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VALHALLA'S  FEATURES

Changes made as of 17 Sep 2008 are shown in this color font here.  A picture of the exterior is shown here.  Use your browser's 'back' button to return.

Changes since the original posting are shown in this color font.  This update made on 28 Jan 2008.

Since starting "Valhalla's Mooring Page" I have had numerous emails from visitors asking about the various items of equipment and features that make Valhalla a pleasure to call 'home'.  While waiting for the southwest monsoon to blow itself out, I've decided to make a list of these things in an effort to answer such questions in advance ... or perhaps stimulate further discussion :-)

Let's take a tour of Valhalla as a means of revealing these items of equipment and features.

Topsides Tour

Rigging. All standing rigging has been increased in size over original (at least one size) and all terminals are Sta-Lok®.  Spare wire (of each size and longer than any of that size being used) and terminal cones are carried to permit repair of any rigging that fails.  The original split backstay has been changed to two backstays with insulators in each backstay to serve as HF antennae.  Originally designed as a ketch without an inner forestay, I've added a removable inner forestay (described under Terry's Articles), primarily as a place to fly the storm jib (with roller furling I didn't fancy the alternatives and it places the center of effort of the storm jib closer to the main mast) and  it also permits flying a staysail under suitable conditions.  A separate track for a trysail has been added to the mainmast alongside the mainsail track.  The mizzen sheet has a 3:1 purchase and is terminated at the end of the mizzen boom, where it makes a convenient rig to lift heavy loads aboard (e.g., outboard motor or an exhausted person in a Lifesling!).  Three 4:1 purchase vangs have dedicated padeyes on deck to provide preventers (two dedicated for the main boom and one re-locatable for the mizzen).  One whisker pole is carried on deck in its mounts; when two poles are needed (such as when running wing and wing) the main boom is held outboard with a preventer and the sheet led through a snatch block at the end of the boom).  Pinrails are on port and starboard (described under Terry's Articles) with Aqua Signal® running lights. Wood 'ratlines' are installed on the port and starboard lower shrouds.  Two topmast halyards are installed, port and starboard.

Spars. The original aluminum spars are considered bulletproof (hope I'm not tempting fate by saying this). The mainmast has fold away steps from just below the spreaders to the top of the mast, with access to the spreaders from the 'ratlines'. Top of the mainmast sports a Windex®, Aqua Signal® tricolor/strobe/anchor light and two speakers (the original burglar alarm has been scrapped and the alarm speakers connected to a switch in the cockpit locker).  On top of the mizzen is the VHF antenna. Also mounted on the mizzen is the Ampair® 100 wind generator and the scanner for the Furuno® 1720 radar.  Mounted on the mizzen spreaders are the AIS VHF antenna and the antenna for the ACeS satellite phone.  The original spinnaker pole was retained when the spinnaker was sold and has been shortened to a whisker pole (slightly shorter than the J measurement).  The original mainmast winches (one on each side) continue to serve since 1976 with only occasional maintenance.

      Radar Reflector. A Firdell Blipper® radar reflector is mounted on the main mast above the spreaders.

     Masthead/foredeck light.  A combination masthead and foredeck light (Aqua Signal®) has been fitted to the mainmast at spreader height..  The original pair of deck lights on the spreaders caused rot in the wood spreaders due to ingress of water, suggesting an alternative location for the deck light.

Sails.  The working sails consist of a 135% Genoa (on Profurl furler), fullly battened mainsail and fully battened mizzensail.  Sails are in tanbark color and were fabricated by Rolly Tasker in 2006.  'Stackpacks' on main and mizzen booms protect the sails when handed. Lazy jacks are fitted on both main and mizzen, and can be lowered and secured beneath the awnings when they are fitted.   I fabricated a staysail from a jib salvaged from a 22 foot daysailer.  Storm sails, from Lee Sails (Helen Chong suggested a practical color of International Orange) consist of the storm jib (flown from the removable inner forestay) and a trysail (on its own track as previously mentioned).  The light air sail is a 'drifter' (or MPS), which formerly was a mizzen staysail on a 55 foot ketch.

Foredeck.

     Bow anchor rollers. The bow anchor roller (starboard side) for the chain has been notched at the aft end to fit round the anchor shackle pin and provide a secure catch for the anchor when catted.  For added security, a stainless steel pin goes through the anchor roller housing and the shank of the main anchor, a 35 pound CQR® (Harbor Set model).  A stainless steel swivel anchor connector (made in Italy) eases running the anchor and chain over the bronze roller.  A double fairlead roller is mounted on the port side for leading nylon rode to the windlass rope gypsy.

     Chocks.  In addition to the original two chocks mounted port and starboard, another smaller chock has been fitted on the port side for a spring line, abaft the main chock.  (Our practice is to tie alongside on the port side only.  Why?  We have a right handed prop.  If that is confusing you can email us and learn the full answer!)

     Cleats.  The original two foredeck cleats have been augmented by a third cleat amidships and in front of the windlass.  This has proved quite handy when adjusting mooring and/or multiple anchoring lines.

     Forward hatch windscoop.  Another reason for making the inner forestay removable was to permit fitting the squall-proof windscoop over the forward hatch while at anchor.  This project is described under Terry's Articles.

     Hose fitting. A Perko® hose deck connector is fitted for the anchor wash down hose.

      Windlass. A Lofrans Tigres® windlass has made life wonderful!  Switches for raising and lowering are installed in the deck nearby the windlass.  The windlass electrical load is split between the two house battery banks.  Stainless steel strips protect the teak bowsprit from abrasion by the chain.

Coach roof.

     Storage box.  A box on the coach roof was fabricated to store flammables such as paint, varnish, solvents, spare propane tank, etc.  The size was selected to permit carrying the solar panel on top while underway.  It is fiber glassed inside and out to contain any spillage from the flammables.  Teak handles on either side make convenient tie downs for jerry jugs of fuel and water that are carried on the coach roof.

     Mainsheet traveler.  The inconvenience of a mainsheet with traveler in the cockpit, just ahead of the mizzenmast where it was always in the way, has been eliminated with the fitting of an amidships traveler. Two boom bails distribute the load to the main boom using a 6:1 purchase, eliminating the need for a winch. A free-standing turning block on the cabin roof, suitably backed with teak block and stainless steel plate (as is the traveler standoffs), leads the mainsheet through the dodger's wood breakwater (using a nylon through hull as a grommet) and rope clutch to a cleat.

     Dorade vents.  The teak dorades have been sealed with fiberglass, primed and painted.  Stainless cowl vents (8" diameter) have been fitted to replace the original small plastic ones.

     Hand rails and eyebrow. These have also been sealed with epoxy, primed and painted.

     Solar panel.  One solar panel is normally carried on the storage box while underway but is then fitted to the best location for sun illumination.  This can be across the pulpit or alongside the lifelines as required, using four ties attached to the corners of the solar panel.  A 15 foot electrical wire leads to a waterproof connector at the base of the main mast.

Non-skidTreadmaster® pads cover the coach roof to provide sure footing.  While these tended to grow mold (they are white in color) when first installed, I cleaned them with bleach and then had them painted over when the coach roof was last sprayed.  The deck treatment is one I did in 1981 and it remains one of the best.  It is industrial, fine ground cork attached with paint; provides sure footing with green seas running over the deck and is easy on bare feet.

Pulpit and pushpit.  A new pulpit fitted in 2006 is wider than the former one to provide more working room when catting the anchor, etc.  The new pushpit fitted in 2006 is extended along the sides to the rear gate stanchions.  Solar panels (75W) are mounted on each side with adjusting arms. 

Dodgers. 

     Companionway.  A new dodger was fitted in 2006.  The original design, with the aft frame able to fold forward, was retained.  A larger size in the front required removing one of the main boom bails.  Tensioning of the dodger is provided by a line and pelican hook to a padeye on the forward side of the mizzen mast.

     Lifeline.  The lifelines adjacent to the cockpit have spray dodgers fitted from the rear gate stanchion to just behind the solar panels.   The starboard side dodger has a pocket which holds the horse-shoe buoy on the outboard side. 

Bimini.  A bimini was fitted in 2006.  This required raising the mizzen boom 7 inches to provide head room under the bimini.  Roll-up side curtains in both Sunbrella and mesh provide rain and sun protection.  The rear of the bimini also has a roll-up mesh curtain for sun protection.  The side curtains can be unzipped if desired.  Sunbrella inserts can be zipped into place between the aft side of the dodger and the forward side of the bimini.

Awnings.  A ketch brings complications in fitting awnings around the rigging if a weather proof awning is desired.  My solution is two awnings that are joined together by zippers.  New awnings were fabricated in 2006 to the former design as described below.

      Main awning. This awning fits between the main and mizzen masts with ties that permit rolling (furling) the awning from each side and securing with lines similar to reefing lines.  The aft end of this awning has provision for the backstays to pass through, permitting the awning to be secured at the main and mizzen upper shrouds.  A three point attachment to the main halyard keeps the awning level and provides fine adjustment of the shape for rain collection into the through-hulls on either side.  Lines similar to leech lines in a sail are fitted on each side of the awning to further achieve the best rain collecting shape.

     Cockpit awning. This awning is more complicated in that it must fit around the mizzen mast, the mizzen shrouds and zip to the main awning.  A section of tubing fitted into a pocket  keeps the aft end of the awning spread across the cockpit.  A 'peaked roof' design is held in place by the mizzen halyard.  Each side and the aft end have curtains which drop to the level of the lifelines/pushpit and these have a midway position with the curtain held up by twist stud fasteners.  The curtains can be rolled completely up and secured with straps that attach with Velcro.

Cockpit.  The cockpit is the 'living and dining room' during good weather conditions.  The awning enclosure extends this into conditions that would otherwise drive you below.

     Anchors.  Anchor rollers are fitted on either side of the transom.  The starboard side carries a Bruce® 33 lb and the port side carries a Danforth® Hi Tensile 22 lb.  Captive pins similar to the bow anchor are fitted.

     Barbecue.  A Force 10® small propane barbecue mounts on the starboard transom.  Though connected to the main propane tank it is easily removable for storage when desired.

     Cockpit table.  The table drops into place using a dinghy pintle and gudgeon on the mizzen mast and a notch in the table which fits over the wind vane clutch on the wheel.  Stability is good with wedges on either side of the mizzen mast.

     Cushions.  The cockpit cushions serve double duty as the mattress on the cabin sole when underway (this location puts the off watch sleeper at the center of pitch, yaw and roll).  Throw pillows serve as back cushions. Fixed cushions on the sides of the lazarette and backrest cushions on the pushpit provide  the most frequently used seats.

     Electrical panel. The aft portside of the foot well has an electrical panel fitted.  Waterproof switches control the mainmast strobe light, deck light, shower pump, and autopilot.  Connectors are fitted for the cockpit light and the searchlight.

     Engine controls. A Morse® (now Teleflex®) MJB dual lever engine control is fitted.  This $500 piece of  junk continues to plague me with corrosion on both the throttle lever (chrome plated pot metal) and the mild steel backing plate.  I had the backing plate heavily chrome plated to delay the rust ... which still began to show after less than a year.  My complaints to Teleflex resulted in a new set of controls ... still the same junk as originally produced by Morse Controls company.

     Engine panel.  The Yanmar engine panel, in the forward end of the foot well,  is fitted into a recessed enclosure with sliding Plexiglas cover to give environmental protection.  The engine T-handle shutoff is located directly in front of the key switch to enforce the shutdown procedure of 'fuel first, key last'.

      Instruments.  Wind, knot meter and depth sounder instruments (Standard Horizon®) and the Raymarine® ST6001+ Autopilot Control Unit are fitted to the aft side of the coach roof. 

     Safety.  A MOB pole is fitted on the starboard side next to the mizzen upper shroud and it is attached to the horse shoe buoy and drogue (stowed in the lifeline dodger).  A Lifesling® rescue system is stowed on the portside, inboard of the pushpit, in a hard case (it makes a good backrest when sitting sideways on the lazarette).  A Guest® searchlight is also stowed in this case.  A sturdy pad eye on the mizzen mast permits hooking up the harness tether while still in the companionway.  Two harnesses are West Marine® manual inflatable style and the tethers have double Wichard® safety hooks. Another harness (home made) is used for safety while climbing the mast.  Two Type I life jackets are carried in their separate yellow bag in the cockpit locker.

     Shower.  A Whale® Transom Shower is fitted in the aft starboard side of the foot well, adjacent to the shore power inlet.  The water is selectable between salt and fresh by a valve located near the washdown pump in the head.  Locating this valve in the cockpit would have been more convenient at the expense of additional piping and more fresh water use!

     Stereo Speakers.  Pioneer® Nautica Maxxial speakers are flush mounted on both aft sides of the cockpit.

     Storage.  A Sailing Specialties® Coaming Box in the footwell stores bathing supplies.  A second hard case for a Lifesling® is fitted on the starboard side of the pushpit (also inboard) and is affectionately called the 'clutterbox' ... a place for the junk that normally clutters the cockpit, such as fishing gear, cleaning tools, extra winch handles, etc.  The cockpit has a storage bag fitted under the engineroom access hatch in addition to the storage in the lazarette.

     VHF Radio.  A Raymarine® Ray 45 radio is flush mounted in the port side near the lazarette, which is the 'normal helm' position.

    Winches.  Primary winches are Lewmar® 30 (two speed) and a third winch for the genoa furler has been added, a Lewmar® 16 (single speed).  A Lewmar® 'Power Grip' handle serves the primaries and a shortened handle is dedicated to the furling winch.  A Helm® winch handle holder in the footwell stows the Power Grip handle convenient but out of the way.

     Miscellaneous.  Additional items in the cockpit include the Whale® Gusher 10 manual bilge pump (accessible from the normal helm position), connector/mount for the Raymarine®  ST600R handheld autopilot remote, connector for the water generator, Edson® Outboard Engine Mount on the pushpit, ventilation grills (one for ingress and one for egress), drink holder (aluminum mountain bike water bottle holders clamped to the pushpit stanchions) and fishing rod holder on the pushpit. The Aqua Signal® stern light is mounted on the pushpit top rail.  A second Whale® Gusher 10 manual bilge pump is mounted on a board and, with snap-on hoses, is carried in the cockpit locker.

Belowdecks Tour

Rebuild/Refit

     The following is a description of the interior work done during the 1993-1998 rebuild (as written for the article Rebuild of the Yacht VALHALLA)

"The first priority we gave to the repairs began with the interior. We stripped the saloon interior down to the bare hull, retaining only the cabin sole, and rebuilt it to a new design. The significant change below was the elimination of saloon berths and the quarter berth in favor of a storage cabinet, comfortable seating for four at the foldaway table, increased storage behind the seats, and a sit-down navigation station, which took equal shares of a saloon bunk and the quarter berth. The remainder of the quarter berth behind the navigation station seat, with folding back, became storage. All bulkheads in the saloon were replaced, having broken their joints to the hull, with significant delamination from water seepage. All new joinery was waterproofed with epoxy. The forepeak was stripped of its overhead and sealing, and the sealing stringers which had broken loose from the hull were glassed back in place. Throughout the interior the teak trim was waterproofed with epoxy prior to applying varnish to a smooth finish, gloss in the saloon and satin in the head and forepeak. All bulkhead surfaces were covered with almond colored Formica. The interior of the cabin sides was spray painted in a color and matte finish to match the Formica. Caning was installed throughout in the new and old cabinet doors enclosing storage areas. The overhead in the forepeak was replaced with automobile headliner, the one in the head with Formica, and the original overhead in the saloon, still in good condition, was finished with white epoxy paint. Three overhead handholds were added the length of the saloon. All lockers and storage compartment interiors were finished with white epoxy paint and Formica was installed on shelves. The galley renovation included additional insulation around the fridge, a custom-made cutting board top for the fridge, and countertops of Avonite .. a polyester material resembling marble with many of its properties. A new, deeper sink was installed with new foot, electric and hand pumps. The Force 10 stove/broiler/oven unit was rebuilt, sold and replaced with an identical new unit."

    The 2006 refit is described here.

Forepeak

Otherwise called the 'vee berth', the forepeak has ample storage below the mattresses.  The storage is divided into ten compartments, with the most accessible compartment (with ventilation holes) used for foul weather gear.  Bookshelves run the length of the berths on both sides.  Two dual 110V outlets are fitted on the forward bulkhead.  Two Hella® two speed fans and two Alpenglow® reading lights make reading in bed pleasant.  (I make it a rule to only read books in bed that can be dropped on the face without causing damage when you fall asleep!)  A combination stool and tool box (for often used tools) makes entry and exit of the vee berth easy for short legs.

Clothes locker

Portside, abaft the vee berth, is a clothes locker with four shelves. An Alpenglow® fluorescent light on the facing bulkhead provides good illumination into the locker.

Head

The lavatory in the head was removed and the space has been converted into storage for medicines and toilet supplies.  A Shurflo® Blaster Washdown Pump is installed in the lavatory cabinet.  A fixed bulkhead replaces the original door between the vee berth and the head, and mounts the Pur 35® watermaker, and shelf with high fiddles.  The original Wilcox Crittenden © Head Mate has been replaced with the same model.  A sturdy handle has been fitted on the door jamb facing the head ... great for use in a seaway.

Cabin sole

Indoor-outdoor carpet covers the cabin sole with an extra covering piece in the galley area.

Saloon

     Entertainment. Items include: View-Sonic 15" flat screen, View-Sonic Video Processor and an AKIRA DVD/VCD player.  Bose® 151 speakers are mounted on the overhead with the Kenwood® stereo system in the Navigation Station area.  A Worldspace digital satellite radio is co-located and integrated with the stereo system.  A Wireless MVIX Hi-Def Multimedia Player MX780HD, with a terabyte (1,000 GB) storage capacity is installed.  This unit now contains over 800 movies in the DivX format with room to spare!

     Lighting.  Alpenglow® lights, dual power on the overhead and a reading light on the starboard settee bulkhead, provide excellent illumination at low power budget.

     Storage.  The starboard settee has five compartments under the seat.  Storage shelves are located behind both settee seat backs. Storage areas above the settees have locking fold down doors.  The cabinet on the forward portside has a large storage space below and a wide vanity drawer, both with underway locks.  A cabinet on the starboard side contains audio CD cassettes for the stereo system.  A hanging net over the portside settee is used for incidental storage; bread, onions, garlic, etc.   The water tank is located beneath the portside settee. A compartment beside the steps contains the Heart® Interface 1000W Inverter, wind generator regulator, engine battery switch, small electrical panel (bilge pump and  inverter control panel) and storage.

     Telephone. A satellite telephone is mounted on the starboard settee bulkhead.

    Electrical.  Three dual 110V outlets and two dual 220V outlets are fitted.

Galley

      Lighting. An Alpenglow® combination dual power fluorescent and dual power red LED light is mounted above the galley area.

     Storage. Lockers above the counter and stove have sliding doors.  The wedge-shaped space behind the stove has a lifting lid with storage beneath for frying pans.  A wide utensil drawer and locker with fold down door are located below the stove. Three drawers are located below the counter.  Open, athwartships lockers are above the counter and sink. A small storage cabinet with mirror door is located above the counter in the aft side of the coachroof.  A door beneath the sink and hinged companionway steps give access to the engine compartment.  A compartment above the steps contains a DC electrical panel.  

     Water supply. A pressure saltwater pump (Whale® Inline) feeds through a Fynspray® lever action hand pump.  Fresh water is provided by a Whale® Gusher Foot Pump through a Shurflo® filter (same filter as used in the watermaker).

Navigation Station

This has been built into the area formerly occupied by the quarterberth.  The remaining space of the quarterberth is used for storage of bulky items and the Icom antenna tuner.  Storage areas beneath the chart table and in the footwell have locking doors for access.  The area beneath the navigation station seat and the quarterberth contains the vessel batteries (four 6V and one 12V) plus additional storage.

     Electronics. Compactly mounted in the navigation station area are the following: ACR® Satellite EPIRB,  Furuno® 1720 CRT display, Interphase® Probe SONAR, Furuno GP-32 GPS/WAAS Navigator, Garmin® GPS60, ICOM® M710 HF Radio, Yaesu® FT-890 HF Radio, Sanyo® Worldspace Satellite Receiver, Kenwood® AM/FM/cassette/CD (with changer),  SCS® PTC-IIex PACTOR Controller, Nasa® AIS Engine,  Edgeport® 4 Com Port Expander, Canon® PIXMA iP90 printer and DELL® Inspiron 510m laptop computer.  Spare electronics include a Sony® World Band Receiver, backup DELL® Inspiron 510m laptop computer, Logitech® 'Marble Mouse' trackball, Logitech® Webcam, and two 160GB external hard drives.  Two teak brackets hold cell phones, with a charging circuit I made to give 5 volts for charging either phone.  A battery booster powers the laptop computer from 12 volts. A charger/bracket holds an Apelco® VHF 510 handheld radio.  A bracket holds an Autohelm® Personal Compass.  A 12V cigarette lighter socket provides accessory power.  A switch box with indicator lights controls the chart light, laptop computer, AIS receiver and USB hub power supply.

     Electrical.  The bulkhead beneath the navigation seat  contains: digital voltmeter, DC electrical panel, AC electrical panel, solar panel ammeter, solar panel 12A charger controller and house battery switch.  The engine battery switch is mounted in a small locker.  The quarterberth area contains a Xantrex Freedom 10 inverter/charger and a 220/110 volt stepdown transformer.

     Lighting.  A Guest® red fluorescent light provides chart table illumination, supplemented by an Aqua Signal® Chart light.

     Storage area.  The storage areas in the navigation station contain: Raymarine® Autopilot course computer, Davis® Mark 25 sextant, flag set, binoculars (Tasco® and Fujinon® Techno-Stabi Jr), flare kit, and 12V rechargeable searchlight. 

Ventilation

Lewmar® opening portlights have replaced all original fixed portlights;  Forepeak (2), Head (1), Saloon (3), Galley (1) and Navigation Station (1).  An original opening portlight is in the aft side of the coachroof.  Dorade ventilation exists in the head and saloon.  Hella® fans are mounted in the vee berth (2), above the galley, above the navigation station and under the fold-down table (for ventilation when using the cabin sole as a bed while underway).

Engine compartment 

The engine compartment contains the Yanmar® 3GM30F diesel engine, Rule® bilge pump with Aqualarm® smart pump switch, Qwik-Drain® Oil Removal System, Raycor® Turbine fuel filter/water separator, Mitsubishi® electric fuel pump,  Adler-Barbour® refrigeration compressor/condenser unit, Yanmar® antenna tuner and Aqualift® muffler.

Miscellaneous

     Lazarette.  In addition to storage, the lazarette contains the Edson worm-screw steerer and the Raymarine Rotary Drive and Rudder Indicator for the autopilot.

     Spares.  In addition to the myriad of spare parts, repair kits, and fasteners there are certain items that are carried as complete units.  These include: Balmar® alternator; Yanmar® starter, salt water pump and fuel pump; Shurflo® Blaster washdown pump; and Wilcox-Crittenden® head pump assembly. 

Propulsion

The auxiliary engine is a Yanmar® 3GM30F (installed 2002) with a flexible coupling (Centaflex®)  to a 1-1/8 inch 316L stainless steel shaft.  The shaft seal is a  PYI® Packless Sealing System.  An Autostream® 15 inch self feathering propeller, model ASPS1-15, is fitted.

Recreation (in addition to cruising!)

     Fishing.  A fishing pole and reel are used solely as an outrigger for a hand line to keep the line away from the boat and permit using another line on the starboard side.  The trolling water generator on the port side gives a sporting time while landing fish.

      SCUBA.  Two sets of SCUBA gear (BC, regulator, weight belt, diving computer, etc.) and four SCUBA tanks are carried.  Lack of space precludes carrying a compressor ... but I've found that nearly any place with good diving has a dive shop nearby or a larger yacht with a dive compressor!

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