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Aloha Discussion / Re: Anyone sailing south this year or next??
« Last post by Holdech on February 06, 2019, 09:23:58 AM »
Hi Jeff,

I can pass on some info regarding water tank inspection ports and alternator.

The only inspection port you can use for the water tank is made by Beckson. They are the only ones rated watertight. I wasted my time using two other brands that were suggested by various "experts". Complete waste of time. Also, use silicone NOT 5200/4000/etc. Similar to Beckson ports, this is the only sealant you can use. It also needs to be "food grade" as many silicones have mold inhibitors etc. Fortunately, you can get a safe silicone at any tropical fish store. Anything less than food grade kills tropical fish. After switching to the Beckson plates we can fill the tanks right to the deck fill and nothing leaks.
https://www.beckson.com/dckplt.html

Do you have a Hitachi alternator? They dial back their voltage (and subsequently charge) as they heat up. Well documented and explained by Main Sail. You can switch over to external regulation with a Sterling regulator. Their kit includes instructions for converting as well as alternator and battery temperature sensors. The Sterling is fully configurable, better and less expensive than the Balmar ARS or 600 series regulators. I switched to a 100 amp Balmar alternator but used external regulation on my old Hitachi and the difference was night and day.
https://sterling-power.com/collections/alternator-regulators/products/universal-advanced-digital-alternator-regulator-pro-reg-dw-waterproof

Also, if your alternator has a voltage sense input (mine did) it needs to be connected in a specific manner to properly govern charge rate.
http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/regulator_voltage_sensing

But also keep in mind that regardless of the alternator, flooded and AGM batteries have a "charge acceptance rate" that you can't force. If our batteries are at 80 percent SOC, they only accept about 6 amps max. Limited by physics, not the alternator...

Good to hear that the solar panels are keeping up. I was/am a little worried that my 300 watts will not be enough. Both boats I sailed last fall had 500 watts which did keep up with demand, especially in St Martin. Unfortunately, I can't easily fit two 250 watt panels over the bimini with the split backstay.

So are there any others (other than Windover) headed or currently heading down south? Haven't heard from anyone else...

Chris

PS Major freezing rain storm here today. Schools are even closed (they rarely close regardless of weather). So have a Kalik or Caribe and enjoy your day.




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Aloha Discussion / Re: Anyone sailing south this year or next??
« Last post by Jeff. on February 05, 2019, 04:53:21 PM »
Chris,

Glad you have been enjoying the posts. They are almost all done by trish, however I am usually the one who replies to comments on fb.

I think we should keep the conversation going here in the forum.
There are several Aloha's either currently cruising south or actively planning to do so. It would be helpful to share our thoughts on preparing these boats.

A few weeks ago we teamed up with two other boats to combine water jugs and fill our boats. It was somewhat faster but definitely more fun with company.

Our solar panels have been keeping up with daily demand most days. If it's mostly sunny there no problem. If we get a few days of cloudy or rainy weather then we will be down further than we can recover with solar alone. A day or half day of motoring usually brings us back up.
Although my alternator need attention, i believe it gets to hot and turns itselft down to around 5 amps after less than an hour.

One thing I have noticed is that as the sun comes back north we are getting increasingly higher daily yields. Check out the photo of the victron app. It shows the daily yield fluctuations, the overall trend is up over the last month or so. For those not familiar with victron the white bar indicates bulk charging stage. None of those days got into the absorption or float stage. Some days do.
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Stuff For Sale / Genikker
« Last post by Robf2525 on February 03, 2019, 12:40:57 PM »
I have a genikker for my Aloha 8.2 that I never use. Will accept a fair offer.
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Aloha Discussion / Re: Anyone sailing south this year or next??
« Last post by Holdech on February 01, 2019, 09:31:41 AM »
Hey Jeff,

Good to hear from you. We have been enjoying your facebook posts. Can't wait until, 2020!

I was thinking that we could chat easier via Facebook Messenger but maybe it's better here as others might benefit as well?

My thoughts as to tankage seem to be pretty much what you are experiencing. The only issue we had during my travels last year were on long (1000NM) passages. The only pain once in the islands was using jerry cans and the dinghy most of the time for water. But it wasn't like I had much else to do - and it IS in paradise lol.

How have you been doing for power? Solar panels keeping up?

Chris

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Aloha Discussion / Re: Anyone sailing south this year or next??
« Last post by Jeff. on January 31, 2019, 08:35:36 PM »
Hey chris,

My boat, in case there are differences between boats over the years, carries 22 US Gal of fuel and 60 Gal of water split between two tanks. I find we can't actually fill our water tanks to the top because the inspection ports leak and i haven't gotten around to fixing them.

We don't have any issue with these capacities. We sail a much greater proportion of out time travelling now that we are in the islands so fuel lasts quite a while. We are pretty easy on water consumption as well. We have minimal fresh water showers and do salt water dished each time with only a fresh water mist to rinse.
We did add jerry cans on deck to supplement our tanks while in the bahamas but so far have never used up our ships tankage before fill up locations you will however need jerry cans to fill your tanks in most cases on the islands.
While we were travelling south in the states we never got close to running out of anything. Fill up for fuel and water are everywhere.

For Internet we have a BTC Sim card and buy the 6Gb monthly plan for 25bucks but we will likely move to the 15Gb for 35 next time.
Coverage is great near towns and good enough away from them.

Feel free to ask any other related questions chris.

Did you make it to the boat show?

Cheers
Jeff
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Aloha Discussion / Re: Anyone sailing south this year or next??
« Last post by Holdech on January 25, 2019, 11:15:12 AM »
Sounds like we have similar solutions in the electrical department lol.

I'm curious about fuel and water? I've heard mention of the small tankage but both boats I sailed last fall had the same size fuel tank and similar or less water capacity.
They were more racer than cruiser but six jerry cans of fuel and two extra water (not needed) were sufficient for 6 and 8 days "passage making" respectively. The one boat did have a watermaker as the owner grew tired of spending a fair bit of time procuring and lugging water in the tropics. But to use it in a crowded or stagnant anchorage we had to pull anchor and head offshore to where the seawater was not polluted. Not sure if that made it easier or not.

Curious what are you doing for Internet? Many are using the new cell data provider "My Island Wifi" at $100/mth for unlimited (no throttling) 4G. I'm hearing the coverage is better than Aliv (and certainly the price is).
Chris
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Aloha Discussion / Re: Anyone sailing south this year or next??
« Last post by Jeff. on January 24, 2019, 08:22:40 PM »
Chris,
It looks like we have similar ideas and projects.
A few notes on what we did relating to yours.
Batteries. We went with three group 31 crown deep cycle flooded as the house bank with a fourth group 31 motomaster that I was using for day sailing as the spare. Three 31s have proven fully adequate for our needs. We have a refridge compressor to run as well as lights and handheld devices to charge. We charge our laptop on a 250W inverter during the day while motoring or when solar is pumping in the current.
I think calling it a starter battery is funny because they are almost never actually starting batteries plus I would wager most don't ever use them for starting, we don't. In the mornings on the trip down the ICW when the house bank is down near 50% we just start the engine and go. One or twice I switched over to the spare just for fun, or maybe to give it a charge for and hour or so, that's all I have ever used it for so far on the trip.

I wish I had a upgraded alternator, mine is old and get hots and after twenty minutes only put out 5amps.

I have 300W of solar in the form of three 100W GMA flex panels. Bought from Ontario battery. I would likely choose rigid panels next time for a variety of reasons. But light and flexible allowed me to sew them onto my bimini without changing tubing and be done with them.

That balmar monitor is nice, I didint plan to buy a monitor at all but i received a victron bmv-712 as a gift. They have a fantastic app for your tablet to quickly pull up all your info and history. Same goes for their solar controller. It's great to see what your using and what's going back in, including daily solar yield, all in real time on the tablet of phone.

Chargers: After much deliberation, including talking to the xantrex rep at the boat show, I chose the charger only true charge 2. I like to keep my systems simple, the charge only is less money, the charge only is a better charger than the combo unit. Plus I didint need all that inverter wattage. So i bought a small inverter and hard wired it to its own 12v breaker.

I would love to do LED strip lighting similar to how sailor guy did it. He has a detailed post from sometime last year showing the results, the boat looks great at night with proper lighting down below, old boats badly need overhead lighting. There will be many dark cold nights on the ICW on the way down in the fall!

Il keep checking back when we get internet.

Good luck Chris,

Jeff
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Aloha Discussion / Re: A cure for the winter blues.
« Last post by Holdech on January 24, 2019, 10:02:43 AM »
Cool!
I remember dropping by to chat last year in Sarnia while my son was at a laser regatta.
Now there you are in the Caribean! We can't wait to head south but my son has one more year of high school to complete first.
So it looks like 2020 for us. In the meantime, I'll add you to the other I'm following. Hoping it will help lol.

To help with "the wait" I helped a friend sail to Annapolis last fall and another friend sail from Bermuda to St Martin. That only made it worse for us (and this winter particularly dreadful).
Hey, looking at your FB posts - we were in Annapolis at the same time - small world. Wish I had known you guys were there.

I'm anxious to learn about your boat and such, to help guide our preparations. Your FB posts are a wealth of information. We will enjoy following your adventures.

Chris
S/V Teliki
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Aloha Discussion / A cure for the winter blues.
« Last post by Jeff. on January 23, 2019, 08:55:40 PM »
Hey everyone,

I'm happy to say that this past September my wife Trish and I sailed away from Ontario for The Bahamas on our honeymoon adventure.

We have now made it to the beautiful islands and I would like to invite those interested to follow along. We try to post daily but we don't always have Internet so stay tuned!

Check out our Facebook page at: sailingelixirv
Or on Instagram at: sailing_elixirv

Check out the attached photos of Trish and I as well as a shot of Windover, another Aloha 32, and our home Elixir. It has been fun bumping into Chris and Debbie occasionally on our way down. If you haven't already check out their youtube channel at: Wind over water.

Looking forward to reading any comments both here and on facebook.

Fair winds

Jeff
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Aloha Discussion / Re: Anyone sailing south this year or next??
« Last post by Holdech on January 22, 2019, 10:28:36 AM »
I'll start off with my electrical system upgrades.

I will be expanding my house bank to three group 31 batteries (about 350 amp/hrs). Currently, have two group 31's.
Batteries will most likely be flooded. While AGM's can take a slighter higher charge rate, my friend in the business says sailors rarely get the same life out of them as flooded. The claims regarding AGM say otherwise but even at best case they are only rated twice the number of cycles for twice the price i.e. same cost over time.

I'm on the fence regarding a starter battery. I currently have a dedicated battery that's charged from the house bank via an ACR. But since I monitor my house bank closely and have a lithium pack that can start the engine, I wonder if I really need a dedicated battery? I have heard strong arguments both for and against lol.

The alternator was upgraded to a Balmar 100 amp and external regulation.

Solar will be 400 watts (rigid - NEVER using flexible again lol) with MPPT controllers.

Batteries will be monitored by a Balmar Smart Guage. Before you buy a battery monitor, check these out first. It's the only one that will give you consistently accurate SOC (at all temps and as batteries age).

A Xantrex 2000 watt inverter/ 80 amp charger will be replacing the aging Xantrex True Charge charger. I rarely need an inverter but it wasn't much more than just the charger. It has a remote panel so I can shut it off when not using and have zero drain on the batteries.

On the consumption side, all lighting is LED. Many are MarineBeam units with both white and red color. MarineBeam products are decently priced for quality products. I plan to add zero clearance LED units to the ceiling over the nav station and galley as I find our boat extremely dark once the sun sets.

Refrigeration uses a variable speed compressor that only draws 2.5 amps once everything is cooled down. It runs about 20 minutes per hour in the summer when it's in the high 80's F inside the boat. Adding 2 inches of isocyanate foam board to the top of the icebox compartment made a huge difference (and no more condensation on the counter).


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