at taking photographs, we also have a large number of educational books and videos which we will learn from. Who knows, you might find some stunning photographs here one day.

{gallery}2014Mar/Photographic{/gallery}

  1836 Hits
1836 Hits
MAR
16
0

Photographic Equipment

We are certainly no professionals when it comes to photography. However, during the past few years we have slowly been gearing up on photographic equipment - cameras, video recorders, lenses, software, etc. We have a couple of high end semi professional gear and then some smaller "quick and easy" cameras for carrying around and taking snapshots. In addition, we also obtain a variety of lenses from wide angle, to close ups and then zoom lenses for further away. Then there is a variety of photographic accessories such as timers, chargers, extra memory cards, batteries, tripods, etc. There is an abundance of software available for editing, cutting, resizing and other special effects - I prefer to use Corel PhotoPaint for most of the editing. To become better at taking photographs, we also have a large number of educational books and videos which we will learn from. Who knows, you might find some stunning photographs here one day.

  644 Hits
644 Hits
DEC
08
0

Puzey’s two-wheeler EVO 50X powerboard

We bought 2 x Puzey EVO 50X powerboards, decidedly cool machines that will elevate your street cred in a matter of seconds. Equipped with a 49 cm³ two-stroke motor and a proprietary 2-speed belt/chain drive system, it goes like the clappers. Starting it is a cinch: you set the choke, give a couple of pulls on the starter rope, and off you go, the centrifugal clutch feeding in power with minimal fuss. It’s a nice-looking and reassuringly rugged product, with a billet aluminium deck mounted to a steel frame and a cam-link suspension in front. If you’d prefer to ride it like a skateboard, the clip-on seat can be removed in a matter of seconds and the height-adjustable handlebar folds down for easy transportation; you simply pull a lever. This will be a nice addition to the yacht for scooting around in remote places where there is little or no transport. They are quite fun to ride!

Puzey2
Puzey7

  4534 Hits
4534 Hits
DEC
06
0

Puzey’s two-wheeler EVO 50X powerboard

We bought 2 x Puzey EVO 50X powerboards, decidedly cool machines that will elevate your street cred in a matter of seconds. Equipped with a 49 cm³ two-stroke motor and a proprietary 2-speed belt/chain drive system, it goes like the clappers. Starting it is a cinch: you set the choke, give a couple of pulls on the starter rope, and off you go, the centrifugal clutch feeding in power with minimal fuss. It’s a nice-looking and reassuringly rugged product, with a billet aluminium deck mounted to a steel frame and a cam-link suspension in front. If you’d prefer to ride it like a skateboard, the clip-on seat can be removed in a matter of seconds and the height-adjustable handlebar folds down for easy transportation; you simply pull a lever. This will be a nice addition to the yacht for scooting around in remote places where there is little or no transport. They are quite fun to ride!

Puzey2
Puzey7

{gallery}2011Dec/Puzey{/gallery}

  1637 Hits
1637 Hits
SEP
14
0

Yamaha 8 HP Outboard Motor

Yamaha8HP

Our new Fast Garvey 10 plywood dinghy will be done soon and it was time to buy the outdoor motor. We looked at a some other brands of outdoor motors but in the end, Yamaha's 8 HP motor made more sense. It is reliable, lightweight, worldwide support although it was a bit more expensive than some of the others we looked at. We decided upon a two stroke motor as it is easier to work on and because it is lighter than a four stroke engine.

Key Features

  • Manual Power Trim & Tilt method.
  • Loop charging - Loop-charged scavenging creates a circular flow for efficient removal of exhaust gas and even distribution of air-fuel mixture. The result is greater combustion efficiency for higher power and better fuel economy.
  • Engine stop switch lanyard - This lanyard clips to clothing or around the wrist, stopping the engine immediately if the operator leaves the helm.
  • Shallow water drive - The outboard can be set at a tilt angle, preventing it from hitting the bottom when operating in shallow water.
  • Start-In-Gear Prevention.
  • Extremely durable crankshaft.
  • Long life piston/piston ring.
  • Sturdy gears and gear case.
Specifications
Engine Type 2 stroke, in line 2
Displacement (cc)   165
Bore x Stroke (mm)   50 x 42
Recommended Max.RPM   4500 - 5500
Lubrication System   Pre-mix
Fuel Management   Carb
Ignition   CDI
Starter System   Manual Choke
Operation Method   Tiller Handle
Trim and Tilt method   Manual
Max. Fuel Consumption   4L/hr
Compression Ratio   6.8
Dimensions
Transom Height (mm)   S: 442 / L: 582
Dry Weight (kg)   28 – 29.5
  1048 Hits
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1048 Hits

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