Posted by: nativeiowan | September 21, 2016

2016 v9.2

The ICEBound Saga Continues…

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And the story continues…

Last we knew, ICE was safely sailed from New Cal to Gizo.

The intrepid crew sailed into Gizo Harbour on the 2nd of July.

Since then ICE has been tended and petted by son, Don.

He’s been running it, had it out for an overnight, and I think kinda feels ICE is “his baby”…

Not sure if I agree though, because it is now my turn…

My turn to go be ICEBound.

I’ll get to know the vessel, figger out the secrets therein…

And there a lot of secrets and “weirdities” to contend with.

Too many really…

ICE was designed by the man I call Dodgy Don… Why do I call him Dodgy Don… because I have learned that about 82% of what Dodgy Don says is untrue. There is about 15% of truth in the things Dodgy Don says… there are many, many good stories and long drawn out tales. Dodgy Don is a great tale-teller. And, even, an interesting dude…

Don McIntyre…
http://www.mcintyreadventure.com/
https://www.facebook.com/mcintyreadventure/

I was “taken-in” by Dodgy Don. I thought he was the sorta dude that you could do a hand shake deal with. That you could trust. That his word and reputation was something of value- at least to Dodgy Don.

But I was wrong.

When I first realised Dodgy Don was bullshitting me I was taken a-back. When I realised he had out-right lied to me (more than once) I was angry. When I realised he was a dude-without-honour, I felt sad. Real sad.

I had really liked Dodgy Don. I had really been happy to find a character of equal-status and like-mind. A fellow crazy who would fit in well with my universal family filled with crazies…

But I was wrong. And it saddened me. He wasn’t a crazy… he was a con-man. A liar. What we used to call a “FOS”… A Full of Shit…

Don is a some what “known” Aussie adventurer. He’d done a solo circumnavigation in his day. Spent a winter in Antartica n wrote a book. In the world of Aussie sailing Don McIntyre is a name well recognised.

ICE was originally built to winter in Antartica. That is what the vessel was designed for, but it never made it that far… ICE could never be trusted to compete a voyage without incident…

As near as I can tell ICE was well built – very, very well built- but weirdly, and in some places, cheaply outfitted… Second hand, semi antiquated technology that makes no sense, when modern gear is readily and inexpensively available. Top shelf gear and workmanship with cheap n nasty components.

A lot of real dumb-ass-shit happening…

The electrics are a nightmare. Nothing is logical or straight forward. It is as though two or three different minds did the designs without consulting each other. I still scratch my head over it all.

For such a big boat it is laid out in a rather “uncomfortable” way…

A big master cabin with ensuite…Nice if you’re at anchor and alone with your lover, but kinda strange on ICE, an adventure vessel.

A really great engine room.

A decent galley that works pretty well, but a big salon with some tiny, meaningless berths… well set up as an “at-anchor” living room, but basically a useless area when at sea.

The for’castle double berth is the only space below-decks that makes any real sense. Other than the engine room, that is.

The wheel-house is very spacious but, again, kinda weird.

It could make a great deck-cabin, if the table lowered and the whole place became a queen size bed. You could then turn this into the main bedroom when at anchor. A very useable space that right now is at best a big, difficult table area.

The biggest fuck-up Dodgy Don had was his fuel system. This system alone makes me wonder if Dodgy Don is actually a bleeding idiot…

He created a very complex fuel system of about 8000 litres of storage because he wanted to go to Antartica, and back…

He wanted to be able to hold fuel in a tank for ages and ages, then be able to run the fuel through filters and clean it all before using it to run the vessel or heat the quarters.

That in its own right is all reasonable. But Dodgy Don did it in, what now appears to be, his standard fucked-up, semi-idiot manner…

The vessel has never been reliable because of this fucked-up fuel system. Since ICE was launched it never completed a successful “trip”. The myriad of joints, unions, elbows, valves, and filters were a nightmare of micro-leaks.

The fuel pump on the engine could never suck hard enough to move the fuel from the tanks, through the filters and into the injectors. All the rubber seals were sucked away from their seats and air came into the fuel lines. It never worked… it was never suppose to work…

Of course a pump cannot compress air. So the pump heats up and fails. Time and fucking time again…

All up I think I know of at least 8 pumps having been installed through ICE’s short life. I’ll wager there are many more…

Of course it was the fuel system that turned us around in May. Too much air into the fuel system and an eventual blown pump, again.

It was Hans and Fricky who came up with a logical solution. A solution I am surprised was not considered earlier…

Like a straw with holes in it, when you suck on the end you get too much air to create sustainable suction. You may get a bit of liquid but the air intake diminishes the ability of the “line” to move the fluid.

The answer… instead of sucking, why not push the fuel… pressurise from the far-side of the line… push the fluid (the fuel here) into the line, then let the fuel pump lazily feed the injectors. Instead of making the pump get all hot and sweaty lifting the fuel to the engine… Push the fuel to the pump…

If there are leaks it will be a drip of fuel, not a suck of air.

The solution is so simple, was so, so basic and understandable that the only conclusion I can come to is Dodgy Don, though he may be a great sailer and adventurer, sure as shit ain’t no mechanic. In fact, the solution is so simple I can only conclude that Dodgy Don and anyone who has sailed on, been a part of the history of failed crossings, lived on, used and abused ICE…

Is fucking idiot. Period!

So, I start to plan and prepare – Again…

This is going to be a simple “trip”… I’ll go live on ICE for a while… I’ll target a month, at least…

I’ll start making the changes I think will work for me. I’ll change the salon around, make the wheelhouse a second at-anchor bedroom.

I’ll do a bit of roaming around the Solomons… Maybe go drift in the Manning Strait bit…. See whats out there this time of year… Or maybe go for a quick run to Santa Cruz…

So many options.

And life is good…

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Responses

  1. And so we witness the invention of the “fuel pump”, a clever device designed to push fuel thought things … definitely one of those “duh” moments.

    w.

    • I’ll be heading over mid Oct to start my icebound apprenticeship … Wanna come play?

      • Dang, dawg, I’d love to more than I can even say, but I’m coming over in April and I don’t think I could sell another trip to my sweetie … or buy another trip for that matter, Solos are a ways from here and flights aren’t cheap.

        Are you going to be in Solos in early April? I could probably work it into my existing trip, because then it’s just paying for the Fiji-Solos leg …

        w.

        >

      • I suspect that by April I’ll be preparing for the Gizo – Aus run. When it comes to being ICEBound, I have learned not to predict too much. Smiles


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