Author Archives: BakesConsulting
For a couple of years I have been looking for an easy way to make sure the shore power was connected and charging the batteries on Roxia. If you are a boat owner you know what I mean. Even if your boat is nearby and it gets stormy the shore power connection can be lost. If charging stops you could run your house bank of batteries below 50%. This is the critical number on a lead-acid battery like flooded cell or AGM. A battery or bank of batteries can operate through thousands of cycles if treated properly but may last less than a dozen if allowed to discharge below 50%.
Our house bank consists of twelve 8D Lifeline AGM batteries wired series/parallel giving us 1,530Ah at 24 volts. We have stacked inverters so we can get 240 volt AC to run anything but not everything on the boat. With two small SubZero refrigerators and one SubZero freezer running all the time I worry that if the power goes off when I’m not on the boat we could discharge the batteries in a matter of days.
After the great NAPS2021 Rendezvous in Poulsbo, WA I became acquainted with the people at BRNKL (pronounced barnacle) Systems. Sean Battistoni walked me through the system in a Zoom call and I realized how easy it is to install. Two keys to the system for me are: 1) All connections happen behind my main electrical panel. There is no need to run wires all over the boat. 2) The monitoring happens through a cell card that works anywhere there is cell service on the globe. Here are some photos of the install and a few screen shots from my cell phone.
I sensed the shorepower after the final breaker in my panel so I can tell if the breaker has tripped. This gives me the added ability to see if I have loaded my generator or shorepower too much with cooking and air conditioning. I can also tell if I forgot to select shorepower or generator…which I have also done.
All in all I am very happy with the installation and the ability to monitor at anytime that I am on the boat or off. The system comes with a camera which I have not yet installed. I am not sure where I want it to point. Some people point it at the main entrance or there shorepower panel. Alerts can trigger a picture taking as well. I can add more in the future.
The Lugger 1276A on Roxia has 4,200 hours. I think the muffler is original and I noticed some soot on the ceiling of the engine room. This is not what you want to see in your engine room. I took the insulation off the dry exhaust and found a large hole in the muffler. I called my go-to exhaust man Scott Conahan at National Marine Exhaust. We measure the muffler 16” diameter with 5” in and out attached to 6” exhaust and 10” by 8 bolt flange. One manufacturer was 8-10 weeks lead time and the other was 3-4 weeks. We choose the latter.
The muffler arrived while we were cruising so I planned to remove on June 28th knowing we would not have the boat put back together for July 4th. I was at Scott’s shop first thing on Tuesday June 29th so he could build a fixture and weld up the flanges for the exhaust system. Thursday morning Scott sent me pictures of the new exhaust welded up and ready. I drove to his shop and picked up the muffler and they had even installed the insulation on the muffler to save me time. Eight hours later the exhaust was back together and we went cruising on July 2nd!
Can’t say enough about the work done by National Marine Exhaust.
The pictures below tell the whole story. The hole was pretty large and I patched it with stainless steel mesh and marinetex so I could use Roxia while the muffler was ordered and shipped. When I told Scott I hope it holds he said “It’s probably better than it was before…”. It didn’t last that long and by the time I removed the muffler it was almost completely gone.
With the boat finished we were able to catch some fireworks. I started the project at 10am Monday morning and finished 8pm Thursday night thanks to the great work by Scott Conahan and his crew at National Marine Exhaust in Marysville Washington.
2020…Anyone want a do-over? Crazy to say the least. My motto for 2020 is “If you can’t go far, go often.” One unknown outcome of the pandemic on Roxia has been the number of projects I completed that I didn’t even know I needed to start. This is a brief recap of “PoP” with pictures below:
- Pull shaft and remove Hydraulic APU
- New Computer for FarSounder and Backup Navigation
- Replace wiper switches with electronic wiper control
- New hose for gasoline storage tank
- Replace blackwater hose and vent line
- Replace bungee at all freeing ports
- Install new Bluesea M2 gauge on Electric panel
- Remove non-functioning DryZone system
- Upgrade engine room ventilation system
- Install air compressor (horn, air tools and Hookah diving)
- Build new windlass handle
- Build aft enclosure for cockpit
- Visit the Mothership for Nordhavn swag!
- Build a rack to store small glassware
Work in progress:
- Replace hydraulic gauges with plug/test ports
- Remove paint from cap rails
- Service watermaker
- New Backup domestic water pump
I think it was IBM who used to say you never have a loyal customer until you solve a problem. They also said you shouldn’t hire a salesman under 6′ tall…
In the case of the first remark I was a loyal customer of Port of Everett and now I can’t imagine going anywhere else. Recently, we hauled out Roxia for some routine work. POE has a 75 MT lift and we are right at the limit. I have been hauling out at POE for about 8 years and all the employees are great. They have hauled multiple N62’s so I know they have the experience.
As usual the slings were ready when I arrived and I slipped in with no problem. They waited while I shut things down and I stepped off. On the way to the pressure wash area (away from the water with containment) one of the tire stems broke and started to leak air. These are 300psi airplane tires that I think they run around 140-150psi. With 150,000 pounds in the slings the action started pretty darn fast. One call on the radio and 10 people came in trucks with blocks, a spare tire, a BIG jack and breaker bar. Did you know the lug nuts are torqued to 300 foot pounds. Think about that, with a two foot breaker bar I still could get enough force from my 140 pounds of cinnamon rolls to torque the lugs. Fortunately the mechanic had a 4′ torque wrench. The tire was brought in with a forklift and four guys rolled it into place. All’s well that ends well.
Anyway PORT OF EVERETT You ROCK!!!
A previous caretaker of Roxia removed the original entertainment cabinet and replaced it with one to accommodate their electronics. While it was a nice cabinet it did not match the original woodwork and was really just too big. Here is what it looked like.
Here is the new and improved entertainment cabinet.
That’s all you need to know unless you want to see how I built it. Ok, still reading? Here are the pictures of what I did to make it look better than before. I will note that the Plexiglas in the door is made from one of the swing doors in the previous cabinet. Also, I cut two of the shelves to make the new shelves and the top to make the back of the new cabinet. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
And there you have it. If you made it this far you probably have nothing better to do. This is during the great quarantine of 2020. Stay safe!
Remove Hydraulic Drive
The first project was to remove the backup to the backup. Roxia has a fully separate wing engine in the event of a main engine failure. We also have/had a hydraulic “auxiliary propulsion unit” APU which is a hydraulically powered motor mounted to the main driveshaft driven from the 20kW Northern Lights generator. My plan is to make room for a second 6-8kW generator for low load situations especially in temperate climate like the PNW. The last piece to come out will be the drive coupling. I need to remove the main shaft coupler in order to remove it so I’m waiting until I haul-out to make it easier. Greg Harmon was a big help with this project. All this equipment is for sale…
The next project was new insulation for the main engine exhaust and muffler. The old cladding was deteriorating and pieces of the material were making their way into the bilge. Scott Conahan from National Marine Exhaust has built exhaust and insulation for me in the past so he was the man for this project also.
The last project was just for fun. I figure I spend a lot of time in the Engine Room so why not make it remind me of a place I want to be. Since it is usually warm I thought of the tropics…or is it a window?
Because on this particular day Capt. S happened to be the senior officer on the base we were treated to some amazing information. We met the the on duty team CO, XO and COB as well as some very talented men serving our country. After touring every part of the ship except ones requiring a higher clearance than we got, I was floating around in a cocoon of bliss. I have a renewed respect for the training and sacrifice these young people have chosen.
And to think all of this happened because I bought a Nordhavn and was hanging out at the dock.Thank you Captain!
Ps. He did say if the weather is bad they just drop down another 100 feet and say “That hurricane wasn’t so bad.”
When a water pump for a Wesmar APU300 was added the hydraulic hose supplying oil to the stern thruster was bent when the floorboard was screwed down. Two things could have prevented the issue: First the floorboard could have been cut out an additional inch to keep it from touching the hose. Or Two, chafe protection could have been added to sacrificially protect the hose from wear. When Roxia was built the floorboard was not screwed down and it looks like it was pushed tighter to make more room on the other side. For the repair I took out the pump, cut the board and added chafe protection.
As long as everything was apart I cleaned things up and removed the Denso tape from most of the fittings. I left it on some of the steel connectors.The moral of the story is to make sure you have chafe protection and check it to make sure it stays in place. When a system is added double check the work. The hydraulic APU was a backup to the backup (wing engine) so I will be removing itif you need a backup.
It is two years this week since we bought Roxia in Mackay Australia. The last three months have been the final leg of the journey to return to our home base of Washington State. The major projects will begin but first let’s recap the final stage.
This stage was the stage of the visitor. For three months we had guests on board nearly every day. Who was the best guest? That question will never be answered unless we are talking to you then of course you were our favorite. Here is a glimpse of our trip: All the great photos are credited to Emmy Baker.
As we finished our provisioning for Alaska (now underway) I started checking up on friends via Marine Traffic. This is a great app to follow people and their boats. I looked at vessels I track and there was one I didn’t recognize. The James Stirling. It is a 36m by 8m Inland Passenger Ship. I didn’t remember adding that so I clicked on the vessel. To my surprise it was Roxia! Wait, What!? There were four pictures of Roxia and three pictures of a large steel passenger ship. It had my MMSI and Call Sign. Looking in more detail it said the name was reported by AIS as Roxia and the vessel type was Recreational Craft. I was not able to change it or remove the pictures.
I have spent the last two weeks trying to correct the information with Marine Traffic. It is partially fixed. You can now search “Roxia” or “James Stirling” and get to us. We still show as an Inland Passenger vessel so our icon is blue instead of purple/pink. If you are using real AIS via VHF and are nearby we show up correctly.
How weird is all of this? Should I expect more room or higher maintenance with my new vessel?