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Old 21-10-2014, 15:37   #16
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Re: Performance

Hi Gordon

Good to hear from you again. I hope you and Louise are well.

After the communications issues I have had on this trip an Iridium GO will be my next purchase. I already have the antenna installed. I am glad you can attest to its performance.

Chris
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Old 08-11-2014, 13:51   #17
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Helia 44 engine gauges interface for Raymarine

Hello, I own a new Helia 44, it came without any engine gauges (not even temperature), the gauges in the Raymarine Monitor are blank, we see the gauges but no info. I am told I need an interface to connect to the Volvo Penta 55 hp engines to make it work. Anyone knows how to get it, where to buy them and how to install. Thanks.

Sailor_PR
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Old 08-11-2014, 17:09   #18
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Re: Performance

Chris I am with you re the solar v generator diesel discussion. We have the Fisher Panda 5000i using around .4 of a litre per hour and with the 800w of solar we don't need to run the engines, we run the gen while making water and this supplements the solar input.we run a freezer plus two fridges and when sailing overnight with nav instruments + autopilot you do need a quick topup in the morning prior to the sun hitting the panels.
We are about to depart Lanzarote in the Canaries for Martinique in the Caribbean with the Atlantic Odyssey on the 16th Nov.
Cheers Gordon.
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Old 08-11-2014, 17:54   #19
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Re: Performance

Gordon

I am interested in your view on the steering. Tim has had problems as you may have read elsewhere.

Certainly it is not very smooth with virtually no feedback, so I find it a bit off putting, but it seems to work OK. I have sailed 2000nm now and other than one instance motoring into wind into 4 m waves the autopilot has coped.

The steering in my view is not as good as the chain and belt of the Orana, and FP have now upgraded to hydraulic. I will take it apart in the next few weeks to check the whole system out.

Having done the miles you have what has been your experience.

Chris
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Old 08-11-2014, 17:56   #20
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Re: Performance

Sailor

Check out Helia 44's posts for upgrade to engine instruments.
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Old 08-11-2014, 20:37   #21
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Re: Performance

Hey Chris and Gordon.

Chris - just saw you going out with balloons all over the boat. Glad to hear all are enjoying their boats. We have enjoyed ours well and seen some amazing places. For those heading to there Pacific, Vanuatu is fantastic and is very encouraging to cruisers. Its easy day sailing from Is to Is, with just a few Overnight hops. If you are doing New Cal and Vanuatu can throughly recommend the Rocket Interactive guide. Its fantastic. The Solomons were a whole different story. In Vanuatu we saw other boats everywhere, but in the Sollies didn't see another cruiser for over 6 weeks. When we did we were quite pathetic in our rush to speak english and socialise with another cruiser.

But regarding boat performance in the long term I will say 60m of chain was nowhere near enough. Is OK for Vanuatu but still 10m anchorages were common. In the Solomons 12 m was the norm, or nose off a 2m reef with a stern anchor out in 50m on 100m of rode, and even that didn't work sometimes. This resulted in a few sleepless nights. And we couldn't managed that sometimes if I hadn't dived the anchor. But there are some locals that have put in moorings in some very beautiful locations.

Re: power we have 400W of hard panels across the back (factory fitted), and 480W of the chinese flexible panels on the port side saloon top. Our top charge rate was 54amps, but more usually about 40amps on a good day. In the tropics we disconnected our cockpit fridge to reduce power consumption's heat doesn't equate to sunshine up there. We had many days overcast with no wind, so the genset got a good workout. In 8mths we put on 100hrs (that was filling scuba tanks as well).

Another issue with cruising around above Lat 7deg is the heat. Everything overheats as the water temp is 30deg, so nothing can cool down. Batt temps above 30deg was everyday. The genset and the inverter were the main suffers of this. I learned to charge and fill first thing in the morning and get the solar top off batteries during the day. We didn't plug in to mains at a marina for over 6mths so managing power in the long term was a very interesting experience. I will say I KNOW NOTHING!!! I am not an engineer of any sort, so relied on experience and CDF.

Other issues were line chaffing etc, chaffing on the genoa foot against the striker. Regards sailing in the trades 7-9k the average but you guys will have already figured our your boats sailing issues.

Mosquito netting - Sandy bought the strip door screen you can buy the the $2 shop and hung the over the slide door connecting panels of screen of the side back window with velcro. We sailed the Solomons with no anti malaria's and had no issues of mosquitos inside.

Sorry rambling now - a habit. But Chris if you have any Q's before heading Nth with are in the Mooloolaba Marina until Thursday 13/11. Would luv to catch up and have a chat.

Forgot to mention we had a Inmarsat Phone with Optimizer router. very poor performance regards data. We are going to the Redport WiFi Router as the total cost is the same as Iridium Go and an external antenna. Don't know if you have HF but IMHO absolutely essential. Its the Facebook of cruisers so staying in touch. Some don't use it at all but many do and I feel we have lost contact with many great people we met because we though Satt Data was all we though we needed.
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Old 08-11-2014, 21:30   #22
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Re: Performance

In regard to flexible solar panels not working. There is something rather wrong with the panels or install to get such poor results.

We launched our boat mid may, so panels still quite new. Have also been cruising the queensland coast. Left from Brisbane and have travelled up to Lizard Island. Still on the way back, heading for percy at the moment.

We have 720W of flexible panels bonded to the cabin top. In full sun after mppt controller we see 45 to 50 amps in the baking north qld heat.

We have no genset, don't run the engines to charge batteries, never plug into shore power. Have power to burn. We run everything off the solar. Watermaker, washing machine and all. Big piece of why it all works is we made custom fridge and freezer units. 100mm insulation and water cooled ozefridge compressors.

Hot water and stove is gas.

Our panels are not the super cheap chinese units. Perhaps you get what you pay for.

My guess is really poor install. So often you see professional installs with tiny cable. The voltage drop on the way to the battery bank just means it can never work.
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Old 08-11-2014, 21:33   #23
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Re: Performance

Hi Tim

We have already been North for five weeks. Arrived back last week.

Hopefully heading to the Pacific in Feb.

I hope it was not my boat you saw going out. I hope mine is suitably still moored on F leg. It was probably Steves (Helia 44) you saw.

I would like to catch up. I will send you a PM with my phone number and I will drive up early one morning.

Chris
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Old 08-11-2014, 21:42   #24
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Re: Performance

Rowy

First, I have two boats at the moment unfortunately. One has Chinese flexibles and one has Italian flexibles. Both perform the same.

Secondly, your performance is no different to mine. About 25% of rated at peak compared to at least 50% for normal panels.

Thirdly, at 250-300AH which you are getting there is no way I could run my boat. With everything operating we are talking around 500AH per day.

The big difference is you use salt water cooled refrigeration, and gas hot water heating. You will have trouble with the refrigeration in the tropics with hotter seawater.

I would be very interested to see what happens when you get a week of rain or overcast weather.
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Old 08-11-2014, 21:54   #25
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Re: Performance

Tim

Think you need to check your maths.

720w at 14.1volts is 51 amps. Panels are performing right on the money.

Believe it or not it has rained in the last 6 months.

Ozefridge compressors are fresh water cooled. Worked perfectly well in 40 degree days.
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Old 08-11-2014, 21:56   #26
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Re: Performance

Sorry Rowy. Don,t know any maths. Regarding solar panels, if the lights work l,m happy!
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Old 08-11-2014, 23:06   #27
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Re: Performance

Rowy

Wrong person.

In any case you are right and I misread the amount of solar you had.

My main point is that even at 200-300ah per day my needs are not covered. Based on the feedback from the others this seems to be common.
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Old 09-11-2014, 18:00   #28
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Re: Performance

Hello again Nasa,
Like to meet you some day... Great write up on the cable steering, please keep us informed on your progress, I responded in that Thread...

Boat and balloons you saw going out yesterday? That was me, plus 20 others, a day party right in between my eldest Son's and Wife's Birthdays... Helia 44 "AVALON", now on home port dock on the east side, half way down the Channel to Lauries Marina...

We are Birds of a Feather on most of your points... After some experience in French Polynesia, and Rarotonga, even though I might not make it past Vanuatu now in my more mature age, I got into contact with some Professionals on how much anchor chain to have as this is my first Cat.. I was worried about the excessive windage compared with my monohulls.. A lot verified the 100 meter when i was thinking 60 M... I ended up with 80 Metres of Armagal on the Primary 33 kg Rocna, and 30 M and 100 M of 18 mm nylon on my secondary, a 20 kg Kobra2 that holds about equal to two sizes larger in a CQR... I am confident that the combination will hold in almost all conditions..

On Solar, dead agree, more the merrier.... I am testing some flexible panels and I have (2) 120 AH folding kits the size of an attache case each... I have the larger 9.5 kva Cummins Onan, long lived kubota tractor engine, and it is quite happy only half loaded up with a couple of air units on board. But some of the diesel docks of remote places are tough and ugly, would rather have more freedom with solar.

I have a Modem antennae up on the mast for extended email, but the Sat would be a big plus..

Come for a visit sometime, we are easy to find...

Kind regards, Helia 44 AVALON
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Old 09-11-2014, 21:12   #29
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Re: Performance

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwjohm View Post
Rowy

Wrong person.

In any case you are right and I misread the amount of solar you had.

My main point is that even at 200-300ah per day my needs are not covered. Based on the feedback from the others this seems to be common.
Yes huge power consumption is one of the curses of the condomaran.

Guess the point of my post was to enlighten others that decent flexible panels installed correctly will provide their rated output - even in high temperature conditions.

The same goes for the rest of the gear on a cruising boat. Quality equipment properly installed reduces your power consumption by hundreds of amphours per day.

Biggest users of power on a true cruising boat is fridge, freezer and watermaker. Modern lights tv and electronics are also rans in consumption.

If you spent the cash that the genset cost on quality refrigeration and watermakers, the genset becomes redundant.

Our fridge and freezer use about 30 amphours each per day. The watermaker (spectra 200t) about 18amp hours to make 70 litres per day. So total of 78 amphours per day for the big consumers.

So you can see total daily consumption is very low. Which explains why even cloudy days are not an issue.

As long as people are happy to buy boats full of the cheapest gear the builders can find, and then get slugged the options bill for the genset to keep it all running - those condomaran builders don't have much reason to change their ways.

Have a good read of the ozefridge website and you will come to understand your energy issues. Compared to a cheap caravan fridge they are a world apart.
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Old 09-11-2014, 21:29   #30
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Re: Performance

Rowy

Yes I completely understand your position and it makes sense.

From my perspective I asked myself:-

(1) Do I want air con

(2) Do I want a normal washing machine

(3) Do I want TV and various computers

In my case as in many cases it was yes to (1) and (3) by me and yes to (2) by the other half. As such a genny was mandatory.

Once you have a genny then this influences your thinking.

On the other hand if you do not want this extra stuff you can go about designing a low current environment and get away with solar.

I must admit though I am impressed by 30ah per day for refrig. My freezer and 2 fridges run at around 250ah per day.

I will have to look into getting a custom freezer inbuilt as that seems to be the main culprit.
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