Boat Stuff 2012-2013

Just for fun...emptying and cleaning the fuel tanks for the second time
This page is for those who are interested in the boat as machine part of cruising. It is a running summary of improvements and modifications made to our Hallberg Rassy 48 Enki II during our first season and over the winter in Marmaris. The work was scheduled either because something went drastically wrong or because we wanted to make life easier for ourselves and/or the boat's performance more efficient. The list is in no particular order.


*  Replaced the closed Racor filters for both the engine (x2) and generator (x1) with the glass bowl variety which incorporates an electronic water sensor. The twin Racors for the engine have a changeover switch to allow the filters to be changed underway if necessary. Warning lights and shrieking buzzers on the instrument panel are designed to alert us to the presence of any water in the diesel. Our fuel dramas of summer 2012 left us badly burned, both in the pocket and the psyche. We have every intention of not repeating them, but there seems no end to the troubles one can have with fuel, if you spend long enough looking for it. The added complication is the proliferation of bio diesel in Europe. This type of fuel can keep water emulsified for far longer than before, providing an ideal environment for bacterial growth. A fuel polishing system is scheduled for later this year.
The new Racor filters - 2 for the engine, one for the generator

Left and right of the picture are the filter alarms
* Installed an Algae-X magnetic fuel conditioner between the main fuel tank and the filters. 
We had one of these on our previous boat, Kukka, installed by its first owner. In 8 years, Kukka never had any fuel issues (that we know of). We don't know if this was due in any way to this magnetic piece of hocus pocus. After talking to HR and Volvo mechanics, it became very evident that this new generation of common rail Volvo engines is extremely susceptible to diesel contamination, ANYTHING was worth trying. Spending an extra $200 on the Algae-X contraption was small beer in the general scheme of things, and a reasonable "investment" given what we'd suffered from dirty fuel.

The mystery element
* Bypassed the hot water system from the engine radiator.
To make hot water for the boat, the heated-up cooling water from the engine is diverted through coiled pipes on the inside of a 75 litre Isotemp hot water tank. If a leak from this were to occur inside the hot water tank, there's a chance of losing the engine coolant, and frying the engine. So, as a level of insurance, we've installed by-pass taps which can, if necessary, cut out the diversion of cooling water through the hot water tank.  Corrosion inside the hot water tank, especially when a boat is connected to shore power for long periods, as we sometimes are, is not all that uncommon as the earth from the hot water tank remains connected to the shore power earth.

* Built a box to enclose the battery bank installed underneath the forepeak berths to power the bowthrusters (Alex as carpenter)

* Regalvanised 110 m of 10mm anchor chain which was showing signs of wear and tear

110 metres of re-galvanised chain, ready to be marked out

* Installed a bigger Lewmar windlass
Our Lewmar V3 vertical windlass died in autumn 2012, suddenly and without warning, in an anchorage south of Kas, Turkey. A post-mortem revealed its bronze gears were stripped and we suspect the failure was due in part to the windlass being at the maximum of its specification on a boat of this size. In France, we'd replaced the 26 kg Delta anchor with a 40 kg Rocna anchor, putting even more load on the windlass. We sourced a replacement V4 Lewmar windlass in Istanbul which was fitted by the technical team at Kas Marina with very little modification. Interestingly, HR now specify the V4 as standard equipment on their new HR48s.

Self-launching bow roller and 40 kg Rocna anchor
* Replaced the bow roller
The replacement Rocna anchor wasn't sitting too happily on a bow roller designed for the original Delta. Our stainless steel whiz in Marmaris, Ergun of Erinox, fabricated a self-launching in-fill roller which has made both launching and retrieving the anchor easier, and when we're underway, the anchor is very firmly secured in the new roller.

* Replaced the combustion chamber on one of the Webasto diesel-fired heaters
Halfway through the winter, we noticed excessive amounts of noxious black smoke pouring out of the hull. The combustion chamber had burned out and was caked in black soot. Replacing this was a messy job, but we wouldn't be without these great heaters over winter. I have been advised by a number of long term cruisers that running these heaters at maximum setting for some hours using clear paraffin/kerosene does wonders......burning off the carbon deposits in the combustion chamber.

Webasto innards. Yuk!!

Webasto combustion chamber

* Added wind generator

Assembling D400

Xantrex remote panel

Setting up the D400 wind generator
Switches for wind and solar are neatly tucked away with the shirts

On our previous boat we had an Air-X wind generator. It's a nice-looking gizmo, and lightweight, plus the American manufacturer South-west Windpower gives great after-sales service (as we found in Vanuatu).  Its downsides are that the unit is internally regulated and couldn't deliver a 3-stage charging regimen, and it's a noisy brute. After prowling around yards and marinas and listening to various wind generators in action, we chose a UK-made D400. It's twice the weight of the Air-X - which presented challenges for installation - but it's significantly quieter and more powerful.
The unit requires an external regulator, and we chose a Xantrex C-60. The Xantrex is a load diversion regulator which allows the batteries to be charged with a user-configured 3-stage programme. When the batteries are fully charged, the current is diverted to a set of 600-watt dump resistors which are installed under the chair in the aft cabin. When the dump resistors heat up with excess current, a computer fan is activated to circulate cool air from the bilge around this fairly large space.
The only downside of this new arrangement is that we have to remember to turn the wind generator off when we're running the engine as the alternator output on the engine is sensed by this regulator and then directed to the dump resistors - and we don't want them frying. The wind generator can produce 10-15 amps at 24 volts whereas the engine alternator can produce up to 100 amps at 24 volts.

One on each side - they're big, but they do the job
* Added solar panels
We chose two fairly large solar panels from Victron, 72-cell panels, 180 watts each at 24 volts. These measure approx 1500 mm x 950 mm. We had limited options for mounting them - on  a giant arch over the stern, or some other place. We decided to convert 2 metres of our aft life-lines from wire to stainless steel tubing, and we've mounted a panel on each side. Erinox did this work for us too. The panels can be folded out horizontally on stainless steel struts or can swing down vertically, locked in place when conditions require or when coming alongside a dock. This location also seems to offer the least amount of shadowing from sails, poles (radar and wind generator) and boom. The output from the panels is through a Mastervolt solar regulator.

Replacing lifeline with stainless to mount panel

Dump resistors protected by stainless mesh

* Added a large sunshade for the aft deck
This solid Swedish boat is not ideal for cruising in fierce heat of a Mediterranean summer.  Like a double-brick house, she stays cool in hot weather - until she heats up. Then she stays hot. Our fixed hard top with only one forward-opening panel in the windscreen makes the cockpit stuffy in very hot weather. The standard HR bimini, which we added last season, is designed for boats without hard tops, and gives us a little extra shade in the cockpit but nothing over the aft deck. A tarp over the boom is fine, but it's awkward to walk under or around it.
Alex gave this some thought - as he does. He designed a very large sunshade, made of Sunbrella canvas, to cover the aft deck from the backstay and over the hard top. It's supported athwartships by four fibreglass battens. These are placed across the boom and an aluminium pole running along the centreline aligns it fore and aft. The whole shebang is then hooked onto the backstay and the mast, and tied down to the life lines. The sunshade was well-made by Rashit, at Anil Marin. We can walk under it and it doesn't intrude overly on the side decks. The hope is that we not only have more deck space out of the sun when we're at anchor, but also that by keeping the sun off the deck above our sleeping quarters, our aft cabin will be significantly cooler at night.

Happily stayed up and trouble free in winds of 25 knots and more!

* Adapted the dinghy for lifting with outboard attached
When we added Simpson davits to the boat last year, the job was botched by the good folks at Port Napoleon in France and it proved impossible to lift the dinghy and outboard together. Again, Erinox to the rescue. Alex and Ergun figured out where to put new lifting points, and Ergun did the stainless work. We've got davits capable of lifting the Queen Mary, so it didn't seem much to ask to be able to lift an outboard too.


  1. Fantastic resource Alex! A great help in trying to work out what we should be doing with Sea Cloud

  2. Thank you! We need to have modify the design of the bow roller this it doesn't munch more fingers. Otherwise very happy thus far with what we've described. The aft deck sunshade paid for itself many times over when we were in the marina at Pireaus. Now, as for the D3 this space.

  3. Dear Diana and Alex,
    I am very interested in rail mounted solar panels and like to get info of rail mounting hardware source. Please advise to my email.