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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 10-19-2008
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Beneteau First 26 improvements and repairs.

My introduction is in this thread, I have a goal of making a few improvements to my newly aquired boat during this winter.

First of is a holding tank for the toilet, which I've already managed to install. It's placed above the waterline, the intention is that it will empty itself by gravity alone.. I added a vent and a valve on top, to allow it to be emptied at the marina as well. The tank holds about 50L, which should be plenty.
The fenders in the picture is about 50cm in diameter for comparison. Great storage space in this compartment.



The engine is a Volvo Penta MD5C (9Hp), I noticed that the general impression of the older VP diesel engines is not great at this forum, but mine works fine at the moment and my current plan is to maintain/overhaul it, rather than replace it. It has a small oil leak from a packing near the cylinder and a water leak from a packing in the exhaust tube. I'll replace the packings to fix the water leak this year and try to do something about the corrosion, but I'll leave the oil leak for now. I think I'll take the engine out of the boat next winter and open it, if it looks ok I'll do a complete overhaul and convert it to freshwater cooling. This will be much cheaper than replacing the engine, but if it looks like it's in bad shape I guess I'll put it back in and run it until it dies. I'll add a tachometer and perhaps a oil press and water temp indicator to the engine this year to help me monitor it's condition.



The leak.



Next up is the electrical system, I have a plan to remove all of it and rebuild it from the bottom. The previous owners had done a few modifications, I removed all of them due to the fire hazard. I have decided to make a failsafe system with "low voltage drop" battery isolators, with a small start battery and a house bank. I might add a solar panel at some point, we'll see when I run out of money...
Another thing with the electrical system is the switch/fuse panels. I would like to replace the current one with a panel with at least 8-10 switches, led illumination, automatic circut breakes, and a battery voltage monitor. So far my impression is that two types of panels are available, too cheap & too expensive.. It might just be that I haven't looked hard enough yet..


As for the exterior I'm not really sure what to do first. Everything is pretty basic, but it all works. I would like a bimini or something similar at some point, the problem in my local waters is more related to rain, rather than to much sun. I have real problems keeping the cabin dry when it's raining, because I have to bring everything inside.
I will replace the genoa winches because they do not have reduction gears, and I woud like to have floating points for the genoa sheets (if that's the correct term).
The mast (Z-spar) has a few issues, but it looks like replacement parts are available.

I'm also thinking of replacing my fixed propeller with a feathering/folding one, but it's not a high priority atm, mainly because they are f...ing expensive..

--
Cheers
Cerveza

Last edited by Cerveza; 10-21-2008 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 10-19-2008
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The consept for the electrical system (charging & distribution) so far is like in this picture. It will allow for independent charging of all batteries from all available sources without the need for human interference. The voltage drop over the isolator I've purchased is negligible. You can also compensate for the voltage drop over a diode, by "tricking" the alternator to increase the voltage output by 0,6V, but with my current isolator it shouldn't be a problem.



The actual isolator. I realise it produces heat and possibly will absorb some of the alternator output, hopefully it won't be to bad.



I would greatly appreciate any feedback regarding the things I've mentioned. General issues, ideas, improvements, questions and so on..

Last edited by Cerveza; 10-19-2008 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 10-19-2008
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Not a big fan of battery isolators, especially with a solar panel setup, since the diodes in the isolator drop the voltage a bit... IMHO, you'd be better off with an echo charger and connecting the charging sources to the house bank. Also, you're generally much better off with a single larger house battery bank than two smaller battery banks, due to the fact that battery banks are more efficient the larger they are.

I'd also recommend getting/using a BlueSea Dual Circuit Plus battery switch.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 10-19-2008 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 10-19-2008
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Cervesa, first off - welcome to Sailnet!

Your holding tank looks like a work of art and you seem to have the engine issues under control (many people wouldn't find the leak until too late) but I'd second the Dog's comments on the electrics - connect the house batteries in parallel. Two banks are far easier (and cheaper) to deal with than three.

Your battery change-over switch should then be connected to feed your starter from either the engine/radio bank or the house bank (or both in an emergency).

You have a great boat and for a first-timer, seem to have a pretty good grasp of what you are doing.. well done.
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Old 10-20-2008
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Thanks for the input on the electrical setup. It's my intention to have two batterybanks (start & house), I just added the battery selector switch as a way to disconnect the batteries form the consumers (and seperate them from eachother to get redundancy). I don't think I can fit a huge house battery due to physical restrictions in the compartment, the ones I've seen this far has been to tall. I'll look further into this.

As for the battery isolator, I'm confident I made the right choice. It's failsafe, and with no electro-mechanical parts (relay's and such), it should be all but immortal. I am aware the cost of this is some loss of energy output from the charging sources, but I think I'll be ok. It's a small boat and I don't have any heavy consumers, so I don't think I'll be lacking power anyway. Great input though!
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Old 10-22-2008
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The first time I needed to reef my mainsail I discovered it was not possible to do so. There was something blocking the slides in the mast from going all the way down, so I was unable to connect the reef point in the sail to the hook. Upon closer inspection I found a cotter pin blocking the slides, and apparently something is missing from the mast below that point. The manufacturer of the mast is Z-spar. Any ideas as to what is missing from the mast?



I was also looking at some of the threads in this forum regarding reefing of the mainsail. I found this system interesting, any known issues with a setup like this?

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That's a single line reefing system for all intents and purposes, and I generally recommend using a TWO-LINE reefing system. You can read why I prefer a two-line system HERE.
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Old 10-22-2008
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There are plates made OR you DIY two that will cover the mast slot BUT allow the slugs to slide all the way down so the reef point can reach the boom



The single line reefing system is nice because if you set it up right everything can be done froom the cockpit


BUT you still need to make covers for the sail slug slot if they will not allow the sail to go low enough
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A two-line reefing system will allow you to reef from the cockpit and actually gives you more control over sail shape when reefed, since you have separate controls for the tack reefing cringle and the clew reefing cringle.

A better idea than a sail track slot cover may be to add a jackline to the sail to handle the lowermost slugs. That's how it is done on many sails, including the on one my boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tommays View Post
There are plates made OR you DIY two that will cover the mast slot BUT allow the slugs to slide all the way down so the reef point can reach the boom



The single line reefing system is nice because if you set it up right everything can be done froom the cockpit


BUT you still need to make covers for the sail slug slot if they will not allow the sail to go low enough


I have a single line system and perfer it because i have more control over the reef
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-22-2008
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Hopefully this isn't a hijack, but do you have any photos of your two-line reefing system, Dog? I've got the Isomat in-boom single-line reefing that Cerveza shows, and there is a hell of a lot of friction in there. I need to open up the boom and see what's up--but I'm also thinking about changing the configuration.
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