FROM 1-26. Through the Barn Door

Oct 27, 2005 - 1100hrs UTC

1100hrs 27 Oct 2005 UTC 37’42”S 020’19”E Ref 493

Panic seems to be over but fingers toes eyebrows and eyes firmly crossed. Pete took the lid off the junction box on the solar panel and found the inside completely filled with green corrosion products – couldn’t see the wiring – some of the connectors to the diodes and the cables had collapsed and it was very much an ex panel. Big cleanup and he tested the output and found 12 and 18 volts, so we now have 18 volts direct to the regulator – no diodes – and it is putting in 4+ amps. Phew! The lad is now Consulting with Dr Wendy as a little reward for being a clever boy.

Memo for Marty and anyone else connecting one of these – the seal around the junction box seemed to be just bare plastic – a flange fitting into a groove. It needs to be coated with the very best marine sealant available and preferably after all he wiring has been heat shrunk or sealed with self annealing tape. Also, watch out for dissimilar metal screws attaching the box to the panel frame – gunk them up way past what seems reasonable. Ours rotted out a couple of months ago but, as there seemed to be no internal connection, we ignored them. Probably correctly, but you never know.

Pete 1, Examiner 0.

 Noted in your log of early Oct that you’d had cause to use a rolling hitch and were singing its praises. Thought to self “”yes – must remind myself of that one”” and of course didn’t get around to it.  Last Saturday sailed around Betsey Island and got the most magnificent override on the jib that I’ve ever seen – no way would it come out – and no way could I remember how to tie a rolling hitch :-( Ended up putting a spare sheet on the jib and taking up on that. Since then I’ve been tying rolling hitches on everything :-/

 Bottom line – thanks for the timely reminder and next time I’ll act on it! Our performance on Wildfire has been all over the shop. In anything up to about 12kts we do really well but over that we seem to lose the plot. They say that you learn quicker from your mistakes – in that case we’re learning very quickly indeed!

 Glad that you’ve got a bit of respite guys – have been clenching in sympathy for a while – nice to be able to relax a bit!

Someone who shall be nameless but he’s just started to play with a nice new red boat has confessed to ignoring my harangue about rolling hitches a week or two ago. And regretting it – massive riding turn around the primary winch and couldn’t tie the hitch to release it. Avoided the knife by running a new sheet, which is fine if conditions allow and you have a spare sheet (some hot racers don’t want the extra weight!). But thanks for the confession – it gives me an opportunity to reinforce the message. He now ties his pyjama cord with a rolling hitch, just for practice. [ed: see Mal, we didn’t mention you at all!]

Comments are closed.