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Old 04-10-2015, 01:42   #76
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pirate Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

helia 44....i looked at the pics again and it doesnt even look like those angles welded to the lid are even 6000 series alum, and the welds are crap ,,,they will fail in no time at all....just globs with no penetration...its not an rv has to to stronger then even aircraft engineering in a marine envirment....im sure u will do fine since u have really deep pockets...
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Old 08-11-2015, 22:34   #77
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Captain Ric above,
You do not know what you are looking at. Those are deep penetration TIG welds of tremendous strength by a very good Marine Engineering Shop. Not for looks, for strength as it will never be seen. Please do not bother people on this Thread any more. It is a free service for Helia 44 Owners... Your comments are carp (fish) rubbish.. I will ignore any more of your posts.

Hello Friends,
Helia 44 here, back from the islands, tried and true and have added some new improvements with pictures coming shortly. (As soon as I can figure out how to reduce them with this new computer)


I visited dozens of smaller Islands on the outer groups, outside the normal traffic areas, and the beach combing was spectacular! I will have more pictures. All of the improvements so far are tremendous successes. The added fuel tank is all a WIN. Because the Nav is on that side, it overloads the Starboard side down about maybe 40-50 mm, but even in heavy seas it does not seem to have any other bad effects. I use that tank first, transferring over to the port side, and it is nice to not have any fuel concerns for Generator run times, air conditioning, and above all the SeaXchange water maker. Unlimited travel in light air with the iron jib, beating upwind in medium conditions, unlimited air conditioning, unlimited water, it made me able to stick to the outer fringe of islands and do long hauls during daylight hours of up to 85-90 Nautical Miles with early starts. We covered a LOT of ground.

Now, I will have some pictures, but the most significant change is the addition of new screacher rigging. I have added a zip to the rear deck enclosure to allow roll up clears to expose a new Harken 46 in exactly the same place as the port side winch location. These clears roll up out of the way, and I have also added sail cover "Sunbrella" covers to sides of the rear deck area for when the summer sun is blasting in.

Further I added the largest racing size snatch blocks back by the winches, so the blocks and winches could easily double for Spinnaker rigging. You open up the snatch block and simply feed in the other sheets... Screecher over to Spinnaker. That way the Starboard side turning block is not feeding up to the main winch cluster through the entry and exit to the nav cockpit on the starboard side. I did not like that, and with a lot of tension on the turning block if something failed under a hard press of canvas it could have been dangerous. Now the added winch organizes things safely mirror image to the port side. Anyway, I am back, all good, and will have pictures.

A few months away, and added about 170? hours more on each Volvo 55's, running alternately most of the time... Ran about 175 hours on the 9 kva Cummins Onan. At this rate I will wear them out in about 20 years.. Caught a huge list of fish, even beach combed a dinghy and good Yamaha 15 hp out of mangroves on one island, hard bottom dinghy was not salvageable, but the rough looking Yamaha coughed and it is home in my garage.. heh he... You would not believe the junkpile I brought home to decorate with...

Will update with pictures soon...

Helia 44, "AVALON" back home in Mooloolaba....
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Old 09-11-2015, 16:03   #78
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Right oh! Here you go:

I got the picture resize program running.... Here are the pictures of the last improvement, and what more I am doing shortly:

The pictures are from the stern looking forward, port side and starboard side, port side is the original Harken 46. On the Starboard side the rear deck clear sides had no zipper. I have Doyle Canvas Sunbrella sort of sail covers and nav cockpit enclosure, so I added canvas over the clears for sun block. I face north, so on the Port side you can see the canvas rolled down to block the setting sun at my dock, on the starboard side it is rolled up.

The third last picture is the trim around the cut out in the ceiling finish lining, where the winch is mounted over the bed in the Owners stateroom on the Maestro version of the Helia 44. You would have about 50 mm of space. I backed the winch with about 40 mm stainless washers, I should have done a SS plate, do one for yourself if you are going to do this job with the base for the Harken as your pattern.. The trim matches so the finish does not look to bad, hardly would notice.

The last two pictures are of the flexible pad eye, and a very large snatch block that does two jobs for the screecher, and for a spinnaker as needed.

As to the necessity of the job? The Helia is set up to starboard so the sheet goes back to the snatch block then forward to the winch island. In a hard press of canvas, that snatch block might have a couple of tons on it, and if it broke, it would slingshot forward to the winch island and smash anyone standing in the way. It also hampered access to the deck from that upper nav station. I thought it dangerous and a rigging flaw, so I mirrored the port side layout as being superior...

Upcoming Projects:

1)I have purchased two 300 AH Lithium sets in powder coated housings, two 60 amp chargers, to EPro battery monitors, two LVD Low Voltage Disconnect controllers, and two Blue Sea latching LVD relays, and two DC to DC chargers for Lithium Algorithm. This will give me charging needs of every other day when airconditioning or water making is not necessary and for redundancy I will run them as two systems. I have about 100 Lithium systems running over the past four years in my Business, and am applying this to the Helia. 600 AH in Lithiums will be equal to about a 50% larger system than the original Varta 600 AH system. Yes it will be a faster charging larger and more efficient system, but there is one more huge asset: It will also take a couple of hundred kilos off the starboard hull, adding it in the dead area (hatch needed) aft of the garbage locker in the galley. This will go a long way to off set the weight of the added fuel tank on the starboard hull as the 4 150 AH Varta batteries are about 500 lbs and aft of the fuel tank. Pictures coming after the install....

2) When anchored (all chain rode) in shallow water like 2-3-4 metres deep, when the wind was up and we wanted to move to a lee size of an island, it was hard to motor up wind while hauling anchor. In shallow enough and you would lift 10 metres of chain out of the water at a steep rake, and it is hard to keep it to windward with steerage so the chain does not hit the hull. With enough forward motion, you over run the rode, without that you sail at anchor and the chain pull too hard to the sides and you can rake the hull very easy. I am going to re-design the roller, leaving the bottom perfect fit to hold in the anchor tight (73 lb Rockna) and change it to add two vertical side rollers at the main horizontal roller. Right now unless perfectly in line, it rakes the stainless as well. With the next size up in windless (talked about that in a previous post) motors running, I can haul myself to the anchor better in high wind, with less power, and aid in not hitting hull with chain. You might have to wait to experience this before you understand the reasons. I will post pictures when it is done, it will be a B-I-G help...

Anyway, here are the pictures of the last project, clear sides zipper, roll up, and sunbrella snap on roll up sunblock to party time in the aft lower deck area I do not know how to put text in between the pictures, sorry.. Here you go:

Kind regards to Helia Owners, I used to be in the Yacht Business years ago, and I hope my efforts will aid you and help you perfect any of these things that might be viewed as improvements.. I am just perfecting what is already about the most efficient and luxurious Cat on the Market. While I think about a Saba 50, I am tending to think the Helia 44 is good enough for the dream. I may just stop here, with the most well equipped custom Helia 44 in the world.. Skipper, Owner, "AVALON"
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Old 11-11-2015, 16:09   #79
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Improvements to the Helia 44

Your doing some great things Helia.

This anchor davit roll bar may help with the anchoring issue you were having.
Looks like a Lipari and Mahe have added it with success.

Anchor and Windlass
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Old 11-11-2015, 18:00   #80
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Hello ZipTie,

Thank you for the appreciation. Not all of my improvements will suit everyone, but forty years of doing this professionally and for fun, has made them my preferred Lifestyle for the reasons given... I was poor when young, a street kid, did it tough and poor for a long time. Didn't like it nearly as much as now. So I use my experience and drive as a mad inventor to smooth out some of the little inconveniences of this Lifestyle..

On the hoop on top, the chain jumping out is not my problem. Why? Because I have lowered the roller about 50mm a year ago, to accommodate the large vertical section of the shank of a Rockna 73 pounder which now JAMBS in tight. The problem is the chain riding the stainless sides, hard on galvanizing, and hard to pull AVALON to the anchor. What I am talking about doing is adding side rollers, about even with the horizontal roller.

Why, those of you might ask?/ Here is my Cat experience with this:You sail at anchor a bit with a Cat, when hauling. This is ONLY a problem in medium to high wind, and anchored in shallow, where you can pull 10 meters of chain out of the water at a shallow flat angle and if you sail off to one side towards it could scratch up the hull...

It is a bit hard to keep her pointed dead upwind to the anchor with the chain neutral. What I am going to do with the stronger windlass and the side rollers, is help pulling her nose in the right direction rather than trying to motor her. As soon as you are off just a little, the wind catches the hulls, and you are off course. With the stronger windlass I hope to use the side rollers and power to pull her to the hook instead of trying to motor her as in the wind you tend to sail off to each side from the dead centre position upwind..

Note: For those hearing my musing out loud on my year long analysis of the Helia 44 vrs Saba 50: For just two or four, the Helia is plenty big. In high wind and current, maneuvering, the Saba would be higher stress. While I could do it, I am not sure it is necessary. I may just stick with the Helia 44, it is enough for a Guy like me in my 60's I can Single Handle the 44 just fine, the 50 is probably just too much work for a middle aged guy like me..
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Old 11-11-2015, 21:35   #81
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Excuse meeeeee!!!! This is what a high quality tig weld looks like.
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Old 21-12-2015, 15:57   #82
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

I've been looking into adding temperature gauges on my Helia, and have been told by the Volvo dealer in St. Martin that my D2-55 engines don't have the sensor needed to show temperature and thus the gauges would be worthless without an additional sensor and wire run up to the helm. Do you have the 55hp engines, or the 40hp engines?

Thanks!
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Old 21-12-2015, 17:38   #83
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Have fitted sensors to my D2-55's. Similar with Avalon. You can check this easily by looking at the connectors in the back of the control module. If the wiring is there then the sensor will be there.

I would be very surprised if sensor is not there as it is required for the normal temperature cutout alarms.
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Old 21-12-2015, 17:39   #84
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

For clarity, I have fitted gauges. The sensors were always there of course.
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Old 21-12-2015, 18:48   #85
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Hello David on StarryHorizons,

Here is hoping you have a Merry Christmas!!!

In answer to your question, yes, I got the same wrong answer a couple of times until I ran into a saavy Engineer for Volvo at the Sydney Boat Show.

Yes, I have the D2-55's (only way to go) so I can run over 7 knots on one engine at a mild cruising rpm... You probably do not want to underestimate the importance of these, because the D2-55's normal operating temperatures run VERY close to the overheating range.

One of the downsides like a small disappointment for me, on the SABA 50 was the 75's are only turbo models of the same basic D2-55... Only with the added heat stress of a Turbo on a hot running engine..

Now, all the D2-55's that have the digital start/stop controls and the rpm and hours, all of them have the wiring in place to add the gauges.. It is in the wiring loom to the big rpm gauge and there is an extra port there on the back of the gauge. Right now sending unit will just trigger an alarm, in the the control head is just a buzzer, an overheating alarm, which by the time it goes off could have caused damage. The same signal runs analogue to the temperature gauges you can buy from Volvo. When you order the temperature gauges, you have to order this particular wiring loom addition with the plug that goes in the back of the rpm gauge in an empty port made JUST FOR IT...

This is my set up the pictures below, no room for the temp gauges within the rear access area, so I added the temperature gauges on the other side of the helm, in matching black and black faced. The back of the rpm gauge show below, has an extra port, that you need to order the wiring harness for to hook to the gauges. I ordered a loom and plug about 600 mm from memory and it goes over to the gauges. From memory, it is one loom per gauge, plug and play, and even runs the lights in the gauges.

Hope this is of a help... Kind regards, Helia 44 AVALON
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Old 22-12-2015, 05:51   #86
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Here is some more info on Volvo EVC engine instruments, showing engine temp.

Simple DIY plug and play gages and wiring.

Engines

Instruments
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Old 27-05-2016, 15:39   #87
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Hello Friends....
Two year anniversary on our Helia 44 AVALON !!!


We have traveled far and wide, and I have more improvements coming. I love the boat.. I must admit having looked at a Leopard 48 three times and still want to see the SABA 50 Maestro, but the Helia still holds me captive

Now here is a wild one, my experiment with ARMAGAL chain, supposedly the latest and greatest? Is a disaster. Mind you I have been to maybe 50 islands, anchored in all grounds, the Rockna 33 kg is magnificent and if it got lodged could be retrieved with a big hook catching the hoop on top.. I will stay with that having proved itself in all weather and never putting out the second hook.. But the ARAMAGAL chain is only a CHEAPAGAL process and totally failed. 100 Metres on board for about a year and a half and it is 2/3 solid rust. I washed it out with fresh water in the locker every time except when we were gone up north, I sprayed with Lanox a lanoline based anti corrosive that works really well to stop rust, doing everything right and I still had to reverse the chain length to get the bottom 1/3 non-rusted in use. It is shot.. A total disaster and failure and warning... hmmm

So what about the improvement to 3/8" Stainless Chain???? It is a big effort for me to change it out. I have always used hot dipped chain, and gotten many years out of that, but the Armagal is a total failure. So what about stainless? I cannot see a problem, and now good stainless is available from China for a reasonable price... Why not? I mean slight higher high tensile, slightly more brittle, but I am never going to snap it as AVALON on snubber and bridle rides easy with a lot of rode out sort of 10 to 1... I don't think snapping it is possible.. It could turn a bit rusting looking but the stainless would not flake rusty mess like the Armagal does now.. So why not?

Latest project is the works:
1) Newly Engineered three sided rollers stainless anchor roller and mount, made out of the original, so chain does not drag at an angle on the stainless roller housing sides..
2) New more powerful windless to work in conjunction with above to better pull the boat to the anchor instead of the battle motoring to it..

Pictures coming...

Kind regards to all, Helia 44 AVALON
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Old 27-05-2016, 15:55   #88
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Quote:
Originally Posted by Helia 44 View Post
[B]

2) New more powerful windless to work in conjunction with above to better pull the boat to the anchor instead of the battle motoring to it..


Kind regards to all, Helia 44 AVALON
Why are you having a battle to motor to your anchor?

Bob
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Old 27-05-2016, 15:56   #89
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

Helia 44,

Did you not like the factory 3/8 Galvanized chain that came with your boat?
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Old 27-05-2016, 16:54   #90
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Re: Improvements to the Helia 44

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Originally Posted by REsCat View Post
Why are you having a battle to motor to your anchor?

Bob
Hello Bob, perhaps you have not anchored in shallow water and wanted to pull the hook in stronger winds... You struggle and have to motor to the anchor, as you are lifting maybe ten meters of chain out of the water into the air... Further the wind buffeting you means you sail a bit at anchor, wandering left and right of the pull. You have to hold the boat into the wind a bit with the engines so you do not rake the hulls with the chain..

In medium wind, my Lofrans Caiman windlass lacks a bit of power to pull the boat to the anchor, and needs a little help.

None of this is a problem anchored in deep water, there is no such issues. It is only with a lot of scope out in shallow that this is all a bit of drama..

Cotemar: Nice to hear from you after a year gone (me)... What is the problem with the original chain? Nothing, but only about 20-30 metres on board from memory. It and 100 Meters of 3/4" nylon is my second "Hurricane Hook" with the original Plow anchor.. A second hook, still have it, not used it..

Incidentally, on the early discussions on chain length.... Everywhere I have gone in the GBR, I could get away 90% of the time with only about 60 Metres of chain. I may just replace my 100 with 60 this time... The Person arguing against the 100 M was right. I will run 60 M with maybe 50M of 3/4 nylon below.. It is pretty shallow in most places everywhere in the Great Barrier Reef area, 60 M of chain would do for about 95% of the time..

Checking out now, nice to hear from all of you, but what about the stainless chain idea?? Will check back Monday.

Helia 44 AVALON
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