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Update March 25, 2004
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It is going to be + 8C today and only the tinniest bit of ice remains in the bay and marked the completion of my winter harbour. The the wind shifted SE taking the ice from the bird sanctuary, along with other assorted flotsum past the boat.

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I spent hours yesterday listening to the grinding of the ice flows against the hull as the last of the ice left the bay.

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Along with the ice I was glad of the .25" of steel between me and the stuff bouncing off the hull. By the end of the day I had had three pilings smack into the sturn and had collected 3 barrels.

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Like all pre owned boats we spent the first couple of months working out all the flaws and failings that we had inherited along with that good dose of unexpected joy of finding extent operational systems. Then again in my experience I am very pleased with the vessel I purchased.

The vessel is constructed of 1/4" steel, to full commercial scantling and Coast Guard passenger carrying rules. To achieve our operational range I calculate we burn 2/3 gallon per hour, making 10 knots; verified by GPS, by 660 gallons + fuel equals theoretical service range of 6,000 miles.

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No expeditionary craft is complete without deck boats. In our case this is a 14 Aluminum fish boat, and aWaverunnerr Jet Ski. The "Men of Steel" as I call the guys are still playing regularly with both even now on the 21st of November. Ther are many still nights, tucked in the exposure suits we clear the breakwater and drift for an evening break in the now cold waters of Lake Ontario.

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Much of my Internet creation time takes place from the great cabin which forms the heart of the home with two sea berths set high above a horseshoe shaped settee.

As with most Canadian live aboards we closed up for winter by shrink wrapping the aft deck and hard deck enclosures. With out the window the cat solarium provides an ideal shield of insulation against the cold. On sunny days it still warms up to mid teens form the sun.

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With the shrink wrap up the entire aft deck has become a project workshop as the ESPAR install continues.

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Mee Mah has taken to the boat, if not Beetle Pat's cat.
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She still comes and goes taking a few minutes every couple of day to survey the dock from he boarding platform. But mostley she likes it aft.
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For a updated daily page concerning the ESPAR go here.

Custom Steel Trawler to full commercial scantlings Custom Design by Cliff Richardson Boats
Meadford, Ontario
1973 Raked bow full keel single chine steel hull to commercial scantlings
Construction: 3/16" steel
Length On Deck: 41 feet 0 " feet
Draft: 5.5 feet (fully fueled loaded 2004)
Beam: 11 feet 6 inches
Engines: 1 GM 671 N set up with small 90 hp injectors = .75 GPH
Get Home:Diesel 1 Lister diesel 3 cylinder with chain and shaft drive offset to sprocket interface on primary shaft.
Generator 1 diesel 3.5 KW
Fuel:Diesel 2 integral 500 imperial gallon tanks total
Water system:
An extensive fresh water system exists with 300 gallons of fresh water, 115 water heaters, & SS marine instant heat exchanger fired by Espar producing endless hot water.
Refrigeration: 12 VDC full sized EZ Cold fridge, that works excellent refrigerator

Defiant floor plan

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We are now wintered in with most ot the deck areas covered. Now cocoon and securely strung between tactical pilings we can get back to work. Much of our life takes place under the blue top which will be covered later in the tour.

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Forward in the pilothouse the helm station has opposing doors to the decks. The forward companionway is offset to port side. The chair and large table to make a living room which is proved warm and tasty as the season changes and the wood stove glows happily.

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One of the first tasks we inhere ted was re engineering the shifting mechanism which was amid evil torture device made of of a 6' long piece of 2" pipe working through a "Walter Mitt like" a set of transfers and chain drives to transmission. Pat and Red hit this dead on first pass coming up with a flagellum shift that works with a fingers touch.

Above the navigation station / desk is the master control panel for all the new systems. These are the smart controls which provide detailed data on all system conditions including reserve states.

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The navigation station is exclusively dedicated as the the "Engineer's station" and the smart system center of the vessel.

To starboard, aft of the door there is a counter height hanging locker, followed by a 18" wood stove which has been fully reconditioned and new chimney with whirleygig. Aft of the stove is a settee followed by the wet bar. A L shaped settee to port with kitter litter box hidden under the seat with ventilation The aft companionway offset to starboard and down 5 steps.

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The stern of the boat is taken up by the great aft cabin which is set well down in the hull providing an easy motion in a seaway. As you descend the companionway there is a short hallway of roughly 4 feet before the cabin opens out to its full. The galley is to port while the hear to starboard at the foot of the aft companionway. The head door is so constructed as to form a door to the entire aft cabin if one requires privacy. is a round dinette flanked by two sea berths. In the center above the 200 gallon water tank are a set of drawers.

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Aft of aft engine room bulkhead, down 4 steps, the galley is set to port with a large high offence fridge mid ships. Next outboard there is a 3 burner with over stainless steel propane stove. Tucked in the back there is a fair sized work space with cupboards and a nice sized double SS sink. The galley is divided from the dinette by a butcher block divider locker below. The entire galley is large and well laid out. The stove has now ben fully rebuilt.

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The head reaches bathroom stasis, with a full sized tub and extremely nice. Thew head has been upgraded to an electric macerating version and the tub proves to be fully functional and once coupled to the new ESPAR driven instant water heater it becomes a hot tub spa for one.

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Forward is the N berth cabin with he berth itself set high with large storage lockers under. Aft of the berth are two hanging lockers and the forward bulkhead.You access the engine room via a fair fixed door. V area a cabin looking aft to engine room door and companionway .

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Entering the engine room the primary 671 lies directly amidships with a massive bank of batteries extending along the starboard side of the engine. Further outboard to port lie the Heart inverter , Xantrax, Gen set and starting batteries.

One of the biggest changes we have made is the reserve DC power supply for the boat.

Vessel Electrical

12VDC primary/Gen starting 2 is made up of 2, group 31a, 12 VDC, located above and back of Gen set. Primary engine charging by 2 seperate 671 driven alternators.
12 VDC "House" bank:
8 batteries deep cycle HD 6VDC ,
charged by a Xantrax 60 AMP smart charger
24 VDC bank: 8HD deep cycle 6V:
"ESPAR & 24VDV":

HEART, 5000W inverter/charger
2.5 KW diesel generator
3.5 KW Coeman, portable Gen set

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This will be the final touch is proper heat.

Among the most critical systems to comfortably spend all year live aboard was a long lived fully functional heating system for the ice. This turned out to be an ESPAR 120,000 BTU hydroid furnace. Now, this is not the 35,000 BTU hot air version many boats use. This is the super system big enough to power a 3000 square foot house complete with radiant floor heating. Seen on the shrink wrapped aft deck (Lido - Blue) is the ESPAR and the newly constructed distribution manifolds which will direct the heating glycol to the radiators in the cabin.

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For a updated daily page concerning the ESPAR go here.