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Three-day trip

General Posted on Mon, May 06, 2013 22:09:44

On May 1st I took 5 friends and we spent 3 days on the boat.

We started off from Torrevieja in the morning and arrived to Perdiguera, in the Mar Menor (Murcia) 5 hours later, 24 NM in 5:44. Pretty good, with small waves, sun, a cold breeze and in good spirits.

Perdiguera is a nice spot and we spent the day there, staying overnight.

Most of the trip was don at about 1500 Watt, basically the power that we received from the sun. We arrived to the island with the batteries full.

The next day we first went to Los Urrutia for breakfast but ended up staying a bit longer. Then we set off to go back to Torrevieja, but we were running late and we slept in Cabo Roig, a couple of NM before.

We had some minor technical problem, basically the inverter did not work steadily, and I have to investigate the reason. I suspect condensation water, because the inverter is for indoor installation and there is a lot of condensation water inside of the boat, on the back of the solar panels.

The last day we went back to Torrevieja and enjoyed ourselves a bit on the beach.

All in all, the boat demonstrated to be an easy companion for leisure trips. Navigation was easy even for novices, even though keeping straight course is not easy and requires continuous attention.

From this experience, a party of 4 can stay for long on the boat, but 6 people is maybe too much. We had guessed so much, but it is OK for a couple of days.

Navigation is still OK with all 6 sitting on the back- the boat does not suffer much.

Gaining Experience (March)

General Posted on Tue, March 12, 2013 14:10:11

We just installed an aperemeter that gives us a direct reading of the current coming out of the DC/DC into the battery and rest of the system.

Because that line is at about 50V (actually 56-60V), it makes pretty easy to tell the PV power that is being generated at each moment.

With a nice March sun, we generated at midday about 1.8 kW in the best conditions.

We also observed that the DC-DC stopped delivering current once the battery voltage reached 58V. However, after running the motor for a short while, we spotted the DC/DC unit delivering again some power, even with voltage above 58V. This should not happen, following the manual of it, but it is as it is. Currently we disconnect the charging if nobody is on board to supervise it and if it goes above 58V.

We did quite a few runs with different weather and sea conditions.

We found that at 4 kn, about 1000W of motor power, the boat was quite stable in direction and navigated the waves nicely.

At 2000W we reached up to 5.9kn, if we situated people on the boat to keep a steady weight distribution. If everybody was sitting on the backboard, the boat would just do 5.5 kn and would be more unstable.

With short and high waves taken from the front, we sank into the waves, due to the very thin hulls. Because of the shape of the hulls and deck, this should be no problem, except for the guys sitting on the front getting wet. However, it opens up the question of the suitability of a different hull design (outside of the water) to avoid this.

We discussed the addition of steering elements and we came with a suitable proposal that will bring autopilot to our boat.

We tested “man over board” and anchoring, to our full satisfaction. The very short turning radius brings back the man over board before he gets fully wet (kind of).

Additionally, we adjusted some mirror issues with the steering wheel.

The most rewarding part was to see that the boat is immensely enjoyable while anchored. It is easy to climb up the panels, and lovely to take a nap in the sun.

Weekend 9-10 march

General Posted on Thu, March 07, 2013 16:51:13


This weekend, from the 9th to the 11th of March I will be in Torrevieja testing ICAROS and deciding about the autopilot and backup motor solutions.

Currently, the boat sails and it is fun to “drive”, but we need a solution for longer journeys, in order not to have the skipper nailed to the wheel.

Because of the nature of the boat, it can change direction swiftly, even with the wheel in straight position. Therefore, it is not possible to leave the boat unattended.

We have the option of a wheel autopilot and a shaft autopilot.

For me, this second solution is better because we would have a backup steering and it is much cheaper.

What I would really like to have is an autopilot such as Minn Kota has in its electro motors. But it seems Torqeedo is not going down that alley…

Website is online

General Posted on Thu, March 07, 2013 16:43:09

The website dedicated to 3OCEANS and ICAROS is online.

Currently you can access the page with details about the construction phase and a gallery with pictures thereof.

The section that shows the team involved in Icaros is also online, and this blog.

We will be updating this section and completing the other sections soon.