Just around the corner…..culture…

When going out for groceries, or a drink or to the Railway station, we walk over a pedestrian bridge and are always greeted by Monet’s Blue House. Monet must have liked Zaandam as much as we do since he did 25 paintings and 9 drawings.
The one we see pretty much every time we walk is the blue house.

The side was painted over, and in 2014 the blue side was restored to the original color.

Here is the current view…

Monet in Zaandam. Zaans Museum.

Today was also working on finishing the water tank system. Last year I installed the 2nd water tank together with Remy, and discovering 2 days later I also created a Hernia.
So this year it is finishing the system. Both tanks have the water withdraw from the top, so there is no possibility of valves leaking on the tank. (They can leak further in the piping system)
I bought on Ebay a set of 24VDC electric valves 3/4″, which are going to control each tank and the inlet valve. This way I can use the tanks also to level the barge, and when a full float signal happens, I can automate the fill valve to close.

Had to buy a water level sensor, boy are they expensive. 125E for a 65 cm one. The port tank was empty …yeahhh… so it was quite easy to get the sensor and the outflow valve installed. Remember, last year Lars made a bigger hatch in the front so I could easily drop these tanks. Well last year Remy and I also found out that the ‘rough’ size of the hatch was perfect. BUT in order to divert rain water a U profile was welded on the inside, making the opening smaller!!
Meaning we had to disassemble the wall cabinets and get the tanks in via the big hatch. No wonder I developed a hernia! Thanks Lars!

Valve setup

When I was under in the front locker, I did saw 2 thin electrical lines and hoped they ended in the engine room, so I could use them for sensor level readings. Unfortunately, these line played a vanishing act. Thus I needed to pul another set, or a pair of 4 lines newly. Luckily the previous owner had made a few extra conduit runs for electrical lines in the wall, so I started feeding the ‘fishing line’ into an empty conduit, and after a bunch of meters it stopped. Crawled in the front locker and did not see the fishing line, so it must be behing the water tank ( which is full). So first I had to again disassemble part of the wal storage closet, and was able to remove the hatch dividing the living area with the front hatch. But there was this big blue heavy water tank, which silently was not budging. Looking with a mirror to the conduit I saw it made a few corners, so the fishing line must got stuck there. Following the conduit from inside the front locker, I found it empty terminated. Thus I started pulling parts of that conduit out, fighting the dutch tape which was mounted on each junction. Finally all came loose and the fishing tape revealed itself. So we now have a clear sensor line in a conduit.

For the Intercom/PA system I need to run loudspeaker wire to the front. On the port side there is a conduit with loudspeaker wire, but helas it was cut somewhere half way, so I ordered me 1.5 mm loudspeaker wire ( the PA system is 40 Watt) and once that is here I will pull the sensor line and the loudspeaker wire.

Plastic Surgery

As of April 29 Jan-kees is at the surgeon (Welder), where the original roof is being removed and a walk out deck with cover and seating is being created.
Lars who also welded the gas tank, is taking charge

Today he did the incisions…the big hold up will be finding somebody who can manufacture a correct door.

Covering the electrical equipment
The first cuts around the outside and along the width

Port and Starboard cuts

Ready with cutting……….. attached to the crane and then …….there is the sun in the back

Here is a drawing made by daniel

The back dek moving along

One of the hinges for the hatch. With this kind of hinge the floor will stay even

And it is getting close
Door opening is 80 cm . which allows a door of 67 + the frame on both sides

Closed hatch, smooth surface

Open Hatch, just have to order the Gas Springs, and perhaps later an electric actuator.

Turn the Heat on ….

Well it really means, we just landed in Schiphol ( Amsterdam Airport), get your smartphone out, log into vrm.victronenergy.com, go to jan-kees, go to the console, and press the start button , so it wil be warm when we arrive at the barge.

What really happened is with the help of the VRM website I was able to log into the Victron Venus, and turn on the relais ( which could also be used to start a generator automatically). The Venus has 2 programmable relais. 6A 250V/30V DC.
But just for safety we will use the Venus relais to use another 24 VDC relais to turn the Kabola on.
Just in the event there is no connection I also installed an over ride switch, and put it in a separate fuse box.

In the fuse box we will have the main heating fuse, the relais, over ride switch and selector switch selecting the Kabola or the Vetus ( see electric schema below)

—electric schema —

–picture box–

upwards and onwards

So we wanted to see Delft Jazz this weekend, plus Frank is throwing his USA BBQ this Saturday, thus…barging from Zaandam to Delft   72.8 KM  with many bridges and some locks.  The locks in Holland are nowhere near the ones on the Ohio River, or the French  Frexeneit locks.  The dutch ones are modest, 2- 4 inches sometimes 6-8 inches, don’t forget may times the canals in Holland are 5 – 8 feet above ground level.    Just fun , sitting on the barge, and seeing only the roofs of house along the roads.

We set of at 10:00, checklist completed, mast lowered and off we went to Amsterdam, because the quicker route via Haarlem is not passable for recreational boats.  The Haarlem lock being close to the big  IJmuiden sealocks was bringing in too much salt water.  remember, the driest summer in ages.

Did the Zaan then The North Sea Canal, then de oude hout haven and onto the first set of bridges on the Kostverloren Gracht, all went smooth until….the nieuwe meersluis.  Last year that was a clusterfuck, and today was a upper CF.  When we arrived the lock was opening and a swarm of little boats sped out, the other large boat in front of us was ready to go in, when……the lock closed…..a quick call on the VHF got us the answer ” I had to close it because I am changing shift, my colleague will open it up and have you on your way soon” so we waited . and waited and …the lock started filling from the other side…so we puttered around, wind blowing.  Offcourse the little sloops and a few speedboats were jostling for position, even though there was no opening in sight.  Got a few times close to them, especially when the only looked forward. Finally over an hour after we arrived the locked opened on our side.  A few small boats were trying to get in first, and I did shouted loud to deb ” they have no clue that IF I loose control, we will be totally making them flat like a can of Sardines” . Which caused a chuckle with a few of the more controlled boaters.   Once in the lock it took forever to be lowered the  1 inch if that.  Most likely the new lock keeper was emptying the lock with a 5 gallon bucket.

But off we went onwards to Schiphol, the Ringvaart van de Haarlemmer meer polder.

Next bridge, Schiphol draaibrug, where we were told to wait 15 minutes, so we attached a line and turned of the engine. A small boat moored along side.  The lights jumped to red-green, so I turned the key.   Yet NO sound, besides the buzzer.  No starter, no noise.  Bloody Hell.  Ok    Deb jumped to my help, moving things away, so I could jump it no the belly of the beast and slay whatever horrors were not allowing us to leave.  I decided to to a Mike Cockran solution and bypass the starter solenoid, while trying to do so , I saw a loose connection.

IMG_3647

And voila, the beast sprung alive.    I haled Schiphol Draaibrug again, apologized and quite quickly the bridge opened.

After de ringvaart we came to the westeinder plassen, a very nice typical polder scene.  The canal with many small boats along the sides and houses lower than the canal.  I found a mooring place in the Kager plassen and dialed them.  The manager lady was very nice and reminded me that the Leimuiderbrug is closed for recreational boating from 16:00-18:00.  it was 15:25 and 3 KM to go, so we should be OK. BUT for safety lets speed up a bit.  Well J-K listened and started going faster and faster and got up to 15 KM/hr.  after a bit I did hear a sputter but the engine picked up again, so I slowed a bit and kept going at around 12 km/hr.  Then . ….silence…engine died……turning the key..NOTHING.  Holy Moley . …I am barreling down a canal at 12 KM/hr and I have no engine…not much control.  trying to steer as good as I could the barge slowed down, but because of the wind an no real good rudder action, the barge was barreling towards some sloops on the side of the canal.  I dashed forward, and was able to lasso a mooring pole and let the barge kinda bang into it, stopping it.   It did resulted into the ‘Remy Manoeuvre” invented by ( then only ) Ltcl R Michielsen of the Royal Dutch airforce.  Where he decided to block the canal du Briare from potentially harmful airplane.
Together with Deb we tried to get the stern to shore, but no success. We waved a small sloop down and with their aide and pushed the stern in so I could secure a second mooring line.

So this was the second calamity today.  Ok no sound nothing, so no voltage.  Ok lets test first if we have 12V.  Well the ONLY thing on the engine battery is the head.  Well that worked. next step opening the engine panel. ..A rats nest of wires ….voltmeter out and lets see where we have voltage. Starting with the key switch, none of the contacts had 12V… GREAT another contact that cant stand the ‘good good good vibrations” ( Beach boys).  lets follow the wires…..well it would be easier to explain some  tax code to 2 year old Amelia !!!!  So grab wire, cutters, tools and lets fabricate quickly a wire from the battery to the key switch.   Deb was a perfect emergency assistant!  Wire done, pressed on what looked like the main 12V ‘contact ‘ of the switch and yes …it was “alive”  ( short circuit).   But we arrived at 16:12 at the bridge, and moored at the restaurant the marina lady told us about .  It was time to give Deb enough Wine to not worry.   BUT ..lets call the bridge keeper on VHF to confirm he won’t open for us.   The answer we got “Correct I won’t open for recreation boats, BUT you are in luck in about 15 minutes I am expecting a commercial, and you can get through after him”. We looked and Deb was really in need of some beer and food.  But gave in to the fact that we could save and hour waiting.  So we grabbed the beer from the fridge, chips and olives and sat down on the bow.

IMG_3653

15 minutes later….NO commercial yet….mmm should I call the restaurant and see how quickly they can make bitterballen ?   No so we kept sitting and then 10 minutes later the bridge opens.  Rushed to the back and started the engine, and went through.  A bit later we arrived at the mooring ‘keverhaven’ . a really nice peaceful nature mooring.

6.5 Engine Hours
36 Liters of Diesel
40.6 Km

 

Fuel 86 %

Wow a nearly full fuel tank….well NO.  When Lars installed the fuel sensor he mounted the float on the wrong end.  It was kinda puzzling, since the Venus showed 100% full when first connected. So after discussing it with Daniel I fired off an email to Matthijs, who responded with the note that he nearly got a heart attack after his security officers told him they needed to reset servers for an update.  But when Matthijs googled that update he found out it was already out for the last 2 months.   So we exchanged some other incidents typical of working with Indians.  Most fun was Matthijs telling me that even after the one Indian company has worked with them for over 20 + years they still do not follow up on what they promised to do.  So an European setting  is 1-180 ohm. I switched the reading to a US sensor (240 – 30 Ohm) and yes is showed a 135 liter value . (28%).  So Lars had mounted the sensor in reverse.
Yesterday Ron and Jochem connected the Kabola to the main tank, so I have been busy with hoses to try to empty the antique fuel tank and dump all in the big one

Air heating is working

Tuesday August 15

The day started by sanding down the rust sport, created by the little ‘kernel’ or rust removed by the perago disk who flew around and landed on the deck.  They left a little rust spots sanded pilot house front deck.  I should have wiped/ hosed the deck after I remove the rust …………After the sanding I applied a coat of primer which had Owatrol added to it.  Owatrol converts rust and is a rust inhibitor.   The primer was dry in 20 odd minutes.

2 Kabola technicians came to assist Ron with the hot air unit.  The Temperature indicator showed an ambient temperature of 1C.    These technicians, did discover that one thermocouple should have been mounted factory wise was not.  So they needed a 7 mm drill and a pair of pliers, to make sure the drill would not go too far and puncture the heat exchanger.  The next problem …the 1C measurement was caused because the plug was not in deep enough.  And yes the heating worked smoothly and quietly.  We discussed how to optimally control it, and it was decided that the wall controller would control the furnace on and off, and the blower would be set on automatic and the temperature.  This way the fan will adjust its speed to the temperature of the outside thermocouple, and be very quiet.

Lindy and Roy coming, but are having delays with trains

Once Roy got into designing the frame for the switches, Lindy and I applied a coat of yellow on the top deck which I had just sanded and primed

While we Lindy and I were painting, Deb decided Lindy needs to make some art on the main hatch, which would be fun to look at, and on the hatch it can be ‘framed, and people will not really walk much over it.

deck_hatch

Here you can see how Deb was trained by the swans.  They would gently float up, see that the window was open and make noise, Deb then dutifully would grab the lets over bread, feed them, at first by just throwing small pieces out the window, and later by holding it in her hand and the swans just picking it out.  Just like she did when were in France on Waterman

Roy and Lindy had to leave around 18:30, because of train troubles it would be a longer.  Because it was still light we drove to Wijk aan Zee for a walk on the beach and some food.  In this place you went in, ordered paid and they would bring it out.  So I quickly ordered 2 fun beers, a portion Sateh and a portion bitterballen.  I got my 2 beers and our number to be displayed on the table.   The Sateh came out….and no sign of the bitterballen, the chef apologized and said they would come out very quickly now.  We nibbled on the Sateh…and . 20 minutes later our beers were finished and still no bitterballen.    I went inside and smilingly explained and after excuses of the manager I exchanged the number for the price of the bitterballen.

While walking to the car, we saw this Abri ( Shelter in French) which was a sea shell on its side made in 1993.  Deb sat on the little bench and the sound was amazing, it really amplified the sea sounds

 

Hoor de wind waait door de bomen

Saturday July 29

“Oh hear the wind blow through the trees” . the beginning of a St Nicholas song, and correct at that December time.   That song popped up when I woke up….blimey the flags on the mast were enduring quite hard winds,  Yes there was rain too, quite a lot. more than the normal 19 -27 drops of Dutch rain during the day.  It was only 6:30 am, around 9 am it got sunny and nice.

When Deb woke up, she wanted to take a shower, which she would enjoy..since we have UNLIMITED hot water …but her shower only lasted a minute or so….       “what happened?”  ..”it is cold ” Her reply was.   Bloody hell again troubles with the Kabola.  So even though one never calls a supplier on a Saturday I did call Ron and explained it to him and asked for him to come by during the week.

I went into the roof to clean up the wiring on the battery/ inverter system and pull a few more wires for the bilge, when I heard Deb say ” Visitors” and it was Ron and Jochem, on their bikes.  Ron went into the engine room, and concluded it was something to do with the circulation pump and air in the system.   Jochem asked me if I had a ‘ontluchtings sleutel’ . (a key to let air out of the hot water heating system  )

I replied “well you know the installer (Ron) told me earlier this week that he would bring one by the barge, but he has forgotten me ”  To which Ron answered ” see you can never trust these installers”, and we had a laugh.

Once they left I had to dash to Hornbach and Klaas Mulder to get some parts.  I had dropped a little screw from the Battery monitoring shunt and I needed extra plumbing for the water tank, so I could install the new pump, and have an easy way to blow the pipes with air to winterize.

At Hornbach, I found the screw, but the plumbing department was like Home Dumpo or Lowes .  “I don’t know, why don’t you use our quickfit system and this is not my department” .  So I was rather peeved when I went to the checkout and presented my 76 cents of screws and when I pulled out a debit card, the teller pointed to my plastic bag with the parts I took along to see how to fit them . “what about these?”  “Uhmmm these are mine whom I took to see for fitting!”  ” Well I think they are Hornbach’s” . “Uhmm NO you don’t have these items” . ” Sir we have 30,000 items so we definitely have them” ” wel i took them in myself” .  “well next time anything you bring in you need to show so they can write you a ticket” .   “what????? so I need to show my underwear?    what about my key ring, I KNOW you sell them here too” . OH I really nearly broke loose in a rant. I just walked out, and hope Praxis across the street would be a better place.   FAT chance……their assortment is even smaller and asking if anybody can help  in the plumbing department is being answered ”  I only work here not in plumbing and nobody can help you”

So back in the boat I had to take a beer and relax.

travel and work

Tuesday July 25

So we decided that we needed more life preservers, since we were expecting Wilma and Timmy and a school load of his friends. Timmy wanted to show off, who can blame a teenager, that he had friends with a big boat, or any boat actually.

We drove off to the second hand boat place in Vinkeveen and were quickly frelled up by  a NO go sign.  The A10 was being worked on till Sunday August 13.  So no biggy for our departure date, but of course Homer our trusty voice on the TomTom kept directing us the wrong way,  with “make a U-turn” . or ” go right on the round about 3rddddd exittt”
When we finally got onto the road to Utrecht, he was able to guide us there.  We got 2 more life preservers and a throwing horseshoe shaped floater, some grease for the gland (totally illegal in the USA, but so much cleaner bilge). I also was able to find 2 led 24 V bulbs for the navigation side lights and we grabbed a pole to use with mooring lines).   Cost E 95.90

Since we were close to Vinkeveen, I decided that we should grab coffee and watch some of the boats on the water.

coffee_chic_chip

When we took the Vinkeveen exit, the sign read “pannekoeken” so yes we were ready, even though it was only 11:15.  When we walked up, it seemed closed/deserted. and yes they don’t open till 12:00, but the door was open. So we were able to get coffee, with a chocolate chip cookie. The waitress forgot the magnifying glass.  The cookie fit in the one open filling I have !!

 

By the time we finished that it still too early for service, so off we went to IKEA.

At Ikea I needed some food, but Deb was not that hungry.  I got the entrecote, and deb got tomato soup and a panini.  We went to Ikea to get a step stool to climb the boat, because of the batteries and the new fuel tank the bow has come out of the water a few cm’s.  We also looked for bungee cords, to mount the Horse shoe floater on the railing, but no success.

After Ikea Deb put on her ‘honey-do’ voice and got me to drive her to one of the thrift stores in Zaandam . ” then you can go to McDonalds and download the movies you wanted” . ( since we only have 20 GB cell data, we have to watch what we do, compared to home) .  Well McDonalds wifi was slower than frozen molasses, jumped in the car and drove to the boat to start working drilling a hole in the metal under the pilot house top, so I could mount a 220V outlet on the port top corner, and run the conduit from there to the top starboard corner.  Halfway through the hole Deb was done with the first Thrift store, and texted me.  Unfortunately the traffic lights had a long wait, so by the time I got there . I saw a new text,”started walking to the boat” . a few text later and she was on her way back.   yes the Dutch geography of shopping centers is dictated by canals, not logic.  We drove to the next Thrifts store and I just went to the little snackbar, run by the Chinese guy who described us last year as the foreigners.  I reminded him I was “ham Sap Lo” and needed a beer and a Kroket. Deb’s treasures today, a  summer beachy ice cube form, a blue plate and a little more plastic wares

bier_krojket

Once Deb was done it was back to the boat and drilling the conduit hole and the outlet hole.

Because the venus control unit was not showing the inverter, I tested the CCGX and it showed the inverter, so some emails back and forth and now they want to send a new unit.  I told them to wait and see if there were others things I could do to check.

I also filled the grease pot, which was delightfully messy and greasy, but we should be good for a few hundred km’s, plus I vacuumed the bilge and the little leak we made in April was popping in some drops of water, so I grabbed some liquid metal and pressed it in lets see how ling it will hold, just need to make sure the bilge pump wil be installed this time.  Now time for coffee and eierkoek . ( egg cake)

Hot water how long before it is hot?

We have a Vetus WH 45 ( or 31) hot water heater (boiler, clarifier). The heating lament has a built in thermostat.  It is also heard by the engine when it is running.

The temperature should be kept above 60 C, so we won’t get legionairs disease.
When he engine heats up the water it gets to 80 C.

The  boiler is located on the front port side of the engine room, from there it is piped to the hull of the boat and then forward to the shower.  the pipe is 16 mm brass, and the distance from the boiler is about 3.5 – 4 Meters.  So with a diameter of 16 mm the volume of 1 meter pipe is  0.8 * 0.8 * 3.14 * 100 = >200 cm3, so 3.5 Meter is about 700 cm3.    1 liter is 1,000 cm3, so the amount of cold water which has to flow through the pipe is less than 1 liter.  Which is not a big loss.  Some boats have the hot water circulating always so there is never a ‘cold’ moment and los of hot water.    But ‘wasting’ less than a liter of water with a shower, is costing less energy than constantly having the warm water flow in a loop.

With the new Central heating unit, we wil select a model which provides CV heat and Hot water.  We could get rid of the Vetus, but why get rid of it when it is still good? there is enough space.   We have a few options.
1.   we use a T valve.  use the Vetus when warm and the CV furnace the rest of the time
2.  We plumb the Vetus > Cv furnace  > hot water line
we can start with this layout…( courtesy of Pete Milne Quo Vadis 24 M Hagenaar)

image-2

And later

 

image

 

Links to these parts.

www.titanproducts.com/strap-on-temperature-sensor.html
www.titanproducts.com/single-and-two-stage-thermostats.html (TPES1/90/24)

https://www.titanproducts.com/multistage-2-4-6-8-electronic-thermostats.html

Sun & Solar

Daniel, the ‘ultimate scrounger’ was able to find a pallet load of 145W solar panels @ E75/ panel.  This is about 1/2 the normal price for solar panels.  I know I would have preferred 300 Watt panels, but we will just offerup some more deck space for future energy needs.

The Voc is pretty high 87 V, so we need to make sure the MPPT has a high enough voltage.

145W_solar_panel

Since the Voc is so high if we put them im series we would need for just 2 an max voltage of 174V, or with 3 of 261V.   Victrons MPPT start at 75,  100, 150 and 250.  But with 3 in series we go over the 250V, so easiest all panels parallel, which will result in 87V max and  with 24 V as  battery, a Imax of 36.25 Amps  (6 * 145 W panels gives  870 watt > 870/24=36.25 )  Realistically it will be below the 36 Amps.  So that leaves us with the Victron MPPT 100/30 (max 880 W ) or 100/50 (max 1440W) .  The 100/30 is about $202   the 100/50 is about $300.   So we will go with the  mppt_100_30

The Mppt will be connected to the batteries directly, and connected to the VenusGX. (Once it comes …it was supposed to arrive Q4 2016, not it is slated Q2 2017, until that time we can grab the CCGX from Serenity, with the GP and use that)

So we got to the point of putting the 6 panels on.  In the mean time Daniel found 4 solar_panel_yingli_panda_yl260c-30b Watt panels, who could be fitted easier.   Because of  the low Vmp (30.8 V) we placed two in series and these two in parallel.  To mount them we added a 20 mm  thick neoprene cell rubber adhesive strip to the long sides of the panels.    We made some aluminum strips to mount them all together.

Marc cutting strips picture

On the boat in the US I had bought the special attachment clamps, but here we opted for some self made aluminum strips, to mount two panels together.  After mounting the strips on the long sides of the panels, we added the foam strip. and just laid the panels on the pilot house roof.  ON a later date we will mount the outside strips through the roof
solar_strips_cleaning

 

 

Marc making aluminum strips to keep them into place

 

 

 

Here Daniel is adding some extra caulk to the cable passthrough

The panels are connected to a Victron MPPT 100/30 and then directly to the batteries.
Here is a view from the Victron CCGX showing the solar power on a sunny day 720 Watts

With the 4 panels being flat 720 watt is a good efficiency for 1000 W solar panels.  If we have 4- 5 hrs we will get 3 KW/day, which is more than sufficient to be self sustainable.