Time on the boat over the last week has been almost entirely consumed by the electrical system. The contractor drama has dragged on with yet more overpriced quotes and unexpected delays (or maybe they’ve become expected at this point). Doug and I have started taking matters into our own hands and have made some good progress.
Doug started last week to begin tracing wires and labeling them near the breakers. Later I joined him and we more or less finished that job, which was no small task as a significant percentage of the wires running hither and thither actually led nowhere. I pulled quite a number of those, which has already simplified the spaghetti around the DC panels somewhat.
There are two DC panels currently, one on each side of the companionway behind the steps. The secondary panel is housed in the cabinet under the sink. I ended up removing a bunch of shelving and paneling to get at the back of the panel. In the process, the watermaker (a Pur Powersurvivor 80E-II) was revealed:
It appears to (basically) be working but it probably needs some attention and maybe professional service before I’d trust the water it desalinates. I don’t think it’s been used in 15 years. It’ll need to be at least partially removed in the next week so we can sand and paint inside the cabinet.
The auxiliary electrical zone has some semi-interesting stuff, namely an AC input switch (shore, off, or inverter, the latter of which obviously isn’t in use); a DC panel (with a seemingly random assortment of stuff); double 50A breakers for the windlass, which probably uses around 80A, along with some megacables to the unit; and the bilge pump panel and alarm. Here it is from behind, all labeled:
It took some time but eventually I was able to label all of those wires (except the AC, which we haven’t tackled yet), and yank out the panels. Here’s the auxiliary DC panel from behind:
At this point we’ve got everything in the DC system except cabin lights and water pressure disconnected; all the circuits are well-labeled. We need to do some investigation of the AC system, which is a bit trickier but shouldn’t take too long, before we can really disconnect everything, yank it all out, and sand and paint the cabinets. In the meantime there’s a huge mess:
While I’m at it, here’s Doug ready to stick his head into some cubbyhole or other:
At this point we’ve essentially decided to just do the whole thing ourselves. I’ve lost patience with the contractors and don’t want to waste S$3000 on labor costs for something that’s not really all that complicated. I prefer to save it for something I really need help with, like installing water and fuel tank senders. I spent this evening sketching up a basic final wiring diagram for the new electrical system. There’s not much we aren’t sure about, aside from one or two alternator-related questions. I think we can realistically finish the job in a couple long weekends if we set our minds to it. I’ve asked Neo from Best Marine Electrical to deliver all the parts this week so we can get moving.
I also had a good conversation with Cress from Conversations on Friday. They’re getting ready to leave on December 1 for Phuket, then Sri Lanka and beyond. I ended up buying a big 4’x4′ sheet of 12mm Lexan from him that was leftover from their hatch-replacement project. The stuff is essentially bulletproof; there’s enough to replace the port and starboard front dodger windows, and maybe do something with the small portholes at eye level, although there’s not quite enough Lexan to fix up the side dodger windows. He also asked if I want to take their old gimbaled LPG oven, which appears like it’d fit in place of Oia‘s existing stove, and which has an oven, a broiler, and two burners, one of which is dead, which is why they’re replacing the unit. It doesn’t look like replacement parts for the burner are available, so it’s a tough choice. It’d be nice to get a gimbaled oven for cheap, but it’ll be some work to install and I’ll be down a burner. I’m also a bit overbooked with projects. We’ll see.