I think we Helia Owners all might have something to contribute to other Helia 44 Owners...
Being a seasoned Sailor, first Cat but 11 previous yachts of my own and a Company years ago that outfitted boats for Cruising: I have a little experience to offer.. Here are a few suggestions on improving LIFE on your Helia specifically, just a few to kick off this Topic, and I will no doubt have others..
1) In my early Helia, (2013) there is no Spinnaker Halyard
, but an empty shive on top forward... The problem is not so easy just to rig it, as there is no extra slot in the mast
to run out the new internal halyard
.. I have designed a way to get another internal halyard
for an aso or spinnaker
, without cutting a new slot:
You take out the internal topping lift
halyard to the main boom. Add a ss shackle on top (hole is already there) and rig a fixed topping lift
down about 95% to a block. You then run an adjustable topping lift through the block from a padeye mounted at the end of the main boom up through the block on the fixed topping lift you and rigged, and back down to a pad mounted turning block at the end of the main boom; then forward about half the main boom length or more, to a cleat. Why?
This gives you the empty slot in the mast
you need. Now, you do not run the spinnaker
halyard to that one, instead you move the Main Halyard aft one slot, and the other halyards for working jib
and Screecher or Gennaker
all aft one slot so nothing crosses over inside the mast. Do this one by one moving forward, at the end of three moved halyards: Then you have opened up a free slot in the forward part of the mast to run out the mast internal halyard for the spinnaker halyard...
Easy Peasy, no cuts, no added gear
on the mast...
2) As a crazy marine
engineering sort the only fault I really have is for the Tropical regions: F.P. should offer a "Tropicalized package" of upper vents to match the lower vents for fridge freezer
units, with natural convection the heat going out the top vents will pull cooler air in the bottom
and make the unit operate more power efficientl in the tropics.. I understand they listened to me and are doing just that in later models..
3) This is another problem for tropicalizing the Helia that the French could make money
on... I mean charge for it as an option Fountaine Pajot..
For when you are parked up or at anchor
and not home, in tropical regions, when the boat is locked up for security, the main salon runs about 8 degrees hotter.
There are no hatches you can leave open, without risk of rain damage if you are not there, so this is what I have designed to suit Tropical climes: Up under the front eyebrow over the two opening hatches either side of the mast
, you really could use a matching Lewmar hatch
about 200 high and 400 wide, one each side.. I forget the exact measurements but they match the width and style of the existing hatches.. I ordered them to match colour and width with screen
than can stay open even in hard rain if you are not there... (Covered by the Helia eyebrow in the front).. Then: A third one over the galley
, cut into the fixed Lexan
window panel up very high on the right hand side of the sink on that fixed window, same matching, and the whole bridge deck
will have good ventilation even when closed up. This will save the main power drain of the refrigeration.. as closed up it gets about 5-8 degrees warmer in there if you are not there.
I have order all three, matching style and size to the existing, in black framed Lewmar
. (special order). Mine are in Brisbane
, hopefully mounted before it gets any hotter this summer (Southern Hemisphere summer getting hot now in November.).
4) This one is controversial as some people are happy to rely on diesel
use, while I am not, and would be happy to have my full tanks
last about 1/3 longer.. Without need air conditioning
a few months of the year, or heat for about one month, I can greatly cut down on Generator run time by extending the solar input..
I have been playing with the latest technology in solar
. I have not come to a decisive plan yet, but stay tuned,, heh he. For instance right now I have added some five way fold out portable panels
from a Company called Projecta, 120 watts each, in addition to the 4 - 80 watt panels
installed by FP. Also: Right now on my Dodge Ram, the back as a white fibreglass Leer canopy, and I am playing with a 240 watt flexible thin panel sika-flexed down on the white fibreglass. It is applicable to our needs, in that has a waffle core
, about the same heat sink as the decks of the Helia on foam core
. I am feeding a set of Lithiums in the bed
on a bed
slide out of the Dodge Cummins Diesel
Ram, running a South African stainless fridge-freezer. First check at about 10:30 on Friday I tested the output for the first time, at 10 amps. That was not at peak time of the day, nor peak time of the season, so I estimate about 12 amps. Next I will play with the ability to walk on the flexible panel, and think about deck
space..? Maybe... I push the applicable science as a hobby.. Anyway, extra solar is only an advantage in my experience..
5) If you can, order the freezer
unit in the Galley
Island area... Mine came with the Isotherm
fridge. If you wish you had it, but only have the normal fridge, here is a GREAT TIP: I replaced the fridge in the galley with a freezer, the Isotherm full freezer is EXACTLY the same size, just get the door swing right...
It works a treat...!
6) I am told that F.P. are considering or have added temperature gauges for the engines, and I hope so but if it is not this is VERY IMPORTANT IMO: It is only about a $200 venture for the whole kit from Volvo
, matching your normal engine
controls..! Just order the wiring
extension as well from Volvo
as the engine
temp gauges do not come with much of a wiring
extension. It is easy, as the three pin plug
goes right into the back of the engine controls.. Pick your location, look inside the helm
, it is only a simple hole saw hole about 52 mm..
The problem is you want to know the temperature is rising due to seaweed or brine shrimp or a plastic bag blockage in the water
strainers. YOU DO NOT want to wait until the alarm
goes off as damage could already have happened... You also DO NOT want to wait until you have smoke coming out the engine lockers..
You might not hear the weak buzzer alarm
in the wind
.. You want anyone on the helm
to keep an eye every half hour or so on the engine temperature gauges, as it is CHEAP INSURANCE
7) Canister water
filter, added into the cold water line below the sink.. Just a carbon / Charcoal filter to improve the plastic taste from the tanks
.. It is John Guest fittings, compression
sort of specialized fittings, just get the right ones before you cut in.. And one more tip, do not rely on normal filters to purify bad water as they will not take out some micro viruses like Hepititus.. This is cosmetic scrubber only for taste.. Further, do not use garden hoses, as that plastic taste is toxic release into the water from the non potable garden hose types exposed to the sun. Make up your own "Food Grade" hose, with normal snap on fittings, easy peasy and no taste and non-toxic..
Enough for now, your Friend Downunder, Helia...
Doing it easy... Did it hard long ago, didn't like it nearly as much...heh he