Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Power To Live

Eco Friendly Power
Here we are at anchor, with the new solar panels and wind generator putting amps into the boat systems.  Just as well, because our house batteries are DEAD, having lasted exactly 4 years and 7 months.  They were Trojan AGM batteries, admittedly not too expensive, but they didn't last very long. Our first AGM batteries, made by Lifeline, lasted 8 years....

Fortunately the sun is shining and the wind is blowing in beautiful Nai Harn Bay, so the wind generator and the Kyrocera solar panels are earning their keep. Life is fairly normal, electrically speaking, during the day.

However night time is a different story.  After the evening genset run to chill down the refrigeration system we turn into amp-misers, turning off everything that we can.  Fortunately the anchor light and cockpit lighting use low current LED lamps, and the Fusion sound system draws very little.  But other creature comforts (like fans) are banned.

ECHOTec water maker
Breaking The Drought

Our water maker installation has proceeded smoothly. Neil & Ray Pitt worked methodically on it a few hours most days. Last week we spent all day completing the final hose and electrical connections.

The EchoTec system has been really simple to install.

Three days ago we commissioned the unit, at beautiful Rock Nok island.  What a joy - it took about 5 minutes to purge and run it up to pressure, then the thing just ran perfectly.  No leaks, and no electrical problems (thanks Ray).

The machine is rated at 60 litres per hour, though we're getting 90 litres per hour at the moment.  Lovely.  That pure reverse osmosis water is great to drink.  Its been a while, but we're now back to longer showers and plenty of water for the washing machine....no more camping.

The Galley Butch

Our guest on board this month was Ray Pitt, back for his second visit this year.  Ray threw himself in at the deep end, helping out where needed and also taking on his wife's role as Galley Bitch / Butch.

We managed quite a bit of R &R during his visit, swimming, eating, sailing on Phang Nga Bay and spending time at Nai Harn Bay.

Boat Projects

Neil is continuing with his AV Systems consulting, this time for a Super Yacht that is based in Asia.  Ley has been sewing, replacing the top half of the boom bag / stack pack for the mainsail. The Equatorial sun had taken its toll on the sunbrella and Velcro over the last 7 years and much of the stitching had failed.  Just to add interest to the mix, our three month visa expired on the 17th, so we cleared out of Thailand and headed south to Langkawi Malaysia.  The solar panels and wind generator kept the boat sailing OK during the day, but we anchored at night.

Guess what we got for Christmas?
Christmas Postscript

Before leaving Thailand we bought six new Trojan AGM batteries - not our first choice, but we could not arrange an air freight quote for the Lifeline batteries we really wanted. After waiting two weeks just for freight pricing we gave up, and bought the Trojans locally.  We just hope they last longer than the last set.

We pulled out the old batteries yesterday, donating them to a local boat boy - he was happy !  The new ones will go in today - a Christmas gift to Crystal Blues, and to ourselves.

It has been unusually windy and cool here in Langkawi. If the weather improves, as is forecast, we'll head north back to Thailand tomorrow.  We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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