Fixing our fresh water system

During the weekend we worked on the boat, and next up on the to-do list was to get the fresh water on our sailboat up and running. We had started last weekend to change some hoses and when all of them were changed it was time to fill up the tanks. Since we can’t fill up water where we have the boat right now we took a little sailing trip to find water.

Sailing to Stavsnäs to fill up the water tanks, Thomas parents joined us for the sail.

We sailed to Stavsnäs, had some lunch and filled up the tanks. Before filling up the tanks we added a couple of pills that would get rid of any bacteria growing in the tanks.

We used these pills to clean the inside of the water tanks.

These pills should be left in the tank at least six hours and then you empty the tanks. We wanted to do this since we haven’t opened the tanks and they haven’t been used in over 10 years. We sailed back and let the pills clean the tanks during the night.

Sailing back with full water tanks.

During the sail an old damage in our furling headsail got worse and a new one has gone from the wish-list to need-list. Hopefully we find a good second hand one, a new one is way to expensive for us.

The damage in the furling head sail.

The following day we started to empty the tanks, after we had fixed all leakages in the system. Some of them are temporary fixed, for example a hot water pipe to the shower which is broken and needs to be changed. We plugged it right now so the fresh water system can run without any leakages.

We reused the old fresh water pump, which seems to work fine.

Going over the fresh water pump and mounting the final hoses so that we could start the fresh water pump.
Temporary installed fresh water pump and water filter.
Fresh water system working! 🙂

Since we have emptied the tanks completely we also need to sail back and fill them so that we can start using the fresh water, but at least the system is working right know.

We have also found a second hand watermaker which we bought yesterday! 🙂 It will definitely make our sailing adventure easier, not being dependent on water. But more about the watermaker later.

Birthday celebration and boat work at Björkskär

Next part of our sailing/boatwork week, we sail to Björkskär, install a solar panel, celebrate Petra’s birthday and get the sea water pump working. We left Horsholmen and started sailing towards Björkskär in the outer archipelago. The winds where still strong and we started by setting the furling head sail and sailed with it until we arrived to Björkskärsfjärden where we hoisted the main sail as well (we had taken the furling head sail down before to pass through a narrow strait). The wind where still quite strong, 18-20 knots gusting around 22 knots. Our initial plan was to head for Stora Nassa so we set a course so that we sailed close reach. We didn’t make that much speed since close reach is not one of Anne-Mon’s strengths. There where also some waves, which didn’t help us sail faster.

The Baltic Sea has not higher waves than other seas but the waves are usually choppy , which means that they are short, steep waves.

Sailing through the waves across Björkskärsfjärden.

While we where close to Björkskär we decided to skip Stora Nassa and go to Björkskär instead. We could then sail the final part on a beam reach, and at one point we reached a speed of 7.6 knots, a new record for us!

The strait north of Björkskäret is usually very crowded during the summer months, but when we arrived there were no other boat there, due to the weather, and we could chose whichever spot we wanted.

We had arrived quite early and started with some boatwork, to install the first solar panel.

Trying out how to position all the solar panels.

We have chosen flexible solar panels to have on the roof. We have bought 5, each gives 60 W, they are rough and you can walk on them without problem. We also chose to have small solar panels to get the most electricity out of them. The cells in the solar panels are connected in series, and if one part of the panel is shadowed the capacity of the solar panel is significantly decreasing. Having a large solar panel increases the risk of having a part of the panel shadowed, while having many small ones there will almost always be at least 1 or 2 that are not shadowed and will deliver maximum amount of electricity.

Glue, in the form of Sikaflex, for the first solar panel in place.
Using all kind of weights to fix the solar panel.

The following day the weather was much better and a lot more boats arrived. We woke up and took a swim, together with a grass snake, which are quite common in the archipelago. During these two sailing trips we have seen unusually many grass snakes and one viper, the only poisonous snake in Sweden but despite that, not very poisonous.

Anchored at Björkskär. The following day more boats arrived.
It was Petra’s birthday so we had a wonderful shrimp sandwich for lunch.
We also worked with installing the electricity for the solar panels so that they are able to charge the batteries and the electricity for the sea water pump.

When the electricity for the solar panels where in place we could try one of them out and the panel charged with 45 W, really good! We didn’t have enough Sikaflex (or weights, for that matter) to install the remaining four solar panels, so we will have to do that another time.

Installing the sea water pump.

After some time we finally had sea water connected to the galley. Makes dishing so much easier! 🙂 After some hours of working on the boat it was time to get back to birthday celebration.

Beers in the cockpit.

We ate a nice dinner and fell asleep. The following day it was time to head back. Our summer vacation was over and it was time to get back to work.

It is soon weekend and we will head out to the boat. Maybe do some sailing but mostly focusing on getting stuff done. The forecast says there’s gonna be a lot of rain so might focus working on the boat.