In a way, a refit to create the perfect expedition yacht, is like a jig-sam puzzle. Lots of pieces and things to sort out. Only this puzzle also changes over time. As you progress, you learn new things which sometimes lead you or force you to change something that looked like the smart thing to do.
For instance, our electrical system. We already figured out to change everything to AC power. We have DC-powered bow thruster. There’s a lot of equipment just to feed that bowtruster once in a while. So, we will power it with an AC slip ring motor and get rid of all the bulky and more trouble-prone DC equipment shown in the picture below.
OK. But that’s a 125 hp truster. We have a nice big Deutz delivery 375 HP, now powering an AC and a DC generator. We don’t need the DC generator anymore. What about changing its AC generator (140KVA) and make it 2x as big so we can add a sterntruster as well?? Because one thing we learned during the trip, that big (enclosed) prop doesn’t have much prop effect.
Brilliant idea! Affordable and we get to keep a great engine (put in new in 2001) that can run everything on board. When we’re not maneouvring we run one or two Northern Light gen sets (which replace our port gen. set).
Another great example of how one thing leads to another: MCA rules on damage stability. Our engineroom is pretty big and it has this pretty big engine with prop too. Heavy stuff. So, it it gets totally filled with water, our main deck – in the back – (not the higher campaign deck) will be about 10 cm. below MCA freeboard requirements. So we have to make the engineroom smaller.
How?? Well, we can make the workshop a truly water tight compartment. Simple but not enough. So we’ll have to move the forward engineroom bulkhead to aft. Moving it backward 2-3 frames is doable (orange line in picture above). Not too much equipment relocation. Thank God, labor in Colombia is relatively cheap for this kind of steel work modifications! The added advantage is that we get more space for the staterooms. That’s actually a big advantage and gives us just a little extra space, about 45 cm. (1 1/2 ft.) extra length in each stateroom. That’s really nice.
And, by moving the sewage treatment plant to the area below the staterooms, we’ll have space in the engineroom to put in a waste incinerator. This whole thing is kind of one big puzzle.