NZ Enchantress Refit - Miscellaneous Items
In addition to the major overhaul items for New Zealand there were a variety of smaller items.
When we bought Enchantress I overhauled some of the wiring and installed a new BEP switch panel with a wiring loom down to the existing connections. This still left a wiring tangle that made it really difficult to trace problems and make changes.
I now designed a new wiring cupboard and our friend Graeme made a teak cupboard to fit. The BEP panel wiring loom now goes to a set of connection blocks where I can check and test connections. I had to extend wires to reach the new panel, but it is now easy to understand and follow the wires.
Wiring up the loom from the BEP panel to the wiring blocks.
Connecting the instrument/electrical devices to the new wiring blocks.
The wiring cupboard fitted in place with the doors attached.
This was a last minute job before we set off, so it is still a work in progress, but it is a huge improvement on what we had. And will be easy to finish off when we return to Opua, NZ.
We bought new batteries in Turkey in 2014, before we set off on our current adventure. They were supposedly maintenance free and clearly labelled as such. We (I) was naive enough to believe the labels and found that on 2-3 occasions the dried well below the top of the plates. By the time we got to NZ, just 3 years and the batteries were beyond redemption.
We decided to buy the long established and trusted Trojan 6V Golf Cart Batteries (L16P) and to double the size of our main battery bank to 840 A/Hr at 12v. These batteries are very tall, but take up no more than standard 110 A/hr 12v batteries, so I could fit them in the same space as my 4 existing batteries.
2 of the 4 new Trojan batteries. They are 16 inches high.
As I clearly have a difficulty with remembering to water the batteries I decided to investigate automatic watering systems. Trojan has a ‘Hydrolink’ system, which fit our new batteries and a couple of suppliers have add-ons to this which make it automatic.
I ordered a system, but when it arrived wasn’t the Hydrolink system, it was a disaster, which I should have rejected. The new 2500 nzd batteries were flooded and overflowed. I thought the batteries were damaged but it now looks like they are OK. No more automatic system unless it is genuine Trojan Hydrolink.
In Turkey in 2014 we found that a number of our seacock ball valves had corroded and had to be replaced. We have a lot of sea cocks (15) and replaced 12 of them. Unfortunately Turkey doesn’t do Bronze and we could only get a form of brass ball valves. We were assured that the actual skin fittings were bronze, and given our timescale we had no option.
When we arrived in NZ we found the several of the ball valves were sticking and the valve levers started to bend and break. We decided that we needed to lift the boat and replace most of the Turkey ball valves and to be safe the skin fittings as well.
We decided to go for the NZ glass reinforced plastic skin fittings and ball valves for all the areas except in the engine compartment, where we preferred Bronze. The NZ fittings have recently been approved by the US Coast Guard if they are fitted with the matching collars which provide extra strength and fire protection. We have of course fitted these. We found a small chandlery which was running down its’ stock and got the bronze fittings and ball valves for the engine compartment at half price. The worked out cheaper than the NZ systems but they only had very limited stock.
We now feel more secure and hopefully OK for the foreseeable future.
When we ordered the Treadmaster for the deck, we also ordered a sheet of fawn Treadmaster for our steps.
Graeme took our steps home and repaired, varnished and refurbished them with the new Treadmaster.