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Old 09-16-2012, 12:44 AM   #1
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Default Would an airline check in notice a set of airex wind blades down me pants?

Greetings fellow breezers,

4 hours before we board for Borneo and we're doing the usual thing - trying to cram as many yacht fittings, new gear and spares as we can within our luggage allowance. We've looked at wearing our low profile lifejackets under our shirts and putting the epirb in a toiletry bag. I still think I could fit a windgen blade down my trouser leg

You can image what our carry on weighs but hopefully they wont ask us to step on the scales. Just have to lift my pack without a strained look on my face and splitting the seat of my pants

Lots of projects in store when we get to Australis - Have designed and laser cut some 16mm S/S brackets along with a 2m pole (all now powder coated) to fit alongside the mizzen to support the new wind gen. Will post a project update on that one. New traveller system for the main and some air ducting and extractor fans for the fridge compressors along with a conversion from 110v to 240v for the entire boat.

All exciting and in a fortnight we'll take a run up to the top of Borneo and perhaps take a peek at the islands of the SW Philipinnes.

Well - back to the packing

fair winds,

Mico/Australis
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Old 09-16-2012, 02:57 AM   #2
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Hi Mico, is the AC conversion a difficult or expensive project? I had thought of using a marine transformer to reduce the 240 output to make it compatible with the new boat. and keep it usable in both Oz and SE Asia.

On the smuggling front. Way back when we could board aeroplanes without being made to feel like criminals (In the days when a penknife in your pocket was a tool rather than a threat to all life and property within arms reach), I bought two winches from a discount chandlery in Sydney. I needed to get them to Darwin. They were not huge (Barlow 40s) for a 36 footer. But they were chrome over bronze self tailing winches and weighed a ton.

I could fit them in an airline bag.
I'm a big bloke and can carry 40kg in a bag without it appearing like 40kg.

I carried them onboard a TAA jet and was about to put them under the seat in front of me, when an over attentive stewardess reached down and offered to put them in the overhead locker.

"I'll do it", I said. But I was too late. Miss Efficiency had nearly dislocated a shoulder when picking up a bag which she expected to have in it a book, spare undies, and a bag of lollies.

It's the only time I heard a stewie swear on a 'plane. "S**t" she said.
"Actually yacht winches", I said.
"Sailor are you", she quizzed.
"Very poor sailor" I replied.
"Same here" she said.

With that she kissed me on the cheek, and said "Well I hope your fortunes Improve".
"I think they just did", I said.
But that last cheeky comment was brushed aside as she told me to stow them under the seat and count my lucky stars.

I did.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:02 AM   #3
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Hah! I love it.
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:53 PM   #4
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[QUOTE=Auzzee;35345]Hi Mico, is the AC conversion a difficult or expensive project? I had thought of using a marine transformer to reduce the 240 output to make it compatible with the new boat. and keep it usable in both Oz and SE Asia.

Hey Auzzee,


Well we arrived in KK without any additional luggage costs - I still believe the secret is to pick your check-in clerk. Avoid the old guys and any woman who look like your sour-faced aunt!

It's quite a nack trying to stay at the back of the que until the clerk of your choosing is free! I once stood at the front of the line with two other families as we watched some frail pensioner get the third degree from an officious ex prison guard over a carry-on back pack you could have put in your back pocket. Lot's of 'after you, no after you, please after you' as we all tried to avoid becoming his next victim.

This trip we had a young enthusiastic intern we greeted with a big HI! from across the floor and proceeded to butter his toast with as many compliments and inanities as we could muster to avoided the question - can I weigh your carry on luggage?

As it turned out, my laptop died the morning of departure and with design and webwork for clients to do while away - I was forced to pack my 16 tonne 27" studio Mac in a suitcase along with all my external drives. It arrived more or less in one piece and I have it sitting at the nav station which now resembles the bridge of the starship Enterprise!

But back to your question re 240v

Tony, the engineer, electronic wizard and master of the black arts of cyberspace lives on a yacht in the next pen. When I asked him if he was interested in rewiring Australis, he pulled the back of the nav board and combined AC and DC distribution and did the best impression of Lurch the Adam Family's butler I had ever seen. A deep throated rubbling groan of horror as he slowly shook his head.

To his credit, he did say - let me think about it for a few days and I'll get back to you. For someone widely sought throughout the region and certainly here in the marina for his electronic and sparky skills - that 'Lurch impression' was a big worry but as he said - 'mate you have the culmination of 25 years worth of changes, add-ons and make-dos from 4 different owners - with half the gear and wiring no longer being used'

When he came back he agreed to take on the job on two conditions: (i) He pulled everything out and started again; (ii) we used only the marine grade gear and correct sized tinned wiring throughout - no shortcuts.

That's exactly what we wanted to hear - and is the same thing we've done with every vessel we've owned. New wiring looms - new electronics.

Jobs to be done now are:

Replace 15 double US power points with twin poled AUS approved plugs
Run 240v twin wiring throughout the vessel (have bought up 100m)
Separate the AC & DC power boards and isolate them
New battery charger
Wind Generator
Convert 6kva Diesel Genset for 240 output rather than current 110v (I understand this is a pretty simple matter of reducing the revs and a small rewire)
New nav pod at helm and integration with nav desk below
Replacement of all our 110v appliances - Washing machine - microwave and power tools. although I might retain a step down transformer for the tools as we have a lot of them.

All up I'm budgeting for about 5 - $6000 with me being the dogsbody doing all the hard work and supplying materials. We're currently working on new wiring diagrams and trying to decide where all the new hershey switches and electronics will go. The painful thing( as I'm sure everyone will attest to) will be threading the wiring throughout the vessel.

It's going to take a good month but in the end, we'll have a vessel with a new lease of life as far as electronics and power systems go. The idea of not being electrocuted in the engine room is a pretty good incentive too!

Today I'll be up the mizzen mast installing a new pole and brackets for the wind generator and working out how we get the run back into the engine room (new post to come with pics as we're tickled pink with our solution).
Yesterday I installed the extractor fans and ducting for both fridge compressors.
Tomorrow will be some sika sealing repairs to a couple of cockpit windows.

Its all go here!

fair winds,


mico/australis
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Old 09-21-2012, 02:06 AM   #5
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Wow, a fairly big job then. I can relate to the rat's nest of wiring. In my previous boat, I pulled out literally hundreds of feet of wires which had no use after continual updates to equipment over a 30 year life by people who sought perhaps the quickest, rather than the best, fix.

The new boat was fully rewired just 4 years ago to a high professional standard and the thought of doing as your are about to do makes my blood run cold. I'll go the transformer option. I look forward to the photo thread showing the progress. I can only imagine the feeling you will experience the first time you open the back of the switchboard and see everything neat, labelled and functional...Bliss!
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