Category Archives: Aft cabin

Carbon monoxide

We ordered a carbon monoxide detector through ebay from China, installed it (well, put it on the cushion…) and fired up the POD kerosene heater and kept it running at full blast for an hour. The detector showed nothing. Then we hung it at the anti down draught contraption on the chimney. After some 10-15 minutes it showed 118 ppm.

So, obviously, some exhaust fumes are getting into the cabin although not sufficient to pose a serious problem, it seems. A different exhaust solution (another chimney cowl or a fan to force exhaust gases out) might keep us sleeping more soundly. More testing needs to be done.

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New heater #1, installation

After spending a few weeks sailing during December 2014 and January-March 2015, it became obvious that our existing heating system (Webasto HL3003, original equipment on our Hallberg-Rassy 41), although functioning well, is consuming too much electricity for extended periods at anchor. The battery drain is also made worse by the fact that the solar panels are not producing a lot of electricity in the winter.

After researching the various alternatives (see separate post), we settled for a Swedish kerosene heater named POD (also known as Ge-HÃ¥). It is connected to convectors via 22mm copper pipes (one can use hoses instead). The heater itself draws no electricity at all, but we have fitted a 12 V circulation pump, which draws 1.2 W.

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The heater/boiler itself. The fuel tank is integrated into the heater unit, which can be slid out from underneath the boiler simply by a single wing-nut.

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Drilling a 50mm hole in the ‘roof’ was the most nervous moment of the installation. At least, it had the benfit of confirming that our HR41 has a foam core which is looking sound.

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The chimney, a 42mm stainless steel hose, is connected to a clever little thing which prevents sudden wind gusts from entering the chimney hose. Instead, such winds are diverted into the cabin itself, leaving the heater unaffected.

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Convectors can be bought ready-made (although hard to find and very expensive if they are made from copper pipe). Instead, we found a clip-on convector from www.radia-therm.de – cheaper and easy to tailor-make each convector. In the picture, the front panel covering the convector has not yet been fitted.

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It’s crucial that the wick is set at the correct level. We found out the correct setting by mistake; we actually thought we had turned it off, when suddenly it seemed to re-ignite, looking a bit like an afterburner. When the wick is too high, the smell is terrible, but when the wick is at he correct level, there is no smell an no soot.

New curtains

 

Another great example of the principle that one should never try to estimate how much time a job on a boat will take, since it simply will a) decrease the probability that you will do it and b) be wrong by a factor of about 3 (the job will always take 3 times as much time as your estimate, no matter what your estimate is). Better to just start working; then you will at least save time on planning…

On the HR41, there are 32 curtains (16 portlights), assuming you do not put curtains on the portlight in the cockpit locker. We decided to go for a fabric which matches the gelcoat and also lets some light thru (as opposed to the old/original curtains which were dark blue).

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Old curtains.

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New curtains; 32 pieces, Thankfully, tthe sewing is very simple.

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The fabric prevents people outside from looking in, but still lets quite a lot of light in.

Reupholstering cushions

All cushions have the 36 year old original upholstery. It’s keeping up pretty well considering its age, but does have some ‘boat smell’ to it and also some holes after a previous owner tore out all the buttons from the cushions in the salon. The foam is still very good. So, after spending about USD 1,000 in material and two weeks at the sewing machine off and on, they all look like new. I used an old Pfaff 138 machine (has both straight and zigzag).

 

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Sewing studio

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All new cushions in place. Now the old curtains really have to go…

 

Renovate floorboards

All floorboards are made of teak plywood. The veneer is about 2+ mm thick, giving sufficient thickness for sanding a couple of times. Originally, the floorboards are just lightly oiled or waxed and attract quite a lot of dirt as well as being quite sensitive to stains from oil etc. Over the years, they had become quite scratched and did drag down the general feel of the interior.
Usually, I only use traditional varnish (Le Tonkinois and International Schooner and Original), but for the floorboards I used International’s 2-component polyurethane varnish Perfection Plus with anti-slip pearls.

 

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Slatted base for mattresses

Whenever we live in the boat for 2-3 weeks, we have a problem with condensation accumulating under the mattresses, which are resting on a plywood base. This may very well be a problem particular to colder climates (water temperature here is often around 14-16 degrees C in summer). The simple solution is to turn over the mattresses each day to dry out and wipe off the condensation each morning. A better solution is to fit a base of slats, which allows ventilation of the underside of the mattresses and also makes the bunks a lot more comfortable to sleep in. We fitted slats to the bunks in the forepeak as well as the aft cabin.

 

Slats under mattresses prevents condensation and adds to comfort. Picture form our previous boat, a Hallberg-Rassy 35 Rasmus.

Slats under mattresses prevents condensation and adds to comfort. Picture form our previous boat, a Hallberg-Rassy 35 Rasmus.