Catching up in Puerto Vallarta / La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

We have just spent a couple weeks at dock in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle at Marina La Cruz.  It was a nice down time after the run up from Huatulco, Oaxaca.

IMG_20160421_130556440.jpg

Part of the hard work encountered running up from Huatulco…

We had a few items to take care of:

Changed oil in Beta 30 motor – we are at around 450 hours on the NEW motor and everything is doing FINE.

Changed transmission fluid in the sailing gear transmission.  Looked a little burnt, so I think we will schedule next change at 300 hours instead of 500 (ish) hours.

Got Mike at PV Sailing and Northsails to re-sew the sunbrella cover strip on the jib.  Pickup – delivered – nice looking job!  $340  USD.

Installed the new windlass, it took about 2 hours.  It is same hole pattern and all as old one!   And it worked first try!

We received an air filter for the Beta with friends parts shipment from US.  The only thing wrong with our motor order from Beta was that they send us the WRONG spare air filter with our spares kit.  So we finally got the correct one from a US vendor.  We are still trying to cross reference the filter to a more available brand…

Put a skate board wheel on the Walkerbay 8 Dinghy.  We checked with spare parts for the wheel and it was like $35 USD plus $15 S/h total $50 USD?????   So we measured  it up and found that some skateboard wheels are pretry close in size so we ordered one for $4 USD delivered (to friends coming down to visit from US)   Fits nice!

Pretty happy with using T-Mobile here in MX.  the family plan has been fairly reasonable for us.  Two lines never an over charge above the $100 per month for the two lines.  And we get 10 Gig per phone 4G – LTE and then slower speed, but acceptable.  And unlimited calls / text in 140 countries and MX/US/CAN…   And it works most all places on the coast here in MX.  It uses Telcel for carrier here.

LiFePo4 batteries?  Still doing GREAT.  We’ve run them down to what looked like near the voltage drop off point in order to find bank capacity a couple times.  Both times we were near to 395 Amp Hours on the Victron  BMV 702 battery monitor.  We did not start the discharge cycle from a “full battery”   and run them down over a given time.  We started the power dump when the monitor said the bank was at -275 Amp Hours or there about each time.  Since we can’t come up with more than 20 Amp load when turning everything on the boat ON. It’s difficult to do a capacity test and still live on the boat…  We will keep trying.  The plan is to get the bank to about 60 percent charge then unplug them from all loads and charge sources for the time we are away from the boat.  They should be fine for over a year just sitting disconnected!

Not much more to tell, we are leaving today for Punta De MIta, Chacala, Bahia Mantanchen, Isla Isabella, and Mazatlan.  We plan to put the boat in Mazatlan for the summer and return to Denver on June 8.  We also have plans to get to Indiana for family stuff around June 18.

Wish us luck!

FIN

 

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Huatulco, Oaxaca to Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

2015/2016 season so far,  south and east bound with some studdering around at the start of the season for approx. 1600 Nm

190 Nm   Mazatlatn – Isla Isabella – Mazatlan

175 Nm   Mazatlan – San Blas – Puerto Vallarta

140 Nm   Puerto Vallarta – Chacala – Mantanchan Bay – Puerto Vallarta

(two bus trips to Mazatlan and back to Marina Vallarta)

175 Nm   Puerto Vallarta – Chacala – Mazatlan

(car rental drive to Guaymas/San Carlos and back to Mazatlan)

330 Nm   Mazatlan – Santiago Bay

45 Nm   Santiago Bay – Barra de Navidad – Santiago Bay

190 Nm   Santiago Bay – Zihuatanejo

115 Nm   Zihuatanejo – Acapulco

215 Nm   Acapulco – Puerto Angel

25 Nm    Puerto Angel – Bahias de Huatulco – Marina Chahue

(taxi to Oaxaca City and bus back to Huatulco Marina Chehue)

And the trip back from Huatulco for anohter approx. 700 Nm

240 Nm  Huatulco – Acapulco

115 Nm   Acapulco – Zihuatanejo

210 Nm   Zihuatanejo – Barra de Navidad

40 Nm   Barra de Navidad – Chamela

95 Nm   Chamela – La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Here is screen dump of chart I sent to Mom from Barra de Navidad, seems that we have collected a few position marks on our logs…

Inline image 1

Most of the trip back from Huatulco has been “up hill”  that is to say into the wind and currents.

Currents have not been to bad, probably maximum about 1 knot against and then only about 10 to 20 percent of the time.  Winds from Huatulco to Acapulco were 15 knots on the nose most of the afternoons and nights, motor sailing we had to tack 100 deg. to make headway while taking water over the bow at times.

In Acapulco we figured out we could put the kayaks inside the forward berth for the next passage so they would not slam so hard when hit with waves.  Acapulco to Zihuatanejo got better as did Zihuatanejo to Barra de Navidad.  A wind event kept us in Barra for a week with gusts over 33 knots in the lagoon with a steady 20 plus most afternoons.

We plan to leave around noon from Bahia Chamela for Bahia de Banderas, planning to arrive tomorrow sometime.  Our buddy boat, Vivacia, is heading into Paradise Village Marina and we will go over to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle to do a boat wash and get a sail mended .

sv Vivacia at 7:00 AM and no wind in Barra de Navidad Lagoon:

DSCF3412 (Copy)

 

Chamela was nice, one night and we left at noon to arrive in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle around 10:00 AM…

DSCF3488 (Copy)

 

And skipper Liz is a geologist, “rock hound” !

DSCF3499 (Copy)

 

The trip up did have some dolphins, rays and lots of RED TIDE…

DSCF3427 (Copy)

 

Arrival in PV finds remnants of one of the three boats lost due to ground tackle failures this season…

Projects…  Boat needs cleaned, maybe try to put some wax on her?  And we need to get the jib down and stitch up the sunbrella cover strip on the leach and foot edges…  The stitching has failed after a few years in the Mexican sun.

FIN

 

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Windlass, alas!

We have been having problems with the windlass on s/v Hajime and have researched it to the BITTER END…

Remember these?

 

A techie post…

Our current windlass is a Lewmar Pro Fish 1000H second generation.  We put it on the boat at the end of 2010.

The design has been changed some from the second generation to the current generation three. It looks like the changes took place in 2013.  The information on the web is scarce.  I could probably just call Lewmar and ask, but what would be the fun in that.

The problems I have found:

My windlass experienced bearing failure on  MOST of the pressed in bearings.  Probably due to deferred maintenance issues.  And maybe a little due to the design issues in the second generation model we purchased in 2010.

The main shaft or the shaft holding the gypsy had no thrust bearing and no way to keep metal to metal parts from bearing and galling. Mainly the main drive gear into the inside of the cast body of the windlass behind the gypsy assy.

This same stainless shaft is not hard enough to work as a bearing shaft against the main bearing closest to the gypsy assy.  So it galls and wears excessively.

There is a  design issue brought out in youtube vids…

There are a set of repair videos on youtube that show a problem in the pre 2013 design and there are several vendors who sell gear assembly parts and bearings as described in this video…  I see that the compound gear has failed on our windlass and eaten the bearing pressed into a blind bore in the case.  This fellow says there is a tool for pulling a bearing race from a blind pocket.  Don’t have one and don’t want to get one!

 

Lewmar has come out with a generation three, G3,  of the Pro and Pro Fish horizontal Windlass.  The schematics clearly show they have addressed some of these issues .   Washers have been added to keep the gear body from the casting on the main drive shaft.  The offending “stop gear”  from the above youtube video has been replaced with a different gear set.  (different part numbers at least) Sealing gaskets have been added to help keep the salt water from the windlass interior…

From what I can see with a little web based forensics work on the designs of the pro 700H the Pro Fish 700H, the Pro 1000H, and the Pro Fish 1000H, I believe the following to be true.

All four designs look to share the same cast body and internal gear assemblies.  It looks like the differences lie in the size of the motors and the Gypsy size.  700H comes with 1/4 chain and 1/2 rode and the 1000H is standard with 5/16 chain and 9/16 rode.

The “pro fish”  have a free fall gypsy cover and the free fall clutch…  The “pro” have no free fall assy. It was normal for the 1000H “kit” to ship with a solenoid and remote toggle switch which was NOT supplied on the 700H.  Both had a circuit breaker supplied in the kits.

From the pyacht.com parts pages, it looks like all four models share the same replacement part numbers in a generation series.  I note the same parts are sold for all 4 models, 700 pro and profish and 1000 pro and profish…

Reference for the second generation:

http://www.pyacht.com/lewmar-pro-windlass-parts.htm .

Here is G2 and the BAD gear from the above video is “second compound gear assy. #22 , Lewmar #66000636

 

lewmar-pro-windlass-parts-big

* Kits are for use on Pro-Series/Pro-Fish (2nd Generation) with Serial Numbers starting 561***, 563***, 565***, 571***  or earlier kits please check the manual supplied with your windlass or contact Lewmar: 203-458-6200.

Serial Numbers
1st Gen 2nd Gen 3rd Gen
Series 700 560 561 567
Series 1000 570 571 572
Fish 700 562 563 569
Fish 1000 564 565 566

Here is the 3rd gen. G3:    Bad gear, compound gear,  is #51  Lewmar #66000760  so at least they have changed the part number and hopefully the design!Pro-series-fish-spares (1)

They have also added several washers and seals in the G3 model, #21, 22, 23, 24, 25 in the above drawing.  Hopefully these help with the thrust issue and the gear galling.  Hope they addressed the shaft hardness issue too or change the bearing specs, maybe add a hard race on the stainless shaft?

Reference for replacement gears from Defender.com:

Replacement gears are all same part numbers for all the models… here are some Defender.com pages with examples.

http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?path=-1%7C2276108%7C2276149%7C2276152&id=2546295

http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1%7C2276108%7C2276149%7C2276152&id=3211175

Here are the defender motor replacement pages for the 700 and the 1000… shows two different motors?

http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?path=-1|2276108|2276149|2276152&id=2303878

http://www.defender.com/product3.jsp?path=-1|2276108|2276149|2276152&id=1239328

I think the only “replacement” motor from Lewmar for either the 700 or the 1000 is the lewmar # 66000107 or the bigger motor from the 1000, here is the reference page:

http://www.lewmar.com/node/11613?v=25231

 Rev 01:

Just found a video from Lewmar on the V700 clearly shows a real raced bearing on the vertical main shaft (shaft which is bronze/brass) so I am hoping the vertical designers and the horizontal designers at Lewmar talk to each other and that they have fixed the main shaft bearing issue shown in the photos at the top of this blog…

Huh!

So we are going to try the Pro fish 1000H G3 mostly because it should drop in to replace the BAD G2 model.  Drop in replacement is fairly important for on the water maintenance and repairs…

We are also putting the windlass on the maintenance list for annual grease and clean and soon as Lewmar has a bearing kit, we will put one in the spares bag on s/v Hajime!

Just ordered a Lewmar 1000H pro from:

https://www.hodgesmarine.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Fin

 

 

 

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Huatulco, Oaxaca MX

Hey hey, don’t try to blog after the first margarita…

One part lime juice – it takes 5 limes to make about a 2 ounce portion of lime  (these are the 1-1/2 inch dia. MX limes…

One part Contreau, or in Mexico you can find find Controy at about 100 peso a liter.  Instead of Contreau for for 700 peso…  add 2 oz

And dd two parts tequila blanco.   4 oz.  Again you can find a nice tequila here for around 90 peso a liter Romero, El Jimidor, Orendain.

This makes 8 oz. of margarita, (ALWAYS make margaritas for two people, NEVER drink them both yourself) split the 8 oz. portion into two glasses and then fill them with ice and salt the rims, viola! MARGARITAS for TWO!

Did you know the margarita was first cooked up in Acapulco by Dallas socialite Margarita Sames,  or,  it was invented by someone else?  But who really cares?  reference: http://vinepair.com/wine-blog/the-mystery-behind-who-really-created-the-margarita/

Oh yes, Huatulco, Oaxaca…

We spent 12 days in Huatulco, Oaxaca.  Took a trip up to Oaxaca City the state capital and an old colonial city, saw some lovely gardens and cascades and big trees and Indian ruins…

Huatulco, how beautiful…

DSCF2628 (Copy)

First adventure was a trip to Hagia Sophia near Huatulco…  http://www.hagiasofia.mx/en/

Then to Cascades, Magico I need Liz’ photos too…

A trip in a taxi 8 hours to Oaxaca City…  (don’t a$k)

Oaxaca City, the tree, the cathedral/museum:

So many photos to choose from…

I have a link to ALL photos on photos.google.com … here!

https://goo.gl/photos/PVmdEgwRBq2HaGma8

FIN

 

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Puerto Angel, Oxaca MX – WOW

Don’t tell anyone.

What a pretty little bay!

https://www.tomzap.com/puerto_a.html

https://www.tomzap.com/map_east.html

 

Acapulco:

We had a lovely time in Acapulco.  It is not necessarly the most cruiser friendly place, but with the help of friends Alan and Liz on s/v Vivacia we rested in a couple of the nicest places…

 

The trip down from Acapulco was NICE.  We sailed quite a bit and took about 52 hours total, maybe 15 to 18 motoring.  It was very nice to leave Acapulco at the beginning of Semana Santa. ( http://www.mexonline.com/semana.htm )

Things were getting a little busy on the bay:

 

So off we went, ever south (or east maybe).  We are headed for the south most part of our planned trip at 15° 40′  N latitude and from Acapulco t 16° 51’N ,  it is  about 75 miles south and  180 (ish) miles east to Puerto Angel and then another 25 or so NM before we turn back at Huatulco…

Along the way, dolphins and tigers and rays (Oh my!)  WHere is your camera when you need one!

Puerto Angel was a surprise.  We were not planning to stop here, however, buddy boat was fighting an alternator issue and we came in around noon 3/24/2016.  First impression os that the bay is too small for two boats, we turned to leave and a fellow on a panga waved us back in so we tried earnestly and often and finally anchored happily!  We are now five sailboats here and there is plenty of room for more!

Next on to the bays of Huatulco, maybe put the boats into a marina at Marina Chuhue and bus up to Oaxaca city to see the sights?  SHould be a few weeks before we make the turn back up coast…

Tech:

What have we fixed lately?   Re wired the water maker to take out the quick connects I had in the circuit  (just did not like the voltage drop from the panel to the motor). I think the quick connectors cause heat at the connections.  We removed two from the water maker circuit. Who wired that thing?

Windlass has been taken apart and re-assembled a three times.  All the bearings are shot and I’ve tried to line the main shaft bearing with some thin poly sheeting.  We shall see how long it holds.  We also made those poly washers and put them on either side of the main shaft between the drive gear and housing and and outside the housing between the clutch hub of the shaft and the housing in order to try to reduce gauling…  Again, time will tell if it makes it the rest of the season

So how are the batteries doing?

G R E A T !  Really, we are so happy with them…  (Knock Wood!)

Maybe the best part is not trying to translate 12 volt lead acid battery voltages to state of charge.   We are now just counting amp hours in and out!  And still have not done a capacity test.  It’s on the  list!  We have seen up to -175 Amp hours so far, so the choice of a 400 AH bank was probably correct for s/v Hajime.

FIN

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Mo Zihuatanejo then further south!

zihAnd, yes, I do know the difference between using “farther” vs “further”, metaphysically speaking!

We had a great week in Zihuatanejo and Ixtapa and then moved down the coast another 110 NM to Alcapulco buddy boating with s/v VIVACIA.

Some Zihuatanejo photos:

Some photos of during the sail south:

I edited it down to 6 seconds and the flash? is at end of file, full screen helps!

 

Some Acapulco photos:

 

And the techie update…  (actualización de la tecnología)

LiFePo4 Batteries:  

Damn new batteries, we can’t seem to run them down below 13 volts.  Have to switch the  alternator output to the starter battery so we don’t overcharge the LiFePo4 bank.  We are still playing with the programming on the solar charge controller to make sure we don’t overcharge via the solar panels.

On the windlass.

I have done some research and think we have a Generation 2 version of the Lewmar Pro Fish 1000 Horizontal.  It turns out there are THREE generations of the windlass.  Buyer beware for the service parts…  And I still have not found that serial number!  There seem to be quite a few sources for parts kits for the windlass (good and bad).  Good because I can get parts, and bad because there seems to be a big enough need for parts that there are several places selling them!

I got a little big headed when I found out that the temporary FIX I came up with of adding a poly washer to stop the galling of the main drive gear against the cast stainless steel body of the windlass which allows us to tighten the clutch and still be able to run the windlass motor without binding the gears and stalling the electric motor….  is the same FIX they put in place on the Gen 3 of the windlass (they added washer 22 in the schematic below)…  They added other washers and gaskets and etc as well on Gen 3…  I hope they also figured out how to harden the stainless shaft (28) for use against the bearing (5)?  Or in my opinion the galling on the shaft will continue???  I’d love to hear from other Lewmar Pro 1000 H owners on this parts wear they have seen???  On mine the bearing is toast and the shaft is worn down a half millimeter all around…  Maybe that’s why they sell “Shaft kits” and “bearing kits” and etc..  http://www.pyacht.com/lewmar-pro-windlass-parts.htm

Lewmar Pro 1000 H Generation 3 schematic:  Note washers 21 and 22 etc…  added gaskets 24, 25, etc

Gen 3

Lewmar Pro 1000 H Generation 2 schematic:

Lewmar Pro Series Windlass Parts

FIN

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Bahia de Santiago a Zihuatanejo – Ixtapa

The trip:

We buddy boated this leg with SV Vivacia, woohoo.  After living aboard since 2010, we finally got our DSC select calling on the VHF radio figured out.  Thanks Liz!

The trip was 189 NM –  about 45 hours underway, anchor up in Bahia de Santiago Tuesday Mar 01, 2016  at 9:00 AM and off we went.  Once out of the bay it is almost a straight line sail at around 130 deg. magnetic with only one bearing change to 100 deg. magnetic if the winds are favorable and for most of the trip they were pretty good. We ran the motor for 17 hours on the 42 hour trip and had some lovely sailing.  We did some floating along the way too… During the float,  it was nice to be entertained by spinning dolphins…

 

Some trip photos: 

 Zihuatanejo Map, Guerrero, Mexico  carte-mexique-copie-2.png

We were out two nights, our timing on departure was only fair so we were fighting a nighttime arrival and had to slow the boats some part of the trip.  Unless you add some uncertainty to your trip by lengthening it, you slow the boat only so much.  Currents running over 1 knot (our way)  plus motor minimum RPM and you are running 5+ knots. With a 2 am arrival projected we slowed to a drift at times.  WE DON’T ENTER AN ANCHORAGE OR MARINA AT NIGHT!

Zihuatanejo – We did not make it here last year.  The town seems a little cleaner, maybe the fishing boats look a to be in a little better repair.  Nice to see!

 

And of course, friends Mike and Val, SV Red Sky, from Alameda are here on holiday!

 

AND…. There is Guitarfest 2016:

 

Boat projects – yes…

Pumps are running well ( refrigerator and potable water and sump)…  Knock wood.

Bilge is dry (that is a bit suspect?) ,

auto pilot running well,

radios working, GPS and AIS working.

Engine, George, seems happy ( oil change soon).

Zincs all look FINE. shaft and refr. and engine.

Rigging, running and standing, all check out sound and weathering well. Do need to replace some cheap nylon line we put up as lazy jacks on the mainsail.

Water maker seems a bit slow, we will look into that soon!

We ran the Monitor wind vane earlier this year coming down from Mazatlan to Santiago Bay and it worked well.

Tacktick wireless wind instrumants are functioning well, they were new in 2010 when we commissioned “Hajime” and seem to be running strong!  Triducer and fluxgate compass OK.  We can’t figure out how we get depth readout when power is not applied to the transducer.  Maybe there is a battery in the tacktick T-121 12v wired and powered transmitter.  ( I just googled it!  there is a battery in the T-121 wall mounted and 12v powered unit so that if you turn off the power to the triducer it still supplies wireless info on speed thru water, depth, and water temp. to the displays in the cockpit.

Thru hulls are looking good, no leaks or corrosion evident.

LiFePo4 update:

The new instrumentation for the LiFePo4 batteries works well (Victron BMS-702) and the batteries seem to be performing well.

The alternator stock 120 amp on our Beta 30 diesel engine is working well with the new batteries.  We have not seen much over 190 degrees F. MAX. from the alternator casing ( we have a thermocouple installed) and it seems to run around 175 deg. F.  at 50 to 55 amps after initial load in the 70 amp to 80 amp range.  We get a drop off to around 10 to 15 amps when the battery bank voltage gets around  14.0 to 14.1 volts and the temp drops to around 155 deg. F.  We switch the alternator output over to the starter battery when we see 14.0 volts on the LiFePo4’s.

The solar charger is programmed to float charge  to 13.8 volts with no equalization setting so that it runs most of the time and the systen will get 20 or so amps from solar, unless the bank is fully charged, then it shuts itself off.

Capacity – We have discharged the battery bank down to -270 amp hours or so out of the 400 amp hour stated capacity and still plan to do a capacity test soon as we are comfortable to do that big discharge…

Current projects:

Right now we are working on the windlass, it is six years old this year, and may need bearings or something?  I have the manual out and have gotten the auto anchor drop unstuck.  It has been stuck for four years, but something TIGHTENS up when a link jambs in the gypsy and makes the motor work VERY hard.  Also, the battery we have in the bow, which is ONLY for the windlass, may have been abused once or twice.  Fully discharging and not charging a battery up again in a timely manner tends to shorten the life of a battery!  We may have done that to this one a couple times over the years!  We charge using a DC DC charger or a small AC DC charger located near the battery in the bow.  It’s a manual must remember to do thing!

Lewmar Pro Fish 1000 Horizontal ( think it’s a gen 2 )  need to see if I can find a serial number someplace other than the sticker which fell off years ago.  We did not write it down on the user manual when we installed it, shame on us!

Lewmar Pro Series Windlass Parts  Pro Fish Free-Fall Windlasses

FIN

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Rats and cats and sunken ships

No cats in the story, but the rhyme is nice!

Maybe there is a cat…  Here at Bahia Santiago at the Playa Boquito end of the beach, where all the ramadas (beach restaurants) are,  there are several cats who help keep the beach restaurant’s floors clean.

On to the story…  

We returned here to Bahia de Santiago after a four day trip up to Barre de Navidad to do laundry and visit the French Baker and the Restaurant BAR Ramon where  they have the best chili relleno con camarones (in the world) !

Twas a windy afternoon when we arrived and we set anchor a bit close to friends, pulled it up than circled around a bit and finally reset anchor down wind a bit.  We were a little close to sv Rebecca in a busy anchorage, but they were OK with us….So we settled in for a bit of a rest after the grueling 5 hour trip.

IMG_20160226_093757311 (Copy).jpg

The rat:

While sated in the cockpit of sv Hajime, Jess leaned back and looked up a the inside of the bimini sun shade and through the covered clear vinyl skylight she saw what looked like a furry critter…  Maybe a member of the rodent family, maybe a rat?  A  fat little fellow.  I recreate the scene using a mouse, (from my PC) ha!

IMG_20160227_150236093 (Copy).jpg

We are thinking that since we have not touched dock in over two weeks, that maybe the rat came from a floating lily type mat of vegetation that came into Barra lagoon the day we left…  Maybe ratso floated in on the vegetation and then climbed aboard via the anchor chain?

We offered him the sea or a broom handle, he swam very well…

The ship wrecks: 

Liz on sv Vivacia hosted Jess and I on a snorkeling adventure over the big wreck at the west end of the anchorage here in Santiago Bay.  Jess was adventuresome, however,  I did not like the wreck much at all.  It is a bit frightening floating over a sunk big metal vessel with all kinds of dark places, holes, and fish type things JUMPING out at you!  So I was the fellow who stayed off to the side of the wreck and could come in to rescue anyone who got in trouble.

By the way…  Do not let those mean bullying girls shame you into doing something really dumb after calling you a shipwreck sissy.   What? Oh… maybe something like running an estuary inlet at max flow rate.  I’m sure it was at least 20 knots!

 

That was before we left for Barra de Navidad.

On our return it seems we took great pains to drop anchor (the second time)  directly on top of another wreck, this one in 20 foot of water.  This one not charted. And we were no more than 75 foot from where we had spent 4 days at anchor earlier.

Our snag was such that it made our effective anchor rode about 25 foot long.  straight down to the bottom and wrapped around some steel sheeting and ribbing from the old wreck.  When a swell comes along it pulls on the snubbed anchor rode pretty hard and jerks the boat around quite a bit.  We spent a restless night and Jim, shipwreck sissy Jim, dove on the problem the next morning and got the anchor and chain back from the demon of the deep, well 20 foot is pretty deep!

chainsnag

The coordinates of this wreck are:

Lat:  N 19 deg. 06.633 min.    Lon:  W 104 deg. 23.676 min.

and we added it to the Navionics data base…

Oh yes, we sailed by another shipwreck near Barra de Navidad, Los Llanitos went onto the rocks near Punta Graham during Hurricane Patricia in Oct. 2015.:

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Los Llanitos

Jess notes on the anchor retrieval:

“Or the end of the chain story;  You may recollect that we spent all of last night jerking on a short chain, entangled around something on the bottom of the water here in the anchorage, surrounded by other boats with no apparent problem.

Jim boldly geared up and swam down to find—yes, another shipwreck.  You should know that while Liz and I were snorkeling over the shipwreck we planned on visiting,  Jim hovered offsides, refusing to come in and see it.  It spooked him.  So, what does Jim have to do?  Dive down 20 feet, locate our chain wrapped thrice around some steel plate on the sea bed, work it loose with the ribs of this wreck tickling his back and closing in over his head, and the moray eel squiggling out of it’s disrupted home, and who knows what else down there, including the ghosts of dead sailors.  So then, when he thought it was all done and all I had to do was reel in the chain, sure enough, it snags again.  He had to go back down 20 feet and get it off the rib, which he is sure reached out and grabbed it as it went past in a final effort to trap him in Davey Jone’s locker.

Why this is not marked on any charts?  I don’t know,  It’s on ours now.  It turns out that in 1959 Hurricane Number fifteen swept right over Santiago, and ran more than 50 ships aground in this very bay. At least three of them remain documented as ship wrecks, and we have now located all three.  That is not to say there aren’t more out here.  1800 people lost their lives, ashore and at sea.  And we never knew.

So, after the chain, we went in to town to do a little shopping, and Jim managed to fall down in the surf and get drenched  as we landed our dinghy.  That’s all well and good, it’s part of the life.  Then we got water over the bow as we headed back to the boat, and all of our veggies are officially, as the french would say, ‘pre-sale.’  We considered going down and cleaning the boat bottom after that, but somehow we didn’t have much faith that the world was going to be friendly to us.  Besides, I spilled boiling water on my hand yesterday and am effectively left handed for a little while .  It has been a challenging couple of days. (Yes, it is blistered on the palm, they are unruptured, and I hope to keep the skin there intact until it heals.  It only hurts if I grab things with it.  Yes, I have lidocaine burn gel and some special burn dressings if the skin decides to slough before my new skin gets organized under there.  Stop worrying.) (Besides, we are heading down to Zihuatanejo, where we have a relationship with the local doctor.  They dealt with Jim’s sea urchin infection and my case of montezuma’s revenge, so we know him.)

In any event, the plan is to head out Monday morning for Z town.  We will be traveling with Liz and Alan on Vivacia.  It’s a 200 mile passage, which works out on the order of 50 hours.

So, that’s all the news that’s fit to print.  Tomorrow is a new day which we hope will not involve snarled anchors or kitchen mishaps.”

FIN

 

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South “down the coast”

Re-cap of season so far…

We got the boat up and running in January and headed south for Puerto Vallarta with stops in the San Blas area and at Chacala Bay.  Oh yes, there was an aborted start for Jim’s shingles…

Once in PV at La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, we ran back to San Blas for Xmas and then back to PV on the boat before putting her in Marina Vallarta for a few weeks.

We had some temporary resident paperwork to take care of in Mazatlan.  Since we started the resident process at the Immigration Office in Mazatlan it seemed to us best to continue it there.  We rode bus from PV to Mazatlan a couple times ( 8 or 9 hours each way) then ran the boat back up coast to Mazatlan to finish up the 3 week long temporary resident card application process.

We got a close call when cut off sailing by a BIG grey power boat on Jan 29 or 30 returning to PV.  Near Punta de Mita.  We think it was the same boat which was lost on the rocks at either Punta de Mita or in Yalapa that same weekend…  No news stories on the incident to cite?  Huh?…  The BIG grey boat was a jet boat and had been docked at La Cruz…

After resident cards were done, we got involved with battery problems.  First in PV, the group 27 starter batteries had a problem. A short in a cell on one of the 12v batteries took the # two battery bank out.  One got very HOT and we pulled it out and put it on the dock as soon as we found it.  Tried the other one but both batteries were dead without a charger so we replaced them with a single group 34 AGM SLA battery.  Also since the four GC2 six volt batteries in our house bank were 4 years old and had been over stressed a couple times, we took advantage of friends driving to Guaymas to bring us some supplies and some new batteries…  We went a little crazy and ordered LiFePo4 (lithium) batteries.

We sailed up to Mazatlan and rented a car for the trip to Guaymas for visiting with friends and collecting new batteries, a solar panel, some gauges and misc. boat stuff.  Mazatlan has Carnival in February and we worked around all that.   We had our 10th anniversary (vale-versary on 2/12) in Mazatlan…

New stuff:

Sailing out of Mazatlan, we ran to Bahia Santiago near Manzanillo, a little over 300 NM, before stopping and finding Alan and Liz from sv Vivacia… We played with them and new friends and then ran back up to Barra de Navidad for a few days to provision and do laundry.

We leave for Santiago Bay again tomorrow to catch up with and buddy boat with s/v Vivacia on to Zihuatanejo for the guitarfest…

link:  http://www.zihuafest.info/

Welcome to Zihuafest.info : The Official Website of the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival

Should bring the messed up year up to date…

BUT YOU ASK, WHAT ABOUT THOSE NEW LiFePo4 BATTERIES?

Not much to tell…

We have run them down only 250 Amp Hours at a max so far, we did that on dock in Mazatlan before leaving to head south last week. Since then they have been brought back to within 25 Amp Hours of full most every day either by motoring (charging with the alternator) or by the solar panels.

Alternator charging:  The 120 amp alternator has run up just over 70 amp output maximum so far.  We are monitoring the temperature of the alternator using a thermo couple and remote digital display and see a max of around 190 deg. F. on the alternator body.  We understand that over 220 deg. F. is BAD so we are not uncomfortable at 190 deg, F.  As the battery voltage approached 14.0 volts the alternator charge output amps drop and the alternator cools.  We manually switch over to the starter battery at a LiFePo4 charge of 14.1 to 14.0 volts if necessary.  We have not seen the UPPER knee of the charge curve yet.

IMG_20160225_161553385.jpg

Solar charging:  We have set the float voltage on our new programmable controller to take the batteries up to 14.0 volts as well before shutting down the solar charge.  The new controller seems to be working and we monitor the batteries several times a day still.

We plan to try to do a bank capacity test soon as we can for that BASELINE battery capacity… Plot from pbase.com

0.4C Charge - 12v 100Ah Winston Cell

The Process:
#1 Charging = 13.8V and current allowed to taper
#2 Cell Temps = 76F – 77F
#3 DC Load = 30A constant
#4 Voltage Cut Off = 11.2V / 2.8VPC ( not sure we will go to 11.2 v??)
#5 Capacity Measurements = Ampere Hours & Time At Load

 

FIN

 

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Batteries batteries batteries LiFePo4

Techie with angst…

We went through buyers elation in finding “drop-in” batteries for s/v Hajime.  and ordering them QUICK LIKE so our friends could bring them down to Mexico on their already planned trip…

Buyers remorse, in finding more and more information on “What have we done?” buying the LiFePo4 “drop-in” batteries…

Ordered more and more stuff to support our, already made, decision (no going back now…)  on the set of 4 each 100Ah drop in batteries to make our 400 Ah house bank for the sailing vessel…

STUFF so far…

4 ea LiFePo4 100 Ah batteries, made from 26650 cells 4P31S, LIFEPO4 12V 100AH LITHIUM PHOSPHATE DEEP CYCLE BATTERY FOR SOLAR & WIND SLA Repl

1 ea Solar charge controller, programmable on all charge parameters from 9 to 17 volts , 4215BN EP Tracer 40A 12V 24V MPPT Solar charger Controller regulator with MT50

1 ea Victron battery monitor, Victron Energy Precision Battery Monitor BMV-702S 

2 ea Amp meters with kWh and shunts, just to see what a $17 meter can do… 100A DC Digital Watt KWH Current Power Energy Meter Ammeter Voltmeter 7-100V US

1 ea digital thermometer to help keep an eye on alternator and battery temperatures, Digital Thermometer Dual Channel Input Thermocouple K J T E R S N C/F Type TQ22

2 ea thermocouples with 10 ft. lgth… New Omega 120″ × 0.01″ Fine Wire Glass Type K Thermocouple # SA1XL-K-120-SRTC

1 ea just in case got a diode based charge splitter???, NEW Sealed Sure Power 1202-D Marine Auto RV Battery Isolator 2 Batteries 120 amp

1 ea Added a 150watt solar panel to the house system taking the house solar charge capacity to 420watts, Newpowa 150W Watt 12V Solar Panel High Efficiency Poly Module Rv Marine Boat Off Grid

Installation took a couple days:

We removed the LEAD ACID GC-2 6 volt 220 Ah batteries (4 each) from our battery box under the helm, up through the starboard lazaret hatch. This was the hardest part of the job, the GC-2’s weigh close to 65 pounds a piece for a total of 260 pounds REMOVED.

The new batteries weighed in at  about 27 pounds each for a total of 108 pounds INSTALLED…    The ebay add had them listed at 18 kg or 39.7 pounds each, so we are pleased .

NEW BATTERY SIZE: also smaller than the listing on the Ebay add, the actual size is:

10-7/32″  x  6-3/16″  x  9-5/8 ”     or (260 x 158 x 246) in millimeters 

Two GC-2’s got us spec. 210 Ah at 12.7 volts nominal and two LiFePo4’s have spec of 12.8 volt nominal at 100 Ah each for total of 200 Ah for two…   AND you all know the differences in usable amp hours for the LiFePo4’s vs. lead acid batteries so why go there again?

Interesting stuff found while we were playing with the batteries…

Battery packs  arrives at an average of 13.1 volt state of charge.   We connected the four in parallel and let them sit overnight then disconnected them from each other.  And they were all within 0.02 volt of 13.1 volts at rest for the next couple days …

We hooked up all the new battery monitors and gauges into the boat systems and then, hooked the LiFePo4’s into the boat system.

We applied the shore charger and could only get it to pump around a max of 10 amps from the 25 amp rated Newmar shore charger.   Installed our backup shore charger, a IOTA 30 amp IQ4 system and got similar results.  The system voltage would not get much above 13.5 volts.   Thinking the chargers go to acceptance or float charge directly because of the higher nominal voltage in the LiFePo4’s.

NEED TO WORK ON THE SHORE CHARGE SYSTEM!  At least need to see how it works on a more fully discharged battery bank…

After installing the new 150 watt solar panel to bring the house to 420 watts, and the new 40 amp solar charge controller, we found we could get about 150 total Amp Hours pumped into the batteries and called them full at a system voltage during charging of about 13.88 volts.

This FULL matched the shore charge FULL and the new solar charger turns charging off at this voltage, we programmed it to do so…

On to the alternator.  This morning, we ran the engine to study the alternator charge system.  The house was at  -50 Ah from full on the system’s new Victron BMV-702 battery monitor.  We ran for 1.25 hours and monitored the alternator temperature and power and energy and voltages.

The engine running for 1.25 hours pumped the 50 Ah back into the batteries max observed amperage output from our 120 amp alternator was 50 amps.  Max alternator temperature observed was 180 deg. F.   When the battery bank was full again, we manually re-directed the alternator output over to the starter battery to assure ourselves that the alternator would drop down to nominal output amps.  ALL WORKED AS PLANNED…

Next steps are to live off the batteries only for a bit at dock and run them down to 20% SOC (state of charge) and then see what it takes them to charge up again…

Wish us continuing persistence…

Some new battery photos…

New Boat Electrical Schematic:

Hajime Battery 2

 

 

FIN for now…

 

 

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