September 26, 2008
Our Monitor windvane was shipped from the factory in California by FedEx to Almerimar. Legally it was possible to clear it through customs as a temporary import and not pay 20% duty and taxes. FedEx is only set up to charge the fees but a helpful employee gave us a list of capable agents. After many phone calls Jim found those agents willing to handle our small import charged a fee equal to the tax. So now after paying over 1000 euros to FedEx for Spanish customs we have our windvane.
Parts of our new windvane.
The 118 pound box included all the parts, mostly pre-drilled and custom made, for the Hallberg-Rassy 40. The company that manufactures Monitor, Scanmar, will custom design the mountings for any sailboat. Their customer service is excellent and are available by phone should we have questions while attaching it to Tenaya's stern. Ours is a bit more cumbersome than necessary because we opted for the swinging gate to allow use of our swim ladder and steps.
After unpacking all the parts and seeing them laid out on the deck apprehension overwhelmed us. Drilling a few holes in the stern was bad enough but this job entailed drilling many holes for bolts in the stainless steel to be sure the contraption fit precisely. The installation manual starts off with "Don't Panic." Apparently they foresaw our reaction. The instruction book and the custom drawings for our HR-40 ensured the installation went smoothly.
One of the reasons we returned to Almerimar Marina was the dock design. It looks like it was made for installing windvanes!
The block and tackle mounted on the radar pole to raise and lower our dingy's outboard engine was perfect for mounting the Monitor windvane.
The completed installation.
A small sampling of our stores!
Katie worked out meal plans for our trip to the Canaries and then across to the Caribbean, made a number of trips to the market and somehow found space to stow everything. I'm pretty sure we have enough peanut butter, refried beans and salsa to last over a year. Some things you just can't be without!
Iridium Satellite Phone
A local craftsman made a new bracket for our radar pole.
The next project was to install our Iridium satellite phone. A new stainless steel bracket had to be made for the antenna to mount to the radar pole.
It is never fun to run cables on a boat but it went fairly smoothly until Jim realized that the phone cable was not long enough to reach the phone already mounted at the nav. station. I guess we could have mounted the phone in the head, where the cable ended, but that did not seem like the best solution. Finally he attached two additional meters of coax cable and it seems to work all right. Someday he will replace it with a continuous cable.
Running the phone cable half the length of the boat.
The Iridium phone mounted at the nav. station.
We had to remove the autopilot remote to make room for the sat. phone to fit. It was not used much and can still be charged by the plug dangling below the phone. As usual with boats, when you get something new something old has to go.
The hot water tank is the light colored thing way in the back. You can see an arm in front of it.
A few months ago our hot water tank developed a leak. Located in the engine room behind the generator, it was in a nearly impossible position to reach. Fortunately there is a small access door in the floor of the cockpit locker and a welder was able to make a temporary repair. Initially the tank company, Sigmar, said the warranty was void since we had it welded, but then approved a replacement tank. We would only have to pay for the labor.
This was a big job! The engine room is a nice size for a 40' boat but when ordering Tenaya we opted for a generator and HR mounted it behind the engine, reducing space and blocking the hot water tank. So, first the generator had to be unmounted and moved before someone could get to the tank. Lots of bolts and hoses and body contortions. Labor cost 600 Euro.
We had the new hot water tank mounted in the cockpit locker. As much as we hated to lose that valuable space, it was the only logical location.
Up the mast
Jim made one last trip to the top of our 60 foot mast to check for wear.
We choose to work on these projects in Almerimar for several reasons including the great dock design for mounting windvanes. From our time here last winter we knew the people in the chandleries and shops were knowledgeable and did quality work. An Englishman named Spencer owns Alamar Centro Nautico. He is friendly and very helpful and if he hasn't got an item in stock he will order it promptly.
We have completed almost all our projects and will be ready to leave for the Canaries next week. It will be nice to be on the move again.