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Old 28-05-2015, 04:58   #46
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Thank you for the kind words....

11 hours at sea, and my first impression? The Hydraulic Steering is a massive win... MASSIVE... Gary at Marine Controls got it right the first time. The steering has NEVER been better. The Autopilot interface has NEVER been better.... Smooth, responsive, somehow I think the Autopilot even works better? I will have to wait until I have a good quartering sea to feel if it has any feel so to speak... But right now I give it a massive thumbs up.

The Ghost protocol may not be worth the bother... The Ghost turns the wheel to a new AP course.. For me? Simple adjusting of the Autopilot, mine set up with one push 1 degree, and a prolonged push 20 degrees to alter course.. The wheel does not turn. Using the wheel to turn a Ghost Protocol would mean breaking the system for another valving and potential problem? I will wait and see what the protocol is before making a decision, but I hesitate to touch what is working so well....

Below, two pictures, Major Contraband, of the new "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie coming out... One, poor dejected Privateer, the other a Portuguese Trader, about 1700?... Hmmmmm, both pretty poor and rough... I guess Captain Jack will have to rise above the occasion in the movie.. My guess he will...

Headed north, Helia 44 AVALON...
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Old 09-06-2015, 18:45   #47
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Well, 25 hours at sea now, the new Hydraulic Steering is a massive win... Latest projects now done:
  • Hydraulic steering, massive win, integrated to Garmin AP with 12 v reversing pump. This is the best of the best.
  • 95 ltr/hour 240 volt water maker now installed in Generator Locker with large high volume delivery pump located in port engine room
  • Starboard diesel tank now finished and plumbed in, pictures enclosed here in this Post at the bottom
  • High Intensity 18 large LED lights, Gen 4, should be a 20 metre blue aura illuminating the bottom, four through hull lights, two each engine room, should be visible from space...
  • Fish cleaning 1.2 metre table, lifts up, drops down, legs in stainless, picture enclosed...
I have put a few pictures on, the first is the tank lid upside down on the front of the bed in front of the cast in tank. The next three are how the baffles interlock (my Engineering) and then all bolt together. The final two pictures, one is of the core from the hole saw, that tank is about 1/2" thick ABOVE the tank in the top flange where the hoses go through... WOW... and then a picture of the tank finished, hoses in place, fill diesel hose in 1-1/2" 3/4" for the outlet (which screwed in place underside of lid) and 1/2" vent.

You have to sand the underside of the lid, and the 3" lap of lid on ledge of frp tank, and then solvent clean and three 1/2" beads side by side of SIKA-FLEX Tank N, then smooth into one giant seal and screw down lid even through the Sika with stainless screws about every 200mm. The whole assembly is built upside down, all 1/4" alloy plate, interlocking and double nutted bolts cinched the baffles very tight, all built upside down then rolled over in place... All proper Marine Engineering...

I have more pictures and details if anyone is interested.... hmmmm


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Old 15-06-2015, 18:22   #48
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Update on the Hydraulic Steering conversions:

There is one more serious advantage to the Capilano helm pump I put in, there is an adjustment on the bottom of the helm shaft that allows more or less turns. I feel the new Helia Hydraulic is a bit heavy for a smaller person, where this allows more turns/ less pressure.. Or less turns and more pressure but faster responses in a marina or something...

Just a thought, but my vote goes with the Capilano as shown above.

The new 95 litre water maker in the side of the generator locker up front is now installed. The Delivery pump in on the semi-unused thru hull in the port engine room. The new diesel tank is now fully operational. This Helia is now a "Super Yacht" in terms of unlimited range, unlimited power, unlimited luxury, and unlimited water.... Cuz dats da way I like to travel...
Ice maker, 6 reverse cycle Cruiseaire air conditioning units, added freezer, two water makers in 12v and 240v, power winches and windlass, these kinds of toys make the travel near first class, instead of roughing it third class. Done that, and did not like it nearly as much... Heh he..
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Old 15-06-2015, 19:58   #49
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Well done.. 2 water makers ? Whys that?
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Old 15-06-2015, 21:21   #50
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Really it was just a voyage of discovery of the capability of the boat, a thought process growing with the application in discovery of the latest equipment....

At first I was still in my minimalist style Cruising, and I thought it was just a survival thing. I mean in emergency times, salt water wash up, dishes and even showers, and I carried 750 litres of water.. So, I went the best 12 volt system... Four solar panels plus two folding 120 watt folding systems to plug in.. I was still thinking in terms of minimalist and survival mode, and that was at about 28-35 litres an hour in peak solar times a couple hours a day at best or more with engines running.
However, in actual cruising when other people, when friends and family were on board and living the high end of luxury around the islands, I realized my consumption for two couples was about 100-150 litres a day with modest showers and such.

Then I progressed from my old school conservative use of a diesel generator, to heavier use when we got into a hot spell behind Fraser Island after Christmas (hottest time in Australia and it was 36-42 C degrees for a week). It was so hot we used air conditioning to sleep at night, and I put in about 40-50 hours on my genset that week with what was before only frugal use. Now the 9.5 Cummin Onan has all of 290 or so hours on it. I had to get used to the idea that it was probably an 8000 to 10,000 hour diesel genset that was like 15 years of use? 40 hours a week maybe cruising in summer, maybe only 40 hours a month the rest of the year..? I started to use it most nights in a hot spell, ice maker, freezer on, unlimited hot water, the works! Most of the time, refrigerators, freezer, ice maker, means at least about a half a day every other day of the Cummins Onan running anyway.

Getting used to such big equipment and luxury, the diesel genset is quieted you could hardly hear it, and I realized that the diesel was cheap for the luxury. I came around to the high end concept of all that limited my luxurious Lifestyle was diesel and water. Since I have added the extra 470 litre of diesel tank, and since the 9.5 kva Cummins Onan is not loaded up, the larger water maker made sense to run at the same time.

It was a personal growth process from minimalist thinking to now a radical luxury end of yacht. I realize as a Marine Engineer that the equipment is reliable and lasts better if it is in use. One of my Distributors was at the Sanctuary Boat Show and made me a deal on an American Sea Xchange 95 ltr/hour water maker that they were introducing to Australia and backing it here with parts and service in Oz... Since the Cummins Onan will be running anyway, for less than a litre of diesel an hour difference with the genset being more loaded up, I can make 95 litres of water an hour at the same time? That is a pretty good exchange rate.

Raft along side and I can pump over a few hundred litres so you stay longer in Paradise...

I will still probably keep the Spectra Cape Horn 12 volt system, to run on survival mode with solar panels, in an emergency since I already have it. In hindsight had I discovered the extra tank already cast in, and gotten used to the idea of using the Cummins Onan more, I probably would have gone the bigger Sea Xchange unit in the first place... But it was a voyage of discovery, the extra tank capability, extra power, so why not unlimited water?
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Old 18-06-2015, 18:12   #51
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Been in the Pacific 2 months now. Overcast 50% of the time. Rains 25% of the time. Even when it is sunny there is not a lot of power in it. Solar panels are ineffective.

Generator typically runs 6 hours a day if not motoring. Watermaker runs every day. In Port Vila harbour right now and if you are moored out everyone runs their genny for these sorts of periods. The only reason you notice is the bubbling of the water outlets. Generators are so quiet nowadays.

At my current rate I will not get near the working life of the Fischer Pander in 20 years.

As for fuel I have carried spare fuel beyond the standard 440l and never used it.
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Old 25-06-2015, 03:02   #52
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Chris, "cwjohm" you are a minimalist, trying to see what you can do without...OK... Me, I have lived aboard about 11 of 19 major yachts I upgraded, doing it tough, and did not like it nearly as much as now... I want as much luxury as I can have aboard now in my 60's. You are a minimalist seeing what you can do without, I guess that is why you could do without being Friends with us, fair enough, adios.

*********************************************
Update on the Improvements and what is coming yet:

Friends, on my way north to the GBR, anchored out in luxury.... Extra portable freezer on board, filled with chilli garlic marinated yearling T-bones and Prime rib, and just caught two large Mackerel today. Let the big one here in the photo go, and steaked up the little one. Just a note, as two Helia 44 Owners have now put in the second tank or are in process: 667 litres litres today with measured waterline: One tank was half full, (the other new tank took 466 litres of the advertised 470 litres in the brochure). So yesterday put on 667 litres in the two tanks and this total weight set the 60 mm extra bottom paint above the waterline down 30mm...... Mind you I will come back from the Whitsundays with it empty... I find no other noticeable downside effects to performance with the addition.

The original tank (port side) fills with a transfer pump, 5 meter hose, and flow meter, out of the new tank (stb).
First picture... From above looking down in the engine room: Transfer pump, stainless valve is to open to pump air to clear the hose, and then allows gravity flow back to the tank to clear the line to the tank... Flow Meter to the right tells how much is left, fill from new 466 litres as I mentioned makes calculations easy...

Second picture: My new fish cleaning fillet board, in the upright position, collapses down to lower level.. drains to back, overboard before white tender, works well...

On the diesel, it is a wonderful feeling, no limits to power, diesel, luxury, unlimited range, unlimited water, ice maker, 6 reverse cycle air conditioning, no worries on diesel... It is like surplus money in the bank, it does indeed feel good..

On the Hydraulics: You do indeed have a bit of feel with the new hydraulic steering, allowing you to counter-steer in overtaking wave action... It is GREAT!!

So what is coming?
  • Inevitably Lithium batteries for twice the capacity and a 47 kg weight savings...
  • I also have two extra charging systems for backup, and shortened charging time should I choose.
  • Depending on how cut off I feel on this proposed 3 month trip, I may add the three way gambled Satellite Tracker, a 600 mm dish under the 700 mm dome.. Don't know yet.
  • I have a WiFi Telstra based 4G modem with aux antennae hook up, to heavy coax up the mast to antennae, but so far it is not as good as the hot spot on my IPhone 6Plus... Will keep you posted on that one with new patch leads...
  • I will still probably re-do the davits, higher and stronger.
  • I have updated the Garmin, 7012, and will keep the 5012 as a backup... But an interesting note, with the digital voltmeter I can tell that the main Nav area does not have enough cable size amperage feed. With the Nav on below, I am getting a voltage drop. I will add another power supply cable up.
Enough for now, Helia 44 Friends.. I still have yet to see a Cat I like better, but I am looking... Maybe the SABA 50, but I have not seen a Maestro and the living area might also be a bit big and the helm visibility a bit poor like the Leopard 48. We will wait until they mature, right now anyone that is looking should see the Helia 44, so far I have not seen better...

Kind regards, more updates coming.. Helia 44 "AVALON"




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Old 25-06-2015, 06:29   #53
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Nice fish! And board..
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Old 25-06-2015, 15:01   #54
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Hello Monte,
Somehow... You remind me of ME about 35 years ago, living aboard based in California cruising the Channel Islands hence the name of our boat "AVALON" our fun visiting place on Catalina.... And then based in Florida about 25 years ago in the Caribbean... Now based in Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia, headed for the GBR and islands...

Monte, the new Fountaine Pajot style for Charter I guess, of cushions and seating all the way across the stern? That negates what I want the boat for. That is the working area...for one of the primary activities when sailing, FISHING!
I have the stern pulpit that has been rebuilt with cutting boards each side, and a stainless BBQ, and this big fish cleaning board in the center. About four feet wide: It tilts back about 10 degrees and dumps blood and offal overboard. In the fishing state, the stainless legs I had made telescope up, with locking "T" bolts and down to the level of the cutting boards when not in use. The trick is to find the polished stainless diameters of the tubes so they slide and telescope but still offer good tight support... The cutting board is available, from big American wholesale marine outlets, and inexpensive. I bought it at the last Boat Show, cheaper than I could buy the material and build one myself... It is a simple design with a wide base on the bottom of the feet for stability screwed and sika-flexed into the fiberglass, and then above the same with short screws into the underside of the fish board... If it loosens up after a lot of work where it is Sikaflexed on, the simple fix is a plate of alloy or timber under spread between the two supports bonded to the fish board..
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Old 25-06-2015, 17:39   #55
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Hey H44,

What have you done for rod holders, as in how many & how strong are they?


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Old 25-06-2015, 19:02   #56
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Hello Big Beakie,
The new SABA 50, besides not being a Maestro, which is still in the cards for us, was all wrong on the stern. It was all charter, with fancy cushions for drinking people lounging for a week holiday... heh he That is the working area for serious Cruisers, I would order it bare from F.P. and outfit like this... The blood flow from the cutting board runs out at about 10 degrees and falls between the stern and the tender... Like I tell my Staff: "I only look stupid", there is a bit of experience here as I started 40 years ago on my own Salmon Trawler in the north Pacific....

Tell me how BB, and I will put on pictures of the future improvements coming with text with them...

But anyway, here (first one) is a picture of the stern of AVALON, plenty of room to get by the freezer, it is a portable Trailblazer, with plug in mini-cig outlets on the stern. In this picture you can see four rod holders, the expensive ones from Whitworths and pretty heavy duty stanchion mount fully adjustable. One took the hit from an 8'81/2" sailfish that was jumping clear out of the water and standing on his tail trying to shake the hook and then deep diving while I was doing 7 knots before I could shut down for the battle... First Picture is the general organization of the back end from Starboard looking to Port, you can walk by the big freezer, only 100 ltr but has 5" thick walls for energy efficiency.. You can see the custom built rear solid stanchion pulpit with port and strb fish cutting boards and BBQ and the newly added fish board in operating posture..

Next picture is a close up of the rod holders, stanchion clamp on and adjustable, expensive and heavy but worth the $$$ like all good things... Anchored out behind an Island, just took these pictures for you my Friend..

Final picture is of the highly varnished teak table with the elastic based canvas cover over it, and on the end centered on the table is the freezer that is a good seat between the fish board on one side and BBQ on the other, and seat at the head of the table in a pinch..

"AVALON" and yes it feels good to have the extra fuel on board... Last night a cold blow: Turned the gen set on, 3 of the six heaters on, ice maker made a few litres of ice, Jack Daniels on ice and a hot shower.... Yep, spoiled, and loving it... Already done it tough, didn't like it nearly as good as now..
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Old 25-06-2015, 19:17   #57
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Wow that's a serious fishing setup! Adding a cleaning board to my 'to do list' !
Now I just need to catch some fish. There's so much seaweed in the Caribbean now it makes it hard to troll without snagging weed every 15 minutes.
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Old 25-06-2015, 20:03   #58
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Helia 44,

Very niiiice!

I guess the leverage on that stanchion rod holder is way below the 5 or 6 kg drag pressure on strike, and it's in line with the rail, so looks good. Thanks for that! Just adding more items to the to do list....

And yes, many cats have messed up transoms for fishing. I won't be making that mistake on our boat.

Since you are in the market for a bigger boat and actually like to enjoy good sailing performance, you could PM me for some info about this which is going into production soon, if you want:

FreeFlow Catamarans


Monte:

Instead of trolling when there's lots of weed around, one trick is to look out for large weed patches as you sail by an open edge, and keep a casting rod handy rigged to chuck a plastic flick bait jig near the edge as you cruise by. The dollies (Mahi mahi) are suckers for that. You can often see them charge out from under the weed and race each other to your plastic. The fastest one get's place of honour on your BBQ
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Old 25-06-2015, 20:24   #59
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Thanks BB, I'll try that trick and hopefully post a pic of the prize catch!
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Old 25-06-2015, 20:45   #60
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Great Monte, look forward to seeing the fillets on the barbie...

Another hint, is that mahi mahi are highly cannabilistic and a soft plastic that is yellow with blue highlights that imitates a small 5" mahi mahi works well.

Also you cannot reel the lure in faster than they can swim, so once they charge out from the weed cover, reel like hell to promote the strike.

Good luck
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