The forecast for Easter had been changing from day to day between wind, rain and sunshine. We were set to go sailing and was rewarded with beautiful sunny albeit chilly weather. One reason for going was that we had overstayed or time in our winter marina and needed to sail Sally back home.
We sailed a little bit north to a lovely anchorage where we had just one other boat as company. We had a very nice evening with the sun heating enough for us to have dinner under the tent in the cockpit.
We sailed south along then coast the next day. The morning was all right but by midday we discovered that the wind became chilly as the sun disappeared behind our sail. Easter was celebrated with traditional food in the quaint old fishing village of Skarhamn.
We sailed a short sail down to Marstrand for a lovely dinner with friends the next day. They had just moved ashore after living 20 years onboard their boat. The boat is now for sail. It was very late when we took the little ferryboat back to Sally.
The forecast was not so favourable today so when we went to the boat, we were only expecting to check on her and have coffee before returning home again. But, the sun was shining and the wind not so strong so we decided to take here out for a short motoring trip.
First we had to use a brush to remove most of the snow on deck. In the meantime, the engine was run in slow forward and slow reverse to disturb the water and break the ice. We also used the thruster to further clear the ice closest to us.
We take care not to tie any lines to the cleats; we just use spliced loops that are easy to lift of even when they are frozen. Having freed a small area behind the boat, we carefully reversed out and then went bow first through the thin layer of ice in the marina.
We motored for an hour or so well protected from the chilling wind under our cockpit tent. Coffee and frech buns (from the store) tasted extra good while we were watching an archipelago covered in snow.
We also took some time to try out the new radar and plotter. This year’s Xmas presents to Sally have been an Axiom 12+ plotter and Quantum radar to replace our 15+ years old system. A lot of new features to learn and still some adjustments to be made but up it is and running!
Coming back, we once again had to cut through the ice. The dock is approached slowly and lines picked up carefully with the boat hook. No stepping on the dock, just careful line handling from the boat using prepared spring lines on the dock and thruster to align the boat. Everything is slippery and the water, as can be seen ice cold.
The installation of our new engine was finally completed this week-end. It has been running since launching the boat in July but, the last bits and pieces has taken some time.
Let’s take it from the beginning. The engine gave up on us by the end of the summer 2021. As it turned out, it could be restored but, we wanted a new and reliable in Sally. A new engine was ordered after a lot of discussions with the yard, other sailors and engine suppliers.
The easiest choice would have been a new Volvo but, it seems that nearly all manufactures now have the manifold on port side whereas our oud Volvo had it to starboard. The smart builders of Sally utilised this to make the port aft cabin wider. A new Volvo would have fitted on the old engine bed but, we would have had to rebuild an entire cabin to make enough room.
When we learned that most of our sister boat were delivered with 36 HP engines, not 48 as we had, we decided to look for smaller engine. Several friends of ours were very happy with their yellow engines from Vetus ( a Dutch subsidiary of Yanmar).
It turns out that Vetus have one of the smallest four cylinder engines on the market. It was small enough to fit in our engine room and still gives 42 hp. We have not experience any lack of power compared to earlier seasons with the olvd Volvo engine. Further investigations revealed that Vetus accepted our almost new Flexofold propeller even if it was slightly bigger than the recommended size. The engine also came with a five year warranty and at a compatible price.
Håkan spent a lot of time renovating the engine room (if you can call a space that you have to crawl in to work in a room), putting on new paint, noise insulation and installing lights. We also took up a second opening in order to have access from both sides to the engine. This have made the engine more accessible and maintenance much easier.
The entire exhaust system was replaced and the outlet moved to a position well above the water line.
The engine was installed in February and the basic auxiliaries in March 2022. Vetus had a kit to place the oil filter beside the engine. (They also have a second one that places oil and fuel filters on the engine front). We opted for this and now we have a filter vertically mounted with a drop tray below. It is much easier to replace the filter and we do not have to clean everywhere anymore.
We had, on the old engine, instruments for two additional measurement points for water temperature and exhaust gas temperature after water injection with adjustable alarm level. The latter is excellent in detecting disturbances in the see water cooling if the alarm is set relatively close to the operating temperature at present see water temperature.
We use a primary fuel filter from Parker Racor. It has now been supplemented with a water indicating alarm.
We wanted to replace the Vetus alternator with the Balmar alternator that we used on the old engine. This turned out to be complicated so we sailed last summer with the Vetus alternator supplemented with a splitter to charge the start battery and out lithium battery isolated from each other.
Vetus accept a replacement of alternator as opposed to most other suppliers whose warranty expired on replacement. We had such good experience from sailing with a single battery for all purposes that we wanted to go back to the same and very simple system.
After a lot of measurements and thinking we conclude that although the Balmar would fit on the supports, the drive belt could not run due to the water pump mounted on the engine front. We had to settle for two independent alternator/battery systems. This has other advantages so we are not overly depressed.
The old pulley from the Volvo were adjusted to fit the Vetus drive shaft, a support for the Balmar was manufactured and a new drive belt ordered. We now have the two systems up and running (charging) since last November and it seems to work very well.
It is important to always have a load on the Lithium system so as not to overcharge the battery. We put together some relays to obtain this and not to mix the two electrical systems. These relays make it possible to magnetise the Balmar generator from its battery and run engine room fans and auxiliary instruments on the Lithium battery.
We are very pleased with the installation. Most things you like to check frequently is easy accessible at the front. The oil dipstick is on top of the engine. To the left is the primary oil filter that has a top opening allowing filter replacement without having to drain fuel or vent air aftervards. The programmable controller for the Balmar alternator is above the fuel filter.
Cooling water expansion tank is to the right, above the engine. See water filter is mounted just above the waterline. It has a glass top so we can check it without opening. See water pump on the engine just below the filter.
On the back of the engine, easily accessible from the two hatches, are the electric fuel pump (standard on Vetus) with filter, engine fuel filter, oil filter and the S-drive.
On the picture you also see some hoses curled up in the back. One is for forced fresh air and is normally blowing cold air on the Balmar alternator. The second hose is the exhaust air normally sucking from the opposite side.
Winter on the west coast of Sweden is normally grey and often wet with temperatures varying around freezing. There is snow one day and then rain a few days later But there are occasional crispy days when the sun shines on Sally in her winter marina.
Last Sunday (Jan 22nd) had promises of another such a rare day. There was a thin layer if ice in the marina as we walked out on the dock. But, Sally is on the outermost sida and the ice only reached half way around her.
No real problems leaving the dock but we had a bit of wrestle with some frozen lines. The deck was dry and not slippery at all. We set sails in a light breeze. The sun never made it through the haze so we warmed ourselves with coffee and turned back to the marina after an hour on the fjord.
Our new heating system keeps sally around ten degrees all the time at the dock. Whilst we were sailing, the temperature came up with the help of the engine and the old diesel fired hot air heater and, we could warm ourselves in the cabin with some soup for lunch.
It was all in all a very present albeit chilly experience. We can’t wait to go sailing again soon.
Our new heating system is now keeping Sally warm. Our ambition had been to install it whilst indoors in the spring. It is so much easier to get access when the boat is empty. We managed quite a bit of the loop by installing bits and pieces together with other jobs. Then we decided that we needed to sail. The work was taken up again in late September and by early October; the system could be started for the first time.
We now have a water based “central heating” with eight radiators throughout the boat. We can heat the water with the engine via a heat exchanger on the cooling water loop to the warm water heater or by a 2 kW electric heater. The heater runs on a thermostat on half or full heat. We can also runt the engine loop “backwards with a pump. Thus, heating the engine and the warm water heater to prevent freezing.
There is a loop around the boat to connect all radiators and heater. This was one of the challenges. We wanted the hoses to be hidden as far as possible and at the same time use them to prevent freezing. The later by running the hose along the engine exhaust, water maker, through hull fittings, water pumps, toilet etc. It was not possible to have it everywhere so we still ended up with a few electric heaters to keep everything from freezing.
The heating has been up and running for almost two months now and is working well. We normally run it on 1 kW and around 6 deg C on the thermostat. This “half power” manages to keep the inside of the boat around eight degrees above outside temperature. This should keep the boat from freezing on a normal winter on the coast.
The next challenge now, is to improve insulation and reduce condensation whilst we are on board.
We never found the time to tell you about how our summer ended. Work and life in general took up all our time. Well, here it is – finally.
The plan was to sail to Skagen, on the northern trip of Denmark, before heading home. The forecast for the coming days showed consistent winds between E and NE – dead on the nose. Not our favourite.
So we sailed on a close reach directly to the Swedish west coast. Sadly missing the lunch we had been looking forward to at historic Brondums (Brøndums Hotel), our favourite in Skagen.
We had a lovely week visiting some new places on the coast before Eva had to leave to start work. Hakan sailed one more week before returning home. By then it was end of September with rain and wind in the forecast.
It was nice to be back on Laesoe (Læsø). We have been here several times before and like the island. It is very flat, the highest point being some sand dunes around 25 m above sea level. This makes it very pleasant to cycle but, also sometimes boring as there long straight stretches of roads.
We stayed in Vesteroe (Versterø), the harbour on the west side of the island. This time we were somewhat disappointed that the small scale brewery just south of the village had closed down. If we understood correctly, they have now outsourced the brewing and their beer was no longer to be found in the local supermarket.
Laesoe is a centre for crayfish and it has been possible to by directly from the local trawlers. Hakan tried one morning but the boat he found did not have any but, they did have a most impressing lobster at €20 that was cooked before breakfast.
We left Aero after breakfast Saturday and sailed east and then north up Lillebelt west of Fyn. We had a mostly sunny downwind sail in a fresh breeze with the genoa on the boom to windward. The wind turned from E to almost S as we headed more and more north so the sails stayed the same almost all day.
We looked at the forecast and saw that the following days had favourable winds. The decision was then made to use this to take us closer to home in the hope that we may have some days on our cost before Eva had to go back to work.
We found a nice bay on the south side of Kolding fjord to anchor in the first night. Having decided to carry on northwards, we left a little bit earlier yesterday. We were now going more eastwards so we had a long reach hard on the 20+ knot SE wind.
The current coming out of the Baltic gave us a push and we made good speed. We could ease the sheets turning north at Samso. The wind settled down and we thought it might be possible after all to enter the small, and quite exposed, harbour of Tuno, another favourite island.
But, just as we had shred the sailing gear and put on shorts, the wind came back in full force again so we had to carry on. We arrived after six in the protected harbour of Ebeltoft. This time, we tried the “Fregat harbour” by the museum, excellent, and cheaper than the main harbour.
Having spent several days here a week ago, we did not even go shore. We just had dinner and a good night’s sleep before sailing again half past seven today. The wind was again SE at 20+ knots. We sailed out doing 5 knots under reefed main only while we had our breakfast.
We had the wind and substantial waves on our nose after rounding up to go around the headland so we decided to test our new engine in ruff conditions for the first time. It worked well and we could not tell any difference in power compared to the old one even if we now are down from nominal 48 to42 hp.
We could unfurl the sails again after a bumpy and wet hour. A close reach and following current gave us 8+ knots over ground – still bumpy and wet. It is in conditions like this that you find out where you have your leaks. We found on in one of our new smaller deck hatches.
To our immense delight, and for the first time ever, there were no leaks in the forward cabin. And, noting from the renovated deck except from in one of our new smaller deck hatches. So, a winter’s work has paid off.
There are not so many good and nice harbours on this coast. Around 11 we had two choices. Vi could carry on close reaching to Anholt, around 30 nm and 4-5 hours away. Or, we could ease off a little on the sheets and head north to Laeso (Læsø) 65 nm away. The days are shorter now and it is getting dark around eight.
In order to arrive in daylight, we needed an average speed over seven knots. Not something we normally count on for longer spells. We checked wind and current forecasts and they were favourable all day.
There is very little tide in these waters. Instead, the currents are dependent on surface pressure and a high was moving in over the northern Baltic punching water out along our way for at least another day. So we gambled, eased of on the sheets and sailed north, in the beginning averaging over 9 knots. The wind and see settled in the afternoon and the reef in the main was unfurled. We arrived in Laeso Vesterhavn around seven, having averaged close to 8 knots over 88 nm from port to port.
We left Lohals after breakfast yesterday and sailed down to Aero (Ǽrø). We had following winds and sunshine to the beautiful but winding Svendborg sound. And, then again down to Aero.
Aero (Ǽrø) is our favourite island in Denmark and we love the old town of Aeroskoping (Ǽrøskøping) where we always try to more in the old harbour. Here the fees are even more modest than in Lohals but, no bikes include.
Aeroskoping (Ǽrøskøping) is like a museum town were time stopped a hundred years ago. It used to be a centre for sailing costal traders. And when the trade died out, the town lost its drive – until the tourists arrived…
We have visited several times. This time around we cycled on the island. A 30 km ride on our small bikes took us on winding small roads to lovely scenery and the local brewery and, gave us sore behinds.
There are many beautiful cycle paths around the island. Our first followed the NE shore and then we took a shortcut across the island to another one close to the SW shore, which we left for the brewery in Store Rise. The local brewery has a variety of beers and ales. Our favourite is their walnut bear.
We left Samso early and as the wind was still from the NE. We decided to go east of Fyn. The forecast was for a gradual change over some days towards SE and in the end S so, with some luck, we would be able to sail all the way around Fyn with following winds.
By now, we are well into our holiday mood and it is quite easy to give up on ambitions to sail every day and long distances. Rügen and Bornholm will have to wait until another year.
We made good way down the Storebælt towards the impressive Bridge reaching with our Code 0. We started discussing where to go after passing the bridge. This route was new to us. Hakan sailed here once at night in 1977 but, that does not count.
Our favourites from earlier sails were quite far away, south of Fyn. Then, we found a harbour on the west side of Langeland, near the northern point, that looked interesting so we decided to go there.
Lohals turned out to be a nice, small harbour well protected from the expected winds. The harbour fee was reasonable and included all services and free bikes. Hakan needed to work some today so we stayed
There was time enough between meetings for a 20 km cycling tour of this lovely island including a stop for coffee. And, returning to the harbour we found that the harbour grill had excellent fish and chips and bear on special offer. But, it was cash only so Eva had to cycle up the hill to an ATM whilst Hakan drank his first bear.
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