Off Grid

Our new solar panels and wind turbine have finally arrived! We decided to get a combination of solar and wind power generation so that we would always have a good supply of electricity on the boat. We did our research and we sourced that we could ordered both the solar panels and the wind turbine as a package deal. We avoided buying them from a chandlery as they were far too expensive. We found the on amazon and we received the delivery within a week.

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The wind turbine doesn’t have a brand but it looks good and sturdy even if the finish isn’t as polished as a named brand. The wind turbine has a peak output of 400 watts. We will need to put a pole up on the stern of the boat to mount it. We will then need to run cables from the wind turbine down to the engine room where we will have all the power management.

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The solar panels were bigger than we expected. We will need to plan where we will mount the panels on the boat. Each panel has a peak output of 180 watts.

The kit also included a charge controller that manages the solar panels and wind turbine.

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Let there be light

The lights we had on the boat were old fluorescent tubes that ran on 12v. They were properly quite efficient from their time bbut that was 2 years ago and lighting technology has come a long way since then.


I went online and ordered some 12v LED lights that looked like they  would work for our situation, like everything you buy online I was not sure of the quality of the product I was buying so I only ordered two. On arrival I was pleasantly surprised to find the lights were much brighter than I was expecting and more that adequate for our needs. Here is a link to them


We ordered the larger version with 2 LED strips in them. We are going to order more of this size to fit in the salon, galley, chart table and work shop but I think they might be too bright for the cabins. We’ll have to find some nice small ones, maybe with a pivoting head.


We also got some 12v to USB sockets for charging electronics. I’m going to go into the power system in more detail in another post but for now here is the USB sockets. I have them mounted in a case I 3D printed.


Safety First Kids!

We got some new protective gear this weekend to help with the boat maintenance. Here’s Ciara with her new gloves and mask.


And here’s Ciara working with the ankle grinder.


And about 20minutes later Ciara was on her way to the hospital. The ankle grinder slipped and Ciara ended up getting stitches along her baby finger. It can so easily happen. You should always be prepared and have a first aid kit onboard.

On the plus side Ciara now has an awesome scar!

Paddy’s Special

Saint Patrick’s weekend was a productivity weekend on An Gobadan. We both had four days off work so we made the most of the break. Rhys Walters and Sinead Crowley both helped us both over the weekend which always makes the work that bit more enjoyable.

This weekend we focused on sanding and painting much to the interior.

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Thank god for white spirits it saved many of my mistakes!

Irial and Rhys worked on the exterior of the boat. The ankle grinder was going for most of the weekend. They got most of the rust off the Wheel House. Rust is Irial’s nemesis, he cannot wait for the day that scientists come up with a cure for rust! After the rust was removed we used Jotamastic 87 2pac epoxy primer to protect the steel.

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We also got the sink fixed. They got the fittings cleaned and inserting new plumbing fixtures. Our oven has also been cleaned up and it looks like new!

Before cleaning:

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After cleaning:




All in all we are delighted with our progress and next weekend is another long weekend so not long more until she is seaworthy again!


The Engine Room Part 1

The engine in our boat is in a room of its own. This means that we never have oil or diesel or fumes from the engine coming into our living space. It also means that I have a place to keep all of the tools we need for fixing the boat in a separate location.

The engine we have is a 65hp Sole Diesel which is a Mitsubishi engine that has been converted to run in a boat. The engine has its own coolant that runs through a heat exchanger which is cooled by salt water. This means that there is no salt water running through the engine. We put this engine into her just before we went on our last big trip so it’s still very new and in great condition.


Unfortunately due to a leaky vent and the boat been put away in a rush the last time it was used, the engine room was a bit of a mess.
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The engine room also has a small work bench with a vice on it.

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We spent the weekend cleaning out the bilge and taking out all the rubbish.

We can access the top of the engine from the floor of the wheel house, this is also where the engine battery is stored.

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And here is a picture after we cleaned out all the loose rust and cleared the drainage pipe which was blocked.


And a photo of the floor of the engine room after I power washed it.




The Galley Part 1

When my Dad built the boat first he installed a proper kitchen sink into the boat. It worked great for years but on our last trip, where I was living on the boat in France with my Dad, we found that the sink wasn’t draining properly. We lived with it as it was not a big inconvenience at the time. After we came back from France it got progressively worse but as we were mainly day sailing her I ignored it.


Now that the boat is out of the water and we are doing a big job on her I decided to take the hole unit out and find the root of the problem.

The sink itself wasn’t too hard to get out as it was held in with only a few screws and the flexible drainage pipe was attached with jubliee-clips. After that there is a steal flange for the flexible pipe to go over, a valve and a heavy steal pipe that is welded to the hull. The sea-cock is designed in such away that even if the valve is taken off the heavy pipe the sea will still be lover than the top of the pipe.


This is a great design but unfortunately even though I had changed the flexible pipe to try and resolve my issue I never checked the Heavy Pipe. I can be seen here trying to remove the old valve which was seized and blocked.


The inside of the pipe and valve were almost completly caked up with dried kitchen waste and mud.

I have also taken a lot of the parts off the cooker and cleaned down all the surfaces in the galley. I will wire brush all of the cooker parts in the workshop at home and possibly spray them with thermal paint to give them a fresh new look.


January 2016

2016 has begun and it’s full steam ahead with boat preparations. Spreadsheets and endless lists have started to be formed. The reality of the trip is starting to sink in as we commence work on the boat.  An Gobadán has not been in the water for a number of years and she is showing signs of her age. We have a lot of work to be done before we can get her back on the water.

Today we spent the day going through all the lockers and cubbyholes. Over the years we’ve accumalted lots of bits and pieces so we want to start afresh by clearing everything off the boat.

Here’s our messy chart table!




The chart table after we cleared it out.




Here is the boat which will be bringing us around the world. The boat was built in 1990. It was named An Gobadán by Dermot Kennedy. She has made numerous excursions to France over the years but we are now preparing her for her biggest voyage yet. The boat has been on the hard for three years, taking up residency at Old Court, Skibbereen. Irial and I have now commenced reviving the boat as we prepare for a year long adventure at sea.