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 drop 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”

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.  Presented my 76 cents of screws and when I pulled out a Europe, 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 Hornbachs” . “Uhmm NO you dont have these items” . ” Sir we have 30,000 items so we definately 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.


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


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)


And later




Links to these parts.

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

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.


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



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.




 Some calculations about heating.

The barge is divided in 4 spaces.

  1. Front Locker (with water)    3*2 *1  = 6 M3
  2. Main Living space, with the bathroom area   10 * 3 * 2  = 60 M( and bathroom area  1* 3 * 2 = 6M3)
  3. Pilot House   3.82* 2.23* 2  = 17 M3
  4. Rear Cabin   ( once converted ) 3 * 2.5 * 1.8  = 13.5 M3

There are a lot of opinions on how much energy is needed to heat the space.  Googling and asking installers for quotes.  Some put extra weight in measuring the windows, others just measure the size of the cabin, and each has a different multiplier.    http://www.calculator.net/btu-calculator.html.  Ron the heating guy, living close to the Marina in Zaandam  throws out 70 W per M3.  Hornbach suggests 100 W/m3

Now the Pilot is drafty, and needs to be sealed.
There is a door between the pilot house and the main living space, so that can be closed off, otherwise all the heat escapes to there.

Maritme booster offered a mini solo II for 17KW  @5485
Kabola offered 13,500 KW  a KB 40 @6573  @ 4 working days

Amsterdam average temp January 37 F (3C)   lowest 20 F  -6C
Warming 30 C (  -10 – >20)    ( 14F -> 68)

For the living room I come up with
Using http://www.calculator.net/btu-calculator.html I see 5.5 KW
Using Ron’s rule of tumb I come up with 4.2  ( Hornbach = 6 KW)
So safe to say 6 KW

The bathroom is already in that calculation, but we will ad a radiator which can warm towels (thermostat on radiator, plus it has to be ‘verzinkt’ so it can be better in humid conditions)

The frontlocker, uninsulated will just get one small radiator, to prevent he water from freezing 2 *3.4 *1 *.5 ( l*w*h*slope) 3.4 M3 (frost free thermostat on radiator 200 watt?)

The pilot house 1.5 KW  (thermostat on radiator) ( Hornbach =1.7 Kw) (frost free thermostat on radiator)

Rear Bedroom  1 KW   so we need a total of over 9 KW  so a 13-17 KW heater is sufficient (frost free thermostat on radiator)

Now space….we have  3 windows 90 cm wide  100 CM high so we can place 3 * 80 * 60 radiators  ( 2 windows are in the walk path, s we need to keep thin ones there, one window is in the string area, so we can use a double one there)
PLUS we need to put a radiator close to the front opening


The radiators will have to have bottom connections, then we can use a shut of valve so we can remove a radiator when it gets bad.
The system has to be filled with coolant, to prevent freezing, since the boat is not being used year round.


Type 11   7 cm
Type 21   8 cm
Type22  11 cm
Type 33 16 cm

There are many discount radiator places. Some of the radiators I saw at https://www.cvtotaal.nl

Brugman Kompakt 4 Type 11 L800 H500   814 watt     ( about E50)
Brugman Kompakt 4 Type 21s L800 H500   1100 watt   ( about E 66)
Brugman Kompakt 4 Type 22 L800 H500   1474 watt   ( about E 90)
Brugman Kompakt 4 Type 33 L800 H500   2080 watt   ( about E 120)

with 3 windows we get 3 * 1474   =  4450 watt ad another in the front for 600 Watt. We can add one behind the sofa 1100 watt  and we are at 5500

Since we are modifying the wall behind the bed we could put a radiator here.   about 40 cm high, but it can be 160 cm long  (800 – 1000 watt)
Now not sure how we do the on/off behind bed…….

Now that could suffice, but we want safety…but we are out of places…so we can use ‘plint verwarming’a small heat exchanger with a fan under cabinets (sofa).  A kickspace.
They can generate between 700 -1200 Watt   50 cm wide 10 cm high  they are a tad more expensive E350
But we can mount one in the kitchen and one in the sofa, and only turn them on when it really gets freezing.  The water has to be over 50C in order to turn on…….( but it looks like if you put it in summer setting it will always flow)
another extra option is a Webasto air blower  Madera 4 or 8  between E 200 – E500

In the bathroom we will put a small towel radiator, now why not do the same on the other side.   (one problem the left side is ‘covered’ by the door to the pilot house and the right used..the wall is storing the sliding bathroom door)

For the pilot house we will use one radiator and a kickspace

The lines out for the wall have to be spaced 5 cm from each other

A few weeks later,  having had more idle time on my hand I was able to create a spread sheet with more dimensions and sizes, and run a bunch of scenarios coming up with what seems to be a very good mix.   We want to keep the radiators on one hand as ‘thin’ as possible.  The size does not really matter much since it is just a curved wall, which along we walk.   So lets make the sizes a bit larger and then we can make the radiators a size thinner.
So now the thinking goes to   either of these .  each about 8700 W
Port side 700 * 900 size 22 -21-22  (2100-1700-2100)
Bed 500 * 1200 size 21 (1750)
Next to the sofa and behind the washer 700 * 500 size 22 (1200)

Port side 600 * 900 size 22 -21-22 (2000-1500-2000)
Bed 500 * 1200 size 21 .  (1750)
Next to the sofa and behind the washer 700 * 500 size 33 . (1700)

Well Ron came on Wednesday, while we were modifying the layout.  And looking to placing etc, he was quite adamant about using size 11 radiators.  3 on the port side, which each will be around 900 Watt, putting radiators above the bed and behind the sofa , was a non-no, so we opted for the radiator unit blowing hot air out of 3 outlets which would give us 2 KW,    So Friday 28th we started on the starboard side laying the lines, and making sure the T was approx 5 cm from each other.  Marc kept being puzzled about the 5 cm, until he used the hydraulic unit to put the clamps on , and the opening is ….just less than 5 cm.


Wall opened up for the lines


We opened the walls also in the shower area, just so we could get the lines through


Here Marius and Marc are putting the last wall plate back, and leaving a extra connection on the port side for a radiator

The walls are made of thin poplar multiplex, so Ron suggested some ‘butterfly’ inserts where a bolt with phillips head can go-in.  Because the electric and water and cv lines are hidden.

The first radiator installed, and Ron is explaining to Mark how the connections work.

Here you see Mark making the connection to the last radiator.
Unfortunately Marius had installed the wrong panels when these two were cutting the holes through the wood, so the holes were not under the center of the first window, but by using the most right connections the radiator was hanging nicely in the center of the bed, and far enough back to have a good landing place from the steps.

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Here is the end result

The day before we were leaving Ron came aboard to discuss the final install.    There we learned that the thermostat needed 4 wires,  and “why did you not install the hot air unit more complete and oh it also needed 2 wires”cv_thermostat_line

We had pulled with great effort 2 wires from the port side of the wheel house through a steel wall to the steps, through wood and steel to the living room, then removed the ceiling panels to pull the wires above the ceiling panels that way so they would not be visible.    We had made the trough holes as small as possible, so we had to gently chisel them larger, without cutting/damaging the first 2 wires we pulled.   And we had to add the 2 extra lines for the hot air unit.  So a total of 4 wires.  (IF IF we had known this before we would have pulled one round wire with 6 signal wires in it)  We placed the thermostat on the side of the white cup board and decided to just pull the extra set of wies down to the the bilge, lead them under the floor to the sofa and bring them up from there.




Here is the part of the sofa that houses the hot air unit.  On the side of the sofa there are 2 little sensors, one mounted high and the other low.  They have not been put in place because we could not find the correct nails/screws yet.




The blower unit is mounted on top of a tilted piece of ply wood on top of the neopreen rubber with zip ties, to minimize vibration.  To the left there is a control unit and the 24 V DC supply.


So Jan-kees was a bit short of breath…..a 100 liter fuel tank, which knowing her history is not that strange.  Started of as a ‘vee schuit’ (cattle boat), which also shows why the bow is like a landing craft…easy to gently push against the side of a canal, and load cattle or produce.  then changed careers as ‘vrachtvaarder’  (Cargo Hauler).

100 Liter is good for 10 – 20 hrs boating, depending on the speed, so we needed a larger fuel tank.  So Lars assisted us with making a nice 500 liter fuel tank.  This size fits perfectly in the back area, high enough to leave enough access for the drive shaft

There is  nice inspection hatch, a fuel filter ( the same as Daniel has)  and  very important a volume sender, so we know how much we have. We will connect that to the new Victron Venus,


1 May, 2017

The fuel tanks was coated and dropped in the back of the boat,

Daniel and Cornelius were tackling the a job of putting it in place . First a few loads of older wood had to be dumped, Daniel attacked the exhaust, and was a hampered by some bad welding done by somebody else.    After a few tries he got it pretty closed up..There was one spot where he just could not get it welded closed, and a drop of water would come out once every 10 seconds.   So the coal particles in the exhaust and some rust would close it up according to Daniel.  (After a trip to the Alkmaarder Meer I have not noticed any water dripping from the exhaust)   Daniel decided that there was some rust on the bilge floor, so Cornelius, went to battle, attacking the floor. He gathered in one day about a 10 Literrust_hole.JPG bucket with loose rust, and he did found a hole in the original hull.   ( which is not such a big deal since the hull is over plated. Here he is pointing it out.)

Once the rust was removed Cornelius put on the primer, and then white bilge coat. So now the rear bilge is white and any problems can be seen quickly.























2 large beams were welded to the engine room wall, so the tank could rest on it.  On these beams we mounted the same neoprene rubber as under the solar panels, just to reduce vibration and noise.

Here Daniel is showing his new hide out

On top of the fuel tank we mounted a large wooden board for the victrons etc.