Wednesday, 9 November 2016

WINTERIZING TAIPAN 9th November 2016

Winter is coming John Snow!!!

The big Election of the year is over and now we need to get Taipan to bed. Here in southern Netherlands the salt water is not expected to freeze and we have decided to leave Taipan in a pen in Vlissingen. The storm doors at the entrance to the marina will be closed until April 1st. They prevent the storm surges from entering the marina and moderate the tidal range. The water still flows in under the gates but at a controlled rate. It is much more comfortable aboard now they are closed. 

Storm Doors in Open 

Minimum day time temperatures are getting down to the low single figures and the 220v Electric Ceramic fan heater is going most of the day. We also have a 600W, 110v inverter running a single electric blanket for a few hours at night. This has been my life saver and the current draw is very small and has even gone unnoticed by the in house ampophobic. 

Sentijn, John and Kara Peninngton of the Orca fame.

We said farewell to John and Kara our Orca mates from the US as they are off to haul out and fly back to sort out their country's woes.  The big storm doors had to be opened to allow them to leave in their new boat, Sentijn, a Koopman 42 aluminium cutter. We wish them a safe journey home and look forward to catching up on the water in 2017.
Take a look at the book. In their early 20's, they left home with a big dream and very little experience and ended up circumnavigating in a Cape Dory 30 sailboat  Link to the book. ORCA

Saint Nicholas day was celebrated yesterday with plenty of fanfare, horses, black helpers and lots of excited children.

David and Niels, a local software wiz kid, are endeavouring to connect a diesel fired Land Rover, Thermo Top C Cabin Heater but typically when you start these projects there are bits missing or pieces don't fit so its a lot of one step forward and two steps back. The unit came without a  fuel pump, a controller, exhaust bits or a wiring harness so theres a lot more to do to get it functional than we had predicted. Neils has been writing software and building circuitry to enable the pump to function and to provide on and off facility. The unit has a start up and shut down procedure which is usually built into the vehicles onboard  computer. All the peripherals are available online but knowing which one you need is the tricky bit. This project has ground to a halt because the clock is ticking.

One of the two huge storm surge gates on the marina.

Schengen Rules only allow non EU persons to remain in the EU or in Signatory countries for 90 days in any 180 day period. This is tricky to work out if coming and going from Schengen areas but we do know we have to be out by the 28th of November. Tickets to fly to Perth Australia are booked.

Heating, dehumidifying and anti freezing!

Now  it is time to focus on the antifreeze!

There are an inordinate number of services aboard to protect with antifreeze. It has been quite a revelation to count them up and work out the process. We have 80 litres of antifreeze sitting in drums on the dock. Ethylene glycol is toxic and should only be used in engines or heads and where there is no possibility of it being ingested, and propylene glycol which is not so toxic and is also used in foods such as ice cream and frozen custard. This is for use in the fresh water system and the water-maker. There are all sorts of measurements one can do to ensure the antifreeze level is reached. Below are a couple of graphs.

All the engine and generator oils and filters have to be changed. The thru hulls have to be back filled with antifreeze and the sea cocks closed. Coolant has all been changed because the  main engine was installed in the tropics and we suspect it is not antifreeze. Then the air intakes need to be blocked off, Impellers removed, greased, and the covers left off. 

The air-conditioning unit has to be flushed of its sea water and drained. Next the deck wash system has to be blown clear of water in the pipes and back filled with antifreeze to a closed sea cock... you get the idea?? There's the water-maker... now thats a bit more complicated with pressure side and non pressure side... fresh and salt water ... so now my head is spinning and thats before we start on the fresh water system and the heads, and lets not forget the toilet holding tank. What a disaster if that froze and burst!

So for now its a steep learning curve and the captain is up to his armpits in antifreeze and the cockpit is a war zone!!!

War zone. Not safe to enter.