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Old 14-09-2012, 18:35   #16
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Re: Restoration of Inspiration

Solar panels--how did we survive without them?

Travelling the 300 km to our previous boat was always a guessing game as to whether the batteries would welcome us with a full blast of charge, or whimper a protest at our absences.

So we bought a used 40 watt panel that ensured the batteries were always happily fed and glad to see us.

That panel transferred over to inspsiration, keeping up charge to the 3 100-amp-hour batteries for TV viewing, interior lighting, water pump, radio etc.

It all worked fine because we had a 3-way gas fridge. Silently efficient in cooler weather, but struggled in summer.

So upgrading to a larger, and electric Waeco would entail adding more solar power.

So 2 x 80-watt panels were bought on Ebay and fixed with aluminium angle pieces I adapted for the task. They tilt, but not swivel.
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Old 14-09-2012, 18:50   #17
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Re: Restoration of Inspiration

Originally, Inspiration had two helm stations. One on the flybridge, which is still there, and another inside. The interior one somehow disappeared so the boat can only be driven from up top.

That suits me fine. All-round visibility is important.

And the old interior helm station now houses our fridge, with a bench on top and also the fuse box I made.

All the wires and cables from up top to below came through a very prosaic PVC tube, and it was a pain seeing what wire went where.

So I cut out the pipe, and made a plywood one I call "the chimney" with an almost full-length door to give ready access to the wires. When I go up top and see a stray wire, I pull on it while my wife below sees which one I'm referring to.

Made life sooo much simpler.

New (left) old (right). More on that area later
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Old 24-10-2013, 17:25   #18
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Re: Restoration of Inspiration

We were never happy with the leaking perspex windows, which don't open, making for a hot boat once temperatures hit the mid 20s C.

They leak so much rainwater has delaminated the plywood cabin sides around them.

So it was finally time to get rid of them. All 12.

More later.
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Old 27-05-2016, 18:33   #19
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Re: Restoration of Inspiration

Oops. clean forgot to post the perspex windows saga...some time ago now.

The old perspex--acrylic--windows could never be sealed properly against the walls. Water made mush of the surrounding wood. They were not the opening type anyway, and while heating the boat nicely in winter sun, they were oppressive in summer.

When we bought the boat there was not one opening window. I made a small one at the front which surprisingly did allow a tunnel of air in if the wind blew from that side.

They all had to go.

But we didn't want to replace like with like. We wanted new aluminium framed sliding windows, with parallel sides and toughened glass. No more scratched surfaces. So all the cabin sides would have to be demolished, and replaced with fitted sheets of plywood.

The job would take several months on the hard and done by professional shipwrights.

While that was happening, every fortnight or so we'd go up and attend to sanding back the hull, fairing, painting and lastly antifouling.

We worked 10 hours a day, up to a fortnight at a time, watching winter turn into spring and the approach of summer.

Inside and out, the boat was a bomb site in which we lived as work progressed.

On Friday evening, the yard workers would go home for the weekend, while we worked on. On Mondays they returned, and we worked on. Tiring, but hey, we were hundreds of kilometres from home in a pleasant resorty type town with ample restaurants and cafes by the water.

My wife and I used power orbital sanders, a heat gun, a multi-tool with sanding pad, scrapers and plain elbow grease. She liked the tedious slow work and that mitigated my guilt about handing it to her to do.

More later.
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Old 29-05-2016, 17:54   #20
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Re: Restoration of Inspiration

A lot of the hull paint was stripped back, some to bare wood. Protruding nail heads were punched back slightly below the surface and the dimple filled with epoxy glue as the scraping and sanding continued unabated.
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Old 29-05-2016, 18:09   #21
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Re: Restoration of Inspiration

The new plywood sides gave the boat different lines
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Old 03-06-2016, 21:21   #22
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Re: Restoration of Inspiration

The new windows went in, two port, 2 starboard and one facing the foredeck.
Even though this latter one (with yellow deck nearby) is the smallest, and is a hopper, not a slider, it allows a wind tunnel of air right through the boat when it blows from that direction --which is most of the time.
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Old 03-06-2016, 21:32   #23
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Re: Restoration of Inspiration

Hull painted as well, antifoul applied, the old girl looked great awaiting the crane to put her back on a trailer to launch after sitting for months on the hard.
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Old 04-06-2016, 16:38   #24
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Re: Restoration of Inspiration

With all that ugly flaky paint gone, she must have felt lighter being craned in the air
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Old 04-06-2016, 16:50   #25
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Re: Restoration of Inspiration

My wife made vinyl protectors for all the new windows so the powder coated frames don't fade and especially so the rubber seals don't deteriorate either.

A press stud in each corner does the job. I like the way the colour matches the hull. Seamless.
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