Spellbinder refit update – 8 Oct 17

Spellbinder’s refit is progressing, and while it is a week behind schedule we are about 80% there. Spellbinder is now back in the water, with a couple of electrical jobs remaining.

After the extensive preparation of the hull described in the previous post, five layers of Coppercoat were applied 10 days ago in a useful period of fine weather, allowing it to dry and bond properly.  Before it goes back into the water the colour is brown; after immersion it will gradually turn green as the surface interacts with the salt water. Below are some photos of the completed work as Spellbinder was lifted in. In the first is one of Carl Selwood of Yachtcare + at Endeavour Quay, who carried out the work for me in an exemplary manner. Check back in 2027 to see whether the Coppercoat will give us the promised 10 years of antifouling protection!

On the electronics front, Spellbinder now has a Raymarine Axiom 7 Multi Function Display (MFD) in a Scanstrut helm pod, connected to AIS B which will emit the yacht’s position, course and speed – a very useful safety feature. You will now be able to track Spellbinder on internet sites such as https://www.marinetraffic.com/ (just search for Spellbinder; there are three yachts of the same name but you should be able to see where she is).

The MFD should be of great use in close quarter navigation (pilotage) as the helm will be able to see at a glance the surrounding cartography, other yachts transmitting on AIS B, and instrumentation data such as depth, speed, wind speed and direction and tidal set and drift.

There is also cartography supporting a trip as far south as the Canaries. The system is Bluetooth and WiFi compatible, allowing us to update its software from the internet and relay its information to iPods and iPhones on board through the Raymarine app.

On the energy front, the domestic battery banks have been replaced with 6 Rolls FS 250 6v batteries, giving a total of 750 amp hours (aH). This is a significant increase on the previous bank which should give us more flexibility and endurance. The black battery at the front is the dedicated starter battery.

Supporting this, Spellbinder is having an upgrade of her renewable energy systems, notably an upgrade to her solar panels. She will have 3 independent sets of Solbian panels linked each to a Gensun MPPT (Maximum Power Point Tracking) controller: two new 60W panels behind the helm, a 90W panel in front of the mast, and 2 further 50W panels – one of which can be zipped into the top of the sprayhood, or both together in the bimini. This gives a total of 310 Watts, which I hope will power all the systems less the water maker, which may require us to run the engine every few days on long passage. We also have the water and wind generators to supplement the solar. Work is still in progress, but below are photos of some of the controllers and two of the panels:

To cope with tropical conditions, 6 Hella two speed fans have been installed – one in the forepeak, saloon, nav station and galley and two in the aft cabin. These should help with ventilation in tropical climes. A couple of photos below:

We also fitted two new sails from Jeckells: a fully-battened, three slab reef mainsail and a new furling genoa.

The final job to be completed was to replace the anchor windlass foot switches.

So, much progress made. Next week a WiFi booster system will be installed, which should allow us to pick up WiFi at distance and broadcast it around the yacht. Finally, a long range radio (Single Side Band) radio system will be installed. It is an iCom 802 with an AT 141 tuner and Pactor 4 modem, which will allow us to join radio discussions, receive weather information and send basic emails, in addition to the existing Sat C and Inmarsat systems. All the work is being professionally carried out by Steve Edwards of Marine Tech, Endeavour Quay. Here he is:

More to follow on the latter two systems when they are installed.

I took Spellbinder out for a nice sail yesterday to Nab Tower and back with friend Julian Hickman and his son (my godson) Arthur in some blustery conditions. The aim was to test the new systems and sails. All was well.

4 thoughts on “Spellbinder refit update – 8 Oct 17

  1. Nicolas Casanova

    whaou ! Absolutly impressive Nick. We can observe that there is an option to sail towards the Far South!
    I’m still waiting for news concerning my engine in Lisbon. 🙂
    I’m planning to go to Marocco next summer.


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