Various tinkering, measuring, identifying, and testing

Yesterday was National Day here in Singapore (happy birthday Singapore) so instead of working, Charlene and I headed over to the boat to accomplish some stuff.  I’m still on light duty so mostly I spent the day measuring, identifying, and tinkering instead of doing what I really want to do, which is finish installing the stupid dodger windows.

I verified a couple DC switching 5V regulators I had a friend bring back from the US.  They work fine.  I’ll be using them to power a computer and microcontroller for boatlogger, which will interact with some NMEA stuff to start with; and also to provide power for a couple USB outlets for charging phones and such.  The boatlogger boards have been sitting on my desk at work, running with no issues, for almost a year; it’s about time to get them in the boat:

Here are the 5V regulators, and also a little board with a compass/accelerometer IC that I’m hoping to get hooked up to play with at some point (accelerometer data would be pretty fun to have on a boat):

I have been trying to find a replacement for my big old Halon 1211 extinguisher, the main galley and engine extinguisher on the boat (all the others are small dry chemical extinguishers):

I’ve been looking for a similar-sized alternative using a Halon replacement, since I really don’t want to have to use a dry chemical or water or something like that around the engine, and Halon is now banned.  Looks like I’ll probably end up with an FM-200 extinguisher.  I found one company in Singapore that purports to recycle old Halon; maybe with a little luck they’ll actually be able to provide a Halon extinguisher.  But I doubt it.

I also measured a potential location for a new black water tank.  There is none currently on the boat, so everything from the head drains right over the side, which is totally illegal in many places.  Seems like the best (maybe only) place for a tank is in the bottom of one of the v-berth lockers, on the opposite side of a bulkhead from the head.  It’s a difficult location since it doesn’t admit a rectilinear tank; I’d probably have to get one custom made.  I’m not sure it’s actually feasible anyway, since it may not be possible to gravity-drain the tank.  May need to actually take up real, otherwise useful locker space for a black water tank, which would be too bad.  I did find a very interesting document about plumbing heads and holding tanks with lots of good advice about avoiding stench.

I have been spending a lot of time lately trying to identify various unknown or semi-known equipment to gather manuals and plan maintenances.  I took a look at the anchor windlass, which is quite a beast:

There are no visible markings left on the windlass that I can find.  However, per the pre-sale datasheet it’s a Plath windlass; and after looking over Plath’s catalog it seems most likely to be a Plath 9a.  I contacted Plath to see if they can send me a manual.

I also finally took a look at the genoa furler:

It appears to be a Schaefer System 2100 based on markings and measurements.  Found a manual online; looks like maintenance is pretty much limited to cleaning.  Sometime soon I’ll have to take down the sail and work on that.

After that I noticed one of the stanchions on the port side foredeck had pulled loose and needs to be rebedded.  Something else for the todo list:

While I was out checking all that stuff out I saw Owen and Jessica heading out on Malaika and snapped a phone cam photo.  They looked like pros backing out of their berth and heading off into the strong current just outside the marina:

To close out the day I wrestled the new dinghy down to the dock in its huge duffel bag, unpacked it, and got it all set up.  For a (relatively) cheap inflatable, the boat itself feels really sturdy and in terms of stability and comfort is leaps ahead of the old hard dinghy.  The air deck is certainly plenty rigid to stand on, although it doesn’t pack quite as small as I was expecting.  The only problems I had were with the auxiliary equipment that shipped with the boat: the hand pump fell apart pretty much immediately (just needs some glue and maybe a hose clamp), and the pressure gauge can’t be attached while pumping, which is pretty annoying.

Anyway, by the time everything was pumped up and ready to go it was after dark, but I put on a headlamp and went for a row around the marina.  Much easier to row than the hard dinghy, which is better than what I was expecting:

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